I love fall weather, as long as I dress for the wind, I love fall weather! There is nothing like the smell of leaves, a cool breeze and for me the aroma of cut pines in my backyard. I find myself lately stopping dead in my tracks to take a moment and breathe in the moment, literally, breathe in the moment. And in that moment, life is just so sweet.  I often think about the people who are simply too busy or who haven’t cultivated the means to “stop and smell the roses” and what they are missing out on.

Each day I find myself working to be a better version of myself from the day before.

And as I continually work to do this I find myself being reminded that a yogi is not someone who necessarily practices asana two hours every day, but rather someone who understands what the asanas are trying to do for them, understands that a yogic mindset and life style will take you farther than a two hour practice. I am partly saddened at the direction yoga in the West is taking, and find it pivotal to educate thirsty yogis for what the asana really feels like and further more how to truly translate that into their everyday life.
 Now I want you to know that I am not the world’s greatest yogini, I unfortunately do not have a daily asana practice that one would think is necessary to be a yoga teacher, I make mistakes, I can’t please everyone, I tend to have a late night snack and I sometimes get in a funk that is less than impressive. But that all being said, I am living a life more in the moment that I have ever before, I am more aware, more comfortable in my own skin and have cultivated the means in which I am 99% of the time O.K. with my choices because I know that everything is an opportunity to learn.

And this opportunity is such a sacred one, that when we turn away from it we are the only ones who lose out. The person I once was ran with fear every time something got hard, was judgmental about everyone and their uncle because I was fearful and judgmental of myself and the choices I was making, or to be more exact, the choices I was not making.  My fear has turned into compassion for those still turning away from opportunities to be better versions of themselves simply because it was not what they expected, because fear steps in and they liked it better being stuck and feeling crappy about who they are or worse yet, critical about the situation at hand, not really realizing how their actions and reactions have a direct affect on everyone around them.

So, fall is a time in which we “change with the seasons”, where we transform from who we were into who we are; and even though we may not exactly love or even really like who we are right now, we need to be that person in order to become the person we are striving to be. A student told me just yesterday that she is learning how to really live her yoga off the mat, she is really beginning to see the difference between what I continually say on the mat about “honoring the pain but learn to sit through the discomfort”. And she went on to say how she is actually O.K. with the discomfort, knowing it will pass. Simply put, discomfort is a way for us to not be comfortable, because when we are comfortable then we aren’t growing. For many of us, we stop thinking we need to pay attention, we stop working our butts off to be the best version of our selves.

Now that being said I’m not saying you need to be a manic workaholic, but rather continually work to be in the moment, discomfort or not, and remember that this moment will soon pass; just like the trees, you look out your window right now and they have leaves, but tomorrow when you wake up they may not, and yet they are still trees, you don’t judge them and you simply let that moment pass. You are that tree who is learning to be O.K. with how and when your leaves fall.

In this instant, as we move forward and accept life in a more loving, authentic, honest way, know that things get easier, and they feels more effortless. And what I have come to better understand is that our mindset’s change, not so much the trauma or drama that comes, but rather our actions and reactions change and things feel simpler. So my intention for all of my students and reader is that you let your leaves fall more simply and enjoy the surroundings in which this occurs. That you learn to step back and smell the roses and head into the discomfort with your head held high, even if you have to grit your teeth because your ego thinks otherwise. Because the only thing constant in life is change itself.

Om Shanti,

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