1. Be More Patient with Your Learning Curve: What’s the difference between how you bully yourself into a deeper backbend and when you lose patience for that person driving “too slow” in the left lane? If you know you tend to be a bit stubborn about where your mat needs to be in the room or which teacher you go to on a given day, than you have a certain amount of self-knowledge. Remember that you are always going to be a student, no matter how much you accomplish or understand. Be kind to yourself as you learn how to be less stiff in your body and in your relationships.
When you are experiencing the struggle of getting a new pose or transitioning between poses that you’ve never done back-to-back before, take what you notice about your mood and grip with you. There is a high probability that your other big transitions bring out the same emotional posturing. Use that hard-earned self-awareness to be patient with yourself as life bends and twists you around all of the inevitable change!
2. Take Shopping Locally to the Next Level: money is one form of reciprocating energy. It represents value. Go beyond the changing hands of paper or plastic and strike up conversation with your local farmer, barista, bartender, give your eye contact to the busboy that gets you your water… you pay your bill in full, now try giving the quiet heroes that make your day-today life more convenient a moment more of your full attention during the transaction, too.
3. Own Your Energetic Contribution: Though you may not always know the people you are practicing next to, you are creating meaningful connections in that kind of intentional setting. You are also making meaningful – though maybe subconscious – connections with the people you walk past in the grocery store, at the gas station, or in the bank. Remember the last time you were in a great mood and that angry driver wouldn’t get off of your bumper or while resting in Corpse Pose, you overheard people talking excitedly within earshot? How you move through the world and all the ways that you express yourself land somewhere. Keep your vibe high by holding fast to your kindness and that unflinching inner smile. Even if they don’t say it, people notice.
With enough yoga, it may be near impossible to view our one life as a singularity – totally separate and compartmentalized from those around us. In the United States, we but a high value on independence and as a culture, are highly rewarded for that kind of one-man-army ethos. We practice yoga as individuals, and the direct benefits of our work on the mat affects our bodymind first. Still, there’s no doubting that our solo work affects the lives of everything around us. How we move through the rest of our life is imbued with its effects.