Defining yoga can be tough. When asked, often times you will receive a variety of answers. Yoga is: stretching, breathing, meditating, union of the body,mind and soul… And while these answers are not necessarily wrong, through my own practice I’ve come to learn that yoga is so much more. It’s a way of living life.

The things I learn on the mat can be applied to my world off of the mat – slowing down, mindfulness, compassion, letting go of all the things that are no longer serving me. My yoga practice is one of undoing my old, outdated ways of being. Releasing judgments. Diminishing self-doubt. Giving up expectations so that I can open up to what is actually going on. Life as it is happening right before my own eyes.

I show up on my mat time and time again to release, to get grounded in my body, connected to my breath, and mindful of my thoughts and my reality. And as I clear out the clutter and peel back the layers I find my real self beginning to break through. I tap into my true light, that radiating light of positivity, authenticity, integrity and unconditional love for myself just they way I am. I learn to be gentle with myself. I learn to be gentle with others. I learn that I have (and have always had) the tools to move through any pose, or any challenging situation that life might throw my way.

And when I choose to live in mindfulness and move from a place of compassion it inspires an outpour of authentic connections with others and with the world around me. In return, these connections keep stoking my inner fire. I begin to live a full life.

I begin to live my yoga.