wherethesunisalwayshining

sprinkling positivity

The Many Benefits of Yoga

Why do I and many others try to  practise Yoga daily?

What is the purpose of it?

Yoga has many benefits in a variety of sectors; physical, mental, energetic & spiritual.

Physical Benefits – So practising yoga asanas (postures) with moving our physical bodies, helps stretch the muscles, create more flexibility and strength, improves blood circulation and is well known for easing back pain. Practising yoga daily therefore allows you to observe how you improve in different postures, push beyond previous limits and allow you to do things you never thought possible – giving a great self-esteem boost. It also allows you to practise acceptance for your body, we are all built differently and sometimes we physically cannot do something because our bones compress etc; that is ok. It also helps you keep a healthy and fit body to live a good life!

‘Look after your body or you won’t have anywhere to live’

Mental Benefits – Practising yoga can helps ease the mind as we use the tools of concentration. Focusing on being in the correct alignment/posture, focusing on a specific spot or concentrating on your breathing – these are all techniques to help still the mind as all the focus flows in one direction. This calm & stillness then allows you to think with clarity and make better choices in life. Also being aware of what you think about on the mat is a benefit – If you find yourself thinking about the past or future; realize you probably want to work on being in the present moment if you want a quieter mind. If you’re worrying about things you have to do; realize it’s better to get them out the way first! These are only examples, the yoga mat is a place of self-exploration and discovery.

‘Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are’

Energetic Benefits – This can be seen in various ways: please go by whatever resonates with you. Practising any physical activity creates a difference in our energetic system and usually a form of physical exercise as some people view yoga as; can produce happy hormones. We can also feel much more relaxed from slow breathing, slow movement..just in general slowing down from our regular day life! It can also go the opposite way (depending on your class) and you may leave feeling full of energy and life, rearing to go.

Another aspect of energetic benefits is the sublimation of energy within the Chakras. The Chakras are Energetic centres corresponding with specific glands, organs and facets of your being. There are 7 main  energy centres running from the bottom of the spine, along to the crown of the head. Usually we have imbalances or blockages from things we supress, general phenomenon’s in life and emotional blockages of  experiences that we have held on to. Imbalances in our chakras have a huge impact on our overall energetic system as energy cannot flow from one chakra to the other.. this can affect us through physical disease, behaviour, overall energy and health. Practising yoga postures often can help to balance these through the working on specific postures known to help grounding, opening the heart etc.

‘Energy flows where attention goes’

Spiritual Benefits – I put this last for a reason, because many of us begin yoga for a physical or mental benefit. We get told we’ll become flexy and strong, be able to do cool postures and it will make us calm and relaxed – Perfect activity or what?

I say this  from experience.. perhaps not for everyone, but yoga is so much more than that. If you decide to explore the traditional Indian philosophy behind it and practise what ancient yogis wrote down in texts, you will find a lot of wisdom. Yoga is traditionally seen as a spiritual practise (I had no idea until I got interested in researching), although I was never religious or had faith in anything in particular, my heart just found resonance in the yogic teachings. There is no right and wrong, there is only guidance. Practising things such as truthfulness, non-harming to yourself and others, self-discipline, contentment.. try it for a week and see the difference it makes. Living a life through guidance of enlightened sages that share their wisdom and knowledge to be free from the mind and its limitations. To control the mind instead of having it control us. It helped me realize that I am so much more than my physical body, that everyone is, to have kindness and compassion for myself and others. So practising yoga also gives you the opportunity to explore bringing spirituality into your life through following guidance of spiritual texts, following daily self enquiry to reconnect with your soul and your true self, beyond the mind.

These are brief examples on the benefits of yoga and I hope you will have a further insight to what yoga can bring to your life. Go to a class with an open mind, with curiosity and see what feels right for you 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Surrender to what is, let go of what was and have faith in what will be :) 

  

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Living with uncertainty 

In life we face periods of uncertainty and feelings of insecurity. Especially as young adults growing up in society these days we face a high percentage of unemployment and financial problems, pressure from media telling us how we should look and behave and general judgement from society if we don’t conform. 

Is there any wonder there’s a huge rise in mental health issues? 

