I am constantly amazed at how the Universe and the world around me keep me on my toes. As I write this I am on a layover in Dallas, Texas, and just a few hours prior, I was at Madison Airport running back to my car at 5:38am (after a run into the airport because I realized how far the economy parking lot is, and heck I have legs to I can walk, but I don’t want to be late). In just a few minutes the Universe taught me to be even more conscious and do what my Inner Self, that whisper from God telling you to do something and when we don’t listen we may have to do something more complicated than what the initial request was. So that run back to my car I was talking about was because after check in (and my flight being moved from 6am to 6:30am) I went to the bathroom, and after, I had the thought to text my husband to tell him I’m at the airport, but I thought that I’d wait until later because I didn’t feel like taking my phone out of my bag. Well after security check I was searching for my phone and couldn’t find it…it was in my car. And at 5:38am I found myself, with my roller suitcase and handbag running in 8 degrees to get my phone, hoping I won’t miss my flight at 6:30pm.
Lesson here, do what your Inner Self says, and when you don’t there is a silver lining, I wasn’t mad that I had to run back to the car (after running in the first time to get my flight). Because I instantly thought of the fact that before I even made the choice to not look at my phone, God and the Universe already switched my flight to accommodate my choice five minutes later.
I have for many years now believed that being comfortable in life means that you are not growing, and that there are two different kinds of easy: one, easy because you are avoiding life’s challenges so what you come in contact with is never pushing you to be more than you currently are; and two, easy because you understand that you need to be challenged and that all the “problems” you are facing currently are because life is not giving up on you, the Universe and God want very much for you to succeed and that what is currently taking you down, is actually building you back up. The only real challenge is if you choose to listen or not.
Over the years I have had many opportunities to challenge my personal integrity, my belief system and how I act on it, my lifestyle, my truths, among many other personal convictions; and within all of those opportunities I have come face to face several times with the meshing and tangling with others integrity, belief system, lifestyle and personal convictions and what I have come to notice, and turn my awareness towards is my actions and reactions to the interactions with life in general.
And what I have come to find is that all these encounters force me to put life into actual action. Now as you read this you are probably wondering ‘life into actual action’, isn’t life actual action? But hear me out; life is only living when you chose to be an active part of it, faith is only faith when you choose to attest to it and walk in its footsteps. Yoga is only yoga when you take it off the mat and into every day life. Now readings this ask yourself a few simple questions: one, do I agree, two, if I don’t agree, why, am I not living up to my potential, three, am I consciously choosing to only do what is comfortable and the norm, only what others say is right or correct living.?
If everything is a mirror for right living, for ourselves to get a real glimpse as to what is really going on inside of us, then this is the question I ask myself is: “what is my mirror showing me today?” I don’t always like the mirror because it tells me that what I am doing and what I know I should be doing and am capable of, are different. When we accept the mirror in all aspects of life we allow another opportunity in- to grow and become the person the Universe and God intended us to be.
There is no drug, surgery or amount of money that can replace what the mirror can do for us. We live in an age of politically correct action; we are trying to save everyone from harm’s way, from hurt, from consequences to help them from seeing the mirror that is in front of them. I often times wonder if removing the mirror from people’s lives is really the right decision. As a yoga teacher, I tread both heavy and lightly on these grounds because we are all at a different place in life and within our own personal convictions.
I have a bit of abhorrence when my awareness kicks in and each night when my husband wants ice cream I want to pretend that I should have some too and it won’t affect me later. I dislike greatly that my mirror kicks in and shows me that I would be a lot less stressed, less tired, and more ready for the day if I just go to bed earlier. The list goes on, in the past I came to realize that my food choices were base on what I felt I should be doing rather than what I need for me, my body image was based solely on what I thought others thought of me. My self-worth was entangled in the worth of those around me. And what I believe in and acted on in faith was knotted in with was drilled into my head without reason why, and was in-fact faith without action. Sure I went to church and prayed and did my fair share of volunteering (which I love and would probably be a missionary if I wasn’t a yoga teacher) among other things.
But looking back in that part of my life what I needed was to be shown that all the things I needed were inside of me. That by accepting the Self is actually accepting the Universal Consciousness (however that manifests for you). And the self-hate I had towards myself and the lies, self-mutilation and anger I had was not an action in Universal Consciousness or of God, and although I did a pretty good job of looking the part and doing all the right things and even the work I was doing was supposed to “save me” the only thing that really saved me was when I realized that I had purpose, I was in-fact a part of that Universal Consciousness and that God was actually inside of me rather than some big scary thing in the sky that was going to punish me for wrong doing. My God is my mirror, showing me everything I need to know about myself, life and living, doing work and living honestly to the best of my ability.
