Authenticity in Spirituality – Remaining You in the Woo-Woo

New Age spirituality is everywhere now. Self-love is exploding and I guess you can say being soulful is certainly #trending. Psychic mediums no longer have little shops but have hit TV shows, there are certainly more life coaches than therapists and the New Age section in your local bookstore no longer collects dust. There’s an amazing open-ness to being connected to your soul and it seems like everyone is joining the party! If you’re part of this amazing movement there’s one very important thing to do — always remain YOU in the WOO-WOO.

The importance of remaining YOU in the WOO

Practice what you preach. Authenticity in spirituality is the MOST important thing to practice and to preach to others. Spirituality is the soul’s practice. It’s your identity and your unique fingerprint in this world. It should reflect only your purest self at all times.

Remaining YOU IN THE WOO isn’t easy; it takes a lot of hard work. The ego loves to hate on your happiness and insert fear into anything it can. So the question is, how do you stay on track with your authentic self? How do you not let your ego run the show when your main shtick as being someone spiritual is all about how bad the ego is?

How can the ego get you trippin’ in spirituality?

The ego loves to trip you up in spirituality. I can name countless times my ego had me trippin’ hard in my soulful practices. Here are a few ways to identify the ego at work:

  1. The ego will make you believe that spirituality is a competition. Have you ever been in a yoga class and all of a sudden you started mentally competing against the person next to you? You felt the need to push as hard as they were and you weren’t listening to what your body was actually telling you? Oh, how the ego loves a good yoga practice and making everything an unhealthy competition.
  2. Are you running a soul inspired business? Are you a life coach or blogger? Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others who are doing the same thing? The ego aims to put you up against others and inserts feelings of jealousy and fear.
  3. Are you new to spirituality? Are you just learning about intuition and manifestation and all of the good things that go along with it? Have you had thoughts of “why am I not getting this?” or “I must not have the intuitive gifts that others have” or “I feel so connected to this but I’m afraid I’ll be judged by my friends and family for believing in this”. The ego is afraid of change and never wants you to step out of what society thinks is “normal”.

Remember one thing and one thing only — the ego is NOT THE TRUTH. The ego is nothing but fear. Keeping it in check takes practice, but is guaranteed to keep you soulfully connected to yourself and to others.

How to keep your ego in check in spirituality:

  1. Marvelous Mantras – A mantra is a positive truthful word or sentence that you repeat on the regular. It’s believed that a mantra has psychological and spiritual powers to heal. Whenever you recognize your ego speaking, say your mantra.
  2. It’s not competition – It’s collaboration – It’s not you against the world when it comes to spirituality. It’s the COMPLETE opposite. Spirituality is all about collaboration and learning from each other. It’s creating new relationships with the like-hearted and making a difference as ONE and not as a solo act. Collaboration over ego, always.
  3. Magic mindset – Be OPEN to the world around you and never let the ego second guess a miracle in the making or one happening right before you. Miracles are real, the ego isn’t.
  4. Soulful Swag – Wearing something everyday as a reminder to remain centered and authentic. Whenever I put on my Tiny Devotions Mermaid Mala in the morning I can feel the positive energy cruising through my body. When I’m faced with anxiety or my ego starts talking serious smack I grab the stone, close my eyes and speak or think my mantra.

Everyone has a soul, and it’s time to rock it in the best way possible! Be authentic in everything you do, speak and believe in. It’s not competing its collaboration. It’s community and above all it’s love. It’s the root of you and everyone else. Remain YOU in the WOO-WOO of it all!

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KELLY MISBIN BIO: Kelly Misbin is an internationally certified life coach, intuitive and medium from Brooklyn, NY. Kelly helps women who believe that they have something different and rare deep down inside of them. They’re ready to be navigated away from fear and are finally ready to come face to face with their most authentic selves. They’re ready to fix old wounds, accept the truth, discover magic and reach towards their goals or just reach towards being present in who they are and what they’re meant to do.

WEBSITE: www.kellymisbin.com

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/kellymisbin/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/KellyMisbin

niyama.

