Growth and Personal Breakthroughs On and Off the Mat

Written By Jackie Reckson

We always talk about our yoga practice as a metaphor for how we live our lives off our mats. How can we take the lessons learned on our mats and practice them in our everyday lives?

I found this quote by Marissa Mayer, Businesswoman…

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”

During this shutdown due to Coronavirus we have had to shift the way we practice yoga. Virtual yoga has become the norm for group classes. It is a way to stay connected to our teachers and community. I personally love logging onto Zoom and seeing my students thru my computer screen. Some choose not to be seen (no makeup, messy hair, messy house, etc!) and that’s fine as well. I still know they are there and it gives me a sense of togetherness. But what is different about practicing this way is that we have to rely on ourselves and not our teacher to observe, assist, or correct postures.

We have to be more independent. Maybe at home you are feeling a little braver to try something new. You have more confidence to fall when you don’t think you are being watched by a roomful of yogis! And it’s by falling and retrying where we learn what we are capable of and have those breakthroughs. Keep in mind though, that breakthroughs are not always physical like getting deeper into a pose or balancing on your hands. It can mean that perhaps your mind got a little calmer or your breath got a little deeper. Or maybe you let go of something you were hanging on to unnecessarily. That is growth.

Now that we are social distancing and staying at home let’s translate this concept to our new way of life. We can have personal breakthroughs by doing something we weren’t ready for or never thought we could. It might be something physical, like a home fix it project or gardening. It might be having a difficult conversation with someone. It might be meditating in your home while there is chaos around you. I completed a project in my house that was way out of my comfort zone. It took several tries but I finally did it! Just like falling out of a yoga pose and retrying (several times), I was able to succeed. The sense of accomplishment was truly inspiring! Think about the things that you aren’t really sure you are ready to do and push through it. And just like your yoga practice, notice how you feel when you are done. It’s through these personal breakthroughs where we grow.

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