As soon as yogis start to apply what they learn on the mat during yoga classes into their lives, they see things flowing and improving. We begin to accept where we are, no matter where we’ve been or where we’re going; and from there, we move on towards what’s best for us, and consequently best for others, especially the ones we interact with. Many times, joy, health, curiosity, confidence, and determination overflow from our practice into our lives. As much as we want other people to have that in them also, we can’t make it happen for them. People will be inspired by our new and exciting way of dealing with challenges and we can only hope they will find their own way to do this whenever it feels right for them.
About a month ago, I offered my daughter the chance to come to an intro class at the yoga studio where I practice and teach. We had done yoga together at home before, but whenever I started pointing out some “yoga philosophy” while we were flowing through poses, I realized it sounded like any other “parents’ bla bla bla”. And that’s why I thought a teacher, other than me, could introduce her to these fine concepts, which, if allowed, spread into our lives and allow healthy growth. My daughter asked me to go with her and, even though I’ve been to Intro classes before and feel ready to flow, I chose to accompany her. After all, there is always something to learn or relearn. During class, the teacher pointed how the five pillars of that yoga style were important and really set a foundation for each yogi to grow from there and eventually shine. A few days later, we talked and I reminded her, without preaching, about the five pillars as if testing both our memories.
To my surprise, three weeks later she told me she was in her martial arts class and had been challenged to a contest of holding a pose (a high kick) for a long time. She proudly told me she won the contest, but what made me really happy was that she gave the credits, not only to her own physical capabilities, but also to the fact that she used the five pillars from yoga to achieve that! I realize this means taking a few concepts from one mat to another only. But being able to remember these outside of the yoga studio is a little hint that they are ingrained in you. Then, very soon they will jump on your mind whenever you face a challenge, enabling you to handle things better. I am not saying yoga is the only way to learn this; there are many ways, like, for example, by jogging and teaching your mind to stay focused on it while you’re doing it. Eventually extending this practice to a triathlon or a marathon will require mental toughness besides the physical preparation.
What I’ve seen is just that results come pretty fast as soon as you establish a yoga practice. And, eventually, you will be able to compare life obstacles to once-impossible-to-perform-poses, only to discover the right way to approach them; maybe you will decide to face the challenge heads on or maybe you will come to the conclusion that you need to modify your approach. Most importantly, you will have enough focus and inner peace to deal with anything that comes up your way.