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From Sucking to Success


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One of our favorite places to stay in Bali is a town called Canggu.

We’ve been there a couple of times and always said we would love to go back to do a yoga retreat.

Canggu is a mecca for healthy living. There are many yoga studios, organic restaurants, and world class surfing.

We stayed at a really quaint and quirky place called Serenity Guesthouse. It truly lives up to its name. It is a peaceful place mostly made of bamboo. There are organic gardens around the whole property, a healthy café with homemade Kombucha, a few yoga studios, a meditation room, rain collection bins for water, and they recycle everything.

I have been practicing yoga on and off for years. I started doing yoga about 8 years ago when I was in chiropractic school.

To this day, I still remember the first class I did. I always had a negative view of yoga. I thought it was a lazy form of exercise. I viewed working out as lifting a lot weight – period.

I decided to give a class a try after suffering from shoulder issues for a while. I figured it would be a relaxed way to work my body with minimal effort.

Boy was I wrong!

That first class I did was incredibly humbling. I struggled through the entire thing. I had to take rests more than anyone else in the class. I couldn’t touch my toes, my shoulders were on fire, and every muscle in my body was burning.

I was hooked.

I decided to make yoga a regular part of my fitness regime. I have struggled with keeping it a regular practice at times but like a home base, I always find my way back at some point.

Lately, my yoga practice has fallen a bit by the wayside. I have been doing much more calisthenics work like gymnastics as well as rock climbing and weight lifting.

I decided a great way to get back into the practice would be to do a yoga retreat where I would take 2 classes per day for 5 days and have a really immersive experience.

In short, it kicked my butt. It was very humbling.

I remember one class where I thought I had really advanced my practice until I looked over to my left and saw a guy making me look like it was my first class. He was doing moves I had always dreamed of doing.

At first, I started to doubt and mentally deprecate myself.

Then I realized this guy was where he was because of a ridiculous commitment to his craft. My mind shifted from putting myself down to admiration for the hours, days, weeks, months, and years he committed to molding his mind and body into the ability to master some very challenging moves.

Many times we only see what is on the surface. We see the successful person and assume she was just lucky.

We see the person with the great physique and chalk it up to genetics.

We see the musician, the speaker, the leader, or the athlete, and we ignore the fact that they put in countless hours of work, sleepless nights, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.

If we want to reach excellence in anything, we must remember it takes an extraordinary commitment.

First, stop beating yourself up if you aren’t happy where you are. Accepting yourself is the first step to transformation.

Then decide where you want to be. What is the result you are looking for?

Then decide what you need to do to reach the outcome you are looking for. Who do you need to model? What do you need to read? How much do you need to train?

Lastly, commit to taking massive action.

Speaking of which, time for me to practice some yoga. I have a lot of work to do.

– Matt Westheimer

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