Wellness Challenge Day 9: Ujjayi Breath
The Victorious (Ujjayi) Breath is a traditional yoga pranayama practice that is easy to learn and fun to practice. Modern research is finding what yoga has known all along – that breath practices are powerful tools for managing stress and increasing happiness.
Once learned, the Victorious Breath can be practiced nearly anywhere. In yoga posture practice, the Victorious Breath can be used to increase our heat, focus, and energy. Outside of practice, people find it brings them into the present moment, soothes the nervous system, and brings them back into balance.
Learn this simple technique and you’ll be able to take it with you wherever you go.
Gratitude can make our lives better. This is supported by experience, tradition, and research. Gratitude is the appreciation of what we have and leads into other enriching emotions, such as abundance, generosity, and compassion. How do we feel more gratitude? Practice. Try this short guided meditation to bring to mind something you are grateful for and relish the felt experience of that gratitude in your body. Keep a gratitude journal in which you write down at least three things you are grateful for each day. You will find yourself looking forward to this time of celebrating what you have in your life, as well as finding that gratitude comes more and more easily, arising even without trying as you move through your days.
Wellness Challenge Day 5: Change mindset
Change is a big part of wellness. When we are interested in our wellness, we find ourselves working on change – changing our habits for the better. Bringing clarity to this very process of change itself can help us avoid a “New Years resolution” attitude about change – that change is sudden, permanent, and based on willpower – which tends to prohibit us from really understanding how healthly change can happen.
Start with mindset. Coach yourself. But don’t only focus on what, how, and why you want to make this change, instead create a storyline in which you can and will make this change.
Next, choose the easiest change you can make that moves you in the direction you want. Don’t try for something big and sudden, instead choose the 1%, easiest change you can make to get a sense of accomplishment and momentum.
Lastly, choose a timeline. Make a date with yourself in a week or two to sit down and check in on this change, celebrate progress, and refine whatever can be improved. Repeat these steps as bit-by-bit goals become reality.
Awareness is the basis for all practices. When you watch your breath, it happens within your awareness. When you practice gratitude, it happens within your awareness. Awareness practice is a simple shift, from being aware of some thing to being aware of being aware. Try it now. Become aware of the feeling of awakeness and the space in which you notice experiences. It is vast and calm. Use Awareness practice as a daily practice to build calm and clarity, and use it when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. Instead of being stressed be aware of stress by changing your focus. It is a small but profound shift leading toward happiness and insight.
I never had any intention of teaching yoga..
When I enrolled in a teacher training course in 2005 I was three years into a rapidly-deepening yoga obsession. I was practicing at the studio, at home, even at the gym. I was buying books left and right to learn more about postures, anatomy, philosophy, and the history of yoga. I was driving to Chicago to attend workshops with national and international teachers. But I didn’t have any intention of teaching.
So, why teacher training?
It was a desire to follow the path toward deeper understandings, wider vistas, and clearer insights. Even then I knew that the training of a teacher was more than just learning what to say and how to say it, it was about taking my own practice to new levels and about really understanding how much I didn’t know. This last insight is one I’ve never let go of.
Now, somehow, I am celebrating 10 years of training yoga teachers. It has for many years been one of the joys of my life to welcome new cohorts into the fold, guide them through the practice I love, and inspire them to share it with others. Our graduates are studio owners, professional teachers, weekend warriors, specialists. We stay in touch with our graduates from the local community to Washington state, Texas, Nevada, California, Colorado, and on and on.
From our studio to coast to coast we hear one thing again and again:
Teaching Yoga Changes Lives, Especially Your Own
This fall we are offering two programs: our 200 hour Foundational Teacher Training and our 300 hour Advanced Training. Both programs have been filling all summer and are down to their final two spots.
There has never been a better time to seize the opportunity and embrace your potential. Complete an application today at: https://tapasyogashala.com/ytt-application/