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Off The Mat Yoga For A More Joyous And Authentic Life

You are a multidimensional being with multidimensional needs and your life starts beyond 'eat, sleep and procreate'

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What does it take to find success in your life

I grew up in a tiny Slovenian town where the predominant peer idea of what ‘normal’ life is about felt very narrow-minded to me. First of all, my immediate family believed I should stay close to home and marry a well-settled man, the kind who has a house and a car and start a family. After all, that’s what all the successful local girls strived for. Second of all, I was bright and keen to discover the wider world so I chose to follow my heart instead and preferred to develop my guidelines about how I should live. It wasn’t comfortable, looking back at my path ever since, but I realised early on that conforming to someone else’s values, would not sit well with what made me happy.

It is not until I had begun to explore yoga that I truly understood the challenges I had to overcome to find the success in my own life. Success to me means being comfortable with who I am and being the creator of my day to day life. Don’t get me wrong, we are all successful with what we value most. For example, a person who values health is healthy. A person who values wealth is wealthy. A person who values independence is independent. But it is not always so with being happy. We all seem to value happiness or want to be happy but are successful only to a certain extent in this sense. There is always this thought in our undertone: ‘I could be happier’. And what is it with these never-ending trials and tribulations, that life throws at us?

Inner child and old souls

As children, we live in a constant learning mode and as we mature we internalise this process into our ‘inner child’ – an essential aspect of our soul. Its nature is purity and innocence. Once a child conquers walking and talking, the learning continues mostly through socialisation. Our now inner child, who also holds the key to mastering our emotions takes over the job of helping our soul to develop. For a child, learning everything there is about the world prepares him/her for life in society. For the inner child, learning everything about our multidimensional existence propels us toward spiritual growth. This process spans over many timelines, many lives. Hence the term ‘old soul’ implies a spiritually evolved individual. We find them in all walks of life and we seek them out for they have walked down the same path we are just about to undertake, they can guide us toward a more joyful and authentic way of life.

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The crossroads of our lives

What is your struggle at present? But most importantly, how are you coping? Are you challenged through your intimate relationship, job or a health issue? In what way is life challenging you to make improvements and be happier? Do you find that you are ‘in a bad place’ mentally, are you closed off? Are you in an unfulfilling job role? Do you ever think about what will you do with your life? Do you ever look around and say to your self: ‘Most if not all of the people around me are just ‘normal’. I am not like everyone. I am not like them’.

When we are at a big turning point in our life, all sorts of questions may arise within us, that carry a strong emotional charge. We feel triggered. Our inner child is talking to us. Often we start to question the purpose of our life, our identity and the ‘why’ of a challenge in front of us. In the teachings of yoga, there is a much higher value placed on living life beyond ‘eat, sleep and procreate’ fashion as we are multidimensional beings with multidimensional needs. Meaning, you won’t feel very happy in general if your life revolves about fulfilling just your basic human needs. On the other hand, you might have to face fewer challenges in your life. Yoga speaks about the ‘pancha kosha’ or the ability or the human potential to experience five dimensions of existence.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Integrate these 5 steps to become successful in being happy

Here are 5 ways to make your life more meaningful and happy according to yoga. For a long-lasting transformation to happen all five should be integrated. This method is most suited for those of you who feel there is more to yoga extending beyond the mat and even those of you who may have never tried yoga before:

1. Seek to incrementally embrace a new comfort zone

This stage is about mentally accepting where you are at. A challenging situation or circumstance essentially requires you to grow. Challenges often throw us off-centre, shake us up and frighten us. To master a challenge you should become increasingly more steady and comfortable in it. You can do this by improving the situation little by little from moment to moment.

2. Start paying more attention to your health

No matter what you are trying to improve in your life, bring better health to the forefront of your efforts. Clean and simple diet, exercise and good mental health. Regularly take time out of your daily/weekly/seasonal routine for cultivating a holistic sense of good health. Include daily rituals of self-care or self-soothing in your life.

3. Commit to ‘getting to a better place’ and put in the right kind of effort

If your situation in life is not making you comfortable, know that every challenge is surmountable, if you truly commit to overcoming it. There are many different tools/techniques/methods that you can use. Yet, depending on the nature of your problem and your temperament only the right kind will work for you. To choose correctly is not about the immediate result. Often with complex challenges, the right tool proves to be the kind that gets you to discern better. It means you are heading in the right direction.

Photo by CMDR Shane on Unsplash

4. Set a long-term goal for yourself 

Nothing valuable is achieved overnight. The general rule here is, be consistent until you start seeing positive changes. No positive changes yet? Continue! Maintain believing that you will get there and do so with an eager attitude.

5. Ask for help. No man is an island

If a situation requires immediate resolve then ask for help. Someone or something that can give you more clarity on the situation at hand and can help you to decide. You must feel supported in seeing things clearer and as they truly are in that moment. Often we may falsely believe we can make it on our own. Perhaps that feels safe for us, not to depend on anyone, but it clouds the clarity of our mind, as it reinforces our arrogance and other egotistical tendencies. Look at a child. Do you think it would learn without mothering? It would perish.

Transform your reality

There is no limit to how happy we can become. There is no end to learning/growing. Or rather, all our activities lead toward transforming us on all levels of existence (physical, energetic, mental or conscious, psychic or subconscious and transcendental). It is important though to understand that to become evermore happy you must undertake the right direction by remaining attuned to the needs of your inner child. All these steps will help you maintain a clear focus on overcoming any challenge life has presented to you on your path. Good luck and grow happier ever more ;)!

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

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