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).