The first time I ever stepped on a yoga mat, I found home. It was quite amazing actually, and moving halfway across the globe and through my world travels, my “home” has always been rolled up in my suit case.
In yoga, I find peace, quiet, a joyful existence, and that comforting notion that everything is, and will be ok.
In teaching yoga to others, I want them to find this “home” within themselves. There’s nothing I love more than seeing a student who has finally found his or hers breath, and is discovering that magical gateway of braiding the breath with the movement, guiding them to their “home.” It is priceless, it is magical. Someone once said,” do yoga and transform yourself, teach yoga and transform the world.” I now believe it to be true. Starting my teacher training some years ago, I thought that I would enjoy teaching yoga, that it “would be fun.” Never could I in my wildest dreams realize the satisfaction and fulfillment that teaching yoga gives me. I am as yoga high after teaching as I am after practicing.
That being said, my practice is so precious to me. It is where I find me again, where I calm down, where I start my day right, where I come home to.
Being a mother to a toddler, a wife,a dog owner, a yoga teacher, a holistic nutrition consultant, and a constant traveler, my life can become quite hectic at times (wonderful, but hectic). However, I never compromise my practice. Even when my daughter was first born, I would get up early, early in the morning, before she and her daddy woke up, to practice and meditate.
Always taking this time for me has been the most important gift I could ever give to myself. I encourage everyone, whoever you are, whatever you do, to always make time for yourself and what is important to you. Yes, sometimes that will have to mean to miss some sleep, but it will be worth it.
Hanging around your neck, Malas are beautiful reminders of this. Malas remind you of what is important to you. While the Mala’s particular energy helps guiding you right, it also acts as a calming companion to where your fingers can go to find peace. In meditation or chanting, they help you stay on track and focused, while the beads gently massages your hand to heighten your awareness. Safe to say, I am a mala junkie!
My most favorite mala is the ‘eternity mala’. Made with rose quartz, the crystal that helps with self love and being worthy of love, and pearls (representing the eternity), this mala represents the amazing connection of eternal love. When you love yourself enough to take good care of yourself, then you can fully love someone else and receive their love unconditionally. For me, it is that simple.
Love is my religion.
(Tove Chamness (pronounced “two-vah”) is a transplanted Swede living in South Florida. A yoga teacher and holistic nutrition consultant, you can follow Tove, under her alter ego “The Swedish Yogi”, on her blog on her website www.theswedishyogi.com, on Instagram @theswedishyogi, and on Facebook. )