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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Barth

Yoga Echoes Off the Mat

"What happens on your mat comes off of your mat with you, and echoes out into your life.” Said every yoga teacher at one point or another. From my own experience I can assure you that this, in fact, is a truth. I have spent many yoga classes with my eyes closed in poses; which made me focus inwards; the only way I realized this was happening was when I was encouraged by an instructor to keep my eyes open. By keeping my eyes open for a class my focus became outwards, on the world around me. I left the class and found myself more engaged with the world; having conversations in the grocery store with complete strangers, and even picking up garbage from the forest I walked in frequently.

Falling out of a pose or asana is an important part of yoga. I have fallen out of many poses and either laughed or felt frustrated about it. The thing about falling out of a pose is what it teaches you, and for me it taught me to get right back up and to try the asana again; instead of waiting for the teacher to dictate the next pose. Falling out, to me, was a failure, and I had to learn to persevere through the challenges I was facing. I now use falling out as a driving force on my mat to try again, and to keep me coming back to my mat. Life is full of challenges and we don’t always succeed the first go around, but you should never give up. My yoga comes off my mat and into my daily life; and I will always persevere. I notice that I sometimes experience failure when it comes to running my own business; however, instead of running from it, I now get up and try again. No matter how many times I fall, I keep getting up and trying, as I know that I am learning something new.  Be okay with falling out… but get right back up and try again!

Yoga has opened my eyes and given me a chance to understand who I am. My journey started out with many challenges; my body and muscles weren’t used to holding certain poses, I felt weak because I would tremble and shake in asanas, and I soon found myself frustrated when I couldn’t get into certain postures. It really opened my eyes to the internal struggles I was having, and with inquiry I got to the original thoughts that caused my difficulties in practice. I believed I was weak because someone had told me I was weak; my initial reaction to when I don’t succeed the first time around is to become frustrated; and I also had no patience with myself. All of these things changed for me with a daily yoga practice; yoga has given me the tools to cope and change my thoughts and beliefs, while having patience throughout the lengthy process. This has come off my mat with me, as I now have patience with myself when I am learning something new; and I have become comfortable with having to work on things. This can also happen for you, and all you need is a Yoga Mat. Watch how what happens in a yoga class for you, echoes off of your mat and into your life.

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