Yoga allows us to make shifts in the way we think and how we talk to ourselves.
Challenging the body and cultivating a slower, steady breath in our yoga practice gives us the chance to not only strengthen our bodies, but also clear out the clutter for our minds and our emotional well-being. And while I am a huge believer in the practice of yoga, you don’t have to find these shifts on your yoga mat. It’s more about spending time away from distractions and intentionally working on the way you think, the stories you tell yourself, and your perceptions of what happens around you. We often cannot control our surroundings, but we can control our thoughts – even though sometimes this seems impossible or too difficult.
We are all guilty of sometimes neglecting the importance of taking breaks from our busy lives to slow down. We feel like we simply do not have the time. However, by giving ourselves permission to slow down, we achieve a healthier life balance by allowing our mind to process and prioritize what really matters and let go of the rest.
How often do you take time to slow down and check in with yourself?
Take this non-yoga scenario: You go to the grocery store without a list, and you buy everything you need. You return home to put your groceries away and realize you forgot eggs. Suddenly, the errand you thought you checked off your list isn’t actually checked off. You have to make a second trip, and the second trip is super annoying because now you are just wasting time. You feel flustered because had you slowed down to make a list, you would not have forgotten the eggs. Instead you are spending time racing back to the grocery store and playing chicken in the parking lot.
Situations like these are completely unnecessary and avoidable…if we have the right approach. When we commit to making tiny changes over time instead of all at once, it is less overwhelming. When we pause every now and then to think instead of rushing through life, we are actually freeing up more time by determining how to accomplish tasks more efficiently, not just quickly. Our minds can wrap around this way of thinking much easier because it is more realistic. The more we do it, the easier it becomes because we are cultivating new patterns that eventually make their way into the habit category. We want to make tiny shifts in our thinking and our behaviors so that they ultimately become newer, better habits!
In yoga, we turn inward to focus on the breath and often set an intention for the practice. One of my favorite intentions is “breathe through it” or “keep breathing” because when I get overwhelmed, my natural tendency (habit) is to hold my breath. The more I can focus on my breathing when I am overwhelmed, overworked or flustered in my yoga practice, the easier this becomes. Practice makes progress, and consistent practice turns into habit.
We have to find faith in the process and trust that everything unfolds as it should. We are our own teachers – our best, truest teachers. The more we take time to pause and check in – whether it is on or off the mat – the more we learn from ourselves. We listen more to our own voices, and less to the distraction of outside chatter and pressures that sometimes can do more harm than good.
If you are interested in developing your yoga practice, or have never tried yoga before and want to see what it is all about, go to my Yoga page here or Contact me here. I would love to set up some time to chat with you about your personal goals and how we can work together to help you reach them.