by Laura McCorry
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
I recently moved across the country from San Diego, California to a not-so-big town in Virginia. Whenever I think about my old life (as I’m starting to call it) I’m sad that I can’t take yoga classes at Yoga One and see all my old friends or go out to eat at my favorite restaurants.
The problem with moving is that you don’t have a network or favorite places right away, that takes time. And it would be unrealistic to expect one city to provide the same opportunities and experiences as the other. They are totally different beasts and the better I get at not comparing them, the happier I am.
Yoga teaches us to be present with what is. Who you were yesterday and who you want to be tomorrow don’t matter as much as the present moment and who you are today.
If You Want Something, Ask.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat at home feeling sorry for myself because I didn’t have plans to meet friends. Or how I’ve looked at my phone wanting to talk to someone but not wanting to bother them when they might be busy. These feelings come from a place of fear and breed inaction. It’s good to remember there are no prizes for toughing it out alone. When the going gets tough, ask for help and support from your friends and family.
Being present in yoga means examining your physical and mental alignment, making small adjustments as you encounter anything out of place. That ability to take stock and respond is key to emotional health off the mat. When you put fear aside and take responsibility for your own happiness and well-being, you become empowered to recognize and ask for what you need.
Look Up and Out
When I’m struggling with something, really struggling, it’s easy to self-implode and only see the world from my own perspective. I always know this is happening when every time I talk to a friend, I launch into a Litany of Woes, a.k.a. everything that’s going wrong in my life.
You can break the cycle by seeking connection and community. Expand your awareness to the person in front of you (or on the phone, or at the other end of an email, etc.) Talk about your joys. Take a yoga class. Call your mom. Ask a stranger how they’re doing and wait for a response.
The reason more people don’t practice yoga in their living rooms is because we often crave community more than we crave the mental and physical benefits of yoga. Taking a yoga class unites our breath with the group and tells us that we are not alone. Finding a studio where they know your name and welcome you with a smile or a hug is priceless.
What life lessons have you learned from your yoga practice? Share with us in the comments!
Yoga and Laura had an on-again-off-again relationship from 2004 until 2009 when they decided to move in together and there’s been no looking back since. Passionate about both yoga and writing, Laura loves to introduce others to the joys and benefits of yoga and healthy living.