We learn from everything

I’ve always tried to make exercise a regular part of my life. Taking care of ourselves is an important aspect of trying to live with An Island Perspective.

My workouts have changed a lot over the years. A few years ago, I started noticing that my usual routines just didn’t feel good anymore. Waking up with sore feet and achy knees was not my idea of aging gracefully. I decided there had to be a better way.

I had always been curious about yoga, but frankly, it just didn’t seem like a real workout. I always thought it was basically just a bunch of stretching. Plus it seemed too complicated to learn.

Steve was intrigued with the idea of doing yoga too. So for his birthday one year, I got him a set of power yoga DVDs. We started watching them and trying some of the yoga moves together. Pretty funny! We quickly realized how inflexible we were as well as how much strength and stamina it took to do this type of yoga. Wow!

At the same time, though, it was an exhilarating challenge. It was different from any form of exercise I’d ever done. Even though it was awkward, I didn’t want to give up on it. It made me feel invigorated!

Yoga is a unique mix of meditation and movement that is hard for me to describe. Practicing yoga seems to connect my mind, body, and spirit. It helps me feel physically, emotionally and spiritually rejuvenated.

Amazingly, the lessons I’ve learned from yoga have nothing to do with the physical aspect of working out, but more with my evolution as a person.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

Lesson 1. When something seems difficult, trust the process. Everything will eventually come together after many, many tiny efforts.

Lesson 2. Just relax into any new situation. Even if it’s hard at first, it will slowly get easier and easier.

Lesson 3. Going with the flow, without resistance, ultimately produces peace and tranquility.

Lesson 4. Practice makes progress, not perfection. Let go of trying to be perfect.

Lesson 5. Sometimes less is more. For example, you don’t have to run a marathon to feel energized, healthy and physically fit. A walk around the block can do that too.

Lesson 6. Loving and accepting your true self just as you are helps you to be less judgmental of others.

Lesson 7Silence is a necessary part of life.

Discovering experiences and activities that enrich and fulfill the whole you is vital to your well being and renewal. Whether it’s yoga or parasailing or knitting, there is something you are craving. Take the time to uncover what that is.

Listen to your heart and embrace your passions–-anything that provides you little moments of enjoyment and inspiration.

The Journey to Palm Canyon is a process, not a destination. The path we travel is meant to be joyful and extraordinary, not boring and miserable.

Life lessons await you too. Feel free to exhilarate yourself!