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12 Tips for a rich and rewarding Yoga practice

Yoga has been my life saver.  Not just the physical asana practice but, in bringing Yoga off my mat and into seemingly normal day to day tasks and interactions, I have found a great deal of peace and confidence renewed.

I recently decided to take my practice deeper and have begun a self-study programme at home to help me do this. 

As part of this I have been focusing a lot of attention on the details, in particular the main dos and do not’s in cultivating my at home practice.

I have been a regular in my local Yoga class for almost 3 years now and have struggled since to create a regular practice at home to keep me going in between.  Perhaps you know what I mean?

It is not for the want of practice, in fact, my body cries out for Yoga every single day, so I started to wonder why I was not giving my body what it was asking for.

It was a lack of understanding.

I love my class and, over time, I have become familiar with certain poses, their names, even a little Sanskrit for heaven’s sake! But I think the translation to home practice was just something that I was really daunted by.

It was not a fear of hurting myself, as I find that I have learnt to be very intuitive with my female body over the years, it was more a set of questions that I was asking myself, without really knowing I was doing so.

Was I actually going to become a Yogini?

Was I really going work through how I am feeling, even though it makes me very uncomfortable to do so?

What happens if something comes up that I can’t do yet or at all (inevitable), will I just quit and spend my life watching Yoga on YouTube?

What should I be doing, or not doing to make this work?

It all scared me, but, I have decided to move past the fear and just take it day by day. 

As such, I decided to make the space in my day, every day, for either a full or mini asana practice, meditation, self-study and some real research into how it all works.

Don’t worry, I am not suggesting that you all clear your schedules and devote your life to Yoga (unless you want to!); I am coming from a place of love and longing for this to happen for me, just do what suits you and makes you feel good.

If you are interested in bringing together a rich and rewarding home practice however, I would love to share with you some easy to manage and very useful tips on what to do and what not to do, to help you along your Yoga journey.

The six No No’s

1, Following too many rules.

In Yoga class, do as instructed by your Teacher (whilst always tapping in to how your body is feeling).  In Life – have a really good time and try not to let yourself become burdened by too many rules and regulations!

2, Over-exertion.

Avoid this at all costs.  There is nothing to be gained by pushing yourself too hard, well, except maybe burn out. Conserve and harness your energy and your flame will burn brightly for all to see.

3, Over-eating.

This is the one I have struggled with the most, being a lover of yummy things.  But, it is vital to a fully rewarding and flowing practice.  Who wants to feel like a big, bloated warrior after all? (Trust me, I have been there – it is not fun!)

Eat slowly and eat less and I personally try and stick to a Vegetarian diet 3 or 4 days per week.  I tried to do more but I have always eaten meat and I do believe that my own body needs it. 

Always follow the path that is right for you, being sensitive to your needs.

4, Too much talking.

I have always been an only talk when needed, say what you mean and say it with heart kind of Gal so this one really pleases me. I must admit though that sometimes I have slipped and, rather than stick out an uncomfortable silence, I have been drawn into a conversation that did not make me feel at ease.

Taking breaths into your being instead of making uncomfortable small talk will feel so much more rewarding and will allow you time to reflect on what is being said around you.  Is it gossip or something else you don’t need to invite into your head right now? That is fine, being quiet and still when what is going on around you does not feel welcoming and positive, is absolutely OK!

5, Fickle mindedness.

A key part of Yoga for me is the steadying of my mind, reclaiming focus and being sensitive to what I hear.

For so many years my mind jumped from one thing to another and it was just exhausting!

Having clarity of thought really builds your confidence and taking time to speak will always mean what you say is considered and from the heart.

6, Putting yourself in the wrong environment.

Try avoiding things, places and people who are not nourishing you and bringing you life.  This is easier said than done, but even small shifts in this regard will really help.

I have had to make some tough decisions recently about who to have in my life regularly and places that I was going out of habit that really were not feeding my soul.  It is OK to choose what is right for you, and to do what you can.

The Six Do Do’s (hmm, I could have worded that better couldn’t I!)

