I asked Hillary to guest blog on the occasion of releasing her first DVD, Yoga Foundations, because I’ve loved taking her podcast class at HillarysYogaPractice.com. Her spirit really shines through and her class themes have integrity and depth.
When I chose to step into the process of making my first yoga DVD earlier this year, it sweetly reminded of how my life’s challenges have brought me my greatest gifts. In 1996 at the age of 24, I was seeking a way to become more of myself when I was presented with a huge challenge and gift – a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. With this diagnosis, I thought life was over for me, but there was a call to the yoke, to begin my practice of yoga. Early on in one of my yoga classes I heard for the first time that my blessings were hidden in my challenges. At that moment my journey of healing began, there was no turning back – I chose to embrace my situation, commit and connect to my power through the teachings of yoga.
Like any practice it takes time to find our way and stay focused. In yoga the body forms with breath, attitude, alignment and action and grows every time you come to the mat. Yoga has prepared me to see that all of my experiences are part of my foundation (good and bad); they are all there to support my process to uncover my authenticity. One of the best gifts my diagnosis offered me was the choice to shift from working in the fashion industry in New York City to study and then teach yoga in Los Angles.
After a few years of teaching, I took on a new challenge and expanded into producing my Yoga Podcast, Hillary’s Yoga Practice – this totally was scary for me. I had to take on the obstacle of learning the technology but then discovered hidden in this challenge that yoga is also technology. Now after almost 2 years of producing my podcast, yoga helped me once again to embrace this next challenge to produce the DVD. While in pre-production, production, up to the day of shooting, I was living on the edge, holding steady, doing my best to not retreat from the fear of the unknown.
At this point I am able to be grateful for all that I have learned over time. As I moved through my obstacles more would appear and by embracing them, it becomes easier to use them as a roadmap for my own growth into becoming more of myself.
Here are 3 steps you can use to begin to discover the gift in your challenge and become the best you. You are invited to do this daily, weekly or monthly.
Please keep a journal by writing lists or creating some other visual image as a way to help the mind and body connection.
1. Embrace your challenge by practicing gratitude.
[Ex: I embraced my diagnosis of MS and was grateful that my body was calling for my attention]
2. Empower yourself by asking what you can learn from this specific challenge.
[Ex: The first time I asked this what came up was honoring my boundaries.]
3. Evolve into the best you and uncover the gift.
[Ex: The gift was to love myself and to be kinder to myself. Over time I had to work on this and discover ways (empower) to create those boundaries I me. ]
Hillary Rubin , a certified Anusara Yoga teacher has taught nationally and internationally including Yoga Month 09 Tour , Agape International Spiritual Center’s University/UTSLA, Paramount Studios, City Yoga , and the Mind Body & Beyond Expo. She is passionate about sharing her story to inspire others to become empowered through life’s challenges and has been featured by Fit Yoga Magazine, Conscious Choice Magazine, Whole Life Times, Lime.Com , Yoga Mates, and Yoga Peeps.