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"To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is as essential to all true conversation."

- Chinese Proverb

Yoga as a lifestyle

By Jean Ann Rodrigues on 24 April 2017

Today yoga is very much focused on the physical form, a way to strengthen your core in an hour class and then you are done for the day. Yoga is about starting from the physical form, as this is a tangible source we can connect with. However, what I am proposing is to allow yourself to make yoga a lifestyle where you use what you learnt to serve you in challenging situations.

Imagine being in an uncomfortable situation and being able to use a quick yoga technique to serve you or feeling a bout of road rage coming on, you have the power to nip it in the bud. This is possible because yoga believe it or not is about learning to manage your life. Yoga is an experience that makes use of the body and mind to evolve into higher states of consciousness so that you can shift positively through what life presents to you. Yoga in fact is a present, a gift that you can use to serve you and others… How cool is that?

So lets gain some perspective here…

Yoga developed slowly not only in India but all over the world, specifically Columbia and Mexico. From here yoga has been modified and adapted to suit specific languages, social ideas and ways of life. However, yoga is a name given to an umbrella of many paths of knowledge, values, attitudes and techniques and within this wisdom lies the grace for our souls to evolve. In the 20th century, one of the many luminaries that began to take yoga to the world and translate this science into a comprehendible language was Swami Vivekananda, in which the curiosity for this form developed and yoga began to flourish in the western cultures and provide individuals with a new perspective.
swami vivekananda
. In the 21st century, where we are currently, yoga is about learning to manage ones life. Why? Well look at us… it isn’t rocket science to see that we are feverishly searching for a balance where we are continuously challenged with an accelerated pace of life, consumerism, business challenges and greater demands placed on us from all angles. Something has got to give. This is why yoga says to us, yes it is very nice to look great and have a banging body, but even more so, it proposes for us to learn to relax, have better respiration, detoxify our bodies, release tension and stress and cater for our inner needs by making this science a way of life. This is of course what yoga offers, however, will you allow yourself to go deeper, enrich your life like no other substance can and of course be prepared to change? Yoga is a gift, but it is up to you as to whether you will accept it, unwrap it and bask in the light provided.

Are you ready to make yoga a lifestyle? This is how you can start…

First take what you know from the Hatha yoga you have learnt and start to use something basic in your everyday life. Hatha yoga is about balancing your energy known as ‘prana,’ through postures ‘asanas,’ breathing ‘pranayama,’ hand gestures ‘mudras’ and locks ‘bandhas.’ For example, if you find yourself getting stressed in a business meeting, allow yourself to acknowledge this and connect to your breath just by listening to it. This will guide you away from your mental tension and move your awareness on a different focus point. If for example, you are struggling to sleep, get up and practice shavasana where you allow yourself to surrender to your thoughts and what is concerning you. Rather than resisting your thoughts, accept them for being there. These are some basic ways to start looking at how you can take what you have learnt into your everyday life.

As a holistic coach and yogi, it is important to meet the client where you are at, therefore I would recommend you contact me and ask me questions. I am here to serve you and provide you with your own techniques. Finally, attend one of my up and coming yoga and coaching workshops or arrange Skype coaching depending where you are in the world. Contact me on jean@lightupwithin.com

Here is a technique you can start to use anywhere…
Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama)
• Neurolink research has shown that by balancing your left and right hemispheres of your brain, you are helping your left and right hemispheres become more fit by simultaneously working together rather than “homolaterally.” This will help you become faster and smarter learners or employees.
• This technique creates relaxation, clarity of mind and concentration, so this is brilliant if you are working for long hours.
• Research done by Brown and Gergarg (2005) shows that this breathing can positively affect the “autonomic nervous system, heart rate and cardiac vagal tone.”
1. Sit in a comfortable seated position, this can be on your chair, at your desk or crossed legged on the floor. Listen to your body and do what works for you. Remember to keep your spine upright.
2. The hand position: Allow for your left hand to rest on your left knee with the thumb and index finger touching (chin mudra). With your right hand, place your index finger and middle finger gently in-between the eyebrows; these fingers will stay here throughout the breathing. Your thumb and ring finger will be the fingers that gently control the breathing through the nostrils.
3. How the technique works: Now that you have your posture and fingers placed gently on your face, allow yourself to close your eyes and detach from the outside world for this short period of time. Now, block your left nostril with your ring finger and inhale through the right nostril. Block the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril. You then breathe through the left nostril (the thumb is still closing the right nostril) and then close the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril.
nadi shodana In conclusion, Swami Niranjanananda states, “yoga after becoming a sadhana converts itself into a lifestyle. You begin to live the principles of yoga on a moment-to-moment basis.  You do not have a separate time to practice yoga, but your life becomes an expression of that yogic awareness, of that yogic attainment.”

I invite you to allow yourself the opportunity to experience and devour your yoga classes so that this form becomes a part of your effervescent being, you learn to communicate with your soul, establish balance and most importantly evolve with the higher cosmos.

Welcome to the beginning, lets evolve!





About the author

Jean Ann Rodrigues

Holistic coach

Jean was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and has been blessed with a variety of masters that have entered her life and illuminated a path of wisdom in front of her. Jean has her degree in business,…  Read full bio