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Your Life in the Past is not Changing

One of the most common things students lament about in class, especially my older students, is they wish they’d started doing yoga earlier. If only they’d started 10 years, 5 years, or even just one year earlier, they’d be more flexible, have better balance, and potentially levitate.


They look around the room, seeing other students do more advanced variations of poses they know they’d be able to nail if only they’d started earlier. I, of course, had the same wish when I first started practicing. If only…


It’s a pastime favorite for many of us, replaying the moments in our lives over and over (and then over again), wishing we’d made different choices. Wishing we’d had the courage to say no. Or maybe the courage to say yes. How much better things would be.


It’s especially true as we age, that feeling of dread that we’re running out of time, torturing ourselves with decisions in the past, imagining how much better our lives could be today, how much further along we’d be. This is a big one for me that I work on every single day.


So yes, if I’d started yoga when I was 20 instead of 30, I would be more flexible. Of course. I’d be able to do more advanced variations of poses that my lack of flexibility keeps me from. No question. But I didn’t. And no amount of wishing is going to change that.


So, I flip the narrative and say, ‘I’m grateful I started practicing yoga when I was 30 instead of 40.’ It’s the only way it works. Otherwise, you're just stuck in the past.


So, move forward, be grateful for where you’re at right now, for what you’re capable of right now, because your life in the past is not changing.



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