I broke up with yoga.

I broke up with yoga.
It wasn’t yoga, it was me.
I needed a change.
I just wasnt getting what I needed from the relationship.
I was in a rut and had to get out……fast.

I must admit that for quite some time my relationship with yoga was a bit abusive. Somewhat tumultuous. I was constantly using and abusing everything that it had to offer me.

For a time my practice was purely physical. No emotion at all. What I wanted was to get a workout out of my practice. To move through a sweaty, vinyasa flow and feel like I really worked my body. If I didn’t get that, I felt like I wasted my time. I was pissed off. I wanted to leave my mat completely drenched in sweat, exhausted and with a sense of accomplishment. It was nothing for me to practice 5-6 times a week and sometimes more than once a day just to get that feeling. I focused more on having a physically demanding practice. I pushed myself to get into the challenging postures with no regard of how my body would respond. I would do every single posture in order to get the “most” out of my workout and by the time savasana came around my mind was on overdrive and I would get anxiety from all the crap going on in my head.
I never allowed myself to be open and vulnerable enough in my practice. To actually let emotions come up and deal with those as I moved through the asanas. I continually held back anything negative that wanted to surface. I just flat out didn’t want to deal with any of that. All I wanted was to burn some calories and sweat.

And that is when I got into my rut.
I hit a wall. I didn’t want to practice anymore. My body was worn out and I was constantly in pain. I was in the chiropractor’s office every week getting adjusted and my body started to feel foreign to me. I was pissed off and angry all the time. My mind was constantly running and I couldn’t figure out how to quiet it. I was completely disconnected from who I was and who I wanted to be and what I should be getting out of my time on my mat.

So, I took a break. I spent some time reflecting on my practice over the past few years and how much it had evolved.
I remembered when I would step on my mat needing to deal with whatever shit life had dealt me. I would find this amazing connection to my breath, body and practice and when the physical practice was over and I lied in savasana, I would be overwhelmed with peace and calmness. Everything would dissolve and I would know in that moment that everything is going to be okay. I treated my practice exactly how it should be treated: as a work in, not a work out. It’s a time for us to take everything that life has given us, holding on to what we need to and letting go of what we dont. To find acceptance, patience, peace, comfort, strength, openness, whatever it is that we are looking for, and to forget about everything else. It has absolutely nothing to do with how many calories we burn or how great our abs look. Those are all great things and are terrific by-products of the physical asanas but they are by no means the reason why we step on the mat. If anyone tells you that, shame on them. And shame on me for even thinking that is what my practice should be about.

I lost my way.

And i knew I needed to make a change quickly. I needed to go back to the root of my practice. To get clear on what my physical practice meant to me. I started to ask myself “how do I want to feel when I leave my mat?” I realized that what I wanted to gain from my yoga practice had nothing to do with the physical aspects of it but everything to do with what I was craving emotionally and spiritually. My mat is my psychologist, my lover, my best friend, my god, at times a complete stranger and occasionally my own worst enemy all wrapped into one. It’s a place I go to figure shit out. To marinate on things and to connect with my beliefs of who I am, what I want, how I want to feel and to throw away everything that gets in the way of me getting closer to my truth.

So, I decided to get back on my mat. But this time I would take things nice and slow. Not expecting anything serious to happen at first. Just flirting with what might come up when I let go of what my practice should look like or how physical it needed to be in order for me to feel “accomplished”. ​ My practice has changed drastically. I don’t get on my mat as often as I once did. I’ve learned that I only need it a couple of times a week. Not every single day. And I’ve learned to listen to what my body wants and to ignore whatever my ego is shouting at me.
There are times when I may not leave child’s pose for half the class and other days I am moving around all over my mat popping up into handstand after handstand. Adrenaline yogi. Endorphin yogi. Chill yogi. Vinyasa yogi.Restorative yogi. Regardless of what yoga hat I have on each time I’m on my mat, I finally understand what its all about. Why I practice.

Its about connection.
Connecting to myself.
To others.
To my truth.
To my breath.
To my physical body .
To the core of my soul and the light in my heart.

Sure, I still crave a sweaty, physically demanding practice from time to time. I seek that challenge and like to be pushed to my edge. But if it doesn’t make my heart go pitter patter and light my fire, I’m not interested. I’ve learned to listen more to what I need. Meditation and journaling have helped me get in tune with the core of my soul and what it is yearning for every single day. I have completely fallen in love with my practice again. It’s a damn good feeling.

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To fail or not to fail

I recently read somewhere that only 8% of people who set New Years Resolutions actually have success. Which means that everyone else is a failure.

