Posts Tagged With: journey

Yoga Love is growing!

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I am so super excited to let you know that I am in the wonderful process of creating new life! We are half way now (just over 20 weeks) and super excited to be on this new journey of parenthood. After a challenging and anxious first trimester, I am so grateful to be here today and to feel life growing inside me. We had our 20 week echo today and everything is looking wonderful! I feel so honoured to be able to experience this miracle, called life! Even though baby is not here yet, he/she has already taught us to be patient, to trust and to let go. Babies will come in their own divine timing and for me it was a challenging journey of trusting my body, the universe and let go.

Before I got pregnant, I found out about For Two Fitness, a beautiful maternity gear for the active mum-to-be. A wonderful way to show your bump, to tell the world you are expecting and to be inspired to stay fit & healthy during your pregnancy. They offer beautiful gear for runners, fitness, cyclist, dancers, yoga and for all active mums-to-be out there. They also have clothes for mums expecting twins and after-baby clothes. A perfect way to celebrate your pregnancy, your body and inspire! Through their Instagram and Facebook profile you will continuously be inspired by the amazing possibilities of the female body and to be active and fit ‘For Two’. So I am super honoured to announce that I am ambassador for this maternity apparel! And the wonderful new to this: you will receive 30% discount of all merchandise! You can use the code YOGALOVENZ which will run from today until April 18.

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I am (NOT YET) a Successful Yogini

Often if I tell a stranger that I am teaching yoga. The conclusion is drawn quickly; then you are probably very flexible and relaxed. Yes and no. In certain poses I can appear more flexible than average, while in other poses I can look more stiff than average. The better question is flexible compared to whom? There will always be people who are less flexible and people who are more flexible. So why not just stop comparing ourselves with other yogis and yoginis who have different bodies and are on completely different journey.

And no, you don’t have to be flexible at all to practice yoga. Sometimes a stiffer body is way better, since your body will let you know clearly when you are going too far/too deep. A stif(fer) body can make you feel more humble and grateful as well. Full lotus pose in headstand is not on your goal list, instead you just want to feel better in your body and relief your ache muscles.

A relaxed and calm person? Oh yes, I definitely am if I am on a holiday with loved ones and having nothing to worry about. No seriously, my close friends and family won’t define me as a relaxed person. While I can appear calm and focused on the outside, as soon as you start to know me better you realize that I am a normal human being who probably stresses slightly more than average. This is one of the reasons why I started practicing yoga at the first place.

Does this make me less of a perfect yogini? Again you could ask yourself compared to whom am I more stressed? What really matters to me is how my yoga practice makes me feel. What do I experience? What do I feel? How is my yoga practice helping me to discover who I really am.

That is why a home practice can be such a wonderful learning experience. I have only myself to deal with. If no one else is watching how does my practice look like? Do I nurture and nourish my body, mind and soul? Through my own personal practice I start to feel more grounded and more connected to my authentic self.

These strong roots allow me to practice with others while maintaining a connection with my inner truth and the signals of my body and mind. In this way, we can use a yoga class as a way to connect with others while keeping our own connection. In that way we truly become one.

While trying to define how a successful yoga practice looks or feels like, I first started to write down what it doesn’t mean to me;

–          You have been meditating (in an isolated cave) for (a couple of) years.

–          You are able to do that perfect difficult ………………… (to be filled in by you) pose which could be used as the cover photo of the Yoga Journal

–          You look like a super model and/or have achieved your ideal body composition

–          You’re always happy and everyone is your friend

–          You’re never mean to others or yourself

–          You are a vegan/vegetarian

–          You are drinking green juices

–          You don’t have a television

–          You practice yoga/asanas EVERY DAY

–          Your alignment is ‘perfect’

–          Your Sanskrit is fluent

–          You ‘AUM’ everywhere and everyday

–          ‘Namaste’ is your new “hi, how’re you doing?”

