7 comments on “Why Compassion in Community is Important”

Why Compassion in Community is Important

By Silvia Mordini 

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Dalai Lama

I’ve practiced yoga for over 15 years. I’ve taught more than 12,000 hours and since my very first teacher training, my goal has always been to teach what I practice and to practice what I teach. Through the years of practicing with different teachers, it has become clear to me that creating a compassionate yoga community requires that we take responsibility.

After all, our actions, thoughts, and words impact the connections we have with those around us: just as positive energy creates more positive energy, the inverse is also true. Our worldwide Yoga Tribe is strong in love but we diminish our power by publicly degrading other styles of yoga that are not our favorite. Picking on yoga styles or schools we don’t like doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t end there. Bad mouthing local teachers, facebook smack talking, instayogi shaming or any time spent degrading those with a different yogic opinion promotes separation.

Instead, I challenge us to soften to the diversity amongst yogis and the varied ways we practice. If, in a well-sequenced class, we can thrive in movement through forward folds, backbends, twists and balances, why can’t we find compassion to get along with different groups of yogis as well? Compassionate community brings power through connection. And if we lose our compassion, we lose what it means to be human. Remember, Yoga is always about union and bringing us together.

 “It doesn’t matter how many hours you practice yoga or meditate by yourself, the union of being in relationship with others is what heals the world. Yoga teaches us that isolation is the root cause of suffering and connection is the essence of healing.” Silvia Mordini

In the Yoga Sutras, Pantanjali gives us a four-part process to help us clear our hearts of any negative energy. It becomes a means for quieting our minds and reconnecting to the deepest reservoirs of unconditional love and compassion. The sutras advise that we:

  1. cultivate maitri (friendliness) toward pleasure and friends;
  2. karma (compassion) for those who are in pain or suffering (yourself included);
  3. mudita (joy) toward those for whom you are happy and whom you admire;
  4. and upeksanam (equanimity) toward those who have hurt us, or we disagree with.

Starting now, apply these Keys to Happiness and see for yourself how this changes your life!  Within the next 24 hours, choose one tangible action you can take to endorse compassion and decrease turbulance in your yoga community. From that spark of momentum let this set the intention for you to keep taking positive action after action to encourage peaceful union in Yoga!

Love yourself, love your day, love your life!
Silvia

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0 comments on “Happiness is Contagious”

Happiness is Contagious

Guest post by Silvia Mordini

In 1948, scientists and doctors began the most comprehensive study on heart disease ever conducted. Over 60 years later, the Framingham Heart Study still continues. Because the study involves so many people and spans such a long time period, there are many different aspects that scientists continue to study. One of their key findings relates to the happiness theory.

Scientists found that we experience happiness through social connections.  Therefore, the clusters of people around you strongly influence how you feel. In fact, a positive change in one person affects everyone in their friend cluster. Your probability for increased happiness improves 15% if your most immediate friend is happy, 10% if a friend of your friend is happy, and so on until four degrees of separation.

They have discovered and quantified what yogis have known for thousands of years: happiness is contagious.  

Many practice yoga or go for a run because they feel good after. Physical activity releases endorphins into your body, which make you feel good. By feeling better and being happy, you influence others to feel better, too.  What you do to manage your thoughts to create happy cells impacts those around you. In this way, we are creating our world thought by thought. We can influence more people than we ever realized, simply by being happy.

The Yoga Sutras spell out that if we are not balanced mentally, physically, or emotionally, then we are not living our true, naturally happy potential. To remedy this, we are taught to practice Pratipaksha Bhavana (Chapter 2.33) to eliminate negative thoughts by denying them our attention. Instead of wasting energy by engaging or resisting our negative thoughts, we replace them with positive ones. Over time this process of substitution sublimates negative thinking. Engage happy thoughts and try this breath meditation when you need to reframe your outlook.

Inhale: I welcome happiness
Exhale: I am grateful
Inhale:  I welcome inspiration
Exhale:  I am grateful
Inhale:  I welcome love
Exhale:  I am grateful
Inhale: I welcome hope
Exhale: I am grateful

In a world where almost anything can go viral, why not inspire happiness? Knowing that Happiness is contagious means that happiness benefits more than just you: those around you reap the benefits as well. Let’s join together in a happiness movement, where joy, happiness, and peace spread to everyone around us!