1, Enthusiasm.

What I mean here is passion.  To have a burning desire within.

That is how I feel about my Yoga practice and it is what keeps me moving forward when the going gets tough.

2, Faith.

Without faith, the rest will be really tough.

By this, I do not mean religion or spirituality; I simply mean a faith in yourself. 

You can do this, as can I.  

This faith should dwell in the forefront of your mind.

It will waiver from time to time, self-doubt is faith’s arch nemesis. Sit with the feeling and just let it pass.  Walk away from your practice that day if that is what you need to do. 

Every day, start from where you are.

3, Surround yourself with good company.

I mean this in every sense.  People, food, TV, music.  Choose only that that nourishes you.

4, Discernment

I’m not talking discrimination or judgement here.  It is important to choose wisely and this is where meditation and clarity of mind can help.  Adopt choosing wisely as a daily, moment to moment practice and you will be on the road to success, not just in your Yoga practice but in life too.

5, Perseverance.

This really is the path to glory.  Keep going.

6, HAVE COURAGE.

Practice courage.  Be bold.  Be YOU!

Yoga will help you build your courage and courage will help you build your Yoga. 

~

I hope with all my heart that these tips aid you on your journey into your Yoga practice.

As always, please do get in touch if I can support you.

Namaste.

www.yourbeautifulorganiclife.com

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With a little peace comes great growth

Peace is such a beautiful thing.  I have also found in my work with coaching clients at Beautifully Organic for Life, and in my own life for that matter, that it is a very coveted thing too.

There are times in everyone’s lives when the desire for peace is at the forefront of our minds.  Don’t you think?

During times of great worry, stress and anxiety, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just flip a switch and invite a little peace into our minds?

That is where it resides after all.

There have been many times in my life when I have craved peace.  I have even found some quick fixes that resembled it.  But every single time I was then thrown back into the turmoil, never truly finding a release from the tides of exhaustion, confusion and desperation that swirled in my mind.

When you are at peace, the inspiration comes.  I found that trying to be creative when my mind was closed to the idea of peace was just fruitless at best.

It was in the moments of rest, the moments in between surfing the waves of life, that I was able to find clarity around the very idea of what peace means to me.

Peace is an opportunity for growth.

Being at peace allows us time to think, rest and really  focus on our values and what our aims are for our lives, today and in the future.  Peace allows us room to be present in all that we do.

Don’t worry, I hear you, easier said than done right?

Yes, to an extent.

Along my own path of growth I have discovered that peace is, in some ways, a choice that we can make every day.  As I said before, peace dwells in our minds, therefore should the ability to obtain peace not be within our control?

I would love to take this opportunity to share with you a few methods that have worked for me along my journey and personal quest for a more peaceful life –

1, Breath work teamed with a little mindfulness.

Deep breathing and mindfulness are widely discussed topics and really do aid in the management of stressful situations and illnesses including depression and anxiety.

Where they work here is in the process of cleansing the mind.  As you breathe, imagine you are inhaling your current woes, your stressors and the remnance of your hard day at work.  Feel them enter your body and rush around your mind, all vying for your attention.

Don’t give it to them!! Breathe out.  Slowly and with a slighter longer exhale than inhale.

Imagine them all leaving your body and mind, you are not them, you are you.  You should be all that remains at the end of that breath.

Using mindful visualisation of your worries physically leaving your body, should help you keep them from returning en mass later on.  Do this as needed.

2, Take some time to journal.

I must admit, I was one of those who always fancied themselves as a keen writer in my journal, and then the poor thing sat there for months on end whilst I allowed myself to just struggle on.

I think part of me wondered what all the fuss was about, to be honest.

Then, I did it.  I exploded onto the page and wrote for an hour straight and never looked back.

The process of journaling for me is a huge release.  The page understands me and I feel noticeably lighter word for word.

Now, there is no need to rush out and purchase a fancy journal (unless you want to of course in which case, God speed), any notepad will do. 

