Change your thoughts and you will change your life!

 
 

As we grow up we develop a multitude of neurotic beliefs, many of which tell us we cannot be, do or have what we dream in this lifetime. That a happy life, one that is the product of our own choosing, is for everyone out there, not for ourselves. It’s unfortunate how self-limiting and self-sabotaging these thought patterns can be and I want to challenge you to choose differently. Don’t think for a moment I don’t have them (neuroses). I absolutely do! And my partner will attest to that. I call this, ‘being human’. In an attempt to confront neurotic thoughts, I make daily commitments to cultivating a more positive mindset, one that focuses on what I can do rather than what I can’t. I do this because I’m mindful if I do not take active steps to address negative and unhelpful ways of thinking, then I shall be consumed by such thoughts and this shall become my life. This is not an easy path, and there are days when everything feels impossible, but it’s certainly a very real one.

As a rehabilitation consultant, I witnessed hundreds of my clients give in to the circumstances before them. They handed their power over to the greater forces they believed to be at work, continually operating with a victim mentality. Blaming their employer, family, children, friends, doctors, physio and so on…. for everything that was going wrong in their lives.

Watching people hand over control of their lives like this always saddened me, for I could always see the incredible potential in each and every client, potential they denied existed.

My work was a real eye opener as it challenged me to think differently, to choose my path rather than have it chosen for me. It was upsetting to witness so many wonderful people become mere shells of their former selves following an incident of some sort. Of course there were many factors at play with my typical clientele, and I often worked with the most challenging of cases due to my experience over the years, but the patterns always looked the same.

Life as they knew it, incident occurred, blame others, become consumed by feelings of frustration, resentment, fear, overwhelm, shock, depression, anxiety, denial, then often seeking retribution to make things right. This final stage was quite possibly the saddest and most challenging, for retribution never ends well. Rather it remains as an excuse to keep small and victimized, forcing people to remain stuck in a drama triangle, a loop that is relentless unless faced head on and stopped in its tracks.

I’ve noticed students of yoga generally posses a very different attitude to their lives and how they want to feel each day, making this work (if you could call it that) very inspiring. What I’ve found as a teacher and practitioner of yoga is the vastly different attitudes of the students who walk through the doors. Unlike my clientele from my previous life, my students are often in a mindset that seeks healing. They’re there because they know something needs to change or improve in their lives and they’ve sought yoga as a tool for helping them get there. They may have experienced all of the above feelings of anger, sadness, frustration etc for various reasons, however they’re now in a position where they want to really challenge those negative, unhelpful thought processes. The thoughts that keep them small and in a place of lesser than. Whilst I felt my career in rehabilitation was valuable to my clients, what I’m now very aware of is that I can only help people who want to be helped.

I can show people the door, but it is up to them to walk through it.

In yoga, many students are standing at this door and are looking for that teacher, that support, to be with them as they begin this powerful, confronting and incredible journey. I love this about the practice.

I’ve always looked at asana as a true sign of strength for when I see a student progress with their practice, I see a genuine commitment and devotion to healing. I observe the struggles that people overcome in both body and mind by watching as they get up and try again every time they fall, or hurt themselves or feel weak. This is real strength.

People who are unwell need support during those difficult times, but as professionals, as teachers, we are lying to ourselves and to our clients, if we believe we can fix whatever problem is going on for that person. Not only is this a violent act (as we are not trusting in the strength of the individual to move through this tough time), but it is also impossible to achieve. We are all responsible for the path our life takes. Yes, encouragement and support is wonderful, but it is not everything. We need to find the strength, the motivation, the courage within ourselves to fight for what we believe in. To challenge our minds when we want to give up. To trust in our own intuition when every one else is in doubt.

We are all so much stronger than we believe. We deny this about ourselves because it is easier to stay small. The risk seems lower. But if you ask me, to not follow a life that is determined by myself is the biggest risk of all. We are here but once. If you fall, get up. Don’t give up. Why? Because each and every moment matters. If you want something enough, believe me, it can be yours. Take that first step and go for it.

Sending hugs, Jessica xx

 

The truth is, this is hard. Really hard. But it's real.

I won’t lie. There’s a reason why I haven’t blogged in such a long time. One which I’m not sure too many people/public figures would be so honest about, making it all the more important to share. In short, it’s because I was starting to lose myself in the inauthentic ways businesses market themselves to grab audiences. The half naked instagram pics, the paid Facebook ads which strategically target people who’ve never come across you before. Whilst I know marketing is super important, it’s the HOW it’s done which is crucial. Trying to be someone I’m not, or mimic people who’ve made it big by wearing skimpy outfits is just not me.

