How to live a positive life with Yoga

Yoga is a state of being. A state of presence, oneness and connection with the Universe.

Recognizing the essence of yoga, changes one’s mindset to think positively on and off the
mat. A positive attitude uplifts ourselves and others to embrace their highest selves in this
human experience. Thus, we create self-love, fulfilling careers, loving relationships and an
awareness of our role on earth.

To me, yoga is a connection of the mind and body
with the present moment. It is an unlearning of fear and reconnection to love. According to
‘Four Chapters on Freedom’, yoga is blocking patterns of consciousness. It is disconnecting
with thought patterns and reconnecting to the universal mind, based on presence, stillness,
peace and ultimately, reality. Through connecting with my breath, I’ve been able clear
negative thoughts and connect with the moment. Clearing the mind births the understanding
that negative thoughts are self-created and influenced by other misaligned minds.
Connecting to bliss in my practice led to changing my thoughts for the better. With every
inhale I remind myself I am strong, and with every exhale grateful. Every posture has a new
‘I AM’ statement, that enhances my asana, energy and life. Struggle transformed to courage
in each posture. Teaching this to others will encourage self belief and empowering thoughts.

Each asana has a unique energy leading to Samadhi. The first, which has assisted
my growth towards positivity is the simple and powerful Pranamasana; prayer pose. The art
of good posture and a focused gaze, instantly changes the demeanour of a person.
Establishing a sense of calmness and focus, quiets the mind and detaches negative
thinking. Physicality connects to mentality; our body-mind or ‘the self’. Standing upright with
relaxed shoulders, a lifted chest and engaged core symbolizes confidence. Confidence and
self acceptance is the first step towards positivity. Another pose that requires focus and
strength is Naukasana; boat pose. Naukasana requires a strong spine and core, while
reaching up and out. I connect reaching forward to being open to love and reaching towards
my goals. Inner power is all we need, letting go of outer needs or false power.
Once these postures are mastered, the yogi becomes more advanced and can rise to
chakrasana— wheel pose. Executing wheel pose symbolizes how I lead my life. My yoga
teacher in Toronto always says, “How you show up on your mat is how you show up in life.”
Although it was difficult at first, the act of rising chest first and holding this posture inspires
resilience, flexibility and strength in daily life. If wheel pose can be held with courage, any
situation in life can be handled the same.

Combining asanas with breath work and meditation allows for further expansion into positive thinking. As one breathes deeply and
slowly, there is connection with the present moment. Diaphragmatic breathing also reduces
anxiety as an awareness forms around negativity being merely a thought system. Students
will witness their thoughts and be able to separate them from reality. Slow and deep breath
means a calm mind and body. When we calm our body, we signal to the mind that all is well
and safe. This can be combined with chakra balancing meditation and mantra chanting to
align the body’s energy with its true nature. For example, when I work on my root chakra, I
feel more calm, grounded and safe. Performing Vipassana meditation on its own is a great
way to connect to the present moment as well. This is purely emptying the mind, which I like
to do with eyes open to really sense what is around me in the present.
A healthy mind is
also developed through a healthy body. Through Ayurveda, one can discover their body

type and best suited diet. When the body is clear from toxins, so is the mind. Limiting meat
will benefit all. We become more compassionate and rid the body from fear the animal
would leave its life with.

Yoga overall, is a way of living that connects one to their true nature. Our true nature
is believing in ourselves and instincts; like nature itself. Water does not question its flow,
and sunshine never asks for anything in return of its gift.
When we believe in ourselves we believe in the Universe, allowing true purpose to manifest naturally. Yoga has cleansed
my mind, body and soul; allowing my true self to shine. This has lead to my purpose, which
is teaching the concept of living mindfully. I have become more positive, loving, strong and
eliminated negative addictions. There is still room to grow and heal, but simply knowing the
way is internal is the key to expansion. Becoming aware that we are all spirit in human
clothes, we are able to serve a purpose bigger than ourselves. Therefore oneness is the
eternal truth found in positive thinking.

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