It can be tricky to find that place of balance in life. Juggling work, family, community and personal needs isn’t easy, but I believe it is part of what makes life joyful and meaningful. I’ve certainly had my fair share of days when hours spent on the phone or behind the computer whizz by and I emerge from my home office to discover that somehow the sun has set and I forgot to have lunch again.
One important activity for me is yoga. It’s a great practice that brings mind, body and soul together in harmony. But I like to do hot yoga, which is essentially yoga done in a studio that’s about 120 degrees Fahrenheit and with a lot of humidity. So… it’s really hot! And sweaty (but I like to think of it as a good, clean sweat!)
As I balanced, stretched and roasted in my class, I came to see how many important principles I had the opportunity to practice in the yoga studio that apply to my life. Here are some hot yoga-inspired life tips that will help keep you flexible, connected and in the flow!
1. Keep A Soft Focus on Your Goal
An important part of keeping your balance in a yoga posture is picking a spot to look at and keeping your attention there while you move through the pose. This practice of controlling and directing your focus is called…drishti. The gaze you use is more of a soft focus, rather than staring intensely at the selected point. This way you stay anchored through the pose, and learn to tune out the distractions around you.
So, what are your goals – in your career, your family, your relationships, your health? Are you always staying present to your goals? Can you practice drishti to keep your focus and attention on your big goal and let the many distractions and information overload of the world around us simply fall away?
2. Look at Others to Learn, not to Compare
I sometimes like to take a silent class, so it’s important I look up at the instructor or my fellow students now and again to see what pose we are moving into next. I look at others to learn, but then I have to take that information and apply it in my own practice.
When I look to others to compare myself, that’s when I get wobbly. When my ego shows up to see whose leg is straighter or whose Falling Tree pose is more horizontal, my ability to stay in the pose suffers.
Let’s cut out the comparison racket. Self-mastery and doing our best on our own terms is what counts. To keep your balance and your momentum, focus your energy on your unique brilliance and gifts. Don’t lose precious energy and time by endlessly comparing yourself to others.
3. Keep Breathing
One of the best things about yoga class is the awareness you develop about your own breath. Particularly during the challenging poses, the instructor will remind us to keep breathing, deeply and regularly. It seems a simple enough act to do, but I am always amazed at how many times the instructor has made that invitation at the exact moment that I seem to have started holding my breath!
When the heat starts to get turned up in your life, are you remembering to breathe? Whenever I need a moment to regroup, I’ll take a few minutes to breathe deeply and allow my mind to become still. Deep, belly breathing is key to managing stress and bringing you back to center.
Success Strategist, coach and best-selling author, Carolyn B. Ellis, is the founder of ThrivePrinciples.com, empowering you to thrive no matter what your outside circumstances are. To get free tips on turning adversity into opportunity in order to improve your relationships, increase your self-confidence and reach your highest potential, visit www.ThrivePrinciples.com