“MAT PRACTICE” INTO “LIFE PRACTICE”

Although I love yoga, I almost did not show up for my yoga class that morning. It was a rushed morning and the weather outside even justified my not going into class. I also thought that I am late anyway and may not even get a spot in the class. Something made me just get up and say that even if I was going to be a little late for class, it should be all right.  Worse case, if I did not get a spot, I would just walk around and come back. I knew that if I did make it, I would feel better after the session because I had shown up and had done my practice and I would be left with a lot of energy. As I walked in to the room, there was a place for me and I felt like it was a sign. I settled and started my Vinyasa flow.  What I realized that day was, how what we do on our mat is what we need to do in life too.

1. Showing up is so important: More than anything else is showing up on your mat just as important as showing up in life.

2. Unsure about what happens: No matter how many years we practice yoga, each day or each practice session is different. We don’t know what happens on the mat on that particular day just as in life things that happen are not always known.

3. Continuing to breathe: No matter what we are doing on the mat, the focus is the breath because it is the breath that helps get through the different poses or the challenge on the mat just as in real life we are faced with different challenges at all times and the key is to get comfortable breathing through whatever it is that is happening.

4. Don’t worry about what happens on other’s mats: when we start to look around to see what others are doing on their mat, we lose focus of what we are doing and we end up losing our balance. Similarly, in life when we compare ourselves with others and focus on what others are doing, we lose focus on what we need to do. Of course, its always great to have people around us inspire us, but do not get intimidated by what others are doing. Focus on your strengths.

5. Learning to be present: On the mat, it’s all about being present. We may be faced with worries from the past or about the future but what helps us stay focused is being present in that moment. Similarly in life we will be faced with stress, anxiety, emotions or worries about events that have occurred or what may occur, but we need to learn to acknowledge them, feel them and then come back to the present.

6. Learning to let go of what is not serving us: Just as you release the thoughts that no longer serve you during your practice, you do so the same in life. You learn to let go of past grudges, physically letting go of the things around us that no longer serve us and are blocking better things from coming into our lives because of the place we have given them in our life.

7. Acknowledge ourselves: after the practice session, we learn to acknowledge ourselves and feel good about facing whatever the challenges that we did on the mat for that day, similarly we need to learn to acknowledge ourselves in life to get past our challenges.


Kalpana is a certified Life Coach (ICF) and a certified Eating Psychology Coach from The Institute For The Psychology Of Eating. Her main goal in her coaching practice is to help people to love themselves "now" as opposed to waiting to do that only when they "get there." She has a true passion for helping people cultivate unconditional love for themselves, and helping people to form healthy relationships with food.