There are no rules and no tactics. Simply write down how you are feeling versus how you would like to feel.  Invite how you would like to feel into your life and you may just be surprised at how you feel when you lay down your pen.

3, Swim.

There is something about being in water that always takes away my worries.  Whether it be the water lapping at my skin and then rebounding, taking with it the days problems, or just hearing the soothing sounds of the other swimmers gliding through the water, it always does the trick.

The water in the pool or ocean is always cool as well which feels so refreshing against rampaging hot-headedness.

There is something so feminine about being in water and swimming or bathing.  It always brings to mind images of beautiful mermaids or Cleopatra in her milk bath.

Hopefully you have a pool or beach near you, just go for it and see if it works for you.  If not, just make the time to have a lovely bath.

Try adding in a few drops of Lavender or Geranium Essential Oils and light a few candles, watch the candle burn as if nothing else exists, then when you get out, it tends not to.

~~

One key thing to always remember when you are struggling is not to do it alone.  Find someone to talk to and I promise you will feel lighter afterwards.  You can even talk through things with yourself in front of the mirror, either way, share it all and you will feel more at peace straight away.

It is really important that we use peace as a means of personal growth.  Whether that be to work towards our own ideas of what peace is for us, or to give ourselves the time to heal and grow once peace is found.  Use it wisely and you will hold onto it forever.

Namaste.

www.yourbeautifulorganiclife.com

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Isn’t it naive to believe in LOVE?

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This is a powerful question for me right now.  It is a question that I have recently been asked by someone I know and as such, I have been pondering the answer a great deal.

Once upon a time, if I had come across someone who filled their days and lived their life according to the guidance of love, I would have asked them the same thing.  I maybe would also have deemed them foolish and indeed, naive.

In that same once upon a time I was in a very dark place.

Instead of overflowing with love and grace, I was sinking.  I had been diagnosed with severe depression, extremely high blood pressure (in my 20’s), I was about four stones overweight and I was suffering with the most dreadful anxiety and palpitations that were causing my day to day life to become just non-existent.

I broke down.  Not just a few tears to my nearest and dearest but I’m talking lying in the middle of the floor screaming and then crawling into a corner shaking uncontrollably and honestly feeling as though I had gone completely mad.  I could not stand to be in my head anymore.  I had lost my desire for living in all respects.

That was the greatest moment of my life.

I went to see my Doctor who promptly wrote me a prescription for strong anti-depressant and high blood pressure medication.

The moment I walked out of the building in floods of tears, was the moment love rode in on a white horse, kicked my ego to the curb and made me go home, tear up my prescriptions and throw them in the trash.

They were not what I needed; love was the only medication for me.

It was looking around me at that precise moment in my life, at nature, at the sunlight in the sky, at passers by going about their daily business, at my infant Daughter, that I realised that this was not going to be my life.

Just to be clear and honest at this point, it was not all plain sailing and unicorns from there.  Making a concerted effort to experience love in each and every thing that we do, see and feel is a work in progress.  Shining the bright light of love on a challenging situation is harder still and it takes a great deal of practice to make love our default setting, especially if we have never lived from that place before.

But, it is possible.  One day, if you dedicate yourself to love, if you embody it and live by it, one day it will stick.  Outside influences will become water off a duck’s back.  Internal strife will become an opportunity for self-care, gentleness and growth.  It just takes a little time and it is vital that we stick with it.

When I first began observing and feeling the love that was all around me, I felt really silly.  I was terribly conscious of what others around me thought and it was really hard to stay on track. 

Sometimes I didn’t and, my goodness, how I crashed in those times.

As a Woman, I longed for love.  The strange thing was I had it.  I had the love of my Daughter, my Husband, my extended family, so what was missing?

It was a feeling of love for myself that I lacked.

It wasn’t until I was introduced to a wonderful meditation practice by my own Life Coach that I was truly able to practice loving myself every single day.  It really was possible and now, when something crops up, I can deal with it with love in my heart and a clear conscious awareness in my mind.

