“The way you do anything is the way you do everything.”
What yoga has taught me on and off the mat
Yoga started out as a nice way for me to “stretch” nearly a decade ago. There was something incredibly therapeutic about breathing and flowing that I found myself attending more classes every week. This eventually turned into a desire to deepen and strengthen my practice which led me to becoming a certified yoga instructor in 2015. Throughout the years, I have been able to translate my learnings on the mat into rituals off the mat to allow space for new opportunities and experiences. Below is a taste of what I’ve learned:
1. If you work hard, you must rest hard
Yoga classes usually follow an intuitive flow of warming up initially, moving intensely in the middle, and wrapping up with “savasana,” also known as corpse pose. Savasana might seem like a nap at the end of a practice when in fact, it’s a fully conscious pose aimed at being awake, yet completely relaxed to fully assimilate the benefits of the class. Off the mat, I’ve learned (the hard way!) that I must purposely rest after a stressor/challenge to soak it in and eventually let it go to create space for new experiences.
2. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
This line from one of my favorite movies could not be more accurate. Our smartphones allow us to be in many places and connect with multiple people simultaneously, but at what cost? Yoga has taught me the importance of self-awareness and that integrating each movement with an inhale or exhale brings a renewed sense of clarity and purpose.
3. Stay light, have fun, and laugh at yourself!
“Bakasana” also known as crow pose is one of my favorite poses to teach. It requires shifting weight forward and balancing on the triceps—almost like you’re floating. I love practicing and teaching the pose because it creates an opportunity to try something new, laugh, and maybe even fall flat on your face! I’ve learned that staying light and learning how to laugh at myself continues to help me build resilience and flexibility in any situation.
It’s incredible how yoga has evolved from stretching to my way of life. My passion for empowering and helping others cultivate self-awareness through mindful movement brings me immense joy. I hope to see you on the mat sometime!