Life Lessons from the Mat is a continuing series of the top 10 things that I have learned since beginning Bikram Yoga. Enjoy!
#2. Progress comes in “inches not miles”
I have always struggled with trying new activities if I didn’t think that I could be really good at them. When I first started practicing Bikram Yoga this tendency started to surface. Thankfully, I started practicing because I needed to heal from an overuse injury and a challenging knee surgery. Beautiful or not I needed the healing benefits of Bikram Yoga to move forward with my life. I struggled with the feelings of inadequacy in my practice for years until I decided to shift my focus and celebrate small breakthroughs. Getting my arms straight, engaging my quadriceps, and grabbing my heels and toes may not seem like big items to some, but they were big items to me. I noticed that as I shifted my focus in my practice, I also shifted my focus in my life. I had a good job, good health and a supportive family. This shift created big changes in my view of myself and my life.
Ok, and “now the rest of the story”. As I teach Bikram Yoga, I remind my students to shift their focus and measure their progress in “inches not miles”. It always makes me smile when I hear one of my students repeating this phrase or using it in a blog. I smile because they are allowing themselves to appreciate the progress they have made to be gentler and kinder in their attitudes towards themselves. They see life as more than half full. The beauty of this attitude is that it can become contagious, if allowed.
Amy Clement is a certified Bikram Yoga Instructor and owns Bikram Yoga Lake Norman. She has practiced Bikram Yoga for over 16 years and still considers herself to be a beginner.