Have you ever caught yourself quoting some inspirational to a depressed friend, or encouraging an anxious friend to “just breathe?” Guess what? You’re a teacher!
The continuous gift of yoga, even off the mat, is that once you become a devoted student, you also become a teacher even if you don’t have the certification.
One thing we learn through yoga is satya, or “truth.” Satya helps us not only recognize who we truly are, but how to communicate this. This isn’t the you who is pressured by society, feeling overwhelmed in traffic or angry at your significant other. This is the you that exists beyond all those external factors and societal trappings and expectations. What would you say if you didn’t immediately emotionally react? What would you convey if the real you got to speak up? Your personal story is imbued with lessons and the right people will hear you. Communicate from your heart and people will feel the love. Learn some yoga on how to communicate consciously here.
Teach Others How To Breathe
Anxiety, depression, inability to focus and more are all linked to not breathing properly. As yogis, one of the first things we learn is how to pay attention to our breath. At a holiday dinner, or in the middle of traveling, you can teach your friends and family the simple, but impactful art of breathing deeply. Even a cleansing breath or balancing breath can get even the most yoga-adverse people through a tough day.
Practice The Yogic Art of Seva
As the Dalai Lama said, one of the reasons Americans have so much anxiety is the lack of time they spend in service to others. Even if you only have 5 hours a month to give back to your local community, practicing Seva, or donating your time to a cause close to your heart, will not only help those in need around you but your spirit feel lighter and grateful.
Make Movement Your Mantra
Help your family get up and get moving! In our yoga practice, we often do asana before we practice meditation because it helps our body relax into a receptive, serene place. Healthy activity is especially hard to do during the holidays, so it’s up to you as a yogi to lead those you love into some conscientious movement. Go on long post-dinner walks, lead through some simple sun salutations, or start a spontaneous dance party! Movement helps the circulation, regulating breathing patterns and releases relaxing endorphins.
Encourage Zen Mind, Beginners Mind
Our modern society is all about perfectionism and action. But yoga teaches us that its perfectly fine to fall over, get back up, try again and fall over a few more times. However you’re feeling in that moment is your practice and beginners are special because they are more open to learning. Help your friends and family by showing them through yoga and your words that they are a spiritual being having a human experience. Relinquish judgement so that they themselves can move forward. And celebrate their beginners curiosity, which is a true sign of awakening and knowledge.
Eat By Example
When you start doing yoga and treating your body like a temple, you start having a different relationship with food. Whether that means you now eat vegan, paleo or only whole foods, shifting the diet eventually becomes a part of every yogi’s lifestyle. It never helps to preach, but just eating healthy in front of friends and family, cooking them delicious meals or answering their questions with compassion when they wonder why you aren’t partaking in a traditional turkey dinner is a great way to help people understand the yogic practice of ahimsa, or “non-violence.”
Bring Everyone Into Child’s Pose When They’re Feeling Cranky
There’s a reason why Child’s Pose is called Child’s Pose! It helps even the grumpiest of overgrown children (i.e. adults) go from a place of tantrum to serenity. This pose is a mixture of bowing in humility, therefore working through the ego, and curling up into a nice, happy fetal position. Before the fights start, have everyone rest their foreheads on the ground and be still in child’s pose for second.
Just Say “Yes”
We’re sure you’ve been a yoga class and been encouraged into a pose you just didn’t think you could do. Next thing you know, you’re doing it! Yoga helps us just say yes to something we think is difficult, because we often come at it from a non-competitive and playful standpoint. People will have needs of you this holiday season that you might be resistant to. They might even ask you questions you don’t want to necessarily answer. Speak you truth, but if you don’t have an answer or a real excuse not to do something, just say yes! Can you help with the dishes? Yes! Can you drive Grandma home? Yes! If this is hard to practice, come from a place of service rather than feeling like a slave.
Give The Gift Of Yoga
Have you tried convincing your friends or family members to come to a yoga class? If they live in the Los Angeles area, Wellnest has tons of local Los Angeles yoga teachers who can come straight to their home, office or another preferred area. You can even join them with this purpose-filled gift.
To learn more and get started, go to mywellnest.com!