Most of us have heard about the wonders of compound interest and why starting your retirement savings early is so important. Why would any of that math and money talk be relevant to yoga and wellness?
The answer is in the power of how little steps, minor steps, add up to such a big and life-changing impact.
The first yoga class you take might be an eye-opener. It might be surprising at how you feel after; you might love the stretch and release; you might realize it is a great practice you want to continue, but you would also probably say that you don’t notice a huge change in your health following the first class.
That’s the minor part. It’s also easy to overlook. It’s easy to do — or not do. You wouldn’t maybe notice a difference that week if you took a yoga class or you didn’t. You might notice at the end of the day if you did 10 minutes of stretching in the morning or not.
People also often think it only counts if they are doing an hour practice, that if they do 15 minutes here or there, it’s not the same or as valuable. They are only looking at those big investments.
But, just like in a retirement plan, even a small investment today could make you a lot more down the road than a much larger investment would later. The power of compounding.
If you do 5 minutes of meditation today; 10 minutes of stretching tomorrow; an hour of yoga once a week, and a 30-minute practice on the weekend, you might not notice the change the first week or even the first month. But I have a hard time believing that if you did that for 3 months or 6 months of a year that you would say you didn’t notice changes and improvements.
10 minutes of yoga in the morning for 30 days is 300 minutes of yoga. … 90 days is 900 minutes of yoga. … 180 days is 1,800 minutes of yoga. … 365 days is 3,650 minutes of yoga. Those few minutes each day suddenly don’t seem so insignificant. The changes to your health would also be similarly not so insignificant.
I have always said that yoga sneaks up on you.
You will have a pose that alludes you or is hard, a pose you dread being cued in class because you feel like you can’t hold it or do it well. Then, suddenly, something is different. You don’t know why or what changed, but it did. That’s compounding.
I took an outdoor yoga class today, and it was gorgeous outside. Sunny but not too hot with a “start of fall” breeze. When we rolled down onto our mats for cool down and savasana, I was watching the clouds in the sky. At first, they were moving pretty quickly, but then, they slowed and seemed to not be moving at all.
However, that wasn’t the case. They were moving. If I closed my eyes for a few breaths and looked again, they were different, ever so slightly. If I watched, it seemed like I couldn’t see the movement or the change, and yet the clouds would change. The one that looked like an alligator suddenly started to get a bit fuzzier around the edges and into maybe more of a squirrel. I didn’t see the movement, but it happened all the same. And the clouds were noticeably different after ten minutes even though the movement was so slight.
That’s the power of small steps. Continuing to take small steps in a direction will eventually lead you to a completely different location: not worrying about how many steps you take a time but focusing on the steps themselves.
People often look back and say – I wish I would have started this sooner, or they regret not taking those steps. We maybe see others who seem so far ahead of us now and wish we were there. It looks like it would have been so easy to do when we look back, just a little bit each day. They are easy, but we have to take them. We can at least start today. Compounding is always best the earlier we start, so we need to not wait another day. What better investment is there than in our own health and wellness?
If you are starting a wellness or yoga journey, start with one class or 10 minutes. Then, do it again. Then again. One step at a time, and when you look back in months and years, you will remember, “10 years ago when I started yoga, I had no idea how it would change my life.”
Small, sure, forward steps will lead to large, undeniable, forward progress.
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