yoga

How Yoga Changes You

 

IMG_5718Recently I’ve become more aware of the journey of yoga students from the first class they ever take to their current class years later.  I’m in awe of the vast journey that they have gone through and how much they have changed over the course of their practice.  Here are three big ways that yoga changes you.

More Good, Less Bad

At this point we all know how good yoga is for us.  When we start to add good into our lives, we naturally let the bad fall out.  You might not even realize it happening.  It might start little by little with food choices. You took a yoga class, you’re feeling good and have that glow about you, now what will you have for lunch? You’re normal burger will make you feel down and tired so you opt for something more nutrient dense and green because you know that will keep your post yoga glow going strong.  You’ll start to notice the things in your life that make you feel good and the things that cause you pain.  As you become more aware of each, you’ll be more inclined to keep the good and clear the bad.

Community

A good yoga studio will have a thriving, supportive community that surrounds it.  I’ve made so many friends from yoga and we’ve got each other’s backs.  If you’re new to yoga or a studio, make new friends and become a part of that community.  Not only will it will hold you accountable to stay consistent with your practice, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people who only want to see you grow.  Plus it’s pretty amazing to be able to talk to someone about the joys of Ayurveda or how you flew your first ever bakasana and have them totally understand what you’re talking about.

Confidence

Yoga will 100% build your confidence.  On a physical level, you’ll start to feel more graceful, stand a little taller and become more aware of you posture.  You’ll feel less stiff and will move with more ease and lightness.  Mentally, you’ll feel powerful in your own skin. You’ll become proud of who you are as an individual and the unique qualities only you have.  You’ll understand your breath and how you can use it to your advantage.  Your skin will look better (see number one) and you will remove the negative from your life leaving you to feel like the superwomen you always knew you were.

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Put in the Work or Just Give Up

I taught yoga to a Roller Derby team once and they were the hardest working group I’d ever taught to.  Despite it being mostly all their first time doing yoga, they put in the work and they supported each other along the way.  They didn’t make excuses when their arms started shaking, they didn’t complain about not knowing what they were doing, they tried and they pushed through.  That takes a special type of grit and toughness that is hard to come by these days.

And forget about yoga, I know that team acts the same way with everything else they do in life. They have a goal and they do whatever it takes.

No excuse will stop them from doing the work it will take to achieve their goal.

That can be a really hard concept to grasp in a world where we can buy almost anything immediately.  But results, real honest results, take extreme patience, hard work, time and the ability to say “F excuses, I’m doing it anyway”.  And to be brutally honest, if putting in work isn’t for you then you might as well just give up on the dream because you’re never going to get it by only being half in.  It’s the yo-yo effect, the “I was on a diet last week but this week I have too much to do so I’ll just eat fast food and end up gaining more weight than when I started.”  Why waste your time if you’re not going to be fully committed.

Hear me out.  Whatever your goal is, you have to put in the work 100%, be all in. Day in and day out, even when you have a million other things to do, even when you’re not feeling it.  The dream has to be more important than the struggle it will take to get there.

Put in the work or just give up.

I hope you choose to put in the work because it is so worth it

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Be in this for the long haul

Change does not happen overnight. Change takes months of consistency and hard work. fullsizerenderYears of pushing yourself to your max and doing things even when you just don’t feel like it doing it. Nothing is easy and everything takes time.

We live in a world where we can get pretty much anything we want relatively fast. And it’s created this sense of urgency in everything we do.  We want to lose 10 pounds in 5 days.  We want to be able to do headstand after 1 week of practicing yoga.  Let me just tell you now, that life is not sustainable. It’s not real. The work and time has to be put in if you want long term success.  You could probably throw yourself up in a headstand after just a few yoga classes or drop a few pounds in a week but you wouldn’t have built the foundation it took to maintain that long term.  You would soon crumble down or throw yourself into a rut or worse, delay your progress because you did too much, too fast, and too soon.

It’s so beautiful though — when someone dedicates an appropriate amount of time to something and accomplishes it. Even more so to someone who has spent a whole year working towards it, grinding at it, relentless and determined.

When I fall in love with something, like yoga or lifting, I want to be able to do it for the rest of my life. So short term goals are fun but I’m in it for the long haul, I want to be able to do these things when I’m 70 years old. With that in mind, I set appropriate goals for myself, I listen to my body when it needs a break and I honor my edge.  I’m not scared to push myself but I respect that things take time. Foundation needs to be laid in order to build.

Build your foundation, trust your body and jump when it’s ready. You’ll know.