It all comes from uncertainty. Are we certain of our future? No. Yet we’re living in a world where we’re pressurised in knowing what we want to do for our careers, frowned upon if we don’t. 

Unfortunately we’re not all blessed in knowing what we want to do for the rest of our lives. The very thought of it sends us into melt down. Or we might know what we want to do but we live in fear of not achieving it, fearing failure. 

We waste so much energy on fear, focusing our energy on it in fact. Fear comes from resosting uncertainty. When we’re refusing to accept what were feeling that’s when fear arises.

Eckhart tolle said –

“When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. It means fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change. If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness and creativity.

Think about it, when you don’t accept a situation for what it is, that’s when you become scared. If you don’t know what you’re doing with life, it’s only when you can’t accept that ; that’s when fear arises. If you can accept you don’t know what you’re doing with life then you don’t feel fear, you accept it as a moment that won’t last forever and with that you can focus your energy on creating new possibilities instead of focusing your energy being stuck in fear. 

If you are afraid of failure then you’re not accepting of the present moment. You’re focusing on the future and you are stuck because all your energy is stuck on fear, you cannot create possibilities for yourself from fear. Only acceptance. 

Going with the flow of life and accepting you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. You’re doing and feeling exacty what you’re supposed to be. Accept that. Give up your fear. Then the answers will come to you, your energy with focus on your possibilities.

Don’t create suffering for yourself. Resisting what you’re feelings won’t change it, it will only cause you suffering. So why not let go of that and just think ‘f**k it* I don’t know what I want to do and that’s just the way it is for now. Or if you feel that you’re not succeeding in whatever you want to do, just accept that job isn’t for you but another one that is better will be on its way. Things that don’t happen are just not meant to be. 

“The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.” 

Let go of fear and accept uncertainty. 

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De-attachment to illness, focus your energy on healing

When suffering from an illness that requires a lot of attention, many of us tend to do the wrong thing and focus all our energy on it. We let it become a big part of our lives and eventually it begins to take over our lives. We let our illness define us as people and form an attachment if you like. Perhaps this is why it takes so long for people to fully recover and heal?

The mind and body are connected, and what we focus on grows. People who are suffering from an illness or are recovering will be sure of telling you at some point about it because it’s a big part of their life. They make it a part of who they are now. If you become attached to the illness and make it ‘yours,’ then how are you going to let it go and get better?

The ego will not enjoy reading this truth, I know because I have experienced it myself. It is not to say you’re not suffering from an illness, but by making ‘your’ illness a part of who you are then, you are letting it define you as a person, you’re letting your ego latch on to the illness and the story of what it has made you become. I use myself for an example because I have become aware of my own egos doing so.

Having an illness gives us a voice, something we can talk about ‘me and my story’. How much we have suffered, how much we have conquered, how much we have been through… This is all work of the ego. We don’t need to prove ourselves to anyone, we don’t need to attach ourselves to something we have or are going through. We know we have suffered, we know we have the power to conquer – only the ego wants to prove this to people and share ‘my story’.

Some people refuse to believe they can get better because subconsciously staying sick is easier. The ego had a stronger sense of self, it doesn’t want to let go.

It may sound harsh to some, I read it myself and my ego feels hurt and deflated. Yet I sense the truth in what I write.

How will I recover if I constantly define myself, who I am and who I have become from my illness? It is still allowing that illness to live through me; it is still an attachment and proof. Yet, I have no one to prove myself to, and neither do you.

If you are suffering from an illness, try focusing your energy on healing instead of feeling like a victim. Look within yourself for answers, become aware of your thoughts: do you look for sympathy, do you feel self-pity or victimized?

I found myself to think my illness was a safe place, whilst recovering I didn’t have to think about my future, I had an excuse, I was ill. If I’d remained in that mindset, I would probably still be exactly where I was a year ago. Stuck. Scared. You see, once we become attached to our illness, it becomes a safety blanket for us.It means we don’t have to focus on the real problems because we can’t cope with them because we’re sick.

If we focus our energy more towards what we can do instead of what we can’t, that’s the first step. Accepting change and letting go, going into the unknown. Next time you feel yourself about to share your illness or story with someone, refrain and see how it feels. Try dropping your illness, it is not who you are. You’re a strong, special person without it and you have nothing to prove to anyone.

