My yoga challenge journey is giving me space to discover that my thoughts are always not so positive. A yoga challenge allows you to go deep in yourself, as there’s no distractions, just you and your thoughts. During our busy schedules, we don’t have much time to observe our thoughts. Being conscious of how we as human beings react to different stimulus, matters. How do you react when someone cuts you off in traffic? Can we use yoga to calm our emotions? I’m on a quest to find out.
As I’ve completed just one week of my yoga challenge, positive thoughts were difficult to come by. Instead of being positive, in some yoga practices I felt unchallenged, bored, and impatient. Nonetheless, this yoga challenge has brought consciousness to these thoughts so I can attempt to shift towards more positive thoughts.
Meditation for Positive Thinking
A yoga challenge allows the space and time for meditation and positive thinking. As I sat on my mat, I would start to get annoyed with the yoga instructor if she was too quick or too slow guiding us through the flow. Then, I’d tell myself that I should have went to the spinning class instead as at least there I would be getting a good, physical workout. My impatient self in yoga, forgot about the essence of yoga. It’s not about the body, so much as it’s about the breath and body connecting. In other class, I set my intention to focus on my breath, so that I could meditate. Mediation for positive thinking is encouraged by most successful people.
When is the best time for yoga?
For me, the best time for yoga is the morning. In the evening, I find myself tired, irritable and I just cant concentrate or relax with my breath. As my yoga challenge continues, I hope to work through this irritability by breathing through the discomfort. The best time for yoga is whenever you feel the most awake, to allow for better concentration on your breath. Spend some time going to yoga at different times of the day to see when your optimal time is. I would also suggest practicing with different teachers so you can find an instructor that jives well with you. If possible, try different yoga studios like my gym Movati offers hot yoga apart of my gym membership. Next week, I am going to take my yoga challenge to Yogatown on Preston St. Practicing yoga in a few places allows you to be playful with your yoga challenge.
Yoga for Strength
As soon as I can get my thoughts past my irritability, and I connect to my breath, I can feel my strength. Yoga is essential for building strength and creating power within ourselves. This allows for greater self-confidence and self-awareness. In yoga, just using your own body and breath, you find yourself in different positions. Positions that might test your physical and mental endurance, however once you do feel comfortable and in sync with your breath, a powerful energy is able to flow. That is one’s strength and power. Yoga reminds us how we’re strong, competent, brave and able to accept the challenges that come our way.
Yoga is able to ground us. Just like strong trees in a forest, as humans we all have our core, strong and stable trunks that keep us upright. No matter what happens in life, our leaves will fall every Autumn, and our leaves will grow back every Spring. But, the tree remains strong, upright and there. The mind-body-breath connection that forms in Yoga allows for our trunks to relax, so that when life challenges happen, we can remain strong.
Yoga and Compassion
Yoga teaches us to be compassionate with ourselves. A good instructor will remind students to be compassionate and loving to ourselves as we transition through difficult poses. In society where everyone is trying to make more money, and to things quicker, and better than everyone else, it’s nice to be told to be compassionate. To accept ourselves for who we are, rather than for who society wants us to be. This is the essence of my book, Citizen of the World. Through being ourselves, we are more compassionate to ourselves, to others and the planet. Read about my journey of self-discovery through traveling as I backpacked South America, then moved to Israel. Upon moving back to Canada from Israel, yoga allowed me to be compassionate with myself, so I could re-discover who I truly was.
Stay tuned for more updates about my yoga challenge. Do you hate yoga? Please let’s talk about it. I also do too, but where there is hate, of course there is also love.