Real Yoga Lives Off The Mat
I know when we are on a break from our regular classes it's easy to not bother with any kind of physical yoga practice - trust me I understand that we all need to a rest from routine, but even though our bodies may be on holiday our yoga practice never needs to slow, in fact it can be enhanced. It's when we leave our mat that the true essence of yoga begins. We take the mindfulness and consciousness of our feelings and actions, and it is here that our connection with ourselves and others can really be transformative.
Start by Slowing Down and being really aware of your surrounds, the smells, the sounds, the colours, the tastes and textures of your food,
perhaps the feeling of your feet walking on the grass. Slow down how you move and leave yourself enough time so that you don't need to rush through life mindlessly bounding from one commitment to the next - build in a buffer so that you have time between these remembering that you hold enormous power in your breath.
Increase your sense of Gratitude by consciously thanking others, smiling at strangers, opening the door for someone or perhaps taking the time to write in a journal each day. It doesn't take anytime at all to realise just how lucky we are. Just turn on the television or look at your newsfeed and you realise how blessed we are to live in a country where we are safe and free. There is always someone worse off than you and sadly you often don't have to look far to find that person.
Practice Compassion for yourself. Do you need to rest - then rest. Do you need to say no - then learn to say no. Give up destructive or negative self talk and try and rid your life of things that don't serve you well, such as negative relationships, environments and tasks that are done out of obligation. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and make you want to do better, be better and give more in life.
Be Honest with yourself and how you're feeling, coping and managing through life and it's challenges. Being Real is an incredible gift we can give ourselves and those around us. It is through this that we really begin to be in touch with our true selves and acknowledge our feelings regardless of what they may be. We also give those around us permission to do the same without a sense of fear of not being accepted but knowing they too will be supported. We are human and we feel things, just like our mind thinks.
Notice your levels of Contentment. Where are you at in life right now and rest in the knowledge that all moments in life and just that - moments that will pass and move onto the next, and the next, and the next. Look around you and notice all the blessings that you have, especially on those days when you're feeling like you want something more, better, bigger. Live for the love of life experience not of what we can accumulate around us.
Being Generous doesn't mean giving away all your money, it can mean to be generous with your time, your emotions, your love of others. Give of yourself and make an investment in others by putting down your phone and actually listening 100% rather than in any kind of distracted manner. Give yourself the gift of "tech free days" when all devices get put away for a period of time and you have to live for time without the distraction.
How do you feel about Acceptance of yourself? Is this something you struggle with? We all have strengths and weaknesses and it through these that we learn acceptance and gratefulness of self. Through this we also practice our acceptance of others. I have heard it said that when we struggle with another person 90% of the problem is with us - so perhaps some self reflection is required to understand what the issue really is.
So don't panic about being on a break from your classes - there is still much to practice as we put our yoga lifestyle guidelines into practice each and every day.
Blessings to you all,