Live Your Practice, Claim Your Joy!

Yoga means to unite or to yoke, but on a deeper meaning, it is the realization of the interconnectedness of everything, from the micro to the macro level. Our practice helps us to understand our place in our world and therefore helps us to rise to our obligations, not in a way that is cumbersome, but with realization that life requires sweet responsibilities. This in turn helps us to value and savor the many blessings of our day to day experiences. When we are intentional to attend to daily needs, our felt sense of connectedness begins to unfold. Because yoga demands a “self-study,” this recognition of interwoven connectedness becomes an unshakable understanding of the inner and outer resources that support us. We begin to trust our bodies and our innate, divine intelligence that comes from intuition, through the tools that yoga gives us to reconnect with ourselves. With consistent practice of asana, pranayama, meditation, and with learning to practice the yamas and niyamas, we can establish that “well-being sense” first and use it as a foundation to meet the demands of life. No matter our changing state of consciousness, no matter the hurdles that appear before us, we can use our yoga to help us maintain awareness of this underlying sense of wholeness and connectedness. Therefore, a well rounded yoga practice can empower us physically, emotionally and spiritually, so that we can see and embrace the joys of life unfolding before us on a daily basis. The circle is an upward spiral actually, because when we look to our daily life, we see joy in service, we live from the heart, we feel more energized and ready, and we tend to have a more positive outlook , returning time and again to the foundation of gratitude. Yoga allows the “true you” to come to the surface, unwavering, unhesitating, expressing what comes from inside of you and thus allows you to show up for life in a way helps to continue to foster oneness and wholeness. When you can be yourself, all aspects of life come with ease and joy!

This week’s practice: Make time for to quiet your body and your mind – carve out time for daily meditation. Find a quiet place to sit with support. In the demand of daily life this might seem difficult at first but then, as with anything you practice, it will become easier as it becomes familiar.

Start with breath awareness. Watch the breath, and observe without judgment. This will help you understand yourself, noting your habits. Then deepen your breath, and tend to making it deep and smooth. Note how the mind begins to quiet. Then, the body begins to quiet as well, releasing gripping habits. Find one aspect of the breath to observe: the feeling of the breath in the nostrils, or in the back of the throat or the rise/fall of the belly. The mind will wander; keep inviting it back to the practice of a watched breath. Giving the mind a “one-pointed “ focus will break the habit of racing thoughts and relax the effect of an exhausted nervous system. See if you can sit with this for five to 15 minutes. Once you are finished, just watch the tendencies of the breath as the you allow yourself to reenter the world. Over time you will guide a more relaxed breathing pattern that can stay with you to help you maintain that sense of peace and openness through your day. Tell yourself this is going to be a great day! If you have time, journal - write what is on your heart. Having a positive outlook will continue to keep you viewing life from an optimistic lens.

May your life unfold with ease toward happiness – enjoy your practice!