Friday, 28 April 2017

The Art of Being Your True Self (beyond job titles & other roles in society)...

It doesn't matter if we're talking about being an employee of your own business or part of a popular multi-national organisation. Job titles, professions and occupations tend to define our lifestyle and social status. Modern society defines you for so many superficial aspects. Of course, your innate skills and talents form part of your essence as a human being, but do they really define you? or only distract you from recognising the presence of your true self when nobody is interacting with you?

I've spent the past 4 years freelancing and went through a period of anxiety because I didn't find a permanent position as a marketer in Ireland. I worked as an aupair at the beginning and I enjoyed the experience, but the permanent job (40 hours a week and salary based) didn't seem to become a reality for me. I've continued applying to positions that I like, going to interviews, etc. But I no longer depend on their answer to feel good or bad about my life (golden star for me!).

This type of situations challenge you and can make you go through an identity crisis. Only now I realise that I needed a crisis like this one in my life. Even though not having a permanent job and don't actually need it to survive seems like a good life, it really challenges you! It can become a cause of depression or a brilliant opportunity to connect with your true self. The decision is yours. 

Author: Unknown

I have worked as a marketing specialist and as an online fundraising coordinator in the past. I know lots of things about online advertising and I'm still learning about them because I feel that the internet is an amazing tool to communicate ideas. I started freelancing for small businesses here in Ireland since 2013.

This freelancing path has its ups and downs (like everything in life). But you know what? It's fine. It has given me the time to explore other areas, like volunteering for charities and learning new skills and ways of communication, but it has also helped me to confront my own identity state without the distraction of a full-time job and the social status that comes with it. This doesn't mean that I will never assume a role like that in the future, but if I do, I will be more clear about who I really I'm beyond my job title.
  
I've always like to write stories and read books about spiritual growth and mindfulness... but this doesn't seem to give you a permanent employment like many people would expect you to have because is the "normal" thing to look for. Right? Well, this might change. I'm about to finish my yoga teacher training and this occupation might become my new full/part time job (or not). At this point of my life, I finally learned that nobody needs an employment or job role to define themselves. Of course, you can play with your skills or build new ones, but they don't have to define your true self.

The good news is: You can be whomever you want to be. You build your reality day by day using your thoughts and determination to act and achieve those things you want in your life. You can listen to your inner-self in silence. Follow those things that make you smile from inside using your creativity, even if that doesn't give you a job title, it doesn't matter. Just focus on your breath and ask for divine help. Practice yoga (on and off the mat) or any other activity that connects you with your inner-self. The answer will come in form of intuition, wisdom and even as a crisis like the one I went through. But don't worry. It will be fine. You have the potential within you! Keep looking inward and you will find it in all the aspects of your life at some point :)

Namaste

PS. Contact me if you want to practice yoga with me this summer (in Dublin, Ireland).
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Friday, 21 April 2017

Owning Your Right to be Happy

We're always looking for ways to be happy or at least to feel at ease. I believe we just want to achieve wellness in all aspects of our life, we have just forgotten how to do that. How did this happen? Don't ask me... there are many conspiracy theories, but that's not the point, is it? Maybe our brains have being programmed by society to feel fear instead of peace. Our beliefs about who we are can affect us profoundly. We're exploring what's like to be human beings (happy ones, preferably). That's my case anyway, and I believe others are pursuing the same goal.

The problem, to me, starts when you let your beliefs guide you without questioning them. Where are these beliefs really coming from? Can you trust them blindly? I don't know for certain, but I chose to believe something now: Your beliefs create your own reality. Every perception you have is based on what you believe, whether because someone told you or simply for lack of knowledge. (Took me a while to understand that it's our responsibility to pay attention to what we think and what we feel, otherwise we could lose control over our own life). Then emotions rise to the surface and your body/mind become a mess. Sounds familiar?


Thoughts are brilliant, they build our system of beliefs and model our society and communities. They can help us but also hurts us. What do you choose to believe? I ask myself all the time... I like to defend my truth, but every truth can be debated, at least on the level of consciousness that we are right now. That's why I think our human truths are not so important after all. Especially when you compare them to the wisdom of the universe and its magic presence all around us (and within us). How could we forget about it so easily? I wonder... The universe provided us with an amazing set to play our human life. We create personal stories to learn and evolve as cosmic particles of this galaxy (even without realising it).

Some of us have forgotten who we really are, but we're finding our way back home. We're questioning ourselves. experiencing the distractions of daily life with more awareness and sympathy than before. We're interested in improving our diet. Wellness, mindfulness and meditation are becoming more popular nowadays.