Mindfully let it go and see what happens.

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Our words and actions affect each other

In the previous post I touched up on the ripple effect that we create when we unconsciously act negatively towards another person, and how it can impact their thoughts and beliefs about themselves or others.

I just wanted to explain a little more in depth of how this works. You may think a negative comment might not affect someone for the rest of their life and this may be true, but either way it will affect them. Do you want to be responsible for making people suffer?

We all have a great impact on each other when we are in contact. This being The general public, friends, acquaintances, partners, people we have relationship with, our family and parents.

I will give a few examples..

The general public, we may not have a life standing impact on these people who we brush past once in a blue moon, nonetheless we have impact. For example, working in a coffee shop it truly makes a difference when you have a customer come in with a happy, positive attitude and conversation, it has a positive impact on my day and I’m bound to have a much happier day just from the lift of that one persons positive energy.
Whereas if someone is rude and unkind towards me, I am less likely to be jumping for joy and this might affect me for the rest of the day
– which ripple effects onto other customers. The same can happen vice versa, if i was horrible to a customer it could ruin their day and they may never return after their bad experience.

As people we have an unhealthy habit of holding onto people’s words and actions and taking them personally.

However the most serious cases and more harmful are in our close relationships – with people we think highly of, people we care for or people we love. Being our partners, friends, lovers or family members.

A negative action or words will hurt deeper if it’s by someone you’re close to.

An example is flirting with other people whilst in a relationship and perhaps even cheating. The words and actions you use affect the partner, perhaps for life. It can knock self confidence and esteem, they may grow insecure about themselves. Many people have trust issues and find it difficult to let go and carry this to their next relationship. Did you ever consider that cheating on someone could affect that persons relationships for the rest of their lives? Or how they think of themselves? I have been guilty of doing this in the past, luckily I was young and completely unaware of how my actions affect others, it’s in the past and I forgive myself and let it teach me
for the future. If you have also treated someone this way, don’t beat yourself up but learn from it and it’s effects.

If you are a parent, be conscious of how you bring up your child, be aware of what you teach them of what you say to them and how you say it. Children already have so many pressures, they don’t need to be threatened by fear of not being good enough. I see so many children forced into doing things they don’t enjoy, living their parents dreams. Think of how this will affect your child growing up – does it show you support them to be themselves, giving them a foundation to being confident, to be who they want to be?

On the opposite hand, be aware of how you speak to your parents. It’s easy to take it out on our folks after a bad day. In my teenage years I used to say I hate you to their faces, I cant imagine how that felt for them. When we disrespect our parents, do something against them or let them down, imagine how that affects them. They may start believing they’re terrible parents, blame themselves, blame each other – causing friction in marriage. It can spiral in many directions.

Many things can add up more and more if you carry past memories into the future. I have also felt insecure, doubted myself and tried to change myself from being deeply unhappy with the feeling of not being good enough. This stemmed from people’s unconscious actions and words, people That I forgive because they were unaware to the affects they had on me.
It only came to my awareness through therapy how much we all affect each other. some large and some small things stuck with me for years, i am a sensitive soul who doesn’t take things lightly and I held onto many things from the past.

We all tend to hold onto hurt from the past from people’s unconscious actions, this is why it’s important to dig them out become aware of them and let them go. Forgive the people who acted unkindly towards you as they did without awareness from a hurt inside themselves. I also hope anyone I hurt in the past who is reading this, can forgive me for my unconscious actions or words.

I hope this long (sorry!) post helps you realise the different levels of impact we have on each other’s lives. Perhaps it will make you think twice before acting or speaking negatively.

Let go of the past and learn from it – bring awareness to your thoughts, words and actions 🙂

Where the sun is always shining x

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The ripple effect, how our actions affect other people.

We are all the same, underneath the outer layers we all have feelings, emotions. The things that block us from viewing it is that were driven by fear.

People who judge and criticise behave unconsciously, they’re unaware of the damage. This is why becoming conscious and aware of our thoughts, words and actions is so important. Everything we do has a ripple affect on other people.

