Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Just get on the damn mat and TRY...

I think one of the biggest reasons people are afraid to start yoga is because they don’t think they are flexible enough. In fact, I dare to say I KNOW that's why people are afraid to start yoga, because that’s pretty much what everyone tells me. We all know the benefits of yoga, I can sing praises about what it does for the mind and body for days but everyone already knows all of that. The biggest leap is getting on to the mat and staying there-regardless of your flexibility. Once you start practicing consistently, the flexibility will come. Sometimes finding consistency is as simple as finding an instructor and style of yoga you like. I started my practice a long time ago but I didn’t really dedicate myself until I discovered hot yoga. And remember, trying something once does not a master make. But also trying something 1,000 times won’t make you a master either! You’ll just be 1,000 times better than where you started. 

Batman is still working on the whole "Non-Violence" concept

In hindsight, maybe that’s the best lesson that I’ve learned from yoga. Non-Attachment. Non- Attachment to the outcome has actually lead to more success in yoga. I started the practice attempting to get into these crazy poses and almost REFUSING to take modifications! I walked into a room expecting the results I did not work for, and then got upset when I didn’t achieve those results. But I am actually greatful for that time in my life because it brought me to this moment. My relentless desire to “achieve” kept me practicing and learning more. Eventually, I started to find teachers who didn’t just show us how to get into postures, they told stories and explained the 8 limb path of yoga. They explained the yamas and the niyamas- the “restraints” and “dos” of the morality of yoga and intertwined it into the practice. They told us to work really hard at the postures, but if they didn’t come right away, let it go. Doing fancy poses does not turn us into some sort of yoga jedi master-ready to spread knowledge onto the masses. It makes us humans who have worked with our breath and our bodies to push ourselves to our edge and learn beautiful life lessons on the mat. It’s all about finding the space and instructors who can take you there and teach you these lessons, but you have to be open to it too.
Let it go man! You're there and that's half the battle!

    If I didn’t give myself the chance to try yoga, I would never be as brave as I am today. I have always been outgoing and loud and willing to share my feelings with those around me. But to contort my body, show my strength (or lack there of) and post a picture of it on the internet for possibly everyone to see and judge...that's a whole lot more of putting myself out there than I ever thought I could do. But then an amazing thing happened when I started my first Instagram challenge. People began responding to me in such a positive way. Co-workers and friends would come to me the following day saying that they had attempted a pose I had posted. Moms were telling me they tried it with their sons and daughters. That made my heart light up! My simple picture where I attempted some posture, brought a family together. And even if just for a moment I was the inspiration behind a mom and her son laughing together, that made it all worth it for me. It was an encouragement I never expected.

One of the first yoga pictures I posted. Lots of people LOVED trying this!

So I stuck with it and I’m still sticking with it. The pictures are no longer for me, they’re for others. I want to use my pictures to inspire people to come to yoga and practice. I want to show them I am the student next to them in class soaking it all in, every time. I want to show them I am the teacher explaining how this practice can benefit them on and off the mat. 
We already know it can, but we need to find our people and places to show us.

Don’t be afraid to try yoga. This practice is for everyone. 

Photo credits:
Batman Flexibility-
First Time Doing Yoga-

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