Day 8 – Flow like Water

Day 8: Finding Flow

the Journey IS the Destination

Let go to Let FLOW:

The Journey is the Destination

Invoke Saraswati: Goddess of Wisdom, knowledge, Art, Communication & FLOW

:Om Aim Hrim Shrim Saraswati Devyai Namaha

 

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

― Bruce Lee

 

“Always be like a water. Float in the times of pain or dance like waves along the wind which touches its surface.” Santosh Kalwar

 

A few years ago, I worked for an outdoor education program, and we would take high school kids out on epic river rafting inner tube tours.   Inevitably in the journey, you would get caught by the rocks in the river.  Some kids would panic and jump out and pull themselves back to the flow. There were some kids who looked up and around and appreciated the magic and majestic beauty of their surroundings. There were those that stuck out their hands waiting for one of their friends to save the day. And in the end they all came to the remembrance that the flow is always there and available.

It’s really our journey back to the flow that determines the quality of our experience in the present moment. So when we talk about finding flow, of course we need to bring awareness to those big rocks in the River, to the obstacles in the way. That are actually harnessing the force to make us even more strong and powerful

When we are in Flow, we enter into the state of timelessness, of undivided presence, of openness and connection with this moment fully.  There’s no division between past and future, self and the rest of life.  In this beautiful state of being in harmony with the moment, the heart takes the lead and we drop out of the thinking and rational mind of planning, anxiety, self-conscious, judgement, comparing or critical thoughts. When we are in flow, life seems to present so many perfect coincidences and synchronicities. 

Going with the flow is responding to cues from the universe. When you go with the flow, you’re surfing Life force. It’s about wakeful trust and total collaboration with what’s showing up for you”.    – Danielle Laporte

 

Now, for some Alan Watts Wisdom:

 

 

I tap into flow most easily through the hula hoop. I spent many years, cultivating discipline,  going to workshops,  practicing drills, and learning how to speak the language of the hoop.   Now when I pick up the hoop, after a few minutes, I can tap into that place where I’m fully present and responding to the moment that presents. 

We’ve all experienced being in flow before: whether its been through Yoga  or through your work, running, cooking, or other activities. The more time we spend in flow, the more we cultivate and create the space for more FLOW.

Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.     

Wayne Dyer

 

The Journey IS the Destination – Our current cultural paradigm teaches us to strive towards a future goal that’s always slightly out of reach, when in fact life is about NOW, this moment.

 

 

“The more in harmony you are with the flow of your own existence, the more magical life becomes”. – Adyashanti

 

How do you experience flow?  How do you find your way back to flow when you get caught in the rocks of life?

 

Let go to let flow beautiful one.

XOXO

Francie

 

 

Step 1 – Path of  Practice

Do your “Big” or “Small” practice

Celebrate &  Mark your “Yay!”

Invoke & Chant to Saraswati 9 x – :Om Aim Hrim Shrim Saraswati Devyai Namaha

Step 2 – Foundations of Flow

Journal the Journey – 5 minutes /  3 Gratitudes

Today, choose a song that you LOVE that can get you moving or grooving or flowing.  Play that song on REPEAT as you do your practice to it. Check out this “Pure-fect Flow Favourite Playlist”  for some awesome inspiration. 

Step 3 – Reflect & this Connect:

Comment Below – What song gets you into FLOW

Share your thoughts on the  FB Group

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Day 7 – I am Supported

Day 7:

I am Supported

I am Supported.

“When we seek for connection, we restore the world to wholeness. Our seemingly separate lives become meaningful as we discover how truly necessary we are to each other.” – Margaret J. Wheatley

With support we can create far more than we can on our own. When you think you’re alone, you tell yourself a story of separation – you are isolated or you feel like a victim.  Feeling like this is the quickest path to depression.  When we feel depressed, there is a constriction that blocks the flow of Love through and for you.

When you feel the support that is all around you, you feel connection. And in truth, there are countless fields of visible and invisible energies that are always supporting you, from the elements, to your friends, to the ever-present inner guidance within.

 

So today I invite you into the remembrance that you are supported: Take a moment NOW, with your journal, or just in a seated meditation pose, and bring to mind all of the ways in which you are supported:

Think of your friends, the people you work with, your family, the people that you serve and feel into how you are supported everyday.  Think of where in your life you are sill needing support, so that you can call that in.