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Positive duties. Observances. The 5 Niyamas are internal practices (read: Recommended activities) and habits for daily living, enlightenment and feeling zen

Here are the 5 Niyamas and how to apply them, beautiful:

1. Purity: This is all about living clean – whether its the food we eat, the thoughts we think, the people we surround ourself with, the music and media we consume and our environment. The belief here is that everything we surround ourself affects us. If we surround ourselves with beauty and goodness we will be lighter more gracious beings

2. Contentment (Santosha)
“It’s not having what you want, but loving what you got.” Sheryl Crow said it best! Contentment is all about living in gratitude – not focusing on possessions and the awareness that happiness through materialism is only temporary.

3. Tapas (persistent meditation, perseverance)
The niyama of tapas is all about self-discipline and will power! Doing something we don’t want to do but that we know will have a very positive effect on our life : going to the gym when we’re tired, making that healthy salad when its easier to just get takeout, saving the money instead of spending it on the new dress – you get the point. The tapas or fire energy that is built up during disciplined actions is strong spiritual energy that is believe to burn up karma and impurities.

4. Self reflection (self study)
You are a divine being. When you dive into getting to know yourself on a deep level you start to see your truth self revealed : light, love and deep with wisdom: spend time alone, journal, take a few minutes to look at yourself in the mirror and deep into your eyes. You are divine

5. Devotion (Contemplation/surrender)
The last niyama is all about surrender to the divine. A higher power – the universe – whatever you want to call it. This niyama is all about being selfless and devoted to something outside of yourself.
You can practice this niyama by: dedicating you yoga practice to someone else, letting go of a “desired result”, and letting situations unfold instead of forcing direction.

Lots of love and light from tinydevotions.com xx

#PracticeIsPerfect: 5 Tips to Keep your Attitude Sparkling when the Going gets Tough

_P9A04251. Unplug. Seriously. As I type this in a local, busy coffee shop in New York, I find myself at the same exact time wanting to scream at the top of my lungs because of how BUSY this life is. Or, how BUSY we make it. If you are like me and at any given time have Instagram, Facebook and Gmail open and available, it’s time to check yourself. Unplug for a while. Unplug when you start to feel like this whole world is about to rain iPhones and Androids. Let go. Close your eyes and just practice silence. Be still. Perhaps it’s the hour right before bed. Brilliant idea. Why let your mind go nuts with social media right before you are trying to reconnect with yourself and your dreams. Tip number one: unplug for at least one hour a day

2. Get selfish. That’s right. Start doing something for YOU. This might be exercise,  a morning latte, or a good book. And if you one of those people who just thinks “how can I possibly find time to be selfish with three kids and a dog!” then this tip is really for you! The busier we get, the more frustrated and mundane our daily lives become. Look at it this way: That 75 minute yoga class was not just for you. It was for your loved ones, your boss, your dog…it was for everyone in your life that you care most about because essentially it helps you become a more peaceful, more passionate human. It helps create a better version of you. You may think you are being selfish but if you realize that time outs for yourself is exactly what you need to become that peaceful person, than just do it! Tip number two: it’s okay to be selfish sometimes. 

3. Find nature. A simple walk in the woods or the beach is the perfect escape to get grounded when the going gets tough. Nature teaches us many things- one of the most important being patience. Walk through nature and you will instantly be reminded that there is no rush. Go get some salt-water time, some mountain time, or even try opening a window to remind yourself what life is truly all about. Tip number three: go outside. 

 4. Eat. No, I am not saying go buy a box of cookies and eat your feelings away. What I recommend doing is take a little time out to check your diet. Some foods will actually create more stress on our bodies and if our mind is already in a funk, then why suppress our system even more with the wrong foods? Start slowing down the way you eat. Just because your mind is running a mile a minute, doesn’t mean your mouth should! Check out your diet and make sure you are getting adequate nutrients. When stressed, foods loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C, zinc and omega 3’s are all good choices. Tip number four: eat with intention. 

