Focus. Balance. Gratitude. Patience. Effort. Surrender.
I started practicing yoga after moving from Brazil to the Bay Area. Being very active, I realized I needed new activity not only for my body, but also for my mind.
The first time I entered a yoga studio for a Vinyasa class I didn't know much about the practice. It was way more challenging than I expected, and I had a hard time doing the most basic poses. Although since I started, the breathing exercises and the focus required to follow instructions for the poses helped me to ease my mind.
I started practicing yoga at home when the studios closed a few years ago. I miss the community, while I enjoy the flexibility to turn on the Peloton app anytime and choose the type of class and duration I want.
Since I started working from home, yoga has been even more important in my life as it keeps me grounded while increasing flexibility and preventing back pain due to all the sitting.
Here are the key benefits from Yoga:
Yoga increases body awareness through mindfulness
When I started Yoga I used to push myself very hard to do the poses properly. I hurt my lower back a few times, slowing down my development.
I learned the hard way to be mindful and to listen and respect my body. Each practice is unique. In one day it's ok to push harder to get into the pose. The next day it's better to slow down and use props. That doesn't mean you are not challenging yourself. You're building sustained progress based on how your body feels.
Yoga helps to cultivate patience
Patience is a virtue I need to constantly work on. As a diva, I want to see progress fast in everything that I do. Yoga has been key to cultivate patience in all areas of my life.
Yoga taught me that pushing myself harder each day is not the key to success. I've been carrying this philosophy outside of the mat. As a result, my relationship with loved ones has improved as I lower expectations and focus on enjoying the moments.
A few months into my Yoga practice and I started receiving positive feedback at work as I became a better listener and more open to feedback. I've also been more strategic for my career development. One step back can mean multiple steps forward in the future and patience is key to be successful in the process.
Yoga improves gratitude to celebrate small wins
I get really proud of any achievement in my yoga mat. I still remember how excited I got when I was able to do my first chaturanga - it took at least 6 months of constant yoga practice combined with strengthening exercises at the gym.
The excitement for small wins has been translated in other areas of my life. Every morning I write in my gratitude journal the highlights of my previous day. Yoga is constantly part of my list as well as other simple but magical moments like a beautiful sunset, the opportunity to mentor a bright new joiner at work.
Divas, I would love to learn about your experience with yoga or other activities that work your body and mind! Leave your comment here, on Twitter or Facebook and share this post on your social media.