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Divine Sisterhood

Now, more than ever, we are being called to stand up, speak our truths and live with compassion, authenticity and fearless hearts. Many of us are feeling a call to live more sustainably and protect the earth, to learn/share integrated practices which help us to live from a place of love and not fear. Our individual efforts are 100% needed for a collective shift…

This is why I teach yoga and meditation.

I know that these teachings have given me tools to step out of my personal addictions, and help me to make better decisions daily.

And with my own healing, I can offer more support and love to those around me. I can live a life of service and have the most positive impact in the world.

Most importantly, I know that these practices bring people together in community and that ideas become more powerful when shared…

This shift in consciousness is the rise of the Divine Feminine. The energy of the female is potent — She gifts us the qualities of creativity, intuition, protection, holistic thought, collaboration, empathy and unconditional love…all of which have been ignored and abused within our society for far too long.

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While men have an equally important role to play, it is women’s time to gather in sisterhood to encourage mass collaboration and love as the qualities our society will recognize and hold sacred moving forwards.

This is why I share the practices of yoga and mindfulness through retreat immersions around the world. I want EVERY human to first treat themselves with the love and respect they deserve through heathy lifestyle habits: high vibe nourishment through diet, sleep patterns, physical movement and time for reflection and relaxation to bring awareness to the parts of us we need to nourish (or begin to nourish) daily. I want women to learn to accept themselves exactly as they are, to see themselves as a beautiful and unique Goddess and live with more sweetness. Most important, I want everyone to experience the gift of sacred community: what it feels like to be seen, heard and felt from a place of neutrality. When we feel nourished from within and supported from those around us, we naturally rise into our highest selfs.

This is the power of Divine Sisterhood. Our sisters provide the platform for loving-kindness and a safe haven of support. Our sisters help shape-shift us into better partners, mothers and daughters. They remind us of our power and responsibilities as women of the world. They hold us accountable without shame or blame. They honor our uniqueness and help us integrate with tenderness. The power of sisterhood is fierce, creative, loving and a change-maker…and this energy resides within each one of us.

As we are all a direct mirror reflection of one another, it is imperative we take initiative and become mentors for the world. Women must celebrate and collaborate with one another in order to encourage those around us to follow suit.

And when enough of us support one another to take action, the system will naturally adapt to support us. There is a ripple effect which will spread far and wide.

But it begins on an individual level…

It is our birth right to step into our highest selves — to be happy, healthy and give back to the entire eco-system that is our global family. This is a call to action to create more Divine Sisterhood in our lives. Together, women can change the world. I feel it. I believe it with every single cell in my being. Things are just getting good and I am so honored to be here, right now, alongside you.

The Divine Goddess within me, recognizes the Divine Goddess within each and every one of you.

 

 

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Lauren Lee is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures.

 

 

 

 

 

Join Lauren Lee and friends for this amazing week THRIVE: A Soul-Fueled Immersion for Wellness Entrepreneurs, March 4th-11th in COSTA RICA!

raiseyourbeat.com/thrive

 

 

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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/

It’s Been Real

For the last year, I’ve been the head resident yoga teacher at Hariharalaya Retreat Center in the Cambodian countryside. As our week-long retreats come to an end, and we bid farewell to our guests, it’s not uncommon to hear them say, “well, back to the real FullSizeRender-3world”. Sometimes I’ll give them a smile back as if to say, “are you suggesting my little bamboo hut in the jungle is some sort of false reality?” But of course, I know what they mean. During the first 6 months I spent traveling around Southeast Asia, I too have been guilty of referring to life back home in Chicago as “the real world”. When you find yourself in these situations – whether it’s practicing yoga out in the jungle, trekking the Himalayas in Nepal, or washed up on white sand beaches of Thailand – it does often feel like you’re living in a dream.

The funny thing about all of this, and the reason I can only laugh when I hear these statements, is that there is nothing more natural, more real than walking around barefoot with your feet connected to the earth, eating fresh fruits and vegetables grown by your neighbors, living in community, looking after one other, moving your body, breathing… To live in this state of oneness is to experience the true essence of Yoga, which, in Sanskrit means “to yolk” or “to unite”.

Earlier this year, Johann Hari published an article for the Huffington Post that went viral arguing that the real cause of addiction is disconnection. Hari states, “The rise ofIMG_9493 addiction is a symptom of a deeper sickness in the way we live — constantly directing our gaze towards the next shiny object we should buy, rather than the human beings all around us.” I would extend this statement further to include all life around us, and it serves as a perfect explanation for why yoga has had such a profound impact on my life as with so many others.

For two years, in my previous career as a Media Planner, I found myself traveling from apartment building to train to plastic cubicle (and reverse). Rather than seeking out balance, I found temporary gratification in the many “work perks” of the media industry – skybox tickets to Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake, $10 cupcakes dropped off at my desk, designer sunglass shopping, 10 course dinners with wine pairings at the top restaurants in Chicago. As it turns out, you can be insanely full and still feel unfulfilled.

