6 things yoga has taught me about life

yoga

As many of you know, practicing yoga is a big part of my life. It’s something I not only enjoy doing but also need in my life. Being on the road, yoga is not the easiest to practice. Sure, I can do yoga on my own and do some yoga moves (all I really need is an open space), but practicing yoga is beyond the physical movement. I’ve gained so much from yoga classes, beyond the physical and mental strength. The things that I’ve learned in yoga have made some things in life easier to understand. Being in one city for 2+ weeks now, I’ve had a chance to squeeze in a few classes and started thinking about how yoga classes have helped me change my attitude towards life. Here are top 6 things I’ve learned from my yoga practices so far:

1) If you let your ego get in the way and push yourself to impress others, you’ll just end up hurting yourself. If you are forcing your leg to stretch out further because you want to show off to the rest of the class how good you are, you are going to hurt yourself. If you are working hard and pushing yourself to show off to others and aren’t listening to your own needs, you’ll end up harming nobody else but you and your own happiness.

2) You cannot grow and be comfortable at the same time because growing requires you to get out of your comfort zone. Doing a yoga move, stretching out your hamstrings, holding your chaturanga; these are all really uncomfortable but you know it will make you stronger and more flexible. If you want to grow, you need to get out of your comfort zone. And if you keep pushing yourself a little by little, there’s nothing you can’t do.

3) Learn to appreciate the opportunity to do nothing. Sometimes, laying in shavasna can be uneasy and stressful. That’s because your mind is rushing and telling you all the things you have to do. It’s our fear of missing out, our constant need to achieve something. But, it’s ok to take a break once in a while and let yourself do nothing. And when you are given the opportunity to do nothing at all, take it and enjoy it. Everything will still be the same.

4) You might not be able to achieve it today, but you might tomorrow. It’s ok to not be able to do that hand stand today. It’s ok if crow pose isn’t working for you today. It’s ok if you didn’t get everything on your list done today. It’s ok… just try again tomorrow.

5) Each move has a purpose, don’t rush to get to the final pose. The reason I love vinyasa is because one move flows to the other and preps you to get to the final pose, just like how life comes in steps and you need to take it a step at a time. Enjoy the ride, don’t rush and you’ll perfect that final pose.

6) Don’t forget to breath. When you are doing a difficult move, you’ll realize you are holding your breath. I do that often until I remember to breathe. Not breathing is just making it harder for yourself. If you surrender to the pose and remember to do the most basic and fundamental thing, such as breathing, the pose becomes so much easier. When you are stressed, faced with challenges, and are frustrated, just breathe. It’s already happening, don’t make it harder on yourself.

The importance of living today

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As I received the news of one of my childhood friends who left her loved ones behind at such a young age, it made me realize, once again, how important it is to live life to the fullest. Although she was young, she was always out there ready to take on new challenges and anything that came her way – clearly touching many people’s lives. She was young but she was happy, enjoying the life she was living. 

We tend to forget how unexpected and short life can be. We are busy living for tomorrow that we forget to focus on what we have right now.  It took me a long time to realize the importance of living life to the fullest and I still struggle to maintain that attitude towards life but this week I got a big reminder. 

One of the many reasons I decided to embark on this journey was exactly that. Wanting to do what I believe is best for me right now. Also, living far away from loved ones (my parents), I had not seen them for more than 2 years. Was it really all worth it when to me, happiness in life was exploring new places, learning new things and being close to the ones that I loved? What if something happened to one of us, and I couldn’t express my love to them because I was miles and miles away? I wanted to be able to live a life where I can be there for the people I care. 

I want to take this time to say thank you, and I love you to everyone who have been and still are in my life – allowing me to have become the person I am today. This trip has been amazing – not only because I was learning so much on the road and really letting myself be, but because I got to connect with old friends; people who have had a huge impact on my life that I don’t get to see because we are all spread out around the world. I wish I had seen her one last time and connected with her through our childhood memories – but I didn’t get a chance to tell her how big of a part she had in allowing me to be who I am today; that her feisty, brave attitude towards life has taught me to do the same. It’s always too late when you realize all the things you want to say to the person. So I’m going to take the time to tell people how much I appreciate them before it’s too late.

Are you living your life to the fullest and can honestly say you have no regrets? Did you remember to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you?

Boston grows on you

During my 4+ years in Boston, I always thought that Boston was a temporary place. I never felt like I was ‘home’ and always knew that some day, I will have to leave. I never tried to get to know the city better or gave it time to approach me. But, clearly I was wrong. Boston and its amazingness had crept on me without me noticing it. As I sat in front of limited wifi, reading about what was happening in Boston, my heart ached. My heart ached not just for my friends and the people I knew, but for the city. Without realizing, I was treating Boston as one of the many ‘homes’ I have. A lot of times, when people ask me what it’s like to live in Boston, I say “Boston is a place that grows on you,” not because you don’t like it when you first get there but because you leave it feeling like you are a part of it and it’s a part of you.

I posted an article titled “You May Leave Boston, but Boston Never Leaves You” on my Facebook page because I couldn’t agree more.

“Millions of Americans came of age at Boston’s many colleges and universities. For them, Monday’s tragedy is a reminder of how much the city still means.”

Even though I was away physically, I was still attached. The familiar streets and how my life evolved around those places, the people who are known to be cold-hearted but are actually the nicest city people I’ve met and the feel of community it has, which we witnessed last week – these are all the things I was being sad for. And when life in Boston was starting to return to normal slowly, I too was relieved. Last week just made me realize how much I miss Boston and that the city will always have a place in my heart.

So Boston, I miss you and I love you. Thank you for growing on me and being part of who I am today.