Cozy Yoga Life by Shannon Caldwell

Cozy Yoga Life Ep02 What is a Yogic Lifestyle?

January 16, 2024 Shannon Caldwell Season 1 Episode 2
Cozy Yoga Life by Shannon Caldwell
Cozy Yoga Life Ep02 What is a Yogic Lifestyle?
Show Notes Transcript

In this honest conversation, I share what a Yogic Lifestyle means to me, the principles that resonate with me, and how I weave them into the fabric of my everyday life. I reflect on key moments in my yogic journey that have shaped my understanding of mindful living. 🧘‍♂️

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You're listening to Cozy Yoga Live, the podcast for yoga teachers who crave more from their practice and lives. I'm Shannon Codwell, and I'll be your guide on this journey of simplicity, self care and self discovery. So let's cozy up, unwind, and dive into today's episode. Hello, Cozy Crew and welcome to episode 2 of the Cozy Yoga Live podcast. Today, I want to talk about To you a little bit about what is a yogic lifestyle, give it a little definition, flesh it out for you. If you're a little bit curious about what that might look like. Now, when I was doing yoga teacher training in person, the first module I always did that. I laid the foundation for the rest of teacher training. The first module was always focused on philosophy, ethics, and lifestyle. My reasoning behind that was, how can you understand all of the layers of yoga if you don't understand its foundation? And the foundation can only be found in the history and the philosophy of yoga. Now, that's, Ironic, considering when I first got started practicing yoga in 1998, I too didn't want to know anything about all the philosophy and the history and all that mumbo jumbo boring stuff. However, I remember when the switch flipped for me. It was when I was planning out the yoga teacher training program. I was following the guidelines set forth by Yoga Alliance at the time. And at the time, they said I needed to include approximately 20 hours of yoga philosophy. I can tell you, I did a lot of grumbling about having to do that, because that just wasn't something at the time I had been interested in. I started doing my research, started diving deeper into it, and I can remember sitting on my bed and I had books just surrounding me. I'd gone to the library, I'd gone to Barnes and Noble, I'd done a ton of shopping, trying to find different books that would help me. Because remember, this was in 2002 and there wasn't an Amazon where I could go into the cart and put the book in there and have it arrive on my doorstep the next day. So I actually had to put in a little bit of effort to go find these books. And as I'm reading through them and learning more myself about the yogic philosophy, that's when the switch flipped for me. I was like. Oh, I get it now. I see it's, it's all yoga. It all comes, it all originates from the same place. It all goes back to the same place. It's circular. If any of you know me, you know that a circle is my favorite shape. So how appropriate that I saw how yoga was also circular. When that switch flipped for me, that was the moment I fell in love with yoga philosophy. It's my favorite section when I was doing yoga teacher training. It was the section I always insisted on teaching even if I was co teaching yoga teacher training or Training another trainer who would go and also teach yoga teacher training for me. I always insisted on covering That section. I wanted the participants to get it. I wanted the conversations to free flow because that was really an opportunity for all the participants to really get to know each other and to see where they were coming from and see How they had all these similarities. They may have come from all these different places and backgrounds, but in that moment in yoga teacher training, talking about their life and how yoga applies to that, that was when they all bonded together and it was so beautiful to watch and to unfold. The other thing that I loved about teaching philosophy and lifestyle in that very first module were the comments that I generally got when the weekend was over, and they were all pretty similar around things like. Oh my gosh, I never knew this existed about yoga, and I never knew all of this about yoga. And one of my favorites was, oh my gosh, my mind is so blown with all this information about yoga, because up to that point, most of the participants in yoga teacher training equated yoga with postures and yoga going to a studio and taking a class, or maybe Pulling up a class on YouTube and working alongside in a video. That was what I always loved about that first weekend is that once you have your mind opened and introduced to the philosophy, you realize that yoga is more than fancy postures practiced. For an hour, it is a way of life that transcends beyond the mat. And you're going to see that and hear that and read that a lot in cozy yoga, live yoga, that transcends the mat. Do it correctly and yoga infuses all parts of your life until one day you wake up and you realize that it's all yoga. Now, there are a lot of concepts with regard to yoga philosophy and yoga lifestyle, such as The Eight Limbs of Yoga, the Yamas and the Niyamas, Mindfulness and Meditation, Kriya and Decluttering, and we're going to cover all of those in future episodes. For this episode, I want to stick with the definition or defining yogic lifestyle a little bit more. Let me share with you how a couple of popular yoga sites define yogic lifestyle. In yogic basics, they define it as a yogic lifestyle involves consciously shaping our attitudes, habits, and general ways of life to be more congruent with the philosophies, principles, morals, and ethics of yoga. While we all have highly individual way of implementing a yoga lifestyle, there are few guidelines that we can all follow. Another one, this one is from Chopra. com and it says, Although today most people think of yoga as physical postures, The true meaning of yoga is union, the union of body, mind, soul, and spirit. A yogic lifestyle is a journey to create unity on all levels. This means to live every day consciously with a focused, calm mind, seeking inner perfection at all times. Chopra. com goes on to say, like any journey, there are many possible routes. There's the option to change to a different route if it seems to better suit