Say aloud, or write in your journal: I am not alone, I am fully supported. There’s help all around me that appears often in the most unpredictable and sometimes seemingly cosmic ways.  When I let in the support, life gets easier and more magic happens.

and remember, within this challenge and beyond, we are here to support you!

My Top 5 Favourite Poses

 

Give yourself 10-15 minutes now and try out these poses with me, in sequence or as you feel called. 

Put on a playlist, roll out your mat, light a candle and some incense,  lay out your altar, or even just a flower/something beautifult to feast your eyes upon, and spend 5 or 6 full breath cycles in each pose, and see how you feel after.

With the right support, these simple and accessible poses are available to all levels and bodies, .  Make sure you have some props around; a cushion or block to support you to completely relax into these shapes so you can go deep. 

 

Supta badokonasana – Reclined bound angle pose

This is one of my favourite poses to start and end of class with, and anytime I find myself in the horizontal.  This is a beautiful hip opener,  groin softener,  heart and chest opener  Energetically,  we are cultivating an energy of letting go, allowing, receiving, and surrendering  I like to practice this pose with a cushion or block underneath the back of my heart, and maybe even some blocks to support underneath my knees.

Hang out in this pose for a few minutes. Feel the support of the earth below you as it holds you, receives and transforms that which you are releasing, that which no longer serves you,  with each exhale.  Feel how nourishing it is to surrender to the knowing that you are supported.

Kapotasana – Pigeon Pose

Another beautiful grounding, and supported pose – PIgeon pose, and all it’s variations. is my favourite go-to Hip-Opener  I practice this pose every day.  Many of us hold a lot of tension in the hips – The hips represent our ability to move forward in the world with grace and ease.  In this pose, enjoy the yummy external rotation of the hips, stretch to the hip flexors,  release of tension in the hips and increasing range of motion in the legs.  Hips are also famously known in Yoga to be the place where we store stuck energy. It said that the cellular memory connected to grief and sadness holds in the hips. Go to your edge,  breathe there,  and enjoy the softening, opening,  surrendering and relaxing. 

This first pic shows the “sleeping swan”, forward fold variation of pigeon, and the second pic shows a more engaged heart opening “king pigeon” variation”.

 

 

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing dog.

The classic resting pose. As Yoga teachers often remind students,   this can be a resting pose if you have the right alignment of attitude and body: Find the alignment of your hands – spread wide, shoulder distance apart, the alignment of the feet hip distance apart.  Let your knees have a soft bend as you lengthen the tailbone, bringing belly to spine, rolling the shoulders away from your ears.  Let there be an even weight between hands and feet and explore the openings possible as you breathe into the body and tune into where the body is tight. 

Play around with the concept of dynamic stillness – allowing each inhale to create more length in the spine and space in the body, and each exhale deepening and expanding.  Play around with 3-legged dog, lifting one leg at a time and opening the hip into scorpian tail.

 

3-Legged Dog

Scorpian or Fire-hydrant Pose

 

Wild Thing

 

Backbends are heart openers and energising poses.  Many Yogis would agree that this is one of their favourite poses.  It’s so fun, beautiful, strong, fierce, and open.  It’s just so energising and satisfying to stretch that whole front line of the body, the front of the thigh,  the side body and the throat.When I practice this pose I feel vibrant and alive. If ‘m fully warmed up and open in the spine, I’ll play with bringing this pose into a full wheel.  

 

 

 

Balasana – Child’s Pose

 

Forward folds are calming poses.  You can gift yourself this pose anytime throughout the practice, anytime you need a rest, anytime you wanna come back to the breath, anytime the mind gets lost in a labyrinth of thoughts.  Play with different variations: Knees together or knees wide, forehead or chin to the earth, arms lengthened forward, or walking to each side for a side stretch.  Play with the ams alongside the body, or your elbows rooted in the earth next to your shoulders with your hands in a prayer towards the sky.

 

 

 

Hope you enjoy your practice today!

Look forward to hearing from you all!

With Love & Support

 

Daily Practice:

Step 1 – Path of Practice

Do your “Big” or “Small” practice

Celebrate &  Mark your “Yay!”

Step 2 – Foundations of Flow

Journal the Journey – 5 minutes /  3 Gratitudes

Support – Do you feel separate or connected? How are you being supported right now? How would you like to be supported more?

How could you support others more, or allow yourself to be supported more by others?

Step 3 – Reflect & Connect:

Comment Below  – What are your favourite poses and Why?

