“Yogaful” is my expression for who we are both in and out of our practice. It is the expression of the beauty that glows from inside us. We become beautiful and yogaful, with a few, um, adjustments.
It is easy to sit in class and feel the sutras moving through you, bathe in the peace that comes amid a room of like practitioners. The key to being “yogaful” is to hold that space as we move on and off the mat.
Our instructors ask us to allow our practice to be our own. We are in charge. Here’s where and when we go off the rails.
We are the judge and jury of our lives. It is up to us to either sentence ourselves to a life we love, free and in charge, or to a life of virtual imprisonment by an untamed mind.
There are thoughts that make us beautiful, better human beings, and thoughts that sour our faces and dull our skin.
What separates us from beauty? Judgement, for one thing.
We sentence ourselves to angst and disappointment. Just because we think something doesn’t make it so. When a thought is not at your service, learn to think differently. I recall working with two great women at my job. Both were quite overweight and pretty. One of them embraced her sensuality and wore her body like a diamond to be admired. She was very attractive to people. My other friend was self-conscious, dressed as such, and the vibe she gave out was “I’m trying to be safe in here. Don’t touch.” That ended up as her result. Our self-talk gives us the results in our lives.
There will always be someone stronger, better looking, younger, richer, and with less wrinkles. Do you ever find yourself admiring something about someone that makes you a bit envious or making them wrong about the way they look or dress even if you have never spoken to them? I have. It just doesn’t feel good and I am all about feeling good. What usually happens is they will flash a smile at me and suddenly my initial thoughts disappear, and I want to call them friend. Or if they don’t break the ice, find something to compliment them on after class and break through invisible barriers that keep you separate, superior, or inferior. The ego likes to separate us, interfere with our oneness.
So much for the judge. Now for the jury.
Juries think our life is in their hands. They are right. It is. But if we are our own jury, what shall we sentence ourselves to? The reason we have the process of voire dire in our courts is to choose a jury that is competent and without preliminary bias. My friends, as jurors we are already biased. We think that to grow older is to gain weight, have a slower metabolism, lose flexibility, give up the beauty of our youth. Our beauty changes but we don’t have to succumb to the notion that society lays out for us. Many people use age as an excuse to become lazy. Mind your thoughts because they become your life, your face, and your body. The same intention we use to get into a difficult pose is what is required for all we want in our lives. Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Yes, guru, and I would add “Be the intention you want to see in the world.” Your intention overrides any body else’s story of you.
In short, it is the generosity we extend to ourselves and others that makes us “yogaful” – beautiful in body, mind, and spirit. Generosity is allowing. Allowing you to be the way you are and others to be the way they are with no “should” anywhere in sight.
In this way, you will glow, you will stay young at heart, and you will have “mora of an aura.” Here’s to beauty. Where we find it and how we create it.
Bio: Nanci is the author of FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, NOT YOUR BLISTERS: How to Live Unconditionally Happy.
She has led some of the more iconic hotels / lifestyle resorts in the country and has taught the secrets to happiness on three continents. “From our earliest education on through adulthood, it is rare that anyone teaches us what it takes to be our best selves and our happiest self. Life is not about struggle, disappointment, or circumstances. Learn how to think differently and fall in love with the magic that surrounds you. Get used to being in a great mood.”