Hi everyone, i’m so excited to share this guest post with you!
Before you scroll down, I’d love to introduce the author of this message to you:
I met Illo through the Holistic Health Program i’m currently enrolled in and we connected right from the start! She is an inspiring soul currently exploring life through yoga, traveling and radiating the nature of healing that lies within her. She is from Mauritius and Switzerland, currently 20 and a 600h certified yoga instructor. Yoga came to her when she was 18 and became inspired by life through her experiences, people/yogis she admired and her journey of questioning herself and her own beliefs.
Yoga to her, is a way of living, a positive mindset charged with the power of self love.
When I asked Illo to tell me a little about herself and her relationship with yoga she used these very powerful words: “There is no good or bad there just is”
( Let that sink in for a little)
Illo has so much knowledge she’s acquired throughout her practices, so I thought it’s be cool to invite her to share some of her insight on yoga with us!
Here are her words, tips and recommendations on how we can improve of lives and health through yoga:
What is Yoga?
By definition YOGA means ‘’UNION” ~ Union; with the inner and the outer, the moon and the sun, the Yin and the Yang, the feminine and the masculine.
“A further meaning of the word “Yoga” is to attain what was previously unattainable” T.K.V Desikachar
Yoga comes from the Hindu philosophy and was first introduced to men – in order to prepare their bodies for their asana, which is their meditation seat. Yoga is a path to meditation and meditation is practice to cultivate mindfulness/stillness and presence. In order to attain liberation, free from pain and suffering ONE with the Divine, back to the Source.
“Don’t chase the destination, focus on the journey”
Today, in our ongoing, never stopping civilization and activities – Yoga became an answer to overwhelming situations, to stress and to disconnection – we take this time on the mat to relax and give ourselves a break from the chaos in our head and world. Yoga is nowadays hugely focused on the physical aspect of the practice; it became a trend and business opportunities for many, which at the end of the day I am happy for – all motivation to wellness is a step forward in my opinion.
But there’s one thing that I’d really love to share with you today and it is that you don’t have to be on the mat to practice yoga, you don’t have to follow a teacher or a video – you can do it everywhere at any time for as long as it suits you.
So what is yoga to me? What are ways you can practice yoga?
Going back to the core, yoga meaning Union this is where it starts.
Inhale your arms up, feel the resistance of the air against your arms, your breath coming in from the belly up to the collarbones passing through your rib cage. Hands touching over your head. Exhale slowly bring your hands down to your side experiencing the lightness of the movement. Now close your eyes and repeat it. Pay close attention to your movement matching breath and movement.
“ Yoga is a meditation in motion”
On the physical form of yoga, we connect breath and movement, aiming to still the mind and focusing entirely on how our body reacts, muscle engaging, breath deep and slow, skin and tissue expanding… Opening our bodies while inhaling, closing it down on the exhale.
This is yoga.
Yoga to me communicates your level of presence to what you are doing, thinking, are.
Have you ever experience what, in positive psychology is called ‘the flow’ meaning you are so present, connected, mindful of everything around what you are doing that you feel every sensation, every second feels like an eternity and you are fully embracing what you’re doing focusing only on that one thing? And magically enough, this is when you perform this task the best.
Well this to me is Yoga, with effort and devotion you can apply it to every aspect of your life, while cooking, while running, while working, while speaking (this one is particularly amazing because you access a space of knowledge you didn’t even know existed). My best yoga practice is when I am so present to my movement that I don’t even feel like the hour’s been by.
“When you are present, without the conditioning of your past you become the presence of God”
The beautiful aspect of yoga is that wherever you are on this journey of self-discovery what ever you do will bring you forward, and once you step forward you ultimately can never go back.
Here are some tools and ideas you can explore:
- Start the day with 3 mindful breath
- Welcome your feelings (feelings are just another form of data coming from the body to the mind)
- Eat what makes you feel alive – actually take a moment to listen to your body after eating, ‘’how do I feel after eating this food?”
- Practice meditation – maybe just start sitting with a world or sentence repeating and repeating it over and over
- Turn your phone off while you’re working
- Listen to positive songs and sing along (singing mantra is brilliant for you – calling the magic to happen)
- Repeat opening and closing movement matching them to your breath, it’s depth and length
- Explore the areas that scare you
- Make peace with someone
- Tell your people that you love them
Some of these examples might not be in direct correlation to yoga, but it’s about inviting and creating the vibration we want to attract in our life.
On this note, I wish you a beautiful connection to you – knowing that in every single one of you God resides. Your answers are already there.
If you to learn more, I recommend you those books:
The heart of Yoga by T.K.V Desikachar
Jivamukti Yoga by Shanon Gannon and David Life
The Ancient Science of Mantras by Om Swami
Thanks for such lovely tips and insight Illo! If you appreciate her message feel free to check out her youtube and Instagram for more great insights she shares 🙂