Yoga has become one of the paths to achieve this level of consciousness and spiritual growth. It's not just about exercising to look good but to feel good from inside out. It's a matter of knowing ourselves, experiencing our own body and range of motion before going deeper. To me, yoga became that reminder to experience the force of life within me, to explore how does it feel to be in this body that nature provided for me. Am I taking good care of it? Am I honouring who I am from inside out? I wasn't doing it for a long time. Now I can see it a little bit more clear. Whatever nature gives us is a gift - even if it's just the fact that we can breathe effortlessly. We can choose to believe so or not. I believe so, and I feel it with all my heart (because that belief brings me the wellness that I've always pursued, and I want to let others know they can find it too). Each day more people decide to believe this, and at some point, this truth will become our global reality.

Life happens in mysterious ways. At this moment of my life, I feel the power of creation within me, even if I don't know how does it work. I believe that life it's amazing, even when it hurts... because it's the only way to show us how amazing is to feel good and to become better and stronger beings. That's how we own our right to be happy. Doing what we love and helping others to find their own way. That's why I decided to become a yoga teacher. Doing exercise and applying relaxation techniques are just doors to a bigger experience about the meaning of life. You can choose your own doors, you can choose your own beliefs (witnessing happiness and sadness pass by while you breathe consciously - so easy and complicated at the same time). I just like to make you think about it... if you let me. We're all in this together :)

Friday, 17 March 2017

3 Stages Behind The Practice of Yoga

Many people are curious about what yoga means and what are its true benefits. Others like it because is becoming a fashion trend, because yoga leggings and mats look cool, etc.

However, I have classified the practice of yoga in 3 stages:

1- Superficial: It's the type of yoga we all start practicing. Even though the teacher might be trying to show you the essence of yoga, you would only see it as a physical practice. You will focus on getting more strong or achieving more flexibility, etc. At this point, you work really hard on reaching your yoga goals, and aim to look perfect on your asana or posture (This might even have a fitness focus or physical health aim). Even if you don't see the essence of yoga at this point, the medial and deep stages will have some sort of effect in you. So, congratulations! You're entering a beautiful and liberating path <3

2- Medial: In this stage, you start realising that yoga really affects your mind and emotions. You see this as a direct response of your physical practice, but you probably don't understand much about the energy world behind yoga (its essence). So you keep breathing and noticing the effect that your breath has under difficult poses (or certain circumstances in life). At this point there's something else about your yoga practice that really keeps you engaging beyond your previous yoga goals. You want to practice more and more, and not because you only want to perfect your poses, but because you know something else is happening on a deeper level but you are not sure what it is. Don't worry! You're very close to find out more :)

3- Deep: After a while, you recognise the value that yoga brings to your life on a deeper level (your yoga poses look much better but you don't care too much about this perfection as you did before). Here you can see how yoga helps you connect with your higher self. This happens not only when you meditate on your mat, but also off your mat, in your daily life. There's an inner state about yourself that becomes more present throughout your yoga practice and guides you in every moment of your life. It's the divine spark within you. It's your Higher-Self, who is experiencing the world from a perspective far away from your Ego. At this stage, you become more interested in the Philosophy of yoga and the evolution of your soul. You incorporate the philosophy of yoga (The 8 Limbs of Yoga and the Path of Yoga you choose) to your own religion or believes (even if you consider yourself atheist). Spiritual teachings go beyond any type of religion in the world, and that's what makes it so powerful. As many teachers say: Yoga can make you a better Catholic, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist... In summary, the philosophy of Yoga can make you a better person (without using any labels). Congratulations! The Deep stage is actually the beginning of many changes in your life. When you are here you can't go back. You have changed. Your soul wants you to keep studying and progressing towards a peaceful life of FREEDOM. Well done!

Picture by yoganonymous.com

My point of view about Yoga Asanas and its benefits (in general):

When you practice asanas or postures, which are only one of the limbs of the path of yoga (in the yogic philosophy), the benefits are many, but I like to mention some of the basics:

- You can cultivate inner peace through the movement of the body and the way you focus your mind during each practice.

- When you are fully aware during your yoga practice, you can connect better with your breath and this allows you relax your mind and calm down your emotions getting rid of all the tension your body might be accumulating.

- You get to know better your body capacities and limits, thus you learn how to go beyond those limits and leave any judgments behind. Your self-esteem increases.

- You connect with your higher self and learn how to get rid of your Ego, thus improving your relationships and quality of life. You become the owner of your thoughts and emotions. Not the other way around.

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The information above is only my opinion and perspective about yoga according to my own experience in the yoga world for about 8 years. This is also part of what I have understood from many yoga teachers, books and articles. Take only what helps you in your personal path and your journey to find inner peace.

Namaste

Monday, 2 January 2017

The Flow of Life

Sometimes I think people like to be busy and even worried... Of course, we don't do this on purpose, but I've realised that we (humans) tend to find problems in everything around us (to keep us busy in a weird way). Sometimes they are real obstacles, sometimes they have been exaggerated by our own minds. These challenges made our lives, and we should be used to them! On the contrary, it seems normal to complain about things, sometimes even a sad hope is part of the drama.

