I just finished a 200-hour yoga teacher training program. Did I lose weight? No. Did I get into a crazy pose? Sometimes, but more importantly, I relearned my foundations. Did I learn a lot? Absolutely, from readings, teachings and more -- about myself and how we can reframe our minds. Here are some thoughts I'd like to share that I hope to take off the mat and carry with me throughout my life practice.
1. Easy Now
-- Don't get so attached to reaching one goal or desiring materialistic things. They might not translate to long-term happiness. If you discontinue chasing the same high from your past, something different and new can generate fleeting bliss.
-- Why do we hurt ourselves and cycle ourselves as prisoners of our own negative thoughts? Practice ahimsa (non-violence) for the self.
-- We're always buzzing, but there's nothing wrong with stillness. That awkward moment when no one is talking at the dinner table doesn't have to drag on. Just enjoy each other's company in a more silent environment!
2. Happy Medium
-- Push yourself in a pose or situation, then find the ease there. Know that even small movements are big victories.
-- Sit with pleasure. Let the pressure go. Measuring failure as success may bring more perspective.
-- It's okay to be scared. It's okay to fall. It's okay to say 'I don't know.'
3. Growth Potential
-- Do what you like and what you don't like. Doing the opposite action can put you on the real path. Throwing spaghetti on the wall doesn't have to hold a negative connotation - I'm a fan of learning by doing. We get wiser with time. Experience informs everything.-- Isn't passion in someone attractive? So stay inspired. Get creative:
-- The Passionate Mind by Joel Kramer -- Remind yourself to be present. We can multitask, why don't we also put the phone down and absorb in all the senses:
Interest keeps you alive.
-- The Fire Starters by Danielle LaPorte
Enthusiasm is a heightened state of consciousness, and it's one of the best feelings there is to feel.
4. Posture Matters
-- Stand up straight - teachers don't just use "regal spine, crown of your head, warrior legs and goddess arms" to be flowery and fill time. Standing doesn't have to be passive; feel grounded and don't compromise your alignment.
-- Open your heart, stand taller. You may feel vulnerable but you can let your inner self shine.
-- Strengthen your core and build from there. Inner power speaks volumes.
5. The Truth
-- Each body has its own definition, potential and limitations. Instead of constantly comparing yourself to the "naturally" flexible yogi next to you who may end up hyperextending into injury, embrace your uniqueness in the room.
-- Speak up to keep your word and give your best, for that day.
-- Trust yourself. Invest in yourself. Be yourself.