10 Responses to “7 Simple Lessons From the Mat”


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  1. Every one of those lessons is mighty and important. Thank you! xx

  2. Those are excellent lessons. I especially resonate with the opportunity to exhale and the fact that hard work isn’t always good work!

  3. JulieB/Julie Spahn

    These are wonderful, but #4 is a revelation to me. I have struggled with balance poses since my c-section 18+ years ago, and I find that I get anxious just knowing it’s time to try again. And this parallels what I”m struggling with in life: balance. Just today I interviewed for a new job that looks like more hours and less pay per hour on paper, but when I add up all the work and stress I have at home, I actually think I will be stressing less and working less and overall I’ll be making more. It’s been uncomfortable thinking about making the change, but I am excited.
    And I, too, am afraid of hitting my nose, which is why my upper arm strength hasn’t improved. I’m going to try to embrace your thoughts on #5 as I make changes, and try to re-start yoga. Thank you.

  4. Dominique

    What a fabulous post! I love, love, love my yoga practice and how it has changed my life and way of thinking so much. One of my favorite yoga instructors will sometimes say when we are in a particularly challenging pose – “can you soften the hardness?” I just love that saying – it can be about the pose you are in but also I find that I use that phrase in my life a lot. Can I soften the hardness? Can I be kinder with myself and others? Can I be more compassionate? Can I soften the hardness in my life? I get more out of a 90 minute yoga session than I have ever gotten out of a therapy session. It’s the best. Namaste, Courtney. :)

  5. rae

    Courtney, your posts hit home so often! I’m not always conscious of fear, but it is there. I’m going to visit a few family members I haven’t seen in a while and want to just “be” with them, even though I’m nervous. I’m going to remind myself to breathe, move forward even though I’m a little scared, and just let the whole thing unfold. Somehow your yoga post can be applied to all this for me! Thank you very much. Your words help a lot. :)

  6. Loved this post! I have just begun my yoga practice this summer. My biggest lesson so far is learning to be present in the moment. My breath is only for this moment. I can’t survive on my last breath. I can’t borrow from my future breath. I only have my present breath. Noticing my breath has helped me see this moment as sacred. It is such a gift to take time to stop and create a little breathing room in my day. Thank you for sharing!

  7. CJ

    Agreed on all of these and more. So many benefits to a yoga practice. One of the most valuable to me is the increased ability to stay calm and centered in the midst of discomfort.. until the mind stops labeling it “discomfort.”

  8. Cindy

    Most people have short breaths. I learned to have deeper and longer breaths as my usual way of breathing (which means less breaths), and overall I feel lighter. It is a great feeling.
    Thank you, I love reading your posts.

  9. Maria

    …I actually did break my nose when I was 13. For me, it wasn’t as painful as one might think (thank you adrenaline or whatever chemicals were numbing the pain). A doctor straightened it out a week later or so, but it’s still slightly crooked. Most people can’t see it though, and I’m doing alright anyway. :)

  10. Rachel

    Thanks for these :-) I have an on again off again relationship with yoga and bearing all these points in mind I will now endeavor to spend more “quality” time on the mat, aaaaah exhale…..

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