Accepting Yourself

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In a world that thrives on telling you that you are not enough, do you have the strength to embrace self-acceptance?

Self-acceptance is the first step towards self-improvement.  In yoga, we recognise that if we cannot accept ourselves first, then we cannot hope to accept others. Similarly, if we cannot love ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to love us?

The practice of yoga has allowed me to grow, to change, to transform.  On the mat I learned to love myself, and that overflows off the mat in to my life.  So, here are some tips to help you on your way:

  1. Let go of your need to be perfect.  We have so many expectations of ourselves, particularly women.  “Perfection is the absolute lowest standard you can have for yourself because it’s impossible to attain,” Tony Robbins. Every blossom is perfect.  In fact, it’s their imperfections that make them unique and beautiful in their own right.
  2. Find yoga that works for you.  In fact, I am of the belief that the yoga should always fit the individual, rather than the other way around.  So, if that is not your experience, I encourage you to look for a teacher that works for you. The same in life.  Why struggle to get a square to fit a round hole?
  3. Approach your yoga practice as a conversation.  So often movement, including yoga, gets wrapped around the axle of competition and achievement. As you may have experienced yourself, that is usually a path to discouragement and burn-out. I encourage you instead to approach yoga, or any movement practice, as a conversation. Ask yourself what do you need in this moment in time, and how can you meet that need?
  4. Listen. Actively listen to your body and your self.  With your own body, after asking yourself a question, show yourself you’re listening by responding to the need you identified, or at least telling yourself why you’re not or finding a different way.

The key, I believe to self-acceptance, is learning to truly listen to that quiet voice in your heart.  Instead of living in your head and trying to figure out what your foot was doing in a pose, learn to have a conversation with your body and yourself because that conversation is the root of acceptance.

From there, make self-acceptance part of your actual life and it becomes something lasting and sustainable that can adapt and grow with you over time. It’s here that we move towards creating the lives we want.

Bottoms Up

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Can you believe it’s June, and we’re almost half way through 2018?

This month’s Yoga Practice is about getting your bottom up!  And, it’s all about cultivating a different perspective on life.

So often, we go about our daily activities as a matter of routine.  We even approach our fitness training and yoga practice the same way.  Don’t get me wrong; we do mix up our training programme or our actual yoga practice.  Also, our days are varied, and we even mix up what we eat.

What we perhaps don’t mix up is how we do things.

Humans are essentially creatures of habit, and routine is good for us.  What yoga practice encourages us to do, is come to recognise habitual thought processes, because the way we think and approach something, is the way we think and approach anything.

Some of us have, as one of our business coaches says, “below the line” thinking, whilst others have “above the line” thinking.  Are we problems solvers or victims?

And, I see this in class, with the people I coach to be instructors and those I meet through networking and just randomly through life.

So this month’s yoga practice is about tipping the balance and getting a different perspective.  By having your head below your bottom, e.g. in a standing forward bend, or headstand, or downward dog, not only is your muscles having to work differently because gravitational pull on the body is different, but our thought processes have to function differently to cope with the change in balance and perception.

My intention is that by practicing this for the month, we can take this change of perception off the mat and into our lives.

Start thinking differently.

Like you would catch yourself losing your balance and even falling when practising inversions, catch yourself giving the same responses to certain questions or situations.

Are you a person who always says “no”, only to change your mind later?

Or perhaps you’re a “yes” person?

How about for the next 30 days, say the opposite to what you normally would say?

Who knows where that may lead you?

Have a great month!

A Year of Reflection

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So, how was your year?

What have you learnt?

I feel 2017 is a turning point for me.  I’ve started working with a business coach again, and am now putting things into place again for another shift in our businesses, and where we wish to be financially.

Change is definitely in the air; and sometimes it is challenging to let go.

And yet, I know, that in order for the new to flood in, we must get rid of the old and create space.

I have learnt that I need to keep working on patience (something that I’m rather short on, if I’m honest).  I get so annoyed and frustrated when people break things down to the minutiae, and forget the bigger picture.  We should be concerned about the whole person, the species, the planet, rather then tweaking the detail.  We get so caught up with the finer detail that we forget to step back and appreciate the whole. In traditional medicine, practitioners look and appreciate the person, rather than the affliction.  Western medicine started to break the person down into systems, and cells, etc. And you can see this in practice when the oncology department fails to talk with the orthopaedic department, for example.

And, what happened with looking at your plate as a whole, rather than how much carbs, protein, etc you have on your plate?

Life is way to short to focus on the detail.

So, you can see, I still need to keep developing patience?!

That, is my Bhavana for 2018.

As I leave 2017 behind, here are my wishes for you ..

Be bigger in your thoughts.

Be healthy in mind, body and spirit.

Be whole as a person.

Be human.

Much love .. Ann-See x