How can I become a better man? How can I become a better version of myself?
Like many, I started to consider yoga.
Yes, it’s a form of exercise, and yes, it’s a discipline that can improve your flexibility. Yoga also improved mobility and anatomical awareness. Yoga is something that every man should include in their training routine. In my experience, yoga enhances the quality of their journey of life.
But what about your mental strength? What about the skills that you can’t see or touch?
From an outsider’s point of view, the yoga world has been dominated by women. This has been the case since the early seventies when yoga came on the scene in fitness classes,
So on my journey to become a better man, my instincts told me that yoga could help to unlock that door.
I didn’t know the real answer to these questions until a few months back.
I know I had to leave and travel. For some reason, I thought the “Pura Vida” of Costa Rica would give me some clarity on what I’m searching for.
I was hoping that the yoga in Costa Rica would give me some better direction. Help me to become a better version of myself. To become a better man.
It was in the Osa Peninsula at this yoga retreat where I found the intangible tools of yoga and how to use them to enhance my life even more.
My background is in adventure tourism. I have worked as a raft guide, ski, snowboard, and rock-climbing instructor. The all “manly” kinds of sports. Right?! I thought so.
My father was a shining example of what it meant to be a good man. He taught me how to be a:
A Confident Leader.
An Empathetic Person.
A Student of Life.
I’ve recognized this is only the tip of the iceberg on my journey of what it means to become a better man.
Here on the Osa Peninsula, I discovered two skills that I now use to improve the quality of life.
I have learned that yoga is not only about physical postures; it is a way of life.
Yoga is a practice for the mind.
Yoga is a philosophical practice to help me to become a better version of myself.
Here are two ways yoga has helped me to become a better man.
I become a better man when I am full present:
I have a real hard time being present. To be indeed unequivocally present.
Being at this beautiful beachfront yoga retreat, I have been challenged to be present.
In these past few months, I’ve become more aware of my surroundings and enhanced the quality of my relationships. I have a strong desire to be able to hold space for those who want to share with me.
I value my relationships as one of my top priorities. I appreciate my relationships with my family, friends, and lovers. There are times where I take them for granted, and I mentally check and don’t give them my undivided attention.
I am super good at listening at the right moments to give them the sign that I’m paying attention to. But if you’d ask me what the discussion was about 5 minutes later, I would not be able to tell you.
I have noticed that when people are talking to me, my mind is immediately thinking about my response.
I am not listening.
I am not present.
During my time here in Costa Rica. I am now in pursuit of living my life breathing in each moment I have. It is so essential that I treasure the time and moments I get with the people I care about. There is no guarantee of tomorrow.
I choose to treat every day as if it’s my last and be more present.
This philosophy and daily meditation have given me the skills to give my loved ones all my energy and focus. I am more present to everything that we do or say together.
I forget about the past; I drop anxiety of the future. I’m able to find joy in the now.
I am not dwelling about the past or fantasizing about the future. I am living a more yogic life by elevating my awareness of the spectacular nature here on the Osa.
Yoga Has Given Me Mental Clarity
Another skill I acquired through meditation is the increased clarity of life.
When I am quiet, answers to life’s questions come to me.
This yoga environment has engendered a space to create goals, design the plan, and then execute it proficiently. I am so much more aligned because I have found a way to get out of my own way.
I simply need to quiet my mind.
Easier said than done, which is why I have yoga part of my morning routine to conquer the day.
Starting the day by waking up the body with a routine brings clarity.
I sit on the beach or by the pool, focusing on each part. Everything becomes loose. I fire up my muscles with short and powerful yoga series that helps me improve flexibility and mobility. After I have increased my heart rate, I then bring it back down through a 15 to 20-minute meditation practice.
I am still very much a novice, and I know I won’t have the luxury of meditation in Costa Rica forever. I use different techniques available online to assist and guide me.
The journey of becoming a better man has led me to this point.
The jungles of Costa Rica provide such a real and potent environment for learning and self-reflection.
I have learned the importance of being present. In this space, I can apply it to every engagement of my life. Because of yoga, I learn the skills to stay grounded.
And appreciative of the opportunities that I am blessed with today.
The ability to be present with a calmer and clearer mind is such a powerful tool for me on my journey of becoming a man. These tools have given me a positive and focussed direction.
The direction I am looking for is not something I can buy or read about.
The direction is something that I can only acquire if I choose to be disciplined with my yoga.
By Chris Boudreau