Self-esteem is said to be crucial in leading successful lives. Yet, self-worth—a much more important aspect—is often left out of the conversation. It is this, the feeling of being worthy of love and belonging, which is vital to leading contented lives.

Success stories in the media paint pictures of ideal ways to live. Over time, we have started measuring our self-worth by how far we meet the expectations of society, family, friends and colleagues. When unable, our natural response is to feel shame; this painful feeling of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy—as explained by Dr. Brené Brown, a well-known researcher—is the no. 1 obstacle to living wholeheartedly.

In her book, Daring Greatly, she writes, “Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. […] It’s going to bed at night thinking: yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.”

We are all imperfect, and accepting this will help us lead more gratifying and happy lives. Following are 10 guidelines that can help overcome the need for perfection, develop the courage to let go of fear and shame, and foster compassion for ourselves.

  1. Practice Authenticity:

Let’s not dwell upon what people think and stay true to ourselves.

  1. Find Self-Compassion:

Let’s relieve ourselves of perfectionism, it is the first step to feeling we are enough the way we are.

  1. Cultivate Resilience:

We are stronger than we think. So let’s learn to cultivate a hopeful attitude and believe in our ability to overcome the challenges in life.

  1. Build Gratitude and Joy:

Even in challenging times, we have the ability to feel joy. So practice being grateful, and let this change in perspective bring happiness into our lives.

  1. Trust Your Intuition and Faith:

We live in an uncertain world with very few things under our control. Let’s focus on doing them right and not let negativity cloud our actions.

  1. Foster Creativity:

We all possess unique talents. So let’s nurture them and feed our souls. Let’s not compare, because that will leave us feeling not enough.

  1. Protect Your Play and Rest:

Our net worth does not define our worthiness. Society puts productivity on a pedestal, but we need to remember that we need rest and play to rejuvenate.

  1. Don’t Fear Calm and Stillness:

Being calm means being aware of our anxieties. It is hard to do away with them completely; however, with yoga and meditation we can learn to take control of our emotions to deal better with complicated situations.

  1. Pursue Meaningful Work:

We may not all be able to practice our passions in our careers, but with a little bit of time management, we can still do things that satisfy our souls and bring value to society.

  1. Laugh, Sing, and Dance:

Let’s remember to laugh, not take ourselves too seriously, and let go of being in control. It can make a world of difference.

I wholeheartedly believe that we all are worthy of being loved and feeling a sense of belonging. Each of the above guidelines is an on-going practice to live wholeheartedly. They have been developed by Brown to help us let go of our desire to conform to the expectations of society and our ideals of perfectionism; so that we can accept ourselves as being self-sufficient.

I hope you feel like you belong when you come to Inspire, as we work towards building an ever-loving, safe and supportive community. What do you think about wholehearted living and is there a particular point above that resonates most with you? I’d love to know! Please feel free to share, I’ll be looking forward to your story.

Elisa

We’ve all heard about aging gracefully, which generally means accepting the conditions of old age such as weaknesses and acting in a more mellow and stereotypical manner. However, as life expectancy is increasing across the world and living up to 80, 90 and even 100 years of age is the new normal, I strongly believe that aging healthily has become far more important.

I remember as a child, whilst playing, we would impersonate old people as being frail, walking slowly with a hunched back, and not being able to lift much, let alone do house chores. That was the case then, when our parents would take care of our grandparents as they grew older. But today, we are embracing the nuclear family way of living and don’t expect or wish to be dependent upon our children. Plus, living like the stereotype I used to play, for 20, 30 or even 40 years seems like a nightmare, don’t you agree?

What makes me feel sad is seeing young people in their 20s experiencing body aches, lacking proper nutrition, being stressed out with the pressure of work and unrealistic social media perceptions, and already starting to get chronic conditions that were unheard of for that age until just a decade ago. On the other hand, I get inspired by all of you who live an active lifestyle, have strong bodies, take care of yourselves and are on your way to blossoming into old age.

The world is seeing this phenomenon and has coined the word ‘perennials’ to describe those of you who live life to the fullest and are physically and mentally active no matter your age. In fact, I believe that it’s not just physical exercise and nutrition, but also being active, caring for yourself and being mentally and socially engaged that prolong those years and the quality of your life.

Let us all take such a comprehensive view to aging, to live happily and not have to depend upon helpers or our children to get by, but see them as luxuries and sources of happiness to live comfortably. I strongly feel that our health and complete well-being are our core strengths to live up to our standards, no matter the number of candles on our birthday cakes.

So let’s eat nutritious food, engage and maintain our social lives, live in safe and supportive communities, and do what we love every day. Let’s challenge and change the world’s stereotype of old age, to one of being active, smart, full of life, and role models to the younger generation. Let this change begin with us and our thinking. Let’s redefine what aging gracefully means to us and not let anything stop us from doing what we love – physically, mentally, or spiritually.

