The other night I took a yoga class for the first time in probably 6-12 months. Between teaching a lot, hot summer weather and preferring to spend my “free” time lifting weights, yoga just never made it into my weekly routine. No big deal – things happen! However, whenever I come back from a yoga hiatus, I am quickly reminded why it’s so important, and always end up asking myself the same question: “why don’t I make this a more regular thing?”. I know it’s an important part of my physical training (hello, flexibility, mobility and stretching my tight muscles!), but even more than that, it’s an important thing for me mentally. I run around all week between work, training clients, teaching, trying to blog, trying to hang with friends and have date nights with my hubby, that I end up leaving little to no “down” or quiet time. No time for just me. And yoga the other night reminded me why this is so important.
Having that one hour to breath, stretch, move and take the time to actually listen to how my body feels was a HUGE reminder as to why this is something that I need to make part of my regular routine. I noticed how tight my shoulders were. I noticed that my right hip flexor was tight and bothering me. But most of all, I noticed that I had a REALLY HARD time quieting my mind. I was thinking about what the strength workout was that I was missing. I was convincing myself that yoga was the right choice for me that night. I was thinking about the trip to Telluride we just booked. I was thinking about said tight shoulders and hip flexors. I was thinking about what I would have for dinner.
Initially, this bothered me. Why couldn’t I just quiet my mind and focus on breathing? Why did everything feel so hard? But then I had one of those “ah-ha” moments… How could I expect to jump right back into my practice where I was when I last did yoga consistently if I hadn’t been to yoga in going on a year? I couldn’t. So I accepted where I was and made a promise to myself to go more often. To practice. Just like I tell my clients and fighters when they get frustrated because they aren’t “good” at something or because something feels “hard”. I always say to them “you can’t expect to be “good” at something or have it come easily to you if you don’t practice.”, which is true!
These days, we all want the easy access (guilty as charged!). We want quick results and we don’t want to have to work hard. Sorry to tell ya, friends, that’s not how life works. We have to work (and oftentimes, work hard) for what we want and for things to be “easy”. We have to practice. We have to train.
My client the other day said to me “ugh you made that look so much easier than it is”, and my response? “that’s because I practice it. I worked through the exercise and trained myself to get better at it.”.
And this applies to all areas of our lives. You can’t expect a promotion at work if you don’t put in the work. You can’t expect to run faster if you don’t train. You can’t expect to get stronger if you don’t lift weights. You can’t expect to lose weight if you don’t make changes to your diet or workout routine. You can’t expect to get more “likes” or “followers” if you never post things. Catch my drift?
So, even though my yoga experience earlier this week wasn’t entirely what I wanted or expected, it caused me to self-reflect and give myself a little self-check, which I SO appreciate. I can’t wait to make yoga a more consistent aspect of my training.
Questions for you: Do you tend to be impatient when it comes to wanting change or something to happen? Do you want to rush through the in between steps to get to the end? Do you like yoga or do you have a hard time settling your mind?
2 thoughts on “How can we expect to be “good” if we don’t practice?”
love this post – it really resonates with me as I also picked yoga back up after about 6 months of not going. I am trying out Bikram and I had no idea about it – it is so different from the vinyasa flow! (and yes, it was also hard after being out of the game for so long).
When are you going to Telluride?!
I’ve never been to Bikram, but heard it was quite different. Do you like it?
We are going in early March – I am SOOOO excited!!