10 Things Yoga Taught Me

In the beginning of 2016 I delved deeper into yoga by completing my 200 hours yoga teacher training in New Zealand and ended the year, and began 2017 with a yoga retreat in the United States.

Aside from practising the asanas, mantra chanting and meditation that are all part of yoga, it is the yoga philosophy which I call “life lessons” that has a profound impact on how I think, act and feel now.

Yoga taught me…

1. The most important time is NOW.

Life is short and nothing stays the same forever. Everything is in constant motion and change is inevitable, so enjoy, be mindful and live in the present moment.

2.The most important person is the person you spend time with NOW.

Whether you are at home with your family, or at work with your coworkers or elsewhere with others, be mindful and present with them.

3.The most important pursuit is making the person you are with NOW happy.

For me this means bringing joy to those around me, so be kind through thoughts, words and actions.

4. To let go!

Whether it is things, people, emotions or situations, letting go is essential to be able to live in the now and enjoy it at the same time. What is done in the past cannot be undone, so it stays in the past, and the future is uncertain, so why not live in the present? Also letting go of things that no longer serves you is important, whether it is a relationship that has run its course or possessions that may be tying you down or you actually no longer need, but you’re still hoarding it.

5.To spend time in nature as it grounds us in the present moment and calms the mind.

6. To trust the universe to provide.

Trust what you’ve done, it is enough.

7. To stay open-minded and open-hearted.

When you do this, you’ll be surprised by what you learn from people and situations and most importantly, about yourself!

8. Self-care is essential.

In order to help others and be there for them 100%, taking care of self first is crucial, so “me time” is not selfish and it’s also a form of meditation.

9. To cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

It has been scientifically proven that grateful people are physically and mentally healthier, experience more joy, have higher self-esteem and are more resilient in difficult life circumstances. Therefore, practising gratitude is a no brainer!

10. To breathe deeply.

On a daily basis we tend to forget to breathe deeply due to our hectic modern lifestyle. Inhaling and exhaling deeply has great benefits for our health such as reducing stress and promoting relaxation, and improving the digestion. In addition, breathing deeply equates to longer life.

 

I hope this post inspires you to live mindfully and joyfully this year.

May your 2017 be filled with wondrous little moments and you enjoy them as they are unfolding! 🙂

lotus2017

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Lazy Sundays are Good for You!

To my dear readers:

The past 2 weeks have passed by like a whirlwind. I’ve been so busy adjusting back to my regular and new routines, also fitting in socializing and family times that I realize I am neglecting something very important in achieving work-life balance. It is ME!

Where I am, we have been blessed with warm summer-like weather for the past 2 weekends even though it’s Fall. Last Sunday I was thinking I should take advantage of the beautiful sunny day by doing something outdoorsy. However, I finally listened to what I really wanted and needed which was a lazy Sunday spent in my pajamas and doing nothing at all. I have been mentally and physically exhausted for a while now. My version of a lazy Sunday was being in my PJs and baking some goodies with the windows wide open so the sun can shine into the kitchen, while listening to peaceful music. Having a lazy Sunday all to myself made a world of difference for the rest of the week whether I am at work, exercising or being with other people. I felt more refreshed, energized and happier. 🙂

My lazy Sunday reminded me gently that all of us have to slow down once in a while and really listen to what our body and mind need to rejuvenate our soul. Having “Me” time allows us to enjoy and live in the moment and makes us feel more calmer, re-energized and confident in dealing with anything that comes our way in the upcoming days.

What is your version of a lazy Sunday? 😀

Wishing you all a happy beautiful Sunday & week ahead!! ❤

XO,

Violet

I found this awesome online poster on pinterest and it describes my version of lazy Sundays perfectly! Enjoy! :)

I found this awesome online poster on pinterest and it describes my version of lazy Sundays perfectly! Enjoy! 🙂

 

My First Book Review & Giveaway!!!!

Viva Editions (http://www.vivaeditions.com/features/about.php) was kind to provide me a copy of Kristen Moeller’s What Are You Waiting For?: Learn How to Rise to the Occasion of Your Life. I finally had time to finish it this week and will give an honest opinion of this book now.

My copy with post it-notes. :)

My copy with post it-notes. 🙂

After losing her beloved home and all her worldly possessions to a wildfire, Moeller writes this book, contemplating and reflecting upon life and what it means to “wait”. She writes in a personable voice, sharing her own experiences and thoughts with the reader, and guiding the reader along in her journey as she uncovers what “waiting” means. In essence, she is saying that most of us are always waiting for the right moment and/or person to find what we perceive as “real” happiness and fulfillment. As a result of all this waiting, we lose our freedom to simply be. She defines “be” as “that deep-down, knowing sense of who we are and what we are made of, that quiet peaceful voice that tells us we are OK, the ease of feeling at home in our own skin.” (p. xxxi) In short, she says we need to stop waiting for life to slow down and things to settle; we need to go forth to pursue our dreams, hopes and fears in all the messiness known as life. At the same time, we need to know when it is the right time to stop and wait. This type of waiting is seen as a kind thing we can do for ourselves because we learn patience, acceptance and allowance which will transform our souls in the face of fears and hopes etc.

