It’s Just Yoga

By Terry Connell

After twenty years of practice, here is a brief list of the lessons I’ve learned as a student and teacher of yoga.

• Remember – it’s just yoga.
• If you feel like you’re working too hard, it’s because you are.
• There’s no place to get to – you are already here.
• Lighten Up.
• Instead of giving into the fight/flight response when facing a stressful situation (like a yoga pose – or life), there is a third option – breathe.
• You can’t stop the ego from spinning all kinds of stories, that’s what it does. But you can choose not to listen.
• Don’t confuse controlled breathing with breathing fully.
• We’ve developed mental, physical and emotional habits during our lives for all kinds of reasons. At some point, it makes sense to stop and ask: which no longer serve us?
• Relax and breathe.
• There’s a fine line between tension and intention.
• It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been practicing yoga, it’s the same conversation every time we come to our mat. How do we give up our ego? How can we literally be out of our minds?
• Give yourself more space.
• It took you a lifetime to get to where you are.
• Flexibility is not a requirement, but exploring what it means to be more flexible is part of the experience.
• Change brings about change – just let it happen.

Terry Connell is a licensed acupuncturist and yoga teacher practicing in Old Town, Vallarta (www.eastmeetseast.net). In his spare time he walks his dog and reads and writes. His first book, “Slaves to the Rhythm” was a Cowley Literary Award Finalist (www.terryconnell.net).

One comment

  1. People who work 16 hours a day do not practice yoga, they are billionaires who have contributed wealth to society. The term “man up” relates to persons who continually test themselves to perform at their maximum. Life is a journey of placing yourself in the pecking order of humanity. Few in each generation can contribute more to society that they take, and it take those that can that contribute to the continuance of their species. Today, there are more species on Earth than have been counted, yet over some 99 percent of all species that have ever existed have gone extinct. Some of the top contributors to life, family , jobs and country, do their best and most productive work when they are asleep. The entire body and mind are at their strongest when they are at maximum working state.

    Unfortunately, the majority of society takes the easy way out, and prefers to play and be at rest. The body has developed to stand on their feet, and walk around the planet with the changing seasons and global weather changes. We developed the ability of swift running to avoid predators , and get game. Today, many do not want to walk so they drive or take a taxi. At 78 today, I walk some 20-30, and sometimes 40 blocks each day … which is the time I do my best thinking. At this rate I may live to be one hundred, and by that time have painted my three houses and tar and graveled their roofs for the third time.

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