Have you ever said something horrible to someone? I’m guessing so. Did you ever notice how it made you feel? I’m guessing not good. When we say something horrible to someone it’s not us, it’s our ego taking over and usually coming from a place of fear, anger or sadness.

For example in high school I remember a girl who loved drama, confrontation and starting arguements. She enjoyed picking on me and I never understood why. One day I was so fed up and in the end I called her fat. She didn’t actually respond to me and so I felt like I’d won. My ego felt superior, I’d had the last word. Yet inside I knew that’s not how I wanted to behave, I didn’t enjoy calling people names – nobody does. That name calling came from a place of anger. Yet I will never know how it affected that person, I will never know wether that name calling still rings in her memory. The same as she will never know how I remember her shouting and name calling rings in my mind. We both let our egos take over and rip chunks into each other with name calling and arguing.

This is all too common. If I would’ve listened to my soul, and been mindful I would have dealt with the situation very differently. I would see that the girl had much pain, something troubling her in life that she seemed drama and attention. She obviously felt she needed reaction, good or bad. If I would’ve seen this at the time I would have responded differently instead of reacting.

Hence why we build up guards around ourselves, become closed off to other humans, afraid to show who we truly are.

If we are open, we are vulnerable and risk being hurt by others who are unconscious. Yet if we are aware that their hurtful words or actions are exactly that – unconscious. Then we have a chance of putting a stop to reaction and ego taking over.

Hurtful actions and comments stay in our memories for years, hence why it’s imperative that we bring awareness to ourselves. Everything we do and say to people has an effect on them, we never know to some extent. We must stop acting unconsciously towards others, causing harm because of we let our ego take over just in a fleeting moment you can’t undo those horrible words or horrible actions. We can only apologise.

The other side to being aware and conscious of your thoughts and actions is that when you are personally attacked by someone – you can choose to diminish their comment or action. You can become aware that they are suffering and that is the only reason why they’re behaving this way toward you. No happy person who is conscious goes around verbally abusing people.

We are all divine souls, only our ego separates us.

For example a woman once had a go at me, I was in the wrong slightly but she made it a big drama and was so angry, the tone of voice etc was not very nice. I used my awareness and could see she was troubled with something so I didn’t react or argue back. I apologised and instead talked with her as a friend would.

In a different situation someone would feel personally attacked and get angry, the ego doesn’t like to be blamed and so you would react and shout back. This would only lead to hurtful comments and cause harm to each other.. No resolving.

Then hurtful comments stay with people and they carry them for the rest of their lives.

Next time think when you’re going to criticise someone, comment on their looks or the way they are. It’s all too easy to judge and criticise when we don’t know what someone’s going through.

The only reason we can know what someone’s going through is if they’re open and honest with us – the only way we can achieve that is through less judgment and criticism in the world so people don’t let fear keep them closed up and guarded.

We are not robots, we are alive and we have feelings. We are all divine souls deep down, sometime we unconsciously let the ego take over us and that’s ok, don’t beat yourself up, become aware of it and observe how it makes you feel. The other day I made fun of someone being different and called her weird behind her back, who am I to do that? It doesn’t make me a better person, it made me feel horrible, I don’t know what she’s going through in life, my quick judgement will only prevent me from getting to know her and she is probably a lovely person. Judgment and criticism only separates us, prevents us from bonding and sharing.

Next time you find yourself judging someone or criticising them, have a think. Become aware. Be conscious to your words and actions to yourself and others. Be open and honest and expect the same in return. Try to respond instead of react to other people’s egos.

Be the change you want to see in the world 🙂

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Accepting the now – that is all you have

The moment right now is all we have.

The past is un changeable, the future is unpredictable and the now is all we have.

We all struggle with accepting things that are happening sometimes in the now.

The now always consists of things that are happening.

Eckhart tolle said – many things that happen, they’re all fleeting moments. Things, bodies and egos, events, thoughts, situations, emotions, desires, fears, dramas and ambitions. They come, pretend to be all important and before you know it they’re gone. Dissolved into the nothing of which they came.

How many times have you worried, stressed yourself out or suffered because of resistance to something that was happening in the now? I have plenty of times. ‘Why is this happening to me’, ‘It isn’t fair’, ‘I hate life’. This is all resistance to accepting something. We make life difficult when we resist what’s happening in the now.

