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Namaste Journal

Five Lessons to Embrace On and Off the Yoga Mat

There is no "wrong" in yoga. There is only room from growth and learning. The yogi's laboratory is a six-by-two foot sticky mat, and the experiments are on yourself! Here are five lessons to get you started, both on and off the mat.

Lesson #1: Reception

On the Mat: The first experiment is in finding the sound of your own inner voice. Becoming familiar with how far to go into a pose: what feels good, and what doesn't!

Off the Mat: You begin to hear your mind comment, in the larger laboratory of life, on what feels good, and what doesn't. What will you do with this information?

Lesson #2: Response

On the Mat: This experiment is how you respond to the information you receive about how you feel in each pose. You know what feels good - will you choose it? Or will you choose to push into unfamiliar territory?

Off the Mat: You hear your voice telling you what you like and what you don't. What you need and what you want. How will you respond?

Lesson #3: Reaction

On the Mat: This experiment involves your mindset around your approach to poses. What runs through your mind when you wobble? What do you think when you fall?

Off the Mat: How do you approach your successes in life? How do you approach your mistakes? What runs through your mind when you fall?

Lesson #4: Revelation!

On the Mat: Your posture improves! How can you expand on it? Where will you go next?

Off the Mat: Are you carrying your newly acquired knowledge with you off the mat? How does it translate?

Lesson #5: Reciprocity

On the Mat: You develop gratitude for all your body is capable of doing and all there is yet to learn and gain in your practice. How are you rewarded by your effort?

Off the Mat: You have gratitude for all of the many gifts of your life. You feel compelled to share the wealth! How you will pay it forward?


The human form is amazing in it's multitude of subtle differences in body composition between people. We look and act differently. Our opinions and perceptions vary greatly! We execute the same yoga poses with myriad subtle differences that make what is commonly considered standard, uniquely beautiful.

With all of this variety, there is infinite room for growth and learning, from ourselves, and each other! It's your turn to be the teacher. What lessons have you learned with your yoga practice? How do you carry them with you off the mat?



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