A friend of mine prefers to do yoga at home. She says:
"I'm more kind to myself when it's just me. I take my time and I'm not in need to look like a pro in front of others. This way I feel more relaxed."
After we talked I was curious how I treat myself when I do yoga. In the middle of my yoga routine I had to laugh. All of a sudden it was obvious:
How you treat your yoga routine (or any other workout) is exactly how you treat yourself and your life.
Here are a few examples. Ask yourself:
Do you take your time? Do you do your exercises in the speed that feels natural to you? Or do you always try to catch up with others around you (or a yoga DVD?) Do you listen to what feels good to your body?
The answers to these questions will give you a good idea how you treat yourself in your every day life - not only during your workout. Feel deeper into what feels good to you in any situation! Maybe this will be the opposite of what everybody else is doing around you. Maybe, for example, you don't wanna go shopping on the weekend but instead spend more time in nature. Maybe you don't wanna call a certain friend to catch up, but spend more time doing nothing. Listen to your own natural rhythms and desires!
How do you breathe during your yoga routine? Is your breath directing your movements or do your moves influence how you breathe? Maybe you find yourself holding your breath sometimes, because you wanna catch up with the speed of the instructor or you think that yoga has to be done in a certain way.
I recently realized that I'm holding my breath a lot. When I set the intention that my breathing has a higher priority than doing the exercise perfectly, I felt better and I was able to perform better too.
If your actions come from your core - from your breathing - life will probably move a little bit slower for you. Try to reconnect with your breath throughout the day - even if you're just doing the dishes. Check in with yourself if you are the boss or if you're actions start to rule you and your breathing. In the last case you won't feel energized. You might please others by doing a million things "right", but your body and your soul will suffer.
Do you push yourself? Do you try some things on your yoga mat that are a little bit challenging? Or maybe you push yourself a little bit too hard, which almost feels violent? Maybe there is a need in you to look perfect on the mat.
There are people who don't push themselves and there are people who push too much. Which group do you belong to? I definitely belong to the second group. I criticize myself too much instead of seeing what I've already achieved. Feel into yourself and notice what you do on your yoga mat. You can totally transfer this to any other sport activity. Maybe it's time to let go of your need to be perfect and relax more. Maybe it's time to get off the couch, get out there and honour your talents more.
Do you like stretching or do you hate it? For me that's always the fun part, but I know that a lot of people skip the stretching part on the yoga DVDs :-) Stretching is the equivalent of going beyond of what you know and feel comfortable with. If you avoid stretching your body, you probably also avoid stretching your mind. Try to open up a little more. Talk to people, do things that scare you a little bit in order to get out of your comfort zone.
What do you do before and after your yoga routine? Do you give yourself permission to slowly dive into your practice and relax afterwards? Do you hustle to the next appointment after class or do you allow yourself to lie on the mat for 10 minutes and do nothing? I mean really: This is how you treat your life. If you're a hustler, maybe plan less things in a day and set more priorities. Treat yourself more with love and allow yourself to do nothing. Don't "relax" in front of the TV. Do you remember what you used to do when you were a kid? You loved lying on the floor and listening to music, right? Try it!
Do you find it hard to balance? Do you hate balancing poses in your yoga or dance routine and maybe you even think they are a waste of time?
Your ability to balance is equivalent with your ability to focus and stay with yourself - in your center. If you wanna become better at balancing, stop doing too much at once. Get rid of all these distractions. How many times a day do you need to look on your phone? Do you really listen, when somebody is telling you something? Are you really here? Do you enjoy what's going on around you? If you find it hard to balance on your mat, you're probably also having problems to focus in general.
The next time you do yoga or other sports, pay close attention how you treat yourself!
Do you treat yourself with kindness?
Do you listen to what you really need?
Do you compare yourself to others?
It's pretty interesting to watch yourself and see your own behaviour from a distance. I bet you'll be surprised what you can find out about yourself in just 20 minutes on the mat.
Have fun! And keep moving!
Related posts that might interest you:
A few months ago, I asked myself how I could help women like you to have a more successful life. For me success means liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it. It's not necessary about how many things you own or how much money you have on your bank account. Not at all!
So I set down and started to create the Reset Your Life Course - the course that will help you to remember what you really want and how to shift your mind to make your dreams happen. If you don't believe me when I say, "you're a goddess!" and if you can't see yourself working in your job for another 25 years, you gotta sign up for my Reset Your Life Course! Why wait another day, week or month to feel better? Don't waste your precious time! Take responsibility for your life now!