Written by Lori Schulte Trenkamp, Yoga Teacher
"No one, and I mean no one, knows me better than me." - Lori Schulte Trenkamp
One of the most powerful things that yoga has taught me is my ability to really, truly, deeply, know myself.
When I first started practicing yoga, the breath practices and lying still in savasana were the hardest parts for me.
I could easily move my body into the physical positions the teachers were asking for, but I had a much harder time spending that silent time alone with my own mind.
However, I stayed with it through the challenging times, and have discovered more about myself…I know more about how I think, act, and feel.
This helps me move through difficult times such as the one I explain below.
I recently encountered a situation where a medical professional was telling me something that felt completely wrong to me.
What an amazing opportunity to test my resolve in knowing myself!
Of course, I questioned my feelings about this- why wouldn’t I? She has many, many years of experience and a few very special and well-earned letters after her name that say she understands this topic better than I do.
I took some time before reacting to dive in and evaluate what I was feeling.
Was it just that I didn’t like her answer? Did I have some resistance to her in general? Was I placing information from some past situation on this situation instead of holding it up to the light for itself?
However, I came to the conclusion that no one, and I mean no one, knows me better than me. Of that, I am confident, because of yoga.
Trusting your Intuition
After a few days of reflecting, I still just felt wrong about the medical diagnosis.
I knew, deeply, that something about the situation just wasn’t right and so I acted.
I contacted another professional, who agreed that something seemed off about the situation. After acting and realizing that I’d done the proper work in the past to not only know myself better than any doctor, but to also know enough to seriously reflect before making a choice, I couldn’t have felt more relieved.
I took a few moments to remind myself that, while the work is never done, I’ve done a lot of it. And two, through my yoga practices, I have learned enough about myself to be the professional on me.
And I learned most of it through my challenging things: the breath practices and the stillness of savasana. Through letting go to bring it back together.
I learned to calm my physical body for those parts of the practice.
I also learned to use that time to tune in more to my own feelings and emotions during those moments of stillness.
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Doing this helped me to appreciate the opportunity given to me during each of those practices and become more aware of who I really was…who I really wanted to be.
I learned to be finely tuned into my physical body, my emotions, as well as my mental state. This is where the challenging poses, as well as the easier, more inward-turning poses solidify our relationship with ourself.
To this day, yoga still remains the best method I have found to not only find myself, but to know myself.
Now, as a teacher of yoga to students, I impress upon them the importance and power of knowing themselves to be unshakeable by others.
Or rather, when life shakes them, about learning the knowledge and skills to quickly put themselves back to rights- just as I did with something that didn’t quite feel right. Yet, also the importance of acting logically and calmly to find the answer that did feel right…all with using the confidence and power I had of knowing myself.
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