Melissa Pini, Map Keys Yoga The Yoga Light

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” — Peter Marshall

Yoga is a lifestyle. A daily commitment that transfers from the mat and into the world. To be a yogi is a personal choice, to be a yoga teacher a great honor. Both a means towards a more peaceful life. If yoga is a lifestyle, how would one take these practices off the mat or from the learnings at a Shala and apply them into the world? Below are three tips to help get you started. It may sound easier said than done, but have faith, trust in the process, and know the benefits of these practices are everlasting.

My first tip is to live righteously. In yoga we call this living your Dharma or your universal truth. Your Dharma is what brings fuel to your soul. Your life’s purpose or ethical reasoning which brings meaning to your life. To live your Dharma, follow your heart, use what you have to be who you are meant to be. Be a voice for the voiceless, be of service in some way, share the talents you have with others. By living your Dharma, your job, your relationships, and in the end your life will be alive with heartfelt truth and sparks of loving inspiration. You will not have to look outside yourself for approval or fulfillment.

My next tip is practice kindness. Not just when the mood strikes you, but all the time, and to all living beings; animals and humans alike. Hold the door for someone who has their hands full, shop cruelty free (buying products that are not tested on animals is a great start!), eat a more plant based diet (good for the planet, good for you), be mindful of the words you use in conversations, refrain from speaking badly about another, be patient, treat others the way you would want to be treated, donate to the less fortunate or an animal charity. By sharing what you have without condition or expectation of receiving in return, the universe will open up and good will come right back to you. We are all connected.

My final tip is to be grateful. Keep a gratitude journal. Each morning when you wake or each night before sleep, write down five things you are grateful for. If you can not think of five, start with just one. Allow this practice to cultivate a deeper sense of beauty within your life. Notice how as you become especially aware of all you do have, more appears. If not externally, in your mind and within yourself. To be grateful is one of the highest forms of yoga. Saying “thank you” with a smile can create a domino effect of prosperity. Never underestimate the power of gratitude.

Once you begin these practices, you will soon realize the strength that develops and gladly continue on this path of peace. Through regular practice it will become a lifestyle and all or any stressors or anguish will be a distant memory. The world is yours for living. How you choose to spend your time here is completely up to you.

Melissa Pini lives in Michigan where she has her yoga studio MAP KEYS YOGA.

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Weekly Mantra Key

Inhale:  I Believe.

Exhale: Thank you.