–          ………. ( to be filled in by your own critical self)

For me being a successful yogi/yogini means you are able to change your life, attitude and relationships in a positive way. It means you are making progress with moving towards living your authentic self 99.9% of the time. You don’t pretend you are better or worse than others. You are just you and you dare to show yourself to the world. You realize you are unique and there is only one person like you in the world. And that is real awesomeness!

PS: This has been writing while I was on a positive relaxed feminine high. So no, I am not there yet and still working and I will keep on working to be me and to let go of the labels I stick to myself on how I should look like, how I should dress, how I should eat, how I should behave and how I should feel. And I realize I am already perfect with all my beautiful imperfections. Let’s reach out to others and work together to make this world a more beautiful & positive place.

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Perfect imperfect yogini

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How Brandon Bays’ ‘The Journey’ Helped me Open up to Real Intimacy

My latest article has just been published on the The Yoga Lunchbox

It is a raw and honest write up about my emotional Journey to who I am today. 

Feel free to share!

love-inspirational-daily

Jacinta – Journey Practitioner

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Rest versus Activity

What is your personal favourite; a strong and fast-paced or a more gentle practice? I’m quite drawn to a strong, challenging practice. If I’m challenged, a strong focus is required and my mind doesn’t have a chance to interfere. At the same time, I’m easily stressed and rushing to my daily activities. A fast-paced practice stimulates my sympathetic nervous system – also called the ‘fight or flight’ response – even more. I’m more in need of input from the parasympathetic nervous system, associated with relaxation, nourishment and renewal. The parasympathetic system functions in opposition to the sympathetic system. The parasympathetic system is consistently active at a low level and levels of activity increase when it is necessary to bring the body back to a balanced state from a state of elevated sympathetic activity. If the parasympathetic system is active, it slows down heart rate, dilates blood vessels, activates digestion and stores energy.

In the end, it is all about balance: yin & yang, the feminine & the masculine, activity & rest, sthira & sukha. So rather, I need to learn to listen to my body carefully. What style of yoga is serving me at the moment? Am I kind to my body? Naturally, I include quite a lot of sthira or effort in my yoga practice and in my everyday life. Habitually I try and work hard to reach my goals and lack trust in life. Slowly I’m integrating more peace, stillness and rest in my life. For sure I’m forever learning to be more patient and enjoy my journey.

A wonderful nourishing yoga pose

A wonderful nourishing yoga pose

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A meditative journey towards Bliss

Sit and be still

Sit and be still

Raja Yoga is also called the classical yoga. The word Raja means King and therefore Raja Yoga can be translated into the ‘King of Yoga practices’. You can consider your mind as the king. Raja yoga concerns with this king and its fluctuations through meditation. Intense meditation is the focal point of Raja yoga, while embracing the whole of yoga. This approach includes the adherence to the eight limbs of yoga as outlined by Patanjali.

I have just finished my first Teacher Training weekend. It was a profound and amazing experience. It feels special and wonderful to share your passion for yoga with others and learn more about the whole concept and practice of yoga. I’ve realized that my meditation practice has come alive again after this first weekend. First of all, because it is one of the homework requirements to practice pranayama and meditation on a daily basis. This is just the extra push I needed. Normally I would feel guilty to spent an hour or so in the morning to do my asana and meditation practice. Why practice yoga if you have to apply for jobs? Time goes quick and money is urgent, argues my mind. I now allow myself to take that extra bit of time and develop my home practice more and deeper.

The wonderful thing is that I actually save time by starting my day with yoga. I feel more relaxed and at ease with the result of making more efficient decisions during the day. I already knew this of course. Sometimes you need to start fresh over and over again, till it is part of you. I feel blessed that I gave myself the opportunity to start a Yoga Teacher Training. Not sure where my journey will head to, I only know that it feels so right. A yogi friend recently sent me an inspirational speech of Steve Jobs. He talks about the death and how the thought of our upcoming death can inspire you to live life to the fullest. This makes me realize what I really love doing (writing, yoga, counselling, inspire) and that I should trust that life will guide me.

