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How To Make Your Life Absolutely Perfect

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Here’s something to think about at the start of the New Year… Your underlying beliefs determine your destiny.

Just as Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”

The words you use are a strong indicator of your true beliefs.

Yoga and meditation make you conscious of your words by increasing your sensitivity. With consistent practice, it becomes difficult to throw around words that are negative and harmful because you experience a misalignment in terms of how you feel, and how you want to feel.

How do you want to feel?

Wouldn’t it be great to be vibrant, full of energy, at peace, and free at all times? There are countless tools and techniques from the practice of Kundalini Yoga that make this state of freedom available to you today, not some distant place in the future where all the conditions of your life fall into place.

Have you ever noticed, when one area of your life comes into alignment, another area falls out of alignment? Life is a series of growth opportunities. Sometimes it’s your career that needs your attention, at others it’s your personal relationships or your health. You keep growing and evolving.

But having the tools and techniques to support you on your journey make the journey sweeter. Regardless of the struggles, or even the opportunities, you have in front of you, there are techniques you can use to make this moment, right here, right now, absolutely perfect.

This is possible because yoga transforms struggle into opportunity. All you need to learn is the right transformational skills. This is your journey to self-mastery.

You can find out more about these life changing skills in my Self-Mastery Online series. You can join me for a year-long transformational process or sign on to:

  • Crystallize Your Vision and get clear on your dream
  • Breakthrough Your Blocks and remove the barriers that have been holding you back
  • Heal Your Heart and establish balance between your material and spiritual needs
  • Master Your Mind to Master Your Life

Find out more here.

One Decision Changes Everything

A business coach once asked me to identify my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. It’s optimism…for both. I can’t help myself, I’m a relentless optimist. I refuse to let worry or fear get in my way. But this takes work.

It’s not easy to keep negativity and disruptive “noise” out of your head.

A few minutes watching the news, or hanging out with someone with a “doom and gloom” mindset is all it takes to crush your enthusiasm IF you’re not feeling your best.

And that’s what I want to talk to you about…feeling your best. I’m obsessed with starting the New Year feeling great. I believe that how you start your year, sets the tone for what you’ll manifest in 2018.

When you feel good, your energy is high and your dreams feel within reach.

When you don’t, your doubts and fears are magnified by small setbacks, and negativity from the people in your life that don’t get you.

You have to “get” you.

Others don’t have to understand why your dreams are important to you. And those “others” aren’t the reason you’re not living your best life.

The blocks to living the life you desire are internal. That’s what my first business coach taught me, and it’s the same thing that all the yogic texts will teach you. Change begins with you.

I don’t want to be sitting here at the same time next year, not having moved forward on my most important goals and dreams. What about you? Aren’t you tired of the repeating patterns in your life?

When you don’t resolve your underlying issues, you will:

Keep dating the “same” guy
Keep getting overlooked for promotions
Keep having the same arguments with loved ones again and again
Never feel there is enough time/money for the things you really want to do

Spending more caffeine fuelled days and nights working longer and harder, isn’t the answer to reclaiming your life. A fulfilled life must include your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. It has to include goals that are deep and meaningful to you.

I invite you to rediscover what your true goals are and build the mindset and level of health, and vitality required to realize your dreams. The full process is made up of four online courses, spread out over one year. Next year this time, we can be congratulating each other on having lived our best year yet!

You can join me for the full transformational process or just one of the 46 day segments.

The 46 days is very purposeful. The first six days of each course has a certain intensity to it. Each of the first six days includes an intentionally selected Kundalini Yoga Kriya (exercise set) designed to produce specific results, a meditation to magnify the effects of the kriya, and self-inquiry work. The subsequent forty days solidifies the changes you’ve put into motion, and those changes include:

Getting crystal clear on what your dream is
Removing the barriers to manifesting your dream
Realigning with your true self to balance your material and spiritual needs
Rediscovering a love that has been available to you all along
Mastering your mind so that you can master your life
And, one of the best parts of this process, is joining a world-wide community of support that is there to inspire you every step of the way.

