I’ve learned so much on my mat. In the yoga classes of Bikram Yoga Arnhem, Affordable Yoga Paris, RYoga Rome. At my yoga teacher training with Samyak Yoga in Mysore, India. During my self practice at home, in hotels and outside in parks.

Of course I’ve learned about how to move my body into a posture. How to hold it. Steady and comfortable as it should be but also sometimes unsteady and uncomfortable. I have learned how to teach, to adjust, to assist.

There is so much more to learn.. but until now….

On my mat I’ve learned about myself. The way you practice is a mirror about how you are in real life. Do you struggle, won’t you give up, will you take it easy.

On my mat I’ve learned to accept my physical self better. I remember being horrified during my first lessons at Bikram Yoga with mirrors on all the walls. Now it’s much easier.

On my mat I’ve learned about acceptance. Of things that happened or are going to happen. When something though happened in my life a year ago, my feeling was really quick ‘it is as it is’. Also I’ve learned more ‘to forgive, heal and release everything that consciously or unconsciously could delay or block the complete evolution of my being‘, the mantra at the end of a class of Elena Brower at YogaGlo.  This class changed my life and the way how I viewed things in the past.

On my mat I’ve learned about handling emotions. After a year of practice, for the first time in my life the word ‘stress’ didn’t show up in my work evaluation. Quit a milestone for me. I get stressed less, and I come back to the normal state way faster when I was upset or having negative emotions. Now it’s easier to recognize feelings and emotions, acknowledge them, accept them and release them and let them go. Let it goooo…

On my mat I’ve learned to feel the awareness of being one. With the universal energy, with the nature, with the people around us. Everything comes from the same energy. Everything is one.

On my mat I’ve learned also coming closer to old emotions, grieve and sadness. Especially hip openers are famous for that.

On my mat I’ve learned to listen to my compass and intuition. It gave me the power to quit my job, having confidence and be more open for the future.

On my mat I’ve learned about being tolerant regarding others. Having compassion even for your enemies. Everybody you see has a fight you don’t know about.

On my mat I’ve learned to follow the yogic rules, called yama’s and niyama’s, as far as I didn’t do them already. Like not stealing, not lying, sex only when there is love, non greedy (the less stuff I have, the better) and non-violence, last year at 31 december I stood with meat in my hand in the supermarket and I thought:”What am I doing, why would I eat something I can’t kill myself”, put it back and stopped eating meat and fish (with some small exceptions). But also having a pure mind, being happy with what you have, discipline (every day yoga, at least a bit of), self-study of the yoga philosophy and surrender to the divine and universal energy.

On my mat I’ve learned to connect. The meaning of the word ‘yoga’. The ultimate goal of yoga. Connect with myself. With others. With the world and maybe the universe.

On my mat I’ve learned a lot. And there is still so much more to learn….

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