When Fit Bottomed Zen launched in April, we celebrated with a live Q&A on Facebook with Laurel Erilane. And it was awesome. Laurel, a Los Angeles-based yoga instructor and BeFit yoga expert, just puts off the best vibe and has the most realistic advice when it comes to all things yoga and meditation. For her, doing yoga and meditating isn’t just a workout — it’s a way of life. If you’d like to live more like Laurel (we would!), today she’s sharing the top five ways she practices yoga each and every day.
Yoga doesn’t take time, yoga gives time. There is always time for yoga. The more we practice, the more it becomes our second nature. No matter where you are, or what you are doing, you can find yoga (on, or off your mat). The practice of yoga is about creating a connection to your body and space in your mind. When we don’t think we have “time” for yoga, that’s when we need it the most. Yoga is a life long journey of getting back in line with the self. It takes conscious daily effort to cultivate this awareness. It’s actually much easier than you might think. So stop thinking, and start being. Change your perspective, and change your life. Live yoga and never spend another day without your practice. Here’s how to start doing that today.
1. Deepen your breath. Get in touch with your personal ebb and flow. Often times we forget, that our breathing patterns are directly related to our energy. Try and create the same amount of space in both your inhale and exhale, finding your natural equilibrium. Try to maintain this balance, even when you are presented with challenges.
2. Go inward. When your life becomes chaotic, bring your attention away from the external world around you and focus on the sensory experience of the internal physical body. Mentally do a body scan and ask yourself how you are feeling in this moment right now. If you are feeling overwhelmed, connect with the emotional imbalance of the body and make the effort to find a state of calm. When you connect to your own body, you will find there is a space of serenity internally that you can retreat to at any time.
3. Detach and surrender. Allow things to happen as they are and stop fighting what you cannot change. Be patient. It’s called a practice for a reason. Trust in the process and surrender to the cosmic will. Discover non-attachment by letting go of something you are holding on to. There will always be something, but the more you can let go emotionally, the more physically and mentally clear you will become. If something in your life is not supporting you, don’t allow it to create a blockage in your life.
4. Be content. Stop the desire to want more, and find contentment or satisfaction with what you already have. Be grateful for where you are presently, knowing it’s exactly where you are meant to be in this moment.
5. Concentrate. Sometimes the big picture seems too grand to contemplate. When you break things down into smaller elements, you can more easily find understanding. Focus your attention on one thing at a time and bring all your efforts to that fixed awareness. You will experience a state of ease when you allow all outer disturbances to be eliminated. This is called one-pointed awareness.
Try to incorporate these yogic principles into your life daily, and watch your transformation begin. Remember, it’s about the journey, not the destination. The mind is a powerful thing, and while these things seem simple, it can be hard to find them on your own. That’s why we have yoga asana (postures) so we can exhaust the body enough that we exhaust the mind. Your practice is always there for you when you need it.
How do you incorporate yoga into your daily life? —Laurel Erilane