Are you ready to make one decision that could change everything? I invite you to learn more about these life changing online courses, and get into the best mindbody shape of your life.

Where I’m At

I’m writing this after completing my Friday morning class at our Kits Beach Studio.

It was one of those powerful mornings where the sun was streaming in the windows and the energy in the room was high. Towards the end of class, after all the dancing, sweating and singing we slowed things down. And as we all started to move more slowly and breathe more deeply, I thought about how important it is to sustain your energy.

The challenge you’re trying to see through, whether it’s the next set of 26 squats or 11 minutes of holding your arms up high or yet another plank, requires you to sustain your energy.

You know this…your strength doesn’t live in your muscles. Your strength comes from a place deep inside that you touch when you breathe deeply. One deep breath is all it takes to touch that place of calm strength that will sustain you – regardless of what you’re going through. You see, whatever challenge you’re facing might take some time to resolve.

Its ok, it’s just part of this journey. I know you want to know exactly when everything is going to be ok but honestly everything is ok right now. Whatever is happening right now is perfect. It’s part of your learning, and it’s part of your growth.

A few weeks back I talked to you about suffering and how you increase suffering by not facing what is.

That very same deep breath you take to get through the next set of frogs (squats), is the very same thing you need to do when you’re faced with something that feels too big to handle. You hear this said all the time because its true, “you’re never given more than you can handle.” So, whatever has landed in your lap and you need to find your way through, choose to find it with peace, grace and calm. Don’t go running scared and please drop your “I can’t story.” Because it’s a story, that’s all it is. You can and you will. And when you keep your energy high, and your thoughts positive, and your words and actions all at the highest vibration, you help everyone in your world get through too. Doubt, fear, blame, and anxiety have no place in your heart.

Whatever you’re ready to be free of, just breathe it out now. And decide to be free.

The work, the challenges, and all the things that seem insurmountable, are your gifts to embrace. Get super curious about what is happening and then take the deepest breath, connect to that pace of calm, and let’s all carry on.

Sat Nam,

Gloria

Personal

I started writing this to give you suggestions for exercises you can squeeze into your day no matter how busy you are. There are two exercises in my practice that I never skip because they are so powerful. But I don’t want to talk to you about “squeezing” a practice into your day. “Squeezing” something into your day means that it isn’t a priority.

Before your week gets away on you, pull out your calendar and decide where your yoga and meditation fit in, or where that practice that puts you in “flow” fits in….flow is that blissful state where your sense of time disappears. It could be running, walking, swimming, dancing or any number of things, what’s yours?

I only mentioned physical activities because if you want to have a healthy mind, you have to get your body moving. You see the health of your body and the health of your mind are integrally linked.

Mental and emotional health is very much on my mind these days. In my message to you last week, I told you I was making the toughest decision of my life, and my apologies if I worried anyone. Everything is going to be ok, but I am spending a lot of time in the dementia ward of the hospital with my mom these days. The message is loud and clear that mind body health shouldn’t be “squeezed” into your life but made a top priority.

What I’m witnessing a lot of these days is conversations that revolve around worry and fear.

We all have these “fear dialogues” happening, they’re just not as exposed in us as they are with someone with dementia. Are we all living with this much anxiety and fear? Well, it’s estimated that over 30% of North Americans suffer from anxiety. The numbers are likely much higher as these stats don’t include those suffering from a lower grade of anxiety that doesn’t require medication. And fear in all its disguises (worry, anxiety, tension) is what keeps us all from living our best lives.

Now, I did mention I was going to share two exercises with you.

The poses I don’t go a day without doing are frog pose (yes, squats!) and stretch pose and you can find videos of them both here,

But, it’s not enough. Back to your calendar, where is that time for you? It doesn’t need to be an hour but there needs to be some breathing space in your day to move your body, and empty your mind of the worries that keep you stuck and drag your energy down. This is important…. sweat out your anxieties, your worries, your fears… breathe them out, dance them out, sing them out. Just keep moving them out.

