Consider the phrase, “How you do anything on the mat is how you do everything in life.”
This is a quote I heard recently from one of my fellow yoga teachers that has really struck a chord with me. Ask yourself: How do you show up on your mat? How do you show up in your life? How do you deal with challenging postures in class? Do you just give in or quit? Do you stress out, compare yourself, or push too hard?
Chances are, how you approach and practice your yoga is probably a good reflection of your approach and practice of life.
Yoga is the oldest known practice of self-development. Originating from the East, the practice has made its way to the West and become another popular way to get in shape. But with the numbers of people suffering from anxiety, depression and high blood pressure continually on the rise, we can’t forget about a huge benefit of a mind-body practices like yoga: stress release.
Yoga instructor and health coach Rosie Acosta, who teaches in Portland, OR, says that stress and anxiety affect a majority of her students, and that yoga often helps them better manage those feelings. “We think that yoga is for tuning things out when you’re stressed. But it’s not,” Acosta explains. “It’s about drawing that attention inward. Tuning in.”
Because our focus is almost always directed outward—to work, home, family—we neglect what happens internally, succumbing to stress. Yoga can reverse this trend.