I don’t remember exactly when I took my first Yoga class, nor can I recall any specific motivating factor. I can tell you that I love to move, especially to music. I am not always patient with myself or others. These characteristics surely were not what drove me to try Yoga. Perhaps it was my tendency towards internalization and the resulting muscle stiffness, which intermittently wreaked havoc on my lower back from age 19.
I can remember my initial impression(s) of yoga. I found it boring and rather frustrating. I wasn’t sold on the benefits. Short on time, I felt like I was wasting time better spend running on a treadmill. Plus, I couldn’t sit in full lotus or do a proper shoulder stand. Back to being sold on benefits and short on time, I just didn’t want to commit to the practice.
Perhaps I have developed more patience with age, but I found an awesome instructor at a local gym when I was in my early 30’s. Perhaps I missed the earlier class one day or had been feeling tight. I still found myself feeling a bit impatient throughout the 75 min class, but I also began noticing progress in my practice.
I love variety, so I cannot say that I have abandoned faster paced, music pumping cardio in favor of daily Om. But my experience with yoga has taught some important life lessons:
– Every discipline requires practice AND patience!
– Never expect to be great at something on the first try, or even on the second or third.
– You won’t get better at anything unless you set aside time for practice.
– Sometimes you need to slow down to accelerate progress.
– If you believe in the value of any endeavor, don’t give up just because its hard.
– Take time to listen to your body!
– You won’t ever realize your true capacity unless you take time to listen to your body and treat it well.
– The human body is amazing! Many somatic and psychic issues can be alleviated through gentle movement.
– Happiness comes from practice, so it must be a discipline!
– When practice makes perfect, it is time to pursue a new discipline!
I still cannot do a full lotus or a proper headstand. Standing splits, half moon, and others still challenge me every time, but I can do a pretty good crow pose.
Carolyn McMicken Shoemaker
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