Share your thoughts on the  FB Group

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Sign up to receive our news and updates.  As a thank you you will get our free guide to Yoga for beginners… 

Day 6 – Simply Being

Day 6: 

Simply Being / Loving What is

Day 6: Simply Being

 

Yesterday I felt great.  So tapped into the meditation, flowing with the practices, feeling the bliss. 

Today….it’s a different story – I’m feeling challenged.  I didn’t sleep so well last night, I heard some disturbing news, and a bit of anxiety has creeped in about the future.

Some days we may be fully tapped into the flow, and other days our monkey minds have the reigns and we are in total distraction and discombobulation. 

No matter what emotion or sensation is present, the question is: Can I be with this feeling? Can I love this moment exactly as it is.

This moment is exactly as it is.

The only thing we can control is our relationship to this moment.

It is up to us whether we are in resistance and suffering, or if we are in acceptance, love and peace.

 

How are you?  Have you missed a day? Did you start late? Are you scrambling because you feel like maybe you aren’t quite doing it right? Or do you feel you fallen behind on the challenge, or  that other people are doing way better than you?  Is there a little voice in your mind it’s saying it’s OK  – you just wanted to check out what this program is without really involving yourself, kind of research?

Or maybe everything is going well.  You are showing up everyday, feeling empowered, on the path, elevated and uplifted.

Whatever arises, love that.

 

I LOVE this Rumi poem for reminding me to LOVE whatever arises. appreciating that even and especially those more challenging moments are actually gifts from the beyond, here to illuminate some aspect of life for me to integrate.  

 

The illusion of Doing + Having = Worthiness

 

I remember when my besty Nadia gave birth to her beautiful baby girl Kaya.  Even though all she was doing was crying and pooping we loved her so much. There was nothing she needed to do for us to love her.  We are simply that.

Your worthiness as an individual depends not on what you do or what you have.

You are already intrinsically worthy, loveable, no matter what.

Somewhere along the lines, we start getting different ideas – that somehow we need to do, be or have something in order to be worthy of love.  We go to school,  are raised by our families, in our cultures,  and we take on this idea that our worth is related to the grades we get, or the things that we achieve.

When we’re looking for validation of our worth from outside of ourselves,  its always conditional and never fully satisfying. The real challenge is to hold onto the remembrance that we are already whole, we are totally already worthy.

Self-love and self compassion are key ingredients to finding true freedom.  When we only love ourselves in relation to our achievments, this is a form of conditional love that can lead to suffering and/or disapointment in those moments when we fall short. 

Being & Loving what is: Simple, yes, Easy, no. 

 

For me personally, simply allowing each moment to arise without being in reaction to it can be challenging.  Finding full self-love and acceptance within myself and the moment as it is, is and has been one of the most challenging journeys I could ever imagine. 

With practice and patience, we start becoming more aware of when we are in resistance, in judgement, and in suffering.    From my experience, the best way to cultivate this awareness, this pre-requisite for transformation, the simplest path to the highest good,  is meditation – tuning into the inner stillness that’s behind all those busy or challenging thoughts, so that we can simply rest in being.

 

Antar Mouna – Inner Silence

 

Today I invite you to join me for this short 10 minute meditation technique known as “Antar Mouna”Antar mouna is a Sanskrit term that means “inner silence.”  In this practice, we are transforming and controlling our thought processes through self-awareness and mindfulness, training ourselves to simply rest as the witness. Within this practice, we tune into the sounds and senses all around us in order to cultivate a deeper awareness, silence, stillness within.

 

 

Just being with you now,

Loving you exactly as you are,

Allowing this moment to be exactly as it is,

perfectly imperfect and complete,

 

XOXO

 

Francie

 

Daily Practice:

Step 1 – Path of  Practice

Do your “Big” or “Small” practice

Celebrate &  Mark your “Yay!”

Step 2 – Foundations of Flow

Journal the Journey – 5 minutes /  3 Gratitudes

Read the Rumi poem, spend some time in mediation, and think of the “guests” who visit the temple of you.

Ask yourself: What is my relationship to THIS moment? How can I love and accept what is?

Step 3 – Reflect & this Connect:

Comment Below & Share on the  FB Group

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Sign up to receive our news and updates.  As a thank you you will get our free guide to Yoga for beginners… 

Day 5 – Smart Sequencing

Day 5:

9 Tips for Smart Sequencing 

9 Tips for Smart Sequencing of your Yoga practice

“The ultimate language of yoga is expressed in doing yoga, a practice that transcends words as we open our lives to living more consciously through the infinite wisdom of the heart.”- Mark Stephens

 

I like to just “play” Yoga on my mat by really listening to what my body needs in that moment. If that’s what you are going to do, make sure your practice is balanced!

