July 10, 2021
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Living a yoga inspired life is about living a life that is simply inspired by the teachings and essence of the practice of yoga as a whole. It’s about living in alignment, choosing kindness and compassion as often as possible. It’s about awareness and presence, it’s honoring your true authentic self and needs. It’s about cultivating acceptance for what is, and it’s about making an active effort to make new choices when you can and need to in order to feel your absolute best.
In 2016 when I made the powerful choice to leave an abusive relationship and began to plan my escape from a toxic work environment in night life I had this deep desire to redesign my entire life and existence, and create a life that not only made me excited to wake up each day, but one that also supported my desire to be a better human to myself and others. When I sat down with myself to reflect on what I wanted, what needed to change and what my dream life might look like the thing that came to mind was yoga. I’ve shared my story of how I found yoga on the blog already, as well as my on again off again relationship with yoga but over the then 7 years that I had been practicing I realized that my yoga practice had become so many different things to me; a hobby, a passion, a therapeutic escape, a safe space, and coping mechanism. By 2016 I had done 2 yoga teacher trainings already, both with the intention of deepening my practice and learning more; I had studied a lot of yoga philosophy and had read many books, so it was clear to me at that time, that yoga wasn’t just a workout or physical practice. The teachings of yoga were (and are) so beautiful and all encompassing, and while I wasn’t sure how it would all pan out I chose to let yoga inspire the new life I was creating.
Living a yoga inspired life doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t have to look any particular way and it’s definitely not about perfection. In the same way that every humans asana practice (physical yoga practice) will look different, each persons idea and execution of living a yoga inspired life will look different. I share my methods and personal take on how to create and live a yoga inspired life in my 12 week yoga inspired self-discovery program The Yoga Inspired Life (which by the way, enrollment is now OPEN for the next cycle which begins on July 26th, 2021! Email me for more info on how to join!) but I wanted to take some time today to share a few of the ways in which yoga inspires the way I live my life to give you some ideas for how you too can begin to take your yoga off the mat and start living a yoga inspired life!
Self-acceptance was and still is a big one for me. I spent a lot of my life rejecting myself, wanting to change myself and feeling like I needed to shape-shift or prove myself, but yoga taught me that the version of me that I am in each passing moment, is enough. I don’t need to change, I don’t need to prove, who I am is enough.
Flow over force is another big lesson that I still come back to regularly because I think we live in a society that’s driven by a lot of masculine energy – push, hustle, do more, force, and on the mat that doesn’t fly. If you force on the mat you will most likely be met with injury and/or physical pain and even though in life we will be met with the same kind of thing (injury and/or physical pain) it’s not as obvious, or rather we don’t pay attention to it because either we’ve been conditioned to ignore it or there are so many distractions around us we can more easily pretend like it’s not there… but on the mat, it’s just you and your breath. Your thoughts and feelings are amplified, there are no distractions, and when injury and/or physical pain comes up there’s no way to avoid it. Tapping into our flow state is powerful for so many reasons, if you’re keen to dive deeper into this I actually have a podcast episode about moving away from the chronic need to over do (force) and shifting into a state of receiving (flow) which you can listen to here!
Learning to listen to my intuition and honoring what I need instead of being guided by my ego was a HUGE lesson that absolutely changed the game for me. I really learners this in moments of missteps by moving into poses I wasn’t ready for, or even in situations I would say yes to something that wasn’t right for me – I began to recognize this feeling in my gut any time I would succumb to my ego and make a choice that was out of alignment with my intuition, and with practice (and many missteps 😅) listening to my intuition not only felt better, but also empowered me to continue to say yes to the things that truly served my highest good, and ultimately release the rest.
It’s pretty common for new yogis to come into class and obsessively look around at what everyone else is doing, like “oh, she’s doing this I should do that too!” etc. Not going to lie, I definitely used to do that!! But we quickly learn that what everyone else is doing is none of our business, it’s not about any else in the room, it’s about YOU. This lesson inspires me each day to refrain from comparison and the need to emulate someone else, because I know my asana practice will never look like the next persons, my journey will never be exactly like anyone else’s and my experience on and off the mat is uniquely mine – it’s just me, myself and I.
Ahimsa is one of the 5 Yamas (I go into detail about this layer of yoga philosophy in episode #30 of The Yoga Inspired Life Podcast, as well as here and here on the blog!) Ahimsa means non-violence. I Non-violence in the most obvious sense is not physically hurting others, but ahimsa is also about non-violence in speech (the way you speak to others and yourself), non-violence in thought (the way you think about yourself and others) and lastly I practice ahimsa in terms of diet (non-violence to living beings) as I eat a plant-based diet.
Since beginning my yoga journey and living a yoga inspired life this deep awareness of unity and connectedness began to form and is ever growing each day. Connectedness to myself and the world around me – recognizing the power of the breath, having a deep appreciation for all living breathing beings and seeing myself in all things.
The deeper into my practice I got the more I began to experience how powerful the practice was, and it was in that that I started to notice that I needed nothing but my body and breath to experience deep transformation and all encompassing bliss. This amazing realization helped me realize that I actually need a lot less than I had previously conditioned myself to believe and that simplicity is powerful. Yoga revealed to me that I have everything I need within me to experience bliss – that was and still is so so powerful.
My teacher Travis Eliot (you can listen to Travis on the TYIL Podcast here!) would frequently highlight that the transitions, the in between moments between poses were just as important as the poses themselves and this, applied to life was a game changer. I think so many of us (myself included) can get caught up in trying to reach the next goal, but the goal post is always moving. When we include the transitional moments in life and in our yoga practice in our focus we are able to lovingly squeeze more goodness out of life.
If you’re vibing with this post check out my 12 week yoga inspired self-discovery program The Yoga Inspired Life ✨ I created this transformational program as a step by step guide to living a yoga inspired life; The Yoga Inspired Life program was designed to help you discover your purpose, break toxic cycles, shed negative thought patterns and behaviors, create a sustainable daily yoga inspired routine that keeps you centered and in alignment with your truest desires, and ultimately create a life you’re obsessed with living! Enrollment is now OPEN for the next cycle which begins on July 26th, 2021! Limited space is available so email me for more info on how to join!