My yoga practice (which has very much floated over into how I live) will not be all you expect: my family eats meat, I like an occasional cup of coffee, I am guilty of a late night snack, I own a T.V., you might be amazed at the fact that I don’t’ agree with all environmental actions taken that is currently taken to make the environment a safer place; which I think may actually be causing more toxic harm; and sometimes I even shop at Wal-mart (remember those people that work there chose to work there and need jobs, which this establishment has provided).
No one is perfect and if you are projecting yourself to be, I’m impressed and need to know your secret. But more important is that yoga is teaching me that I should be pure in all that I do, that I should be honest, compassionate and live to be happy, and share happiness with others. That it’s not talking the talk, but walking the walk.
I am thankful that my yoga, the yoga I know and live and teach and walk by is my mirror, both on the mat and off the mat, and when I approach that ready to listen, ready to learn and ready to do the work, I am amazed because I never know what is going to happen. The old me would have either ran or got defensive, but in understanding what the real point of a yoga practice is I thank God for my mirror to be able to see things as they actually are and know that what and how things come into play in my life are an opportunity for me to learn, grow and truly live.
In respect, Namaste.
Got tension, stress, worry, or doubt? We all do, and when we offer ourselves simple techniques to help eliminate and lessen the effects of them, we feel better and become better people. The Tension Release breathing technique is meant to help one to release negative psychic tensions built up within the subtle body. These tensions can hold us back in our spiritual growth and create a very heavy energy. This practice was created by Swami Rudrananda to better enhance his spiritual life.
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There are 30 trillion cells in the human body, more than 60,000 miles of blood vessels, 88,000 chakras, and 72,000 nadis. And that's just the beginning.
Awareness is a funny thing. Usually, until something is brought to your attention, you do not realize it exists, is important, or needs to be changed. When I first started a formal yoga practice over ten years ago (I’m pretty sure my shoulder stands in my living room at age eight were a sign yoga was in my future), I had no clue what awareness was. Growing up I was told to pay attention, but I don’t think I really knew what actual awareness was.
What is awareness?
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- Yoga is not a fashion show. It can sometimes appear that yoga is in fact a fashion runway where people are able to show off the latest trends and styles via their yoga mat. The only problem is when someone can’t afford those expensive duds (as most yoga clothes are) they can feel less than perfect. A few years back, I remember hearing about a yoga fashion show happening, and I had to step back for a moment and ask myself, “Is this even yoga anymore?”
- Yoga is not a workout. Now I bet you are thinking, “What the heck is she talking about?” But hear me out. Yoga in the West is mainly physical, and that being said, many treat it like an exercise routine; something they use to cross train with, and that is great and wonderful. However, asana is only one of the eight limbs of yoga, so really, when yoga is a work out, then you are simply asana-ing.
- Yoga is not a fad. Now, many use yoga coupled with other practices to make it sound trendier, more hip, and what they end up doing is taking the yoga out of yoga. I giggle at the phone calls I get from time to time from prospective students, very explicit about the kind of yoga they are looking for; they don’t really know anything about yoga itself, just that the kind they are looking for includes a buzz word and sounds very difficult.
- Yoga is not boot camp. It seems a little oxymoron to me to put boot camp and yoga together; you might as well call it military yoga. What I hope people are realizing is they are buying into buzz words, or spiking terms, that promise to give them results fast, and a boot camp has that appeal. If you want yoga to kick your butt, then find a teacher who is capable of truly teaching you what you are doing and what it means to practice yoga.
- Yoga is not a religion. Contrary to what some may still think, yoga is not a religion. It is something to help enhance your belief system and spirituality, but not a practice that deems a particular faith. Yoga is without a doubt a science of consciousness. Some say religion creates walls, well then yoga cultivates a communion of consciousness together as One.
- Yoga is not competition. I heard this past year that the Olympic committee was considering putting yoga in the mix of other sports for the Olympic Games. What?! Yoga as a competition totally defeats the entire purpose of a yoga practice in the first place. Focusing on the physical only, and then worrying about beating someone else and being judged on your form, posture and approach; someone might as well follow you around all day and flip up score cards as to how they think you are living your life.
