Guest Blog: Lessons from the mat

I learn something every single time I step onto my yoga mat.  Sometimes it’s an incredible new lesson.  Sometimes it’s simply a gentle reminder.  But it never fails and I always step off the mat more inspired and connected than when I started.  I’ll be guest blogging each month to share my latest lesson from the mat with Kristin’s community.


Your Desire to Change is All You Need

The new year is always an interesting time: filled with anticipation and worry.  Anticipation for all that you hope and dream about and worry that you’ll end this brand new year in the same place that you are starting.  It is often a time of overwhelm.  We resolve to change in massive ways and strive to change it all at the same time.  It’s a time when we adopt a “go big or go home” attitude about our own lives.

I consciously began the new year on my mat and last month my yoga practice taught me that my desire to change is enough.  I don’t need to know all of the steps or even fully believe that it’s possible.  I just need to want it.

I didn’t end up on my yoga mat on January 1st by accident.  I had seen my daily yoga practice fall to a weekly practice and then a non-existent practice as the year came to a close.  Instead of resolutions, I focused on the little right actions that make me feel my best.  And yoga is on the top of the list.  A regular yoga practice transformed my life several years ago and continues to, not only teach me important lessons, but also cultivate a strong and healthy mind and body.  So I decided on January 1st to show up for myself by getting on the mat.  My intention was pure – my deep desire to change my habits.  I was declaring in that moment that I was open and ready for a change.  Without judgment of the past, without control over the future.  It was about one moment – the present moment.

Without trying to force it or stressing about it I began to notice change happening.  I was magically finding time for my yoga practice.  I was craving chaturangas again.  The noise in my head quieted and my practice felt effortless.  What was this magical change agent?  Me.  I allowed change to naturally happen by declaring my intention (to change) and getting out of my own way.  I could have gone into full-blown control mode: scheduling my workouts, pushing, and judging myself if I missed one.  We all know where this would have landed me.  Nowhere.  Instead I took one little right action and showed up on my mat which opened the door to welcome change in.

3 Simple Steps for Radical Change

  1. Get clear on what change you truly desire.  This is about getting real with yourself.  It’s not about the change you think you should make because it’s trendy or you feel pressure to change.  If you don’t want the change down to your core it’s not likely to happen.  But what is likely to happen is that you’re going to judge yourself for not changing.
  2. Show up for yourself.  Change is about action and forward movement.  After declaring your intention to change you need to take a step toward that change.  What would you do if you woke up changed?  Do that thing.  Take one step in the direction of the change you desire.  Do you want to be healthier? Take the small right action of drinking more water today.  It is a simple action but sends a signal that you are willing to change.
  3. Get out of your own way.  You just took a step toward the change you hope for and it felt great.  Now it’s time to get out of the way.  It sounds counterproductive but the act of manipulation or control will block you from truly changing.  Allow your desire for change to be your guide.  It will show you what you need and bring you to your goal.

What lessons have you learned from the mat?  What change do you deeply desire?  Sharing your goal is a massive signal to the universe that you are ready and willing!

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