 

1) Warm up Come into the Ujjayi breath if you know it.

Find a comfortable seat and start by connecting to the breath. If you know the Ujayi breath, come into that for a few minutes.  After a few minutes of Pranayama & Meditation, you can chant Aum 3x to harmonise with all the elements present in the moment, to purify the mind, and to create a container for your practice space.

Warm up the spine and backs of the legs slowly with some nice gentle stretches – cat/cows, rag doll forward fold, gentle lunges are all good options.

 

2) Sun Salutations 

This can be used as a full practice in and of itself.  Sun salutations stretch the spine in all directions.  Both Surya Namaskar A and B are great to use as a foundation for flow, and a template to add on any other standing poses. Really follow the breath.

 

3) Standing and Balancing poses

Personally I like working with the Virabhadrasa or Warrior poses – Virabhadrasa I, II, III, Exalted Warrior – (you can type in these names to Google images to cue you memory. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) and Parsvokonasna (Extended Side Angle Pose) are also great as are the twisted variations of each of these poses. Give your hip flexors some attention with runner’s lunge/lizard or a low lunge with the arms arching up overhead for a nice heart opening sensation.

 

Here’s a short standing sequencing you may like to try:

 

 

 

 

4) Seated poses 

 

Include forward folds, twists and hip-openers. Always practice equally on the left and right sides. Include focus on building core-strength with strong, long Chaturangas and poses like Navasana (boat pose), forearm plank and side plank.

 

5) Backbends

 

When you’re properly warmed up, practice backbends – maybe just start with a Bridge pose. Locust, Bow and Camel are all great poses to build strength around the spine and to really open the chest. It is important to stay really engaged with your bandhas in all your backbends. Engage your belly to the spine to help make space in your lower back for deeper and safer back bending. Always practice a gentle forward fold to neutralise the spine after back bending.

 

6) End with inversions and other quieting poses.

 

Go upside down every day! Shoulder-stand, headstand and viparita karani are all fantastic practices. There are so many wonderful health benefits from inverting. Plus, it’s a great way to clear your head and get a new perspective on things. I always feel happier and better about life after a few minutes of hanging out upside down.

 

7) Savassana

 

One of the most important poses of the practice to help create muscle memory for all the openings you’ve just done.Let your mind and body relax and be receptive as you give your body the time to integrate all your beautiful work!

 

8) Sit & Meditate

 

Always include time in your practice just to BE – to breathe and to be present with yourself. Perhaps picking a gentle breath practice will help you, or meditation. Finding stillness in your practice will make you feel very nourished and peaceful, and this will then make you want to practice with more consistency and devotion! Just three minutes of conscious and deep breath an work wonders! Practicing meditation will benefit your asana practice, because it will help you build your powers of concentration. The inverse is true as well; practicing asana, especially with an intense focus on controlling prana through drishti, bandhas and breath, will make you a better meditator.

 

9) Give thanks!

An attitude of gratitude opens doors and hearts.  Gratitude is the #1 strategy for finding contentment – an easeful joy – a loving of what is. 

 

We have so much to be grateful for:  We can be grateful to ourselves for showing up to the practice.  We can be grateful for this sacred and ancient practice of Yoga that gives us a map to Freedom.  We can be grateful for the orange juice at breakfast, or for that little bit of sunshine on a snowy day.  The list is endless, and as part of this challenge we invite you two write 3 new gratitudes each day.

 

I am grateful that you’re here with me, helping to hold me accountable for this journey, and helping me to evolve into the productive, supported, loving, open person that I continually aspire to.

 

What are you grateful for today?

 

 

Daily Practice:

 

Step 1 – Path of  Practice

Do your “Big” or “Small” practice

Celebrate &  Mark your “Yay!”

 

Step 2 – Foundations of Flow

Journal the Journey – 5 minutes / 3 Gratitudes

What are you grateful for today? Keep adding 3 things to your list EVERYDAY

Step 3 – Reflect & Connect:

Comment Below & Share on the  FB Group,

 

 

With Infinite Love & Endless Gratitude,

XOXO

Francie

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Developing a Successful Home Practice

Developing a Successful Home Practice

Developing a Successful Home Practice

Strategy for Successful Home Practice

Creating the conditions for your Rhythm & Routine

One of the most beautiful and liberating aspects of yoga is that you don’t need any fancy equipment or a designated building or field to practice. Yoga is available to you where ever you are at – as long as you are willing to approach it, and have a strategy..

