Making mistakes - using yoga & meditation to help you identify & fix them

Making Mistakes

Making mistakes is a part of life. Every single human being in this World has made a mistake.
Mistakes are in fact healthy, and they teach us so much about; ourselves, our personalities and also our bouncebackability.
We live in a society that is tracked so much more than ever before, and with videos, pictures and the social media, people may feel like they have to be robotic. But the reality is that mistakes have been happening since the day the World was created and they are what makes you and I human.

Why am I writing this

I want the good people out there to be ok with what they have done in their lives! :)
I myself have made more mistakes than I've had hot dinners, and that's in many forms of my life but as a society, we need to assess how we treat others, look at others and approach others that make mistakes without pointing a finger and acting like "OMG I would never do that", because the chances are those pointing fingers are those trying to hide what they are up to behind closed doors.
And I want people to understand and accept that IT IS OKAY TO DO STUPID THINGS THAT YOU REGRET!
I am not saying to go outside and hurt people, bully people, or anything that is seriously bad. But if you date the wrong person, or you get a bit too drunk that night and sleep with someone, or you say something you shouldn't have then it's OKAY!
Do not beat yourself up about it, instead, use these lessons to take forward in your life, and fix those mistakes (if possible). A simple sorry for example could do the trick and if the situation is not possible to fix then at least work on not doing it again.
And these skills are what we learn in yoga & meditation.
We learn to forgive ourselves firstly, then once we surpass that, we can work on bettering ourselves.

 

How yoga & meditation can help you understand your feelings and move on from your mistakes

When I started practising yoga in 2011, I was full of a lot of mental baggage, I was searching for physical healing but found that my mind was going to go into healing too. It was a very long and intensive healing process that I wanted to happen quickly but actually took years.
Nearly 7 years on, I have made and still am making numerous mistakes; in my personal life, at work, with friends, with family, doing yoga postures, playing FIFA, writing emails - you get my drift! But what yoga has done has allowed me to understand and be conscious of what mistakes I am making, and act upon not doing them, and bettering myself.
In a society where we are fed so much (false) information - free thought can be lost, and when free thought is lost one can find it hard to even understand what they are doing is wrong. Some people that cheat on their spouses will understand slightly what they are doing is incorrect, but because they are not looking within they may be stuck in a loop. Some are just truly bad people, but this is a separate conversation.
But the yoga gives you an understanding of yourself and allows you to understand why you are making certain mistakes in your life and then gives you the tools and skills to action a better life for yourself and work at moving away from the bad things you may be doing.

A few last words

Life is short, we all know that but whilst you are here wouldn't it be wonderful to at least understand yourself a bit better and why you have made the decisions you have made. And whether they are right or wrong; being aware through the union of your mind and body is a commodity no currency in the world can buy and this can only be purchased by the "soul" owner - you.

Enjoy your yoga and thank you for reading.

Written by Suraj Ghumra.

Showing love to your yoga teachers

Love

Love is something I guess we don’t do enough of, even myself; I don’t love people enough. I find it easier to talk about it in this blog post but as I have grown I have found it harder to show those around me. As a child, I was very loving, and my mother and grandmother taught me how to be that way. But we are all born to love, even Donald himself and I’m not talking about the duck by the way.

Back to the point, love is something we need more of and today's topic is based on how much I love yoga teachers, my yoga teachers and to be frank the real yoga teachers and not those in it because of the fashion element that now comes with yoga.

Love makes all the different

Real yoga teachers are healers, leaders, creators, believers, changers and most importantly lovers. With love nothing real can exist, we wouldn’t exist.

When I started practising seriously in 2012, I started when I required to love and help, I was extremely fragile and sensitive and the teachers that I came up with (the likes of Naomi Clark, Matt Devine, Elizabeth White, Beth Crivelli, Sibel Olcer and many more) taught with love for yoga. The love was clear because they would go the extra mile to help somebody in class, go the extra mile to talk about yoga once class was finished and make sure if people had questions and/or concerns they would give their honest and experienced point of view.

Students

We can make that difference by just respecting and loving ourselves, our fellow yogis & yoginis and of course our teachers.

I practice yoga in a fair number of different studios, and everyone and then I come across a student that is extremely rude to a teach other for no reason, and that does affect me and upset me. This shouldn’t be the case, usually, those students aren’t actual yogis and are just in the room because yoga is the “in” thing and they want a tighter butt! But if you do see this occur, we all have the right to explain to those that understand less how teachers should be treated.

Why did I write this?

This topic came about when I was being nostalgic post-Bikram Yoga class and thinking about how far I have come in my practise, and not only myself but those around me; both teachers and students. And I want to raise the awareness that real yoga teachers are wonderful people, they are there to be loved and treated well, the same way you want to be loved and treated well. And in a day and age where people are so stuck to what is on their screen rather than the human in front of them, we need to come together, and we need to appreciate those around us that help us day in day out get through the difficulties of life. And by having this attitude in your practise you can take it into other aspects of your life.

Thank you for reading.

Written by Suraj Ghumra.

Feeling at home on your yoga mat

Your yoga mat is a very personal place. Whether you practise by yourself, or in a group in a park or at a studio your mat is your space.

And that space goes through as much as you do wherever you are in the world, and in your life at that time. Some days you are on top of the world, and when you practise your yoga you feel unstoppable; sometimes you are in a lower place and you just don't have as much energy. Regardless of the emotion, you have, you feel that feeling whilst practising in on your mat, in that space and at that time.

