3 Things I've Learned from Yoga

I’ll never forget the day my counselor told me - “I think yoga would be a really good thing for your anxiety.”

This was at a point when I was running a million different directions and found identity in busyness. I couldn’t imagine spending 60 mins doing yoga flows, breathing exercises and taking time to listen to my thoughts. Mindfulness wasn’t even a word in my dictionary. On the other side - I was exhausted, struggling with anxiety/depression and putting self-care at the end of my to-do list (let’s be honest it wasn’t even on the list).

At first, I laughed and told my therapist I don’t think I could ever do yoga. It just wasn’t for me. Six months from that moment, I walked into my first yoga class. And I hated it. Like really hated it. I felt anxious and uncomfortable. I wasn’t used to providing so much stillness to connect with my body (any other enneagram 7s out there!?)

So then another 6 months (read: 1 year) passed and for some reason I went again. And this time I was hooked. I felt empowered, strong and connected. I don’t know what caused me to go back but I’m glad I did. Yoga has helped me see that movement doesn’t always have to be about high intensity cardio or weight training. And also that taking days to stretch, reconnect and challenge your body are so important.

Maybe yoga isn’t the connector for you - but I’m sure there’s something new that you do (or have been challenged to do) to help support your physical and mental health. Something that you know helps foster mindfulness and personal growth.

Let this be a reminder of how important mindfulness is. How habits don’t form overnight. How uncomfortable doesn’t always equal bad.

Here are 3 takeaways I have from my year of being a regular yogi (or self-proclaimed yogi) that I think prove true in this journey of bettering your relationship with food and your body:

1. Repetition is vital to growth

Doing the same thing over and over and OVER again is what builds true growth and lasting habits. It can seem redundant or not important, but think about it, habits don’t form over night. It takes patience and practice for the results to follow.

2. Falling down is not the end of the journey

You will have setbacks, times you fall down and don't feel like getting up, but it's what you learn from the falling and the strength to get back up that pushes you forward. Growth and change is a messy, fluid process so give yourself some grace.

3. Take time to listen

In our fast-paced culture, it's easy to go throughout days not listening to how our body feels or responds to situations, foods, etc. When we take time to listen, we are able to better serve our body. That may look like skipping a workout, making your favorite meal, saying yes to the ice cream or no to the weekend trip.

Dylan MurphyComment