Yoga is a way of living. It is much more than yoga poses and a form of exercise. I have been practicing yoga for years, and I can say that this is one of the best decisions I have ever made. There are countless benefits I could mention without even thinking.
This spiritual practice helped me become self-aware, discover and transform my body and mind, learn more about reality and life itself, and, most importantly, become who I am now. Today I will share the 15 lessons for life I learned from yoga, and you will maybe see why I love the practice so much!
Setting an intention for the practice is essential.
Suppose you have decided to visit a yoga class for beginners at the yoga studio. In that case, the teacher will be mindful of your transition. They will help you avoid injuries and warm up your mind and body. You will be asked to set an intention for the practice. However, if you practice alone, you may not do it like that, which will be a mistake.
It is essential to set a good and persistent intention for the practice. Be kind and gentle to yourself and decide if you want to practice yoga as a challenge for you or instead as a way of relaxation. Be acceptant of your body – it has limits! And be persistent – do not give up and keep pushing yourself – if the intention is possible, then all is in your hands!
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One pro tip by a yogi – your intentions during yoga classes should be the same as your intentions in your everyday life. You want to be more kind to yourself – do it during practice. If you want to be more active – choose an intense class!
You need to be fully present.
One of the things that I learned from yoga is that you should live in the moment, in the present. I learned to focus on my breathing, mind, and body during the practice instead of thinking about yesterday or what will happen after the class.
This is a skill that I use in my everyday activities now, and believe me – the effect is more than impressive. I do not think about yesterday or tomorrow – I live in the present. I am always focusing on my current activity. I am focusing on the current moment.
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Always listen to your body.
Yoga taught me that I must listen to my body – it always knows the best for me. Thanks to the practice, I have built a body awareness I couldn’t imagine before. Now I can work together with my body instead of working against it. If a movement makes me feel pain – I will stop it! Another action will make me feel calm. Well, then, this is what I should be doing.
Before practicing yoga, I used to push myself over my limits, not only by working out but in life. Now, I know I should always listen to my body’s signals.
How did I learn that? Well, the sources were the yoga positions. If I feel pain – I am not doing the pose. If I can do it most of the time, but not today – I am still not doing it. I do only the poses that make me feel okay. And I don’t forget to drink water!
Do not rush.
One of the best life lessons I learned is that there is always room for progress, and I should not be rushing. The changes in the body and mind will come, you will become more flexible, and you will become better at yoga – all this will happen. When I was a beginner – I remember that some of the poses seemed impossible to me. Well, now I am doing them without hesitation.
Yoga is a process, a slow but amazing one. So, be patient and do not rush – all will come into place with time. The same counts for life itself – it is a development journey, and there is no point in rushing.
You need to practice regularly.
I have created a habit – I practice yoga daily, after breakfast, in my yoga place, and at home. I also visit yoga classes twice weekly, so I can learn new skills and communicate with some great people.
However, I want to say that one of the life lessons I learned is that if you want to be good at something, you have to practice regularly.
The same goes for our lives – if we want to achieve something, we should be patient and persistent. Hard work and motivation, together with regularly practicing, can get you anything you want!
Work from down to the upside.
When practicing yoga, all standing postures, and not only, we start from the ground, and we go up. The idea behind this is that once our feet are steady, then our bodies will be able to support us in everything we do.
The foundation we rely on is essential for growing and evolving.
The life lesson here is that we all need a support system to grow – this may be our family, our lover, friends, mentors, or our own self. Anything can be achieved when having the proper support and foundation.
Correct breathing is essential.
One thing I learned is that breathing is essential for practicing yoga and living and thriving. We can use our breath for so many things! We can use it to calm ourselves when we are stressed. We can use it for help during physical practice, to fall asleep faster, and even to take our minds off something.
Breathing is one of the crucial moments of yoga. During my practice, I learned how to control it. If you want to start your yoga journey, you will definitely need to focus on your breathing, learn some breathing techniques, and find all its amazing parts.
Do not compare yourself to others.
While practicing yoga, I learned that we are all different, and if my teacher or best friend is doing great at some position, this does not mean I will be doing great too. I always listen to my body, to the way I feel. I know that I am different, but this is not bad. This is amazing!
When I first started, I used to compare myself to others. Some of them were so skilled, and I was so helpless. However, with practicing, I have improved, but this does not matter now.
Now it matters that I should be looking at myself, not at others. May progress may be faster or slower, but this does not matter – all it matters is that there is progress for me, and I am feeling good.
