How do we live our best lives?

This niggling question, coupled with a growing sense of stress, urged me to leave my marketing career in 2016 to re-examine my priorities. At that time, I was practicing yoga daily—it did wonders for helping me to slow down and I was curious to know how! Chance and intuition led me to Strala Yoga for leadership training in New York that year.

It was really after training with the co-founder of Strala Yoga, Tara Stiles, that I began to explore and enjoy my personal practice. The easygoing style of Strala chipped away at my rigid ways and supported me as I set out to unlearn all my habits of tension and of linking pain to gain.

One of my favourite discoveries from training is learning that moving away from an aesthetically pleasing alignment, is totally okay! As Bernie Clarke, the author of Your Body, Your Yoga, writes: “We don’t use the body to get into a pose—we use the pose to get into the body.”

Today, I’m still learning how to go through life with ease (and hopefully some grace!). Multiple times a day, in both the big and little things, I try to be purposeful about letting go of tension and choosing to be well.

Multiple times a day, in both the big and little things, I try to be purposeful about letting go of tension and choosing to be well.

My mat has since become a great place to practice living with ease. This hasn’t always been the case—yoga to me wasn’t always about being well, in fact, it's seen so many iterations:

  • Recovering-from-runners-knee yoga

  • Curious-about-yoga yoga

  • Escape-from-job-stress yoga

  • Nail-all-the-poses yoga

  • Move-to-feel-good yoga

It’s taken time, lots of experimenting and a big perspective shift to get to where I am today—both on and off the mat. No more obsessing over results. Instead, I’m learning to savour yoga and life every delicious step of the way.

The best thing about this journey so far? Discovering a better, more fun way to positively impact people. My promise to myself and the community is to focus on living with purpose and passion. And at the end of the day, all I hope is that I’ve made someone’s day a little bit more special.

Keep practicing,

Jamie

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