Love is beauty.  It is everything around us, the people we know, the sun, the moon, the rain, our children, our partners, nature, technology. But most of all, it is us.  It is all of us.  Connected as one.

So, to answer the question is love naïve, is easy, if anything it is the opposite.  It opens us to what is.

It expands our hearts and minds to contemplate and nurture what is all around us.  The expansiveness of the universe, the hearts and souls of others and most importantly, what resides within.

Love is our divine guidance.  It is our real opportunity to accept and be with whatever life throws at us.  It is hard, sometimes it hurts, but it makes everything more potent and alive.

The folks that believe us to be foolish are just not ready yet, and that is perfectly OK. Simply show them more love and acceptance in the meantime.

If believing this is naïve, then naïve is the way forward.  The more of us that believe in and embody the power of love, the more our world will sing.

Love heals. Namaste.

www.yourbeautifulorganiclife.com

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Finding Peace Amidst the Drama

This is a guest contribution by Greg Malouf.

Do you find yourself complaining constantly about how busy you are, how stressful your life is, or what someone else has done to upset you? Think about it…we all do it from time to time!

Whether we like it or not, the drama in our lives provides us with a sense of who we are. We often think that drama and stress are just facts of life, but drama is actually a false state of being that comes to form from our perceptions, which have been created by our past experiences.

Daily drama only seems real because we choose to believe it. It becomes our reality as a result of what we bring, often unconciously, to each situation.

To understand how drama manifests in your life, think about every time you mention how busy you are. In saying youre busy, youre really saying to the world, and to yourself, that you are important. Important people are always busy, right? It is a way of saying that someone is depending on you. It is a way of saying that you matter. 

The problem is the real message you end up sending by proclaiming how busy you are. You may inadvertently be communicating that you think you are more important than the person you are talking to.

Think about how you feel when someone tells you how busy they are lately. For most people, we then wonder, why is he so busy? Is she doing something more important than I am? Should I be busier? It may end up making you feel disconnected from that person: He or she is busy and therefore has no time for me.

Maybe the drama you experience involves always having a set of problems to fix.

Many of us are “People Pleasers,” those always working to fix things for others, but unable to give themselves any attention. People often think they are being generous when they constantly give their time to others, and that it will make people like them more, but the truth is, its exhausting!

In the grand scheme of things, it doesnt help anyone. It creates a false perception that accepting help is weakness. People who are constantly giving often have trouble asking for and accepting assistance when they need it themselves. 

Another type of drama shows up as “neediness. Have you abdicated responsibility for yourself to others by expecting them to do things for you? People who do this also make themselves the most important beings in the room by forcing others to take care of them.

This drama creates a negative role that people feel they must now perpetuate.

While drama looks different for everyone, the result of letting it to run our lives is the same. We end up creating an unproductive cycle of needing to outdo ourselves, and those around us. We become convinced that doing this makes us better people, but it actually leaves us worn out emotionally and physically.

We may feel better initially by saying that we are busy, that we have problems to deal with, or that we cant do something because it takes responsibility off of us. It lets us off the hook, temporarily, by giving us a circumstance or person to blame.

Unfortunately, it only creates more drama, more busy-ness, more problems, more neediness.

What we all need to understand is that this illusion of drama is not in the fact that there isnt really that much going on in our lives. It is in our perception of those events.

Have you noticed how much space in our lives is filled with things that, are actually really not that important? We tend to fill our lives with constant noise and static.

When we do this, sustainable inner peace cannot be found within us. Drama becomes what we say and do, shaping our reactions to and interactions with others, often inappropriately.

Drama becomes a form of protection because we carry our past with us. We think, without drama, what will I have? We are left with feelings of loneliness, scarcity and lack, with grievances and long-held resentments, or with a sense of missing out on life. We are left with fear.

Ultimately, we believe we are subject to the whims of life, rather than the creator of life.

If and when we can free ourselves of our drama, we can be left with peace.

Would you rather consume your life with drama that brings you confusion, feelings of loneliness and separation from self and others, or would you prefer to free yourself from your many reactions and feelings of struggle?

