This year I’ve been sharing lessons inspired by my yoga practice with Kristin McGee‘s community. Kristin is my favorite yoga instructor and the reason I first stepped onto the mat. I just shared my final lesson from the mat today and wanted to share them all with you.

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Your desire to change is all you need: Your willingness opens to door to true and lasting change.  You don’t need to fully believe it or know how you’ll do it.  Your desire is powerful.

You are stronger than you think you are: Strength – true strength – is hidden deep inside of you and is yours for the taking.  You’ll be shocked at what is possible simply by tapping into this endless pool of strength.

Slowing down will help you speed up: Slowing down has the ability to expand time.  It doesn’t matter if it’s in the form of an extended child’s pose, going to bed early, taking a leisurely walk, or sitting in meditation.  By breathing and giving yourself permission to pause, you create space for action.  Even one minute of slowing down can give you the clarity to move forward.  It stops overwhelm in its tracks.

Your body knows what it needs: Our bodies are so much smarter than we are.  They are designed to find balance and health.  And they are really good at pointing out when something isn’t quite right.  We just need to take the time to notice.

Your practice can support you: We don’t need to rely on our own strength.  Our practice can be our support and it offers us all of the tools we need to move through life with greater ease.

Progress is the goal and perfect doesn’t exist: Yoga has been one of my greatest teachers when it comes to my deep desire to bust through the blocks of perfectionism.  And it is on my mat where I am constantly reminded that progress is the real goal.  Perfect doesn’t exist and the quest to find it is suffocating.

In stillness we can receive: It is in stillness that we can connect to ourselves, breathe, hear ourselves think, and make space to receive.  It is in stillness that we can find ease and inspiration.  It is in stillness that we can grow and learn.

Balance is not a destination: Balance isn’t something that you can check of your to-do list and move on from.  It is never done.  And it not only looks differently from person to person but also from moment to moment.  There is no shortcut to balance or secret formula.  The journey is within and honoring where you are in this moment.

Don’t skip savasana: Savasana IS the practice.  The practice is the dedicated moments of integration, rest, and celebration.  It’s stopping to smell the flowers instead of rushing by and not even noticing that there were flowers to smell.  The practice is giving yourself permission to be present and pause.

Give the gift of presence: Distracted is our new norm and in the process we’ve lost our connection to the present moment.  As we move into the holiday season, I challenge you to give the gift of presence…to yourself and your friends and family members.

Happiness is a choice I make: I learned that happiness isn’t something that happens to us.  It’s not a predetermined trait.  It is our birthright and so much easier than we make it out to be.  And we can access it in each and every moment simply by choosing it.

What lessons have you learned from your yoga practice?  How do you live your yoga off the mat?