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Yoga Freedom Blog

News and views from the yoga world

The power of intention.

Hello Yogis,

Do you ever wonder how I keep my momentum?

Do you ever feel so stuck in a rut?

With everything that life throws at you, can you honestly say that you feel you have the power and confidence to direct your life in the way you want it to go?

To stay on your path, without being pulled into a direction that others want you to move towards isn’t easy!

I can remember when I was working part time way back in 2006 and I knew that I needed to change direction in life. I loved my job, so much but I knew that the hours I was working, and the salary I was on, were not going to carry me forward in life.

Alongside that, there were also changes taking place that meant the hours I was requited to work, were going to be altered, and in a way that I wouldn’t be able to sustain as a single mum!

I returned to my yoga mat, and was inspired to look into teacher training, something I hadn’t considered during the 14 years I had already been practicing.

I stopped what I was doing and found a local yoga school. It just felt like the right path for me.

My well-meaning family and friends counselled me into the possibility of getting ‘a proper qualification’ such as a management course or business course. But I wanted to follow my gut, so signed up and spent 2 years training to become a teacher.

During the time I was training, I was having to do the majority of my written work late into the night, because of my other work and mum responsibilities. I kept my sights on the direction I wanted to take, and got my head down.

My dad was very supportive of the whole thing, and I regularly called on the memory of his encouragement as I struggled under work load and the wave of ‘alternative suggestions’ that I received constantly.

It would have been easy to buckle under the pressures and to, give up and start again with something more conventional!

What kept me going though, was the inner passion, inner energy and inner guidance that I was receiving through my own gut feeling and heart felt connection. I just seemed to have boundless energy to continue.

Then when I qualified, I took to teaching, with a passion, eventually settling on staying in my part time job, whilst teaching a couple of yoga classes a week and earning £200 a month or so extra to my day job.

Class numbers would peak and fall and the income would increase and decrease and I again heard the wave of ‘why don’t you just do yoga for you’ suggestions, and ‘you’ll have to do something else’. None of which I found helpful or inspiring.

Despite all this, I kept plodding along. After about 7 years of teaching 2 classes a week, and treading water, balancing a ‘conventional’ job with my ‘passion’, I was faced with redundancy and again the question of ‘what do I do?’ was circling the conversations I was having.

Against more recommendations of finding something ‘sensible’ , I decided to take the plunge and teach yoga full time.

For some reason, I managed to fill my timetable with enough classes to cover the previous income from not only my yoga but also the part time job I had been made redundant from.

At last, I felt that I had finally set sail to new horizons!

The one thing that got me here, was my inner affirmation that I could do this and an inner vision of what I wanted ’this’ to be!

Added to that, I was given a helping hand, all the way through by my friend; guitar teacher, and web designer Mark. He inspired me to build a website, to begin a blog, newsletters, podcasts, and finally video courses. I am always gobsmacked at how he just seems to know what is needed and when!

Sometimes, I felt I didn’t have the courage to follow through with his suggestions, but after some persuading, I would always take the plunge.

When the pandemic hit, I had to call on Mark’s knowledge again along with my own drive and determination to be able to carry on teaching, This is a rolling road and there will be more bumps and corners to navigate. But I am sure I will follow the signs at each crossroads.

Below are some tips on how you can begin or continue on your personal journey.

Stay true to your heart!

When you can feel a natural connection and affinity to something, allow yourself to explore that, even if it goes against the mainstream. We all have individual talents that the world needs to see! By inspiring yourself, you inspire others!

Hold a vision!

Part of the battle is knowing what you want to achieve. I had no idea until I reached my early 30’s that I wanted to be a Yoga Teacher. I had a passion for yoga, it made me feel calm, helped me to feel strong and gave me a space where I felt like ‘me’. Despite this, I had never contemplated teaching. However, I received guidance while practicing one day and the rest as they say is history!

Once I had connected with that theory, all of a sudden, that was it, I knew the picture. It took me 7 years to make it a full time reality but in that time, I just held the vision. Circumstances around me changed, enabling me to feel where I needed to place myself, blindly I admit, but it was the right thing. That inner vision never left me and kept me focussed.

Feel your way!

We are so used to being told to plan everything with logical thought and to weigh everything up. If I had done this, I would be working in some management role somewhere. Instead, I listened to how my body, gut, heart and energy reacted to the steps I was making and let that lead me.

Recognise the people around you!

Sometimes we have the right people in our lives, at just the right time; to assist us when making changes, or facing new challenges.