And, before I go, I want to say a very special thank you to everyone that attends the 4:00pm Hatha class at Semperviva’s Sun Studio. You’ve made it possible for my mom to continue yoga for a full two years after her stroke with the help of her amazing caregiver.

THANK YOU for accepting her with loving kindness.

Sat Nam

Gloria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The toughest decision of my life

This fall I’ve had to make one of the most challenging decisions of my life.
The truth is, I would give anything to have someone else make this decision for me.
And the more I delay what I know I have to do, the more suffering I create.

What is suffering?
Suffering is resisting what is.
There is something real, challenging and heavy weighing on my heart.

Resistance…more than anything I don’t want to be responsible for this decision.
Course of action…YOGA and lots of it.
Why?

Because for me, yoga is the most powerful remedy to:
-quiet my mind
-calm my anxieties
-gather my courage, willpower and strength
-listen to my heart
-say what needs to be said
-and let myself be guided

It’s times like these that I’m beyond grateful for the gifts that yoga gives me, and it goes way beyond toned muscles.

When I can touch the stillness, yoga gives me, only then do I know that this decision is the right one. That the answer came from my higher conscious and not from my scared small self, or my ego. And, I was never really alone in making this decision after all. We’re all supported in more ways than we will ever know.

Sat Nam,

Gloria

You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until It’s Gone)

I hate to say it but that’s how gratitude often works…

“you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”, and when it’s gone, you develop a huge appreciation for what was.

Whether it’s your career you may be complaining about, your partner or your kids, it’s possible you find it easy to complain.

Every morning might sound something like this:

…ugh I have to go to work, instead of I’m grateful for my career

…ugh I have to get the kids to school, instead of appreciation for time spent with them

Do you ever take things or people for granted? Even your health. Most of us don’t think much about our health and wellbeing when we’re feeling good but, when we’re sick, all of a sudden our health becomes the most important thing to us.

Where you are now in life is a result of all the choices you’ve made up until now.

Sure, sometimes crisis seems to appear out of nowhere but mostly things fall apart because of constant neglect over a prolonged period of time.

What in your life have you been neglecting?

Lots of us could put ourselves at the top of this list. The pace you’ve created in your life may feel unsustainable and finding time for self-care might feel impossible.

In fact, the #1 excuse I hear from people for not doing yoga is “I don’t have time.”

I believe wholeheartedly that yoga is the greatest definition of self-care because it’s fitness for your mind, body and spirit.

But the truth is, self-care won’t really matter to you until your health is compromised in some way be that through mental, physical or emotional disease.

That’s a very chaotic way of living where you run from one problem to the next trying to fix what shouldn’t be broken.

Yoga gives you time and space for self-reflection. The inward journey shows you what is working well in your life and what isn’t. Don’t wait until things are broken to fix them, especially your health and your heart. Your heart breaks a little each day when you go against yourself. When you start to believe that you have to maintain this unstainable pace.

Slow down, and right now take a really deep breath and ask yourself:

What are your true priorities for today, and for your life.

Who and what is really important to you now?

And, be grateful.

More AHA moments

There are many things in life you know to be good for you but don’t follow through on. Yoga is one of those things. You know you should practice consistently but too often you let something get in the way. Sometimes it’s the guilt of taking time for yourself that gets in your way and sometimes it’s just not understanding that yoga takes many forms. Yoga is not just your ninety-minute sweaty practice on the mat. Yoga is also sitting still and bringing the focus to your breath for a few minutes. Whether you move your body or sit in stillness, the body, mind connection is re-established and you return to peace. If time is tight and you’re too worked up to sit still, then try three rounds of san salutations. After all, why wouldn’t you want a few moments of peace and calm in your day? You’ll be surprised how those few moments of calm, can affect all your interactions. Instead of rushing into your day, you set the tone for peace and calm.

