Yoga Only Works if You Show Up
There was a post I saw on Instagram that said, “Yoga only works if you show up.” I loved it, I reposted it, and now I’m going to blog about it because it couldn’t be more true. Sure, the practice of yoga has been around for years and years and years, but its popularity has grown immensely over the last decade or two. Many of you have shown up and jumped on this amazing bandwagon, and others of you may still be skeptical, although you’ve probably heard many speak its praises. Those of you who haven’t tried yoga may have told yourself, “I’m not flexible enough,” or “I don’t have the patience for that,” or, “I just need a real workout. One that makes me sweat.” Hmmmm. Let’s break some of this down, shall we? For those who are challenged in the flexibility department, consider this; yoga is an excellent practice to gain just that! It is also great for muscle strength, maintaining your metabolism, losing weight, and for cardio health. But you have to show up. You have to try. You have to keep coming back. There are many different styles of yoga, so if you are looking for a sweaty workout, consider a power or a “vinyasa flow.’ These classes are vigorous and can be challenging, you will definitely break a sweat, and most are geared toward all-levels. Do you know why? The instructors want you to show up and love it! They want you to reap all the benefits of the practice even if it’s your very first class. Sure, there might be a few minutes of quiet breathing and you might hear an “Ommm” or two, but the more you show up, the more you will understand the reasons behind those components of yoga too. Think calming the mind as one.
To “show up” is a loaded phrase. At least it is for me. When someone reminds me to show up, I interpret that to mean show up as the best version of yourself for the role you are given. For me, I need to show up as the best yoga instructor I can be on a given day, or the best mom I can be, or the best wife, etc. We all play so many roles, and if you pause before beginning your time in that role to say, “What does it look like for me to show up as XYZ ?” you bring some intention into it and you strive to be your best. How does this relate to yoga, you ask? By just showing up to class, you have already set an intention to better yourself both physically and spiritually. You have subconsciously told yourself that you are worth that time to work on you. You have shown up for yourself by putting everything else on hold to breath, move, and meditate. By showing up again and again and again, you are acknowledging your self-worth and your commitment to your overall health. Be the best that you can be. Always.
Want to know a secret that most yogis know that you might not? You see and feel the benefits of the practice after you leave the class, not necessarily while you’re in it. Here’s why. When you get a chance to practice yoga, you give yourself permission to drop right into the given moment. Why? Because you might be balancing on one foot, or breathing through a pose you find challenging, or listening intently on what the instructor is saying. You have literally no choice but to be in the moment. It’s amazing. There are few methods of exercise that give you that kind of opportunity, the kind where you aren’t thinking about anything else but what you’re doing right then and there. With the practice of presence in the moment grows the practice of awareness. The more aware you are of yourself, your surroundings, and the people in your life, the more you see those people and things for who and what they truly are. Life has a little more clarity. You begin to let go of things (and maybe even people) that no longer serve you or the life you are trying to live. You begin to imagine the life you do want to live and you start making choices that support that life. Each time you find yourself on your mat, sure, that practice itself will be different each time, but what will stay consistent is a sense of shedding of layers, of peeling away the things that you don’t need anymore which will lead you to the life you’ve always dreamed of. JUST SHOW UP!
I would love to answer any questions or concerns you may have at my all-levels Power Yoga classes at MAC, Thursdays 9-10 AM and Sundays 9-10:15 AM
WRITTEN BY: Alli Pinkin