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Surprising Lessons From a Yoga Mat

I laid on the floor, my breath was deep, people around me entered a state of focus as class began. With the soft smell of lavender in the air to relax the mind, it stimulated my senses slowly, then all at once.

The first move was made, I stretched into cobra pose, pointed my face to the sky, and exhaled into the morning air. The tempo of the class was fast, the leader challenged the room into new movements and familiar poses quickly.

As the class began to stretch into a binding side-angle pose, I found myself learning a new view. A new perspective on what it took to mold into the future version of myself that I now know. Following the direction of the universe, and carefully blending that with the notion of what felt right internally… that was my path to adaptation, I think back and grin.

Growth doesn’t always come easily, but sometimes it is only a few movements at a time. One hand, one foot, one arm, and a pivot in another direction, I had allowed my world to enter a new beginning. A new discovery.

The thing that is funny about yoga is that for many years, I shunned it. I thought it was too slow, too strange, clicky, and yet I found, the more I challenged it conceptually, the more I accepted that challenge.

So, as I moved into that difficult yet familiar pose, a year after beginning on my yoga journey, I found a new lesson. Each beginning starts a few changes at a time. The guide being our own breath, our own sense of self, and the world giving us a little push to do just a bit more than we are “ready for,” because we are always readier than we believe.

The thing about all discoveries, is that we never notice the small steps in between, they pass us by most times. It is in the moment we find a new center, we find achievement, and we surprise ourselves. I surprised myself when I went from critic to adopter. I went from beginner to intermediate. I went from ignorant, to studious. I went from “No, Thanks.” to “Namaste.”

Life is like this, we practice, one step, one movement, one breath at a time. Then all at once, we become whom we always wanted to be, no matter the fight it took to get there. That is the moment we smile humbly into the sky, because the truth is, only we can truly recognize, just how far we have come.

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