Embracing honesty, on and off the mat

Yoga. You’ve probably heard me mention it before. You’ll definitely hear me mention it again if you stick around for future blog posts.

Everyone has their own ideas regarding what yoga is all about. I’m not going to sit here and say I know everything about it. In fact, quite honestly, I still have very little actual knowledge of yoga: its history and its many physical and philosophical tenets. But that lack of knowledge hasn’t stopped me from reaping some serious benefits from practicing yoga.

Obviously, there are physical benefits to being stronger and more flexible. But what about being stronger and more flexible mentally and socially? What about being more balanced in life? Yoga isn’t about being able to stand on one foot. As I’ve heard at least one teacher say, it’s not about whether or not you fall out of a balance pose; it’s how you handle the fall. Do you curse yourself for not being better? Or do you gracefully accept that some days things just don’t go as you may want them to and smile?

There are many lessons learned on the yoga mat that carry over to real life. For me, practicing the postures and attitudes of yoga—especially when surrounded by other people who are striving to be more giving, happier human beings—leads to an improved sense of well-being, a better life. And I’m pretty confident that when my life is better, that carries over into the lives of those around me. Improvement starts within and ripples outward.

One of the aspects of yoga that I’ve found truly critical is the ability to observe and be completely honest with and about myself. So when I heard one of the Kenyan women in this video from the Africa Yoga Project say she is “achieving big things” in her life now because she’s being open and truthful with herself, it hit home with me. For anything to change, we must start with the truth.

Watch the video. Catch a glimpse of the kind of self-empowering change a new attitude, a new approach to life, can have, even for those living in circumstances we can’t even imagine.

P.S. If you’re interested in supporting the Africa Yoga Project, let me know. I’ll be participating in an event on February 18 to raise funds to continue its life-changing work. And if you ever want to join me for a yoga class, let me know that too!

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