Off the Mat

People come to yoga for many different reasons – perhaps it begins as a desire to get fit or more flexible, a desire to learn how to relax and breathe properly, or a search for something deeper in this world, that often feels so surface level.

Many of us have found yoga as an outlet for stress, a way to release tension as well as strengthen and stabilize physically.

As you continue down the path of yoga, you will soon come to discover that aside from the initial reasons for jumping on the mat, there are a host of other benefits that arise that you previously had not considered.

I am thankful that after my 10 day Immersion at Amrit Yoga Institute, I am really beginning to understand how yoga has affected me emotionally, spiritually and mentally. And I am thankful that yoga has gradually taught me so many lessons in mindfulness – even if I was not always fully aware of them.

So today, I am sharing with you some of the lessons that I have taken from my yoga practice that have helped me both on my mat and in my life:

Gratitude. Even when we are holding plank for 60 seconds (secretly cursing our teacher’s name) we know in our hearts just how grateful we are to them for holding this space in such away we can find our resistance. This most of us a drawn to yoga after all—to strengthen our bodies and soften our hearts.

Being Present. Surely one of the biggest gifts of yoga is that it shows us the gap that lies between being present and not. In those moments of presence on our mat we just flow, and we tap into a place of such ease and spaciousness. To be present is to be in life—so consciously absorbed in the moment  When we live life in such a way, it is our chance to show the world that love, and in turn they are invited to reciprocate.

Awareness. Yoga has helped me to become more aware of my body and my thoughts. As much as yoga can take me into meditation, I still find that my thoughts will become loud at times in my practice.

I am more aware of the self talk that filters through when I am struggling. There have been so many times where I have entertained these negative conversations in my head but with each practice I have found that I am better able to just be a witness and not a participant in them.

I have found my breath is most helpful to separate the negative mind chatter from what is actually going on in my heart and body. My mind chatter will convince me all sorts of things, but if I breathe and open my heart I am better able to fully experience all the sensations of energy that my practice offers.

Authenticity. There is no where to hide on your yoga mat. Even if we dress in a manner we think will portray us in a more attractive light, in the end—when we are sweating it out on the mat alongside everyone else—we can only go as far as our own bodies and minds will allow us to do in that moment. Just as we can’t hope to see our yoga practice evolve if we are inauthentic, this too shines true in our life

Listen To Your Body. In yoga if your back is hurting, you don’t want to go deep into a standing back bend and risk further injury. You have to listen to your body and respect how you feel. I find this true in my life too, I try to align with my body and it’s needs. If I feel exhausted or burned out, I try to give myself some extra rest and rejuvenate. Be aware of what your body is telling you.

Yoga is an inside story, and no matter how far your head is from touching your knee, if you can’t soften right where you are, you will suffer.

Find your edge and explore it. On the yoga mat, we find the edge: comfort/discomfort; breathing/not breathing; present/checked out. Is this too much/too little? How do I make that call?

In daily life, we’re often faced with choices that involve edges: react/stay present; resist/connect; tighten/relax; see limits/find alternatives. Instead of checking out, stay with that edge and explore it. You’ll increase awareness, power and presence.

Leaning Into Discomfort. In our physical practice it is the postures we find most challenging that offer us the chance for growth. We look for our edge—that point in Utkatasana where we are in our awkward seat just enough to begin to feel some discomfort and work through it.

Accepting the moment & let go of expectations. I used to go to my yoga class with the mindset that I would embody each asana to the fullest expression – moving into every posture with perfect intention, strength and energy. I wanted to achieve perfection in everything I did and I set expectations for myself.

At this time, I wasn’t truly accepting the moment because I was swept up by the expectation of how my class should feel, rather than simply acknowledging the various feelings that would come up throughout my practice.

By easing into a space where I no longer hold onto expectations, I find that I can move through each moment without judgment, but with observation. And even when the experience unpleasant, just like in life, it is a reminder that I need to take the time to sit with this discomfort and breathe through it.

Remember to Breathe. When I was initially introduced to yoga I was experiencing anxiety and depression. I was fearful and worried all of the time, which created a tremendous amount of stress. The stress that I was experiencing based on the fear and anxiety was affecting my breathing and I often felt out of breath. Discovering mindful breathing in yoga and consciously slowing down my breath throughout the day helped me learn to manage my anxiety.

It’s so simple but has huge impact! Take some deep breaths during the day & see how quickly you can regain some focus and energy or even calmness. We usually take small, shallow breaths. When we take deeper, slower breaths, there’s a change in our bodies on a deep, cellular level. We can help to change our moods anytime with breathing.


What have you experienced on your yoga mat that has shifted your perspective on the way you go about your day? How does doing yoga make you feel spiritually or mentally?


