May Favorites + How to Remain a Yogi without Practicing Yoga
Hi there curious yogis!
We're already well into June and I thought it would be a good time to share my favorite inspirational content from May. Get ready because... There's a lot to dig in! You could say the topic of May was creativity. It's such an important topic and one we tend to avoid if we think we're not good at painting/drawing/making things with our hands - but creativity hides in places where we think we're not likely to find it.
Here is a little table of content for you:
- The trick of the month: Remaining a Yogi without Stepping on your Mat
- Podcast #1: Choosing Curiosity over Fear on On Being with Krista Tippett and Elizabeth Gilbert
- Podcast #2: Creativity lights you up on the Wine & Shine Podcast with Nina & Liz & Jackie Randall
- Podcast #3: Life after Death & Zero Waste Living (& fashion!) on Manifest This! with Ashley Wood & Amelia Barnes
- Blog post: Biggest Myths of your 20s to Unlearn by Erin at Coffeemeetspolished.com
- Instagramer: Healing & Self-awarness from Cassie, @hopeandharbor
1. Trick of the month: How to Remain a yogi without stepping on your mat
I spend the majority of the month of May in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a mere 5,000 miles away from my current home of New Jersey. Needless to say my routine got completely thrown out the window. I had some deep thoughts about being both a yogi and a yoga teacher because I barely meditated and stepped on my yoga mat.
I spent the first few days beating myself up for it - how can I advocate for a life of mindfulness, yoga and meditation, intentional living if I don't make an effort to practice myself? If I don't work on my discipline? If my practice gets thrown out the window as soon as it gets difficult to keep it?
Over time, I managed to turn this around: I made it a challenge to see how my body and mind would react to not practicing yoga or meditation. I made it a point to NOT step on my mat, to NOT open my meditation apps. I journaled everything I noticed, all the times I felt like getting into a pose, every time I craved space to sit and breathe and meditate.
Yoga isn't just about the mat.
Being a yogi means making a conscious effort
to be present - however and wherever that's possible.
And I realized that there were many ways I did yoga. See, I had forgotten myself that yoga isn't about the mat. What happens on the yoga mat is the asana part, one of the 8 limbs of yoga, one of the 8 ways you can practice yoga. I realized that I stopped more often to look around; that I intentionally checked in less on social media; that I felt the need to be creative and listen to music while doing so; that I indulged more daydreaming; that I listened more carefully to what the people around me said. Isn't that what yoga is about? Does it make sense to get on the mat every day if the practice doesn't influence your day-to-day activities?
I felt reassured.
I realized that my daily practice has infused my life
in ways I hadn't noticed before.
A bit like tree roots grow in earth.
I couldn't see it but now I know it's here.
I felt okay with not spending time on my yoga mat.
So I challenge you to do that, too: on the days you don't step on your mat, observe & notice all the ways you find your peace, how you self-reflect without your meditation, how you connect to yourself and others without the physical space to do it. And please tell me about it!
2. Podcast #1: Choosing Curiosity over Fear
You've probably heard of 'Eat, Pray, Love', Elizabeth Gilbert's best-seller book that changed the lives of many. I'm just reporting what I've been told, really, because I haven't read the book - I've read 'Big Magic - Creative Living Beyond Fear' and that one definitely made it to my life-changing books list.
If you want to learn why curiosity is important and why it's a crucial element to creative living, listen to this beautiful interview between the author herself and Krista Tipett. They discuss the magic behind creativity and how your creativity isn't necessarily found in what you do with your hands, or how you do it - rather, it's about how you see it.
3. Podcast #2: Creativity lights you up
On a related note, this interview between hosts Nina and Liz and their guest Jackie Randall is about living creatively just because, well, it lights you up. You don't have to be Picasso to enjoy painting, or Shakespeare to enjoy writing - it's about how it makes you feel and how it helps you express yourself, just as you are, unapologetically. They also discuss how children know how to do this instinctively and how we should really learn to copy them... And let the child that's within us out!
4. Podcast #3: Life after Death & Zero Waste Living (& fashion!)
I've been very curious about becoming "zero waste" recently; I spend time reading, researching, watching everything I can to learn how we are using up our dear Planet's resources and how we can be a part of the change in our own, small ways.
Amelia Barnes is a yoga teacher and business owner of Prana Vida Style, a clothing company that has set on a mission to use only eco-friendly material, completely Canada-made. She is using bamboo for her leggings (which are very comfy and flattering, I got one in black) and shares how she is kicking it up a notch with a new kind of material - listen to find out what! You'll be surprised.
In this episode, she also shares her path and relationship with grief and loss after her son Landon passed away at 4-days old. It is a heart-breaking story, but also one that gives you hope. You can listen here.
5. Blog post: Biggest Myths of your 20s to Unlearn
Ah... Unlearning. I really love that word.
I believe I have come to the practice of yoga for exactly that in the first place. When you are stressed, anxious & nervous and looking for ways to become more calm, you are really unlearning about being stressed, anxious and nervous.
I found Erin on Twitter and love what she writes about. You can indulge in self-reflection with her, find motivation to follow her lead and get outside of your comfort zone & find inspiration to take action for yourself.
In this blog post, she shares 6 thoughts we believe are true... but that need to change if we want to stay open to growth, evolution, learning and most of all, if we want to feel like we belong and like we are allowed to be who we want to be. That's the way to happiness, isn't it?
6. Instagramer: Healing & Self-awarness
Cassie has a gift with words and is using her struggles, path of healing and sensitivity to connect with the world and others. Her words are beautiful and makes her experiences relatable, and therefore, healing for you, too.
Seeing her poems and images add a much needed softness to my Instagram feed and are an opportunity to reflect and connect on a deeper level. Definitely something we all need more of.
That is all for this month! I love to learn and I suppose that if you're reading these words, you do to.- can you please share some of your favorite articles, podcasts, TV shows and documentaries in the comments below?
Until next time!