Three Important Things Yoga Taught Me
The practice of yoga is a healing force in many ways – physically, emotionally and spiritually. My greatest period of life growth began when I took a yoga teacher training over five years ago, and it continues today. I have learned a LOT, but here are the three lessons from yoga that stand out the most.
Taking Personal Responsibility
I have learned that, once I reached the age that I was capable of making my own life decisions, I became responsible for my own happiness. I cannot depend on anyone else to create the life I want, nor can I blame anyone else for anything I lack or that has gone wrong. It’s no longer my parent’s fault, or my boss’ fault. It’s not my husband’s fault or the interviewer’s fault. It’s not what that person said or did to me. I chose to stay in a job I hated, I chose to continue a (past) relationship that had no future. I chose to be cocky rather than prepared for the job interview or audition that I then failed at. And yes – things will happen to me that I did not ask for, and sometimes those things are heartbreaking and tragic. But even how I respond to and deal with those events sets me up for a dismal or contented life. In everything that happens, I have a choice. Sometimes those choices are really, really difficult, and they often require me to work extremely hard to get through the circumstances, but it’s always my choice in how I am going to do it.
Letting Go of Worry
There is no point in worrying about things that have passed. And there is no point in worrying about things I cannot predict.
I can make up for past regressions as best I can in the present time, but at some point I have to let it go. Living with regret or feeling guilty will not do me any good. And I also need to let go of the fact that someone else may have caused me pain and there may never be an apology or real closure. Wallowing in the grief and anger of the experience robs me of my current happiness.
As for the future, I can prepare for things up ahead as best I can in the present time. Beyond that, it’s really out of my control (I may, in fact, not be the best person for the job despite all my preparation). Remaining detached from the outcome (i.e. not hinging my happiness on getting the part, or the job, or having that relationship be “the one”) is actually very freeing. Which brings me to my next one…
Trust in the Universe
Yes I know. It sounds so flaky. If you are not used to it, it’s corny to read and its corny to say, but – trust in the universe. This message has been drilled into me over and over again by life itself until I finally believed it. This does not mean you sit back and do nothing and just wait for great things to drop in your lap, but it does mean that the universe has got your back and wants the best for you. Seriously. The energy that we humans thrive on is that of love and goodness, community and joy. It is not fear and sadness, nor individualism and poverty. The universe is not out to get you. That rich guy does not deserve better things than you. You are not lucky or unlucky. The heart of our planet does not beat because a few people have everything and the rest have very little – it beats in spite of that. If the universe could speak (or rather, if we actually listened when it spoke), it would tell us that we ALL deserve happiness and abundance. ALL OF US. Sometimes that means we actually have to let go of what we THINK is our best life and instead pay attention to signs on the path that take us to the life we really want. When we are are on the right track, the universe practically throws opportunity at us.
So, yoga has taught me to take responsibility for my life, to let go of things that get in my way of moving forward and to trust that the universe is not conspiring against me but truly dances for joy when I am creating the life I want.
Yoga teacher training is not just about becoming a teacher. It’s about rediscovering your best self and reconnecting to the most authentic version of you – the YOU who landed on this earth at the time of your birth but who, over time, became hidden and guarded because of your environment.