Live Your Yoga

If you take yoga classes, you probably heard someone say, “Live Your Yoga.”  You might have thought, “What does that mean?”  Like all yoga philosophy, the phrase, “Live Your Yoga,” means different things to different people.  For some it means living life in alignment with the Yoga Sutras, sort of like the 10 Commandments of yoga.  For others, it means taking the lessons you learn in yoga class out into the world. 

One of my yoga students once told me about a particularly harrowing dental appointment.  She was having major dental work done, and she was in the chair for hours.  She explained that to help her cope with fear, anxiety, and pain, she closed her eyes, and simply focused on breathing slowly, calmly, and smoothly as she had learned and practiced in yoga class.  She explained that she went into what felt like a meditative state, and the hours passed by quickly and relatively easily. 

Recently, I had a similar experience utilizing the skills I learned practicing yoga while rock climbing with my family.  I was using an auto-belay; a devise that will lower you to the ground slowly if you fall or want to come down off the wall.  Thanks to my yoga practice, I had the strength to climb up the steep face relatively easy.  However, when I got to the top, I realized that I was afraid to let go and allow the auto-belay do its job!  This was not an unfamiliar fear.  It was the same feeling I get in yoga class when I attempt to do a handstand in the middle of the room.  Just like in yoga class, I acknowledged my fear.  I slowed my breathing down to quell my anxiety.  I assessed the situation for real danger and decided it was safe to let go.  I was grateful for my yoga practice for giving me the physical and mental strength to enjoy rock climbing with my family.  Some of the other moms were just watching.  This experience, as well as the account shared by my student, reminded me that the lessons we learn in yoga class are indeed transferrable to our everyday lives. 

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