Smile, my favorite medicine!

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If you ask pretty much anyone who knows me to describe what I’m like, you’d possibly get an answer like “happy person” or a “contagiously goofy smiler”. This is something that I’ve heard about myself since I was little, and I couldn’t ask for a lovelier description. I might not be the prettiest duckling in the row and I might have few lines in the corners of my eyes, permanent marks of my happiness, but what the hell? If my wrinkles come from smiling in the sun, than I don’t care.

Smile, the universal symbol of happiness, the sign of infinite love in our hearts!

I love smiling! I love that moment when I’m looking into someone’s eyes and they smile back at me. I love the sense of balance that smiling gives me. I honestly believe it’s the most powerful, yet most underrated ability we possess. And that most of us don’t even realise what we can achieve by smiling more often.

If you’ve been to my yoga classes, you know that I equally remind you guys about the importance of breathing and the importance of smiling. Even when your limbs are shaking in a warrior pose, I keep telling you to smile, to trick the brain to think you’re enjoying the moment. The power of smile!

Don’t believe me? Try it out. Just close your eyes for a second, you might feel neutral right now, but bring a smile to your face, maybe try visualising someone/something that makes you smile. Can you feel it? That lovely fuzzy feeling in the bottom of your belly rising. Can you feel the energy change as you turn the corners of your mouth upwards? Still not feeling it? Well, go to a mirror and look at yourself, and smile! Don’t force the smile, but allow it to arise, feeling the cheeks rise and the eyes smile too. Maybe wink to yourself and whisper ” You are spectacular”. Can you feel it now?

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Smile? Hot or Not?

Sadly, I have heard and read few times now, that if you want to look younger you should stop smiling. If you want to seem more successful or physically imposing don’t expose those pearly whites. And to avoid horrible photos, you shouldn’t smile, as they bring out all the wrinkles! I curse in chosen situations… but WTF! Absolute bollocks! I think that a frowny face just doesn’t suit anyone. Smile just generally makes people look more attractive, and even research has proven that we find others more attractive when they are wearing a smile. They are more approachable, forgivable,  friendly and trustworthy.

Smile to Feel Good!

Striking a smile makes you feel better! Studies show that smiling releases serotonin – a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of happiness and wellbeing. One smile stimulates the human brain the same amount as eating up to 2000 bars of chocolate, how cool is that? “Smile and you feel happy, you feel happy and you smile!” Even when you’re not feeling great, fake it till you make it, try smiling, genuinely, and see how you feel! While at home, walking around or standing in line, I tend to smile, doing my own little research. Observing what happens within me when I’m smiling regardless if I’m feeling happy or down, and also observing how people react to me when they walk by. I highly recommend it. No matter what’s going on in your life, smile! So often we battle through our days, struggling, waiting for something to happen to cheer us up, forgetting that we are our own cheerleaders.

Smile Smile Smile!

Tap into your superpower now, make yourself and the people around you feel better. Get out there groover and smile your socks off! Smile at yourself, smile at others, lovers and strangers! Do whatever makes your soul sing and do it with a smile on your face!

Love and light

Diana

From faith to fury…

I was trying out the healing hypnosis last night. It’s a technique where you use white light to heal your condition and also ask your spirit guides for answers about the recovery and the aftermath. So there I was, trying to practise self-hypnosis on myself …to be honest I’m a girl of meditation rather than the hypnosis, but what the hell, I’ve tried everything, so might just give this one a shot. I was dying to hear the answer to my question “when will I be healed, when will we have a little bundle of joy?”, but there was only silence, nothing, absolutely nothing. Not a image, not a sound, I’m pretty sure that even the wind stopped blowing for a while… This morning I woke up and there was such sense of pure anger, unbearable misery and heartbreaking sadness. It was like all the demons of denial had been released.

And I knew what that feeling was… For the very first time in my life I felt tired of this constant limbo and heartache. I realised, that there might be a possibility that my life will never involve motherhood. What if all those caring wishes of “you will get there and you will be an incredible mother” from my loved ones won’t come true? What if?

Since the day that I met my husband, I have been sure that I want to have a family. And even though for years we have struggled with infertility, there hasn’t been one second, that I’ve lost my faith. Not once have I thought “What if I’m never going to carry a child?” Even though we have had our fair share of setbacks, I have never accepted the fact, that we might just end up childless…

My faith has been the reason why I have never really got down in gutter after failed IVFs, but this morning I was faithless, all there was left was fear and fury…

One our very first cycle of IVF years ago, we nailed it. I thought it wouldn’t happen so soon… but as my husband kept begging me to take the pregnancy test, I did, and the result came back positive. I ran to the hospital, to confirm these news with my doctor, and yes, we were on our way to become parents. Weeks went by and I kept visiting my doctor while staying in Finland, to afraid to fly on my first trimester. My husband was working at mines back in Australia, but we would talk on phone constantly, blessed with our great news. Everything was going so well, we were the happiest couple in the universe… We were expecting a baby.