And to be clear I am speaking both literally but also metaphorically. I personally love the yoga mat I use; the colour, the feeling and the comfort I find in the Yogamatters mat is something I enjoy practising with. And from a non-materialistic perspective, such as the different forms of emotions, thoughts, stages in my life, places I've practised and all other personal feelings that you go through in that space.

Like anything in life, when you have a ritual, at that moment you generally feel at home as space is familiar to you both mentally and physically, and I have found comfort knowing that no matter what I am going through. Good or bad my yoga practise, my yoga mat, and my yoga space provides me with the home to celebrate or be sad through that expression and feeling of how I feel at that moment.

Thank you for reading, and if you ever feel homesick; remember just practise your yoga and everything feel a whole lot homely.

Written by Suraj Ghumra

Accepting downtime with your yoga

Accepting downtime; what is that right? Does that even exist in 2018? Do we just ignore all those signals telling us we need to rest and recuperate?

Accepting downtime with your yoga practise is something that for many of us is completely against the way we are wired, and sometimes seen as impossible due to lifestyle and life commitments but it is something that is essential that we must accept and act upon when required.

Downtime with your yoga can result or come from different situations or feelings, and the key is to just accept it once it does arise.

One example could be if you injure yourself, but you still want to go to class even though it's not just something you can shake off, it is that acceptance that is fine to be hurt and having that time off will allow you to heal properly and then use the yoga to heal further once you are ready.

Another example could be that you have been full on in your work life, personal life and even yoga life and you haven't given yourself time to relax, and suddenly you find yourself not wanting to do anything but force yourself. But this is not healthy nor is it going to benefit your mind and soul.

When I started taking my practise seriously I was not in the best place physically, which also led to mental health issues. During that time I really pushed myself and believed I had to just go to yoga all the time regardless of how I felt, but I started to realise being on all the time was not letting me progress how I thought I would, but it was only when I found the balance and reacting to each situation in the right way I found much more progression in my practise but I also found that in my life.

That teaching has taken me years to really put into practise and still there are times where I lose my balance and have to lock that knee again in order to get it back.

As you progress in yoga, fall in and out of love with your yoga and even yourself, there will be times when you need that downtime, and the most important thing you can do for yourself is to be at peace when that time is.

And as the great Dali Lama says; "We can never make peace with the outside world until we make peace with ourselves"

Thank you for reading.

Written by Suraj Ghumra.

The Importance of practising discipline in Yoga

Discipline

Yoga and discipline go hand in hand, and this has been the case since the Indus-Sarasvati civilization started this wonderful yoga practise.

Throughout the evolution of Yoga, and its increased popularity in the western world the practise has lost a lot of its discipline, not to the fault of the practitioners but due to the watered-down teaching methods and teachers that do not take this part of the practise seriously enough.

Discipline by no means is something that should be acted upon as controlling, or “dictating”.  It is something that should be taught with empathy, kindness and firmness. When discipline is kept within a class you can see the vast difference between how the Yoga itself is practised.

Not only does it allow students to learn the yoga properly, it also pushes the students in the right way. Whether it is the Bikram method, vinyasa or any form of yoga, the student learns the practise correctly and with the correct mentality to take them on the life journey of the practise.

On a positive note, there are some fantastic teachers within London, that really teach the importance of discipline and hold that aspect strong throughout their classes.

First Timers

For somebody new to yoga (this goes more so for students that practise in urban cities such as my hometown – London), you get a wide range of different yoga teachers, studios, methods etc. And sometimes a new teacher or class can seem very strict and this can really put off a new practitioner, but I assure you for anybody that is new to yoga reading this – the intention is not to be controlling, it is to teach you (the student) the proper way, which may be harder, but it is the right way.

Discipline in the room = discipline outside the room

Once you start to get into your practise more and start to really enjoy the benefits of yoga; and one does start to naturally become more disciplined with their practise, which has a knock-on effect off the matt.

Having balance is something that can be difficult in this day and age. With the continuous onset of social media, digital media and continuous disappointment from changes and cancellations due to the easy accessibility of getting hold of someone; having the discipline of switching off and protecting your energy is something that I have learnt to do on and off the matt. And that discipline I have learnt on primarily on the matt helped me with these types of realisations.

When I started practising back in 2012, the discipline was much more apparent, and with teachers such as Paul Spencer Dobson who is one of the early Bikram Yoga teachers that holds the discipline of his teaching practices from the start, right to the end of class.

Paul has been teaching yoga for almost …. years now, and even though some new practitioners may feel slightly scared and sometimes deterred from his methods, he is a teacher that ensures you learn the yoga the correct way and has not allowed times to water down the essence of his teachings, something that I have a lot of respect for and have teachers like this around still allow the essence of mainstream yoga types such as the Bikram method still hold the core value of why it is such a powerful healing form of yoga.

You can learn more about Paul here.

Wax on | wax off

The need for discipline in our daily lives is a requirement, not just from ourselves, but from out bosses, our friends, our relationships and more. The discipline you learn in yoga with your practise can really help you in your life off the matt and find a way to create that discipline in all the different social and personal situations we find ourselves in this new age.

Once we understand the importance of staying still, not playing with our hair or outfit; focusing on our poses, postures and inner self; then we can start to use that practise to help protect our personal lives and help provide discipline and guidance for those that may not be as lucky as you to have found that yoga matt.

Written by Suraj Ghumra.