Do you want to join me on this journey? Tell me what you think about aging and your ideas on how we could live healthier lives with our young minds.

Recently, my husband John and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary in Thailand, where we repeated our vows to each other. One of them was, “I’ll always be there for you”. I couldn’t help but recall teaching from yoga, where we call this ‘holding space’, and you might have heard me or other teachers at Inspire talk about it.

It’s like providing the feeling of safety by being there, however it is more complex than that. If you’ve ever said to someone that you love him or that she’s your best friend because they “didn’t do anything but were just there for you in times of need”, I’m sure you’ve experienced someone holding space for you. In essence, it means that a person is simply there for you and allows you to express your feelings and go through the experience of pain, hurt and suffering without judgement or forceful help. Those last two words are what differentiate sympathy from compassion. As humans, it’s not easy to see suffering and not do anything to help alleviate it, and that’s because it affects our emotions and brings our uncomfortable memories to the surface. That’s what makes holding space so much more difficult as one needs to be selfless in the suffering of another.

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What I’m about to share is a personal lesson, which to be frank, I am not entirely comfortable sharing. Nevertheless, I am sharing it because I am sure that my experience is not unique and if it can motivate even one person into action, then it is worth the discomfort. So, here goes …

I’ve always considered myself to be healthy. I’m not overweight (well, I have put on a few kg above what I would consider normal), I think I eat a well-balanced diet (the extra kilos tell a different story) and I try to exercise regularly. It is also true that my workout routine has been affected over the last few years as a result of different jobs and the associated stress.

Regardless of the reasons, I was getting to the studio and gym less than I used to. I made the excuses of getting older and that I’m pretty good for my age – but to be honest, I was kidding myself. I had let my health and wellbeing slip in my order of priorities. I was no longer in balance.

So, during Ramadan I decided to do something about it – I commenced a programme to lose weight and improve my physical wellbeing. I was making good progress and then last month I contracted a virus of some sort, which I thought would simply “go away.” It didn’t!

To cut to the chase, it took several weeks, numerous doctor’s appointments and dozens of tests to diagnose the issue, which fortunately wasn’t as sinister as the symptoms potentially indicated.

Why You Need To Work on Your Health Right Now
Even though my medical results were good, the entire experience reminded me that I am not as bullet proof as I thought I was, and that being mindful of my health is more important than ever. We just can’t predict when or how we will get sick. That is why we all need to make the most of now. Focus on your health and wellbeing right now while you still can. Go out there, get active and take better care of yourself.

For me, that means eating better, eating less, drinking more water and being active every day combining aerobic, strength and flexibility (so those who have noted my absence from morning classes at Inspire, this is coming to an end). Most importantly, I am focussing on positive meditation and better quality sleep.

One of the other outcomes is an increased focus on getting balance in other areas of my life. I have written before about my personal mantra, which is the need for balance (not equity) across four areas of my life: self, family and friends, career and community. It is true I have been out of kilter … so apart from working on myself, I am focussing on the relationships that truly matter, whether it is my mum and kids who live thousands of miles away in Australia, or with my better half (and yes Elisa truly is my better half) with whom I am celebrating 10 years of marriage later this month.

My story is not unique.

Have you ever had a wake up call? How would you rate your health right now compared to a year or two ago? What role does health play in your goals and priorities? What are you going to do, right now to take better care of your health? What are you going to do right now to regain balance in your life?

That’s all for now.

See you on the mat … soon!
John

P.S. Feel free to comment or reach out on the above at either john@inspiremeyoga.net or elisa@inspiremeyoga.net

Have you ever wondered, perhaps in the wee hours of the morning, what your purpose is in life? This happened to me recently, after I returned from my second instalment of the 300-hour yoga teachers’ training in San Francisco. I was training with Jason Crandell, one of my favourite teachers, who urged us to understand the human body and to think about, then define the ‘purpose’ we want to achieve when creating a sequence of asanas. It got me thinking about my own purpose in life?

I’m sure that you too have, at some point, contemplated the meaning of life asking yourself “Why am I here?” or “What’s the reason behind me being in this world?” I have to tell you, it can be quite daunting. However, over time, I have found that it’s important not to put pressure into finding solutions, because answers to such questions come in their own time.

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Forever Strong: An intensive arm balance, inversion and backbend workshop.

DAY ONE

Thursday 7th of June

Master Class for all levels

90 minutes 7:00-8:30pm

DAY TWO

Friday 8th of June

Master Class Intermediate level

90 minutes 1030am-12pm

WORKSHOPS

Arm balance Intelligence

3 Hours 2:00-5:00pm

Arm Balance Intelligence – A combination of scapular and bent elbow strength poses. On the first day of this workshop, students will learn the proper muscles to engage during plank pose. This is beneficial for strengthening the muscles that are essential for the inversions and arm balances that will be taught. After establishing a strong foundation, we will work our way into arm balances, and preparation for one arm balances. Students will learn the techniques needed to transition from one arm balance to another fliuidly.