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From comparing to self-reflection and love

There are four main paths of Yoga: Jnana, Bhakti, Karma and Raja Yoga all leading to the same: Samadhi. Most yogis combine different styles of yoga on their journey. I have spoken briefly about Bhakti and Karma yoga in earlier blogs. Jnana Yoga is the path of knowledge and wisdom. It includes introspection and contemplation and is the yoga path of the sage or scholar. A Jnana yogi uses the mind to inquire into his/her own nature by systematically exploring and setting aside false identities or the Ego. It looks into the absolute truth about who we are and the main question you ask yourself will be: ‘Who am I?’ It focuses on that in life what is never changing as opposed to the illusions in life which is ever changing. Jnana yoga starts from direct experiences, but also requires development of the intellect through the study of the scriptures and texts of the yogic tradition.

Travel your road

Travel your road

You can relate Jnana yoga to the fourth niyama; Svadhyaya or self-study/self-reflection. Besides the reading of sacred texts and meditation, Svadhyaya can also include our reflections in normal daily life. Since we share our life’s and the earth with so many other people, we receive plenty of opportunities for self-reflection through social interactions. More often than I would like to, I catch myself playing out different ego patterns. One of my really annoying habits is to compare myself with others in terms of intelligence, finance, family, career, beauty, flexibility and so on. I always end up judging myself and/or others and never feel good after I’ve had my ‘compare time’. My partner is most of the time the victim in the sense of having to listen to all my crap and mind chatter. He made it clear for me once again: “Don’t compare yourself with others, just follow your own journey.” I realized and felt; he is right! Each of us has their own individual very special journey in life. Our task is to be true to our own journey in life and give it a 150%! And love your life exactly how it is at this moment.

Fully

And your Life

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The realisations of my dreams are journeys, not destinations

I’m so happy to share my latest news: I have registered myself for a Yoga Teacher’s Training!!!!! I’m so excited to have made this decision. It is a part time training; one weekend per month for six months and will start in February 2013 in Auckland in New Zealand.

Last night while I was lying down in savasana (corpse pose) to end a great yoga class, I realized how good it feels to follow my heart & dreams. All the decisions I have made using my heart, resulted in beautiful life changing experiences. For example, I remembered the one day I just felt I had to register myself for The Journey Practitioner’s Programme of Brandon Bays. My mind worried a bit about how I was going to pay for costs as a student, but my heart just screamed for it. So I did and it caused a breakthrough in my life.

When I moved to another city in The Netherlands without a clear purpose or reason, I felt lonely in the beginning and blamed myself to have made this crazy move without job or a social network in a new environment. Hindsight has taught me how I have grown personally and developed myself because of this spontaneous move. In addition, I met amazing people, including my perfect partner.

And then the BIG move to New Zealand to live with my partner. A lot of people say I’m brave and strong to move to the other side of the world far away from my family and friends and again without work. Though, I have never made a decision so quick and easy. My heart almost begged me to do this. Even though, we had only been together for a couple of months. Here I am, living in New Zealand for about 14 months already. Of course, I have my difficult and emotional moments at times, but in general I can say I feel really grateful & happy to live in this beautiful country together with my lovely partner. My new life in New Zealand has provided me with time, energy and space to develop and deepen my yoga practice and to finally make the decision to start a Yoga Teacher’s Training. It feels so right.

Now and then my mind disturbs me with doubts and worries; ‘It is a lot of money and your temporary agreement is almost ending!’, ‘You’re way to insecure to be a Teacher’, ‘Your English is not perfect enough’, ‘You’re not flexible enough’ and so on. Then I remind myself, it is not about the destination, but about the goal. So maybe my journey to become a yoga teacher will take a lifetime, so be it. At least, I have dreams and goals to live for and from. 

Categories: Happiness, Inspiration, Sharing, Yoga | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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