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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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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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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New Year rituals that benefit us

Happy New Year to each and every one of you beautiful souls.

I haven’t written a blog post in months… and yup I feel it. It feels great to be starting the New Year with a post!

I love writing and sharing with the world, if my post helps, inspires or plants a seed in one persons life.. that’s what makes me feel fulfilled.

So beginning the New Year in 2016, let’s take a look at how we can make sure we create a beneficial year for ourselves.

I watched a video the other day and It really hit home with me, a ring of truth. In the past I always assumed that rituals where a religious act and performed only by religious people etc.

In the video it exclaimed how actually, every single one of us have rituals, we just either aren’t aware of them or we brush them off as a habit (good or bad). We have rituals of the order we get up, read the newspaper in the morning, check Facebook first thing when we wake up, have a morning coffee and biscuit, have a cigarette break.. and so on.

As humans we are known to be creatures of habit.. its natural. But do we ever question our habits? These habits are our rituals. Yet what does smoking, scrolling on Facebook, watching the news; what does any of that really benefit us? The truth is our rituals in modern society don’t benefit us, the news only highlights negativity, smoking kills us and social media amplifies the ego and has us wishing we lived someone else’s life.

I used to read Facebook any time I was bored, needed time to pass.. sometimes i still fall into that trap. It’s addictive. The same as we can fall into the trap of eating at a certain time because its a ritual. The thing is we don’t connect with ourselves with our modern day rituals, we actually do the opposite. We don’t question if we are hungry, we just look at the time and say it’s time to eat, we don’t listen to our bodies. We don’t question if we really need that coffee today because its a ritual.

So here I am sharing with you small quick rituals for you to do, that will benefit your life instead of wasting time and spending it doing something unworthy or damaging for your health

1.Wake up and instead of going on your phone, actually make an effort to stay off it for the first hour. Technology takes up energy from you (not what you want waking up). Instead, think of 5 things you are grateful for. You can think in your head or say out loud.

2. Dedicate 10-15 minutes of your morning to meditating. Once you begin a practise and stick to the same time it gets easier, like every habit. It’s a great way to begin the day in peace, tuning in to how you feel. For example some days you may find it difficult to focus on meditating, this tells you that you’re mind is busy and agitated so you may need to have more time to calm. Other days you may fall asleep, this tells you you are to go to bed early. The body will always give us signs to show us what to do, but we have to make the effort to listen.

3. Go for a walk on your lunch break. Go experience the outdoors, use your sense of smell, touch, hearing and be grateful that you have those senses.

4. Stop for a minute or when you’re on the toilet each time take 3 deep breaths and concentrate simple on your breath.

5. Write in a journal about your day. This gives you a time to reflect on what happened, what made you feel happy, angry, sad, emotional. It gives you and idea of the things that trigger these feelings and perhaps how you can deal with them. Also it’s always good to know what makes you laugh. diaries can hold great memories too.

And there you go.. 5 rituals that benefit you. Rituals need some self-discipline to begin with, especially to replace old rituals. Habits/rituals are forms of addictions but once we replace them, we soon forget about the old ones. You will slowly see your life start to transform for the better.

We are responsible for the lives we create, if we put in the effort we can manifest our dreams into realities.

Lots of love

Sian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Feel the fear and do it anyway

Fear and Denial. That’s what I’ve been working with this week.

Through observing my behaviour and patterns, I have come to recognize that I keep dismissing my desires. Any time an opportunity comes up to create something for myself that I am passionate about, I get excited but then dismiss it with the excuses like –

‘Its not the right time’, ‘ I don’t have the time or energy right now’ , ‘I should just focus on something smaller for now’,

I think the truth is that I am denying what I want because I am scared. Scared to admit to myself and ask for what I want because then I will want to go ahead and pursue it. If I try to pursue it, then I am vulnerable because I am out of my comfort zone in the unknown, which brings up fear.

Fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of not being taken seriously.

I questioned why are these things important to me? I realized it’s only the ego they are important to.It is only my ego that will feel embarrassed, inferior or a failure. And essentially I’m trying to weaken the ego so what’s to hold me back?

If I know within that I have good intentions, that I will try my best and that’s all I can do. Then why let the ego create a false illusion of what might happen in the future because It is afraid of being damaged.

Does this scenario sound similar to you? Are you afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone to try something new for yourself? Are you afraid you will fail, look stupid or have people laugh at you?

Yet if we give in to these fears then we will never move forward, forever thinking ‘What If?’

