yoga

How Yoga Changes You

 

IMG_5718Recently I’ve become more aware of the journey of yoga students from the first class they ever take to their current class years later.  I’m in awe of the vast journey that they have gone through and how much they have changed over the course of their practice.  Here are three big ways that yoga changes you.

More Good, Less Bad

At this point we all know how good yoga is for us.  When we start to add good into our lives, we naturally let the bad fall out.  You might not even realize it happening.  It might start little by little with food choices. You took a yoga class, you’re feeling good and have that glow about you, now what will you have for lunch? You’re normal burger will make you feel down and tired so you opt for something more nutrient dense and green because you know that will keep your post yoga glow going strong.  You’ll start to notice the things in your life that make you feel good and the things that cause you pain.  As you become more aware of each, you’ll be more inclined to keep the good and clear the bad.

Community

A good yoga studio will have a thriving, supportive community that surrounds it.  I’ve made so many friends from yoga and we’ve got each other’s backs.  If you’re new to yoga or a studio, make new friends and become a part of that community.  Not only will it will hold you accountable to stay consistent with your practice, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people who only want to see you grow.  Plus it’s pretty amazing to be able to talk to someone about the joys of Ayurveda or how you flew your first ever bakasana and have them totally understand what you’re talking about.

Confidence

Yoga will 100% build your confidence.  On a physical level, you’ll start to feel more graceful, stand a little taller and become more aware of you posture.  You’ll feel less stiff and will move with more ease and lightness.  Mentally, you’ll feel powerful in your own skin. You’ll become proud of who you are as an individual and the unique qualities only you have.  You’ll understand your breath and how you can use it to your advantage.  Your skin will look better (see number one) and you will remove the negative from your life leaving you to feel like the superwomen you always knew you were.

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Put in the Work or Just Give Up

I taught yoga to a Roller Derby team once and they were the hardest working group I’d ever taught to.  Despite it being mostly all their first time doing yoga, they put in the work and they supported each other along the way.  They didn’t make excuses when their arms started shaking, they didn’t complain about not knowing what they were doing, they tried and they pushed through.  That takes a special type of grit and toughness that is hard to come by these days.

And forget about yoga, I know that team acts the same way with everything else they do in life. They have a goal and they do whatever it takes.

No excuse will stop them from doing the work it will take to achieve their goal.

That can be a really hard concept to grasp in a world where we can buy almost anything immediately.  But results, real honest results, take extreme patience, hard work, time and the ability to say “F excuses, I’m doing it anyway”.  And to be brutally honest, if putting in work isn’t for you then you might as well just give up on the dream because you’re never going to get it by only being half in.  It’s the yo-yo effect, the “I was on a diet last week but this week I have too much to do so I’ll just eat fast food and end up gaining more weight than when I started.”  Why waste your time if you’re not going to be fully committed.

Hear me out.  Whatever your goal is, you have to put in the work 100%, be all in. Day in and day out, even when you have a million other things to do, even when you’re not feeling it.  The dream has to be more important than the struggle it will take to get there.

Put in the work or just give up.

I hope you choose to put in the work because it is so worth it

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Patience Please, I’m Building a Dream

Let’s talk about the grind.  Not the daily grind, but the long-term, year after year grind.

In Chinese astrology, it’s the year of the Fire Rooster. Roosters can literally grind at something for years and not feel the need to get rewarded until the task is complete.  They know the reward will come when the work is done. So they grind. They push. They keep working and they don’t stop.

This is the perfect year to do just that.  To separate the reward from the work.  To grind like never before.  We are officially in month two of 2017 so here is what I want you to do.  I want you to email me your long term goal.  I want you to tell me how you are going to achieve the goal and what you are going to do this month to start the process.  This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to hold you accountable.  I’m going to email you at the end of the month and make sure you are on track.  Because I’m rooting for you and I want you to succeed.

  • Find out what you are crazy obsessed about. 
  • Pick a long term goal related to that. 
  • Figure out the steps you need to take to get there and start today.
  • Like right now.

I’ll tell you mine. I’ve been debating doing a powerlifting meet for about a year now.  I finally bit the bullet and I’m going to do my first meet on April 9th. Now I have 10 more weeks to grind it out. To push myself like I quite literally never have before and to test my skills at the end of it. Why am I doing this? Because staying the same is boring. Living a life of the same is not on my agenda. So I find hobbies, become obsessed with them, learn as much as I can about them and then test my skills.

Find your obsession, learn everything you can about it, put the time in and grind, then your dream is there right in front of you for the taking.

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Experience vs Viewing the Experience

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I have this vision of myself, standing on a cliff in Ireland.  The waves crashing below, the storm clouds rolling in and the wind swirling around me.  I put my arms out and for a long moment, I am completely experiencing.  The sounds, the feelings, the energy, the emotions.  I know no past and I don’t care about the future, I am completely submerged in the moment.  Call it a meditation or a daydream. I use this vision quite often.

Every day we are viewing experiences.  Watching other people’s lives on television or on our phones.  Driving somewhere and watching the buildings and trees go by.  These are all experiences, yes, but experiences that we are viewing rather than actually experiencing.  It’s a subtle difference but all the difference it makes.

In the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert writes about driving in car and having the windshield completely block you from the experience versus driving on a motorcycle and actually being able to experience the drive, the wind, the sunshine, the rain.  It’s the perfect analogy for experience versus viewing the experience.

Where in your life can you start to fully experience, be fully in the moment.  Multitasking is great, but it completely voids you of the moment.  Wash dishes, and only wash dishes.  Go to the gym and leave you phone in the locker.  Be completely there.  It’s so simple, but so rewarding.

Lots of Love,
Brittany

lifestyle

Feminist as F#ck

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When I was 13 I had an article published in our county newspaper about equal rights for women in the military. I didn’t realize it then but I was already a feminist.  Let me be clear here and say that at 13, I had no idea what a feminist was.  I was purely witnessing and hearing about imbalanced treatment and it was making me see red.  And even at the age of 13, I needed to express that the only way I knew how, by writing a public article in the hopes of changing even just one person’s thought on equal rights.

Flash forward to 2011, someone said to me “oh god, are you one of those feminists?”. I didn’t know how to respond because I’ve never thought of myself in that way.  I’ve never had to put a label on the way I felt.  Was I a Feminist?  Heck. Yes. However back then, being a Feminist had a negative tone surrounding it, even though it was just a few short years ago.  Celebrities, Public Figures and Influencers were holding strong to the “I’m not a feminist” line, and as such so were the people.  I responded to him by saying something along the lines of “yes, of course I am!” and he then said nothing and abruptly walked away.  Buh Bye.

Jump to current day and you have Beyoncé singing in front of a jumbo screen with the words “Feminist” on it. And not so secretly, my heart skips a beat.  I’m quickly seeing Feminism become trendy.  From new books on being a feminist, to t-shirts, to fashionable websites, to celebrities all declaring “Yes, I am a Feminist”.  Yes, I am a strong woman. Yes, I can do masculine things as a woman.  Yes, I should be treated and paid equal.

A Feminist doesn’t look a certain way, we don’t hate every man that ever walked the earth, and we don’t think we are better than anyone else. We believe in equality, we believe in protection against rape, assault and harassment, we believe in your daughter, mother, grandmother, aunt, girlfriend and wife.

Yes, I’m Feminist as F#ck and you should be too.

 

Bookworm? Check out these books:

Feminist Fight Club

We Should All Be Feminists

We Were Feminists Once

Living My Life