Imagine this. You are plodding on with life, as you do, getting up for work, going to work, coming home from work, setting your stuff down, maybe chilling out for an hour or so before you start on the cooking, and then you finally slump down in front of the TV to binge-watch the latest series on Netflix….and…you…love…it!
Or at least, you don’t know that you don’t love it. Why would you?
Life is pretty good. Yes you do the whole 9-5 thing, but you enjoy your job and like spending time with your work colleagues. You spend time with your friends the odd evening during the week and your weekends are full or friends and family and good times.
And again, you…love…it.
Or at least, you don’t know that you don’t love it. Again, why would you?
Then, one evening, you go to your first yoga class.
But for now, your weekly yoga class is just that – another thing to squeeze into your working week evenings and the odd weekend. You like how the physical movement makes you feel, and ultimately that’s the reason you started yoga – to ‘get fit’, and be ‘more flexible’. As you practice and develop your body through strength and flexibility, you sense a connection to when the teacher peppers the class with the odd yoga philosophy quote or reading or teaching. The concept of yoga philosophy is triggering and sparking interest with you, but you aren’t quite sure why? You just know that whenever you leave a yoga class you feel good – through the physical and the mental. You’re being drawn to it, drawn to maybe even teaching it, learning more about the history of yoga and the deep meaning of yoga philosophy.
You come to see the benefits of yoga, way beyond the physical. Yoga is such a personal thing that it’s different for everyone. It connects the mind, body and soul.
Onto me, I’m not particularly spiritual, but I believe in something more, something bigger, something that you can’t quite put your finger on, but the emotional feeling leaves you warm, connected, happy, smiling, content, peace, calm.
Back to you and your life with the 9-5 / Netflix weekly scenario. Again, this isn’t bad one bit. Please don’t think that it is. But perhaps ask yourself if you get all those feelings – warm, connected, happy, smiling, content, peace, calm from the life you are currently living? I’m guessing maybe not. This is the life we have lived for years and followed for years. This is how we have been programmed since day-dot. And when I say programmed, it’s not a bad thing. It’s just the observation of how we all end up living our lives the way we do.
Back to me again and that emotional feeling. I wanted more of it. I connected more to my yoga practice, to my learning, to my growth, and I ended up finding my WHY. Up until then, I didn’t really know what my WHY was. Yes, I heard about the concept of it, but never gave it much thought – why would I? I was happy doing my 9-5 thing with Netflix, friends & family and the weekly yoga class!
Yoga gave me so much more than just the physical and the mental.
It gave me my WHY.
And what did my WHY give me?
It allowed me to FOLLOW MY HEART.
As yoga connects movement and meditation, connects your breath and body, it separates it from other forms of fitness. You are bringing your mind, body and soul all together, through your asanas, through your dhyana and through your pranayama. All of this together helps bring you into the present moment so you can experience happiness, achievement, peace, and connection to self, all together.
Connection to self helps you find your WHY. Your WHY is your driving force, to power through those tough times, your reason to exist, your reason to get up in the morning when you have no energy, your WHY.
Personally, my WHY is to be ‘strong and confident on / off the mat.’ Strong and confident on my mat with my asanas (arm balances, inversions, headstands, handstands – you know, all the cool fun stuff but all the tricky stuff!) And Strong and confident off my mat in daily life and the challenges it brings (enter Covid-19 and lockdown!)
In the last 3 years, I’ve signed my first ever mortgage and moved into my first ever home of my own, only to be made redundant within 1 month of moving in. I stepped away from the 9-5 and changed my whole career around, becoming a yoga teacher (I used to design shoes!), I lost my job again because of this current global pandemic and had to rent out my flat, moving back home with my dad. And somewhere in the middle of all of this, I lost my mother suddenly to lung cancer. My family and friends helped me through it. But my WHY guided me through it, and still does, every…single…day.
To quote Find Your Why Foundation: ‘yoga can provide you with techniques to teach you how to, at any moment, step into the eye of the storm.’ (https://findyourwhyfoundation.com/finding-your-why-throughyoga/)
So, what does my WHY give me? It gives me ease, strength, confidence and guidance, but ultimately peace and happiness. When I think back to the quote highlighted above by Find Your Why Foundation, I get a warm sensation and a little smile starts to form – not because life is easy or joyous 100% of the time. But because I’m using the tools I have in my toolkit to deal with the storm head on!
So, I would urge you to find your WHY. And if you don’t know what it is – that’s fine. Explore it, dance around it, then connect and nurture it through your yoga practice. I would urge you to find what makes your heart and soul sing.
FOLLOW YOUR HEART & FIND YOUR WHY.
Guest story by:
Flamingo Yoga Maya
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