I am a yogi, and as such you’ll find that many of my posts incorporate yoga in one way or another. Why?
Because yoga is so much more than an exercise or physical practice. It’s a way of life.
Since this blog’s main theme is focused on being true to yourself, I feel like it’s important for me to incorporate this part of me, and as such, I want to share a little bit about yoga as a lifestyle.
I try to live yoga every day, both on the mat and off the mat. Some days I’m not so good at that, but I try.
For me, this involves all of the following:
- Physical Yoga Practice
- Meditation & Prayer
- A Healthy Balanced Diet
- How I Treat Myself & Others
Physical Yoga Practice
I try to engage in a physical practice that’s designed to meet my needs on any given day. So if I need energy, I make sure to incorporate backbends. If I’m feeling anxious, I do lots of forward folds. If I need to get my shit together, I do all the twists!
My practice helps me with other things too. If I’m struggling to find patience, or am dealing with a challenge in my life, I practice more challenging postures. If there’s something I can’t seem to let go of, I focus on releasing my “grip” in my postures. If I’m feeling lonely, I start going to more classes.
No matter what life is throwing at me, yoga offers tools that I can use to help me cope.
Meditation & Prayer
As you may be aware, there’s a very spiritual side to yoga, and while meditation is not strictly a spiritual practice, for many yogi’s this is where the change occurs; where yoga stops being about exercise and starts being about living your best life. Through meditation, I am able to (sometimes) find a sense of calm and stillness within my own mind, and it’s in those moments when I feel closest to my interpretation of God.
I try to follow my meditation up with prayer. It is through prayer that I set my intentions and send them out into the universe, because I believe that whatever you put into the universe, the universe brings you back.
Healthy Balanced Diet
This is such an important piece to the puzzle, and while I don’t always eat in ways that serve my body, I do make this a huge priority. The better you eat, the better you feel. The better you feel, the more energy you’ll have. When you nourish your body with good foods, your body nourishes you.
How I Treat Myself & Others
If you’ve studied yoga philosophy, you’ve probably seen reference to the Yamas and Niyamas. If you were to compare this to a religion like Christianity, these would be like the 10 commandments. Of course, Yoga is not a religion, but when yoga is done as a spiritual practice and way of life, it does offer up certain guidelines that are designed to help you be a better yogi and a better human being.
The last big part of my yogi lifestyle is the practice of mindfulness – striving to be present in everything I do. To think carefully before I speak, before I act, and before I allow my emotions to run away with me. By taking an active and present role in my own life, I am able to be my best self.
Mindfulness is hard. It’s so easy to just take a back seat in my mind and let my body and emotions do the walking and talking for me. I say things that I wish I wouldn’t have, do things I regret, and that’s just part of life. But by working toward more and more mindfulness everyday, I am able to take better control over these situations in my life.