Monday, April 21, 2014

Leverage Your Life (A Guest Post by Sponsored Yogi Justin)

Photos courtesy of Justin.

Am I living up to my highest potential?

This is a great question for spring time, when the earth itself shows signs of renewal, vital energy, and awakening. 

Every day is a new opportunity to invigorate your life, and notice what opportunities surround you. Today I have an inspiring post from sponsored yogi Justin on ways to fulfill your potential by leveraging the tools you have, including a yoga practice.

Leverage, or the use of something to its maximum advantage, has been coming up in my life recently.  

The concept first came up when I took a workshop on Thai Massage recently. If you aren't familiar with that form of massage... picture you and your massage therapist getting into all sorts of pretzel like contortions and at the end of the hour you will feel exactly like a Bavarian Pretzel: soft and yummy. 

What I learned in the workshop was that the various stretches are not used to induce a sense of intimate awkwardness, but to always leverage body weight. Body weight, not body strength, is used to massage the muscles to maximum effect with minimal effort. 

After 25 minutes of tossing my partner Molly around and giving her an amazing massage with a group of 50+ people surround us, she asked, "Wow, aren't you tired?" The honest answer was, "No." I wasn't tired because I leveraged my body weight and my muscles didn't have to do much except get a nice stretch. 

This past week I took a five day coaching course so that I could improve my career and my relationships. One of the surprising things I learned was that if I wanted to easily improve in those areas of my life I needed to work on my communication skills. 

Communication skills are leverage for improvement in other areas of my life. If I focus solely on career and relationships it will require a lot of effort. I'm effectively performing a Swedish massage on my life...things will improve, but it will be exhausting. 

What does this have to do with Yoga? Why am I posting this on a yoga blog, other than because I took the Workshop at a yoga studio? 

Well...What is yoga? It's a practice where I have to communicate with myself. 

I need to listen to my body, understand it, and sometimes ask it to do things it doesn't want to do. If I can't do that with myself, how well am I going to do that with a friend, a partner, a sibling, coworker, or boss? Probably not very well. 

If I take a more intensive yoga workshop or do 1 on 1 instruction then I WILL be asked to do something I either don't want to or physically can't perform and I be forced to communicate that to the instructor or I'll be communicating with a doctor or therapist. Either way I'm communicating with other! 

Yoga is not just yoga; yoga is leverage for your life.

This is so true! Thanks, Justin, for your wise words. Hope you yogis are making time to leverage your lives and spend some time on your mats this week! 

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