It is possible to find the peace of mind that will lead us to sustainable love and peace!

Teaching ourselves that peace can be achieved through the simple practice of awareness of our observable behaviours, we can train ourselves to desire peace of mind rather than become wrapped up in the unease that comes with accepting drama as a normal aspect of life.

Start to consider drama as a physical sign that we can stop by giving a moments attention to it. Through awareness we come to recognize that we have the choice to change our behaviour.

It is in that change where we begin to find peace of mind. This peace in turn, will replace our drama that has caused so much of our unease.

The choice is ours to make. Choose to be in control of your behaviour and end all feelings of emotional pain and finally be at peace.

About Greg Malouf

Greg’s work involves helping people take a journey away from life as they know it and travel into the world of the ‘Self,’ which is where they will ultimately find healing. Along this journey, they will challenge old beliefs, access aspects of this ‘Self’ that have been hidden or denied, and gain insights and skills that will unlock the doors to a new inner wisdom.

In 2009, Greg founded the Epsilon Healing Academy, working with students throughout the world. The Academy is his commitment to share his lessons on how to truly liberate the mind and body, live in the present with gratitude, consciously create life on your terms and finally experience the abundance you deserve!

Greg’s latest book, “Silent: The Power of Silence” was written to take readers on an inward journey to find the all-loving place and connection to all that is—the silent connection to Self.

Visit Greg’s website here….

http://epsilonhealingacademy.com

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Beautifully Organic for Life Connects With….Bee Bosnak.

What a tremendous honor this is.

This month, as part of the Beautifully Organic for Life Connects With Series, I am Beeyond chuffed (get it?) to have been able to interview the talented and inspiring Bee Bosnak.

To say that this beautiful Yogini has impacted my own Yoga practice would be a significant understatement and I have been so so moved by her willingness to provide such raw and personal answers to the questions I have posed.

From her stunning cover shots for Om Yoga & Lifestyle Magazine, to the true courage she has shown in a recent deep life challenge and period of growth, Bee has kindly and warmly taken the time to open up to us and for that I am so very grateful.

Read on a Bee inspired…(sorry, there I go again)…

Bee, I started my Yoga journey about 2.5 years ago after the birth of my Daughter, when I felt the need to re-discover who I was and regain some strength (physically & internally). Please can you share with us where your journey into Yoga began?

My journey into yoga began in 2005 when I moved from my home town, London UK, to Los Angeles CA, the mecca of yoga. I lived in Marina Del Rey at the time and yoga studios were in every street corner. I would practice periodically when my full time job permitted, but truth be told I was a total slacker.

Looking back now, it’s hard to imagine that sometimes I would step on my mat once a month. I definitely didnt start off as a dedicated yogi and it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns when I did my first headstand, but yet, I kept going as often as I could. Somehow I loved the way the practice always met me exactly were I was and took me exactly where I needed to go.

Fast forward to 2010, the year my partner and I moved to Portland, OR, a charming and beautiful city with quite the yoga scene. With so much time on my hands during this transition, loneliness was the key factor that took me to the mat. Once again, I had left my comfort zone, my best friends and the familiar lifestyle I had gotten accustomed to. All in the name of love and the desperation to build a solid marriage. I began to take classes around town 5, 6 times a week. The more I kept going, the more my practice and the way I began to see life took a different spin. I was ready to dive in deeper and learn not just about yoga, but really more about myself. After completing teacher training, with a blink of an eye, I was teaching 13 classes a week, guiding private clients in my home studio, writing for yoga publications, becoming an ambassador for health and wellness companies and landing on a magazine cover.

I had finally found my calling. 

Bee, I struggle to put into words what Yoga has meant and continues to mean to me. Are you able to do so, for you?

For me, yoga is power, strength and the ability to cultivate courage so that we can become strong enough to walk away from anything that makes us feel like we’re stuck. 