our needs. One more. This one is from the National Institute of Health, and this was based on a study that they did, and they defined yogic lifestyle. This brings into account the different variations of a healthy lifestyle combined into one practice. Mindfulness to self, mindful eating and mind body exercises with yoga could be practiced in every part of an individual's life, including the workplace. I love all of those definitions because None of them are all right, and none of them are all wrong. It's important to understand that you as the individual, you define what a yogic lifestyle means to you. And it probably looks completely different than the person next to you. And that's all right. That's the way it's supposed to be. That's one of the things that I love about yoga asana classes is there are a lot of different styles out there. And if one style doesn't suit you, there are plenty of other styles out there to practice the physical elements of yoga. Looking at the National Institute of Health definition a little bit deeper, and it talked about mindfulness to self and mindful eating. I wanted to touch on that just a little bit. The first stage that I usually see adopted after one starts practicing postures is the mindful eating. Let's say that for now in your schedule, evening classes work the best. So at noon, you go out and you eat a heavy meal. Maybe you've been used to eating cheeseburgers and french fries and coke. So you have your typical lunch, your heavy meal and at five or six o'clock you go take your yoga posture class. That big heavy meal, even though it was five hours ago, you're still probably feeling it. You're probably feeling lethargic in your postures, like you can't hardly do anything. Maybe your body feels extra heavy or just energetically not as fluid and flexible as it could be. That's because you've had that big heavy meal and it's continuing on. Your body is still trying to digest it and take care of it even six hours later. So you fast forward to the next time that you're ready to take a yoga class. You're going to take that evening class and it comes up lunchtime and you remember your previous heavy meal didn't set well with you at all. This time you're opting for something lighter, something easier for your body to digest. So perhaps you go for a salad and some grilled chicken and maybe a water or an iced tea. Then you go to your yoga class and you have the energy to do the postures. You feel really light on your feet. You feel good when you do your practice versus feeling blah when you had the hamburger and fries. That clicks in with you. So then you make it a point that every time you're going to have a yoga posture class to eat better that day so that you have the energy to get through the class. And it's small changes like that, that you begin to incorporate into your life. And that's how you start moving into living that yogic lifestyle. It starts very slow. It starts infusing into your life little by little. Then you're going and you're practicing yoga and your body is changing, your eating habits are changing. Here's the thing about changing your habits when you're eating, that's only one spoke in living a yogic lifestyle. There are so many more spokes on the wheel that maybe you haven't even had an opportunity to research. And a lot of people. Believe it or not, when they go to take yoga teacher training, they're not always going to take it because they want to become a teacher. They want to go and learn more about yoga. They want to learn more about meditation and they want to learn more about mindfulness. I know from experience there was always a. good percentage of people who were taking training that they didn't have the interest in teaching. They had the interest in learning more about yoga. So yoga teacher training is for everybody. It's for anybody who wants to learn more about yoga and all of its practices, all of its limbs. That's one of the reasons that I'm super excited to have the Cozy Yoga Life podcast. I finally get a chance to talk about the thing that I love the most with yoga and, and how it is and becomes a part of our everyday lives. When one day you wake up and you realize you practice yoga in some form or fashion or style or practice from the time that you wake up and until the time you go to bed. The other thing that I love about teaching philosophy and yoga lifestyle is people who shy away from learning more about yoga because they can't do all the postures. One of my favorite comments is always from the participants in yoga teacher training who come up to me after the first module and tell me, you know what, I realize now that All this time, I have been practicing yoga. I just didn't know that I was doing that. So it's great to have this definition and to know more about the philosophy and the lifestyle and see how it is a part what I do already. Now in yoga teacher training, I just get the opportunity to dive deeper and to really hone in on those skills. Usually, if they're not bought in, 100 percent by time the teacher training starts when the first module is completed. They're like, Oh, my gosh, this is fantastic. I can't wait to learn more. I can't wait till we meet again. This is exactly Where I need to be. This was exactly what I needed to learn this weekend. And that always makes my heart flutter and skip a beat because I love that part of yoga too, and I love getting to see other people get it as well. Yoga postures are great. They're important and they have a purpose very much so. And you will never hear me downplay the importance of postures. What you will hear a lot in cozy yoga life is you will hear me up play the other limbs of yoga and how they're just as important in a yoga lifestyle as those postures are. I look forward to more Cozy Yoga Live podcasts where we can dive deeper into all of these different concepts. And if you're looking forward to learning more about a yogic lifestyle, be sure to subscribe, leave a review, rate us, and give us a listen when the next episode comes out. That wraps another soul nourishing episode of Cozy Yoga Life. As always, thank you for letting me be a part of your yoga journey. If you enjoyed today's authentic conversation, please subscribe, rate, and leave a review. Until next time, stay cozy, take care of yourself, and keep it real.