The Mind is the Limit

Giving up too soon- a concept we’ve all been acquainted with at some point in life. It might be 2km into a planned 10km run that you call it quits because it get’s too hard. It could be midway through planning an elaborate, home-cooked dinner before you decide to just get takeaway food. It could be after your first yoga class that you decide it was too challenging to return. Maybe the other yogi’s in class were far more experienced and intimidating, or you struggled with certain postures, or perhaps you had a minor slip in your first class and your body (and ego) we’re too wounded to come back to the mat.

No one begins their yoga journey being able to nail every pose. We all start in the same place, class number one, with the same limited knowledge, understanding and flexibility. The teacher standing at the front of the class was once in your shoes (even Dustin!) – a beginner, a pupil who probably couldn’t name even 5 poses let alone master 5 of them.

So why do some of us fall off the horse and not return to a yoga practice? Is it the intimidation of the experienced yogi on the mat next to you who seems to defy the laws of gravity with their inversions? What many of us don’t realise is that no one, especially not those with a dedicated practice, is paying attention to your form in class. Everyone is dedicating all of their mental and physical energy to their own body, not yours. Yoga is about connecting your mind with your body and it’s movements, not about anyone else and certainly not about perfection.

Maybe you’ve experienced an injury or even taken a fall in class, and are lacking the confidence to make it to the mat. Yoga is actually one of the best forms of recovery for soft tissue injuries and comes highly recommended for the recovery process. Slower, gentler forms such as Yin Yoga and Yoga Tune Up®, are perfect for those whom are injured, as these styles of yoga release our muscles and the surrounding connective tissue in an effort to reduce tension, eliminate pain and increase mobility.

Fallen on the mat? So have I. Several times So has everyone. I guarantee your teacher has fallen more times than they could count. I also guarantee that it took them a long time to master the poses they teach, and that there are still dozens that they haven’t quite nailed yet. But they get back up, and come back to their practice. Whether that be tomorrow or the next day or the next week. Yoga is not an ends to be met, or a goal to tick off of a list- it is a continuous and evolving practice. The only limitation’s we have are in our minds, which can be filled with distress and reluctance so easily. The hardest part is often merely showing up to the mat. Challenge yourself to keep showing up for class, no matter what your fear may be, and slowly but surely you will conquer these limitations!

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