In this post, I’ll share two takeaways I learned from yoga class this week. On Sundays, I usually like to take C3 at CorePower Yoga with one of my favorite instructors. He has a really strong ashtanga yoga practice that inspires me. The class is an hour and 15 minutes. The instructor leads the class at a slower pace which allows us to move through the poses more mindfully and helps us connect breath to movement.

It was rainy this past Sunday. After church, I got to CorePower with 30 minutes to spare before the studio opened. While I was waiting, I did some breathing exercises in my car and practiced sitting in stillness. The rain drops collected on my windshield. I watched as different-sized water droplets filled the dry spaces on the glass. It was really peaceful.

I walked out of my car and couldn’t wait to lay on my mat.?The heated room felt amazing since it was cold outside. We started class and it felt really good to flow.

During transitions into chaturanga, I usually practice handstand. During this?particular class, I felt so close to holding handstand longer than a few seconds. Then that’s when the frustration started.

The thoughts that came up were,

What are you doing? Why can’t you get this?

As far as I can remember, that was the first time I experienced frustration on my mat. So then I think I got more frustrated because aren’t you “supposed” to be all zen while you’re doing yoga? Haha.

But the truth is yogis aren’t always namaste all day.

I took savasana earlier than the instructor told us to and just laid still.?When I left the studio, the sun was shining bright and the pavement was still wet from all the rain earlier.

Later that day, I was scrolling through old photos on my phone and stumbled upon a yoga photo I took two years ago and that’s when I realized two things:

Progress Takes Time

The photo that I found was the one below; my first few attempts at king dancer’s pose taken in April of 2015.

Once I saw it I quickly realized I should put it side-by-side with a photo I took just last week in San Diego. When I saw the?photos together it occurred to me how much progress had taken place in two years. You can see it mostly in my hip flexor, shoulder, and back flexibility.

Then I realized, wow, two years is actually a long time.

Progress takes time.

Left: May 2015, Right: February 2017

Are you working on anything in your yoga practice? Or maybe it could be something completely unrelated. It helps to remember that while you may not see your progress each day, the effort/time/energy that you put in adds up to big things over time.

Whatever it is you are facing today, keep the faith and keep going.

Internal Weighs more?than External

The next thing I realized?was that the simple act of sitting in my car and breathing was yoga and it didn’t involve moving through poses. Taking care of what’s within (our mind, heart, and spirit) is so key. We all invest in taking care of ourselves on the outside. Eating well, exercising, and other external self-care practices are priorities in my life. But lately, I’ve been trying to invest more on what’s within.

Inner self-care will look different for all of us. What helps you get grounded and centered? How are you taking care of your mental, emotional and spiritual health? I find that breathing exercises, journaling, praying, resting,?spending time in nature, and being with friends and family really helps me.

When we take care of what’s inside, the outside naturally follows.

Thank you for reading!