Ekam inhale. Dve exhale.
Another 6-7:30am morning practice session with sweat dripped all over my mat. I found myself bursting into tears during savasana, the final resting period before the end of practice. I'm no stranger to crying during savasana. We all have those days when we just feel extra sentimental. Though yoga has a glorious reputation of calming the mind and relaxing the body, let's talk about the side effects of practicing yoga everyday.
1. Contrary to what you've heard before, yoga intensifies your negative emotions.
Stress, heartbreak, fatigue, self doubt...all these negative emotions hold us back from being present and genuinely happy during the day. While yoga is known for relaxing the body and mind, you must break down before you get stronger. Thus the rain before the rainbow. Our bodies are highly sensitive and vulnerable in savasana. By savasana, you've given all of your energy on the mat. Whatever that doesn't belong in your body will be thoroughly cleansed. Whether you snore or cry through savasana, be present and go with your emotions. Have a glass of water and a piece of chocolate, congratulations on becoming your better self!
2. Yoga, like coffee, is addicting.
When I don't practice for a day, I notice a difference. When I don't practice for three days in a row, my students see the difference. Your energy level speaks louder than your words. The only difference between yoga and coffee is that yoga is a natural stimulant that provides you sustainable energy and makes you sleep like a baby no matter when you practice. Yoga also gives you the courage to try harder, challenge yourself in a new asana, or hold a twisted pose for five extra breaths. While I still enjoy a cup of coffee once in a while, the benefits of yoga is what truly keeps me going for the whole day. #teamyoga
3. Yoga makes you greedier, and greedier.
Your materialistic self tells you that you've worked so hard and deserve those sweet new leggings and sports bras. Your inner self starts seeking for more than just a peaceful mind. You may find yourself starting your practice with five sun salutations instead of three. You might end up doing 108 in a row if you're feeling extra ambitious. Once you've mastered the headstand, the forearm stand is next on the list. Once you kick up to a wall handstand, you'd want to leave the wall, and even try a one-arm handstand! The most important thing is, a good yoga practice doesn't leave you satisfied; it makes you come back for more.
As the kid who grew up loving Super Mario, I see myself as Mario, my inner teacher as Luigi, my fear and laziness as Goomba, asanas as super mushroom, and savasana as the goal pole. When I began my yoga journey, I struggled with tight hips and hamstrings. I couldn't stay calm, in fact I always grunted like the guys working out at the gym. There is no single proper way to practice yoga. Think of yoga as a journey, as a friendly competition with your old self, where you overcome your fears today and become braver tomorrow.