I’ve been honored enough to work with some pretty amazing clients over the years. I’ve had students whose anxiety was so big they needed to sit in the HS parking lot for a full hour before going in those scary glass doors. I’ve worked with people whose chronic pain would flatten me, but they go through life with a smile as they explain that the pain is an 8 today. I’ve worked with people brand new to the practice, but so willing and eager it melts my heart.
In almost every class I mention that yoga only works if you do it.
Seems pretty straight forward right? Over and over again in my life, though, I think I should get to do something just once or think about doing it and I’ll get all the benefits. Yet, there are so many things I know i have to do over and over again to get the benefits. I shower everyday, I wash the dishes everyday, I work everyday.
So, why do we get confused and think we should just go to one yoga class and if we don’t get the benefits, it’s not working. Or that working out isn’t helping, we’re not getting stronger, we’re not losing weight. Oh yeah, maybe cause I just did it twice last week and only thought about it this week. Well, no that’s not really going to get me stronger or help me lose weight, but then my nutty mind says it’s not working and I shouldn’t even bother.
Yoga is like showering. You have to do it over and over again to get the benefits. I can know this. I can hear this. Yet, there are times that I get frustrated because my neck hurts or the anxiety gets big and I think WHY! I’m a yogi, WHY is this happening.
Well, nine times out of ten it’s because it’s been a busy week and I haven’t practiced as much as I need to to manage my neck pain or my anxiety.
Last year I was home in Chicago and found out some stuff about my parents and their health issues. My mom is on blood pressure meds for her high blood pressure. So, I showed her Viparita Karani, legs up the wall. At 73, she was able to get into it easily. Luckily, getting on the floor was okay for her. It’s not always easy. You sit next to a wall, with your hip next to the wall, and swing your legs up and lay down flat on the floor. Simple. Easy. For most of it it feels pretty yummy. You shouldn’t feel like it’s a big stretch. If you do, you just scoot away from the wall till it feels comfortable. I know, though, for a lot of people her age getting on the floor can be hard or the thought of getting back up can be scary. She popped into it and then popped out. Good for mom!
She enjoyed the pose. She said it felt good. While I knew that she was getting these amazing benefits, she just relaxed. A few months later when I visited again, I asked her about it. First, she didn’t remember doing the pose. Then when I prompted her and reminded her, she was like, Oh, I didn’t notice any difference so I didn’t do it again.
Yoga is like showering. Or taking your vitamins, or meds. You do it everyday. Or at least a few times a week for the benefits to be real and long-lasting.
Is there anything we do just once that lasts for months and months? Yet, we think that’s how it should be.
Feeling frustrated? Just remember, it’s like showering.
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