Deep within ourselves we know what we want, sometimes we are just to scared to tell ourselves it and ask.

I think our purpose is to fulfill our passions and desires, otherwise why would they be there? They are god’s gift to us.

What we do with them is up to us. But fear.. fear is just an illusion, it is what prevents us from looking or searching for our desires, it is our excuse for acting small and inferior because we are afraid to risk things to become what we desire.

I am challenging myself to give up fear, knowing that it is only a limitation. I transform my energy to focusing on what I can do, what I can create, focusing only on the positive with affirmations and visualisation of what I want to create.

Like attracts like, its the Law of Attraction. Eliminate doubt, there is no space for that.

Great things come from the unknown..

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Recognizing the power behind your thoughts

Recognizing how your thoughts create an impact on your life is essential for everyone, especially if you find yourself suffering from unhappiness, discontentment, depression, anxiety and stress.

All of which are the outcome of negative thought patterns.

The good news.. we can change our thought patterns into positive ones, creating a positive life!

Our thoughts create our reality..

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN, you may well ask.

THOUGHTS  =  EMOTION  =  SENSATION  =  ACTION/ IMPULSE/ BEHAVIOUR.

Let’s say for example,

The kid’s are fighting (scenario)

‘These kids never listen to me, I can’t cope with this right now’ (thought)

Overwhelming feeling of stress and anxiety. (emotion)

tightness in the chest, shorter breath and muscle tension. (sensations)

shouting at the children, crying and perhaps smack them. (Action/Impulse/Behaviour)

Another example,

You’re with your partner and he’s talking to his really kind and beautiful friend. (scenario)

‘Why is he with me when he could do so much better, what if he leaves me because i’m not good enough.’ (thought)

Overwhelming feeling of panic, jealousy, anxiety. (emotion)

Heavy feeling in the stomach, adrenaline, fast heart beat (sensations)

Act needy and insecure with the partner, controlling and demand the partner not to see her again. (action/impulse/behaviour)

So, you see how easy it is for our thoughts to affect our reality? Creating and shaping our lives and the situations that arise.

Bring awareness to your thoughts and recognize the power behind them, this way you are taking control of your life and choosing what you bring into your reality and what you attract.

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Freedom of thought, freedom from thought

You are not your thoughts. How many times have we heard this? But do we really understand it, most importantly do we understand the message it gives us.

That is that we have freedom from thought, if we are not our minds then we are free from it’s negative thinking.

My intention for this blog has always been to bring awareness to people, in hope that you become aware of your thoughts and how they create your reality.

We don’t choose what thoughts pop into our minds most of the time, but we do have a choice on how to perceive those thoughts. That choice only comes once you know and you are aware that you can differentiate yourself from the minds thinking.

For example –

Let’s say Lucy who struggles with self-esteem, wants to try for the dance team but doesn’t feel she can because her mind is in a negative spiral, it says things like ‘I’ll let the team-down, I’m not good enough, what if the others just laugh at me..I am a failure.’

Without awareness, Lucy accepts this as the truth. She thinks she is her mind, therefore her thoughts are facts.

If Lucy was to bring her awareness to this negative thinking by pausing the auto-pilot mode that she lives in, she would be able to challenge that thought and realize, its just a negative thought, it’s not the truth.

This is not true. We are not our thoughts, we do not choose them and they’re not the truth. Something negative happens in the past, we take it personally and hold on to that hurt instead of letting it go, then our minds remember and project it into the future and create our new thoughts based on the past experiences, creating more negativity in our lives.

Try body scanning, or a stillness meditation, observe what thoughts come up or what feelings and sensations that you experience in your body.. then recognize that you are the observer. You are not the thought, you are the one watching it.

‘What a liberation to realize that “the voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.’  – Eckhart.Tolle

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We have freedom to choose our thoughts

   

  by becoming aware of your thoughts and observing them, we become the witness. Witnessing gives you the power to decide what thoughts you want to keep or let go of. You have that freedom within you 🙂

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Everything that irritates us in others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves

Everything that irritates us in others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

What do you think this means?

Do you ever think about why you get annoyed with people? Why that habit they have irritates you or the way they act or behave.

I read this quote a while ago and always tried figuring out where I could be behaving in the same way as the behaviour of others annoyed me.

I had a huge revelation whilst writing in my journal the other day. I was thinking about how I thought a guy I met had been special, yet I was open to meeting more special people in the future. However I didn’t like the thought of this one special guy wanting to go on and meet other special girls – I liked the thought of me being the only special girl, otherwise My mind said I wasn’t special at all.

