Having almost completed her online Yoga Teacher Training course with BeWell, our wellness blogger Kendall reflects on some of the things that she has learned through practicing yoga. All photos used in this article belong to Kendall. For more information on our online YTT, click here.
I have to be honest, I find it crazy when I think about how much yoga has actually taught me. About life. About myself. Just crazy.
Most things that you commit to and spend a large amount of time on are bound to change you as a person. It's just the way life works. How else can we grow and improve ourselves?
It does just blow my mind how much something can change a person. The way that yoga has changed me, for example. It can be really good to look back and think of the things you have learnt over time. I find it really motivating and excited about the future and all the things I am yet to learn!
While there are many things I have learnt, some of these lessons didn't come overnight. They have taken time, quite a lot of it. That actually leads me to my first lesson.
Patience is essential in yoga. It’s easy to compare yourself to others on social media and wonder why can’t I do that? But yoga is a process, a journey. The postures have nothing to teach you if you could just do them all with ease. The struggle, the wobbly attempts, the sweat, the difficulty: that’s where the biggest growth takes place. Through yoga, I have learnt to be patient. The kind of patience that has grown and now helps me at work or in my day to day life. Even when I'm stuck in traffic. And it just so happens, that I am stuck in traffic a lot, so I'm very grateful for that one.
Breathing is the foundation of yoga. The breath dictates your movement, your state of mind, and your ability to stay focused even when in the most difficult poses! This might sound kind of crazy but I seriously was not breathing properly before yoga. I have always struggled a little with asthma and just breathing in general. Now though, I realise I just wasn’t doing it right. Learning how to breathe in even the most uncomfortable of situations on the mat has given me the ability to do the same in real life.
Yoga offers a powerful opportunity to reflect on your relationship with yourself. By being present, by taking time to breath, and by using these skills both on and off the mat, yoga presents us with a pathway to building a closer bond with ourselves. And a firmer connection to ourselves gives us the ability to connect more deeply and openly with others.. I think I was quite an understanding and open person before I started yoga. But the practice really did open my eyes. I just find that I now consider how my reaction could impact a person.
Additionally, combining such a mixture of people in a class all there for different reasons really made me realise that everyone is fighting their own battles. A lot of the time, battles you can't and won't ever see. Perhaps it was the vulnerability side of it that gave me this deeper connection to others.
To Be in Control of Mind and Body
Yoga promotes mental clarity, a reduction in anxiety, and increased body awareness. Since starting yoga I feel much more in control of my mind and body. I mean really in control. Listening to my body/mind and connecting to them on a deeper level. This is vastly different from before, where I felt that I was on autopilot all the time, not thinking about what I was doing or how I was feeling.
It's empowering to understand that you are in charge and you have the power to adapt your thoughts, your day, your life.
What this usually means for me is that some days, I wake up and I only feel like a quick gentle flow, some days I might go for something more intense and some days, I don’t practice at all. Whatever feels right, is right!
What a wonderful thing yoga is, I am forever amazed by the lessons I learn. Lessons that will stay with me for life. I would love to hear what you have learnt from your practice? Drop a comment below and let me know! 👇