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You Are Ready Now

“If not now, when?”

This is a question that has stayed with me ever since my 200-hour teacher training back in 2013. When I was applying for the training I remember experiencing constant flashes of doubt and fear. I had only been practicing yoga for a few years and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to become a teacher. I mean, my handstand was almost nonexistent, and I have never in my life considered myself to be flexible, and standing in front of a classroom full of people expecting me to tell them what to do?? Yeah, right. Teacher? Me? No Way.

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But my teacher, she told me something different. With a smile she asked me the question: “If not now, when?” I’m sure I had a look of confusion, and shock, painted across my face, but then she said the words, “Caitlin, you are ready now.”

It’s easy for us to come up with excuses for why we aren’t ready now… It’s even easier to sit back and wait until we think the timing is juuuust right… Basically, it’s easy to stay confined within the walls of our perfectly constructed comfort zone.

But easy is not what makes us grow.

The harsh reality is: we may never think we are ready. And if we stay trapped in that mindset, waiting until the perfectly ripe moment, life will surely pass us by. Fast. The chances will have expired and we will have to live with regret, thinking about all the things that could have been if we were just willing to go for it.

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You are ready now. You are ready for whatever it is that you have been putting off: a new job, a yoga teacher training, traveling to a new country, meeting new people, or stepping into a whole new way of being. Drop the limiting beliefs and transform the feelings of self doubt into compassion, curiosity and motivation to experience something new.

Give it a go, and let yourself be open to what’s possible. Sure, new things can be scary, challenging, and even awkward, but it’s the scary, the challenges, the awkwardness that will eventually lead us to growth. Because when we allow ourselves to stay with those feelings and learn to not run away from them, they lose their ferocity and they become a little less intimidating.

And we realize that deep down inside, we knew we were ready all along.

 

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Cait Lawson is a 26-year-old yogi, surfer and entrepreneur currently living in Rincon, Puerto Rico. Her goal as a yoga/SUP yoga/surf instructor is to empower others to drop their doubts, to discover their own strength, to let their true light shine.

Connect:

http://www.sunburntandsalty.com/

Finding Yin & Yang

There are cold, wintry nights and then there are bright, warm summer days. There is effort and there is ease. There is starvation and there is food waste. The universe is comprised of yin and yang. Dark and light, strong and weak, sad and happy–these are all opposing forces that rely on one another in order to exist.

Yin and yang are two halves that complete each other. Nothing is completely yin or yang, as each aspect contains within it the starting point for the other aspect. Just like day turns into night and night turns into day. Yin is darkness, shade, receptivity and reflection, while yang is sun, light, energy and strength. You can’t have one without the other, especially in your life.

Find Balance on Your Mat

Yin-yang yoga is all about finding balancing on your mat. No, I’m not talking about being able to hold that headstand for 3 more breaths, I’m talking about finding the soft, warm and cozy halfway point between work and relaxation, play and perfect posture, mental focus and meditation. Yin is typically the reflective and restorative part of the class, with lots of deep holds to expand flexibility and remove energy blockages in the body. Yang is the active, energetic, hot part of the class, which improves muscular strength and stamina. To me, it’s the perfect marriage between challenge and release.

If yin-yang yoga isn’t for you, you can still apply the Taoist concept to your regular practice. Find ways to soften in a muscularly-draining pose, take child’s pose when you’ve sweat up a storm and need rest, or feel energetic during Sun Salutations to move on from deep releases and passive poses. Strive for balance, always.

Find Balance in Your Life

The more consistently you practice finding a balance between effort and ease on your mat, the more you’ll be able to find peace in the craziness of your everyday life. If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends lately with work meetings, social engagements and exercise, (a.k.a. living in yang), maybe it’s time for some stay-at-home nights to restore and relax your mind and body. Stressing with that work assignment or essay that you just can’t seem to finish? Stop trying so hard and start applying ease to your actions.

In fact, you don’t have to apply ease, you just commit to feeling the simplicity and ease in all that you do. So, instead of viewing that assignment as a super difficult task you’ll never complete, take it one step at a time and breathe through it knowing you’re capable of finishing it. Bring just a little drop of water to your fire so you don’t extinguish your flame too early. Go with the natural ebb and flow of life and always make a commitment to finding balance, peace and presence on and off your mat!

YOGA-ERYL

 

Eryl McCaffrey is a Power Vinyasa Yoga Teacher from Toronto, Ontario. She’s also a Freelance Writer, who’s passionate about health and wellness. Eryl believes in the power of love to heal and advance the world. Her blog: twofeetheartbeat.wordpress.com

Flow Like Water

GO WITH THE FLOW

Yoga has taught me so many life lessons and above all it has shown me how to go with the flow. When I apply the ‘flow like water’ approach to my life, I move and breathe with ease and enjoyment. If I choose to fight against challenging moments or events, everything feels much more unmanageable. As I prepare to move to a new city and begin teaching yoga at brand new studios, going with the flow is keeping me grounded and relatively calm.

FROM MAT TO THE REAL WORLD

My favorite style of yoga to practice is power vinyasa yoga, or power flow. I am drawn to the fluidity of this practice– how each pose is connected to the next through flow and breath. It reminds me of a beautiful dance that allows its practitioners to move through negative blocks into positive, open space. The more I hit my lake-boatmat, the more I’m reminded of the benefits of pushing past stuck energy and discomfort. If I sit and wallow in complaint for too long I begin to see every event as a struggle and every action seems to require more effort than I want to afford it. If I go with the flow though, I am able to let go of what is no longer serving me and stay in the present moment.

GETTING PRESENT

Going with the flow requires us to be present to what’s happening before us. We must first be grounded in the now in order to move through it into something new. My go-to grounding technique? I look at my feet, spread out my toes and press firmly into the ground.
Doing this connects me with the current moment and rooting down into the earth keeps my mind where my body is in reality. It centers me and requires me to slow down my racing mind. Once I’m calm and present I can choose to let go of anything from the past that’s preventing me from living powerfully and happily, and I can flow like water into the next moment. My mentor, Power Yoga Canada Co-Founder Kinndli McCollum, uses the image of water running off a duck’s back to describe going with the flow and letting go. It’s a
powerful metaphor that has stuck with me.

DON’T FIGHT THE CHALLENGE

In my view, it’s not only counter-productive to sit there and complain about how things aren’t going my way, it’s dis-empowering. It removes my personal power, which allows me to act in the moment and move on from discomfort into decisive action. Instead of focusing on all that’s not going right, I’ll do my best to shift my perspective and set my Drishti or gaze on what IS working out. From that place of positivity, a new world of possibility opens up to me. I am able to see solutions to problems that were seemingly hidden before and I can move through a challenge, coming out on the other side unscathed and stronger than before.

TEST IT OUT

Next time you feel your body tensing up and your mind racing, ground yourself, breathe and consider dropping the struggle, and going with the flow. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You may find it hard to just go with it when you’re starting to take on this new way of being, but once you do there’s some incredible gifts waiting for you on the other side. If you go with the flow you may just end up finding out you yoga-hairactually enjoy something you never thought you would, you may feel more resilient than ever before for kicking crisis in the butt with grace, and you may cultivate lasting inner peace.

Namaste.

Eryl McCaffrey is a Power Vinyasa Yoga Teacher from Toronto, Ontario. She’s also a Freelance Writer, who’s passionate about health and wellness. Eryl believes in the power of love to heal and advance the world. Her blog:twofeetheartbeat.wordpress.com

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