18 Ways Yoga Changed My Life

The term “yoga” is a Sanskrit word that means “union” or “to join”. This refers to the union of body, mind, and spirit (pretty holistic, right?). Yoga is a 5,000 year old system that analyzes everything from conduct and philosophy to breath and meditation. Though most Westerners turn to yoga for relaxation and its other health benefits, the ultimate aim of yoga is something much bigger. Through the process of purifying our thoughts and actions, yoga gives us a clear path to attain bliss, peace, and self-realization. This practice is very near and dear to me because it’s radically transformed my life from the inside out.

18 Ways Yoga Changed My Life
Among other things, yoga has helped me to decrease stress and anxiety, increase my range of motion, boost my immune system, improve my posture, heal injuries, and learn how to really concentrate. After five years of practicing yoga, you might imagine that I have developed more strength, flexibility, and balance as a result. And I have, but in more holistic ways than you…

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Eight Life-Changing Questions

I recently read this Elephant Journal article where the author challenges you to begin regularly asking yourself these eight questions:

1. Where do I want to be in five years time?

2. How do I want to feel on the inside in five years time? Where do I want to be emotionally, physically, mentally?

3. What bad habits do I need to stop?

4. What mistakes have I made today?

5. Who do I envy or admire? What qualities do these people have? In what way can I learn from them? What is it about them that inspires me?

6. What stories have I told myself?

7. Who do I love and who loves me?

8. If no one judged me, who would I be?

I’ve been regularly asking myself these eight questions over the past few weeks and have been journaling my responses. I’ve gotten different answers each time I do this exercise. It’s been a very enlightening process and has helped me to cast vision, create goals, and work toward the ultimate aim of self-realization.

I hope these questions benefit you as much (if not more!) as they have me.

<3,

Z

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10 Quotes on Perseverance

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, ‘Press On!’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” – Calvin Coolidge

“A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” – Jim Watkins

“Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill

“Fall seven times and stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou

“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

“A jug fills drop by drop.” – Buddha

“Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much…

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“On Celibacy” or “Holding the Pose”

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

Elizabeth Gilbert addressed the topic of sex in relation to her “Eat, Pray, Love” adventure, so I will too. That excerpt (below), in fact, is one of my favorite quotes of the entire book. I read it right after a devastating breakup in 2012. Liz’s words resonated so strongly with me that I also committed to never again use anyone as a scratching post for my own unfulfilled yearnings. (We’re several years into that commitment, and so far so good. I’ve remained single for the most part, but have been much more conscious in the few relationships that I have pursued.)

“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”

We had a big assignment due our last week of the yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. We were to put together…

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A Glimpse Into Denmark’s Recipe For Happiness

It’s 11pm. My (third) iPhone charging cable has died. My credit card has stopped working. My train has arrived in Copenhagen an hour late, due to some problems that required us to pull over and exit the train (was it about to explode? Everything was in German, so I had no idea).

And then, of course, heaving luggage in the middle of the night, I get lost in the small city of Copenhagen. “Everyone here speaks English,” two Danish girls assure me, as they lead me to the bus stop I’m trying to find. Everyone is so friendly here! I get lost again. This time, a cyclist pulls over and asks me where I’m trying to go. Wow! He is the first person on this trip who has offered me help without being solicited. He ends up pulling out his iPhone and shows me on the GPS exactly where I need to go. I’m in the hostel by midnight.

I came to Denmark knowing that they consistently rank as being the happiest country in the world. That’s a pretty bold title, and I wanted to see what they were doing differently than the rest of us. After a few days in Copenhagen,…

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