Yoga has taught me a lot in just the few weeks that I’ve been practicing. It’s taught me patience. I’ve learned to be patient with myself…understanding my limits and respecting them. I’ve been doing what I can do, in the moment, at that particular time. I know I’m starting off and am new to yoga, so I am patient with myself and realize that I am obviously not going to be able to do every single pose that I may like to do right off the bat. That is OK.
Yoga has taught me to see my potential. There would have been a time where I would look at all those difficult poses and say “Elise, you will NEVER be able to do that! NEVER! Don’t even bother wasting your time with yoga, because let’s be honest, you will never be able to do any of those difficult poses. What a waste of time!” But you know what, I actually have the opposite thought. Instead of blocking myself off, shutting myself down and saying I can’t ever do those poses, I’m choosing to be patient with myself and realize that right now, no, I can’t do those poses. But if I keep working, if I keep building my ability and continue to practice more and more, in time I could actually be able to do those poses that I’d like to be able to conquer some day. But that’s the thing…there is no set time that I need to “achieve” those poses by. Yoga is a practice. It takes time to build up a skill set in anything. I have learned to be kind to myself, take my time, and see my potential. This is actually a first for me!
It’s funny because I’m not sure if this is a direct result of yoga and the patience that I’m having with myself in regard to yoga, but I’ve also been noticing my patience with myself in other areas of my life increasing as well. I recently (or somewhat recently) got a promotion at work and for quite a while I was hard on myself, expecting perfection of myself right away. I’d allow for no mistakes but each time I did something wrong, I’d question whether or not this job was right for me, if I was suited for the promotion, if I should ask my supervisor if I can go back to my old job, etc. etc. etc. This made my job not so enjoyable. Granted, in the grand scheme of things, I really was enjoying the job. I just made myself not enjoy it as much because I was way too hard on myself. Big surprise there! The past week or two (
coincidentally or maybe not so coincidentally right around the time I really started getting into yoga) I’ve been kinder to myself and more patient with myself. I’ve been realizing that I am new at this, that it will take time for me to gain the skill set in order to really be confident in my new position. And even after I do become more comfortable and familiar with my position, guess what? I will still make mistakes. And that is OK. Yes, I can make mistakes! This past week I’ve found a few errors that I’ve made, or made a few decisions that maybe weren’t the best to make, but it’s okay. I didn’t berate myself or tell myself how stupid I was or incompetent I am or how this job wasn’t a right move for me. No, I accepted those errors…and moved on. This has made work so much more enjoyable for me. Instead of critiquing myself or focusing on the things I haven’t been doing right, I’ve been looking at the whole picture and seeing that I’m actually doing a really good job. I feel proud of myself, confident in the work that I’m doing and I’m finally feeling like this job was the exact right move for me.
I’ve also been more relaxed at work, too. I’ve been getting very busy, more files and work have been accumulating on my desk and there would have been a time I would have looked at everything and felt ‘there is NO way I am going to get any of this done in a timely manner! I should have done that yesterday; I have no idea what to do with that! I will never be able to finish any of this! And then more and more and more will come!’ There was a time, where that was realistically what I would think. And then I’d sabotage myself because I’d get myself in a panic and not be able to really just take my time and do a good job on the work I had before me. This week, I looked at the chaos that was my desk, and decided I would do what I could, when I could do it. I’d work thoroughly through a file, do what I needed to do with it, and then move on to the next file. And you know what?! Keeping my calm, keeping a clear head, and taking it easy on myself really paid off because I PLOWED through that work! I got so much accomplished and felt like I really did a good job, too. Had I allowed myself to freak out and get flustered, I would definitely not have been able to do what I did.
I’ve been feeling a sense of calmness, too, that I can’t quite explain. There has been a literal whirlwind going on in my life right now, but yet I feel such an inner peace and calm right now. Yes, of course there are moments that I still stress out, get anxious, nervous, and worried about the future. But on the whole, I’ve just been really relaxed, focused on the here and now and not worrying about what’s to come down the road. I know that yoga has helped me to really tune in with my inner person and develop a sense of calm and peace within myself. I feel such a refreshed, renewed feeling after I do yoga and it’s carrying over into my normal, day-to-day life as well.
I can’t wait to see what my new-found love of yoga has in store for me and my life!