How to live your yoga rather than someone else’s so you can cultivate a deeper relationship with your spirit.

highway with a quote by Adrienne Maree Brown

Many look to the on-the-mat practice of yoga to lead deeper and more meaningful lives with their spirit, but yet cling to mainstream structures and limiting beliefs that prevent them from achieving this very goal. Taking yoga classes, joining a studio, getting certified as a yoga teacher or going on a retreat are all great places to start, but they do not need to end there. In the same vein, following rules and norms that make no sense to you in other off-the-mat realms of your life, will prevent you from going deep. Here are 3 ways to help you do this so you can live your own yoga rather than someone else’s, whether you keep your yoga on-the-mat or take it out into the world.

1.Try not to judge yourself or others

Both on-the-mat yoga and off-the-mat yoga (aka life) is often more about appearances rather than processes. Appearances judge and processes feel. Are you saying the “right” words, thinking the “right” thoughts and taking the “right” actions that others will “approve” of, rather than risking doing something “wrong” that may feel better to you. It often becomes more about pleasing others and doing what others expect rather than following your own inner compass.

Notice what comes up for you when you encounter a challenging pose or alternatively when you find ease where others don’t. How do you react when you come into contact with a hostile person, uncomfortable situation, receive criticism or face negativity?

This often boils down to how you manage your ego. Is it inflated or deflated? When the ego is inflated it encourages you to feel superior to others and when it’s deflated it pushes you to feel inferior. Whether Inflated or deflated, the ego compares and enslaves you in judgments. A balanced ego knows its place, sitting peacefully in the back seat, with your will driving the car and your inner wisdom gently guiding you in the passenger seat.

The invitation is to heal your ego. For more, read Chapter 3 on the Ego Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to living a Life of Joy, Meaning, & Abundance.

You are not what you do, what you have, what others think or your physical body.

2. Show vulnerability

When we pretend to be perfect it is impossible to actually remember that we are already perfect. We are perfect when we are loving, kind and compassionate, but we are also perfect when we make mistakes, cry, get angry, feel resentful or even hurt others. I have discovered that most people do not wish to harm anyone and only do so when they are wounded, afraid or have not been exposed to love and compassion.

Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength. It takes strength to show your fears and only when theses shadows are brought into the light can they be healed. If you are committed to deepening your connection with your spirit and do not wish to fall prey to spiritual bypassing, this will need to be done at some point- you can choose the easy way or the hard way.

The invitation here is to heal your shadows. For more, read Chapter 3 on Shadows in Stepping into Consciousness- A guide to living a Life of Joy, Meaning, & Abundance.

3. Tap into your own truth

As long as you look to others for truth you will not able able to connect to your spirit at a deeper level. Learning to make that leap from “student/ teacher” mindset to a “teaching student” mindset will help the process. We are all students and teachers, alternating between these roles. At times we learn from others, at times we teach others, and sometimes we learn as we teach and teach as we learn. I believe it’s important to get out of the “teacher knows best” mindset that really only fosters wounded patriarchal structures.

The invitation here is to discover your truth. For more, read Chapter 6 in my book Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to live a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance.

Conclusion

When you live your own yoga you no longer define yourself on-the-mat by the type of yoga you teach or practice, the teachers you follow or the philosophy you prescribe to. Consequently, in life, off-the-mat, you no longer define yourself by the work you do, the people you surround yourself with or the beliefs you hold. You see each of these as fluid and you dip into and out of each as you craft your ever changing truth until you discover the one great truth that you are Truth.

Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance” . Order her book through her website or directly through Amazon.

You can visit her anytime at Nicole Rolland Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness (NRYM) www.nicolerolland.com to learn more about her classes, programs, mindfulness coaching, as well as, her blogs, podcasts and other healing tips to help you experience and remember the wholeness and perfection you are.

40 Ways Yoga Heals

According to Yoga as Medicine- The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing by Timothy McCall, MD there are 40 good reasons to do yoga:

YOGA

  1. Increases Flexibility
  2. Strengthens Muscles
  3. Improves Balance
  4. Improves Immune Function
  5. Improves Posture
  6. Improves Lung Function
  7. Leads to Slower and Deeper Breathing
  8. Discourages Mouth Breathing
  9. Increases Oxygenation of Tissues
  10. Improves Joint Health
  11. Nourishes Intervertebral disks
  12. Improves Return of Venous Blood
  13. Increases Circulation of Lymph
  14. Improves Function of the Feet
  15. Improves Proprioception
  16. Increases Control of Bodily Functions
  17. Strengthens Bones
  18. Conditions the Cardiovascular System
  19. Promotes Weight Loss
  20. Relaxes the Nervous System
  21. Improves the Function of the Nervous System
  22. Improves Brain Function
  23. Activates Left Prefrontal Cortex
  24. Changes Neurotransmitter Levels
  25. Lowers Level of Stress Hormone Cortisol
  26. Lowers Blood Sugar
  27. Lowers Blood Pressure
  28. Improves Level of Cholesterol and Triglycerides
  29. Thins the Blood
  30. Improves Bowel Function
  31. Releases Unconscious Muscle Gripping
  32. Uses Imagery to Effect Change in the Body
  33. Relieves Pain
  34. Lowers Need for Medication
  35. Fosters Healing Relationships
  36. Improves Psychological Health
  37. Leads to Healthier Habits
  38. Fosters Spiritual Growth
  39. Elicits The Placebo Effect
  40. Encourages Involvement in Your Own Healing                                                                                                                                                                 These are all fantastic reasons to do yoga. You may not find the perfect class or the perfect teacher for you the first time around but don’t give up. There is such a huge variety of types of yoga, types of teachers and places that offer yoga that it won’t be very difficult for you to find the right match to suit your style.                                                                                                                                                                            Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance”  and the owner of Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation (NRYM) 

Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation
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