In Yoga, we stretch and open our physical body, to promote a more easeful and comfortable flow of energy within the body so that we can sit for a long time – essentially we are creating the conditions in which meditation can occur.  Similarly, to set ourselves up for a successful daily practice, we need to create the conditions in which your Rhythm & Routine can occur.

The willingness and desire to create a habit of Practice is not enough to sustain us on the path in and of itself.  As we’ve all experienced by now on Day 4, motivation is transient – its comes and goes, ebbs and flows. Everything from our sleep last night to the conversation we just had can effect our motivation.

We need a strategy!  We need to create the conditions in which practice can occur.

Developing a home yoga practice and committing to it is a profound tool for deepening into your own personal relationship with yoga. Here are some tools that have helped me in my home practice of Yoga:

1) Create a foundation for your practice: Start with a set sequence.

 

It can be powerful to repeat the same poses every day, Practicing the same poses every day helps you keep consistent with your practice. This repetition offers you a clear vantage point from which to watch yourself grow and change.

Click below to access a dynamic & energising flow sequence. 

Let us know what you think in the comments at the bottom of the page.

 

2) Commit to a specific time of day & a minimum amount of practice time. 

 

For some of us, first thing in the morning works best, for others its when you have a bit of time in the afternoon or before bed.  Experiment with yourself, find a time that works best for you and stick to it.  The more consistent you are, the more the habit of practice will be able to stick.

For me, I wake up every morning excited about coffee.  So my first sip of coffee is my trigger for my first sit on the mat.  I do my journaling, my coffee drinking, then I begin to open my body and meditate.  What an you use as your practice trigger?

Choose a minimum amount of time that you are prepared to commit practicing for.  Even if it’s just 5 , 10 or 15 minutes, make yourself a promise that you will do your time. That’s your practice – just that – everything else is bonus time! Start small (baby steps!); this way you can stick with your commitment and feel positive about your practice rather than guilty if you don’t have a lot of time/energy that day.

This is why we have our “big” and our “small” practice: Ultimately, it’ more important to establish a steady, grounded and stable routine of practices that we can sustain over long terms adding in bits and pieces as we journey through life. 

3) Clear Space / Clear Mind: Sanctify your practice:

 

Our outer space reflects our inner space: Creating the conditions in which practice can occur is absolutely key.

Today we invite you to spend some time cleaning your bedroom or house. Start with making the bed,  clearing off any surfaces that collecting scattered papers, cleaning out the nooks and crannies. Then noticed how you feel. 

Creating a space in which you feel good and free to practice is key to a successful home practice. You want to create an intentional space, and I would even recommend creating a small altar of what it is that you want to focus right now. It can be simple. A candle and incense maybe a picture of someone who inspires you, maybe a crystal or something you found in nature that inspires you. Let it be uniquely and personally meaningful.

Create an altar. As you clean and look around your room look for objects or flowers, and arrange them in a beautiful place in your space of practice. You’re welcome to keep adding to the altar as you find things in nature or are gifted things from loved ones.Tadah! Now as you come to your mat each day, you can infuse your altar with your intuition and intention.

Alters our ancient tools of transformation, and act as a focus point for ritual, reflection and contemplation and a serve as reminder of your intentions, wishes, prayers and gratitudes for that which is the highest good within you.

4) Amazing Resources are all around. Use them!

 

There is so much inspiration all around – from yoga classes and community centers, to podcasts, online videos, yoga books, movies, documentaries and more.  You can take online classes, read blog, visit Yoga website.

 

I love being a student and often will go to classes for a little tune-up.  

 

Working with a great teacher can be a total game changer. Find someone whose style you resonate with and start to going to some of their classes.  This will help bring attention to areas of your practice that need assistance, and it will also provide you with new inspiration and motivation for your daily home practice.

 

Tip: Some of the online resources I like to use when I am travelling are YogaGlo / See Hear Be Now / Yogadownload.com – all of which offer free trial memberships and classes with great, experienced teachers.

 

 

With Infinite Love & Endless Gratitude

XOXO

Francie

Day 2 – Ganesha, Clear the Way!