How to find a balance in life.
Everybody knows that yoga is about balance. Yoga taught me that balance is everything, and balance can never be achieved with rushing. You need to slow down, focus on the alignment, and concentrate, and then – you will be able to reach the pose.
The same goes for life. If you are rushing, taking too much work at once, or trying to do everything you have on your to-do list, you will end up tired and stressed.
However, you will achieve much more when finding the balance, setting priorities, and sending your energy into the essentials.
It’s good to care for yourself.
Before practicing yoga, I used to feel guilty when I took a day off from friends, family, and work. Now I know that taking time for self-care is necessary. When investing in this precious time, you will be much better in your other activities. You can’t be there for others when you are not yourself!
My self-care time includes practicing yoga, baths, and eating some tasty food. For others, it may be watching a favorite TV series at home or reading a good book. This personal time matters, and we all should be taking it seriously.
Be open to the world.
I used to think that yoga was not for me. Once I opened myself to the practice and gave it a chance, I realized it was incredible! It transformed my mind, body, and the way I feel in a better way. And that’s all that matters.
Once you are open to new opportunities, good things will come. So, open up your space, meet new people, and attend new activities. You never know which one will help you find a new, beautiful side of yourself.
Yoga can be fun!
At the beginning of my practice, I thought that yoga was a slow practice that should be done alone or in a small group. Well, I was wrong! Of course, some people prefer that – actually, I also do. But from my yoga journey, I learned that yoga could be fun!
Let me tell you a short story – I was on holiday and looking for yoga classes near me. You won’t believe what I encountered – naked yoga classes! Even though I didn’t attend that, I think it was fun! There were also sexy yoga classes and much more. So, if you are a fan of nudism, you will definitely find it in yoga.
Yoga is not a competition, and neither is life.
As I already said, yoga taught me that our life is not a competition. It is not a race! When competing with others – we are missing what is happening in the present, in our beautiful lives. If you want to be better than your yoga partner, your whole mind will be focused on that, and you will miss the absolute joy of the practice.
The same goes for life – if you continuously compete with others, you will miss the absolute joy! I do not say that we should not strive to achieve our goals, but we should look at our mat instead of others and be happy with our personal progress.
Once we are happy with our progress, we will consistently be winning in our life.
It is never too late to start.
One of my favorite lessons from yoga is that it is never too late to start. It is important actually to start, and then everything will come into place.
During my practices, I saw people starting in their sixties, and their progress was remarkable!
I can say that this is also true for our life journeys. It is better to try it instead of regretting that you didn’t even start. So, if you want to try something – do it! You never know which decision will be one of the best in your life. Read this article for inspiration!
I am good enough!
At the beginning of my yoga journey, failure was one of my biggest fears. I was worried about how good I was, how I looked, and much more. I was making up stories in my head.
Practicing yoga helped me to start looking at reality, meet myself in reality, and look at the positive parts of it.
Sometimes I still get mad at myself that I cannot reach a pose, but then I remember – I am not perfect, but I am good enough! I avoid the negativity, I care about myself, my body, and my mind – this is all that matters.
Those are some of the most beautiful lessons I have learned while practicing yoga. But I know that everybody is different, so what are the lessons you have learned?
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What is yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice for developing a balance between your body, mind, and soul. It includes postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, which should be supported by the right diet and philosophy.
What intentions should you set before practicing yoga?
You should be kind and gentle to yourself, you should be acceptant of your body and who you are, and of course – you should be motivated. Your intentions during yoga have to be the same as your intentions in your everyday life.
How do you know if you are doing yoga right?
Listen to your body. It is normal to wonder if you are doing yoga properly, but you should keep in mind that your body will adapt. Make sure you are using guides, watching videos, and feeling good when practicing. There should be no pain or discomfort. It is always a good idea to attend a class held by a teacher for even more help.
How often should you practice yoga?
You need to practice regularly enough. It is not required to do it daily, especially if you are a beginner, but two or three times per week is more than enough. You can start with 10-20 minutes and make the practice longer with time.
What should you know about yoga?
You should know that yoga is not a competition, and you should take it slowly. You need to be aware that this practice will teach you a lot of things, not only about poses, breathing and flexibility, but also about finding who you actually are, and living your life the way you want to.
Is it too late for you to start practicing yoga?
It is never too late to start practicing yoga. It is important to start, and then everything will come into place. You can start no matter your age, all you need to do is to find the proper class for your needs.