 5. Journal. Even if you don’t actual write anything down, start “mind journaling” in your head every am/pm. Start with gratitude. Once you remind yourself just how blessed you really are, even the biggest problem will seem smaller. You are so loved. So start telling yourself that! Every day: three things you are grateful for. I do it while still in bed. Seriously, it helps! Tip number five: start a gratitude diary. 

katie boho blogAlbany native Katie Collins teaches a strong vinyasa flow with a focus on foundation and alignment, making balancing and inversions more accessible, mindful and most importantly, fun! Katie completed her 200 hour YTT in the summer of 2013 under the guidance of Justin Wolfer and quickly learned what it meant to embrace her practice with mind, body and SOUL! Along with the physical practice and teachings of yoga, Katie also has a passion for holistic living and will be entering her second year of nursing school in fall 2014.  Her classes are a dynamic flow that will incorporate human body awareness with a sprinkle of strong core work, flexibility, and the journey towards inversions. Katie is also a regular blogger for Elephant Journal, an ambassador for BOGA paddleboards, Jade Yoga Mats, and a representative for GTS clothing and her own personal journey. 

Twitter: @katietheyogi 

Instagram: @katietheyogi 

8 Ways to Start Loving Yourself TODAY

_q3agBem04Ae1YewWttNb48Qy1gH11qk0bqJVAkO-poI remember as kids, my sister and I used to wake up to love notes on our bathroom mirror.    My mom would use dry erase markers and write us messages to help us start our days in good spirits. Sometimes it was fancy for a holiday or just simply “Good morning, I love you”.   Over the years, I have kept this tradition in my own daily life to set reminders for the things I am currently working on.   Last year, I was working on “Self Love”.

Self Love is becoming more popular term these days with the growth of the health and wellness industry.   It is so vital and important to take care of yourself and to love yourself so you can authentically share your love with others.   It’s quite magnetic and I believe it is the root of all health.  The more love you can embody, the more you can share your love with others.  One very important note about the gift of love is being able to receive love.  Many of us know how to give it away, but then we resist allowing it to come in.  By falling in love with your self you can start to feel the love within, then sharing and receiving becomes part of the natural ebb and flow.

Here’s are 8 of my many favorite ways to start loving yourself more today!

1. Write yourself love notes! 
Write yourself love notes every day.  Notes can be written on your bathroom mirror or even on sticky pads placed around your workplace, car or home.  I used to look in the mirror in the morning and hear the voice of my inner critic, “you’re too pale, you’re not trim enough, bad hair today, and on and on and on.”   Now I can look in the mirror and hear “you look beautiful today”.   The note completely shifted my perspective and attitude towards my self, making me much brighter and confident throughout the day.   This tool can help you begin to catch your inner critic and shift gears towards a more positive, loving self-image.

2. Pick a mantra
Last year, my mantra was simply “I am self love.   The more I told myself “I am self love” the more love I began to radiate from within.  Love is eternal and beautiful in nature.  We all have it.   Not just some.   So pick your mantra and start working with it.  Repeat it 3, 10, 50 times a day until it really starts to sink into your psyche.

3. Bathroom Rituals
Pick one that works for you.  For me, I love a nice, long bubble bath.   Nothing says rest and restore like 30 minutes soaking in a tub full of my favorite salts and essential oils.   If you do not have a bathtub, then perhaps you use the shower as a way to cleanse and refresh.  Or find your favorite moisturizer to lather all over your body.  I recommend saying your mantra as you dry off or apply your moisturizer.

4. Get dressed up!
Put something on right now that makes you feel sexy, cute, confident, and essentially you.  Don’t go for the worn out black t-shirt you always wear (that was the old me!) instead try on something new, even if it is just simply adding a mala or a scarf to your ensemble.  Wear something that dresses you up in your confident self.  Allow it to be comfortable and flowing so you feel free the whole day and observe as your body language starts to change.

5. Make yourself a meal
Skip the drive through and head to the grocery store.  Pick up all of your favorite items and spend some time making a meal that sounds delicious to you.  I would even encourage experimenting with your own recipe rather than looking one up online.  Once you have gathered all of your favorite produce, make sure you spend time washing and cleaning the food.  This cleaning process is not only good to keep it healthy and fresh, but you can get your loving hands all over it.  So when your body goes to digest, it knows that it was prepared with love.  It will help shift your relationship towards food how your body processes the energy.

