Living Your Yoga: Selfish self-promotional post full of selfies
Spotlight on Mental Health: Often these bits are obligatory. Anyway, it's a tribute post to a love of yoga.
Living Your Yoga
As a yoga teacher, my identity is mostly sharing love and light. But I am also very human which means I’m full of faults bringing me to moments I’m not always proud of.
I approach life with a pragmatic, slightly cynical, realist outlook that brings added intensity to my teachings and writings. With deep beliefs in metaphysical sciences, not always is my brand a popular sell.
As a product of the environments I’ve lived in, and based on my own interpretations on how the world operates, I frequently feel it’s more realistic to expose heavier topics as this helps illuminate light into areas that need more attention to resolve.
Paths leading to love and light are great and all, but most paths I’ve been on are full of rocky obstacles and prickly bushes that graze ankles.
As yogis, we are allowed moments to be angry, or otherwise feel our emotions. As teachers, we are allowed to have opinions and judgments. Collectively, we are all allowed space to work those out during any point of our yogic journey.
Why Practice Yoga as a Lifestyle?
I study yoga as means to positively aid to, and protect my mental health, while working hard practicing random acts of kindness throughout life.
It can be often that my brain is lost in a self-absorbed fairy tale. Sometimes I find, I’m not even made the star of the show. An expected glitch in the matrix, perhaps.
I was told at a young age after much complaining to my elders, that sometimes life wasn’t great and we need to ‘suck it up’ while marching onwards. My wee brain held onto this boomer-infused statement and for a large part of my life. I simply thought I would never feel happiness, while a general theme was to suffer for others.
Yoga lightens me up. Gives a fresher perspective in mindset and makes me less grumpy. In today’s modern-day world full of pressurised distractions, practicing yoga aids in finding a neutral balance. With applied learnings taken off the mat, our lives can be transformed and include having a deeper connection to ourselves, others, inclusive the universe in which we live in.
Practicing yoga yields ample beneficial moments of self-awareness which creates structure for a building a routine of living in the present moment.
I started practicing yoga in my early twenties, during a time when I was renouncing religion but still seeking a spiritual aspect. Growing up in a Christian setting in the southern midwestern part of America taught me to respect religion for what it is. But living abroad, and experiencing life in various cultures has taught me religion doesn’t have to be the driving force behind how I chose to define God.
Practicing a yogic lifestyle is not about the poses!
For my journey, yoga has helped embody a path of self-development and find ways to care for my physical and emotional health as I move through the process of human evolution. This keeps me out of doctor offices and gives me more autonomy over how I manage my long-term health.
Practicing yoga is an embodied mental state that requires consistent time and dedication in efforts of reaching moments of peaceful, neutral thoughts towards one’s self and others. It’s not just about the poses. It is a lifestyle in observation of mind - body - intuitive health.
Studies in diverse yoga philosophies and various asana (poses), pranayama (breath work) and meditation (mindfulness) practices brings a sense of fulfilment that connects body and brain. Sometimes, if willing to listen quietly, spirit will flow.
Yoga is one means for mental & spiritual liberation while also focusing on physical movement, mindfulness practices, and alchemy. For me personally, yoga has taught me how to enjoy life, since not all of my life has been enjoyable.
Spotlight on mental health: A story of unfavourable mentions
In 2015 my life changed radically upon the deaths of three parents, a struggling marriage and a job promotion.
At the time, I was failing at managing my own issues with with co-dependency in my personal relationships and instead of actually treating the root of the problem, I masked all the symptoms and put my energy elsewhere. Namely, towards my job. The energy I put forth in places outside my home invigorated me enough to keep up a solid run, but eventually I burned out.
I wrote this post on my (now retired) personal blog, covering my impressions on being a working mom and would like to draw the reader’s attention to the power behind how we use our words.
When I published this post back on my birthday in 2015, I had taken decisions that were to change my life that I wasn’t happy about. Those decisions were based on sacrifices for others at that time.
Instead of following my body’s intuition (what I wanted), I chose to follow my mind’s logic (what programming made most logical sense). By 2018, I had experienced most of the horrors I wrote about years earlier.
At this time, I was deeply spiralling into a depressive state and didn’t realise what I was doing while writing. In reflection, I can now see I was literally projecting a visual representation of what my life could look like if I continued the downward spiral I was on. This is a form of toxic manifestation, and not one I advise. Obviously, and I have resolutions to offer to warn against this!
Fortunately, making decisions and taking actions to change my life drastically while putting in hours of self-development work, therapy & revamping a yogic lifestyle from my youth has paid off. I finally feel I’ve reached a reasonable state of happiness while living in an insane world.
Largely my time was dedicated to self-care and deepening close relationships while strategically minimising my time with others outside my inner circle. Added limited, planned community participation and networking with contacts I felt emotionally safe to share space with.
I will be sharing more writings covering topics of burn-out, addiction, transformation and recovery in coming posts. Am happy to receive you here.
When do we get a break?
I feel we are not given enough time as humans to appreciate just living life. It feels like we are pushed to only produce, being treated as part of an automated process.
As humans, our mental health suffers because of this. We are emotional beasts with purposes, and means to live out dreams and ambitions. But seems societal norms taint these opportunities for us.
Often we think we are doing the right thing when in fact, we loose ourselves within the confines of our own egos. Perhaps a part of that is because we often feel rushed, or like we are pressed for time.
Time! There’s never enough time!
But is that really the truth? Especially if we are responsible for creating our own realities and changing our mindsets?
With dooming global matters looming in our next chapter, we need to highlight topics to positively support our mental health in daily convos making the new norm of our daily greetings to one another of “How’s your mental health today?!”
I’ve grown in comfort in discussing my own experiences after being diagnosed with atypical depression at a young age. I learned after a decade of hiding my “ailments” that sharing them was a better way for myself and others not to have to suffer alone in a void of darkness.
Prioritise our mental health in all matters. This should remain the focus in our lives going forward. Time isn’t only experienced in linear manners, best to become creative with the time given.
Invoking power behind our words.
Many of us understand how manifesting works. Though having an ability to successfully materialise thoughts into realities is something that takes practice & time to refine.
This involves an investment in dedication and practice to learn to do properly. We cannot just expect good, or bad, situations to pop up as there is a large part of accountability in action that we are responsible for.
For me, the learnings have been great to eliminate toxic and negativity thoughts. Words, behaviours, people, overall situations with bad vibes. Goners. But this has involved a complete mind - body - soul transformation where the rewards have not come easily.
Learning how to manage my mental health has taught many difficult lessons while yielding favourable returns, especially when accepting massive failures. I work hard to maintain daily programming of a healthier mindset as my brain consistently retreats to thoughts that deter.
I do still enjoy embodying the essence of a dark pragmatic, as intense for me feels more comfortable. But, I remain happy to look to the lighter sides of life as this continues to inspire and motivate. Appreciating nature, stillness and solitude that are elements of that inspiration.
Living yoga and doing yoga are two different topics. Looking back on my relationships with yogis that I’ve maintained for two decades, I’m grateful for these connections while also observing the diverse journeys of others.
It starts to feel more like a religion and definitely there can be a lot of cult-like activity stemming from practitioners, hence shoppers beware. Though, I find leading a life full of curious explorations tends to steer a healthy bond for a connection to the self, Self & the Divine.
Future writings to be included for this space covers thoughts and ‘stories’ on: spiritual maladies…sharing experiences in result of failed exhaustive capitalism… unveiling trauma scars left from battling the patriarch…
Does come laced with hope, inspiration, and a bit of magic.
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