There are many ways we can practice yoga without being in a studio or on a mat. Bringing the philosophies and teachings of yoga into our everyday lives is really what it’s all about.
Yoga is much more than a set of postures. It is a way of life. Living yoga is presence, connection, maintaining balance, and aligning with our core values. Living yoga can be tending a garden, loving our families, surfing, volunteering, taking part in sustainable living practices, mindful eating, participating in a beach clean up, sailing the seas, teaching a child how to read, practicing on a yoga mat, creating a mural, or listening to a friend. When we practice the natural art of giving and receiving, we create infinite opportunity loops.
In today’s modern world there are endless distractions. Allowing ourselves to to be happy, healthy, and thriving should be at the top of the list.
Here are nine simple practices we can use to help remind ourselves how to embrace our yoga practice into our daily lives.
1. Cultivate presence.
Notice the power of the breath. Become aware without judgment when the mind is drifting to the past or future. Recognize the only real place of freedom is the NOW. The only real thing we have is this very moment.
2. Be a good listener.
Listen to friends and family. Really listen. Practice compassion. Learn to listen to your inner guide and not just the thoughts of the restless mind.
3. Have loving, kind thoughts toward yourself and others.
Diminish all negative thinking. Let yourself feel all the feelings that may come up with an embracing attitude. Form loving, intimate, meaningful relationships with the people in your life and with the natural world.
4. Spend time in nature.
The natural world can teach us all we ever need to know. Observing seasonal cycles can teach us patience, flow, and the miracle of life. Make connection to nature a priority. Try to enjoy outside time everyday.
5. Develop a consistent personal yoga and/or meditation practice.
This helps us practice self-discipline, and make self discoveries we may have never known existed. Aim for a balance of working hard and following what you love. Notice how our practice on the mat correlates to everything off the mat. We are all connected.
6. Be receptive.
Notice the next time you become “reactive” to something and then consciously change the attitude to “receptive”. Practice calmness. Take responsibility, be strong, and bring more love into your life.
7. Make health and wellness a priority.
Take care of yourself! Omit stress; nourish the body and spirit, exercise, and practice mindful eating. Take the time to do things that make you happy. When we are healthy and happy, we can then inspire others to be the same.
8. Live sustainable.
All we need is less. Simplicity. Notice what you may be doing in your daily life that can be changed to make more conscious efforts toward the environment. Get curious about alternative ways to live that make less of a footprint. Every small step helps. Let’s evolve to sustain. Become a living yoga activist and spark change.
9. Selfless service.
Volunteer, give, and surrender to a power higher than yourself. Get involved in your community and be the light!
Live yoga. By fostering cultural exchange and mutual respect in the global yoga community, we grow closer to one another, our planet, and ourselves. Breathe it all in, LOVE it all out.
Erica Hartnick grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California, and enjoys all things wild and free. She teaches nature inspired yoga and leads mindful adventures in California and Costa Rica. She gets excited about; LEARNING, intense weather, glassy ocean peaks, pillows of fresh powder snow, crystal clear water, positive people, cultural travel, thriving vegetable gardens, fresh mint chip ice cream, nature’s glory, LIVING YOGA, and connecting with others. She is passionate about the collaboration with friends that led to the creation of Yoga Trade, and is devoted to connecting the yoga community with infinite opportunities!