Yoga is often taught in a way that promotes a ‘practice for practice’s sake’ mentality. This attitude helps us stay present and in touch with things as they are in any given moment, allowing us to be more dynamic within the boundaries and openings we create in each pose. However, it can be wise to consider how we are progressing and perhaps set some goals after and/or before each yoga session. This practice can help inspire us to keep at it and it gives us valuable feedback. We can then use these insights to slightly or even radically, change the way we do yoga, bringing new life and energy into our practice. With some reflection we can notice how far we have come. Look for these 5 signs that you are awesome at yoga:
Increased mind / body awareness
The practice of yoga both asana and meditation expands and sharpens our awareness on all levels. Do you feel and notice more subtle thoughts and sensations? It is likely that you have become more aware of the way your body feels in a pose and can intuitively sense when to be still or when and how to make adjustments. You may find that you can notice the subtle differences between the two sides of your body and are more conscious of thoughts and emotions as they arise. Do you notice that you are more mindful and able catch yourself quickly when you’re not paying attention? If so you have become more sensitive to the subtle aspects of your mind and body. Perhaps you have noticed yourself making more conscious choices in your daily life.
You’re more comfortable with discomfort
As we train in yoga we continually reinforce our ability to be present in the moment and accepting of the way things are. Sometimes we feel great, sometimes indifferent and sometimes we feel unpleasant. As your moods and physical experiences come and go, do you sometimes find yourself more at ease when confronted with the uncomfortable extremes of life? This is an excellent sign that you are getting immense benefits from your efforts on and off the mat.
You respond more and react less
If you have altogether stopped reacting in your life then congratulations! You are a master indeed! For the rest of us we may take joy in having obtained some degree of relief from the constant push and pull of our thoughts, feelings, and desires. Have you noticed that you are more able to choose your responses to certain situations where as before you may have reacted in a predictable way? Are your triggers less jumpy? You may notice yourself being less impulsive and more deliberate in your actions in general. This is a sure sign you are a true yogi. Nice work!
You are less judgmental of yourself and others
Due to all of the factors previously mentioned, it is likely that you have become more loving and tolerant of yourself and others. Do you notice yourself being able to observe your own judgmental thoughts? Does this awareness lead you to let go of those types of thoughts? If so, you may also notice that where there was once judgment there are now more sublime qualities like patience, compassion and equanimity. Congratulations! You are making the world a better place!
You enjoy meditation
You may have known little about mediation when you started yoga, but through practicing its discipline and during Sava Sana at the end of class you have likely gained some skill at focusing your attention in the present moment. Perhaps being totally still and quiet once seemed impossible but is now one of the best parts of your day or week. Do you have more peace and stillness? If this is the case you are clearly not just into yoga to get a nice bum 🙂
If you are in the Ottawa area then check out La Tropiqua! A tropical-like oasis that combines café-lounge, yoga studio and spa in one central location in Ottawa’s Wellington Village. Namastay awesome and keep practicing!