Self Care Friday: We become what we do…

Peace Soulstars,

Let’s talk about something that has changed my life since 2013 and taught me the importance of self care…Yoga.  My first official yoga class was in 2013.  It was bikram yoga also known as “hot yoga”.  The name in and of itself is a bit intimidating when you haven’t experienced hot yoga before.  I was having a rough day and a friend of mine texted me about going to hot yoga class with her.

A part of me didn’t feel like it because I was in a horrible mood.  The other part had been curious about taking an actual yoga class with other people of all levels. I had done yoga at home for years but never took a class.  It was more about convenience I guess.

When my friend asked me to come to class with her, I had just taken my social work licensure exam and failed it.  I felt terrible but didn’t need to.  It was only a test.  All I know is that I told my husband about my invite to yoga and he encouraged me to go despite how I felt.  So, I went.  It was one of the best decisions I made for myself.

I remember at the beginning of the class while we were in child’s pose focusing on the breath I thought to myself “This is awesome.”…Just from breathing alone.  The instructor said the words which were music to my soul “Let go of all of the shit from this week”.  I needed to hear that and I did.  I began to learn the art of letting go that day and it felt amazing.

I had done yoga before but there was something different about this time.  I did yoga for “fitness” before but this time I had a reason beyond getting the poses right.  I got on the mat not for physical exercise but for my spirit. Later, I learned that it’s called yoga flow for a reason.  It starts with awareness, the breath, spirit, mind and the body follows.

My spirits were low and needed uplifting.  My peace of mind was shook by an external conditions and I allowed that to happen.  I learned that my peace of mind is not contingent upon passing a test or how others perceive me or any other extenuating circumstances.  I cannot control what goes on outside of myself but I can control what goes on within me.

I proceeded to fall in love with yoga and kept it up for almost a year two to three times a week.  Once I discovered pure barre I alternated between yoga and barre.  Nothing ever felt like yoga though. Nothing ever compared.

Fast forward to today.  I’ve been practicing yoga at home about three or more days a week.  Recently I participated in a challenge (twelve days of yoga) which motivated me to practice daily even if only for ten minutes.  The benefits are endless and the little improvements you notice as days progress are profound.  Sometimes I do yoga twice a day(morning and evening) depending.

Over the years,  I always kept yoga in my routine along with other forms of body work (exercise).  So, I would do yoga once or twice a week at home along with pure barre which I had done for a few years (2013-2015).  It was great.  I love pure barre too but nothing was like yoga.  Yoga is soul work when you fully embrace it.

Prior to starting yoga, I thought it was about fitness but had a mindful component to it.  It’s actually the other way around and more.  Yoga means “union”.   We could get into sanskrit terms but for now I’ll keep it simple.  Mind, body, and spirit become aligned when you become yoga.  They unite.

When you break down the many aspects of mind, body, spirit there are many other components within.  We don’t “do” yoga, we become yoga.  When we become it, our soul is illuminated.  Everything else falls into place.  You may not be into yoga which is fine but I am.

Books like The Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran (although there are many translations available) and Osho’s Mind, Body, Balancing as well as others have all increased my interest in yoga. I’ve begun diving deeper beyond the surface of how yoga is presented in western culture.  Oh, India how I would love to come experience you full circle….One day.

Just be mindful that movement is necessary.  Stagnant energy that doesn’t get released finds places to hide within.  If that stagnant energy doesn’t get shaken up regularly, it can eventually develop into physical ailments and conditions making you sick.  We become what we do, so choose wisely.

Love and light,

 

 

 

Inspire Me Mondays: Everything is a process


Peace Soulstars,

So, I’ve been quite the yogi that I didn’t realize that I would become recently after participating in a yoga challenge.  It’s still in progress and I’m learning a lot along the way.  I noticed the other day when some old habits started to creep up on me.  I had to shut them down.  That’s progress in itself because I didn’t always shit it down.  I let it take over…

I was practicing sugar cane pose; a challenge for me right now.  It’s a process.  Everything is. While practicing, I got frustrated at one point and plopped down on the couch feeling slightly defeated.

I immediately acknowledged my reaction and chose not to let this temporary situation keep me from pushing forward.  Besides, I’m not a quitter. Quitting doesn’t resonate with me.  So, I got back up and tried it again.

I realized that this is the same way I reacted to challenges in the past. I’d get so focused on where I want to be that I forget to embrace where I am at the time.  I forget to acknowledge that this is life.  This is a part of the process of growth and evolution.  I was also reminded that yoga is beyond physical fitness.

Yoga was not created to become the fitness craze it has morphed into in western society.  It’s a lifestyle that requires more mental effort than physical.  Actually, it begins and ends on the spiritual level.  That takes time to develop and is not something you can just jump into.  It defeats the purpose and a total disrespect to the culture.

The takeaway?  Don’t take yourself or life too seriously.  Embrace the stages of life and try not to force things to happen.  Forcing things pushes you out of alignment and sets you back.  If it doesn’t happen naturally, it’s not meant to be.

You will get there when it’s your time to get there. Until then, take your time and embrace the stages.  Acknowledge the frustration but don’t let it keep you from moving forward.

Love and light,

 

Self Care Fridays: 12 Steps to Self Care

Peace Soulstars,

I hope everyone had a great week! Despite perceived obstacles always remember that you have a choice to manifest your reality and whatever that reality is it’s a work in progress.  Every day is a chance to move closer to that reality.  Start with self care.

If you don’t take care of yourself, you are doing not only yourself but others around you a disservice.  These steps are only a guide.  Use them at your own discretion and tweek where necessary.  It’s for inspiration purposes.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see that I’ve been participating in a twelve day yoga challenge.  This was one of the best decisions I’ve made all year!  It has motivated me to keep that appointment with myself everyday.

I’m not only improving my total wellbeing (yoga is perfect for mind, body,soul alignment) but the wellbeing of my family as well.  When I’m out of alignment, they have to deal with it.  I prefer being aligned not only for me but for them. If we don’t take responsibility for ourselves, nothing will improve.  It’s in our own hands.

What we do and how we react not only affects us but those we come into contact with; especially those we care about the most.  If everyone took the time to practice more self care the world would be a much better place but we cannot control what everyone else does.  We can only control what we do.

Love and light,

 

 

Inspire Me Mondays: Gotta have faith!

faithsteps

Without faith dreams cannot become reality…Can you imagine what the world would be like if Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t take the steps he took to acquire equal rights for all beings?  Granted, we have work to do but just imagine where we would be starting from if one man did not take that first step to fighting against injustice.  He also did so peacefully.  Fear didn’t keep him from chasing his dream.  He stood fear in the face and kept going even when he got knocked down literally and figuratively.  What an inspiring being Martin Luther King Jr. was.

Love and Light,

9k=-1

 

Inspire Me Mondays: Evolve Anyway!

“As you evolve you will make a lot of people uncomfortable…EVOLVE ANYWAY!”

Peace Soulstars,

Not everyone will get you.  When you start making changes in your life other people  will criticize what they don’t understand.  Don’t entertain it…You are under NO obligation to fit a mold that other people set for you that includes your parents, family members, so-called friends…Whoever…Your life is YOUR life.  You don’t have to be the same person you were yesterday, last week, or years ago.  You are not your mistakes, anything that happened to you, or what people want you to be.  If they want to hold old shit over your head that’s not your problem.  You don’t have to meet other people’s needs, wants, or expectations of what they think you should be.  If they don’t understand you it’s not your job to convince them of anything.

Continue to be great and be even greater when they try to interrupt your flow.

Love and Light,

9k=-1