Lessons Learned from my Yoga Instructor

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I’m still pretty new to the yoga world. During my time at Omsara Yoga, my instructor Pook has helped teach me some valuable lessons that I hope to carry with me after this retreat comes to an end. They are as follows:

  1. Honor your body. It’s ok not to be able to do every pose introduced. Listen to what your body is telling you and respect it. If you need modifications, use the modifications.
  2. Enjoy the journey. It can be so easy to compare ourselves to others. Sometimes unconsciously other times not so much. Everyone has a different journey. Enjoy the one that you are on and celebrate your accomplishments along the way. What’s most important is focusing on where you started and where you would like to go.
  3. Stay grounded. Our feet and hands form the foundation for every pose that is presented to us. Make sure that you are well supported and have a good base of support before moving into a more daring pose. Without a strong foundation, there’s no way to find balance.
  4. Don’t forget to breathe and stay calm. When challenging poses arise it is easy to want to hold our breath. Breathe into the discomfort as this will ease the tension and help center us.
  5. Remain in the present. Listen to what your body is telling you. Focus on elongating every inch of your body. Take in the noises that surround you during yoga weather it be traffic or insects. There is only one place to be and that is the present.
  6. Discomfort is ok. Discomfort is normal. Don’t let it stop you from growing in your practice. Slowly, with time, it will decrease. Discomfort allows you to keep progressing.
  7. Trust yourself. Fear can be paralyzing. Don’t let it stop you from trying new poses. Have trust in your body that it is strong and will support you and confidence in yourself.
  8. Be Patient. Don’t rush into your poses. Take your time when transitioning. Respect that you may not be able to do a pose now but will likely in the future. Not everything is immediate.
  9. Don’t take yourself too seriously. There is no need to be so serious during yoga. A smile can go a long way.
  10. It’s ok to fall. Everyone loses their footing at one time or another. It’s ok to fall. What’s important is that you try again. With practice and time, it gets easier and easier.
  11. Monkey Mind is normal. Our minds wander. That’s just part of being human. Let your thoughts come in and out like waves. Just continue to bring yourself back to the present.
  12. Challenge yourself. If a pose feels too easy, try flexing your foot more and extending your leg higher. Keep challenging yourself so you continue to get stronger and more flexible. Don’t coast.
  13. Take breaks and rest when needed. After completing a challenging series, allow your body to rest before attempting the next series. At the end of yoga make sure to take Savasana, as this is the most important yoga pose. Give your body the rest it needs after working so hard and time to replenish.
  14. Don’t stop emotions from coming up. Sometimes when you are doing yoga, you may get flooded with emotions like happiness or waves of sadness. Acknowledge the feelings that arise. Let them pass.
  15. There is no such thing as perfect. Nothing is perfect. Each person’s pose will vary from the others to some extent. Don’t strive for perfection because it doesn’t exist. Instead celebrate your poses just as they are.

Sarah Masse

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