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Reasons to Start Living Yoga Today

Yoga is an entire science of living which works on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. The movement towards living yoga is one which brings back the depth to the practice, helping us navigate our relationships with the world around us, offering tools that promote mindfulness and present moment awareness, and ultimately paving the way to more joyful living.

Here are 5 reasons to get started:

 

1. You become what you repeat.

While it’s unfortunate that there is a misconception, particularly in the Western world about yoga as a purely physical practice – I do still believe that the growing number of mary3people rolling out their yoga mats is something to be celebrated. I like to think of yoga asana, or the postures as the gateway drug. We start with the physical then learn to integrate our energetic body through conscious breathing until eventually our mind settles into deeper states of concentration. For this reason, BKS Iyengar refers to the body as the “vehicle to the soul”. In the same way that stretching and deep breathing create space in the body, meditation helps ease the mind by creating a sense of inner spaciousness. We learn to simply observe as feelings of stress, anxiety and fear arise before reacting. This means we have the control to choose how to respond. Rather than blowing up when things go awry, we can shift gears into a more calm, relaxed state. Thanks to neuroplasticity, it’s possible through regular practice to actually rewire our brain into these positive thought patterns even outside of our practice. Or to put it simply, we become them.

 

2. Wake up!

In between a series of long-held, intense balancing postures in class the other day, my teacher, Shy brought us into a standing position where we could rest for a few breaths mary1with the stability of our two feet grounded on the floor. “If you’re not enjoying this right now,” he paused, “Wake up!” I laughed out loud… guilty. My mind and body were already agonizing in the posture coming next. This is a strong reflection on the way many of us live our lives – hung up on the past or stressing about the future. Yoga snaps us into the present so we can make the most of every moment. After all, the only time we are guaranteed is right now.

 

3. Your vibe attracts your tribe.

Cultivating positive energy through yoga and mindfulness allows our practice to be of service to others. It’s contagious. Buddhists recognize the Sangha, or community as one of the Three Gems alongside the Buddha, the teacher and the Dharma, the teachings, all of which further us along our spiritual path. This support network is even more valuable as advancements of the modern world have made it easier to isolate and disconnect from the world around us. Instead, we can utilize the online yoga community to increase our Sangha to a global scale, allowing for cross-cultural connections and an overwhelming amount of online resources for sharing knowledge.

 

4. Acceptance: No mud, no lotus.

Yoga does not promise to fix us; it’s a practice of acceptance. Similar to the way the lotus mary4flower can only emerge from the muddy floor of the pond, yoga brings awareness to the difficult areas of our life and trains us to accept them so we can grow from them. We become grateful for even the most challenging situations life throws our way. Imagine that. It is through this process that we begin to experience our true nature, the union of all aspects of the self and the world around us.

 

 

 

 

 

5. For the benefit of all beings.

You don’t have to be an activist or a yoga teacher for your work to be of service to others. Living yoga and mindfulness practices allow us to go out into the world acting from a place of love, compassion and understanding. In many cases, simply not contributing to violence or hate is enough. It is only through the wisdom gained from our own experience that we can start to change the world around us.

 

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Mary’s passion for yoga has taken her across the world from the U.S. to Southeast Asia & India where she leads retreats, private lessons and co-leads 200-Hr Teacher Training. You can visit her website for more details on where she will be next.

http://www.marytilsonyoga.com/

Gratefulness- Kṛtajñatā

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day, we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh

Don’t take your life for granted lovelies! No matter what you are going through, remember there are millions of us who are experiencing either the same or even worse in their life’s right now. Think of a couple of kilometers away from you, there is a child dying because he or she didn’t have enough water to drink during the past days. We on the other hand, move a single finger and have water pouring down on us for hours and hours! Did you have breakfast today, showered and got dressed for work? You’re lucky! Not everyone has that chance. Hardly even proper clothes for their job or even a job at all. You think your job is hard and you don’t like it? That is fine, quit! Do something you really love to do but be happy you ever had a job.

We are all loving humans, no matter how you express your love but do be aware of the things you take for granted. Don’t take you friends for granted, once they’re gone you will notice what you are without them, or the water you can simply buy in a supermarket. Don’t take your body for granted, every step, should be considered. What if, you wake up tomorrow morning and find out you can’t move your legs anymore? What would you give to just have one more day with them and really, really appreciate them? Go for a run, swim or walk through town with them.

So yes, this might sound “dramatic” and maybe you’ll think “I know, I know, I know, I’ve heard it all before” but have you really been aware of it? Have you changed your thoughts towards gratefulness?
Have you woken up one day, looked in the mirror and said one thing every day which you are grateful for…? So, don’t just sit around and think you are grateful. Say it out loud, even if its just to yourself, write it down, make it real!

After reading this, take your note book or a piece of paper and write down 10 things for which you are grateful for. It can be anything at all. Then, keep it somewhere safe and now, every morning you wake up photo-42and step out of your bed, tell yourself one thing which you are grateful for, for this day.

Love & Harmony

 

 

Danae Borsani a German/ Italian Yogi, lives on Mallorca and is a passionate blogger (soulseekergirl.com) about what she does best; The Art of Food, Fashion, Travel, and Health. She inspires her readers towards a healthy and fulfilled lifestyle.