10 things Yoga taught me

When I started my yoga practice, I wanted to be more strong, flexible and calm. Period. I was not looking anything further. But, sometimes the best gifts come in disguise. Yoga taught me lessons that have metamorphosed my life!

Life Lessons Yoga taught me

1. The body, thoughts follow the Breath

Breathe right! It may sound simple or even trivial. But everytime you feel lost, disconnected; Breathe deeper and be aware of the sound and the sensations. It gives you the courage and comfort to keep moving. Just like we use Ujjayi breath to stay in an asana, be aware of your breath to flow through the day!

2. Be present

We are either planning , reviewing, worrying or fantasizing. We are so often caught in the past or future, that we forget to relish the here and now. Yoga without awareness is not yoga! We might do a 108 suryanamaskars with our mind all over the place. But, a mindful 21 suryanamaskars is so much more beneficial to the mind, body and soul! Therefore, use your breath to stay present. 🙂

3. Find your balance

It sounds simple enough to say “you need balance in your life;” But it’s another thing to attain that balance. Yoga teaches us that balance is a result of discipline and perseverance. When we fall off the wagon, we can either wait for the next asana. Or, we decide to get back on the wagon until we succeed. Life plays by the same rules too…

4. Look inside for solutions

I love the quote, “When you change, the whole world around you changes!” “I had a bad day, the mat is slippery, the music is too loud, so on and so forth.” We can either look for everything that is wrong on the outside or you can choose to make your practice better! So often we blaming everything around us. But, maybe we are the sole problem. So look inside, introspect and you will find the best things in life.

5. It’s about the journey, not the destination!

Remember all the times you fell, while trying to get into the headstand. The times worked for a stronger core, that you could get into the headstand. Similarly, life is about the journey, not the destination. Enjoy the means and the end is justified!

6. The body has intuition

Your body knows when to stop or take a break. That’s why the lack of flexibility or we get sick. The body knows your limits, so follow it to be injury-free. Similarly, so often our “heart is wrenching” or “there are butterflies in the stomach.” The body has intuition relating to your physical limits and your emotional needs. Value listening to what the body has to say and you will love and be comfortable in your body!

7. How we do one thing is how we do everything

One of the amazing things about yoga, is that similarly to psychotherapy.  People tend to approach their practice in the same way that they approach other areas of their life. Do you eaily give up when you cannot get into an asana? Everytime you faulter in a balance asanas, do you come back easily? For this reason, raise your practice and life becomes easier!

8. We are good at what we do everyday

When we practice a particular asana everyday. We get into that pose perfectly and we can stay there effortlessly. Similarly, practice kindness, courage, respect everyday. And these qualities become a part of you!

9. Your practice is unique

Do what feels best and feels right in your body. This is the same for your life. Accept challenges and your body/life will have a newness to it. What works for another person may not work for you. So design your life, your way!

10. Laugh at your bloopers

Once in a while we might have fallen on our neighbour, while trying to balance. Or your body might have sqeaked, quacked or wheezed. Just laugh it out! Don’t take life too seriously. Smile in an asana and in your daily life. It’s way to short to get embarrased or depressed. 🙂 🙂

I went into yoga for a physical experience and came out with a renewed sense of purpose! There was mental clarity, gratitude, more flexibility for mankind and a different mental process. Who would have thought all that could come from spending sixty minutes on a mat?

Iti Jain

Falling “In&out” of old patterns

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We set our intent on giving up on a bad habit, toxic ways or toxic people. We give it our best shot, get the momentum going and then.. Bamm, we fall of the wagon.

Then, the wise thing is to be aware of the trigger that led us to indulge in old ways. Recognise it and set an alternate response to the trigger. Teach your mind, visualise it and it will be done!

For a long time, you’re happy about building nurturing new habits or having nourishing people around you. Then, some event/situation builds up and BAMMM…. Back to old defeating ways. 

Building a new habit consists of unlearning and learning. It can be a complex process. But, all you need is consistency to keep getting up, every time you fall. Once you really see, that you need to change something in your life. You can do it! Real change takes a moment of understanding. And weeks, sometimes months of practicing.

In all your weak times, Remind yourself, why you started in the first place! And see the small tiny positive changes that have been produced; with the mere effort. So a little more, and you will be there!

Everyone has their own journey carved out. But, motivate your fellow-passengers. In-turn, be motivated to nourish your life with good habits, people and environment.  If they can do it, you can do it too!! And the exhiliration you feel, is surreal. 🙂 🙂

Mind your wings

It’s OK to make wrong decisions

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It’s ok to make wrong decisions. As the fear of making wrong choices, often freezes us and it leaves us stagnant in life. Action is always better than inaction.

Whenever making a decision, weigh the pros and cons. Sleep over it. Think of the consequences and always remember that “Every action-choice-decision, has a ripple effect in your life and the environment you live in.” So be careful, but don’t be scared!!

There are times, we make wrong choices. We invest in a wrong career, fall in love with the wrong person, make small mistakes that change the route of our lives. It’s not the end of your story. Be strong, face the consequences of your decisions and make amends. Not for the world, but for yourself and the people who were affected by the decisions.