- Yoga is not about your teacher. I heard the term “yoga celebrity” a few years ago and I was saddened to hear such a term. Can you really be a celebrity of yoga? Apparently so, and yes, a good teacher is hard to find, but what makes a good teacher is not fame and living on the Cali coast. As your teacher, I would want nothing more than to truly help you understand what living a yogic lifestyle means, not just to teach you asana. And in those teachings, a yoga teacher’s aim should be, to in the end, have a student that is ten times better than she (or he) would ever be.
- Yoga is not a destination. Yoga is quite simply a journey. A journey that can lead to an endless array of possibilities. We often get fixed on mastering a pose, and then once we have mastered that pose, we realize that it wasn’t the pose at all, but the journey to the pose that gave us such joy and accomplishment.
- Yoga is not a quick fix. I hear it all the time from students, “What can I do for this issue?” And to be quite honest, even on a physical level, it is not that simple. Our bodies took years to get to where we are, and to be able to un-do something in two simple moves is ridiculous and simply not possible. It takes time to truly understand the body, why we are the way we are and, most importantly, to heal. Yoga is a lifelong practice, one thing leading into the next, much like a dance. Think of all the old-time dances; they took time, there was precision, purpose and mindfulness involved. Sounds like yoga to me!
- Yoga is not something we do. Yoga isn’t something you do, it is a state of being. Yoga is what some call a complete union of all things consciousness, but more importantly, yoga is you, me, the trees, air, your breath, a smile, a pose, the sound Om. Yoga is the beginning and end of everything, yoga is all that is in existence. You can never really ever do yoga; you can only practice yoga. Much like you can never really do life; you can only live life. Yoga is the action of life.
Hope in her backyard in Dancer Pose
We have all said it to someone, had someone say it to us or even said it to ourselves in a moment of self realization: You need to take better care of yourself, take more time for you and maybe even learn to say no.
We do in fact get too caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday living that we forget that if we do not pay attention to our personal needs and well-being there will quite simply be no us, no you, no me. Within this honoring, this mindfulness we are in-acting towards ourselves it has been very apparent to me that this act of selflessness needs to be coupled with an intention, awareness and consideration of those around us as well.
We often times get too caught up in our own "stuff" we forget that what we do, the choices we make and the things we say affect those around us.
Consciousness of who we are, what we are doing and how we live is something we must choose to do each day and then act or react accordingly.
I have found myself lately in situations that have been teaching me about my own consciousness and how I am in fact playing into others lack thereof. I ultimately care so much about my foresight has been that I will sacrifice myself for others to move forward. But I have noticed lately, more than ever, that there is seldom a return on this (when you are not truly honoring your own being). Now I know some of you will say “sure there is”. But what I have ultimately found is that the self sacrifice I am referring to is the one where we are in fact enabling those around us to stay stuck, even though they may get what they need: a ride, some money, help, or a hand out with our having asked, but within that process we end up sinking our own beings to help them stay afloat with nothing in return.
Many times we (the enablers) make choices and act in such ways because we feel we may be inconveniencing others and in return they may not want to buy something of yours or come to your party or help you when you are down and out. What we often times forget is that in doing such this, with these intentions and mindset no one wins. Sure that person is down on their luck, in a bind or struggle but if you keep helping them how will they learn, and if you keep helping them how will you learn? When we act I this way we are actually holding the other people involved back from growing, we are enabling their karma to never fully meet with them face to face because we feel bad or we want to help because we feel guilty or they pull out the victim card on us. And as much as we are trying to help them honor themselves by assisting them in making the right choices, helping them heal from a crisis, we need to turn that around towards us and ask ourselves if we are doing the same thing?
The truth is we all have problems; we all have rough patches, bumps and mishaps; now some come in the form of cancer, dis-ease, financial loss, martial or family problems, and self insecurities that may in turn become horrible self destructive addictions. But these are purely learning lessons, some very difficult, some sudden, or seemingly unfair, but if you can step back from them a bit and trust that everything is in its perfect place and a learning opportunity we will only move forward leaving no one accountable for our actions except ourselves. My life has screamed this for as far as I can remember. As a young child I felt the need to fix everything, in my teens I struggled with a paralyzing eating disorder and then early into recovery our first daughter Faith at 28 weeks gestation was diagnosed with a irreversible condition that left her with a short life spent in my arms (and my husband’s). I had to choose each time to not see myself as a victim, to not blame everyone around me and to not blame myself. I choose at each moment (literally) to see what the silver lining was, to see that life was teaching me, Faith chose this life and chose me and my husband as part of her path and we to hers. She gave me personally many great things that I am grateful for and she would have not given me them any other way. Just like your current life and situation is giving you something right now to grow from, to help change your life and work through your karma.
