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Three Ways to Practice Yoga Off Your Mat



“The success of Yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships.” 

― T.K.V. Desikachar

Most communication and connection in today’s age of speed, screens, and memes are done through technology. In many ways, our devices have replaced human interaction. As a result, it is getting easier to live mechanical lives and harder to have meaningful connections and relationships. 

Here are 3 ways to inspire you to bring your yoga practice out into the world.

1. FOCUS ON GRATITUDE

Research shows that cultivating a daily practice of gratitude can make us happier in our lives by changing how we see the world, therefore literally altering our brain's neuropathways. 

Thinking about and writing down what you are grateful for as much as possible strengthens the benefits of how thoughts of positivity react in your brain, which directly effects you on a cellular level throughout your body.

HEART PRACTICE IN ACTION:

A. Think of something that happened in the past 24 hours that you are grateful for. 

B. Send whoever was involved a little light and energy of thankfulness.

C. Think about why it made you feel that way


2. MAKE SOMEONE’S DAY

An unfortunate side effect of social media is that it has created an “All-About-Me” culture. There’s nothing better than telling someone how amazing, beautiful, supportive, gifted, and awesome they are, with nothing in return. 

Your share can sometimes have so much more effect than you could ever imagine.

HEART PRACTICE IN ACTION:

Take 2 minutes to contact someone in person, by phone, by text or email, whatever form makes you feel most comfortable.

Tell them something that you admire about them, how much you love them or how much they mean to you. Speak from your heart and try to use "you" statements so that you don't make it about you.

3. PERFORM ONE ACT OF KINDNESS

Kindness is the first out of the eight limbs of yoga in the Yoga Sutras and it is called Ahimsa. When we are practicing non-violence, we are being kind. Kindness in the way we speak, think, and act toward ourselves and others.

Acts of kindness produce oxytocin, which, commonly known as the ‘love hormone,’ increases our optimism and self-esteem. In the same way gratitude shifts our negativity and judgment, kindness helps us to live in abundance, giving freely from our heart and increasing our sense of belonging. When you give freely with nothing in return, you elevate the vibration of them, yourself, and the whole universe.

HEART PRACTICE IN ACTION:

Keep your eyes open for ways to practice random acts of kindness. Anonymous giving is so rewarding but also can be tricky so it is always good to be prepared too. In the winter months, consider keeping a box of protein bars, blankets, hats, and gloves in your car to give the homeless.

Do whatever feels right to you in whatever way you are willing to give and let it come from your heart. These Heart-In-Action practices are best when taken one day at a time and are meant to inspire you.

We can all benefit when we learn to live and lead our lives from a heart-centered place and be a part of the oneness that connects us all.