However, I believe this is normal, we're learning how life works; why are we here; what's our real life purpose. All these questions are overwhelming, so we stick to worry about the things we plan at home or at work (to begin with something). The funny thing is, these worries don't help at all, but they're part of our emotional responses as human beings, so we got to observe them and learn how to deal with them every day.



Constructing perfect relationships is a struggle, controlling our emotions too, and contacting our inner-self seems too abstract for almost every one of us. People find distractions to these personal and spiritual problems by drinking a lot of alcohol, watching too many movies, eating too much, and "being too busy". Once again, I think this is normal. However, only when we find silence within ourselves and pause these distractions for a while, we can start seeing the big picture. Yoga has taught me that, but this is something people explore through different paths, all leading to the same: Understanding the flow of life within us.

Yoga is one of those paths. It's a path that invites you to connect with your breathing, your thoughts and emotions while you're on a mat exploring the WHO of who you are.

This year, my inner yoga teacher feels ready to guide people on this path, and show them the way I use yoga to connect to my inner-self; to work out my physical body; and also, to observe the flow of life during this marvellous practice.

--
Are you interested in yoga classes guided by me? Please send an email to info@yoagirl.com.

See you on the mat!

Dublin, Ireland

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Finding THAT Teaching Voice


I've been practicing yoga over the past 7 years or so (without counting the time spent as a kid performing asanas completely unaware that they were yoga poses!). Only until now it has become a "serious" thing to do. I'm formally studying to become a Yoga Teacher at Samadhi Studios Dublin.

It's a strange journey. I'm starting to see the bigger picture behind yoga just now. The postures have a whole new meaning to me and my body awareness is increasing day by day. However, I'm in the process of finding my teaching voice. Yes, I know it's there, I'm just beginning to hear it, and the experience has been completely astonishing. That voice is the same voice that has been guiding me for several years without speaking out loud. It's overwhelming to hear it, so my personality and fears take over when I intend to use it. I know it's only temporal, and I trust that voice will step out and guide me and my future students from now on. She lives within me and my main goal is set her free and let her do her job (My 2017 Goal).

I also know this voice is part of my connection with the Divine Consciousness known as God, but I'm sure this Force doesn't care about titles and/or religions as long as you connect with its centre, which is Divine Love. (I won't dig deeper on it, as that subject deserves a completely new post).

Teaching yoga goes beyond knowing how to do the poses yourself... It's about being confident to demonstrate them, and using your teaching voice to guide others towards the "final" goal. You need to consider your student's type of body, weaknesses and strengths, in order to tell them what to do next. I'm sure each student might become a unique master in your yoga teaching path.




Yoga asanas must be explored by the practitioner following the guidelines that are given to them by their teacher. Sometimes words are not enough to make a stiff body to move towards an "ideal" position. However, the thing that took me a while to understand, is that there are not "ideal" positions. There are only unique journeys to awake our Body/Mind Awareness, and the capacity to being present and conscious about our body, mind and emotions. 

How do you teach that?

I know I am very flexible, but many people are not, and I need to show them that that's ok too; because what matters the most is your inner process towards Awareness (among other subtle things). You need to explore your body in ways you never imagine in order to teach others how to do so, and that's what I'm doing at this time.

When you do a yoga class you explore your body alignment, balance, flexibility and strength. You start knowing yourself a little bit more, you get closer to your inner-self, from your abdominal core to your mind and emotions (not to mention the understanding of your chakras system and glands co-relation).

Some people do yoga as a body exercise or a relaxation technique (and that's ok), but the benefits go beyond that initial approach. When we do yoga, our minds also train to achieve stillness and self-control. Sooner or later we understand that our inner-self is there, just waiting until we silence our mind and let it be in control of our existence and Self-Realisation.

I think you don't have to do asanas in order to practice yoga and achieve Self-Realisation, but it's a much more fun way to do so. That's why the practice I do and I wish to teach is one ON and OFF the mat.

NAMASTE and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Truth About Movement & Awareness

When we question our lifestyle and beliefs (thoughts), willing to change our minds and find out who we really are, we begin to taste freedom.

I'm just realising this perspective after reading several sacred texts and experiencing life from another point view. Although my family didn't teach me any of these things I know now, their catholic answers made me begin this journey to dig deeper and find convincing answers about my existence.

Yoga and meditation have helped me to unveil parts of the hidden truth. However, even when we think we already found the truth, life can surprise you... The truth seems to have many levels of understanding and it can change from person to person. So, please read this lines carefully. I hope these ideas only serve you to awaken the sacred curiosity you need to begin your journey towards freedom.

