By Lauren Dee

Life is challenging and so is our yoga practice. In our busy day-to-day lives we rarely have time to reflect on how we are reacting, deflecting, projecting or doing what we do to cope with challenge. On the other hand, our yoga practice creates a setting that lends itself to becoming more aware, making new choices and firing up the re-programming process so we can experience zen and find calm in the face of challenge on + off the mat!

Here are 3 key ways I personally use yoga as a tool to positively retrain my reaction to challenge:

Scenario: I am attempting to do a standing balancing posture that I find difficult. More time is spent falling over than standing up.

1. Recognize:

I take a moment to ask myself:

What do I feel physically? Locked jaw, scrunched eyebrows, shallow or held breath. What is my mental chatter saying? I’m bad at this, everyone can do it but me, I give up. What do I feel emotionally? Frustration, embarrassment, and unworthiness.

2. Release

After recognizing my current state I choose to let it go.

I take a conscious, clearing breath in through my nose and sigh it out through my mouth. With this mindful moment I symbolically push the pause button. In this timeless space I’ve created, I make the choice to change.

3. Reform

I take a moment to ask myself:

How can I shift my physicality toward ease? I unhinge my jaw, soften my gaze, and deepen my breath.

How can I talk to myself the way I would a friend? I tell myself I’m learning a new language, body language, and that no one learns a new language overnight. I encourage myself to be playful and view my falling over as a chance to get back up. I remind myself that it’s not a competition; it’s an opportunity to nurture my personal potential.

Now, what do I feel emotionally?

Calmness, patience, and compassion!


Lauren Dee is a “truth seeker”, Reiki Energy Therapist (level 1, 2 & 3) and a dedicated yoga teacher that endeavours to live the art of life. Her interest in learning how to live in a mindful, heart-centred way began at the Sivasoorya Divine School of Yoga in Kerala, India where Lauren rigorously studied under the Tantric Yogi Guru Raviji completing a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Hatha teacher training course. After India, Lauren continued her meditation practice and soon she became a regular Vipassana meditator going on 10 day long retreats in complete silence. After 3 years of teaching yoga Lauren returned to India for her second 200 hour Yoga Alliance teacher training, this time travelling to Mysore to learn the original Vinyasa method. She has brought the benefit of yoga to lives across the globe; from being the in-house yoga teacher for Royalton Resorts, Punta Cana to teaching locals in their homes during her time in India. Each experience has been a gift. Lauren is always excited to connect with new students, from all walks of life, to share in the sweetness of yoga.

Sign up for Lauren’s classes at Union.