We’ve all been there, paralyzed about a decision, unsure what choices to make, stuck in resentment or disappointment we cant quite recover from. Sometimes we get stuck in a plan thats not working as anticipated, stuck in a destructive, unhealthy relationship with our lovers, family members or friends. When were stuck, things feel immovable, entrenched, and sadly sometimes even hopeless. Yoga gives me the exact tools I need to get out of my funk. It allows me to shine my light, discover new insights and most importantly change my attitude.

Of all the people I follow and love reading about, your passion for and dedication to Yoga really seems to shine through to me. In what way does Yoga impact your daily life?

I go by the motto “choose love, not fear.” Love is beautiful, powerful and always wins. Fear is evil, poison and can be very destructive.

Fear is the driving force for those of us who cannot live connected to our innermost authentic selves.

The perfectionist’s life force pumping through his veins is fear of failing. The people pleaser is terrified of rejection. The person who cannot access her creativity is afraid of ridicule. The challenge is not to eradicate fear. The opportunity is to lean into fear and harness its energy to expand and stretch out of our comfort zone.

At any moment in time, I am faced with two, and only two, choices. Although current circumstances may appear to present a myriad of choices, or even no choice at all, if I truly look deeply enough, I realize that the basic choice is always there. I may choose the path of love or the path of fear. Another way to say it is, I may choose the path of spirit or the path of ego.

Day in and day out, I aim to choose the path of spirit.

What is your “Yoga routine”? Or do you literally “go with the flow”?

When it comes to my yoga practice, I really don’t have a routine. I let my body decide what it needs rather than letting my mind take what it wants.

Yoga has seen me through many personal and physical struggles. How do you find Yoga helps you deal with life’s lessons?

This past year has been one of the worst and best years of my life. I left the love of my life of seven years and moved to a brand new city with a broken heart. I felt destroyed, hopeless and numb for so long. I truly felt like I had experienced a loss without death. Divorce was hard.

My biggest growth came to me when I used yoga postures to tackle my life’s challenges that came with this huge transition in my life. I consistently practice backbends to open my heart, so that I can expand my emotions and keep them from becoming constrained or submerged. Forward bends keep me in an internally aware and introspective state and inversions keep me inspired and help me build on my courage.

I use breathing and meditation techniques daily, and I feel better equipped to handle challenging situations by looking at them with a “yoga mind.” Yoga is something that I practice every moment of my life.

I loved seeing you on the cover of my favourite magazine, Om Yoga & Lifestyle, how did it feel to be recognized for what you do in such a fantastic way?

It felt great and overwhelming at the same time. Since becoming a yoga teacher, I have began really tapping into my Manipura chakra, which is the energy chakra, located right in the solar plexus (in the upper belly area, just below the lowest rib and just above the navel). This is the seat of my power in the world. When this centre is open and flowing, I am capable of translating my intentions and desires into manifestation, When this centre is blocked, I tend to feel frustration, envious and ineffectual.

The seeds of intentions and desires that I plant reside in my personal soul. Nourishing the seeds I wish to bring to fruition with my attention usually leads to their full expression. The process of manifesting my desires, wishes, hopes and dreams is first to bring them into consciousness, then expand my awareness through meditation, and finally releasing my attachment to the outcome.

Being on the cover of a yoga magazine doesn’t make me a fantastic yoga teacher or practitioner, just like getting my leg over my head doesn’t make me reach enlightenment. What it does is this; it creates a sense of accomplishment, a sense of “if I keep trusting myself with my intentions and planting my seeds, I will simply watch them grow.” 

You also work in the world of fashion, at Bloomingdales in New York no less. Do you find Yoga and Fashion go hand in hand or do you prefer to seperate these two key areas in your life?

My home is surrounded with Buddha and Elephant statues, my jewelry box is full of OM’s and Hamsa charms and when it comes to my style, it’s more than just comfort.

A lot of yogis I know question fashion’s place in the yoga world because yoga is concerned with creating detachment from the material world, which of course seems counter to my obsession with fashion. My style is an expression of my creativity and the celebration of my life. I strongly believe that clothing, just like yoga, is a vehicle to self-expression.

