What does it feel like to accept an invitation to try something new? What does it feel like to extend our own personal zones beyond the comfort level? A few months ago, I was presented with the opportunity to attend a free yoga class offered in my community. So many within my friendship circle were already engaged in this activity and raved about the multiple benefits of yoga, including relaxation, better concentration, and calories burned. I was attracted to all three of these assets and then some, but what I was not prepared for were the empowering lessons that I would take away from this simple experience. In this post, I will highlight the unexpected and influential impacts that this class had on me.
JUST TAKE ONE STEP FORWARD
Every day we are afforded many openings to challenge ourselves physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. It can, at times, be overwhelming, especially in the multiplex of social media platforms. We are bombarded with a conglomerate of products, services, and training to the point that our brains’ overload switches are activated. As someone who was searching for innovative ways to incorporate a healthier lifestyle into her daily itinerary, yoga appeared more than once through various channels. I had many concerns, including whether I could sensibly handle the poses and stretches due to post-motor vehicle accident nerve damage. I was informed that this particular class was modified to accommodate all levels of fitness, body types, and conditions. I made a decision to go for it, and it was an incredible experience. Was I able to undertake all of the tasks that the instructor incorporated? Of course not, but that was not the point. What was more important was that I took a step forward into the unknown. I could have let fear and doubt take over, but instead, I chose to move beyond the figurative line of my comfort zone. We miss out on so much when we hold on to our own bubbles of reality instead of popping them and chasing after the spray. Naturally, we cannot be expected to take on every single offer out there, but the exciting news is that we have numerous choices in front of us to delve into. Just take the first step.
STRETCHING ENCOURAGES HIGHER FOCUS
I remember from my years of school gym classes that we usually began the classes with jumping jacks and stretching exercises. What was so intriguing to me at that time was that the stretching caused this feeling of being more powerful than I actually was. I used to believe that if I just extended myself more than the others, I could reach the ceiling. Even though that intention never happened, it does bring about a compelling perspective. During the yoga class some of our stretches enabled us to focus on the ceiling, these poses gave me that powerful feeling again. However, I also discovered that if I looked down at the floor or towards the other participants, I felt less capable. When we stretch ourselves in any area of our lives (i.e. personally, professionally), the danger lies in when we get caught up in someone else’s looks or achievements. Instead of enjoying what we are accomplishing, we second-guess ourselves and our aspirations. Sometimes we even give up. As we stretch, we need to only look up and focus on what is in front of us. If we center on our own unique purpose and plans, we will reach beyond what we thought we could ever accomplish.
UTILIZE SUPPORT AND TOOLS FOR OPTIMUM BALANCE
Some of the poses during the class required the use of a balance pole, especially for those of us who had physical challenges. I soon found out that had I not utilized the pole, I would have fallen over and possibly injured myself even more. I’ll admit that I was upset with myself that I could not just stand on one leg and remain in that position with no assistance. Even though I was not the only one, it still bothered me. The instructor stated something profound though – those of us who required the use of a balance pole to successfully complete the next round were welcome to use them. What stood out to me was that she recognized that we were all competent enough to be successful and that it was okay to take advantage of that extra support in order for victory to occur. Sometimes we are afraid to display our vulnerability like that, but if we don’t avail ourselves of the support out there, we become unbalanced. I certainly would have been! Also, I could have allowed jealousy to rear its head by envying those who didn’t require the balance pole, but what about other areas of their lives? Every person needs added support at some point throughout their journey. Any major goal or desire requires increased guidance from those who have been there before and understand the exclusive challenges that will arise. It is so worth it to employ the assortment of resources available to us. Better balance leads to better ascension.
It is truly amazing how one fitness class opened up my mind and heart to a higher mindset, and it can be the same for others as we each embark on our own individual paths. It doesn’t even have to be a yoga class; rather it can be anything that stretches our abilities and gifts to levels beyond our imaginations. All it takes is a willingness to step out and seek.