You can imagine the confusion in my mind because to me I could meet several special people, all different and special to me. Yet if the tables where turned and the special guy met new special girls, my mind would say that I wasn’t special to him at all. It didn’t count the same for him that he could meet several special girls all different and special in each way to him. It woke me up to the fact that sometimes I think a situation is different before I even consider how I would act if I was in the other persons shoes?

Have you ever been the victim to someone treating you badly in a relationship or friendship? Perhaps your friend bailed on you to hang out with her new boyfriend, perhaps your boyfriend flirted with his ex.. Things that are bound to annoy you, things that make you question your relationship/friendship. Yet you may never question your love for your friend/partner of you where to bail on them or flirt with your ex. You don’t see it as anything wrong because you know you love your friend/ partner.. Yet they see your behaviour and feel unloved.

Usually we find it hard to recognize our own faults, me very much included. Sometimes others help us become aware of them , yet other time a good factor is to just look at what annoys us.. We will usually find we’re behaving exactly the same way to the same person or another.

Sometimes we need to think outside our bubble and take a step to look at our actions, how would we feel in the other persons shoes. Usually we can resolve whatever annoys us because we find it within ourselves too.

Have a think, write down people/things/behaviours/actions that annoy you and see if you can recognize yourself jn any of them. Be true, honest and open, that’s how you will break through the problem.

Good luck and remember writing a journal is great for figuring stuff out 🙂

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Becoming aware of who you are not

In the past I have posted many posts about being and also about when the ego over rules being, we mistake ourselves for being the ego, being our thoughts, being someone were not.

I consider myself to be learning every day and I admit my ego takes over me as I become unconscious sometimes, we all do it. Some people live their entire life ruled by their thoughts and ego, others study themselves every day and so this becomes less likely. If you find you’ve tried being aware of your mind and you just can’t, don’t give up, like everything it’s something to be learnt and you need practise and patience.

I have been practising for around 6 months and reading books, discussing personal growth with like-minded people for advice etc. I still have a long way to go, but please don’t beat yourselves up either if you become aware of yourself and don’t like what you’re doing, saying, acting etc. It’s a part of the journey. Perhaps you can become aware of yourself as you’re being horrible to someone, you then think I’m a horrible person – no you’re not. You where simply unconscious and unaware of your actions. That is ok because you became aware and you now have something to work with.

The past few days I looked back each night to write in my journal and realised I had been acting out of character. I had let my ego take over at some points of the day – how I became aware of this?

I thought back to when I hung out with people I barely knew, they where swearing a lot and using words I wouldn’t normally use. I picked up that whilst conversing with them, to fit in, I had also picked up swearing and a different time of language. This wasn’t what I was like normally, it was just my ego taking over and wanting to be part of the crowd. Somewhere my ego kicked in because these people made me feel like I wouldn’t be accepted as my true self. And then I question why I would hang out with people who don’t accept my true self?

The thing is also – I judged them and assumed they wouldn’t accept me for me, – a normal backpackers who doesn’t take drugs daily, swear often or hang out with strangers. So the only way I can clear it up is if I go hang out with them and be myself, be open to judgement and rejection. Otherwise am I really hanging out with these people? Because I’m not being myself, I’m playing a role of my ego.

It’s very easy to get caught up in playing a role of your ego. I became aware once I’d said a few words I wouldn’t normally in our conversation, my mind was asking why are you behaving like this? It sounds crazy hey?

Yet we all do it. We all play roles in our egos. We act like different people. This is because we’re scared of being ourselves, fear of not being accepted and instead rejection and judgement. It can go either way but the most important thing is to be true to ourselves and then we will attract the right people who do accept us as we are.

We have nothing to prove. We have nothing to beat ourselves up about when this awareness does rise – it’s a lesson, a blessing to show us where we can improve and work on ourselves.

If you struggle at all with becoming aware of your thoughts, actions and behaviour and try to differentiate yourself with your ego, try writing a journal. A personal journal just for yourself where you can look back on your day and think – did I like the way I spoke to that person, where my actions in that situation how I wanted them to be, did I behave like myself around those group of cool teenagers or was I trying to impress them by doing things I wouldn’t normally.

Writing all of this down is like free- therapy for yourself. The mind is a busy place and sometimes writing it all down can be a great feeling, just give it a try 🙂 it doesn’t have to be a daily occurrence, do whatever suits you.

Let me know what you think

Remember, the sun is always shining 🙂

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