“To me, practice means…” These words are on the wall of my yoga studio and I have spent many moments trying to succinctly articulate what practice means to me. In the interest of brevity, I came up with two words. To me, practice means fighting complacency...both in yoga and in life.
Having just completed another 30-Day Dare (30 yoga sessions in 30 days), I am again struck by the many parallels between yoga and life, and how the lessons I learn on my mat translate to the real world. For example, yoga, like life, can hurt like a b$#@%. Dragon pose, lizard, half pigeon...these poses can be brutal so it’s easy to hold back and avoid the discomfort. But avoidance isn’t going to get you anywhere. You have to work through the pain one breath at a time because the ultimate release is worth the effort it took to get there. And it gets easier every time.
Another yoga-to-life lesson...sometimes in life we avoid doing certain things because we think we’re not strong enough, or we think we’ll look silly and people will laugh at us. Thing headstands, shoulder stands, crow...any balancing pose that requires a lot of strength and could result in an embarrassing tumble in front of a large group of people. The lessons I’ve learned from these poses? You’re stronger than you think you are. If you fall, who cares? Pick yourself up, have a good laugh, and try again. (And by the way, most people aren’t paying any attention to you anyway.)
Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Do something that scares you. Master a new skill. Never stop learning. At age 39, I couldn’t do a wheel. At age 40, I could. Now, at age 41, I can do a wheel with one leg in the air.
Complacency is defined as “a feeling of calm satisfaction with your own abilities or situation that prevents you from trying harder.” Fight complacency and you’ll never stop growing in your practice or in your life. Namaste!
About the author: Andrea Forsyth is an adventurer and an attorney. She is hell bent on growing and we've got her back.