One of the many life-changing lessons you can take away from your yoga practice is learning how to change your perspective on different situations. It all starts with awareness. For me, one of the places I became most aware of my negative thoughts was on my yoga mat. When I have a regular practice I have higher self-esteem, I feel stronger and more confident in myself and my intuition. When I fall out of my practice I get down on myself, believing that I am not enough.
I find it easier to catch myself going down the negative spiral when I have a teacher reminding me: “Are you still with your breath?” “Can you breathe a little deeper?” “Can you let go?” All of these questions are now engraved into my practice even when I don’t have a teacher there and I am by myself.
Take a moment to think of the asana that makes you cringe/roll your eye or that you dread the teacher adding into the flow. For me, it’s Gomukhasana, or cow face pose. I have struggled with this one asana since I began practicing yoga. It’s uncomfortable. It makes me feel inadequate because I feel like the only one needing support from a block. For a short period of time this asana would open up a floodgate of tears and I had no idea why (hips are an emotional center in the body).
During my teacher training, I was talking to my teacher Divya and mentioned that I hated certain asanas and she asked me if I truly hated them, or if they were just challenging for me. Man did that put things into a new perspective! After that conversation, I made a list of asanas that I originally disliked but labeled them under “asanas to change my perspective on.”
A lot of times what we learn and realize on our mat, during our practice doesn’t automatically come into play in our everyday lives. Just like anything else, applying the lessons we learn through yoga takes time and practice to keep in our everyday situations. Learning how to breathe, stay calm and relaxed, and change your mindset in your least favorite yoga asana can be applied when you feel like that one friend or family member is pushing your buttons.