Yoga Life Lessons

Week 2 of hot yoga and senior editor Courtney Lewis Opdahl is that much wiser.

Two weeks in a row of hot yoga at Life Time Fitness, and I’m already feeling more introspective.

Last week, toward the end of our class, Aleeah’s music playlist started with Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” based on the wise words from Mary Schmich’s 1997 column in the Chicago Tribune. I hadn’t heard it in ages, and if you haven’t either, add it to your meditation mix. There’s some profound statements in there. My two favorite lines:

Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes
you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with
yourself.
AND
Enjoy your body — use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people
think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Tonight, Aleeah had a great story she shared as we were in frog pose. She pointed out a student near the front of the room as a reference for those needing an example, but was quick to remind us that we shouldn’t compare our pose to the student’s positioning. Then she mentioned an episode of Oprah she once saw when Dr. Phil was a guest. He was sharing all the benefits of yoga and meditation, saying that everyone should be doing yoga as much as they can — everyday, if possible.

During the interview, Dr. Phil showed Oprah downward dog. Oprah asked if one’s heels need to touch the floor when they are positioned in downward dog and Dr. Phil said yes. Aleeah’s response:

“No, Dr. Phil. No. That’s not yoga. If our heels don’t touch the ground, that’s OK. They may never touch the ground. And that’s OK, too. Be where you are right now. That’s yoga.”

It was one of those statements that reminded me to appreciate my body right now, and just be present.

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