Ganesha, Clear the Way  

Ganesha, Clear the Way

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha

The practice of Yoga is a life-long journey of growth and evolution that’s filled with challenges, pitfalls, distractions, and excuses that prevent us from keeping on the path.

Even though we truly want to commit to our personal practice, and see ourselves make inner  progress, sometimes out of nowhere, we’ll hit a roadblock or a challenge that stops us in our tracks.  We’ve all been there.

Sometimes the obstacles we encounter are outside of ourselves.  More often we find that actually the main source of challenge and resistance is within ourselves. This is why it’s called a Practice.  Some days we find the flow, and other days we seem paralysed by challenge.

Simply becoming aware of the challenges is one of the best ways to begin overcoming them.

Typically, the Yogis invoke the power of Ganesha, the remover and placer of obstacles and the Lord of New Beginnings anytime, especially at the beginning of any journey, to help clear the way  of any obstacles that prevents our lives from flowing free.

Chant

Take a few moments NOW.

Close your Eyes.

Repeat the mantra – Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha –  9 x.  

When we sing or chant a mantra, we are singing not to any God or power outside of ourselves, but rather to the qualities and vibrations within ourselves.

After I started practice this mantra for a few days, I noticed some incredible shifts in my life…suddenly so much more flow.  But don’t take my word for it.

I invite you to try adding this mantra to your daily practice and simply NOTICE is there are any life shifts.

 

LISTEN:

Ganesha Mantra Yoga Music Playlist

We’ve created a special playlist for you. While you listen, feel free to just be or  to let it inspire your movement or singing practice.

Click the image below to listen!

Daily Practice:

Step 1 – Path of Practice

Do your “Big” or “Small” practice

 Mark your “Yay!”

Chant “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha” 9x

 

Step 2 – Foundations of Flow

Journal the Journey – 5 minutes /  3 Gratitudes:

Start creating a list from the back of your journal so there is room to add 3 gratitudes each day.

What are 3 things you feel grateful for today?

 

Step 3 – Reflect & Connect:

Comment Below: What are your main obstacles?  / What’s in your toolbox to help you deal positively with them?

Check out our Day 2 thread of the FB Group and share your support and feedback

May your path be clear and free of obstacles,

With Infinite Love & Endless Gratitude

XOXO

Francie

Day 3 – Obstacles on the Path

Day 3:

Obstacles on the Path

Obstacles on the Path

 How to get out of the Comfort Zone & Into the Magic

 

The Inner Obstacle Race – Remember, Yoga practice is like an obstacle race: many obstructions are purposely put on the way for us to pass through. They are there to make us understand and express our own capacities. We all have that strength, but we need to be challenged and tested in order to understand our own capacities. In fact, that is the natural law. If a river just flows easily, the water in the river does not express its power. But once you put an obstacle to the flow by constructing a dam, then you can see its strength in the form of tremendous electrical power. – Swami Satchidananda

 

Yoga is like Jedi training; It teaches that we can experience tremendous spiritual growth when we harness the force to overcome the sometimes overwhelming and reactive feeling of our nervous system’s“fight” or “flight”.  Cultivating and training ourselves to take a pause, to slow down the breath and activate the “relax and release” response, ultimately allows us to rest in more peace and contentment

At this stage of the journey,  the novelty of the commitment may be starting to to wear off.  Perhaps your enthusiasm is waning, and the reality of all of the other things that you’ve committed to, all of the things that you want to accomplish and follow through, with are suddenly more important than sticking to your simple commitment of practice.

It’s totally natural for distractions and excuses to begin emerging. Some days we just feel tired, our bodies may be aching, low energy, like we have too much going on, we feel too busy.  Some days we feel like we’re failing, that this is too hard, or full of self-doubt, restlessness, even boredom. You may even feel that you are doing this challenge because you think you should be doing it, instead of actually truly wanting to do it.  

We’ve all been there.

In those moments, we want to quit..

So how do you keep going?:

Out of the Comfort Zone and into the Magic

Within this challenge, the invitation is to…. challenge yourself beyond what feels safe, predictable, and comforting.  By definition, we are stretching ourselves beyond what is comfortable, or in some cases what is the path of least resistance.  Ideally, we are coming each day into connection with our growth “edge”. And this is where challenges presents.

In yoga we talk about playing our edge, this point at which it “hurts so good”.  The place where growth and expansion can occur . We do this to build more flexibility in the body, but also to create more flexibility in the mind.  Because as we all know, the magic lies just outside of the comfort zone.

