In almost everything, little yet consistent steps are far more important than giant steps.
I have slacked on my yoga practice for the past few years, being on and off my mat every few months. Even though I do walk two hours a day which is on average 9 to 12 kilometers depending on my walking speed, with my four legged babies, my fitness level and body strength has not been where I needed it to be.
Not long ago, I would beat myself up and drown in self-criticism when things or projects would not advance fast enough. Thankfully my coaching toolkit has helped me become a kinder person to myself and the best self-cheerleader.
A reminder that big changes do not happen all at once, and it is alright to fall back sometimes. What matters most is how we bounce back from any situation and get back to our intentions or where we left off.
Last week was a moment of pride, as I started to notice a big difference in the level of my body strength through a consistent Ashtanga yoga.
I still remember how dreadful it was to get back on the mat after a few years. All previous work went in vain it seemed. Feeling like a beginner again was incredibly frustrating and irritating. I wanted to quit everyday. What helped me stay motivated was kindness towards myself and learning to love the process and not the outcome. Being the soothing and motivating self-parent, reassuring me everyday that even if I show up for thirty minutes on the mat, it is okay as long as I do show up! The first week was more mentally painful. I not only had a hard time remembering the sequence which made me feel like an idiot, yes I do feel this way at times, but also physically challenging. My whole body was aching. I was also soooo sleepy during the day, I couldn’t even properly work.
Toolkit was out thankfully and the shedding those looping thoughts began: ’I’m such an idiot! How could I forget the simple beginning standing postures! Who forgets that! OMG! My belly is looking so ugly in these postures. I can’t believe I let my body sag like this, how am I going to get back to my fit and toned thirty year old self again, this is too difficult, am I too old for this?’ These were my ugliest thoughts that I replaced by empowering thoughts: ‘I am so proud of myself. It takes courage and determination to go back on the mat I am proud of myself. I made time to care and strengthen my body, this will be so rewarding. I can already feel the improvement. Today my intention is to do my best. I’m loving how my body is becoming stronger and fitter. My posture is becoming more elongated, reflecting who I truly am from within. I am loving the process, so blessed to be able to be here, my intention is to focus on my breath, focus on the moment, shed distractions of unhelpful thoughts, there is no room and no space in my life for any self produced drama nor negativity.’
'Today's practice is my investment for tomorrow's practice' - Nathalie Daou
My teacher who is also my sister has been most supportive and her quote was on the look in my head. You can read more about her on my recommendations page.
The whole process of starting something new is really intimidating, especially at a gym, exercise or yoga class. Everybody else seems so much better, toner, fitter, stronger, more flexible and most people nowadays look so damn hot! It is beautiful and motivating to see so many people around you taking good care of themselves.
‘You start then motivation will follow’ - Marisa Peer
This theory applies in everything. Honestly, how many of us felt so motivated vacuuming or ironing our clothes? But once we started, we were fully into it? The same goes for any task or action. First we need to start and train ourselves to be consistent then soon enough, it becomes part of who we truly are.
This whole week, I was looking forward to being on the mat no matter what. The special place where I feel grounded, rooted, and aligned with the self.
A big thanks to my sister, my Ashtanga teacher, my accountability partner, and in many ways one of my best mentor. Check out my recommendation page. She is an Ashtanga yoga teacher I would highly recommend, not just because she is my sister but because she is a dedicated soul who is passionately devoted to her practice, her growth and her students.
Click here for link.