You hear people rave about yoga’s benefits, and wonder how yoga changes you, since others have been able to incorporate it as a major component of their lifestyle.
In our lives, there are catalysts that not only shake us up but causes a paradigm shift in our perspective.
Yoga for me, and almost every person I have asked as well, was this catalyst.
Have you often wondered what in your life changed you and affected you so much that it permeated every single aspect?
Even though I was attracted to yoga through an asana class, I know now yoga is not just a physical practice that can be practiced on the mat. It is a discipline that is practiced from when you wake up to when you go to sleep. It’s how you eat your food, who you spend time with, how you do everything.
Even though I was attracted to yoga through an asana class, I know now yoga is not just a physical practice that can be practiced on the mat.
The Power of Patience
The first thing I noticed how yoga changes you is through my patience. Because yoga trains us in focusing more precisely, being more observant, seeing and feeling the subtleties of life, patience levels rise. One is more tolerant of things that happen as long as it’s living with yogis values: Ahimsa (non-violence) Aparigraha (non-greediness) and finally Santosha which means contentment.
When one applies these 3 main aspects that come from the Yamas and Niyamas, things fall into place much easier. The annoying things that would get me out of whack where more tolerable and when they needed to be addressed it came from a different place. This place was humility and gratitude.
A Physical Change
Apart from patience, yoga made me really flexible. Mentally, spiritually and physically. Secret… I could barely touch my toes when I started asana practice. If you look at my photos now, you wouldn’t believe that, but this is truth.
I could barely reach past my knees in a forward bend. 15 years later I’m pretty much a human version of a gummy. Hey but that took A LOT OF WORK! Daily practice, daily reminders of my mind is stronger than my body and daily observation of the changes.
I could barely reach past my knees in a forward bend. 15 years later I’m pretty much a human version of a gummy.
Mental flexibility comes with some of what I spoke about above, but it also comes with acceptance. This is how yoga changes you, and where I began to understand the changes in me. I always wanted to be someone else, something better than what I was. Wanted to be taller, stronger, darker, quicker (just add your own adjectives in here). Accepting who I am for all the goodness changed my life.
I was able to be who I was meant to be, not someone else with different desires and wants. I allowed myself to love all the good and great things about me and accept the opportunities that I was given to improve or not. Being able to see me for me was golden. I now spend less time trying to be who I am not and embracing who I am.
And That’s Just the Beginning…
Literally I can spend another 10 pages filling in how yoga transformed me but I will keep some private until we meet next time. Now look back and see how yoga changed you.
If you are new, look at the small things like holding a pose longer or stretching an extra inch or the peace of mind you get during meditation. If you are an old school yogi then I am sure you can join my 10 page essay on how yoga changed your life. Keep practicing and let’s keep evolving!