Namaste! I recently returned from the Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat BALI 2014 and unfortunately, the 11 hour flight home did not include a television and I had already finished reading all my books!! No entertainment? I was left to be present to my own devices for an entire 11 hours! Thus, in between meals I sketched out the defining philosophies that sum up everything I've learned (and am still learning) from my experience in yoga practice. These key mantras are what motivate the growth of my teachings; they are what inspire and keep me happy and healthy. I can teach you how to do an anatomically accurate downward dog, but it is the philosophical stuff that has to do with your life off the mat that really gets me fired up! So here it is, the Martini Yoga Manifesto. If we've ever been in class together or retreated together, you will probably recognize some of these teachings as I tend to like to preach them til the cows come home (that happens around Thanksgiving on my parents' farm in case you were wondering…which you probably weren't).
- JUNGLE SPIRIT: The innate wisdom that we, as living beings, come from the earth and are thus happiest when we spend time cultivating a deep connection to Mother Nature.
- ROCK ON: Be proud of your efforts, surrender the fruits of your labour, and continuously remind yourself that it's all good.
- TRANSFORM YOUR PERSPECTIVE: Always remember that you have the power to control the way you perceive reality. Your concept of reality is different from everyone else's. Never judge anyone for viewing the world differently than you do.
- RETREAT: In order to stay inspired and healthy, you must never forget to take time off for yourself to completely relax, do yoga, eat well, laugh, and love the living being that houses your mental and spiritual body.
- NEVER STOP LEARNING: Honour that you can never master anything as the world changes on a daily basis. Always focus on bettering yourself and the world around you. Trust that on your dying day, you will be proud of your capacity for growth and the good that you created with the wisdom you have developed.
- IT'S ALL YOGA: Yoga occurs everywhere, in every decision you make, in every reaction you take, and in who you choose to be both on and off your mat. Everything you do is a practice in yoga.
- YOU ARE PERFECT. Let your yoga practice not be about getting somewhere, but about being comfortable with where you are right now. Everything about this moment is innately perfect.
Please understand if you don't agree with these mantras, that's okay! Different philosophies work for different people with different beliefs. These work for me because they inspire me to be a better and more loving person. In our culture, I feel like this is something I need to be reminded of on a daily basis! Anyways, happy spring everyone, and, as always...