It’s about personality. As a woman I love dressing up and I want my yoga clothes to be as vibrant and expressive as my practice. Simple shorts and a tank top does not cut it for me.

I love mixing and matching. Pairing an organic yoga pant with a witty vintage t-shirt I found in a thrift store, because quite frankly, I really don’t want to be dressed in head to toe Lululemon. So yes, for me, yoga and fashion go hand in hand.

Its who I am.

Practising Yoga to music is something that has always felt really beautiful to me. I notice you do the same. Can you share with us why this is and what styles of music you enjoy when on your mat?

I truly cannot practice yoga without music and although I have tried, I have always left my mat unfulfilled. There is something about the melody and the rhythm of the sounds that intertwine with my body. Music helps me focus my mind and remove outside distractions. It helps me let go and breathe into the moment.

The tunes I listen to are not your typical yoga music. As a dedicated practitioner of power vinyasa, I always need an upbeat sound that will go along with my flow. I love yoga classes where house and trance beats are incorporated into moves. The mat somehow becomes my stage as I dance into the postures. My music collection for my home yoga practice is full of trance, house, progressive, new age and electro. I can definitely say I’m influenced by Europe.

Like B.K.S Iyengar said…

“Yoga is like music, the rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul, create the symphony of life.”

 

I have always loved the fact that you are anything but the traditional Yogini. What would you say is your “style” of Yoga and who has influenced and inspired you along your journey?

I love mixing things up on my mat. I practice power yoga to become strong, courageous and brave. I practice yin yoga to enhance my compassion, to become grounded and slow down.

One special person who has inspired me through my journey has been my father; my greatest teacher. The man who taught me discipline, compassion and respect. He was my best and at times my worst critic. There were so many things that we disagreed upon, and this is when he taught me that life is not all roses and chocolates just like yoga isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Yet, we embrace it with all we have. One of the things that he would always emphasize on was being positive no matter what. That even when we are at rock bottom, we have the power and the strength to heal ourselves.

The other man who has made a print in my journey is my ex-husband. He taught me how to love and helped me become the woman I am today. His support and belief in my decisions will never go unnoticed. He is a true gem in my books.

You seem to spend a lot of time in Svadhyaya or with your nose in a good Yoga book or text. What have been your 3 most profound and enjoyable Yogic reads?

Svadhyaya, self-study, is so important for me because it’s part of my spiritual growth. By svadhyaya, I realize that I gradually transform my interior, wherein lies the problems of bondage as well as its solution of liberation. In that area of my being, the more I bring about an awakening, the more I bring about a transformation. It becomes like a total renewal. My old mind is cast out and a new mind is created. Svadhyaya reminds me that I will always be a student first, continuously learning. Through this practice, I also learn how to value my own knowledge and that helps me to live more fully, trusting myself, listening to my intuitions and never wanting to be someone else.

I rely on svadhyaya so much because its always available and can be practiced anywhere, any time of the day. Its also important to understand that svadhyaya is not merely reading; it is self study.

Three books that have impacted my journey are:

  • A Life Worth Breathing - Max Strom
  • Yoga And The Path Of The Urban Mystic - Darren Main
  • Taking The Leap - Pema Chodron

Finally Bee, I am always excited to give space for a little loving self-promotion. Is there anything you are currently working on, projects in the pipeline, or any final thoughts for those reading that you would like to share?

I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes:

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail"

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bee, thank you so much.  It has been a true pleasure to create this space with you and I wish you every happiness and success on your journey. Namaste.

Born in Turkey, raised in London and having spent half a dozen years on the west coast, Bee Bosnak recently took a leap of faith and moved to her favorite spot: New York City. Off the mat, Bee is a visual fashion stylist, writer for various online and editorial publications, including OM Yoga & Lifestyle, Sweat Equity, Gaiam and Womens Health Turkey. She has also appeared on several magazine covers and is currently working on her first book Yoga for Asthma. She can be found documenting her yogic path on her blog

www.beebosnak.com

Photography by Christine Shields.