Santosha

Wherever I Go There I Am

wherever

May 2010
By Heather Eilering

Why do we practice yoga? Well, for many of us it is because it makes us feel good. It gives us stronger more flexible bodies, calmer minds, a happier outlook on life, go ahead and add whatever you want to the list.

But remember yoga is not to be just practiced on a mat, but incorporated into your life so that you can have a calm mind and happy outlook wherever you are, whatever you are doing. Wherever you are practicing there is one constant and it’s not the time or location you practice in. The one constant thing in your practice is YOU! You choose when to practice and when not to.

Knowing that your practice brings you calmness of body mind and spirit I encourage you to bring your practice with you everywhere you go. Throughout my years of exploring yoga I have learned that it is always a personal choice whether I want to be a peace or in conflict. When I whole-heartedly choose peace that is exactly what I get. Remember, “energy follows attention”. Focus your attention on peace and that is what you will embody, focus your attention on fear, worry, anxiety and that is what you will embody, it’s really that simple.

So, why if it’s that simple do we choose not to focus on peace? I’ve also discovered over the years that humans require positive reinforcement. Think about a habit in your life, maybe it’s that morning cup of coffee. You drink your morning cup of coffee and the caffeine helps to wake you up, the ritual of holding the mug and sipping down the warm liquid is a comfort. The safety of the ritual gives you a feeling of control. Now ask yourself, who created the ritual? Who decides the warmth and taste of the liquid feels good? You do! Yet, if I were to tell you to give up that morning cup (or pot) of coffee you would probably send some nasty words my way and stop reading my newsletters. Don’t worry I won’t ask you to give up your coffee or tea today but I will suggest that you consider the peace that you feel when drinking the coffee comes not from the drink but from yourself. Yogi Desai says “I am the creator of the cause and the receiver of the effects.” What you focus your attention on, that is what you will receive, you really are that powerful.

We are all like turtles, we carry who we are everywhere we go and in everything we do. Whether you are at work, at home, on vacation, taking a bath, it’s all you. So why not incorporate a practice into your daily life that reminds you of the calmness, peace and light that exists within? Take your yoga practice off the mat and next time you find yourself worrying about something, as real as it is, try replacing the worry with trust. True honest trust that it will be ok. The more you practice trust in your everyday life and the more that trust is reinforced with something other than disaster the easier it will be to release the habit of honoring worry and fear.

Let me give you an example from my own life. As many of you know I recently returned from a visit to the U.K. On this visit I decided to explore Edinburgh on my own. It was a last minute choice and although I had booked a place to stay, the rest of the visit was me, by myself flying by the seat of my pants. I decided from the beginning to turn this vacation into not only fun and sightseeing but also an active yoga practice. When I arrived downtown Edinburgh I knew the bus I was supposed to take to get to the Guest House I was staying at but I did not know the stop to get off at. The moment I caught myself worrying in my head (Heather you are a female alone in a foreign country, what if the bus takes you to a bad part of town, what if you can’t find where you are staying, what if you get robbed…) I took notice of the thoughts, observed how bad they made me feel and instantly decided to let them go and replace fear and worry with trust. Trust that whatever situation occurred I would be ok. So, I got on the bus and asked the woman next to me if she knew which stop I should get off at, unfortunately she did not, but I still held true to my practice in trust. The bus stopped, people got off, I sat there with an air of excitement, adventure and trust. At one stop a man walked by me and said, “This is the stop you want”. I thought, ok I’ll give it a try. I got off the bus, he told me to walk to the end of the block and turn right as he walked next to me. Heather’s mind “what if he follows you? Trust, Trust, Trust” After I remembered to practice trust, the man said goodbye, walked across the street, I followed his directions and found my way to where I was staying. Not only did nothing bad happen to me, but also I felt protected and guided, just from putting forth the energy of trust.

So my question to you now is are you ready to practice? Are you ready to release the part of yourself that is afraid and allow the strong part of yourself to lead the way? You are wherever you go, you are in whatever you do, with whomever you are with. You can choose to embody fear or love, worry or trust, what will you practice? The world around you does not hold power over you, “energy follows attention” what you experience is always you. Learn this, begin to practice it and watch as the world around you begins to transform into a loving, light filled inviting home, simply because that is what you offer the world.

Love, Light and Peace,
-Heather

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