Fast-forward a few years, and a feeling of contentment finally starts to set in as I trade it mary1all in for a grass hut in the jungle. As I cycle around the village and see kids entertaining themselves for hours jumping rope on the side of the road, or multiple generations of the same family gathered to cook meals together from food grown in their own yard, it almost feels like traveling back to a time before iPhone screens, video games and fast-food stepped into the picture. Interestingly, the first reaction from our guests at the retreat is usually, “what can we do to help these people?” There is a certain irony in the fact that many of us, myself included, find ourselves traveling far from home because we are dissatisfied with the disconnection that results from becoming overly reliant on technology, overstressed, and overworked – yet we still try and inflict our idea of the “real world” on others. The real question we should be asking is “what can we learn from these people?”

What I’ve learned during this past year living in the Cambodian countryside, mary2experiencing over 50 consecutive yoga retreats and living in community with hundreds of people from all over the world is the power of connection. It’s human nature to make judgments about people when you first meet them – our brains are designed to help us make sense of things by comparing them to past memories. And despite my best efforts, I still find myself making judgments on Day 1 of a retreat before really getting to know someone. But the beauty of being in an environment where you don’t have the choice to pick up your phone instead of talking to the person who happens to sit next to you, is they will always surprise you. Seeking out this sense of oneness is part of the path of yoga. There is great wisdom in the Eternal Truth as presented by Swami Rama Tirtha;

“If you truly love everyone with all of your heart, you will find happiness everywhere”.

I am certain that this jungle life I have chosen is not for everyone, and I’m not suggesting that the answer for all of life’s problems is to quit your job and move to a third world country. The real training with Yoga is to learn to integrate these principles into our lives in order to experience a sense of oneness despite all that we’re up against with modern technology. As I often remind people on the first day of a retreat, there is no quick-fix, “get enlightened in 5-days” solution presented by yoga. Rather, by coming into tune with our own mind, body & breath, and opening ourselves up to the world around us, we are able to cultivate a deep sense of joy and lasting fulfillment in whatever real world we choose to live in.

 

image1-3Mary has been the head yoga teacher of Hariharalaya Retreat Center in Cambodia for over a year. After exploring a number of styles of teaching, she has found her true passion with yoga therapy – making the tools of yoga accessible to everyone.

www.marytilsonyoga.com

Facebook.com/marytilsonyoga

Lessons from a Teacher & Student

 

I’ve loved yoga since I was 13, when my dad let me borrow his yoga postures handbook from the 70’s. I fell more deeply in love with the practice over the past couple of years and when I came to the realization that I wanted to teach yoga, I me-yogafeared change. I was scared of how my personal yoga practice might change as a student when I started teaching it. I thought I might fall out of love with yoga, because I was doing it for a living. Not so!

I am blessed to be both a teacher and student of yoga and life! Being on both sides of the table means I develop awareness about my body, mind and soul and see how yoga is embodied and understood in others–which is truly inspiring. So, I thought I’d share the lessons I’ve learned from playing both roles.

We’re All the Same

Don’t get your lulu’s in a knot just yet. I recognize that we are all unique (see below), but I also recognize how similar we are. On a basic, universal level we are all one. I’ll experience struggle on my mat in a certain pose and then see the same struggle in the face of a student in the same pose when I teach. It is only by seeing ourselves in others that we are able to truly connect, be present and empower others. As far as I’m concerned, we all sweat, loathe certain poses, celebrate others AND we all crave inner peace. Because I’m able to recognize our sameness as human beings, I have access to more compassion for people and a deeper kind of self-love.

We’re All Unique

As human beings, we’re all made from the same cloth, but each of us is also marked by uniqueness. I can say a cue or give direction when I’m teaching and see it resonate differently with every single person in the class. For example, if Idancers say ‘engage your core,’ one student might hug their lower belly in towards their spine, another might draw the front of their ribs together, while another might tuck their tailbone under to straighten their spine. We all interpret information differently and experience yoga in different ways. As both a teacher and student, individuality reminds me of the power of yoga to heal and transform anybody and any BODY!

Living Means Growing

As a yoga teacher and student I am always learning and growing. I’m learning from my students and they are learning from me. As a student, I learn from my teachers and they, hopefully, learn from me, and then the cycle repeats itself. Whether I’m practicing yoga or teaching it I’m constantly learning about the body, mind and soul and the importance of feeding each aspect. My yoga journey so far has taught me that it all comes back to self-love. When we show ourselves love and compassion the path towards growth and enlightenment doesn’t seem as impossible and intimidating, because we know we deserve it, need it and can handle anything that comes our way! Not to mention, when we love ourselves deeply we can love those around use deeply, too.

Namaste.

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Eryl McCaffrey is a 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. Blog: twofeetheartbeat.wordpress.com