Yoga is hot – all kinds of yoga, and the word “yoga”, give us association to flexible people who twist their bodies into the strangest positions. (At least if you’re a proper Yogi). But the physical are just a very small part of yoga.
The word “yoga” comes from Sanskrit, one of the world’s oldest languages, and means, amongst other things, to unite. To unite all aspects of life. I’ve been organizing for spiritual people who sit in their messy spaces and meditate. I’ve been organizing for conscious people who have no idea what they have in their closet. I’ve been organizing for business people who have their garage so full that there’s no room for their car. I meet people who are successful in their careers, but who don’t have the time to go to their children’s graduation because their calendar is overfilled.
If you don’t have balance in life, you’ll miss out on a lot. Every business takes inventory once a year, but do we do that in our personal lives? Our life? The only life we’ve got?
Yoga is about living in balance, in all areas of life. To a lot of people, it’s so overwhelming. We’re just gonna fix something here, and fix something there, but feel that we’re never good enough, in some areas. There’s always something that needs to be fixed. But it’s not about being perfect. Actually, our attempt to make everything perfect can be the very thing that’s holding us back in life.
6 steps to yoga for your home, body & soul
#1. Open the body
When we’re doing a yoga pose, we open up the body. The older we get, the more our bodies constrict. By doing yoga on the body, it is like cleaning the house. We make room in the body. You don’t have to find a yoga studio and leave your home to start doing yoga. Find a video on YouTube, and start with a simple pose.
#2. Open your home
Walk around your home. Go out – all the way outside. Then go back in and pretend like you’re stepping into a home you’ve never been in. What do you see? Go from room to room. Where can you feel the energy lifting you? Where do you feel weighed down? Open your closet, what do you feel? Go from head to heart, and feel. Take the things that feel heavy and get rid of them. You can give them away, or throw them out. A lot of people think it’s brutal to get rid of things, but if it’s just crap, I’d rather leave it in the trash (remember to recycle) than to move the problem onto someone else.
Pranayama is the yoga of breathing. The first thing we do when we’re born is inhaling, and the last thing we do is exhale. The breathing controls life. In Norwegian, we even use the word spirit when we talk about breathing – “ånderettet”. (“Ånd” is Norwegian for “spirit”.) By just observing your breathing, it will change. Feel it now – how does your breathing move you? Take small breaks to breathe during your day. Small breaks where you just sit and feel your breathing.
#4. The indoor air
Just like breathing cleanses the body, the inside air is important to the home. There are a lot of ways to improve the inside air. But it’s hard to get a decent inside air if the home is too full. The chi – or the energy quite simply can’t move. Plants create a good inside air. Opening for the air moves the chi inside the home. Move things around, and you move energy. But if you want good, lasting air, open up your home, have less stuff and make sure to have room + add some plants, they are the natural air purifier.
Mindfulness is also hot these days. You can find courses for practicing mindfulness everywhere. Mindfulness is first and foremost about being present in the moment. Not what you’re going to do after, or what you did yesterday. And not what we think will happen tomorrow (because we can’t know), or what happened yesterday (you cant change that). Meditation isn’t just sitting with your legs crossed. It’s about living in the middle of life, right here and now. A few years ago, I lived with a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka. I was fascinated by his cleaning. He used it like meditation. And in the temple where he grew up, they meditated by sweeping twice a day. It was a part of the monk life. Begin by sitting down for 5 minutes. Dedicate yourself to spend five minutes each day to sitting meditation, where you only focus on your breathing. Bring calmness into your daily life.
#6. Inner Peace
When we focus less on what is happening outside of ourselves, and more on what is happening on the inside, we experience inner peace. In my courses, I usually say – if you have 51% of your inner values on the inside, the whole world can crumble, and you will still have more left than you’ve lost. Friends come and go, life moves in waves. Living with inner peace is living with accepting everything that is. We can’t fix everything. If we can’t fix it, life becomes a lot easier to accept. Living with acceptance doesn’t mean that we don’t care. Living with acceptance means that we’re using the energy on things we can do something about, and letting thing we cant control or change go.
Yoga is about accepting yourself and letting go of everything that drags you down. Negativity and chaos drag us down. Love and beauty lift our soul. It’s that simple. Don’t try to be perfect. Perfection kills creativity. Have fun and let go of one thing at the time. Make it simple.
We don’t need more things to be happy. Most of us will be more happy with less.
Wishing you good day, whether it’s sunny or rainy. Life is beautiful when we look for beauty.
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