As my stay in Finland was getting longer, I had to took on my previous job at the restaurant where I used to work. I felt guilty for my hubby doing all the hard work, and I wanted to contribute to our piggy bank.  As I was rushing around at work, uncoordinated as a giraffe at the hip-hop class, I slipt, and fell on my back. I thought it was nothing, but later that day with a tiny bit of a pain, I noticed some bleeding “downstairs”. I thought it was just something that might occur while your pregnant and really didn’t took it that serious. But I still booked in to check up with my doctor the next day.

I was filled with excitement and euphoria as I was sitting at the hospital with my mother, so eager to know how our little one was doing. I had my husband on the phone all the way from Australia, Kalgoorlie, where he was sitting at the local tavern ready to order his mates around just to celebrate our dreams becoming true.

The doctor called me in, and I was over the moon. I got ready, the doctor spread the gel on my tummy and started to move the sensor over it. I was staring at her with the wackiest smile on my face, but there was no echo to my smile. I started to get bit jittery as I was looking for any answers from my doctors concerned face. But suddenly she said in an insensitive tone, the most horrible words any expecting mom-to-be can hear, “The heartbeat is gone. There is no more baby”. That’s all! No explanation, no “My Condolences”… no more nothing. Maybe she was still talking, I don’t know, everything became silent, my heart stopped and I had never felt that lost. I didn’t know what to do from there on, where to go, but I knew that it was only getting worse, as on the other side of the world, he was waiting to hear back from us. I didn’t wanted to accept the fact that we had lost our baby, but I needed to pick up the phone and let my husband know what just happened. I called him, and as I repeated the words, that the doctor had told me, my heart shattered from thousands of pieces into millions. I had now also broken my husband’s heart…

Years went by, more unsuccessful IVFs were done… and then we decided to take a short break. We needed to start to pay back all the IVF loans, I needed to let my body recover from the treatments and focus on my passion and career, yoga.

Last year in India, I was staying in an Ashram at Mysore, completing my studies of Advanced Yoga Teacher degree. It was just another disciplined day of yoga and lectures, but I couldn’t sleep that night, I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t breath correctly. There was a huge obstacle in my lungs that stopped me from taking that deep breath. I told one of the teachers, as she is also a yoga therapist and a master in reiki healing. She took me to my room, and laid me down on my bed. She started the energy healing, gently moving her hands just above my body. Suddenly she stopped and she told me that even though she never talks during the procedure, she has an important message from a little soul. She said the words, that few other healers had told me. There is a soul of child that desperately hangs onto me, not letting me go and this little one has a message to me, “forgive yourself”… I knew exactly what she was talking about. Since the day I fell in that restaurant, I have been blaming myself. And even though I’m the biggest fan of forgiveness, I had forbidden the forgiveness from myself. And I was starting to feel the symptoms of self-poisoning.  It was time to free myself, so I cried and cried, as I opened my heart for compassion and mercy. I fell asleep, after all the sobbing and when I woke up, I took the deepest breath in …there was no more obstacles.

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No matter how close I get to the edge, or how bad it hurts, the sun will rise again tomorrow, the flowers will bloom in spring time and I have person in my life who’ll do everything to see me smile. How can I lose my hope with such a loving human being by my side.

Later this afternoon, I opened up the instagram, and the first post that came up, said:” Everything happens at the right moment, be patient.” I collapsed down, and I cried, feeling more and more liberated from the heartache. Maybe, just maybe, there is a reason in all of this waiting…

Yours sincerely,

Diana

Finding the motivation

I have been looking for my motivation lately with cats and dogs? Feels like I have a spine of a gummy bear, and I’m not talking about my backbends. Arghh!


This story is about finding the motivation. 

  
I have been sick for past few weeks, with a horrible virus. I’ve tried every possible natural remedy. Fifty cups of ginger tea per day, running around the house with my Tibetan bells and healing incense sticks, vodka socks (something that stuck with me from my childhood in Soviet Union), but nothing. This was a duff bugger… 
One morning when I was teaching my class I nearly fainted, that’s how bad I was… And I had to go to western doctor, to get western antibiotics. I hated it. My body feels so dirty afterwards. 
Anyway, I couldn’t practise yoga for awhile and having a pause in my practice killed my motivation. It’s hard to get back on saddle and it’s so easy to get stuck on a sofa like a drunken wombat. 
First thing with finding the motivation is to know what motivates us. What’s the thing that gets our asses of the sofa?
I guess my biggest motivation is that yoga literally saved my life, so I have all my faith in it.
Long time ago I was really sick ( and yes, I am healthy sometimes in between my sicknesses)… I had a really bad post-phnemonia-epileptic-burst-outs, that lasted for half a year. I went to doctors around the country and no one could help me. Finally I found a doctor who was specified in tropical diseases and he told me that two out of the five antibiotics injected to my veins in Indonesian hospital were illegal in Europe, because of their side effects on nervous system. No shit… and No cure. Well, not much choice than to continue the twitching… My twitching ended when I found a great yoga teacher in Perth, she teaches at a Hindu temple. I could literally feel yoga healing me and the toxins leaving my body. Day by day I was feeling healthier and I noticed that I could finally go to bed without fearing if I wake up in a morning. 
After that I have been spreading the word of yoga loyally.   
There will be days, when I cannot wait to get on my mat. And there will be days, that I would do anything else than practise. I might be to tired, stressed or lacking the motivation. But I have noticed, that the days I’m avoiding my yoga mat, are the days, that I need the practise the most!
 
