Here’s one of the most important of all the Ten Principles of Yoga . . . enjoying oneself.
We practice yoga for various reasons – to improve our physical and mental health, to relieve stress, to become more centered. But what good is it if we don’t enjoy the process?
Do you love coming to yoga class? Do you look forward to it each day/week because it makes you feel good? Then while you’re in class, take a moment to relish this sense of enjoyment – telling yourself “this” is what I love about yoga . . . whether it’s the opening stretches or Moon Salutation or rest pose. Taking note of the things we enjoy makes our lives that much more pleasant.
Sure there will be times in yoga class when you don’t love what’s happening – we all have our “least favorite poses.” There’s nothing wrong with not liking a pose – (as long as you still at least try once to do it, or a modified version of it). I’ve found that the poses I dislike the most are the ones I need more than anything.
I’ve learned something over the years that can be applied to practically every situation, on or off the mat. If you’re stuck doing something – whether it’s frog pose or window washing or navigating a traffic jam – try to find a way to enjoy it. If there’s no clear way to “get out of it,” why waste energy hating what you’re doing? Instead, seek to find some joy in it, some benefit, no matter how small. Hating it while you’re stuck doing it will only make you more miserable.
Finding enjoyment in all the little things we do in life is a valuable practice – especially when we’re challenged to find enjoyment in a root canal, for example, or a long wait at the doctor’s office. But it can be done! And you’ll have so much more peace of mind if you do it . . . or at least try.