Love yourself, love your day, love your life!
Silvia

—————–

_LAB9523Editor’s note:  This is a guest post by Silvia Mordini, CEO, Transformation Leader, and Author. With contagious enthusiasm Silvia encourages everyone she meets to love their life! Her expert passion connects people to their own joyful potential. She has been teaching happiness, global awareness, & mindfulness for 20 years. Silvia, born in Ecuador, proud of her Italian heritage and raised as a world traveler, is a well-loved internationally recognized Motivational Speaker, Love Alchemist, and Mindfulness Teacher at conferences worldwide. Her classes holistically integrate various styles of yoga, primarily Vinyasa, Kundalini, and Anusara. You can’t help but leave her workshops, RYT200 Alchemy of Yoga teacher trainings & Alchemy Tours retreats spiritually uplifted!

Before becoming a serial Entrepreneur, Silvia had a thirteen-year Human Resource career including as Director for an international Fortune 100 professional services company. She founded and owned Total Body Yoga Studio with over 9,000 clients for ten years. In young adulthood she was run over by a car—a life changing accident that led her to discover the “Alchemy” of Yoga and Meditation to heal and transcend. She is the Founder of the fifteen year old world renowned Alchemy of Yoga Teacher Training School with over 29 graduating classes of Alchemist Alumni. In 2009 she founded Alchemy Tours, an International Retreat company specializing in Personal Development. With over 12,000 hours of yoga teaching experience she makes yoga approachable, fun, and inspiring for everyone. She has been inspiring happiness, global awareness, and joyful living in students for more than fifteen years.

Tune into her motivational “Loving Your Day” Podcast. Read her popular blog “Happiness Prescriptions”, and learn to love yourself, love your day, love your life along with enjoying her “Loving Your Day” YouTube channel.

She has written hundreds of lifestyle, travel & wellness articles for publications such as MindBodyGreen (USA), Elephant Journal, DOYOU (Hong Kong), Wanderlust (USA), Mantra Wellness Magazine, Gaia, Yogi Times, Daily Cup of Yoga (USA), and is a wellness expert as seen in HuffPost and Medium.

Most importantly through personal experience she knows it’s possible to transform your trauma to dharma and transmute your drama to dreams.

You can reach her by email at silvia@silviamordini.com

Inspired Yoga, Love, and Travel for a LIFE Inspired
Personal
: https://www.silviamordini.com/  Twitter/Instagram @inspiredyogagal

Yoga: https://alchemyofyoga.com              Twitter/Instagram @alchemyofyoga
Travel  https://alchemytours.com               Twitter/Instagram @alchemytours
Love: http://lovingyourday.com              Twitter/Instagram  @lovingyourday

1 comment on “Stop Settling: Uplevel Your Intentions”

Stop Settling: Uplevel Your Intentions

Guest post by Silvia Mordini

The quality of our intentions influences the quality of our lives. Successful business people, athletes and artists all sing a similar song when it comes to setting your intentions high. Yoga helps in this way by teaching us to make precise, high quality efforts. This practice inspires you to expand beyond the ordinary, living up to your greatest potential.

Having an unusually large goal is an adrenaline infusion that provides the endurance to overcome the inevitable trials and tribulations. Goals restricted to the average ambition level, are uninspiring and will only fuel you through the 1st or 2nd problem at which point you throw in the towel. If the potential payoff is mediocre or average, so is your effort.”  – Timothy Ferriss, The Four Hour Workweek.

I know this to be true in my life. I lose the ability to stick with something if my ambitions are just average. When my goals are set higher, something within me charges up! If I’m not creating or helping someone develop a new business, plan a bucket list vacation, design an early retirement, or realign themselves with their true dharma, then I feel like I am slacking. Our dharmic responsibility is to maximize our possibilities and inspire others to do the same. This activated energy is contagious.

When leading yoga retreats, trainings and workshops, I often ask students to pick an aspirational pose: something they’ve always wanted to do, but maybe hadn’t tried or didn’t think they could. I tell them to stop at levitation, but anything else goes! I have found that if you set your sights too low, then you likely won’t stay with your yoga practice. You’ll get bored and want to give up. And boredom is the enemy of happiness.  

But as big as your primary intention is, keep it simple. That way, you can actually start on the path and keep momentum going, step by step. Just as in yoga where you grow by millimeters, baby steps towards your goal will eventually get you there.

Today, honestly ask yourself, instead of getting up to go to work tomorrow, what do you really want to do?

Is there something audacious that you want to manifest? Do your biggest dreams scare you? Good. It is time you stop living in self-delusional comfort, and focus your energy on the tasks that will help you achieve something bigger. Stop settling for less than your best.

“The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurities of the world make it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits.” This week, focus on the home runs set your intentions high. Don’t hold yourself back.  Remember as Wayne Dyer puts it, “You are not an apprentice person on the way to someplace else.” Your life is not a rehearsal. This is it. Stretch all the way into excellence. Go for it!

Love yourself, love your day, love your life!  Silvia

Continue reading for more high intention quotes.

