Today I was talking to a patient who has recently experienced a stroke and now is unable to move his left arm or hand. He expressed to me how each day we get up and rush through our morning- complete all our daily morning activities and begin our day. We don’t stop and think about the fact that we are so lucky that we are able to use both hands to complete even the simplest of tasks- brushing our teeth on our own, cutting our own food, putting lotion on our bodies.. the list goes on and on. He was saying how all of these things just become part of our lives and we don’t stop to think about how lucky we are to have our independence and the abilities that we do have each day. He said he never thought of this until he ended up in the hospital only able to use one hand. Unfortunately, that is usually the time when most people think about it- once its gone.
This inspired me to try to start stopping and thinking about each thing I do throughout the day and become grateful for the littlest things. Stop for a moment and be grateful for the abilities you have today. You have so much more than you think. 🙏🏻
During a yoga session this past Sunday, I taught a client that I have been teaching for about a year now. He expressed to me that he recently experienced the most effective at home yoga practice that he has ever had. He expressed that before this practice he was feeling imbalanced, insecure and anxious but after his practice he felt released, grounded and in a more relaxed state of mind than he ever had before after a usual at home practice. I questioned him as to why he believed this practice was more effective for him than other practices. He expressed that he allowed himself to freely flow through his practice without overthinking if he was doing poses or stretches “right” or “wrong” or creating any type of expectation or judgment on himself.
After hearing this, it was definitely a proud moment for me. Over the past year, as his teacher I have encouraged him to see yoga through this perception and to hear that he has reached it on his own put a smile on my face. I realize that this is a common thought when completing yoga (the fear of if you are practicing a pose “right”, “wrong”, “good” or bad”). It is also common that the ego likes to trick us into believing we are not good enough by allowing us to create comparison between the way you complete a pose and the way that someone else may complete a pose.
I was inspired to create this post as a reminder for the next time that you step on your yoga mat. Allow yourself to observe these thoughts and begin to leave the judgment behind so you can simply let go. The attitude that you bring to the mat will shape your poses. Rather than giving power to the pose to change you, focus on the power that you have yourself to change the pose. In yoga as well as in our everyday lives, our outcomes root from the attitudes that we carry. For instance, when I allow myself to go into my practice with an open mind and a positive attitude, I can tell the difference amongst my flow, poses, and my overall practice as a whole.
Take joy onto your mat or into your life and watch what happens.