I like how Moeller divides each chapter into different areas of life (e.g. self, love, possessions vs. non-attachment, relationship with parents etc.) where humans generally “wait” to find happiness and fulfillment. She adds in personal experiences and life lessons, and firsthand stories of other people she knows such as her friends and family members to give an universal appeal to each chapter, a feeling that all humans go through these experiences at some point in their lives. A final nice touch to each chapter is that she includes what she calls “Gentle Knock” sections in which she helps the reader to stop and reflect upon what calls to them, and to let go of what doesn’t serve towards their own happiness. These light suggestions and practices (gentle knocks) help the reader to balance the different types of waiting that the “gigantic Soul You and the smaller Everyday You can learn to live with.” (p. xxxiv)

I have to admit that there are some chapters that did not resonate with me, such as Chapter 8 (“Waiting to Become the Person My Dog Thinks I am”), since I don’t have pets so I don’t love them as if they were my children. However, for pet/dog owners, this chapter may give you insights in becoming an even happier person.

Overall, I’m glad I got a chance to be introduced to this self-help book, and to get to know this author. This book served as a gentle wake up call for me to look within myself and to see what truly matters to me and to be reminded of how I will pursue my happiness and fulfillment through wise waiting and fearless actions.

If you find you’re in a rut or you’re dissatisfied with your current life, or you’re waiting for that “something” to happen and then life will be good, then this book is for you!

Check it out at http://www.vivaeditions.com/book_page.php?book_id=68

I am happy to announce that in partnership with Viva Editions, I will be giving away ONE COPY of this book! It’s a way to say thank you for following my blog and enjoying my posts. 🙂

This giveaway contest is open to anyone 18+ anywhere in the world, as long as you are a verified follower of this blog.

WhatAreYouWaitingFor_hires

If you are interested in getting a free copy of this book, all you need to do is answer this question: “What are you waiting for right now in your life?”

Simply enter your reply by pressing the “Leave a Comment” button below this blog post, and submit your answer. I will pull the giveaway participant’s name from a randomized generator.

To qualify, you must be a verified follower of this blog and a US resident and enter the giveaway below. I will notify the winner by email April 23rd, so make sure you have subscribed. Good luck! – See more at: http://thevegan8.com/2014/04/15/rawsome-vegan-baking-cookbook-review-recipe-giveaway/#sthash.EwomuzJL.dpuf
  • One entry per person.
  • This contest closes on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST
  • The winner will be announced and contacted via email on July 31, 2014.
  • Please be sure to check your email!  (The winner will receive the prize by mail, so please be prepared to provide me with your mailing address.)

Thank you for reading this long post and I hope you will participate in this giveaway opportunity!

Good luck!!! 🙂

XO,
Violet

Mind Food: “Our body has the power to self-heal.”

The past week has been grueling from completing various deadlines at work, baking for a variety of events, to attending a few family celebrations (which I absolutely love).  I was literally rushing from one task or event to the next, with hardly any time to stop, breathe and think.  I feel as if I’ve been running on adrenaline for about a week now, and finally today my mentally and physically exhausted body told me to stop, think and listen to myself.  I’m reminded that I promised myself to focus on balancing my life, and right now my health and I am top priorities.  I was craving for some tranquility and relaxation, away from the hustle-bustle.  Without hesitation, I postponed an obligation because I realized that if I went there, I would simply exacerbate my exhaustion further.   Therefore, I escaped to one of my favourite places in the world: my regular go-to yoga studio.  It is a place where after a class, I feel rejuvenated, serene and balanced.

I’m happy I made the right decision to attend a yoga class today.  I met a fantastic instructor whom I have not taken a class with before, and found out why everyone raves about her.  She truly brings the term “yoga” to life.  A simple way to describe yoga is that it’s a union between body, mind and heart, and the continued practise of it brings  a sense of peace and well-being, and a feeling of being one with self, others and the environment.  This yoga instructor started our class with an “intention” (a promise we make to ourselves about what we intend to do, say, be etc. throughout our practise) which was that our own body has the capacity to self-heal.  Her intention for our class really resonated with me and I found it very thought-provoking, so I would like to share it with you here.  You don’t have to practise yoga to understand this message.  I believe it applies to everyone, whether you are beginning or already on your journey towards healthy and balanced living, in whichever way you choose to achieve this lifestyle.

My instructor said that we are conditioned and especially our mind to think that we need prescription drugs to heal, and that we can or cannot do certain things due to our age.  In other words, our mind limits the potential that is within us.  If we change the way we think, we can do anything and be able to broaden our horizon, which also includes the strong belief that our own body can heal itself naturally. Furthermore, we should let go of the fears, anger, self-hate, pain, and any other negative feelings and thoughts, bottled up inside us from past experiences and memories, and just focus on the present, opening up ourselves to the positivity and possibilities of life.

During class, I truly felt as if my body, mind and heart were one as I held the intention mindfully through every yoga pose.  Our body is indeed a powerful self-healing mechanism tied strongly to our mind.  You see, when I entered class, I felt weigh down by the past week’s grueling activities, hopeless towards the load of work waiting for me to be completed, and even restless.  However, at the end of class, my exhaustion and all the negative feelings and thoughts totally disappeared.  I felt re-energized and that I can accomplish anything to the best of my ability.  I just experienced that union of body, mind and heart:  As my mind rid itself of the “negative” energy, my heart was filled with self-belief and self-empowerment, and my body naturally felt more vibrant and strong.  That’s the power of positive thinking and self-healing!

Hope you find this mind food for thought meaningful and applicable for whatever stage you are at right now in your journey towards balanced living! 🙂

Namaste & Love, Violet

Power Within You