Keep on Keepin' on

I created my website in the summer of 2014, I had only been teaching for around 1 year and had just founded my business, MARAM Yoga LLC to have a legit platform to sell the malas that I make with my mom.

As time went on, I started to neglect this part of my life as I had plenty of other things that I wanted or needed to do.

However, I have some big changes coming up in my life in the next several months and the idea of having an online platform is becoming more and more necessary. 

It's been an interesting process updating my website so it's relevant. From my blog posts, to my pictures to my malas - everything has changed so much. I mean, of course it has, it's been almost over 2 1/2 years! But the funny thing about change is it doesn't always feel so dramatic because we are LIVING it! The subtle shifts that occur from moment to moment, day to day or even month to month don't always feel that significant. But when you have the opportunity to literally see the difference that has been created over years of time, the change is intense and obvious. 

Like many people, my natural self dialogue isn't very pretty. I see the worst in myself before I see the best. When I see pictures of myself from months or years ago, I always see what's better in that body than where I am now. But the funny thing is, I was doing the same thing when I took the picture I am now romanticizing in my head. 

Yes, I am a yoga teacher who still has self doubt, self judgement and sometimes a lack of self love. But that's why I am a yoga teacher, that's why I am a yoga student, because yoga is a PRACTICE. We are never done working through these natural tendencies that we suffer from, in fact, we just become more aware of them. Then, we can choose to take action and redirect our minds our hearts into a more nurturing space if needed.

So, as I write this, I remind myself: you are perfect and whole exactly who you are and as you are right now. 

Take Time to Reflect

Take time to reflect, but not too much so that you get lost in the past. Learn from your mistakes but don't hold onto them. Each moment we have the option to move forward into the now or to get lost in thoughts around what's already happened. Remember that you can never undo anything but also remember that effects of something don't have to be permanent. We can either allow ourselves to hold onto what we've experienced and the feelings that came with it or acknowledge them and move on. It is always easier to obsess, hold a grudge or stay in a close minded place of judgment. It is harder to move into a place of understanding, acceptance or forgiveness. Don't let something you've once done or thought take away from what you have in front of you. Allow yourself to be free of the past, look forward to the future and appreciate the present. Choose to forgive yourself, forgive someone else, to let go and release something you've been holding onto. Remember that keeping yourself down because of the past only robs you of the present and it what it has to offer. Take each breath, each moment as of comes and keep moving with what you have in front of you.

The Power to Choose

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth & our freedom." - Viktor Frankl

This idea has been one of the most prevalent themes in my life since the day yoga came knocking on my door. I had never understood the power I held within myself until my mat revealed it to me. In a world where we allow ourselves to be victims, where we let ourselves believe that we are powerless, that we do not have control over our reactions, this realization was a big wake up call for me. I no longer was able to blame my knee-jerk reactions or quick-temperedness on anything or anyone around me. It was me. I reacted. I chose my words, my feelings and my thoughts. However, it takes a lot of continued practice to stay aware of the space where the choice lies. A daily commitment to my yoga practice is the key to showing me the key to this space: breath. Without the concentration on my inhales and exhales I notice a serious decrease in my mindfulness - it is the tool that keeps me connected to the now. Just as many of the practices yoga has taught me, I find this one to be especially difficult when I am hurt. I find an urge to fight back to lash out when someone has hurt me deeply, but these are the times when awareness, control are most important. I often tell my students, it is easy to practice yoga (on and off the mat) when everything is happy, easy and smooth. The work happens when we feel things are crashing down around us, when that sense of control doesn't seem as easy to grasp. Continued practice allows for these ideas, or more specifically, the idea of creating enough space to find that power to choose, a little more accessible.

Today it is my intention to stay connected with this awareness as much as possible. It is my wish, my intent to observe myself in the space after a stimulus occurs, find my breath, then react with mindfulness and kindness in my heart.