4 comments on “How to Get Over a Bad Mood by Cultivating Breath Awareness”

How to Get Over a Bad Mood by Cultivating Breath Awareness

Yoga is the dance of every cell with the music of every breath that creates inner serenity and harmony.”  – Debashish Mirdha, MD., neurosurgeon & philosopher 

So you’re in a mood. 

What do you do? 

What are your go-to ways to get over it? 

Whatever way you choose to work through your moods, here’s one thing to know: 

Moodiness isn’t “good” or “bad.” 

It’s neutral. 

It provides us with clues about what’s going on underneath the surface of our awareness. 

They’re like the tip of the iceberg of our inner world – the world of our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, perceptions, fears, etc.

A particularly bad mood can be like a tape caught on loop and overdrive. 

Except the tape is our mind and we tend to loop hard when we’re bothered/ pissed/ annoyed/ disappointed/ overwhelmed/ irritated… you get the idea. 

So what do we do? 

We start breathing. 

We tune into the breath and use it to help us navigate the waters of mind and emotions.

Yogic sages have known for thousands of years that the breath is the portal through which we can transform stress and anxiety while accessing a state of inner calm and grounded balance.

Our breathing patterns are intimately tied to our emotions.

Influence one, and you also impact the other. 

 They form what’s called the Breath-Emotion Loop:

1- Our emotions, thoughts, and moods influence our breathing patterns. 

Next time you’re in a mood pay attention to your breathing pattern. You’ll probably notice it’s short, shallow, erratic and/or quick. 

Then notice your breathing next time you feel calm, safe, deep in concentration, or at ease. Notice it’ll probably be slower, longer, even-paced, and/or deeper. 

2- Our breathing patterns can influence our mood. 

If you were to start breathing rapidly taking short and shallow breaths you’ll likely start feeling either awake and alert, or anxious and on guard. 

And so, if you begin breathing slowly and deeply you will most probably begin to feel less uneasy and more relaxed.

Paying attention to our breathing patterns can tell us a lot about our mood. 

Often times we’re not even aware we’re in a mood until something or someone on the outside reflects it back to us and it’s only then that we realize. 

We can become more still and present by consciously controlling our inhales and exhales, and that’s how awareness is born. 

And this is also yoga. 

You don’t need to use your body or a mat to practice yoga.

You can use only your breath and this is yogic practice (sadhana) too. 

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a 500-year-old authoritative yogic text states that: 

When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life.” 

Cultivating the habit of daily breath awareness is so effective at stilling the ripples of the mind that even Buddha himself taught this practice to monks.

In particular, the Buddhist Anapanasati Sutta, also known as the “Discourse on the Full Awareness of Breathing,” details Buddha’s instructions on how to use the breath to cultivate calm focus and mindfulness (aka Anapana breathing):

“Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. 

Breathing out, I know I am breathing out. 

Breathing in, I am aware of my whole body. 

Breathing out, I am aware of my whole body. 

Breathing in, I calm my whole body. 

Breathing out, I calm my whole body” 

Mindfully paying attention to our breath means noticing and observing it without judging it and without having the need to change it in any way. 

Just noticing the inhales and exhales.

Becoming so awake, aware, and present that we can actually start to feel the inner waves our breath creates.

Bringing full awareness to the sensation and feeling of the breath coming into the nostrils and coming out of the nostrils. 

If a thought comes, (which it will, especially if you’re in a mood!) simply bring your attention back to the breath. 

Each time the mind wanders, just bring it back to the present moment – the moment where you’re breathing just as you are. Right here, right now. 

By cultivating this simple daily habit, we can start to shift the way we feel right now, so we can eventually also shift the way we perceive our reality and our experiences. 

This inevitably creates empowering changes in our mood and temperament. 

This is how we use our breath and our awareness to get over emotional humps and hurdles more quickly, more efficiently, and more productively. 

Want to give it a try? 

Join in on this guided meditation:

Remember:

“When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still.”

You can calm your breath by just starting to pay attention to it. 

This simple practice can have powerful exponential effects if it becomes a daily habit. 

May you find peace and refuge in your breath. 

Sat nam. 

——————-

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Osmara Aryal, MBA, the founder of CalmWithYoga.com, a site dedicated to using yogic philosophy, mindfulness, and meditation to increase inner calm, mental focus, vital energy, and quality rest. She’s a Certified Functional Nutrition Practitioner and a Certified Yoga Teacher, specializing in Yoga Nidra, Yin Yoga, and Meditation. Her work has been featured multiple times on CNN and the Miami Herald.  When she’s not exploring corners of the world with her husband, or when her eyes aren’t glued to the computer researching, you’ll find her concocting gut-healing dishes in her kitchen, or cuddling with fur-babies Yodha and Molly.