So when we learn to honor ourselves, and act in a self-less way, we need to ask ourselves this “am I helping or hurting”, these choices should hold us accountable to our actions, words and thoughts. Remember the lady in McDonalds with the coffee, I believe that this episode paved the way for people to believe that self integrity, self responsibility and accountability will not get you what you want, we now live in a society that would rather divorce than admit that they were wrong, sue every company, person and organization than step up and do a little hard work and grow. Much of the ownership in today’s society comes in all the wrong forms. Respect is bought, stolen, or cheated, we are taught that honesty will not get you far in life, and we are taught to be enabled from early on.
Simply put, when we learn to respect ourselves, see the greater good in ourselves and lead by example what seems so hard, unfair or impossible only becomes the biggest stepping stone in your karmic journey. Sink or swim, look around is anyone really pushing you under? For me (during my eating disorder) I found I was letting myself drown, and manipulating those around me to keep me afloat just enough not to have to change.
So go out and take better care of yourself, but in that process seek awareness and understand that we are only given what we need and have asked for ourselves through our own choices and actions.
Core strength isn’t just about looking thin; your core is your identity center and connects all your movements. For these reasons and more, having core strength will improve your mind, body, and soul.
1. Learn deep abdominal breathing (DAB). Most people in today’s society are chest breathers, and this kind of breathing leads to a slew of side effects like anxiety, asthma, sleep disturbances, stress, poor digestion, and constipation just to name a few. Distance yourself from chest breathing by practicing deep abdominal breathing before you get out of bed in the morning and when you lay down to go to sleep. DAB is a great technique to help bring more awareness to your core, the center of your being. Here’s how to practice it:
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- Place one hand on your lower abdomen and one hand on your upper belly, now take a moment and relax into the bed or floor.
- On the inhalation consciously move your breath into the upper hand and then begin to consciously expand your breath into the lower hand.
- Exhale and allow the breath to fully complete itself, do not worry about how the breath leaves (bottom to top or top to bottom), and try to make the exhalation slightly longer than the inhalation.
- Pay attention that the exhalation fully completes itself and that nothing is forced; your body will accept the breath as you continue to work.
- Work with this for at least three to five minutes or until you fall asleep (at night).
Happy New Year! With each New Year comes yet another opportunity to regain a sense of self. Regain a sense of purpose and right attitude. I do my best to stay away from the news and adrenal overload fed media messages, but even when avoiding that stuff I am amazed at how much we as people feed into it. Commercials and television shows, new fitness fads and crazy diets. And somehow we as a people believe that this is a means to regain our sense of self, get our lives back so to speak. And what I have observed even more is that for whatever reason I notice people constantly saying in the new year or next week after such and such I will change this or stop doing that. So I wonder to myself what is so special about a day that we put off something we absolutely need or desire to do, to only self-sabotage for a few more days. So along comes the infamous New Year’s day and then for some reason the punishment starts; diets, boot camps and unhealthy “healthy” fasts and workout that are called insanity. Are we insane? Take a look at the few things I listed and notice what they all have in common…..one, they all are crazy and two, none of them offer us a sense of self-esteem, slow continuous change and an understanding as to why we are feeling the need to do these things in the first place.
Each year people ask me what my client retention is at the studio after the first of the year, and usually reply oh good, like anything we of course have a few new people come and a few old people come back and after a few months we have a few of those new people fade away and a few old people do the same. And what I continually remind people is that neither one outcome is good or bad but rather an important thing to remember is that change takes time, and change is hard, and real change takes effort and does not happen overnight. I struggled with an eating disorder for over ten years and I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I tried to stop, to cold turkey turn away from this daunting habit, an addiction-what I know as pure hell.
And maybe some of you are like me and wake up in the morning and say today I’m going to stop doing XYZ, only to find that three hours later you are doing the exact thing you said you were not going to do. And maybe you are also like me in that you get something in your head and instead of finding a healthy balance you go to the extreme and practically kill yourself in the hopes of getting the results you want at literally all costs.
What I am getting at is you can do all the Jillian Boot Camps and go inane on your insanity videos, cut out carbs, gluten, and drink only juice, but none of these things will help you to understand why in the first place you are doing the things you are doing or not doing the things you desire to do.