One of the things that keeps you from practicing yoga consistently is that you want to avoid self-responsibility. It’s why you fill your days with noise. Even moments when you’re alone, you resist being with your own thoughts. That’s why we’ve established addictions to our phones…they’re amazing at keeping us completely disconnected from our “inner work.”

I don’t have a hate on for technology by any mean,  because without it, I wouldn’t be able to connect with you. But everything has an off button. Develop an “off button” for yourself. Establish a time that is completely yours and if that time needs to change every day so be it. Be a flexible yogi and roll with life gives you. If you can’t practice one morning, practice in the evening. How your practice looks is irrelevant.

When you practice, you experience moments of quiet connection of body, mind and soul. You become fully conscious, fully “aware.” You can spend days, weeks and months, chasing after peace, happiness and fulfillment but you’ll never receive as much wisdom as when your body, mind and soul are in perfect alignment in that place of peace and calm.

You’ve experienced this “place” before, I’m know you have. It’s one of the reasons you keep coming back to yoga. It’s that bliss state or “AHA” moment that has the ability to change your life. Start listening to the wisdom that’s trying to get your attention.

That information comes to you slowly, and it reveals itself to you, as you need it.

I believe what you need is always available but it only comes to you over time…when you’re ready. And this, is why you have to keep going back to your practice. It’s to discover the next insight, your next “AHA” moment.

If you’re still looking for someone to save you…for someone to step in and fix your life. They don’t exist. What we can do for each other is to support each other, love each other and uplift each other to take personal responsibility for the state of our lives and our relationships.

And as Wayne Dyer would say, just strive to be a better person than you used to be.

How are you going to tap into that place of peace and calm? What’s your strategy? For me it’s getting on my mat, day after day, whether I feel like it or not. And the truth is, within three breaths, I come back home to peace, calm and everything I need.

Namaste

Gloria

PS – my new program Heal Your Heart is opening for registration soon. To be informed when it opens please sign up here.

 

 

 

 

 

Do Nothing

In yoga, we create a pause….we pause at the top of the inhale, and we pause at the bottom of the exhale…this pause can save your relationships.

Yoga, as my dear friend and teacher Max Strom says, is a breathing practice accompanied by movement. So, let’s talk about the breathing part of yoga, your reactiveness and your relationships.

If you’re like most people, you’re most reactive with the people closest to you.

So how can yoga help? Yoga teaches us to act versus react.

A regular practice of yoga and meditation creates space between your thoughts, grounds you and creates awareness that allows you to see the other person’s perspective. It teaches that there’s more power in controlling your reactivity then in your witty/cutting responses or impulsive actions.

I shared this with many of you a long time ago but I think it’s worth sharing again. It’s from Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga:

Communicating for the Future

“Communication is very misunderstood by all human beings. When you are angry, when you are emotional, when you are hurt, when you are insecure, or when you are into an ego trip- that’s when you feel you must talk, and that’s why you mess up! Because when you talk it should be for the future, not the past or the present. Communication is the art of building heaven in the future.”

–Yogi Bhajan

Being in the heat of an argument is tough! You want to fight back; you want to do something. Do nothing…take that deep breath first. Remember it will create space between your thoughts, ground you and create awareness that will allow you to see the other person’s perspective.

We practice exercises in Kundalini yoga where you hold your arms up for interminable amounts of time, remember? Just as in that argument, you’re being taken to your limits. Here is where the real transformation happens, you learn to breathe through the discomfort and find incredible strength within you. You find the part of you that chooses to be happy rather than be right all the time.

Today I choose peace, and I will choose it again tomorrow and the next day.

And, I know I will mess up, and I will blurt things out that I hadn’t intended but the more I practice, the stronger my resolve to be peace.

If you’d like to learn more about the tools and techniques that will transform your relationships, join me for my next online Kundalini Yoga Immersion, Heal Your Heart.