Failure. Such an ugly word, right? I used to think so but now I am kind of in love with it.

I remember when I was growing up, failure was something that we were taught to never let happen. We were to always be the best at everything we did. Our parents and teachers always led us to believe that our mission is life was to make good grades, go to college, meet our soul mate, get a great job, have kids, etc. etc. etc. In that order, just like that, with everything being perfect. There is no room for failure anywhere in that plan.

But, life happens. And so does failure. Sometimes more often that not. Life is not always sunshine and roses. That’s the reality of the human condition. And trust me, I have had my fair share of failures in my short 31 years here. I’ll admit, there are few that I am not proud of but, there are some that have truly taught me so much and I have used those experiences to evolve into the person I am today.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” ~ JK Rowling

Failure can be driven by many different circumstances. Far too often we are the ones setting ourselves up for our own failures. We place an extraordinary amount of pressure on ourselves to reach our goals or live a lifestyle that is not in alignment with who we really are.

Once we can be real about the ideas and plans we have for ourselves and how we truly, realistically, want to our lives we can avoid so many of these inevitable failures.

Back to my original point. I am kind of in love with failing. Why? Well, how are we ever to learn anything about ourselves if we never experience it? How are we to know the truth about who we really are if we never allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to allow failure to happen? Failure can be harsh. It can hurt not just on the surface but that hurt that goes deep into your bones and settles in for an extended stay. It can feel like your heart has been ripped out. It can be gut wrenching, soul sucking, pain. But when we are open to what we can learn from our failures and commit to stay connected to our truth, our failures will begin to minimize in size and occurrence.

So, you’ve failed. What now?

Ask yourself why you failed. Evaluate the situation. Get clear on what happened. Who were you in the situation? Were you fully present giving it your all or were you only half committed? What changes need to be made to prevent you from failing again? Is this something that you are truly ready to commit to? If so, make a new plan, a realistic one, and recommit. Brush the dirt off your knees and make this goal your bitch. Just because we fall doesn’t mean we cant get back up and finish the race. Take what you have learned from your experience and apply it toward your goals.

Make a commit to remain open. You might fail again. And again. And again. That’s the beautiful thing about life. We are not defined by our failures but by the person we become because of them. Never let any experience occur, good or bad, without taking something from it. 

Continue to Grow. Expand. Evolve.

Trust the Process

I am a control freak. There, I said it.

I like things to go my way. When they don’t, I tend to get upset, frustrated, annoyed and angry. I might even shed some tears.

That is why I have deemed 2015 the year I allow myself to work towards letting go and trusting the process.

That’s it. That is my mantra. “Trust the process”. Because everything is a process and without trust in allowing things to be as they should, we tend to exert unnecessary energy in worrying about the outcome and potentially trying to make something be what its not supposed to be.

My husband and I are in the process of finding a new home. We have outgrown our current house and are ready to upgrade and settle down and eventually start our family. Buying a house is downright stressful. There is no hiding that. You think you find the one you want, you put an offer down and out of the clear blue sky something comes up. When buying a house, something ALWAYS comes up. The bank wants more paperwork, the seller is being a pain in the ass, there are issues with the inspection, etc., etc., etc. My personality is such that I want to find a house, close on the house, and move in. Now. I want to find my dream home and get it done. But that’s not how life works. It’s a process and one that takes time.

Patience has never been my strong suit.

Which is why my focus, intention, goal, resolution, whatever you want to call it, is to Trust. Trust the Process. Trust that things will work out exactly as they should and understanding that no matter how much I want to or try to control the situation, that wont change the outcome.

This has been huge in my yoga practice as well. You see all of these incredibly flexible yogis all over Facebook and Instagram who make full splits or some crazy arm balance look like a piece of cake. Seriously, how do they do that?!?!?! I get on my mat and the instant I get into my first warrior 3 I feel like someone has a vice grip on my glutes because my muscles are so tight. Or I get into standing splits and I can barely lift my back foot off the mat. This is where I really have to release control and to find patience in my body. I constantly repeat to myself “You are enough. Your body is beautiful, strong and exactly how it should be.”

The postures are a part of the process of working towards opening the body and embracing where we are at in our bodies. What comes up emotionally is the process of opening our hearts and minds to our truth and finding peace in that. Every day holds a completely different story for me on my mat. But, when I allow myself to show up, be present and trust the process I leave my mat connected to who I really am. I leave everything behind and allow myself to be open and accepting of myself and others.

Yoga is a process.

Life is a process.

Finding our truth is a process.

Everything is a process.

I will remain open.

I will trust the process.

Bring it on 2015!

Good things