Posts Tagged With: change

Letting my wild woman roar

Kali is the fierce powerful goddess we all have in ourselves and an incarnation of Parvati. She was born out of the third eye of the goddess Durga, who got so enraged that her anger burst from her forehead in the form of Kali, representing hatred. Kali is the one full of confidence and strength. She is also known as ‘Crazy Kali’ and her feature confirms that: she looks scary and wild and has wide open eyes with her tongue sticking out and four arms. She is usually symbolized with a sword in one hand and a cut off head in her other hand. She is also called the ‘Black Mother’, ‘the Dark’ or ‘the Awful One’. Kali is the female counterpart of Shiva and is symbolizing transformation through destruction. Her energy is purifying, since she destroys all demons and evil that keeps us from living our life to the fullest and in order to let the light of good triumph.

Kali is the one to call upon if you would like to transform or change aspects of your life and shed unnecessary baggage or to connect with the fierce goddess within you to cultivate courage, inner strength and confidence. Kali often appears in dark tough times when change is unavoidable and necessary such as illness, heart break, financial loss and career change, when boundaries are being pushed. She is done with the old way of doing things. Without her husband Shiva, Kali’s power could go unchecked and destroy the universe. Shiva’s clear light of consciousness gives direction to this powerful energy. Kali’s energy isn’t only about destruction, power and strength. She also reminds us to incorporate a feminine energy that is creative and playful. Kali is also connected to the first chakra and therefore has a grounding and stabilizing effect.

I can definitely use some fierce Kali energy. I recently discovered that I carry an unhealthy vow or belief with me. I felt responsible for the emotions and happiness of those people around me that are vulnerable or can perceived as weaker. When I discovered this (with the help of family constellations and journey therapy) I transformed this belief into a more healthy and supporting one: My happiness inspires people around me to choose for happiness as well. I can be that fierce and crazy Kali lady that walks her own path and chooses happiness without being responsible for the reactions of others.

This for me represents Kali: to shed away any dark layers and unhealthy habits that prevent you from living your life and follow your dreams. A couple of weeks ago, I also decided to delete my facebook account which has given me space and time to live my own life and be more focused on my immediate surroundings. I kept holding on to my facebook account, because I kept telling myself that it is necessary for growing my work as a yoga teacher. However, it was mainly an energy and time sucker and it feels much more peaceful and calm not to spend my time on social media platforms.

Kali also reminds me not to carry my sensitivity on my sleeve. Instead, share my struggles and worries with the right people at the right time. Lately, I have received plenty of reminders that sharing my emotional and mental world can often be misinterpreted. When I let my inner Kali be present, I can stand firmly in my shoes and beliefs and not to let me throw off balance by other people’s opinions and judgments. The reality is that not everybody will like me or what I am doing. So instead of pleasing others, I focus more on pleasing myself. I invite you to let your inner Kali roar too and be a bit crazy like Kali at times and stick your tongue out!

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Goddess Kali standing right on top of her husband Shiva (Source: http://www.drsvoboda.com/resources/articles/when-kali-comes-to-call/)

Categories: Chakra, Happiness, healing, Inspiration, Sharing, spirituality, Uncategorized, Yoga | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You will die and pay tax

As we know life is full with changes, uncertainties and letting go’s. In fact, all is uncertain; your job, your marriage, your health, your passions and so on. As my father-in-law-to-be would say there are only two certainties in life: you will die and you pay tax. Though, most humans try to hold on to certain circumstances, people, jobs, ideals, objects. Or we are looking forward to have our lives changed soon, since we are not content in this moment. I’m no different from anyone else. I am afraid for change and sometimes a bit excited if the change includes a step forward. Yoga supports me to rest in this ‘unknowingness’, to trust life and to relax in my body, mind and spirit.  

Thoughts, doubts and worries

But sometimes I would like to run away from uncertainty and change. I want to know what is going to happen and how my life will look like. I want to prepare myself for the upcoming changes and more importantly I actually would like to know what I really want to do with my life. In terms of career, I am not really sure where I would like to go. I have my dreams, but I’ve doubts if it will work out, what the best way is to realize my dreams, if I’ve the guts to actually do it and if my dreams are really my dreams. Welcome to my mind and always existing thoughts, doubts and worries.