We need to learn to take decisions from a young age. From small things, like what we want to eat, what hobby class do we enroll in, how do we want to spend the savings to what we want to do in holidays. When we start taking decisions, our brains are wired to think and make choices. This will help us, at the pedestal when we need to important decisions. Start early and enjoy the ripple effect….

Mind your wings

When you are Crashing….

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I absolutely love Anthony Robbin’s metaphor of the crashing car. When driving a race car, your focus is immaculate. One moment of distraction and THUD! Whereas sometimes your car skids and you are at a choice point. You either look towards the wall, where you might crash or you focus on the direction where you want to go. 

Similarly, in life we always need to focus on where we want to go instead of what we fear. But, often we are so focused on the problem that we forget to look for the solution instead. And there are times, when we are looking at the solution, but we are unable to comprehend it. In this case, look around, turn it upside down, twist and turn, change your perception and WHOOSH, the solution hits you like a fresh gust of wind. 

Focus and work towards your goal. On the other hand, be flexible with the ways that you can reach your goal. And, when you are skidding; look at where you want to be and there is a greater possibility you’ll be one step closer to your goal. But, without any groundwork the race car goes crashing. Similarly, when you set a goal but lose your focus, you might get lost. Whereas focus gives you clarity and speeds your success.

A mind out of control will play games with you. On the other hand, when you train your mind to FOCUS-DECLUTTER, it is the greatest bane of your life. Finally, what you focus on becomes your reality. 

Mind your wings

 

One act of “Kindness” has the power to change lives!!!

“A little thought and a little kindness is priceless!!”

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Often in our lives, we have people who come into our lives and help us with unconditional concern or love. They are like guiding lights who show us the path, help us in letting go of the clutter or they merely accept us with all the flaws and the misdemeanours.

When people are lost, it’s’ easy to guide or misguide them. Criticism, judgement and losing faith in them can make them rebels and take them to a point of no return. On the other hand, patience, faith, understanding and a pinch of affection will not only guide them, but it also brings out their highest potential.

Remember, there is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every drop creates a ripple effect. 

I have been on the receiving end of kindness. And, today I am filled with gratitude. Those seeds of kindness were sowed and nurtured by numerous people. As a result, I try being the most loving and kind person. There have been people who have been my guiding light. Similarly, the best way I can express gratitude to them is by emulating them. 

Finally, if you want more goodness, kindness in the world. PUT IT THERE!! Be the change you wish to see. 🙂

Mind your wings

The Path to Wellness- Understanding Anulom Vilom Pranayam

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There’s one quote that has sinked into my subconscious:

“Just Breathe, one inhalation – one exhalation at a time. Form a string of breaths and the magic happens…”

Anulom Vilom Pranayama or alternate nostril breathing exercise is one of the main practices of Pranayama.  It cleanses the pranic channels and balances the two main energy channels – Ida and Pingala thereby balancing the two hemispheres of the brain and it awakens the central channel called Sushumna Nadi.

Lets understand this in simpler language. Any form of deep-conscious breathing is Pranayam. In normal breathing, only one-third of the alveoli(air sacs in the lungs) get oxygen while the remaining remain inactive.As we get older, the inactive alveoli remain full of carbon-dioxide, becoming almost inert and our breathing becomes shortened. In Pranayam as we inhale more oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, our vital lung capacity increases. It helps the lungs in blood purification and improves blood circulation to all the parts of our body.

The ideal ratio in Anulom-Vilom is 1:4:2 (inhale:hold:exhale). We hold the breath for a longer time, as it is difficult to have thoughts when you hold your breath. Besides, our mind is cluttered with thoughts throughout the day, it is in silence that solutions and ideas are formed. We exhale all the toxins and the stress, but we do not prolong it as the rhythm would be broken and our inhalation would be jerky. 

Our goal should be consistency of the rhythm(of our breath). When our breaths are flowing effortlessly, the magic begins… The body recuperates, our minds are filled with tranquility and the soul is rejuvenated!! 

Let the Metamorphosis give you wings!!

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“What if the pain and change you are avoiding, is the one that will give you wings!”

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Hello everyone!!

My journey has been that metamorphosis of the butterfly; born in a cocoon, had to face challenges and transformed into a better person who loves life more and is in sync with everything around. But I promise you, in the midst of the process, I did not see the greater good and all the Dr Freud’s giving me advice, annoyed me a lot. 

Every individual going through transformation, where the transition is to polish yourself, change your perspective, become more warm; then, small adjustments are not enough. It is a revolution, where you resolve to ascend your living and every single effort makes the process successful. Many a times, transformation is about unlearning than learning; letting go rather than holding on; accepting rather than revolting; exploring rather than being lost. 

Metamorphosis is not about being perfect or as good as the other person, it’s about being the best version of yourself, in the given situation with the available resources. And you will know that the process is complete when you can smile at your reflection, when compassion comes easily to you and when you can hold your chin up, when the world is staring down at you. 🙂 🙂

Mind your wings