What you choose to offer yourself in the New Year should allow you to dig deep, be slow and steady and help you change your mind set and attitude. Because what good is a killer body if the person living inside it is rude, negative, insecure or scared.
So for the New Year consider five things:
1. Try adding something to your life that will nourish your soul a bit more.
All that bleeping, shouting, arguing, hitting we accept as normal, is not only imposing violence in us as adults but into our children as well. Choose to step away, and it is as simple as turning off the T.V. and turning on a family conversation.
2. Don’t start a gratitude journal. I love the idea, but to be honest, sharing what you are grateful for with those you love is much more empowering and nurturing for everyone involved. Plus if you have kids it shows them what gratitude really is and for a partner that may not see the light quite yet, may come around sooner than later.
3. Stop with the excuses. My yoga has allowed me to notice the large amount of excuses I was using at one time and now how many the world uses. One thing I have been working on for quite some time is to stop making excuses. Excuses as to why you haven’t been to yoga or why your kids are out of control, why you’re stressed or say you have no time. Realizing my excuses has allowed me to take back responsibility for my life, stop blaming and start living. I don’t get all done I would like but, I know it’s me that can change that, not everyone else.
4. Finally, commit to something. We all have these crazy big plans for the new year, class every day, health harming diets, earlier bed times, no candy for our kids, just to name a few, and the reality is that we just need to commit, and once we commit, realize that we need to start slow in order to find long term results. Few students I have that come three to four times a week started that way initially. Over time they saw value in the classes they were taking and they over time noticed their bodies change as well as their minds and relationships change. And most say it usually just happened without force.
So if you are forcing something in your life I urge you to step back and take a breath because an all or nothing attitude will usually leave you with all stress or nothing left to give.
Re think your plan of action for the new year and consider stepping back before going all in, because is what you are diving into going to help you resolve what the real issue is, and give you the long term happiness? The happiness we all are craving.
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Over the past decade, I've noticed that there is more to teaching yoga than just knowing the names of the poses, what they look like, and how to put them together to create a flow.
Below are the key tips that I share with my teachers and trainees to help them put their best foot forward -- not only in teaching, but in their own personal journey as well. To me, that is what yoga is all about and if you can make that personal growth, it becomes a lot easier to be an effective yoga teacher.
1. Stay a student.
When we think we know it all and stop learning, we stop re-evaluating what we are doing and stunt growth. Being a student means that, as yoga teachers, we continue to learn from others, take classes, read lots, and take trainings or workshops. On top of that we, work to discover our strong as well as our weak areas. When we stay a student we also stay humble and compassionate, which is a very important quality for a yoga teacher.
2. Know your students.
I know it seems obvious, but what type of investment are you really making in your students? Many of them trust you more than other authorities figures in their lives. So knowing your students is more than knowing their names but learning to read both their body language and body mechanics.
Day One of my teacher training, I teach students how to train their eye to detailed observation. When you start to apply this type of approach to your students, you notice that Sally in the back is always rubbing her neck before class, and Bill in the corner makes a funny face every time he’s in cobra, and Jill up front wears glasses into yoga but not during yoga.
This is what I call the hidden investment, meaning these are things you are noticing but they may not notice you noticing them. When we assess this way we are better able to give our student what they need without asking them directly (which we all know doesn’t always get us an answer or maybe not the real one).
This knowing leads us right into things like speed of speech, body language, type of conversations they have in class, outside activities from yoga, the list goes on. But as a yoga teacher or any effective “life” teacher this is important to do and understand its importance. To continue reading this article by Hope click to visit MindBodyGreen.com where this article was posted.
1. Location, location, location. Think of where you would want this space. Somewhere tucked away, somewhere you pass daily in your home or office. Your night stand, a living room shelf, maybe a set aside room. For me I have 2, my kitchen sink, here I have displayed sacred, meaningful things that remind me to get centered. And my second is my office/yoga room; here my books and yoga mat and props are waiting for me each day. If you are going to practice in that space maybe consider facing east if you are going to practice in the morning and west if you are to practice in the evening.
2. Create an altar, or some sort of stand or focal point. Where can you look to as a reminder each day a mini temple of sorts.
3. Go green, plants that is. Having live foliage is a wonderful way to clear the air and give a feeling of new life and energy. Choose plants that are soothing, uplifting and centering.
4. Daily inspiration at your fingertips. Have available and waiting things like angel cards, devotional prayer books, meditations, possibly your rosary or mala; something that you can go to each time you step into the space.
5. Photographs of teachers, places family and friends. These are all good reminders to keep you grounded and remember you have a great support team.