With a Grateful Heart,


One thought on “Off the Mat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Yin is an introspective practice that offers a chance to turn inward and nurture the calm, quiet center that is innate in all of us. It is a practice in stillness, patience, and non-reactivity.🧘🏼‍♀️ ✨ Through yin yoga, we become adept at self-care. We become better listeners with practice tuning in; we become wiser as we get to know ourselves from the inside out, and we become more curious about the world through the exploration of our own inner worlds.🌀 ✨ To practice yin is to relinquish control—such a novel and therapeutic concept in our modern-day lives. ✨ On the surface, the yin practice might appear uneventful. But if you are able to tune in, you will encounter some pretty fascinating events occurring in the layers beneath the skin.☯️ ✨ Come explore with me and find inner stillness and deep relaxation☮️ ✨ Sunday, December 16Th 8-9:15a All levels🕉
“ God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.” -James M. Barrie ✨ If time is memory stored not in our brain, but in space, then we can randomly connect with any positive memory that we want. We could label certain memories as happy memories and we could just draw that positive energy from our memories by focusing on the label. ✨ This is where gratitude helps us. If we label each day 2-3 things that make us happy then it will be easier for us to remember it in the future. ✨ Because when we are grateful today, we are actually labeling memories as happy memories. We are improving our future well-being and diminish the time it takes to keep alive and even restore our happiness.
“The body benefits from movement and the mind benefits from stillness” -Sakyong Mipham ✨ Sometimes the forward movement of momentum hinders us. ✨ Momentum tends to blind you from the rich present moment of your inner experience. And becoming aware of this requires intentionally slowing your momentum. ✨ When you press "fast-forward," you miss the in-between spaces. Yet you have a choice: You can slow down. Observe momentum as a practice of self-inquiry, and discover what lies underneath. ✨ Be open to the inner magic that can come from bringing your outer life to a standstill. ✨ Stillness is Our Natural Quality of Being
Starlight Sangha on the rooftop @moshjax ✨ SWIPE for Jacksonville sunset ➡️ ✨ A sangha is a community of friends practicing dharma together in order to bring about and to maintain awareness. The essence of a sangha is awareness, understanding, acceptance, harmony and love. ✨ The presence of a sangha is a wonderful opportunity to allow the collective energy of the sangha to penetrate into our body and consciousness. We profit a lot from that collective energy. We can entrust ourselves to the sangha because the sangha is practicing, and the collective energy of mindfulness is strong. Although we can rely on the energy of mindfulness that is generated by our personal practice, sometimes it is not enough. ✨ When you allow yourself to be in a sangha the way a drop of water allows itself to be in a river, the energy of the sangha can penetrate into you, and transformation and healing will become possible. ✨ “This whole world, everything around us, and beside us and with in’s all just made of love” - @melissahirschmanyoga
Sunday, December 9th 9:30 -10:45a ✨ Meet me in the mat for a passive yet challenging practice that will allow the body deep relaxation. ✨ Give yourself the space to let go whatever is no longer serving your highest good. ✨ Create room for fresh energy and new experiences the New Year will bring. ✨ Space limited Cost: $20 All levels welcome 🙏🏼
Current Vibe: Doing Me Restoring Myself Reinventing Myself Yoga Meditation Lots of Water Working Out Eating Healthy Baths Staying In Being Present Staying Focused ✨ The holidays have a tendency to create a tornado of heavy emotions for a large group of us. ✨ You don’t have to wait until the New Year to start focusing on bettering yourself. ✨ What are you committed to right now that is serving your highest expression of Self? ✨ Sending love to you all and a virtual hug 🤗
"I am standing on my own altar; The poses are my prayers." ~ B.K.S. Iyengar ✨ Many of us are not comfortable describing our asana practice as prayer even though through practice we are learning how to surrender our egos and wills every day. It is a curious twist that our built in skepticism and rationality have made it difficult for us to allow ourselves to assign the highest motive to our practice. ✨ Yet whether we acknowledge it or not, we keep returning to the mat cultivating the perspective that our asana practice helps us to access our deepest yearning to connect with the source that it is greater than us, that moves all things according to its own plan, a force that more powerful than our ego, the sum total of all our desires, and the sum total of all our wills.
There is a hidden message in every waterfall. ✨ It says, if you are flexible, falling will not hurt you
You have it in you to allow yourself to be seen; to really show up in all areas of your life and to truly live brave. ✨ The truth is vulnerability is the birthplace of intimacy, true connection, creativity, and innovation. ✨ Vulnerability allows us to create something: launch a new business, perform a song in front of a live audience, publish a blog, tell someone you love them or put a boundary in place, deal with your declining health, hold someone’s hand when they’re suffering... that also takes flat out, unbridled courage. ✨ That’s where vulnerability and courage link up. ✨ Sometimes courage is facing the cards that we’ve been dealt. Or just taking that next step forward in life. ✨ Courage is not about bucking up and moving ahead without help or strong emotion, real courage isn’t as simple as that. ✨ Courage is complex and beautiful... courage is admirable and breathtaking. ✨ What are you afraid of, right now? ✨ What would you do if you weren’t consumed by Fear? ✨ What would you ask for? ✨ What boundary would you put in place? ✨ What part of your “story” would you embrace? ✨ What would you love to create and put into the world?
%d bloggers like this: