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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 143 Reinvent your life with Yoga > Life lessons from an advanced yoga class

Life lessons from an advanced yoga class

Insights gained on the mat can be applied to life, discovers Ali Roff, as she succeeds, fails and giggles her way through a yoga session she thought she wasn’t prepared for

Downward-facing dog is as enjoyable for me as it is for the next person, although I have yet to master the handstand. So, when I realised that I had signed up for an advanced yoga class by accident, I baulked. Yet, could it be that throwing myself out of my cat/cow comfort zone would teach me some important lessons about life in general?

1 Wake up to the power of the mind

I’m in a wide-legged forward bend. My hands are on the floor, but my head hovers way above it, between my knees. I’m comfortable just hanging out, letting gravity do its thing. ‘Now, put your head on the floor and lift up into a headstand,’ says our teacher. Headstand? I can’t even put my head on the floor. I try to push my head towards the deck. Nope, not going to happen. I look around and, sure enough, legs float up into the air around me. I remind myself not to making comparisons on the mat, breathe in, breathe out – and I stay where I am. As I breathe more deeply into the pose, I feel I have a little more space and, slowly, my head starts to lower. ‘You can get your head on the floor, go on…’ The teacher is talking to me.

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The latest issue of Psychologies is now available to download. Featuring: Reinvent your life with Yoga, Grown-up gap year, Face-reading, Free online coaching plus much more