The Biggest Mistake I Have Made In Yoga - Lessons for Love and Life

katia shulga

When I started practicing yoga, it blew my mind. I never thought of myself as a physically active person and all of a sudden I was doing these things with my body that seemed impossible only a short time ago. This gave me confidence and put me on a path of exploration. As you know, exploration is exciting! It’s an adventure! I fell head over heels for yoga, it felt sooo good in my body, it calmed my mind, and it connected me to a feeling of something greater than myself. I looked forward to practicing yoga, I looked up information on yoga, bought every book and item related to yoga, and was generally obsessed. But, as time went on, I got more and more used to it. I did yoga trainings that I loved, and immersed myself in it, and it no longer seemed like that distant and magical thing. Instead, it became daily and familiar. I think I started to take it for granted…

Kumano Kodo Yoga

Now in hindsight, as I emerge from a place of disconnection from yoga, I realise that my biggest mistake was forgetting that yoga is a practice, and a practice comes with ups and downs. I often did yoga because it made me feel good, it was a fix and a solution. I focused on what it did for me, and forgot about what I bring to the practice. Slowly I felt that it wasn’t delivering what I came to expect, that I didn't want to get on my mat, that I resisted and was bored by the moves. This is when I discovered where I had gone wrong. Ana Forrest often says: “Don’t wait for the pose to turn you on, turn on the pose!” And there is a lot of truth in that. The practice of yoga isn’t to just get on your mat and wait for it to do the job (although on some days, that is totally enough!), but the practice is to keep yourself open to whatever experience you may have. Keep observing and bringing your full self to the mat, exploring what is possible rather than expecting a certain result. Sometimes you may struggle though the practice, then it’s time to observe, do you beat yourself up about the practice? Or, do you blame the practice for the struggle (too difficult, too easy)? Do you spend most of the time on the mat thinking about your to do list, zoning out and not engaging with the practice? If so, did you notice that you did that? Forgive yourself and commit to being present in at least one pose next time. Yoga is just a mirror of our patterns.

This is exactly the same in life. Things aren’t always just fun, love isn’t always easy, but we have to become aware of our expectations around life and relationships. Maybe it’s the unmet expectations that are making you unhappy? And what are you bringing to the table (your relationship, your life)? Own your side of the street. Are you practicing or just coming along for the ride?