Let’s say we are about to lose our house. This is a stressful, worrying and tense time. If we take a step back and look the situation rationally – it’s happening. We can spend time burying our heads in the sand, refusing to look forward and complaining that this is happening – creating suffering and essentially being stuck in the situation.

Or we can be accepting. This is happening right now – it isn’t going to be forever, it’s a fleeting moment. In the future we will look back and learn from this event. Accept it’s happening and use the energy to be productive and think forward instead of wasting energy on self pity , drama, complaining. (All of which is resistance).

We spend so much of our lives resisting what’s happening, wasting energy on things we cannot change. Surrendering and accepting the now is all we can do. If there’s something ‘bad’ happening right now in life, know that it won’t be forever. Think of previous events that seemed so bad, with time they got better. The now is forever changing, things that happen are forever changing. We can go with the flow of whatever happens and not let it affect us negatively or we create suffering by wishing it wasn’t happening.

The sun is always shining.

Whether it’s behind the clouds some days, the sun will always come out shining soon enough.

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Raise Awareness Week For Eating Disorders

First of all, what is an eating disorder? There are many different names that we have probably heard of such as bulimia, anorexia and binge-eating disorders but do we truly know what any of these involve?

Eating disorders claim more lives than any other mental illness – one in five of the most seriously affected will die prematurely from the physical consequences or suicide, yet they’re not taken seriously.

Without ever really looking into the topic I assumed anorexia was someone who had strong willpower who just decided not to eat, to starve themselves and eat maybe like an apple a day. I thought they did this to lose weight and be really thin as that’s how they wanted to look, perhaps like a size zero model etc. In fact as a naive 15 year old I remember saying as a joke  – i wish i was anorexic so I could resist chocolate and be thin.

I had never even heard of binge-eating disorder a couple of years ago, I assumed every over-weight person was either eating too much food that wasn’t benefitting them nutritionally and probably not doing enough physical exercise, someone with an unbalanced life style. I never thought someone overweight could be suffering from a mental illness. I heard someone make a joke recently about how fat people sit on the sofa scoffing their face with ice cream sobbing that they’re so ill. When in fact that’s not a joke, that could be a real life situation for some people.

Both my assumptions where very wrong and I’m sure some of you may of viewed eating disorders in a similar way. As a society we are closed-minded when it comes to mental illnesses, they are seen as lifestyle choices rather than illnesses. Eating disorders in general have this stigma, although when you see someone with alzheimers or cancer, you wouldn’t assume they choose to be that way. So why is it any different for people that have eating disorders, they don’t choose for it to happen.

Our mental health affects our physical bodies if we’re over weight or underweight and that’s why its a serious topic that we should be more aware of as a society.

Here are some symptoms of Anorexia/Bulimia – 

– lose a lot of weight in a short period of time

– Become obsessed with food, recipes, cooking, photographing food etc.

– Weighing themselves, weighing food, calorie counting.

– Become very secretive, lie about eating.

– Vomit or take laxatives after eating (bulimia)

– Irritable moods, fatigue, dizziness, tired.

Here are symptoms of binge-eating disorders –

– Unable to stop eating or no control over eating

– Become overweight or put on weight in short period of time.

– Eating large amount of food rapidly

– Gorging on food when alone

– Eating when full

These are the very few symptoms of people who have eating disorders although they vary completely for each individual.

You don’t have to be underweight or overweight to have eating disordered thoughts. If you’re obsessed with calorie counting, that’s not a healthy relationship with food, mentally. If you secretly eat vast amounts of food, that’s not a healthy relationship with food, mentally. The difference with mental illnesses are we can’t always tell if someone is suffering from an eating disorder or not, just because someone isn’t size 0, it’s not to say they dont have disordered thoughts.

You never know you could spot the symptoms in yourself, a family member or a friend that you could help at early stages.

Let’s put a positive note to this post and raise awareness for something that affects 1.6 million people in the UK.

Take a few minutes out of your day to read up on them.

http://www.nedc.com.au/eating-disorders-explained

http://www.b-eat.co.uk/about-eating-disorders/types-of-eating-disorder

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