teacher feature – niyati shah

the only constant in life is…change. a bit unsettling, to think that nothing stays the same, especially when things are going good. a few months ago, i made a trip to nyc and no trip to nyc is complete without yoga. regardless of what time i get in from a show, dinner etc, i get up and go. in my haste/excitement to get to class, i ended up sidelining myself from yoga for some time. i tore off part of my toe by opening a door on it (!). my friends took me to the er, and as i patiently waited for the doctor to take care of things. the most interesting thing happened, i was able to remain calm without even trying. i realized i did get my yoga on after all. as you’ve probably heard in class, yoga occurs on and off the mat. connecting the mind, body and spirit is not limited to vinyasa on the mat, it is just as, if not even more important to stay connected off of the mat as well. i accepted my reality and embraced what was before me. i still went to brunch, just propped my foot up. i still went shopping, just cut it down to one store instead of a dozen.

recently, there has been much change in our country and world. the economy has been unsteady, and times are tough for many. this is where this notion of change being constant can be a positive thought. it’s just a matter of shifting perspective, like i did in nyc. my yoga didn’t have to be about the mat, when i shifted my perspective, i was able to embrace the yoga that was in front of me. sometimes we can’t get what we want, but we can enjoy what we already have at our feet. in times of uncertainty, i like to remind myself of a few things that help me shift perspective, and ultimately stay grounded while growing:

-fall in love with yourself – in other words, contemplate on what makes you. love all that is good in you, and all that is imperfect
-trust yourself – be confident, know that you have everything you need inside of you to make good decisions, as long as your heart is in it.
-learn to see beauty – look for what is right and beautiful, not what is wrong, then you’ll see the beauty in you
-realize how valuable you are – each of us has unique valuable qualities to share with the world

the only constant in life is…change. embrace it!

niyati shah is a tranquil space teacher and director of the karma yoga program.

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