Life Lessons From Yoga

As some of you know, I am on a brief hiatus from the studio and from New Mexico to work on a writing project. My husband Stewart and I are in Oregon and we have been doing lots of yoga and meditation. This weekend we attended a retreat in Charlton Oregon by Coos Bay’s Mossy Lotus studio, which inspired the subject of this blog.

Yoga creates great opportunities for our bodies and our minds every day, even on those days we do not practice. I was reminded in the various workshops this weekend how often yoga’s lessons can be applied as metaphors for life.

The founder of yoga, Patanjali, said asana (yoga poses, like those we do in class) was historically done just to prepare for meditation, which was in turn practiced to bring calm and focus to our lives, as well as to bring us closer to the divine. Patanjali did not tell us what our “divine” should look like, which is incredibly progressive if you think about it.

Patanjali also wrote the oldest known text on yoga thousands of years ago, which is called the Yoga Sutras. The Sutras is a list of short suggestions (or to-do’s) for yoga and life. Patanjali’s Sutras are worth reading, and many of his suggestions are still relevant today. The hope is that our yoga practice on the mat will help us become happier, better people off the mat. In that spirit, and roughly inspired by the Sutras, I offer a few yoga principles for our lives off the mat:

1. Be flexible and willing to change plans if need be.

2. Keep your chest up and your shoulders down. Show the world you are a yoga or yogini through your posture, mindset, and open attitude.

2. Be open in general. Open chest, open heart, open mind, as I always say in class.

4. Try something new as often as you have the chance.

5. See