I like to think about how when I was a kid, I could sleep anywhere; under the stairs on a bench, and a dirty hostel in India, and it all felt like a fun adventure. Nowadays if I stay somewhere like Bamboo Huts for example, that doesn’t have hot water showers, has jungle life in it, and I feel out of my comfort zone.  When I feel like this I suffer.

A common side effect of growing older, is that our comfort zones tend to get smaller and smaller, thus increasing the likelihood of suffering,  So if something doesn’t fit inside the small box of what we deem acceptable, we feel any range of emotions from angry to defeated.

 

 

 

 

The Yogic attitude is to see that the obstacles and challenges that present as our teachers in disguise, helping us to harness the force, so that we can express our full power.

The key to removing power from the obstacles is to first become aware of them.  When we are able to cultivate awareness and anticipate what tends to challenge us in advance, we can cultivate the skills to gain mastery over the challenges, so that we can persevere.

 

 

The most important way to navigate the obstacles is to keep coming back to your WHY:  Keep revisiting your intention, your Sankalpa, to that powerful desire and resolve to change, to become a better human being,  to feel more empowered, open, peaceful, harmonious, joyful, to connect better with others, to awaken and be free.

 

  • Allow yourself to be witnessed.  Let the group support you.

 

What makes this challenge so special and powerful is the network of support that we are tuning into to help fuel our journey on this path of practice to attain our goal.  It is up to you, to hold yourself accountable by sharing your intention and practices with the group.   the rewards of this are truly great.  If you truly want transformation within yourself, especially on those days when you just wanna give it all up, the key it connect, share and be witnessed.

 

  • Prepare for those moments:

 

Stepping out of the comfort zone and taking risks, helps you grow.expand and evolve.  It pushes you to step out of the familiar and habitual, and into the unknown.  How you respond to life, the invitation to show up, the challenges that present,  determines your level of evolution and inner growth.

Journal the Journey – Write your top 10 excuses / distractions for not showing up/following through.  What does your highest self do when the challenges present?

Daily Practice:

 

Step 1 – Path of Practice

Do your “Big” or “Small” practice

Mark your “Yay!”

Step 2 – Foundations of Flow

Journal the Journey – 5 minutes /  3 Gratitudes

My top 10 distractions/ excuses are…

My highest self chooses to respond to this (above listed obstacle) by ….

Step 3 – Reflect & Connect:

Comment Below & Share on the  FB Group,

May your day be filled with grace and ease,

With Infinite Love & Endless Gratitude

XOXO

Francie

Day 1 – Start with WHY / Tips for Tapas

Day 1: Finding Flow

Start with WHY and Tips for Tapas

Start with Why  / Tips for Tapas

3 Steps for Success for this 21 day Home Practice Challenge

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Confucius

When it comes to making a promise to yourself, adopting a new habit, a big life change, or moving through transition, the process or the journey is as important as the destination – “The journey IS the destination”.  

Step 1 – Start with WHY?

Time to get clear and set your intentions.

When you are clear on the WHY of your promise to yourself, once you begin to show up for yourself and begin to track your follow-through progress, then the journey can begin to flow with more ease.  You tap more into the pure FLOW!  

So, What is the deeper FEELING behind what you want? Do you want to feel more

  • Open
  • Free
  • Balanced
  • Joyful
  • At ease
  • In peace
  • Healthy and well
  • Connected
  • Relaxed
  • Rejuvenated
  • Recharged
  • Present
  • Empowered

 

If you want to commit to a daily yoga practice, perhaps it’s the feeling of presence or openness you want to invite into your life.  Or maybe you want to be fully free of suffering and think starting a Yoga practice could help with that. 🙂

Sankalpa – Resolve to Evolve

Set your timer, and take 5 minutes NOW with your journal – How do you want to feel?

 

Set your Intention – Get clear on what you really want.  Write point form or in sentences,  in as much details as possible, your Sankalapa, your resolution to evolve and integrate these qualities more into your life.  How do you want to feel?   

Be loving and compassionate with yourself.  if you’d like to set the intention to do a Home Practice every day, or 3 x a week, can you be flexible with that?  Maybe sometimes it’ll be in the morning before work, and sometimes it’ll be in the evening when you get home.  “Should” is could with shame in front . If we “should” ourselves,  this can inspire feelings of guilt and shame. Like if we were to resolve to wake up an hour early to practice before work, and then we don’t follow through,  

Ritualise it. This takes you and your commitment to the next level.. It can be simple – Light a candle, some incense, share some insightful words or prayer of gratitude. .Bring in the sacred.  Acknowledge the mystery..

