Practicing what I learnt in Yoga off the mat
I tend to forget about the philosophy practice in Yoga. Physical practice is easy because it is
tangible but applying the philosophy off the mat… it is tough.
Before I started doing yoga, I was sleepwalking through life. I ignored the discomforts my actions
brought me because it was the only way I knew how to live, and I wanted to be accepted by
Then, when I started practicing yoga, I began to hear phrases that resonated with me in class
such as ‘be present’, ‘breathe’, ‘choose the options that suits you’ and ‘don’t compare your
practice with others, focus on your mat’. Hearing those words initially felt foreign but familiar at
the same time. As I continue to practice my asanas, those words eventually click in my head and I
saw the shift in my mentality both on and off the mat.
I must say, WOW those words made a whole lot of difference in how I treated myself! Yoga is
teaching us to be compassionate towards others and ourselves. Although I started practicing
yoga 8 years ago I sometimes still forget the philosophies, as I get too absorbed with life.
During my first week of YTT, I was comparing myself a lot to my peers as I could not get into arm
balances as well as they did. I felt demoralized and angry for having weak arms and core.
Coincidentally it was the week that Jessica shared with us about the 8 limbs of yoga. Universe
truly works in mysterious ways. When it came to Niyama (attitude towards ourselves), the
reminder clicked in my head again. So with that in mind, I continued my physical practice by
showing up on the mat, doing my best and forgiving myself if I feel tired or am unable to get into
certain poses yet.
Off the mat, I remind myself to show up each day no matter dreadful it feels. I remind myself that
I am survivor despite all that I have gone through and that I am strong enough to overcome any
challenges. I remind myself I am the way I am because of my traumas but it is no excuse to
continue my personal bad habits/mindsets. I remind myself that fears are not facts. I remind
myself that progress comes after setbacks and as good times don’t last, bad times don’t last too –
nothing is permanent so be thankful for each moment. As I thank the universe, I am reminded to
stay positive and to be alive.
200HR YTT May’21 Weekday