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November 1, 2014

Yoga is an Inside Job.

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When you wish to remain on your path, one very important element is learning to spend some time alone every day.  

Yoga and meditation practice teach us to pause and to be mindful. During yoga and meditation is the time of day to do that: take inventory, regroup, and reflect. It is very simple.

It can take only five or 10 minutes a day.

Meditation and yoga can be practiced anytime but mornings and evenings are a great place to start.

Start in the morning with an intention.

Oftentimes our intentions vary from day to day and many times they are piggybacked from the day before.

For example: maybe yesterday you had a conversation with someone where you could have paused more or listened better or perhaps you scattered your energy all over, leaving you feeling depleted.

We reflect on yesterday and make “amends” for how we want to show up going forward.

Today, I will practice setting better boundaries when talking. Today, I will listen better, and talk less. Today, I will take time to say no so that I can have more time for myself.

Making time for ourselves is not selfish at all.

In fact, it is very selfless if your intention for your alone time to be not only for you but also for the benefit others. We can only be of service to others when we ourselves have taken care of our own needs first.

“No” is a complete sentence.

We spent too much time distracting ourselves.

We may say we want to do many things—I want to learn a new language, I want to write or I want to travel. The list goes on. Because we’re afraid of being great and awesome, we instead find all sorts of ways to divert our attention from what our heart wants us to do.

The space in between, the five-10 minutes you take for yourself each day, gets you in touch with your heart.

If you do not take time out to be alone, then you may always be a people pleaser or in the rat race—never doing what you were meant to do here on the planet.

Some distract with drugs, alcohol, TV and the internet. Many of us distract urselves by always being available for everyone and every invitation, to a fault.

Of course we are here to serve others (that is yoga) but one way to teach is by taking care of yourself. In doing this, you actually encourage others to do the same.

When we always say yes, yes, yes, we feel guilty or feel like we are missing out on something.

The result: we spend more and more time away from ourselves—from learning the new language, writing the book, traveling, doing the things our hearts long to do.

There is no reason to feel guilty—people will take advantage of you, like vampires, and trust me, the older you get, you realize, you are not missing out on anything!

Pick and choose your invitations!

Listen to your gut—only go only if you feel it will feed you in some way or be of service, if that is what is being asked.

One method for spending time with ourselves.

*Each morning upon waking, rather than turning on the TV or NPR, turn to the journal.

Journaling brings out thoughts and hidden emotions and ideas that need to be released.

Set your intention for the day.

Think of all the people you need to see that day, the places you need to be. Decide how you want to show up—make that imprint into your brain.

Read something from an inspirational books. A few sentences from any of your favorite texts are fine—just avoid the internet during this time.

Then ask your intuition or a Higher Power for guidance for that day. (Repeat this during the day—ask for guidance—ask am I doing this from a place of love or selfishness).

*At bedtime, sit in quietude or the bath. Ask yourself where you went off course throughout the day. Be gentle with yourself. This is not a time for you to beat yourself upbecause you didn’t get it “right.”

Perfectionism is rampant—it’s actually a disease that needs to be cured.

Just see yourself in each day, that’s all.

The next day, repeat.


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Author: April Martucci

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: flickr

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April Martucci