Lately, I've been reflecting on the year 2016. I opened my own Shigeko YOGA studio (a tiny space) in March. I started a yoga program for the Denver Police Department in the spring and now I'm expanding my yoga program to their Police Academy! While I was enjoying teaching all my regular classes I did workshops and helped to teach a full moon yoga retreat in Taos with my dear teacher, Mary Beth. I started and finished a year long yoga business program (phew, that was tough). Wow, what a year! Now I say, 'What progress I made in a year!' How was your year? What progress did you make in 2016?
It's not easy to chart our own progress. Often times, we don't think we're making progress. Or we know that we've made progress but we don't say it. Or we simply forget that we've made progress. Or we don't know how to chart our own progress. But we have to be good at seeing our own progress. We have to be able to know when we're succeeding, growing, and evolving. There are so many things that we don't give ourselves credit for or we're a little hard on ourselves. But the truth is we all are making progress everyday. So, I say, 'Pat yourself on the back and voice to yourself - You did a great job in 2016! You're awesome!' You have to tell yourself even though you feel like you didn't. You have to remind yourself how much you've accomplished, how much you can focus, and how much you're able to handle in a day and still have so much love for others (and hopefully for yourself too!) That's incredible.
Just in case you have no idea how to measure your progress, here are some ideas of measuring your progress (in yoga & life). Enjoy :)
-You remember to breathe when you're in a yoga pose (& life!)
-You're okay if your heels are lifted in a downward facing dog posture
-You smile when you fall out of a balance pose
-You remind yourself to slow down during your practice (& life!)
-You feel more confident in your inner voice and less swayed by others' opinions
-You find forgiveness a little bit easier for others and yourself
-You wake up in the morning and feel great for no reason
-You treat your anger, jealous, frustration, or any other negative emotion as an opportunity to work on your mind
-You feel less fearful in situations that used to scare you
-You feel less afraid to speak the truth. You know how to do it gently
-You fall in love with your life more and more everyday (AND...that's HUGE progress!)
It's not enough just to make progress. You have to realize that you're making progress. You have to be aware of your progress. Just pause, breathe, feel and chart your progress. Cheers to all the progress you made this year!
With great love and gratitude.