(watch the video about this topic below)
Have you ever heard yoga teachers talk about yoga on and off the mat? Did you wonder what on earth they were on about?
It took me a long time to actually see and understand this, so let me explain this a little.
When you get on your yoga mat and you go through your practice a lot of things can happen. A lot of thoughts and feelings can appear. Here is an example of a few :
- I just can’t do this
- I can’t hold this any longer
- That wasn’t fast/strong enough for me
- Why can’t I stop thinking
- Why is this so hard
- I hate savasana, can I leave yet?
- I could lay here in savasana forever
Ever had any of these thoughts?
When the teacher asks you to listen in to your body, they are not just talking about feeling a stretch or pain, or ease they asking you what’s coming up for you in this moment. (like the thoughts above).
It gets us to see what’s going on and ask ourselves why? Why am I thinking this right now?
So this is yoga on the mat, understanding your body, mind and soul. Now, when you take this off the mat, what does it look like?
Well, if you are always trying to rush through your yoga practice, how are you in your life? Are you trying to rush through things? Are you constantly busy? Are you always wanting to skip the hard stuff and take it easy.
Maybe if you love savasana and you love the relaxing poses are you in desperate need of some relaxation? Maybe it’s the opposite and you are actually to comfortable with relaxing and need to push yourself to do more.
Do you consciously look around the room and wonder what everyone else is thinking about you (btw they are not even thinking about you, they are focusing on themselves). Where else do you think like this?
There are so many ways in which you can take the thoughts that come up on the mat OFF the mat. I could give so many more examples but we would be here all day.
So how can you improve your life with yoga? By exactly what I have just said above.
- Start practicing and see what comes up, maybe nothing comes up for a few weeks, after all it could be a new practice and to start with, you need to just figure out what this yoga stuff is.
- Notice what happens in your body. Maybe you are really flexible one side and not the other. Where in your life are you stretching one half of your body and not the other (for example, always leaning on the same leg, holding your child on the same side, sitting on the coach leaning over to 1 side). Try to even this out and take notice even when you are not on the yoga mat.
- Notice your thoughts. Like I said above, do any of them thoughts come up? Where else in your life do they show up as well? Can we do something to change them.
- Listen to your soul! How does your body feel after a yoga class, so you feel calm and relaxed (most likely, yes) Then your soul is telling you, you need this. Do it more often, notice more things and change your life to a happier and healthier one.
Keep practicing on and off the mat!
ps. If you struggle with your self-care and actually making yourself do yoga, then check out my 28 day self-care checklist with short 5 minute classes to help you create that healthy habit!