Wednesday, March 2, 2016

on the mat

Yoga has taught me that there are some things that my body can do with ease, some things my body can learn to do with practice, and some things my body just cannot do.
And yoga also taught me to learn to be OK with that.
I can't be the best but I can be better than what I was yesterday.
There is always somebody that can do a move better than you and there will always be someone who can't do as much as you.
But that's not the point.
What you learn on the mat about your body and about yourself helps you learn how to handle your daily struggles.
Your practice shouldn't be about who you do better than.
It should be about personal growth.
Having anxiety, learning to breathe through difficult moves on the mat helps teach me to breathe through difficult circumstances off the mat.
So using this form of exercise to be able to focus on all parts of myself is very important.
But besides breathing, there are other ways to get the most out of your practice:

>Clean your mat. Yoga mats can get so dirty! Putting your dirty feet and sweaty body all over them is bound to leave lots of bacteria. So keep it clean by wiping it down with this cleaner: Fill a small tinted glass spray bottle with 3/4 water, 1/4 Witch Hazel, 10 drops Tea Tree Oil, 5 drops Eucalyptus Oil.

>Attend a class. Even though your practice is for your personal growth it can be fun to get out and join a class. You could learn new things, meet new people, and be able to deepen and correct your moves.

>Diffuse. Even if you don't believe in the healing benefits of essential oils, you can't deny that you feel so much better when you're smelling something good. Diffuse or put a few drops on your mat the oil of your choice (Lavendar, peppermint, Eucalyptus, Wild Orange.....). Or light a candle that you love.

>Listen to meditating music. We like to play classical music in our house quite often. It frees up the mind so much when you're not busy singing along to lyrics that you may or may not know. So play some classical music or look up a yoga playlist to listen to as you practice.

>Know the form of yoga. What do you want to get out of your practice? You should decide before you go to a class since there are many different types. Do you want to feel relaxed? Energized? Strong? The main (and most commonly known) types are Hatha (basic techniques and breathing), Vinyasa (fast-paced), Bikram (hot yoga, flexibility), Ashtanga (physically challenging), Restorative (relaxing).

So go enjoy some yoga.
(Also, replace the word 'yoga' in this post with 'life' and you've got yourself a relief society lesson.)

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