Being comfortable with discomfort

While practising yoga you can experience discomfort as well; your standing in chair pose (Utkatasana) and your legs are starting to ache and thoughts arise how long we’re going to stay in this pose. You would like to run away from this discomfort, you would like to change your pose. This situation encourages you to stay in the moment, to be with the discomfort, to be content in this moment. Happiness is not gained from future changes or by moving forward. Happiness is waiting for you, here in this moment.

I don’t know

I don’t know how my job situation will look like in a month’s time. I don’t know if I will be a Yoga Teacher in the end. I don’t know if I will continue writing. I don’t know if I’ll be living in New Zealand for the rest of my life. I don’t know if I will start a family in a couple of years. I don’t know if I’ll run out of money soon and so on. It can actually feel quite refreshing to realize you don’t know anything at all. My challenge is to rest in this unknowingness and to transform obstacles into challenges and opportunities. Don’t enjoy your job? See it as a possibility to explore other work areas and to discover your dreams.

Happy smiles

Are you moving to the other side of the world, far away from your family, friends and familiarity? See it as an opportunity to start all over again; make new friends, choose new careers, explore new sports and hobbies, improve your work-life balance. It is almost like you are born again, fresh. I feel very grateful I actually have this opportunity to start all over again. It sometimes feels a bit egocentric and at the same time I feel blessed to live in a beautiful country with a great partner and a good work-life balance. At these moments, I realize work doesn’t really matter that much. Work doesn’t have to influence my state of happiness. I think about all those big smiles I met on the faces of children in rural Africa. In a materialistic way, they have almost nothing, but in a spiritual way they are fortunate and blessed. Let’s count our blessings and BE content.    

Categories: Happiness, Inspiration, Yoga | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Calm Yoga

Yin yoga is a style of yoga founded by Paulie Zink, a Taoist yoga teacher and martial arts expert. It is a combination and mixture of traditional Hatha yoga and several disciplines from the Chinese Taoist tradition – such as Tao Yin, Qi Gong and Kung Fu. In addition, Paulie Zink included yoga postures, variations, visualization and techniques developed by himself. In the Chinese philosophy, Yin and Yang symbolize the duality in the world around us – opposites interacting with each other. These opposites cannot exist without each other. Yang involves movement, change, activity and masculinity. Yin in contrast refers to stillness, calmness and femaleness. Hatha yoga and most of the other Western yoga practices are generally Yang orientated, since they are focused on muscles and movement with an emphasis on stretching the muscles. On the contrary Yin yoga is an essentially quiet practice and therefore a perfect preparation for meditation. In Yang asanas the muscles are addressed in particular. While during Yin yoga the focus is on the connective tissues,  especially in the hips, pelvis and lower spine, including tendons, ligaments and joints. These Yin tissues are generally not addressed in more active styles of yoga.

Yin yoga is certainly suitable for almost all levels of students. A main skill you require or develop while practising this style of yoga is patience. Since you stay in the postures for a reasonable amount of time, generally two to five minutes, but possibly up to twenty. Gravity and time are your main props. The form of asanas can be taken loosely and you let go of your muscles as much as you are comfortable able to. To stay in postures for a length of time is where Yin yoga’s benefit lies: to allow time and gravity to stretch the connective tissues around the joints. Over time, practicing this style of yoga can lengthen the tissues and increase the range of motion. To illustrate: muscles account for about forty percent of the resistance against the body’s flexibility, while connective tissue accounts for about fifty percent. Yin yoga is a perfect complement to the dynamic and muscular Yang styles of yoga.

At first sight this style of yoga can seem quite boring and passive. Though, from my own experience I can guarantee that Yin asanas are actually quite challenging, physically and mentally. Most people are used to move in their daily life and are often in a rush to get from one place to another. While in a Yin yoga pose, you are not moving, you stay exactly where you are in the moment. This soft body approach results in benefits which are extremely useful in our hectic and busy daily lives. It allows you to live with a more flexible and open body and mind. 

 

Categories: Yoga | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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