Why Yoga Focuses on Gut, Spine, and Breath

You are not here to build empires or leave legacies. You are here to connect with your body and breath, and then surpass it. You are here to evolve.

Your core is paramount in this process. What is your core? Your “gut” and “spine”. Your heart and brain depend on your core in order to function properly.

When you breathe better, you think better. The clarity of your breath affects the clarity of your brain.

Most of us have gut, spinal, and breathing issues. Most of us don’t know it!

How to Raise Yourself Into a Confident, Emotionally Independent, and Liberated Individual

Don’t worry about detaching yourself from things. Don’t worry about liberating yourself. The more you try, the more you’ll feel attached. All that is fruitless. There is a faster way and it works.

Get honest with yourself. Earnestly commit yourself to your honesty. As you get honest, you will learn, you will understand. Understanding will do whatever needs to be done, because when you know better you do better. If your understanding is at level 1, you cannot expect level 10 results.

It’s not about age or formal education either. Understanding depends on only understanding. There are a lot of educated elites who are completely idiots. There are a lot of illiterates who are wise sages.

Knowledge of self will teach you not only about yourself but every other person. Your heart will teach you about other’s hearts. Most importantly, self study will raise you emotionally and vibrationally. Whatever your parenting left behind you can raise. 

You won’t need to depend on someone else. Your security will be within you. Where it should be. It won’t change according to your social, financial, or marital status. You will be a steady human being.

That’s real self-confidence. It’s not dependent on how others see you. It’s not even dependent on how you see yourself. It’s not dependent on anything that can change. It is regardless of anything. It’s unwavering because it’s independent of all, even the self.

In Order to Give Light, One Must First Burn

Did you know that earth’s population reached 1 billion in 200,000 years? That was in 1804. After that, within 200 years it reached 7 billion. Today, it is approximately 7.6 billion. Most of this population is running towards the basic things: money, success, respect, love, marriage, and kids. That’s more than 7 billion people running towards the same things. Regardless of who achieves more or less, we are all racing towards the only one possible outcome– a black hole of death, never to be seen again.

Soooo, one day, I stopped. I stopped running. I stopped walking with the crowd. I watched everyone pass me by. I thought that if 7 billion people are doing the same task, why not divert one of the earthlings to explore life from a different angle? After all, regardless of how high I climbed the success ladder, I’d meet the same outcome as everyone else. What did I have to lose? 

Opting out of this race wasn’t easy. I had to constantly remind myself that I was no longer a competitor. So, what made sense for others was not going to make sense for me. My opinions on any subject were never the popular ones. I had to accept being the awkward kid in the corner at every party. I wasn’t bored, because I was at the center of a million conversations, all in my head.

This simple diversion from the path well-trodden made my outlook on life very different. On so many occasions I wished I could be like everyone else. But just like you can’t erase things once you’ve seen them, it was too late. I just had to stop comparing myself to anyone and keep walking in the opposite direction, albeit looking like a fool. Terrified, excited, and alone, I started working on my first self-assignment– undoing myself.

I Don't Know…and That's Okay!

I don’t know. Many years ago, this was the phrase on my phone wallpaper and I’ll never forget why. I had been dealing with a highly stressful situation for months. One day, I stumbled upon what someone had crafted as a funny phone wallpaper. It stopped me dead in my tracks. As I read the words, I realized that these were the three words behind my anxiety. Reading them was calming me down. So, I put it up as my phone wallpaper. Every time I read the words, “I don’t know,” I would whisper to myself “…and that’s okay!”

Known and Unknown, everything that happens, happens in the middle of these two realities. It’s the delicate moment balancing on the crest of our exhale and inhale. Known is the past, and unknown is the future. 

Out of our primal fear of survival, we try to minimize “the unknown” in the unknown. Yet, the future remains unknown. Our idea of safety remains just that, an idea. In reality, no one can predict what the next second of our lives brings to us. 

Letting go of our “idea of safety” to embrace the “truth of the unknown” can feel uncomfortable. But, this is a necessary step that we must lovingly usher ourselves into. After all, the road to truth is paved with nothing but…the truth.

When the Student is Ready, the Horse will Appear

Back when I started my journey towards myself, I remember sitting on the porch and watching a spider doing its “thang”, weaving its web. I noticed how similar it was to the human mind. Out of nowhere, a thought would occur and weave a bunch of stories from itself. Then my mind trailed off to the day before to contemplate my adventure of horseback riding. I noticed another similarity, this time between the horse and myself.

Being the wise owl out of my group of friends, I had expected my horse to be the most zen, but this horse related to a very different aspect of me. This horse was wild at heart. It refused to follow anyone, and insisted on marching past the guides to lead. When it got the chance, it escaped its headgear and took off into traffic with me on top. That was my second time on a horse so you can imagine my terror. Yet, I knew this was meant to be because this experience was reflecting to me something about myself. 

The horse had my complete sympathy. After all, who was I to tell it what to do? I had spent so many years trying to be a perfect horse myself (figuratively), and I no longer saw any benefit in it. I was in the process of shedding an image that I had worked so hard to create, because it was a false image of me. It was an image that made no one happy, least of all me. I no longer wanted to be enslaved to any society, religion, or culture. I was no longer willing to live to impress others. I was no longer on this planet to live a life that others wanted me to live. I wanted to own my life, my time, my likes, my dislikes, and my mistakes. Basically, I could relate to this horse and understood why he was shown to me.

Sitting on the porch, the picture became even more clear. I had been punishing, shaming, neglecting, denying, bullying, comparing, and criticizing my body. Now, I started to see that my body was also a wild horse that I had been trying to tame. What good was a tamed horse, when I could have a wild one with it’s own intelligence? Trying to break this horse was only breaking its spirit. Instead of trying to own the horse, I decided to honour it. I broke out of the mental conditioning us humans have that compels us to own everyone and everything in our paths. Thanks to this horse, I no longer saw my body as a resource for me to exploit. Instead, I started my journey of worshiping it.

This simple change in intention made an enormous difference in the direction my life progressed. As I dove into yoga, my single point of focus was to heal my relationship with my body. I wanted my body to trust me instead of fear me. Every day, my body shed more trauma and relaxed a little more. My sleep improved, my health improved, my strength improved, and most importantly, my intuition improved.

Now, when I’m facing a group of new yoga students, this is the simple change I hope to inspire in them. I feel that once you start seeing your body as an invaluable companion, you are less likely to quit halfway or be led astray. You will be gentle, curious, and determined. The journey itself becomes healing because you learn. When you learn, you know better, and when you know better, you do better. You no longer have to torture your body into sizes that don’t feel comfortable. You no longer feel the need to be accepted by another person, because you have already accepted yourself. You are able to say that you are working out for yourself. You are able to show up everyday to your practice because it’s no longer superficial, but a very personal, spiritual, and intentional prayer.