. . . and into everyday life
You probably hear your Yoga teacher telling you to take your Yoga practice off the mat.
What does that even mean?
I have a few suggestions, and I’d love to hear how you’ve taken your practice off the mat in the comments!
1: Notice Your Breathing
If you’re not paying attention to your breath, you’re just stretching
Breath is life. Quite literally.
Have you ever noticed when you’re holding a difficult Yoga pose that your breathing gets faster? It’s a clue that you may have gone too deeply into the pose. We are always aiming to try to have even inhales and exhales (unless instructed otherwise) in our Yoga poses.
Put another way: as the breath goes, so goes the mind
Notice your breathing in every day life. If it’s short and choppy, what’s causing that? What do you need to do to smooth it out? Remove yourself from a situation?
Maybe you’re holding your breath — we often do this unconsciously.
2: Do a Quick Body Scan
Yoga is a great way to strengthen the body and mind connection. When was the last time you got in touch with your body?
I want you to hit pause and do it right now. You can sit down, be standing, or lay down. Begin by taking a few deep breaths. Then scan your body from the tips of your toes to the top of your head.
What are you noticing? Where are you holding tension? How can you let that tension go?
These are all things to ask yourself on the mat, too.
3: Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Mat
Comparison with myself brings improvement, comparison with others brings discontent.— Betty Jamie Chung
I have to be honest here: the comparison trap is something I fall into sometimes.
Maybe you do too?
Not all the time, and not in all areas of my life. It happens though. Why does that person seem to stay so effortlessly slim? I will never be as good a teacher as him/her! How come these partners always seem so happy to be with each other?
Things are often not what they seem. Just because something comes easily to one person doesn’t mean they’re not struggling somewhere else. I don’t have 20 years of Yoga teaching experience, but I still bring something uniquely me to my teaching.
Comparing yourself to others is one of the fastest and easiest routes to dissatisfaction.
4: Where Can You Go Harder?
We have so many modern conveniences these days. Phones that dial whatever number we tell them to without us having to lift a finger. Thousands (it feels that way, anyway) of tv channels we just click through. Groceries delivered right to our door.
We exercise because our physical world keeps us chairbound!
Where can you put a little more movement into your days?
Move more, exercise less!
Or maybe it’s tackling something that’s emotionally difficult — a difficult conversation, actually feeling our feelings.
5: Where Do You Need to Ease Up?
We live in a world that values going and doing all the time. It’s not sustainable. It’s one of the root causes of so much of the unhappiness in this world.
Are you a human being or a human doing?
Have you noticed that the world seems to only value doing? If you’re always a human doing, though, how can you find balance? When is enough enough?
These are just a few areas where you may need more balance
I hope that you’ve begun to think about where in your life you may be in balance, and where in your life you need to bring yourself back into balance. Where you may actually need to do more, and where you need to rest and restore.
Tell me how you’ve found Yoga creeping into everyday life
Do you think about how to find balance in your emotions?
Where else in your life do you need balance?
Check out the Better Balance + Strong Core Challenge on YouTube here. I suggest you start with the Week 1 video but it’s up to you! You will find a guide with extra practices and PDFs of each week’s asanas in the Facebook group, which you can join here.
You may also be interested in the blog post with tips about finding your balance on the mat here.