Last week I did math with my therapist. Specifically, we spent my session trying to remind ourselves how exponents work. In case you forget, too, they’re the little numbers in superscript that raise the big number to the power of: 32. I was panicking about going back for grad school and having to take a math course. So, we scribbled on post-its together until we figured it out.
Then she looked at me and said, “So, what have we learned here?” We came up with the following list:
- Finding the solution can be fun.
- If it doesn’t feel like fun, ask a friend for help.
- If the problem seems too intimidating to even start, fall back to what you already know.
I found that these concepts were helpful to me in my yoga and mindfulness practices, too. As I work to move away from the idea that when my body doesn’t fit into a yoga pose, it’s a problem, I can start to see modifications as fun solutions instead of “giving up.” When yoga feels like a chore, showing up to class at Maha and seeing the friends I have made there motivates me to keep going and to develop a more playful attitude toward practice.
Most importantly, the reminder to go back to what I already know was helpful. In yoga and mindfulness, falling back to what I know usually looks like tuning in to my breath. I don’t have to develop any special skills to breathe. I don’t have to be flexible or strong. I don’t have to know the sanskrit word for it. I just breathe; I know how to do that already.
Questions for reflection:
- Think of a challenge you’re facing or have faced recently. Who is helping you with this? Or, who could you ask for help?
- How are you approaching this problem to fit your individual needs (think: modifications)?
- What do you already know? What are your strengths? How could you apply them?
This article was provided by Katie Pizziketti as part of a her monthly series, Attitude for Gratitude, in which Katie will explore using gratitude to cultivate a mindful and positive active lifestyle. Join Katie for practice on Sundays at 12:30pm.
Yoga is a treasured part of Katie’s fitness lifestyle. She uses it to build strength, flexibility, and body awareness which complement her interests in running, weight training, and interval exercise. Katie is using yoga to improve her range of motion and wellbeing in ways which were missing from her other exercise routines.
Katie developed an appreciation for accessibility – creating things that can be used by people of any ability level – after several years of working with adults living with serious mental illnesses and other limitations. Her belief is that almost anything can be achieved with the right attitude (and modifications). She loves helping people find their own doable pose that is just the right amount of difficult. Her high-energy classes focus on becoming stronger and stretchier with a smile!