Since its development thousands of years ago, the practice of yoga has definitely evolved into numerous forms.
From Bikram hot yoga and a Vinyasa flow sequence to classes like Yogalates and Aerial Yoga, you’re bound to find a type of yoga practice that aligns with your lifestyle.
People who don’t regularly practice yoga will argue it’s not for them since they’re not flexible, or they don’t consider it a real workout.
Still, I always urge others to try it.
Whether you’ve practiced yoga for 20 years or two weeks, your continued practice can teach you the exercise class you’re attending isn’t purely physical.
While yoga is a form of physical activity, one can learn an abundance of lessons from a yoga class that actually don’t have anything to do with yoga at all.
1. Your personal best can change from day to day.
Since your body is always changing, so is your practice and your personal best.
Anything from what you ate to the amount of sleep you got the night before can affect your performance, so it’s important not to get down on yourself if your practice one day isn’t as great as it was the day before.
That being said, it’s also important to stay humble if you have a great day, as things might not be as great tomorrow.
2. It’s okay to fall.
In yoga, just like in life, you’re going to fall a lot.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve toppled over my mat after trying to get inversions right.
It’s probably just about as many times as I’ve screwed something up in real life.
People fall, and people mess up constantly. It’s part of being human.
If you have a goal set for yourself — in yoga or in life — you might not reach it without first failing.
But, the fact you had to work toward it will make it that much better when you do reach it.
3. Practice pays off.
No one ever walked into his or her first yoga class as the most advanced person in the room (not that I know of).
If you want something, you have to work for it and understand you might not become a pro on your first day.
Something like yoga takes time to master, and the patience you learn in your practice can easily be applied to other areas of life.
Patience is definitely a virtue, and it’s one we could all benefit from having more of.
Good things come to those who wait, right?
4. Sometimes, the best thing to do is rest.
There comes a point in one of my classes when our teacher takes us through a routine of wheel and bridge.
When the second set comes around, he notes, “Sometimes, the best thing you can do is rest.”
You need to be able to know when to take a break and when not to push yourself.
You have worked hard the whole class, and there’s nothing wrong with letting yourself regroup.
This notion is really helpful to think about in your day-to-day life, as it reminds you to stop and take a breath when you’re running around.
5. All challenges are temporary.
This is probably the most important thing to remember, both in yoga and in life.
You might be struggling through a pose in class or through a challenge in your life, but this lesson resonates either way.
Whatever challenge you’re going through, it won’t last forever.
So, it’s just about doing your best to get through it.
Next time you find yourself in a bind, just remember it’s temporary and you’ll move on eventually.
If you’re one who sees yoga as just another exercise class, try to look out for these and other lessons in your next class.
Your practice and your day-to-day life will definitely improve.