wherethesunisalwayshining

sprinkling positivity

How yoga can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves

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

A great quote. Yet for beginners, this may seem a bit confusing and mind boggling..

How on earth are you supposed to find out more about yourself through practising some postures and breathing?

Ever been to a yoga class determined to quieten the mind and be in a peaceful space.. then find the person practising next to you has really loud distracting breathing? You can’t really ask them to stop breathing so you have the choice of being agitated and annoyed for the next hour or to change your perspective and just accept it and let it be.

Similarly in life.. we may expect things to go in a certain way but then outside circumstances change it, we either accept them and adjust or we end up suffering and hurting because we resist and let our emotions get the better of us.

Being on the mat allows us to be. A time to come to the present moment, bring awareness to ourselves, watch the mind and listen to the body.

Attempting to be present in the now is something we all manage to do for only a short period of time before we get distracted.. let alone a 90minute class! By watching how present or how easily distracted we are on the mat, we can then see that this may reflect how present we are in the rest of our lives, spending time with loved ones but thinking of work? Spending time in work but thinking about what to cook for dinner? If this is the case then you may be present physically but not as you, this is how you let life slip by because you’re never really there if you’re not really present.

Being on the mat brings this new found awareness into your life.

Watching the mind can prove interesting in yoga, especially when you come to postures that appear difficult. The mind might say ‘I can’t do that’ before even trying. How many times does this then also reflect in your normal life? The mind might be too busy concentrating on how much more flexible your neighbours are compared to you leaving you feeling inferior ; could this also be true that you then spend a lot of time comparing your life with other peoples?

One of my favourite reasons I enjoy practising yoga or meditating is so I can see where my mind is at. Everyone’s state of mind changes from moment to moment depending on what’s happening. I can wake some mornings and be fully present and peaceful, other times my mind will be thinking of past, future, day dreaming and distracted and that then tells me that I need to put some extra work into achieving peace for myself and doing less.

It let’s you come to know yourself in a new way, listening and allowing you to help yourself.

How much do you listen to your body? Do you find that you will attempt the full posture instead of a variation because everyone else is doing that, even though your hamstrings might be yelling for you to stop pushing yourself. Or do you find that you could push yourself further into a posture but you like to relax and play it comfortable? Again, these things can all reflect in how you go about your daily life.

So.. Let the yoga mat be your place of learning, enter with an open-mind and child like curiosity. There is no need to judge any of these things that you may discover about yourself. Observation is simply watching, don’t take it too seriously and put a judgement of it being bad or good. See it as a game and say ‘thank you for that lesson, I can now be aware if I do something similar in daily life.’

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

Namaste!

 

 

 

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Sometimes I am afraid to be myself.

Sometimes, I am afraid to be myself.

I am afraid to say what I really feel, to disagree with someone’s opinion, to stand up for what I believe in and to share my passion.

I feel a deep fire burning inside me that is almost like an itch.

It wants to dance but I allow it to dim from the shadows of a mask

I try to hide parts of myself that I am scared people won’t accept. Where does that unacceptance come from? I don’t accept it myself or I make assumptions about other people.

No matter how many times I cast a grey smog of smoke over my fire.. it stays lit, changing in different intensities at different moments.

Moments of intense pure joy come from sharing all of me with others, allowing my fire to dance as flames do.

Awareness brings a new moment, to constantly remind myself to be true. To me and to you.

Sharing is such a big part of my life now, sharing the journey of life with one another. connecting. learning. discovering.

So I finish with an intention to – accept me for me, and you for you.

 

 

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Tuning in with your thoughts

Thoughts.. We have so many running in and out of our minds on auto-pilot that we aren’t even aware of most of them..

We have variations of thoughts, some pop up completely random, some we think regularly (like lists of things to do), some are memories from the past and some are illusions of the future.

Most of the time we don’t even know because we aren’t even aware of our thoughts, they’re running in and out without a pause to observe or contemplation.

With awareness and observation of your thoughts you get to know yourself better and can make significant changes to improve your life..

  • Taking notice of the voice/tone you speak to yourself in.