Trying to be someone I'm not.

Trying to be someone I'm not.

Recognising this, and understanding this is not who I am, the message i want to convey or the path I want to follow, I was not prepared to blog about the same crap other people share in an attempt to get superficial followers. I was not prepared to compromised by brand, Naked  Yoga. for this. Truth be told. I needed to make sure I was completely centred and back on track before speaking with you all.

This is my truth.

This is my truth.

It's about surrendering yourself. Being authentic and never allowing yourself to be sucked in to inauthentic ways of being. There is nothing for us there.

It's about surrendering yourself. Being authentic and never allowing yourself to be sucked in to inauthentic ways of being. There is nothing for us there.

Since beginning this journey as a teacher, I’ve done nothing but read, ask questions, train, read some more to become the best possible teacher I can be. Of course there is also the business side of things, where I need to learn how to make a living as a teacher. Coming from a six figure income to that of a new yoga teacher is certainly not easy. With the added challenge of soley managing a property portfolio, I really do have my work cut out for me. But with all the risks analysed, I knew the only option for me was to risk it all and follow my heart. Sounds a little cliche. I know. But it’s the truth and I’ll never look back. I’ve had some amazing wins and also alot of let downs - people promising and not delivering, money being spent in the wrong areas, hopeful opportunities turning into disasters. Business is certainly not easy - but for me, it’s the only way to live the life I desire and to share what I’m passionate about.

What I wanted to share with you all today are the struggles and challenges this journey has presented so far. Whilst the story sounds idyllic - corporate woman quits her soul destroying career to become a barefoot yogi - I can assure it’s not all glamorous. In short, starting a business is bloody hard work. One of the primary challenges with yoga is it’s now a flooded market where every studio in the west (so it seems) is offering teacher training. This means there are new teachers emerging after as-short-a-time as one weekend of study. Scary right!

Why do studios do this? Well, again, it’s a flooded market and this is their way of trying to make ends meet to cover the expenses of rent, teacher's, equipment etc. The problem, however, which seems to be constantly overlooked, is the quality of teachers are declining through inadequate training opportunities being made available in exchange for a quick buck. These studios are also training people who become their competition down the street! It’s a vicious circle that has become so obvious to me since becoming a teacher, but for whatever reason, it studios continue to work in this way. Blind eyes are being turned everywhere.

My biggest disappointment has been the complete disregard for our students. Whilst I feel it is my responsibility to be the best teacher I can be, with a commitment to returning to India at least yearly to continue my studies with Guruji, these quick courses (led by teachers who too have completed quick courses) are resulting in sub par training being delivered to the unknowing practitioner in the west. Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say all teachers are like this. Absolutely not. There are some phenomenal teachers out there, it’s just that they are becoming very few and far between. I too know I have a long way to go with my training - a LONG WAY - but I’m committed to that path and every struggle I shall face as I go along because it is my students who I have the responsibly to, and I hold this very sacred.

So with all of that said, what I’m now up against are well established businesses with their dedicated followers and very limited resources. I’m at a stage in my business where I cannot and will not compromise on quality, and that goes from the type of Christmas cards I send to clients, to the design of my dream studio. Although this significantly limits what i can do, build, share with clients, it means I need to somehow start getting savvy about raising capital to create the high end, highest quality yoga studio in Melbourne. This is my goal. I then intend to expand within Victoria, other states and then internationally. Naked Yoga was not an accidental business concept. The tag line, Pure Practice, speaks of everything I’m about; that Naked Yoga is about. It speaks of the commitment to the ancient practice without the need for mincing it together with modern western exercise classes, such as pilates. It speaks of practitioners learning how to be vulnerable through their practice, to listen deeply and intently to their bodies so as to better understand the self. It highlights the rawness of what is being experienced. For what I’ve come to realise through many years of practice, is that it is only through having the space, commitment and support to practice traditional yoga, without westernised distractions, that the best results are achieved. Mentally, physically and spiritually. It is here that people will see the most fundamental transformations in their lives. I know this because I’ve been there. The challenge for me now is to spread this message. To help people to understand that this is what Naked Yoga is all about. How to do this as an entrepreneur with no startup capital? To be honest, I don’t know. But slowly I’m getting out there. I just trust and have faith that the word will spread, and soon the dream studio will be ready and more and more people will be able to experience Naked Yoga.

naked-yoga.com.au

naked-yoga.com.au