compassion

Let Your Heart Be Your Compass

I felt the sudden urge to share the background story about how I ended up becoming a student of yoga.  This should hopefully give you some context for some of the things I'm going to share with you regarding my work with Anne.

The following passage is adapted from my Yoga Teaching Training application to 108 Yoga, back in 2012.  And, it is no coincidence that I started finding hearts that same year. I believe that timing is everything once the decision is made to start making positive changes in your life. The supports show up to make it possible for you to align yourself with what it is you truly want. These supports can come to you in a lot of different ways, whether it's through the people you meet, the circumstances you find yourself in, or through something as simple as seeing a heart shape.

It is also important to note, that the quotes I inserted throughout my application were ones I picked up along the way, even before I started practicing yoga regularly. I would come across these and jot them down in my journal.  When you notice something that speaks to you. listen to it, write it down, revisit it, because it's the wisdom of the heart that is trying to tell you something.

...From my YTT Application (2012):

We begin our journey of spirituality, when we sever our intimately sensual relationship with fear – Dr.T.K.V Desikachar

My yoga journey began after a desire to change the course of my path…a life path that was directed by fear and insecurities. Before I started my regular yoga practice my life was unmanageable. My work, and some, but not all, of my relationships were anything but positive and caused me a lot of angst.  Negative thoughts and behaviors, and misperception clouded my sense of self. Stress, worry and the illusion of control were common themes. I knew there was more to living a more fulfilled life, but I felt trapped by anger, frustration, shame and self-doubt.

Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom – Victor Frankl

During the Fall of 2010 is when my course took a different turn. After experiencing an anxiety attack, somehow I knew that was my body’s way of telling me something had to change. I immediately started counseling and was blessed with a lovely counselor who helped me realize that I had a choice to make, and it was up to me to do the work.  Her suggestion was to start doing things for myself, so for me, these included things like better self-care and practicing yoga more regularly again. Soon after making the decision to implement these changes, the 108 Yoga Groupon popped into my inbox.

I started at the studio the week of my 30th birthday in February of 2011, and my six-month sabbatical began on June 30 that same year. This couldn’t have come at a better time, because I had lots of free time to devote to the practice. I arrived in Ireland on July 1 to do some sabbatical research and soon discovered it was going to be so much more than that. There was something about reconnecting with my ancestral heritage that opened my heart up even more to the healing process and put me more in touch with my spirituality. As one of my friends in Ireland said, the country is “one big open heart.”

That year was all about empowering myself in my ability to self-heal.

It was through the teachings at the studio that I became interested in the body’s ability to heal itself through chakra work and ayurvedic practices. Before I left for Ireland I started seeing a Reiki practitioner and I continued treatments and counseling once I returned to Canada. I also explored other complementary modalities, such as osteopathy and massage therapy.

Let your heart be your compass, your mind your map, your soul your guide and you will never get lost – Unknown

In January 2012, Dorothy, the owner of 108 Yoga at the time, offered The Four Desires workshop. Through this workshop, I discovered that my life’s purpose (dharma) is to provide direction for myself and for others, and I decoded my Dharma as “I am a compass.”  With my inner wisdom as my guide, I am able to align myself to True North, in order to clearly see the path that was intended for me. Along with seeing hearts, the imagery of the compass is another symbol of growing in the direction of living a more fulfilled life.

Through practice we develop faith in the wisdom of our spiritual intuition, faith in the continuity of our practice, and faith in our deepening understanding of yoga – Vyasa’s Commentary on the Yoga Sutras

It was not until I rediscovered the benefits of yoga that my life became manageable. My perception of the world around me began to change. I started to love and nurture myself and started taking better care of myself.  For example, being more honest with myself, making sure I get enough sleep, eating well, fostering positive friendships and relationships, and trusting my inner guide.

A daily practice allows me to further my personal development, attain mental clarity, quiet my mind and keep my heart open.  Yoga is the foundation necessary for living my life’s purpose, with authenticity.  My life is now abundant, and serene, as yoga provides for me the peace of mind, contentment, self-acceptance, compassion, and forgiveness required to set myself free.

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Love, SJ