Vulnerability and My #MoreThanAsana Journey

I’ll give you fair warning… this blog post is not like my normal posts. I usually aim to provide some sort of tangible advice or information I have gathered along my Rainmaking journey, but this post is coming at you more from a personal place of vulnerability.
As you know, I have built this blog around three themes: Everyday Justice, More Than Asana, and Health & Wellness. These are the things that really light a fire in me and help me live consciously for myself, others, and the planet.

But you may have noticed that I don’t currently have any posts (except for this one) under the “More Than Asana” category, and I’d like to tell you why.

While I am passionate about yoga and all it has to offer, I honestly hold some insecurities about sharing content in this area. I have to admit that I often don’t feel like I have much to offer, especially in comparison to actual yoga teachers, health professionals, spiritual practitioners, or any other individuals that are specifically trained in the areas I would be writing about.

Obviously, that’s nonsense… we all have something to offer (and don’t ever forget that). I think I offer a unique perspective of practicality. That is, ways to bring these complex yoga ideologies into modern daily living—without having to sell all your possessions and go live in solitude on a mountain.

There is so much more to yoga than the physical postures, and it often feels like this message is a cry in the desert because of the way the fitness industry has taken over the yoga sphere in the western world. But there are many people out here in the desert with me who preach this yogic message as well, and I created this section of the blog to share that with you. I am coming at this topic as a generalist rather than as a specialist, meaning that I do not know everything about Ayurveda or the niyamas or mindfulness or frankly any of the things I may write about — and I will never claim to. I do, however, have an interest in these things and will share with you the practices that I have learned and that have helped me in one aspect or another.

I say all of this now because I did not have words for it sooner. But if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know I was on a lil retreat last weekend, and I heard a little something about happiness that struck a chord with me: in order to ensure that the tides of happiness keep rolling in over and over, find out what the source of your happiness is and freely give it away. The ocean teaches us that what we give out, we get back in.

A lot of things make me happy, so apparently I have a lot of giving to do! Something that really sticks out to me though is my love of learning and thirst for knowledge… I have always been an open-minded truth-seeker, never able to get my hands on enough information. What’s interesting is how when I decide to write about something I have learned or am learning about, I end up coming across even more knowledge! When I share my practices or my thoughts or myself with others, good always comes back in the form of more resources, deeper discoveries, and shared experiences.

I’d say that’s worth getting over my vulnerabilities and insecurities, don’t you think?

So the process of “getting over” such things unexpectedly began last weekend when I drove over to Indy for an Eat Breathe Thrive intensive at Nourish Wellness. I have to admit that I signed up for this retreat somewhat spontaneously, but when I found it online I knew there was no way I could miss it. Eat Breathe Thrive integrates yoga, food, and body image in a way that I had been trying to but did not yet have the language for! I was ecstatic to find an existing program that really embodies and manifests these ideas that I had been quietly forming.



A little history:

The yoga world and the food world intersect in many ways, but popular culture only really discusses yoga and food together as a means of “health”. The kind of health that turns yoga into exercise and food into dieting, that is centered on appearance and fitness trends and size discrimination. I bought into this definition of yoga, food, and health for awhile, but my view of these things has dramatically changed rather recently. These are precisely the kinds of things I desire to write about in this More Than Asana section!

But like I said, I didn’t really have words yet for what I was thinking. I had a love of yoga and a love of food, but I could no longer allow those worlds to intersect in such a harmful way anymore. I knew there had to be a better way, and I started seeking that out.
I fell into a world of body positivity and holistic health, of yoga for wellness and food for fuel. I began to discover the health at every size approach, ayurvedic living, and the anti-diet world.

I learned about the eight limbs of yoga, started practicing yoga as awareness, and I worked to lay the foundations for embodiment and intuitive and mindful movement and eating.

I know, it’s a lot. I just threw out a lot of terms that might be entirely foreign to you.

I was very overwhelmed at first, too (and kind of still am). I’ve spent the last few months just soaking in all the information that I can through books, podcasts, blogs, etc. I became really passionate about these topics, which is why when I created this blog I left a space for discussion on these types of things in the More Than Asana section. To me, these types of concepts are the “missing links” of living a life that is truly healthy, well, and conscious. These things are my foundation, and yet they are not nearly talked about enough, and I have yet to even find the words to talk about them. Every once in awhile I bring these things up on my Instagram, but writing a blog post has seemed entirely too daunting thus far. Until this last weekend, I somehow still felt that I didn’t know enough yet or am not living well enough in these practices yet to write about them (it’s silly, I know, but it’s the whole “practice what you preach” thing). Part of it is also that I haven’t always had the language to express what I’m feeling and thinking. And, to be honest, it’s so much easier to write about the things that I know (or can easily look up if I do not know)— things like the reviews and tips that you find on Everyday Justice and Health & Wellness. Those are still important things, but they don’t really require the deep introspection and self awareness and emotion that comes with the deepening of a yoga practice, ya know. Perhaps that is why this blog post is coming to you now after Eat Breathe Thrive— when my practice and my emotions have been encouraged and laid bare all weekend— instead of when I first started the blog.

The intensive gave me a full weekend to sit in these yogic ideas and practices and lifestyles. It gave me space to focus on these things freely without the pressures of my busy daily routine begging for attention. No, it did not make me perfectly enlightened like I was apparently waiting for before I started this section of the blog. But it did give me confidence, encouragement, and strength in my journey and helped me to realize that my journey is worth sharing.

So, as I sit in these feelings and process them and my thoughts, I promise I will share with you. This section of the blog is going to be a lot more personal than the other two, but I think it will have tremendous power. Yoga and the sharing of one’s practice has a great ability to bring people together (as evidenced by the community that formed over my #morethanasana instagram challenge last week)! Needless to say I have been inspired, so get ready.

Follow me on Instagram and feel free to continue to use the hashtag #morethanasana to share your thoughts and practice with me and the Rainmaking community(:

Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe!

Happy rainmaking! xoxo Radiance

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