Before I started doing yoga back in 2014, I used to be very pessimistic about life. I used to think that nothing ever goes well or smoothly in my life. I constantly compared my life with others and this made me frustrated about the things that I didn’t have in life.
I kept asking myself, “Why is it that other people seem to achieve success in life without putting any effort in?”
I felt like I had to work harder than my peers to do well in university and my exams. I had to put in extra effort to get a decent job upon graduation. I was always the “victim” in life because I was constantly facing failures despite my efforts to succeed.
My Life Before Yoga
I was constantly chasing after success, money, career and happiness. And I hated my own egotistical self because I was a highly competitive individual as well.
I was unable to appreciate my own strengths and uniqueness, and I was constantly focusing on my own weakness that I never took the time to utilize my own strengths. In 2014, I got tired of chasing after my own success and goals.
I got frustrated because it seemed like the more I chased after them, the more they eluded me. I didn’t have the career of my dreams and I wasn’t where I aimed to be in 2014. I felt like a failure because I wasn’t able to achieve any of the goals I set in my own life.
That same year, I made the decision to try out yoga for the first time because I lived pretty close to a yoga studio at that time.
The Yoga Effect
I am glad I made that decision because I felt much better after sweating it out in the yoga studio every evening. However, I noticed that while I was practicing on my mat, I was always comparing how my posture looked in comparison to the others around me. This is a direct reflection of my daily habits.
I realized that how I behave on my yoga mat was actually a direct representation of how I behaved everyday in life.
I then decided to consciously change these habits while I was present and practicing on my mat. I decided to just stop comparing and learn how to be content with what I have. Once I started doing that, I instantly began to feel happier.
A huge bonus? I was also able to do some of the more difficult yoga postures that I struggled with initially, such as Tripod Headstand, Crow and Firefly.
Instead of focusing on what I didn’t have, I began to truly see and appreciate what I already had. Instead of hating my competitive side, I learnt how to embrace it and use it in a way that pushes me to become a better person tomorrow than I am today. Life didn’t seem so unfair after that, and my goals in life started to feel within reach.
Life does not always turn out the way I want it to. But after experiencing yoga and the changes it brings, I am actually glad I don't always get what I want, or in the way I want it, because this gives me the opportunity to become stronger and better every single day.
This is now my personal philosophy: Instead of spending most of your life competing with others and chasing after success, let life run its natural course. Success and happiness will then come to us automatically, and it is our job is to learn how to flow with the tide.
So if you're reading this and can relate to everything I said about how my life was before yoga...I'll leave you with this important reminder: stop trying to iron out all your imperfections because you are perfect the way you are.