The sense of peace and tranquility you experience during yoga can extend beyond class — I'm a big believer in the benefits of yoga off the mat! I've learned that to live yoga you don't have to be isolated on a private island or chanting on a picturesque mountaintop; you can easily incorporate aspects of the practice into your everyday life. Making this connection has helped to keep me feeling happier and more connected through my day-to-day hustle. Whether or not you consistently practice yoga, each of these tips can bring a new sense of cool calm to your day.
- Have a beginner's mind: Hitting the mat with no preconceived notions about what you can or can't accomplish is referred to (and revered) as the "beginner's mind." Approaching your practice with fresh perspective can be easily translated towards a ton of different areas in your life. Doing your best not to replay past experiences in the present will constantly surprise you.
- Breathe more: The connection of movement to breath is central to the practice of yoga, but it's surprisingly easy to forget to breathe during the day. Making a point to check in with yourself will call attention to your daily relationship with your breath — you may realize you haven't really taken a good, deep breath yet! Even if you don't have the time to start your day off with a morning meditation, taking a handful of deep, full-belly breaths will get you excited for what's to come, instead of calculating all the stressful things on your list.
- Turn inward: As you go deeper and deeper in your yoga, you'll stop checking out everyone around the room, and instead focus on what's going on with you. This was one of the most meaningful lessons I took off my mat. Instead of looking to other people or things for praise, validation, or solace, take the time to tune and turn in. You'll be happy with what you find.
Keep reading for three more ways to live yoga off your mat.
- Calm expectations: You may hit up a class with a teacher you love and expect it to be as great as the last time you went, but every day we bring something different to the table. If you're embarking on a new adventure or opportunity, there's no reason you can't be excited for what's to come, but it's best to stop playing out the scene in your head.
- Quit the lists: I am definitely guilty of hanging in Savasana on a Saturday morning and thinking about what my next move will be once I leave class. Making lists is a great tool to stay organized throughout the day, but writing your obligations down once a day will suffice! Constantly counting up everything you have to do will only make you feel bogged down when you could be enjoying the moment.
- Be open: Above all else, let the judgments go. This doesn't just go for other people; it absolutely goes for yourself. Some job opportunity or new workout may sound crazy at first, but it could end up being an incredible experience. You won't know unless you try!