 

Tip: Make sure your intentions and goals are “S.M.A.R.T” : Specific,  Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely

 

I love this TED TALK to help me remember my ‘WHY’:

Step 2 – Showing Up:

How to make a commitment to yourself 

In general, it’s easier to make promises to other people than it is for ourselves.  It tends to be easier to follow through with our word when we have a witness, to step up and follow through with our commitment when we feel responsible to others.  Making promises to ourselves is a different story.

 

From my experience, countless times I’ve promised myself to waken up yet an hour earlier to mediate more, and countless times i have pressed that snooze button, thinking I’ll start the next day instead.  Countless times I’ve promised to stop being so self-critical of my scatteredness and “inability” to follow through, and be more kind and compassionate towards myself.

 

Tapas, the fire of commitment, of self-discipline, of building fire and heat within,  is one of the 5 Niyamas, or ethical self-disciplines of Patanjali’s Classical Yoga System.  Tapas translates to heat, fire, purification, spiritual practice and transformation.  It is the practice of showing up, even when we really don’t want to, it is the practice of following through with the promises we make to ourselves about how we want to evolve, or simply how we want to BE in this world.

 

When we make a promise to ourselves and don’t keep it, then we send messages to ourselves that we are not so trustworthy, and we reinforce the idea that we can’t follow through, or achieve the transformation that we are looking for.

 

Why commit to yourself:

 

When we make a promise to ourselves to show up, and we do, it builds self-confidence, reminding us that we are capable and powerful. We remind ourselves of what we do want,  and that we are capable of achieving it!  Think of the last time you showed up and followed through with an intention.  How good did that feel?  Good!  Happy!  So here we are also developing the habit of showing up.

Choose your own Home Practice:

 

Define your “Big” (30 + mins) and your “Small” Practices (10 + mins) and write it in the Accountability Fun Sheet – (you can edit this later if you like!)  This can be Yoga asana practice, meditation, prananyam, or whatever else helps you find more FLOW in your life.

When you show up to your practice you mark it with a “Yay!”.  Other days you may mark a “Nay! and that’s okay.  We’re hear to encourage and support each other to do our best, and we simply celebrate the wins!

 

Step 3 –  Reflect & Connect

 

FOUNDATIONS OF FLOW

Journal the Journey & Gratitude – 5 minutes

Check in with yourself . Notice how you feel each day.    Are you feeling inspired? Are you making progress? How does it feel? How does it feel when you procrastinate? Can you be okay with that? 

Some days are easy and we stick to the plan, other days we feel downright challenged, restless and helpless to follow through.  Keeping track of our progress is a really helpful way to keep focused on the transformation.  Each day we’ll invite you to set your timer, write the date, and spend 5 minutes with your journal, just writing stream-of-conscious-how you feel,  or what is present for you

 

Share your Progress – Group Check-in 

 

Including others in our mission helps us to feel supported and motivated..  We are social animals.  We learn through and with each other.  It’s said that 20 % of our learning comes from social interactions.  Growing and learning together, sharing our intentions and action plans with others has the capacity  to increases the likelihood that we will actually follow-through with the positive life-changes we are intending.  Not only that, but your progress and willingness to keep showing up and sharing your journey, will inspire others to keep up with the challenge, especially in those moments when we lose interest, feel lazy, distracted or challenged.

 

 

Daily Practice:

Step 1 – Complete your Set-Up:

Make sure you’re connected to and have put your info into the Accountability Sheet below

Step 2 – Do your personal Home Practice

Decide, Write and Do your “Big” or “Small” practice

  Introduce yourself to the secret FB Group, 

and let us know your key intentions for this challenge.

Enter your “Yay” or “Nay”.

 

Step 3 – Reflect & Connect:

SANKALPA – Start with WHY – Set your intentions.

Foundations of Flow – Journal the Journey – 5 mins  / 3 Gratitudes

Comment & Share

 

Wishing you a beautiful and easeful start to this journey. 

If you have any questions or concerns – please feel to reach out to me on the FB Group  or francie@pureflow.yoga

Have a beautiful day and I look forward to seeing you again tomorrow!

 

What’s NEXT?…

Tomorrow we look at the some classic obstacles on the path and how to work with them!

 

With Love & Support,

XOXO

Francie

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