DAY THREE

Saturday  9th of June

Inversion Breakdown

2.5 Hours 10:30am -1:00pm

Inversion breakdowns –

On day three we will jump right into inversions. Students will be given the proper technique needed to master headstand, handstand and four arm stand. Students will not only learn the technique but also tools so that they can feel comfortable and confident upside down. We will work our way into the press handstand.

Backbend Progressions

3 hours 2:00-5pm

Back bend progression-

On the third day we will work on back bends. Students will learn different variations of back bends and how to perform them safely. Students will be given the tools and techniques to safely invert their back bends. This day will give students more confidence in their ability to safely attempt new and advanced back bends.

What To Expect In Jacobs Classes:

A strong flow of connective sequences that are broken down in a way that anyone of any skill level can understand and comprehend. In his classes, he uses music to form a rhythm which makes getting into the flow a lot easier for his clients. Jacob use intelligence and alignment of the body to make sure everyone is pushing themselves but also being safe and having fun. You will sweat yet also learn more than just yoga poses. He uses different kinds of core stability and advance movements to make sure all of his clients are progressing in there asana practice.

Teachers Toolbox

This training will not only cover yoga asana and meditation but a much higher skill set for you to have to grow your classes and relationships with your students.

Developing a strong memory for sequencing multiple postures in a row with confidence and high energy is crucial to providing consistent classes that students want to come back to. This memory will save you time from always having to write up new sequences.

Being yourself is the most important aspect of being a great yoga teacher. Not trying to be your teacher or anyone that inspires you. Finding your voice through and walking through the fears and discomfort is monumental during this process.

Investment: 

Masterclass AED 250

Single Session AED 350

Teacher’s Toolbox AED 400

All 4 sessions (excluding Teacher’s Toolbox) AED 1150

All 5 sessions (including Teacher’s Toolbox) AED 1480

Book Here

Each of the 50 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet corresponds to a certain portion of the physical body or marma. This mantra directs healing energy and higher prana to different places within us that need healing. Our Purusha or Higher Self is connected to the physical body through this body of sound.

Learn the Sanskrit Alphabet with proper pronunciation and tongue placement to experience the power of sounds. “The Sanskrit letters can stimulate all the powers of the brain and the nervous system, improving our concentration, memory and perception on all levels.” *

“The combination of mantra and marma heals the physical body, changes the frequency of the subtle body, and removes negative patterns from the mind. It reduces the karmic code or matrix which resides in the psyche.” **

Date: May 12, 2018 (Saturday)

Timings: Batch 1 – 1130am – 1245nn and Batch 2 – 1pm – 215pm

Free for everyone but Maximum of 20 students per batch.

Please register by Inspire app, call 04-321 9771 / 052 7776108 or e-mail: reception@inspiremeyoga.net

This Sound Journey is a special offering from Meetu, as she brings all her healing instruments, Tibetan Singing Bowls, Traditional Tibetan Gongs, Chakra Crystal bowls, Shamanic Drums, Rattles, chimes, Ocean drums, rainstick, hand pan, bells and other equipment to create a magical symphony of higher vibrations of Love and Joy!

Come Join in for a magical evening!

Investment: AED 100

Wednesdays : 4:30pm

Reiki Healing Session

An energy healing method usually done by positioning the hands over or slightly above the body.  Reiki allows positive energy to flow into the body through the hands of the practitioner promoting healing by activating the relaxation response and helps the body to balance itself and heal energy from a very deep level.

Essential Oil Healing Session

Recover and transcend into wholeness thru essential oils and subtle energy therapy. You may choose sessions for: Relaxation, Aches & Pains, Energizing, Enhancing Creativity, Mental Clarity.

Duration: 45-60 minutes

Please note that this service is only available for FREE to our members with a 6-month and 1-year membership (15% off)  purchase for the month of MAY only

Members with a 6-month membership can choose either a Reiki session or Essential Oil Healing session and our members with 1-year membership can have both!

Kindly call or email to know available schedule and book in advance.

Additional sessions will be subject to our private/private group session rates.

Do good – I remember my mother telling me this on a number of occasions since I was a little girl. It’s something most of us have grown up hearing from society. It is so ingrained in our character through various teachings, from being compassionate and helping others, to sharing and being modest, that we sometimes forget our inherent need of self-preservation.

Have you ever done something good and for some reason felt unappreciated, hurt or even taken advantage? I confess I used to get affected when mine or others act of kindness went unnoticed and unappreciated…  I used to ask myself why even bother? For years, I thought that the people who I felt did not appreciate me or in my perception took advantaged of me were to blame for my feeling of sadness and hurt.  I have since learnt otherwise.

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