10 Ways You Know Yoga is Working. ~ Meredith Rom

Via on Jun 25, 2013

Yoga in NYC

There are so many lessons yoga has brought to my daily life.

I taught a yoga class recently on this idea: How to Know the Yoga is Working” and was surprised when more and more reasons just came to me on the spot. I decided to make a list for all the yogis out there to remember just how much value our practice has in our lives, both on and off the mat.

1.  You’re less reactive.

Say somebody says a mean word to you and you tighten. In the past it may have turned into low self-esteem, blame or anger, but now you breathe. You notice what is happening in your body. You give yourself a moment.

Before, you may have attacked back, but now you’re able to see the whole situation from the outside. You realize the person may not have even meant that word in a mean way.  You notice the trigger that arises and you let it out with the breath. You choose to act and speak from a calm, centered place.

2.  You let go of your “story.”

You may have been triggered because of a story you carry about yourself. You check in with the people close to you about what your mind is making up. You realize most of it is not even real. It’s made up. With this awareness, you can let it go.

3.  You face your fears.

You begin to see your fears as some kind of karmic inheritance,

“These are the places for me to grow.”

Now you ask yourself,

“What do I stand to gain by not doing this thing?”

You decide to face your fears. Each little fear you face gives you more courage to live as your full self.

4.  You accept yourself as you are.

Your yoga class becomes the place to stop comparing yourself. You stop looking around at all the other people, and start looking within for acceptance.

5.  You take care of your body.

Once you start doing yoga, it’s not too long before you start buying organic produce and drinking green juices. I think healthy eating and yoga go hand-in-hand. When you spend time being so close to yourself, listening to your body, it is more likely you will treat it with care. Your body becomes something you are only given once in this life, so you decide to take care of it.

6.  You stop avoiding discomfort.

It was probably in my first sitting forward bend, Paschimottanasana, that I learned to breathe into my discomfort. I learned that it wasn’t so bad when I used my breath and as soon as I came out of the pose, I felt lighter, more open and flexible. Life is kind of like that. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable in the moment, but we can breathe through it and as soon as we get through the discomfort, we feel lighter and more open. Yoga reminds you to face your discomforts in order to grow.

7.  You embrace vulnerability.

You realize that when you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you create greater connections and more authentic relationships. You let down your guards and allow yourself to be fully seen.

8.  You hold yourself with compassion.

You don’t get down on yourself when you make a mistake. You let go of your ideas of perfection. You allow yourself to feel exactly what you need to feel and allow a great sense of love and compassion for yourself to arise.

9.  You’re grateful, everyday.

Yoga opens you to gratitude. You stop focusing on the negative all the time, and ask,

“What am I grateful for? What is going right in my life?”

When we open ourselves to gratitude, we attract more of that good.

10.  You come back for more.

When you first start yoga, you may just move through your poses waiting for that sweet savasana. But eventually, your body grows stronger, you tune into your breath and you begin to enjoy your practice.  You wait for that time when you have full permission to let go of the past and future and be fully present with yourself.

 

 

Meredith RomMeredith Rom is a yoga instructor, blogger and photographer. She loves sharing her own life lessons and insights in her yoga classes and writing. She encourages you to live a healthy lifestyle, manifest your dreams, heal through yoga and speak your authentic truth. She enjoys instagramming, making green smoothies, teaching the benefits of raw, organic foods and coming up with new “raw goddess desserts.” She recently moved to Sonoma county, CA with her boyfriend Michael where she teaches yoga and writes from a sweet country cottage. More info at her website.

Like elephant yoga on Facebook.

Assistant ed: Cat Beekmans
[Photo: NYC via Meredith Rom at meredithrom.com]

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12 Responses to “10 Ways You Know Yoga is Working. ~ Meredith Rom”

  1. Well done, Meredith. I like this summary.

    Bob W.
    http://bobweisenberg.wordpress.com/

  2. meredithrom says:

    Thanks Bob! I checked out your blog too, beautiful!

  3. Clare Meeker says:

    Very insightful tips!

  4. Cristina says:

    Grat article, thanks! You've put my own experience in words!

  5. Anne says:

    So true! Thank you for sharing this Meredith..

    I needed a reminder..

  6. Eilleen says:

    This article is just great!

  7. Za says:

    I have been contemplating yoga for a while now , however my love for weightlifting and running has kept me away.

    The 10 yoga wins in the article makes me want to learn to practice yoga now more than ever.

    Would you be able to answer a few questions for me in connection to the article;

    A)how long before these effects can be felt

    B)is there a particular kind of yoga for these benefits to accrue

    C) are the 10 benefits mostly only your experience or are they popular opinion, I.e. consensus

    Thanks & regards,

    • Lauren_Leduc says:

      Za,

      The benefits of yoga come at a pace in accordance to your devotion. But, it's important to be patience and non-attached to the results as well. So, it's different for each person and very much dependent on attitude and thirst.

      There are many different types of yoga and each lead to these benefits. What type you practice is up to you. However, no matter what style, I'd try to find a well-rounded teacher who emphasises a lot more than physical postures/ a workout.

      I'd say her experiences are fairly universal. They might come differently to different people and at various intensities, but these are definitely benefits of a regular yoga practice.

      I'd say just try it and see what YOU think <3

      laurenleducyoga.com

    • meredithrom says:

      Za,

      Thank you for your comment. I think most people who are regular yoga practitioners would agree these benefits are universal.

      I do think it is important to look beyond just the physical. One thing that is so wonderful about yoga is that it is so much more than a workout. There is a spiritual philosophy behind the teachings that can be directly applied to life.

      From my experience, I found the teachers I resonated the most with in the Anusara tradition because the classes have an explicit thematic and spiritual component. Before that, I knew I felt more calm and present after class just from the physical practice, but when my teachers began bringing stories and spiritual teachings into the class I really started living and breathing the knowledge into my life.

      I think the effects can be felt anywhere from your very first class to several years into the practice.
      Feel free to contact me with more questions through my site, http://meredithrom.com

      Warmly,
      Meredith

  8. Dee says:

    Yoga changed my life ♡♥♡♥♡♥

  9. Amy E says:

    Love, love, love this!! These precepts and yoga will set you free. Trust me. It's worth it!

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