Make Peace With Your Choice

Jodi

I had always heard that, when practiced regularly, yoga can change your life, but it took me a long time to see and experience the changes that result from practicing yoga, and when it did, it took me completely by surprise.

I had practiced yoga, on and off, for a few years, but didn’t find that anything in my life really changed. Other than getting a good workout and feeling calm, I didn’t really feel any different post-yoga class than I did post-treadmill run. I always chalked this up to my being inconsistent with my practice, and I figured that one day, when I would able to devote a couple of hours daily to my yoga practice, and really be able to lose myself in my practice through mediation or a series of headstands, then I would be able to see changes in my life.

I’ve been lucky enough to recently have found a few yoga teachers who really connect what we do on our yoga mats to the rest of our lives. One such teacher, Jodi Fichstein (pictured above), has a phrase that I’ve come to love both in and outside of the yoga studio. When Jodi demonstrates a pose, she provides the class with modifications, allowing us to decide for ourselves where we will benefit most in our poses. Will we stay with the simpler option, or will be go one or two or even three steps further? Will we keep our knees on the mat, or will we lift our knees off the mat? Will we put our hands on our hips or will we bring our hands to our hearts in prayer pose? The choice is ours, but Jodi often says, “Make peace with your choice.”

The poses are never held for very long in the grand scheme of things, and so if you spend your time deciding on which modification to do, you will let the experience pass you by completely. If you berate yourself for not going into a challenging pose, you might spend the time in the easier one berating yourself for having taken the easy road. The advice to “Make peace with your choice” is compassionate, a reasonable attitude of having chosen one way of doing something. If that choice was wrong, then you take note, and adjust for next time.

This great piece of advice works both on and off the mat. And that is how I’ve found that yoga has changed my life.

I often find myself quoting my yoga teacher and reminding myself to, “Make peace with your choice.” And you know what? I do. I make peace with whatever choice I need to make, whether it’s the best choice or the best of the worst, I understand why I’ve chosen what I’ve chosen, and I make peace with it, refusing to berate myself if things go awry.

I still can’t meditate for very long, and I’m far from doing a headstand (although I’m getting better at doing arm balances), but I have finally experienced how practicing yoga can lead to life-changes. If you can make peace with your choice, you make peace with yourself, and that frees you up to live in the present, and to be there with kindness and compassion.

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