There may have been a whole list of ideas that changed weekly—but, there was probably one thing that really stood out the most.
For me, it was to be a veterinarian.
Often our culture values ‘doing’ over ‘being’—subsequently, our ‘doing’ becomes the expression of our being. In looking back, I now realize it was being with animals that I was most passionate about. And I loved how I felt about me while I was with them—I felt inspired, present and in a state of loving acceptance.
That’s what I really wanted to be—not just a title.
And now, many years later, I’m a Yoga teacher and not a veterinarian. Because, it’s something I feel very passionate about both doing and being. So when I ask myself, my students, and clients, “What are you most passionate about?” the response can be very revealing to our feelings of purpose. ‘Who am I’ and ‘what is my purpose here’ are big questions that many of us ponder at some point in our lives.
Yoga can help to transcend us from a state of doing to being through mindful movement, breath, and meditation.
In yoga, it’s not so much about what we are doing, but rather more so how we are showing up on our mats.
What kind of energy are we bringing to our poses? To our relationships? To our community? Through our regular yoga practice, we are able to identify ego-related patterns and limiting beliefs about who we are, and expose blocks that are keeping us from being who we most want to be at our core.
I ask my students at the beginning of each class to mentally ‘check in’ with what they’ve shown up with—to really examine the quality of their breath, their state of mind and the type of energy they are currently experiencing. This creates a platform for them to dive into their practice while helping them determine just how deeply they need to go.
It’s also a reminder that we all have a creative energy that dwells deeply within us—connecting us to the source of who we are at a soul level and not just who we are conditioned to be. One of the most common sources of discontentment is lack of purpose—meaning, ‘What am I really here to do and more importantly, be?’
The practice of yoga provides a sacred ritualized space to explore this question. The aim of yoga is to end suffering by identifying our attachments to the pursuits of our smaller self. These are very real and necessary, but we may often get into trouble when we believe our happiness is contingent upon people, things, experiences and substances.
Through the development of our practice we get see our higher Self more clearly and know on a soul level that joy resides within each of us…and that this joy, is our birthright.
In this place resides the seed of our creative inspiration which connects to our sense of purpose.
Passion is this feeling that creates a spark, which in turn ignites the flame of purpose—inspiring us to seek out experiences and people that encourage us to live the most expanded version of our Self.
This ultimately connects us to our creative energy and what we feel most passionate about. It’s our own song that no one can teach us, and one that is to be remembered. When we tap into this source, every act is an act of creation and there are no mistakes.
Yoga unites and brings together all parts of our selves that feel fragmented so we are able to feel whole and complete again.
So when we make the choice to step away from our daily lives and onto our yoga mats, it is an act of devotion to our ‘who.’
Who do we want to be in our relationships, careers, and communities? And ultimately, how can we show up aligned with our highest truth?
Exploring this question can inspire us to live our passion and manifest our unique purpose.
Mia Togo grew up as an avid equestrian and dancer in Murrieta, California. These pursuits dealt with energy, connection and expression of her spirit. Little did she know this would pave the way to her love and devotion of yoga. Mia began teaching in 2004. She is a YogaWorks certified teacher and teacher trainer, as well as mentor for the YogaWorks 300-hour program. Mia teaches with an emphasis on detailed alignment geared towards an intelligence and purpose to her sequencing. Her purpose as a teacher is to allow the student to have an authentic experience that is sacred, healing, uplifting, and inspired by spirit. You can read more about Mia at her website or by way of her Facebook page.
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Ed. T. Lemieux