Freedom is a complex concept, it can mean many things really, however, I see true freedom as the capacity to realise who you really are, to be self-aware of your own thoughts and know that YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU THINK. That's a strange sentence, I know... but here is where everything begins to make sense. I made this drawing to express my perspective, in other words, my level of truth (which I'm sure is subject to change) at any time. This journey seems almost infinite.


Self Awareness - I am: 
This phrase is in the middle of the board because is the main reason of my existence, to be able to explore who I really am in the world. In my case, I think that I am spiritual being (living in a female body) playing a role in society. Again, this is just a thought, a perspective I chose to believe. I consider this my inner truth, and this perception can't be fully expressed using words. Considering this personal point of view, I presume other humans beings must be the same as me.
All of us seem to be trying to make sense of our own existence. How? Most of us agree to do it through our belief systems (consciously or unconsciously), we all do it, that's perfectly fine. And these beliefs need to be based on something solid. Let's say that the 3 most common pillars in people's life are: Your studies - Your job - Your creative project.

So we play our society roles through these and many others... We are free to choose how to play our roles as we wish. If we don't play a role related to any of these 3 pillars, at least we play a role in our family or friends group. That's the common way we organise our life in modern society. No problem with that.

What about Body Movement then? Why is it highlighted like that on the board? Because Movement is a GIFT. We experience life through our bodies. When we were children, we were in touch with our own body on a deeper level. We felt its needs and gave it what it wanted (as much as we could or adults allow to) following a sacred connection with it. We grew up and started judging not only our own bodies but others people's bodies as well. Our external image became an important aspect of our life, we gave movement for granted. Sadly, we became attached to external stimulus and forgot the true purpose of this sacred gift.

I would say that Movement is one of the most obvious equivalents of LIFE. We move with our physical body all the time, however, we forgot how to connect with it. We get sick because we're not being aware of the signs our body is sending us before being severe ill. We need to learn again to enjoy the movement that our body allow us to perform. We need to release the tension we hold in our bodies, and our mind is the key to achieving this.

There's movement coming from our minds as well as our emotions. These are like subtle bodies we need to be aware of in order to let go of tension and mindfully enjoy the gift that has been given to us: Movement.

Movement leads to stillness and stillness to movement, like the waves of the ocean, they are two and one at the same time. Movement and stillness are part of our nature on so many levels... 

That's why my passion for yoga has increased so much over the last years. When you start exploring your body through sequences of movement (and stillness), you know you're releasing tension, but you also realise there are many layers of awareness still to unveil. Many philosophies agree: Being fully aware of your physical body, mind and emotions is just the beginning of a magnificent journey towards freedom and self-realisation.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Let go of fear (Relaxation Guide/Story) - FULL Version

Sitting crossed-leg or lying on your back, relax your arms and legs, close your eyes and focus on your breathing, allowing your stomach to rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale. Breathe deeply for about two minutes, until you start to feel comfortable and relaxed.

Imagine that you’re walking in the forest. You were with your friends but suddenly you lost them. You are alone and it is starting to get darker. You can contemplate the sunset and the birds flying back to their nests, but you don’t know where you are. You’re carrying a heavy backpack and you’re exhausted. You want to go home and don’t know what to do. Fear arises because there’s nobody else around to help you find your way back. You decide to stand on a big stone and breathe deeply so you can relax for a few seconds hoping to find a solution to this problem. Your sceptical mind cooperates because it doesn’t have any other option, and you’re so tired, that your mind doesn’t want to argue. Your heart rate has increased because of the anxiety, but that mindful breathing you learnt on that yoga class has brought something new:

- This a popular mountain, someone will come soon and help you out, don’t worry! - a subtle voice whispers bringing some kind of serenity to your fearful mind.

You decide to follow this instruction and focus your attention on your breathing and that lovely sunset emerging in front of you. Nature seems to flow in complete harmony (if it wasn’t for this stressful situation).

-You are part of nature and you need to learn how to trust it.- the voice declares with kindness and authority at the same time.


The moon is shining now, you hear a noise from the bushes, and right when you thought the worst would happen, you hear your friends calling you! Listen to them! They have been looking for you all this time. You follow their voices and realise you were never lost, you just had to experience this fearful situation to get in contact with your intuition and true-self.

We need to learn how to listen to this natural intuition in order to let go of fear and make the right decisions at the right time. We need to make a greater contribution to this society, being aware of the roles we play as human beings on this delicate planet. A planet we all need to take care of.

Breathe once and again and feel your physical body resting wherever you are right now. You are safe. The sensation of fear was only a thought, a story… Like all the thoughts and stories we tell ourselves when we are not in control of certain situations. Intuition is part of nature.  Are you ready to let go of fear now?



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