I guess my main motivator is being healthy. Physically and mentally, happy, calm and smiley ( mind the occasional collapses)… Also mastering that wicked handstand or arm balance and having  that after class euphoria gets me going. 
I hate to disappoint you guys, but there is also a shallow reason. 
And that’s all about looking good… A boost for confidence. There’s no need to be shamed of taking care of your body, as your body is your temple.

My little tricks to motivate myself:
One of my favourite style is the “psycho torture” or visual motivators:
Having pictures of great yogis in some wicked poses around, maybe on a screensaver or on a phone cover. Checking videos of my favourite yogis from YouTube works wonders. Having an altar or a personal yoga space. Reminders… 
 
Silly, yet a great motivator can also be self-bribery. Make a list of rewards for two month, and at the end of each week, if you done your exercises, bribe yourself. For example, if on week one you go to yoga for five days, you permit yourself to get those super hot high heels. Of coarse there is no better reward than the inner reward, when week by week, we feel healthier and look better and fitter. But I know what you think, “inner reward” blah blah… what’s hotter, than those smoking stilettos with my gorgeous yoga calves. After sometime you’ll see that you don’t need no bribery, your hot body and balanced mind are way greater gifts, than anything you can get from shops…

Another great way of getting yourself going, is not to look for any motivations at all. Just get up and go!
Sometimes when you start to look for motivations, and overthinking it, you’ll only end up with excuses like:”But the Sons of Anarchy is on and what if I don’t make it back from yoga to see what happens to Jax…” or “It’s too far/too cold/ too this and too that”… Excuses, excuses…
Think of that “after class” euphoria and how good you feel. I bet you’re not feeling sorry you went on and pushed yourself.
Also, let go of that “all or nothing”-attitude! Promise yourself that you only practise for 15 minutes, and you might feel so fired up after a little warm up, that you go all the way. Something is always better than nothing!

  

I really pushed myself yesterday. I have had a torn ligament in my wrist for past 4 months, and finally I had enough, I thought to myself that it is time to get back to those crazy arm balances and handstands. So I participated in a morning class for yoga gurus, a class that was dedicated to handstands and arm balances. Well, I’ve always thought that I’m pretty ok with my moves, but hell no. I was looking around in a shock, while my fellow yogis were doing one handed handstands… I love situation like that. What a booster! 
As for most people, these moments are devastating. Everyone wants to be the best and often we like to rely on the failure of others to feel successful. But the secret is: Stop Comparing! Take the philosophy of inversions, Have a different kind of a view. These super yogis are there to inspire and motivate us! They aren’t some mytological beings, from planet spaghetti, they are just humans and they use to be beginners too. And with a little determined practise, in a couple of months, you’ll be as good as they are! Let their persistence encouraged you to get stronger and eat better and exercise more often… 

I keep hearing these funny complaints from people, who I hope to get to join yoga classes, but who might slightly lack motivation… 
Often I hear the statement “yoga isn’t my thing!” 
Let’s start with the question, what is yoga? It’s breathing, it’s connecting your body and mind, taking care of yourself and caring for others. Exactly, what in “yoga” isn’t your thing? Breathing?
Often I hear people complaining, that they are not flexible enough… Rubbish! That is the reason why you practise yoga, to gain flexibility.
Some people say, that yoga is just some weird streches and doesn’t grow any muscles… Ok, wrong again!!! Have you tried Ashtanga yoga or seen those sculpted yoga bodies? It’s not necessarily rugby, but do you even realise how many push ups you do during a proper series..? I had a 70 year old man next to me on my morning yoga class today, and his body was like a creek statue, one could study anatomy from it…
Some say, that yoga is just this ridiculous hippie-thing and some say yoga’s a featherbrained new-age religion… 
First of all, Which hippies might they mean? The mums, that want to dedicate a hour to their selves per week, or that ex body builder, who tries to heal those torn muscles, or maybe that tattooed bikey, or every possible celebrity in Hollywood..? Hmmm. Nearly half a billion people are practising yoga world wide, so we better run, cause these hippies are going to attack us with downward facing dogs and bongs!
And what comes to the religious side of yoga… Yes, yoga started from India thousands of years ago, and is linked with Hinduism more than Christianity… But it’s still just a way of life, it’s a mental and physical practise, dedicated to create the union between body, mind and spirit. 
And so what, if you happen to feel bit more connected or stress free after the class, is it really that bad?
Starting yoga isn’t easy for anybody, nobody’s perfect, everybody hurts at some point or at some pose and it’s a life long journey. But the time goes by, and you will notice that you love it, you yearn your practise, and most importantly you feel absolutely Awesome!

So that was my little story about the motivation. 
Whatever your trigger is, let it be your fuel to get you going. Love yourself, love your body and love your mind!

Namaste, 

Diana