What Daily Yoga’s Gifted Me…


What Daily Yoga’s Gifted Me



Before yoga, I had never worked out with a focus on feeling good.

Prior physical activity had alway been about forcing my body to look a certain way, lift a certain amount, fit into certain sizes. A year ago I realized how much I was struggling with self-worth, negativity and joint pain. So I turned to yoga, which looked like alleviation from all three.

I expected to gain some flexibility and maybe basic meditation skills before losing interest. After all, I was used to working out with high intensity and yoga looked too slow.

But I feel in love immediately and implementing a daily yoga practice has gifted me so much more than I expected. I now have comfort, positivity and peace of mind.

Comfort

This body of mine feels spacious, flexible and free. That makes me more comfortable with myself than that flat stomach and those perfectly toned muscles I used to strive so hard for.

Beyond my physical body, I now have mental comfort. I’m able to sit face-to-face with internal and external conflicts.

Yoga is calming and while I work through my daily flows, buried thoughts seep out from the mental corners I shoved them into. Through this daily practice I’ve grown so comfortable with working through the negative thoughts that have weighed me down for so long. That brings me to my next point:

Positivity

Along the way I had become stripped of my most favorite quality: positivity.

I was seeing the world through cloud-colored glasses and that showed in how I reacted to situations. I started noticing that my initial response to anything was negative. When some obstacle would present itself, such as a flat tire, it would take me much longer to work through because I’d spend the majority of the time complaining about something clearly out of my control. When nothing was getting in the way of me having a good day, I would still find things to complain about.

Daily yoga has became a form of therapy.



It is sitting down with someone and working through everything that is on my mind. It is recognizing aspects of myself that I want to improve and coming up with a game plan. It is being honest about my feelings and developing coping mechanisms to implement when things get tough. Only, with yoga there is no therapist, just me and my mat.

Yoga helped me recognize how negative I had become. It helped me admit that I hated living that way and, ultimately, helped me move on.

Peace of Mind

Starting in kindergarten, this was most consistent comment teachers would make during conferences with my parents: I was my own worst enemy.

I always demanded perfection of myself. I worried constantly about what others thought of me and had a crippling insecurity that I wasn’t good enough.

Yoga has helped me let go.

The focus isn’t on being able to settle into every pose I do. The practice isn’t about being the most flexible and strongest person in the room. A yogi’s primary focus is on feeling good.

Plus, yoga helps me see that I’m capable.

I’m capable of getting better at new poses the same way I’m capable of growing into more of who I want to be. I no longer demand perfection from myself.

I now understand that yoga, just like loving myself, is a journey, that it takes time and dedication.



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