6. Meaningful items. Is there anything meaningful to you that you use for inspiration, centering, keep that in your sacred space. A letter from a close friend, a favorite stone, a memento from a passed elder or teacher. Something that allows you to connect.
7. A journal. If it allows journal daily and this is the perfect place to do this, your thoughts, intentions, desires and what it is you are hoping to release. Here it can manifest in a safe, healthy environment.
8. Don’t forget to clear the clutter. Our energy can often times get misdirected when clutter is present. Remove old useless items, garbage, and put away items that have been left out before and after you use the space to keep good energy flowing.
9. If possible have a no cell phone policy. If this space is going to be the place that you go to refuel and reload, if possible keep the electronics at bay, if possible place a sign on the door that says do not disturb. Even just 5 minutes for you a day can make a world of wonder.
10. Use the space. Remember to create a space in a space that will be user-friendly to you and workable for your lifestyle. For me that is why I have two spaces, one that is solely mine and one that is more of a family space. No matter what you do, or where you decide to create this space know that it will hold everything for you that you put into it. Namaste.
Our yoga practice is a promise to ourselves that we want more and deserve more. And I believe that what makes yoga so unique is that at the end of the day if you are not ready to step onto the mat than the change will not happen. I have not only seen this in myself but students over the last, almost decade of teaching. Yoga to me is the most real that someone can get with themselves (at least the yoga I practice), the lies will eventually rise to the surface, the false hopes will eventually go sour and the work will time and time again be put back in our court. What I’m trying to say is that, life becomes a lot sweeter when we start to trust that the universe and our Creator have our best interest at heart. That we might not know it all, and that no matter how “good, smart, elite, or savvy” we think we are, that must still be a humbleness to remind us that there is always something to learn. Interestingly enough my journey was the opposite, I much of my life felt lesser, that I was the one always lacking, or missing the bar, so for me my mat became a constant reminder that I am great today just as I am and even during my stages of recovery, I began to stop seeing myself as “messing up” day after day but rather thanking life and God for the opportunity to be aware of what I need to learn and how it is that I can change.
I post a Facebook quote of the day, usually something from my heart (yep, look for me and Copper Tree on there!) and I had posted a few days ago a quote stating: “You know you are ready for change when you come to realize that what you see in other people and don’t like is a mirror for what you need to see in yourself and begin to change”. For me this was such an eye opener, this awareness not only helped me to grow and realize what I needed to change in myself, but to also realize what I didn’t and did what to take into my life. Basically an awareness, and without awareness you will never grow, there will never be change and that box you feel stuck in, will still be that box and you will still be in it.
Stepping out means taking a chance, it means trusting without immediate proof, sometimes going with our gut, trusting that you are being guided and that what you are doing is right. Simply put, if you don’t like your life, like where you are or what you are doing. Ask yourself…What am I doing to move beyond this? What am I doing to make a change? Are you tired in the morning, well than stop going to bed at 12am, sick of all the mess, well than go clean it up. Who are we all waiting for? What formula do I not know about that fixes all problems and people, all situations? Because the only formula I know is the one where I start to take care of me, and work on me, and change me, because that is the only way I know of to get to where I want to be.
If you pray and ask for guidance, well then once you get the guidance it’s your job to take it; if you meditate for peace, it’s your job to work to keep the peace. If you ask for help and suggestions to regain your health, well then you have to follow through to see the results. So how does this all tie back to a yoga practice? On our mat we see ourselves as we truly are, raw and willing to do the work necessary to move forward or make change, and even if we are not ready at least now we are aware and it becomes our choice what to do with that awareness.
My mat has been my place of refuge, my place of contemplation, my place of self discover and my mirror for the good, the bad and the ugly. Time and time again I step into another time zone or something, only to find that everything I need, everything I am wondering about, lies on my yoga mat. I look back at myself five even ten years ago and find that I am still the same person, even memories as a child I find are laced into who I am today. But the only difference is how I see the world, how I see myself and how I chose to live life- is drastically different. For some yoga is a savior for their physical bodies, to be saved from inflexibility, headaches, cramped feet, or to regain the body they have been long searching for. But for me, my yoga practice has taught me how to actually be able to look at my body and befriend it. To look at my life and no longer see myself as the victim but rather the person at the wheel. I tear up thinking about what I have been through, only to come out bright eyed and ready to move on with no regrets (and I never thought I’d say that). And the tears are only tears of joy and amazement that my mat brought that to me.