We all have a critique up there in the mind, bringing awareness to how we speak to ourselves can be shocking for some people. Also bringing awareness to the tone.Let’s say you’re answering a question in front of a class and getting the answer wrong, the critique within might pipe up and say ‘ well done stupid, you just made yourself look like a right idiot.’ Noticing how you speak to yourself is crucial as it can be really damaging for your self-esteem and confidence.

  • Noticing if you honour yourself and listen to yourself,

Bringing awareness to your thoughts can help you tune in and listen to yourself. Let’s say you’re really tired and run down, all you want is an early night in, then work calls and asks you to work a shift and before you even know it you’ve said yes. Inside you’re screaming no and can’t think of anything worse, but you felt compelled to say yes to please others, to make others happy even if that means you suffer. That is not giving yourself the love and care you deserve.

  • Noticing how you interact with others, are you judgemental/critical?

We all fear judgement from others, that is why we do what others expect from us. We care about what others think of us, whether they know us or not. Bring awareness to your thoughts and you will notice the judgements and labels you put on people just from their appearance or actions. You may decide you don’t like your mum’s new boyfriend because the first time you meet him he is very quiet and appears rude by not making an effort. This would be your judgement, probably without considering how he would be feeling, perhaps scared,nervous or overwhelmed. Usually through judging others we make assumptions which aren’t accurate and lose the chance of connection and new relationships.

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Why challenges are great practise for self-observing

Whilst travelling I come across some little challenges along the way, which is great because It means everything I practise and believe in, I have to put into reality. Or at least try my best, practise makes perfect.

Living in hostels is a great time for me to observe my thoughts, behaviour and actions. I am living with different people from all kinds of backgrounds, cultures, languages, personalities and beliefs. Most of them very different to mine!

So you can imagine it’s quite difficult when I set an affirmation for the day to look after myself, pamper myself and have a early night sleep to rest my body.. then a group of what we would label ‘laddy lads’ come into the room off the party boat, stating it’s going to be a loud, drunken night from the after-party. The complete opposite to what I want.

Yet I live in a hostel, I have to learn to share and accept these things and make it work. I cannot expect them to change their plans for mine, the same as most situations in life. We cant expect people to give up their plans to suit ourselves, that would be selfish. But we can put ourselves first and make the most of a situation.

So in my case, I am accepting these guys are going to be loud and lairy, they are drunk and swearing and in my opinion have little respect for other people but I know they are unaware of this or it’s just not how they see it. It doesn’t mean I dislike them or think they’re horrible people, they’re just different to me on the outside and act unconsciously.

Instead of being upset that what I have planned for the night cant happen, I accept it fully. I focus my energy on ‘Is there anything I can do to change this’. So my options are to change room or go to sleep and hope they’re not to noisy. I decide to sleep in my friends room if this is possible, otherwise plan B will have to do.

I look at the bigger picture, it’s only one night. Not the end of the world. I cannot change the people or plans, I can change my own plans perhaps or accept things as they are.

With this acceptance, I feel at peace. I don’t feel annoyed, angry or frustrated like I might of done before I started to practise acceptance and observing my thoughts. I know in the past I would have judged them, said they were horrible men who disrespect women and they arent nice people. Now I know we are all the same inside on a deeper level, divine souls, they are just unaware of their potential and their ego’s take over so they behave unconsciously.

My challenge is also to be myself in this scenario. When one says ‘ let your hair down love’. I feel like responding that I do in other ways or that I don’t enjoy drinking until I dont remember and going to a bad club and wasting my money, but It would be the ego in me that would want to say this, to feel superior to them. I am no better or worse than them for not enjoying what they enjoy, I am just different. A little voice in my mind began to say, you’re so boring, thats what they must be thinking. But I’m not, I just dont enjoy what they do and that’s ok, I am not them. I am glad I have the courage to do as I please and that they do as they please.

I hope one day we can all respect that we have different interests and hobbies, it doesn’t make me boring and it doesn’t make them horrible.

Observe the little challenges that face you, observe your thoughts, words and actions. Think about your judgements, to yourself and to others. 🙂 Have the courage and strength to be yourself.

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