Sat Nam

Gloria Latham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flexibility

People are often surprised when say I’m not that flexible even though I’ve been studying and teaching yoga for almost twenty years now. The style of yoga I practice builds strength more than flexibility but that isn’t the only reason, I’m a little stiff. The flexibility I’m working on is the flexibility of my mind.

If there is tension in your body, you can bet there is tension in your mind.

Tension can have many sources and is mostly created through repressed emotion.

It could be anger, anxiety, guilt, fear. You can become quite masterful at repressing all of these emotions because you have to “get through” your days or you have to “keep peace” in your relationships. Continuing to supress these emotions will shut down your heart. When you don’t let yourself feel the pain, over time you won’t feel joy either…in fact you can become quite numb and lose your sense of gratitude that should be a part of every day.

Wow, I have another day to try and live better and love better.

Does your day start with “wow” or does it start with “sh..” I’m so tired of everything.

Move your body and you will free your mind. There is a gentle stirring of repressed emotions that happens through yoga. Have you ever experienced a good cry in class? Or maybe you’ve become uncharacteristically angry. This gentle stirring in practice brings to the surface what needs to be released.

Your yoga practice often starts off as a nice cozy place to be. A quiet room, a sweet community, soft music, and then something gets stirred up. You start to see what you haven’t wanted to see. It’s your gift. It’s your opportunity to see what you need to take responsibility for.

Do I need to forgive someone? Do I need to ask for forgiveness from someone?

What if you were open to different perspectives than your own? It could change your relationships and it could change your life. This is true flexibility.

To find out how Kundalini yoga can heal your heart, check out my new online course.

Sat Nam
Gloria Latham

My 5 Health Tips

I was asked in an interview yesterday what my top five tips are for good health. So, here they are:

1. My number 1 non-negotiable is establishing a daily practice
A daily practice of yoga and meditation is life changing. An occasional practice is nothing more than a nice stretching exercise. You need time each day to connect with your inner guidance and your higher conscious. You can experience that same connection when you spend time in nature or in any activity that puts you in a state of flow where you lose all sense of time.Your practice some days might be as little as a few minutes focused on your breath and other days it could be a full 90 minute yoga practice and meditation. You’ll find that the more you make this a non-negotiable part of your day, the more time will appear for you. Why? Because you’ve set yourself up for your day properly. By slowing down you accomplish more. You’ll no longer have to waste time undoing damage created by rushing into your day unfocused and ungrounded.

2. The three hour rule
When it comes to diet there is one rule I like to go by, and that’s to consider how you’ll feel three hours after eating your meal. It brings greater awareness to how your food choices can either elevate your energy or drag you down. If I’m teaching at night, I have to think about what will sustain my energy until 9:00pm because I’m accountable to my students. That helps me make better food choices. Although, a little caffeine helps too 🙂

3. Spend time in nature
Nature teaches us patience. Nothing in nature can be rushed. The sunrise takes as long as it takes, as does sunset. Plants and trees can’t be rushed to grow. It all takes as long as it takes. This reminds me that there is something to be said for divine timing. Everything happens when it’s time. Nature teaches us patience, and being in nature grounds as instantly and inspires us with its beauty.

4. Swim every day
Now, this isn’t something I’m able to do but oh how I’d love to swim in the ocean every day. There is something about the salt water and the power of the ocean that feels so cleansing. Every day you need to start fresh; cleanse yourself of yesterday. You need to let go of what happened yesterday and begin again. Today can be better than yesterday, and you can make tomorrow even better than today.

5. Nurture your relationships
When you’re with someone, really be with them. Listen to them and see them. It’s too easy to take the people in your life for granted. Don’t let that happen to you. Learning to be in relationship begins with understanding your relationship with yourself. This is one of the lessons in my new online immersion Heal Your Heart that will be available to you soon. You can find out more here.

Sat Nam
Gloria Latham