Delving deeper into life & happiness
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Category — Universal wisdom

Life wisdom and Yoga assisted mind alchemy!

To get stronger you need to be strong

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back.. the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

When I registered for Yoga Teacher training, I knew we would be covering all sorts of topics like anatomy, philosophy, asana, but what I didn’t expect was the abundance of ‘life wisdom’ that one inspiring teacher and a curious group of yogis could teach one another. Apart from acknowledging that yoga is truly homemade chicken soup for the soul, here are a few nuggets of wisdom that energized and inspired me to ‘think and be yoga’ off the mat.

The power of alignment
The greatest benefit of a pose is experienced when your body is in optimal alignment. This applies to life. When you think, say and do what is in alignment with your true nature and core values, the rest of life falls into place and you have the chance to experience the fullest expression of your life. Decision-making becomes easier, as you fully own your reality.

“Life is the business of decision-making”
Said a soulful yogi at training. If you don’t make decisions, you run the risk of decisions being made for you. Life serves you a lesson or two when decisions are not made or taken out of our hands. Life doesn’t happen to you, it responds to you. Each time it responds louder and louder so listen to the cues. Sometimes you don’t have control over what happens to you, but you have choice. You decide how to perceive a situation and how to react. This makes you powerful. There’s a roaring lioness in all of us just waiting to create wonders for you. Once you find her, make sure she’s always within grasp.

Create Space and then Stability
Create space in your life by letting go of what no longer serves you. Self-limiting beliefs, guilt, anger, resentment, clouds the mind from seeing what is. Letting go can be tough, but start with an intention and plant that seed. Who knows, you may have the space to invite, build, create something strong and amazing into the space you’ve created.

The power of Community
This should never be underestimated. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is helpful to step out confidently and declare who you really are and bask in your own sunlight. It takes enormous courage to go the distance alone but even greater courage to extend your hand, be seen, and open up to others. Not everyone will like you so surround yourself by a like-minded tribe and radiate the essence of you.

Happiness is an inside job
You can’t ask anyone else to take responsibility for your happiness. Equally so, to let someone navigate your emotions is to give someone power over you. Define what happiness means to you and define your roadmap to cultivate your own happiness. Don’t wait a lifetime to work out what happiness means to you. Yoga makes me happy, and the cool thing is, it’s an internal experience and feeling I can only create for myself. That’s pretty darn awesome.

To get stronger you need to be strong
On the mat, you can see yourself getting physically stronger through practice and the mind body connection shows you that effort equates to a result. If you can achieve something challenging on the mat, there’s no reason why you couldn’t apply this to challenges you may face off the mat. It might take time, but you got this. Transformation happens when you are wiling to endure intensity for the greater good.

The mat is a humble teacher
How you respond on the mat, is directly related to how you respond to life. Do you give up when things get tough or do persist mindfully in pursuit of what you want to achieve?

“Who am I?”
This is a courageous question of epic proportions. Do you dare to ask yourself? Go on give it go… Whilst yoga can’t answer that for anyone, it lays down the foundation so you can discover and appreciate what it is to be you with the space you manifest, the stillness you create and the awareness you start to develop.

What is Yoga?
hOMemade chicken soup for the soul of course…100% organic, dairy free, wheat free, gluten free with sprinkles of Spirulina…. just kidding 😉

Endless gratitude and respect for my fellow yogis, Erica Blitz who taught from her heart and Noura El – Imam who helped make this magic happen for us in Dubai.

August 5, 2016   No Comments

Lessons from the Humble Yoga Mat

 

I’ve come to accept that yoga makes me happy. I’ve had the odd session lead by someone I can only liken to a space cadet in lycra, but generally, I find it is a guaranteed source of happiness. I think yoga can teach us urbanites useful lessons to apply well after your sweat-drenched yoga matt has been stowed away.  Curious Forager attempts to simplify life and get more out of life through little lessons learned. So foragers, if interested, here are some tips from the yoga matt today!

Quit comparing your self to others!

Yoga attracts all sorts – people with varying abilities, ages, some with amazing yoga bodies gift-wrapped in Lululemon clothing, and some not so athletic. It’s easy to compare yourself to the likes of Bendy Betty who can effortlessly bend her body like a perfectly formed pretzel. It’s important to remember other people are on journeys that are different – sometimes you have no idea what their journey is about. We need to strive towards our personal best irrespective of what others appear to have achieved. Sure, we look to others to benchmark our own successes but taking a break from judging yourself and others is so very liberating. Go on indulge yourself!

Stay real, authentic

If the poses are too hard don’t push yourself to master something that you you’re not ready to. You’ll get there when you’re ready. If you’re not a fully fledged yogi – don’t punish yourself – let it go! By all means explore beyond your comfort zone but don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right. Let go of whom you think you should be, and respect who you are, embrace who you are, without judgment. It’s all too easy to take your eyes off the four corners of your matt and take a sneak peek at the yoga prowess of others but in doing so, you take your eyes off your own path, and the magic you yourself can cultivate by doing the best you can well. Don’t worry about what others think of you and your ability – what they think is really none of your business!!

Whatever you do, do it well

If you’re a beginner attempting your first inversion or a veteran who has completed their millionth Downward Facing Dog, it’s important to do it mindfully and to the best of your ability. It’s easy to threaten the integrity of a pose and become complacent because you’ve aced it a million times before. On the same token, it’s easy to do some serious damage to yourself by putting your body through the ringer if . Be true to yourself, be present, and do it well!

Be kind to yourself! 

Some days you’ll master a pose, and other days you’ll feel weak. It’s OK – your body does that sometimes. Find comfort in your efforts, breath through the discomfort and laugh at yourself once in a while. Admittedly, this is my biggest challenge as I can be my own harshest critic. We all can be, but we should moderate our expectations so goals are realistic and achievable. Thankfully, by the end of a yoga session endorphins fire up and life gets so much better and it’s easy to be kind to yourself and others too.

And finally… pain doesn’t last. If you can breathe through the discomfort of yoga – you can endure alot in life! It conditions you to be strong and believe you can withstand physical and mental challenges life sometimes throws at you.

Namaste!

January 5, 2014   No Comments