One of the reasons why I choose to teach women's yoga is because of the impact it has had on my own life. It has drawn me out of hiding and helped me to engage fully.
Like so many women, I've spent much of my life feeling misunderstood and disempowered. I was convinced that there was something fundamentally wrong with me. It wasn’t until I discovered the power of women’s community that things began to change.
Women’s yoga helps us to transform all of our seeming imperfections into strengths. It addresses the ways that a woman's body, mind and heart are different from a man's.
It is a safe sanctuary, where not only is it okay to be fluid in our emotions, but it’s actually encouraged. A place where we can reflect for one another our true power and beauty. We awaken our natural feminine radiance and let it shine.
Here we begin to feel we are intrinsically connected to a global community of women. We are not alone.
For many, practicing in this way can feel a little scary at first. However, that fear can quickly transform into gratitude. As we each show up authentically, bringing our full selves and holding nothing back, we start to get a sense of what it means to truly belonging. It feels like coming home.
Of course, this type of practice isn’t for everybody. Women seem to either love it, or it’s just not for them. In the past, this used to really bother me. I wanted everyone to get what it was I was trying to do. I was invested in trying to make sure everyone liked it. I think truthfully, I wanted to make sure they liked me.
I would sometimes try to water down what I was offering thinking that might somehow make it more appealing to more women. Yet, the longer I do this work the more I see what a disservice that is to myself and to my students. The very things that make this practice so meaningful to the ones who love it, are the very things that others might be turned off by.
This is the risk we all sometimes have to take in order to be true to ourselves. We have to learn to trust the energy that which lives through us.
No matter what we do, the world will benefit the most, from us showing up in the fullest, most authentic way we can.
After spending many years of my life struggling with certain challenges and spending a lot of time down in the dumps, sometimes I wonder if I haven't forgotten that it's okay to be happy.
I have noticed that it's become my default to say I am tired and I feel overwhelmed. I hear myself saying these things even on days that I actually am doing pretty good. Feeling this way has become a habit. It’s a rut of negativity where I have been trapped.
As we evolve more psychologically and spiritually, it is inevitable that at some point we will outgrow our old stories and limiting beliefs. There often comes a time when how he used to be in the world just doesn't work anymore. While we might know this intellectually, often we find ourselves doing the same things we have always done because its familiar.
The remedy for this is presence.
The more we can live consciously, and in the moment, the less likely it is that our habits will run the show. The thing about habits is that they are very unconscious. If we want to break them break free of them we have to shine the light of our awareness on them over and over and over again.
If we want to let go of old patterns, we have to create new pathways. In the same way that when water flows down the side of the mountain, the grooves will continue to deepen where the water flows unless acted upon by an outside force. In order to redirect where our attention is going and where our energy is flowing, we need to do a little redirecting.
The next time you find yourself in a bad mood, first find out if that's what's actually true. If you sense you might just be on autopilot then it’s an opportunity to make a different choice. Try taking a deep breath, shift where you are putting your attention and change your attitude. Happiness can be a choice. Moment by moment, breath by breath, we can choose how we respond to life’s every unfolding.
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