6 Life Lessons I Learned As A Type-A Yogi
So often I hear people say that they hate yoga. And I totally get it! I despised yoga for a super long time. I wasn't flexible, I didn't really like to slow down and breath, and I only saw value in workouts that made me sweat. But (super) slowly, I learned to love yoga. As a Type-A recovering perfectionist, yoga has taught me a lot. Today I'm sharing 6 life lessons I learned as a type-A yogi. If you're interested in getting into yoga, check out this post, "How To Get Into Yoga When You're Type-A".
1. Hard things are easier when you remember to breath.
While the instinct is to hold our breath when we're doing a new pose or holding a challenging position it becomes a whole lot easier and more comfortable when you remember to breath. The same goes for stressful days. When things get hard just take a deep breath.
2. When you trust that you can do something instead of expecting it to fail you'll be surprised to see what you can accomplish.
When I try leaping from a plank into a crow pose and expect that I can't do it guess what happens? I can't. When I leap with the expectation that I'm going to land just where I want to, I do. Fear and limiting beliefs are really powerful on and off the mat. If you don't believe in yourself you're going to limit your full potential.
3. Your body is holding a lot of tension that you're not even aware of. In order to relieve that tension you need to make a point of pausing and checking in with your body.
It never ceases to amaze me how much tension I have in my neck, hips, upper back, or hands and feet that I'm not even aware of. I dare you to take even five minutes just to check in with your body and do some stretches. Where is your body turning into a literal ball of stress?
Once you find those areas of tension you can start to release them. You'll be amazed at the stress release you feel over your whole body when you stretch out your hip or massage your foot. Seriously, give yourself a foot massage right now and feel a a rush of endorphins and sense of relaxation. If you don't take a moment to pause and check in you're going to be like a rubber band getting tighter and tighter under stress until you snap.
4. Consistency is the key to progress.
You don't have to commit a ton of time in order to see progress. Five or 10 minutes is infinitely better than zero in moving towards your goals. I used to be incredibly inflexible and I assumed I always would be. So it came as a shock to me when the short 15-20 minute beginner YouTube yoga videos I was doing a few times a week started to result in my hands reaching closer and closer to my toes. Whatever your goal, know that even small actions can result in dramatic progress as long as you're consistent.
5. Just show up on your mat.
If there's something you want to be doing stop thinking about it and just take the first small step! I can always think of a million reasons I don't have time for yoga but even if I just show up on my mat to stretch for 5 minutes or do a couple of sun salutations I feel better. The same goes for any goal: the hardest part is usually just showing up. The less thinking and more doing the better you'll feel.
6. When humility is stronger than your ego sustainable success follows.
The greatest yogis know that some days you're ready for crazy handstands and balancing poses and other days you need Child's Pose. When you have confidence in yourself you don't need to prove yourself to others. Sustainable success is achieved when you recognize the days you need a break to breath so that you can avoid injuries and burnout on and off the mat.
What's one thing yoga has taught you? Do you love or hate yoga?