1. You will stop sweating the small stuff.
Or maybe you won’t sweat the small stuff quite as much. That doesn’t mean you won’t get hung up over that chip in your nail polish or get angered about what your coworker said. You’re human, after all.
However, I can promise that the small stuff won’t seem as big. If you take the time to literally sweat out the small stuff on your mat, the grandiosity of the small stuff will no longer exist. You can decompress through yoga, and come back to your challenges with a much clearer perspective.
2. You will take the time to stop and smell the roses.
When you leave yoga, you might smell less fragrant than a fresh flower, but you will probably feel like one. Flowers experience growing pains, but they grow stronger in the mud. At the end of a yoga practice, you bow down and thank yourself for growing stronger by moving through challenges.
You also learn to blissfully take in your surroundings. You pay closer attention to the feeling of the sun’s rays as they illuminate your body, the sound of the trees rustling in the wind, and the vivid colors woven into your neighbor’s scarf.
3. You will appreciate what you have.
It’s easy to compare yourself to others. Someone might have more money, a better job, or a more fulfilling relationship. It’s easy to fixate on what you don’t have. However, take the time to appreciate the amazing people and opportunities life has gifted to you.
If you feel like something is missing, challenge yourself to take baby steps towards what you want and trust that they will find you when the timing is right.
4. You will see in shades of grey.
It’s easy to see things in black and white. It’s less complicated to categorize, generalize, and pigeon hole people and experiences. However, if you disregard the fact that people are complex, you are more likely to rush to judgement and may miss out on getting to know another side to a person or experience.
Yes, it’s more comfortable viewing life through a black and white lens, but it is the safe and less fulfilling route. Take the time to play devil’s advocate. Look at every situation from different angles. Don’t spend your time treading on the surface. Instead, strap on your grey goggles and delve deeper into the abyss.
5. You will learn to laugh at yourself.
New Yorkers are so serious! I can say that because I’m one of them. I love gently picking fun at my yoga students, not for their inability to complete a pose, but instead how serious they look as they attempt them.
If you observe your practice, you will probably notice that there are times when you rush through postures, compare yourself to your neighbors, tense your face, and forget to breath properly. Some of the most common verbal cues from teachers to students are “relax your face,” “remember to breath,” and “don’t rush.” Your yoga teacher is there to remind you to laugh at yourself, not in a judgmental way, but in a way that reminds you to be easier on yourself.
6. You will radiate from the inside out.
This might sound like an “out there” thing to say, but I believe it to be true. I look at those as they get deeper into their practice, not just physically, but spiritually, and they seem more radiant. They often have more lightness behind the eyes, and their skin looks dewey as if they just got a new highlighter from Sephora.
Whether or not you believe that people truly glow from yoga on a physical level, it is undeniable that they glow from within. If you come from a light and energetic place and are truly content with your own life, others will most definitely be attracted to the light that you radiate.
7. You will feel accomplished.
Accomplishment comes in all shapes and sizes and depends on your own individual challenges. A headstand could be a top accomplishment for one yogi, but sitting still for 10 minutes in meditation can be an accomplishment for another.
As you connect your mind and body in your yoga practice, you watch yourself transform beyond what you thought was possible. As a yoga student, I shock myself as I witness growth within myself, and I feel blessed that I can help others witness their own transformation.
8. You will attract what you need by getting to know yourself.
Many yoga poses allow you to balance your throat chakra, where you speak and live your truth. You may fear be authentically you, because someone else might not like or accept it.
However, if you look at some of the world’s most successful people, they often followed their own path in life. If you live in a way that is authentic and true to who you are, people will be able to connect with you more deeply and appreciate your unique qualities.
Think of yourself as a magnet that sticks to what is right for you and repels what is wrong for you. You will keep trying to connect with people and experiences that you were made to repel, if you don’t take the time to understand your own composition.
9. You will be more conscious of what you put in your body.
There is no agenda here to preach about being vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten free, or trying out the newest diet craze. You can be sure of this because I don’t follow any of these food models. We are all very different and complex, and what one person needs or relates to varies vastly to that of another.
The focus should be on showing compassion for yourself by practicing self-care. You can do this is any number of ways, e.g. by eating more fruits and vegetables, buying less processed foods, being aware of ingredients, etc. Maybe being good to yourself is treating yourself to a steak and a bottle of wine every now and then. Be true to what you need, and try to give that to yourself without judgement.
10. You will learn to go deeper (even if you start from the shallow end).
In current Western practices of yoga, you can become attracted to yoga clothes, getting a cool looking mat, and checking in on social media so your friends will see our whereabouts.
While this can seem superficial and may not the “purpose” behind yoga, it is an avenue to get you on your mat. Are you still a yogi? Absolutely.
Once you are on your mat, whether you intend to or not, you are practicing mindfulness which can only benefit yourself and those around you. It might take you time to move deeper in your practice, but you are already one step closer just rolling out your mat.