How Yoga Changed my Life: 8 Lessons I’ve Learned

Posted June 4, 2020 by Thirty-Something Angie in Lifestyle / 0 Comments

how yoga changed my life lessons I've learned along the way

Two years ago, I started doing yoga every day. Today, I’m sharing how yoga changed my life, and how it can change yours, too.

Two years ago, I set a goal to do yoga every single day. And, I did. For a really long time.

I haven’t kept up a two year streak of daily practices, but still to this day, yoga is a regular part of my life. It’s something I do most days, even after all this time.

It’s taught me a lot. In fact, you could go so far as to say yoga has literally changed my life. Today, I wanted to share a bit more about my yoga journey, what it’s taught me, and how it’s changed my life over the years. I hope it encourages you to give it a try!

My Yoga Journey

While it feels like yoga has been part of my life forever, I didn’t actually fall in love with it until a few years ago.

My anxiety had reached a breaking point and I needed an outlet. A way to quiet my mind and calm my heart. I was already yearning to grow a spiritual practice, so yoga seemed like the perfect fit. Really, I was more interested in the meditation and mental aspect of the practice, but I brought in some asana practice as well to help calm my nerves.

Over time, I started recognizing the physical benefits in addition to the emotional benefits. I was experiencing a lot of hip and lower back pain, and I’d read that yoga was a great way to help. Naturally, I was all over it. I became more intentional with my physical yoga practice, and without even realizing it, I developed a daily practice.

Shortly after discovering my love of yoga, I experienced a fall that put my physical practice on hold. What was supposed to be 6 weeks of recovery ended up taking much longer, due to complications. Naturally, I became frustrated.

It was just over two years ago that I decided to do something about it. I missed my daily practice so much, and I was determined to get it back. Even if it meant just 5 minutes a day. Actually, I wrote a post here on the blog with my yoga goals at that time, and spending 5 minutes a day in practice was my goal.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’ve done yoga every single day since February of 2018. But, what I can tell you is that I’ve done it most days since then.

Over the past two and a half years, I’d say I’ve averaged about 4-5 days a week on the mat. There have been some breaks as I’ve dealt with illness and injury. But, overall, yoga has become a major part of my life in the last two years.

8 Ways Yoga Changed my Life:

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I’ve heard it’s pretty impossible to develop a regular yoga practice without changing your life. When I first heard that, I thought it was silly and honestly a little dramatic. But looking back, I can see that it really has. Here are some of the changes I’ve seen in my own life since starting a regular yoga practice:

1. It eased my anxiety

Anxiety is what brought my to yoga, and it was the perfect solution. By learning to control my breath, my actions, and my mind, I was able to bring the peace into my lie I so desperately needed.

2. I was introduced to a new community

Around the same time I discovered yoga, I was also struggling with building a solid friend base. I had a lot of acquaintances, but no solid group of friends to turn to. As I got more involved in the yoga community, I built many of those relationships I needed so desperately. Over the years we’ve done yoga at the beach, taken retreats, and done events like “brew yoga,” and “yoga in the garden.” I found “my people” when I started attending regular yoga events in the area, and those relationships have developed outside of class over the years.

3. It improved my balance and posture

I don’t know about you, but as a blogger, I sit hunched over a computer a lot of the day. Yoga helps remind me to sit (and stand) correctly, gives me the space to do so, and in turn, helps my balance.

4. I learned to love my body

I’ve struggled a lot with body image over the years. Even today, I have bad days.

But through yoga, I’ve been able to realize what my body can do. And, because of that, I’ve learned to love it and respect it, even when I don’t want to.

5. It taught me to trust the process

A lot of the work we do in yoga takes time. I’ve had to learn that the work I was doing was getting me somewhere. There were so many times I thought I’d never get into a pose, and then suddenly, I would find myself there without realizing it.

Through the years, I’ve learned to trust the process and just know it’s going to work. This lesson has carried over into so many areas of my life and given me a lot more patience than I ever had before.

6. It taught me to slow down

Throughout my entire life, I have rushed through everything. I’m impatient and want instant results. When things take longer than I expected, I tend to get angry and frustrated.

But, with yoga, I’ve learned to just take it slow. There’s no rushing in yoga. In fact, the biggest physical challenges I’ve experienced seem to come from the slowest practices!

7. I learned acceptance

One of the very first lessons I learned in yoga was to accept where your body is today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Today. That was a really hard lesson for me, because I’m a perfectionist. I was recovering from an injury that left me struggling with things I’d done before, and I was frustrated that I could no longer do them.

I had to learn that my body had changed, and things that had once been easy would be hard for awhile. Over and over again that’s happened, and over and over again I’ve been reminded of this lesson. We’re human, and things happen, and that’s okay.

8. It showed me that fitness is about more than a bikini body

Like many women, I’ve always had body issues. My workouts were always part of a desire to fit into a certain size pants or look good in a bikini. It’s all I ever associated exercise with. But yoga has taught me that fitness is about so much more.

It’s about being able to catch my breath when I’m tired, and having strength to do the things I used to struggle with. When I get on the mat, I don’t picture myself looking like a model on the beach. Instead, I picture myself running and playing with my kids, taking my dogs on walks, and even being able to unload my groceries without feeling winded.

My body now craves movement in ways it never did before. I can tell when I’ve taken too long off the mat, and I actually want to return. Fitness is no longer a punishment, and it’s no longer something I do to change myself. It’s something I do to make myself feel better, inside and out.

How to Get Started: My Favorite Resources

There’s a lot of really great information out there on starting a yoga practice, so I’m not going to get into the details on that. My number one piece of advice is to just start somewhere. Yoga seems really intimidating until you do it, but it’s really not. My second piece of advice would be to relax. Most of my issues with yoga in the beginning came from tensing up.

If you’re looking for more information on getting started, I want to refer you to some actual pros. Here’s some great reading and resources I recommend:

Not sure what you need to get started? Check out my favorite yoga gear and essentials here!

How Yoga Changed My Life: Final Thoughts

Two years ago, I set a goal to do yoga every single day and see how much better I felt. I kept up that goal for a long time, but I can’t honestly tell you I’ve done yoga every single day since then. Between injuries, illnesses, and just general “down” days, I’ve certainly taken breaks.

But since that day, yoga has become an integral part of my life, and it’s something I do most days. I’ve learned a lot over the last few years. Looking back, I can see how yoga has changed my life in some really unexpected ways. I always knew it’d get me into shape, but truly never expected my mindset off the mat to change the way it has.

Do you do yoga? How has it changed you?

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