I met Mark Smith, back in 2003, when I decided to buy a guitar and learn to play! He was and still is my guitar tutor. It just so happened that during the years that we have known each other, he trained in web design and just in time for me to qualify as a Yoga teacher, he established his web design business MPS Creative. As Mark has also a history in sales and marketing, and with the help of his forward momentum and my passion, we have built Yoga Freedom together! I would never have been inspired to create the blogs, podcasts and newsletters that I share with you, if it wasn't for Mark.

My partner Kenny has also helped me. He is a real people person and having a history in the healing world himself, he decided to come with me to train as a fellow ‘Gong Master and Sound Healer’. Together, we have enriched peoples lives through sound, communication, and friendship during our gong bath evenings and special events.

Then there’s my Dad, who has always, always encouraged me and has never said…’you should do this or that’ he has always listened to my vision and has helped me to follow my heart and to trust the path!

Recognise higher guidance when it lands in your lap, your head or your heart!

I still can’t believe the compelling way I was drawn to seek out a yoga teacher training course, the convenient way it fitted in with my schedule. I had slight misgivings at the start because I would be spending money that was hard to come by, but I randomly bumped into a friend of a friend of a friend in a pub one night, whom I had never met before; happened to tell him my plans, and he happened to know the school I was thinking of training at, because his wife had trainined there. I couldn’t deny the coincidence and synchronicity that this meeting meant and immediately signed up. His wife is now my Reiki master and a very close friend.

Value the path you are on and the people who are connected to that path.

I never ever take my journey for granted. I am forever grateful for every face I see, every conversation I have and for every moment I share with my students, whether face to face, via zoom or through phone conversations. I will always be here to help you all to achieve your very best self, to support you in times of struggle and to lift your spirits when you need a confidence boost.

Allow yourself time to contemplate and to rest.

When on such a path of passion, it can be easy to become depleted. It is important to take time to nurture rest and relax.

Very occasionally, I can sense that this forward motion has slipped into a ‘head practice’, I realise I have stepped out of my right brain and into my left, therefore I watch for the warning signs, and take some time away from that forward motion, and make sure I breathe into where I am right now. It is in this present moment that the future is manifested, so recognising that it is in these times of rest, that the biggest manifesting takes place, I never feel guilty about taking time out.

Take time to reflect on the journey so far.

Sometimes, it is helpful to reflect on the path that has unfolded, rather than to keep looking at where you may be going. You can learn a lot about your own connections, spiritually, and physically and the inner and outer dialogue that has influenced your journey to date. All these insights are invaluable and will never be waisted.

Lose the fear!

Making changes in your life can feel daunting, I have felt fear and uncertainty so many times. Each time though, the inner passion I felt for the path ahead, overrode that fear!

Are you wanting to change direction? It is possible, even in this pandemic; which is a time to re-set and re-evaluate what is really important in life! You can connect in the ways described above and who knows where that guidance will take you.

Setting and Activating your intention.

Recognise how you feel in different situations.

I knew how much I loved yoga and everything it gave me but I had never contemplated teaching. One day, when that brain wave hit, I could feel in my body that it was the right thing to do! That energy has carried me forward.

When you recognise the path, allow yourself to picture the outcome. This happens naturally when we are passionate about something because we daydream about it. When we daydream, we embody all the feelings associated with actually being in that experience. This is the important thing. You need to ‘feel’ the outcome, not just picture it.

Sitting quietly, can you visualise the outcome, can you connect to the feelings you have produced through that visualisation. Then can you sit with the feelings until they are so powerful that you have almost lost the imagery. As I said, this tends to happen naturally when we feel really connected to a path, but you can stimulate it just by sitting with the ‘feelings’.

It may be that your journey is to move into better health, rather than a career change. Allow yourself to picture what that better health would bring, Would it mean being pain free, or having more energy, perhaps it would enable you to spend more time doing the things you love, or getting better sleep and rest. Let yourself wallow in the positive outcomes of your intention and begin to embody the feelings and vibration that that success would bring…you can do this!

I would love to hear your stories, of manifestation, maybe you have found yourself in a place in life, that you didn’t even envisage, but as you look back, you can see there was an intention at play, whether your own heart connection, or a higher intention that you can now only realise you had followed, without consciously knowing that was what you were doing.

If you would like to listen to the Podcast I have recorded to accompany this blog, you can do so here: 

I look forward to connecting with you really soon.

Lots of Love, Carrie-Anne.

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