6. Take a Yoga Class
Yoga is a great way to take some time for introspection.  In Yoga, we use the breath as a tool to get back in touch with your body and quiet the chatter of the mind.  Yoga helps to center, balance, and calm the nervous system. If you have a little more energy, then perhaps get a little cardio exercise.  Physical activity can help decrease stress and increase the number of endorphins in the body.  Endorphins help to alleviate the feeling of pain while stimulating the feeling of joy.  This will not only reinvigorate your mind but also give you a sense of empowerment to take on your day with strength and ease.

7. Connect with nature
I have found that even for 5 minutes, that feeling the rays of sunshine over my face really replenish my soul.  Going outside for a hike or taking a walk on the beach can be just as rejuvenating as a 2-hour nap in the middle of the day.   Practice a little bit of gratitude as you walk around the neighborhood and recognize that there is so much beauty in the world.   Place your hand on a tree or roll around in the grass.  Reconnect with your inner child and play…skip, run, jump, explore.   Remember those days of pure joy running around with your friends?  Come back to that feeling and spend some quality time with Mother Nature.

8. Sleep
Last but not least, and perhaps the best. . . Your body needs rest!   A restless body is usually not a happy body (at least not this body!).   If you find yourself constantly sleep deprived it cannot only affect your mood but also your metabolism and energy levels.  I suggest 7-8 hours per night.   It may seem like a lot to the working professional, but your body with thank you for it.  You will feel more alive and empowered to take on the day, and you may skip on that afternoon crash when you feel tempted to take a nap or sneak in another coffee.  Getting the proper amount of sleep is essential, for you and all those around you!   Ladies this is especially important for us as we lack the amount on testosterone that men have to power through the exhaustion.  Get your rest and fill up your tanks for the next day.

Enjoy every moment.  Be patient with the process.  As I mentioned in the beginning, self-love and personal care is not something that happens overnight.  For many of us with tainted backgrounds in judgmental environments, we need to rewire the brain to come from love rather than from fear.  Usually the root of negative conversations comes from this idea that you are “not enough”.  And I am here to reassure you that you are enough.  You have endless, boundless amounts of untapped loved stored right in your body.   Go digging and start to uncover some of that gold lying within!

Ali Owens is a Yoga Alliance certified teacher based in Manhattan Beach, California.he is a passionate artist, culture enthusiast, and fan of outdoor activities. Her classes are lead in an uplifting and challenging Vinyasa flow, linking movement with each breath in a continuous sequence

headshot2-302x454Website: http://www.aliowens.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AliOmYoga

 

A Chat with Laura from Martini Yoga

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What brought you to your mat for the first time?

At the time I didn’t know it, but I think what initially brought me to my mat during my college years was the need for self-love.  As a teenager I played sports and danced ballet.  Both of these physical activities were highly competitive and certainly contributed to my lack of self-esteem (along with the acne and BAD haircut).  Now when I arrive on my yoga mat, I remind myself that yoga is not a competition and if I’m having an off day, I won’t be judged for it.  In a world where we are constantly being told we are not enough, yoga allows me to find compassion for my authentic self.  I am whole and perfect just as I am.

What inspires you?

Elephants.  I love them and the fact that they are endangered breaks my heart.  A couple years ago I had a vivid dream about elephants being poorly treated at a circus so I started teaching community classes in order to sponsor 10 elephants at a nature park in Thailand.  Every time I get upset or frustrated about something petty in my life, I think of the elephants and what I can do to help support them more.  Putting my energy into bigger issues helps me gain a greater perspective on the world.

What advice do you have for all the yogis out there?

Practice compassion, let go of guilt, look at the world with child-like wonder, passionately invent your perfect career, pay attention to the way your mind works through the tools of meditation and yoga, eat

lots of dark chocolate, get into nature at least once a day, and remember, the greatest practice of yoga is self-observation without judgement.

What is your favourite mala and why?

My favourite mala is the Swarovski Illumination Mala because it represents healing and self-love.  I think that only when we love ourselves fully and freely can we then begin to radiate love outwards.  The mala reminds me how deeply we are all connected as we are all on the same path of healing and harmony.  When I lead yoga retreats, I do everything in my power to ensure that everyone in the group feels as loved, accepted, and empowered as possible in the time that we are together (even if I’ve never met them before!).  I believe that when people feel loved and appreciated, they shine.

Stay connected to Martiniyoga,

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