Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 2:32PM
Jennifer in 2011, Soapbox, Yoga

Punta Cana Sirsasana {Image credit: Amy J.}

Yoga has become a huge part of my life this past year. My practice has stretched me physically, mentally, and emotionally in ways I didn't know were possible, and I've reaped rewards far beyond killer triceps and tighter hamstrings.

As a novice, there was a constant temptation to compare myself to other more seasoned yogis in the studio. I'd try desperately to twist and contort my body into the advanced poses they executed with ease. Thoughts of self-doubt would race through my head, and I'd wonder if anyone was watching and ridiculing my form. Oftentimes, it was insecurity, rather than inability, that caused me to topple. It was unnerving, to say the least.

I quickly realized that my negativity was dangerous and could lead to injuries (aka faceplants), or even worse, discouragement. I started letting go of my hang-ups and began trusting my body and intuition. Establishing an honest relationship with myself was crucial, and it allowed me to eventually develop flexibility, balance, strength, and most importantly, confidence.

This was a profound lesson for me. I constantly struggle with high personal expectations and fears of failure, which leads me to be overly self-critical and pessimistic. As I continue to work on myself, I hope to find power to confront my limits, to be resilient when I fall, and have the courage to enjoy my transformation.

Article originally appeared on by Jennifer Jeng (http://appleadaybeauty.com/).
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