Life lessons from yoga

November 30, 2012 in Life,Philosophy

I’ve never regretted a workout, but I’ve regretted missing plenty. I read that quote in a magazine ages ago, and I can’t remember who said it, but I do remember thinking it was a brilliant motivational reminder. It’s definitely how I feel about yoga: sometimes it’s hard to squeeze it in, amidst work and blogging and errands and happy hour, but it’s always worth it.

Christine Amorose in camel pose on the San Blas islands

I always leave a yoga class feeling physically stronger, mentally calmer. I often come to class with my mind littered with lists, tasks, texts–but soon, I’m so focused on finding my breath, flowing through the vinyasa, nailing the pose until my mind quiets itself. And lately, my yoga teachers have been spouting off all sorts of zen-like wisdom–and a few of them have stuck with me long after the class is over.

Your destiny is at the crossroads of what you love, what you’re good at and what will help the most people.

Find the thing that you love. Get good at it. Figure out a way to make it help people. Bang. OK, I know it’s easier said than done, but I love this as a philosophy to figuring out a career, a plan, a life. I’m still realizing my dreams, and this is the framework that I’m working within.

Daily offering in Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia

Embrace your imperfections: that’s what people love about you. 

Your quirks are what make you who you are. Don’t strive to be perfect; instead, aim to be the best possible version of you–even if that means you stress out most over the little things (it means you’re paying attention) and you hate being late (it means you respect the other person’s time) and you are teensy bit impatient and indecisive and irritable (it means you care!). Remember all the things you do well, instead of pinpointing what you don’t.

I’m the luckiest girl in the world.

Spoiler: I didn’t get this from a yoga teacher, I got it from my favorite brighten-your-day blogger. However, I’ve adopted it as my new mantra in yoga class. It reminds me to focus less on what I don’t have, and remember all of the absolutely brilliant things to be grateful for, even if it’s just the space in my day to spend 90 minutes focusing on my health and happiness, and nothing else.

Yoga studio in Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Yoga makes you adaptable, and adaptable people are the happiest. 

Happiness isn’t getting what you want, it’s wanting what you have–right? Yoga is constantly forcing you to push your limits, to see how far you can go and how you can adjust yourself to get the benefits of a pose. It doesn’t mean giving up if you can’t touch your toes: it means appreciating just how far you can go, and accepting that. You have to learn how to accept your body’s limits and simply strive to do the best YOU can.

Aly Gill and Christine Amorose in Manhattan, New York

Remember all you have to be thankful for. 

One of my teachers suggested sharing a daily gratitude list, and I knew the perfect friend for it: we email each other five things we’re grateful for every morning, and it’s remarkable how much it can shift your perspective. Our items range from $12 manicures and free office hot chocolate to our parents, our family, our friends, our significant others who have supported us, laughed with us, taught us more about ourselves. All variations of sunshine–especially pretty sunrises and crisp blue mornings–also make an appearance pretty often (we are both California girls, after all). And, of course, how grateful we are to have each other. If you can find someone in your life with whom to share this ritual, I highly recommend it.

Sunset over New York City from the Empire State Building

The future is bright. 

Be here, in this moment, in the present. But know that good things are coming–far, far better things than what we leave behind.

Special thanks to the wonderful yoga teachers at Greenhouse Holistic in Williamsburg for being incredibly inspiring! 

  • Jessica

    I love that first photo. What a beautiful, inspiring image.

  • Ashlee Gadd

    I love this. You’re making me want to go to yoga RIGHT NOW.

  • 🙂 ”Your destiny is at the crossroads of what you love, what you’re good at and what will help the most people.”
    Amen! 🙂

  • some great lessons there

  • LOVE these lessons you’ve learned! You’re making me want to get back into yoga in 2013.

  • I love these lessons… specially the first one – I’ve adopted that philosophy about half a year ago, which made me realize that I had to slightly change my career! Ever since, it has kept me focused 🙂

  • LostInCheeseland

    All good mantras here and even more helpful to integrate them in your life when you practice yoga or meditation regularly. Great lessons!

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  • Love this post. It reminds me I need to get back to yoga.

  • camorose

    Thank you! Definitely one of my favorite photos of this trip 🙂

  • camorose

    Thanks, lady! I’m in the middle of moving, so I won’t be able to do any yoga classes this month and I’m already slightly freaking out….

  • camorose

    So good, right?! Wish I could take credit!

  • camorose

    Thought they were very applicable to real life 🙂

  • camorose

    I’m definitely looking forward to keeping up my yoga practice in the new year–has been SO helpful this year with mental health and calmness.

  • camorose

    So great! Loving your job has such a dramatic effect on the rest of your well-being 🙂

  • camorose

    Merci! Super helpful in yoga, but I definitely find myself being drawn to them outside of my practice.

  • camorose

    Thanks lady! Highly recommend 🙂

  • I really need to find yoga again. I am in a new city and I think it’s just what I need. Thanks for the reminder!

  • camorose

    No worries! It’s the best way to ground yourself in a new city 🙂

  • I did some yoga for the first time earlier this fall, and really loved it. Sadly, I’ve been too busy lately to make time for classes. But this post definitely has me wanting to get back into it!

  • camorose

    New year’s resolution? 🙂

  • Adventure Tours

    Yoga is very important in our life it takes us away from all diseases.
    I like your post about Yoga

  • Adventure Tours

    we must do Yoga daily at least for 1 hour so that it gives us relief from daily tension of work and family and any other.

  • Cristina Martinez

    Thanks for sharing!! I’m bookmarking this to remember that life is good and yoga is awesome! 🙂

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  • camorose

    Brilliant! So glad you enjoyed 🙂

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