Jealousy. Competition. Ego.

You’re an athlete competing for a spot on the provincial/university/local team. You don’t see your name on the lineup and feel the pang of disappointment. Maybe you see another name of someone you thought you were more skilled then and you feel the venom of jealousy.

You’ve been working so hard in your office; showing your determination to exceed expectations and consistently showcasing your impeccable skills at your job. Suddenly you get word that your colleague, someone who maybe doesn’t work as hard as you or hasn’t been with your office as long as you, gets the promotion you have been determined to get. You feel the hit to your ego and the distaste of frustration.

You’re a new yoga teacher, fresh out of teacher training and so excited to take on the world, spreading goodness and your joy of yoga. You go to your first teach out or apply to teach at your favourite local studio and suddenly realize how many other teachers there are applying for the same classes. You are thrown into a pool of yoga competition to have the best voice, the most inspiring practice and the most unique teachings. After just being taught all about compassion, reducing ego and supporting all beings, how do you react to a world full of jealousy, competition and ego?

The first two examples happened to me many times. The success of my athletics and my career were always at the forefront of my mind. But my ego and competitive spirit fuelled my drive to be the best and due to many failures I did make the BC Provincial Volleyball Team and win Canadian Western Nationals, I did make the Acadia University Varsity Volleyball team and become a starter and rookie of the year in my first year, and I did get hired for the marketing career I desired the day after I graduated university with my BBA degree. But was I truly happy on the inside? Not at all. Because I always wanted MORE. As soon as I achieved one goal, I moved onto the next best objective, not even celebrating what I had already achieved. I continued to compete, sometimes competing so hard with my friends that I forgot to support them. I would get jealous of praise they received because I wasn’t receiving it. It was incredibly unhealthy and it left me feeling empty.

That was why when I found yoga it was so nourishing for me. It was the first environment that I had been in that didn’t encourage ego or competition; infact, it discouraged it. Yoga was truly a breath of fresh air.

So after I received my first 200hour yoga teacher training certificate and was a fresh little yogi fish in the big yoga world sea, I was surprised to see the competitive environment of yoga teachers lobbying for classes. Fortunately this time I was prepared with my tool kit of teachings and awareness and was able to recognize the environment and my nature before I succumbed to it. I applied and got classes, celebrating this achievement and feeling humbled for the opportunity. I watched as new teacher friends also got classes, some at the same studios I applied for, and this time instead of brooding with jealousy, I celebrated their success with them!! I was shocked that this even came naturally to me, that it wasn’t an effort to release my competitive nature. It was actually easier on my mind and my health to find love as my first reaction.

So while I still catch myself in life getting caught up in ego, as all humans will, I am grateful for the teachings and humility I have received through yoga and the love it has filled my emptiness with. I have moved leaps and bounds closer to daily Santosha (contentment) and I could not be happier. 🙂

My wish for humanity is that everyone may find this release of ego and competition. At the moment our world is full of jealousy, anger and hatred due to the egos of one another fuelling competition and disconnection. If we learn to support and uplift each other instead of fighting each other, we will find our world full of love and happiness. This movement starts with each of us. It starts with me, it starts with you. Please be kind and inspire a more loving and supportive world.

Namaste my friends.

Smile More.

nicthehappyyogi

I stand strong beside my friends; no matter your gender, sexual orientation, race, culture, or background, I will be your friend. We are all one. But there is one thing that challenges my ability to create friendship, and that is when someone is not living a life in kindness, when they are not leading a life built with love.

So when I read about feminist movements  resisting being “likeable” and resisting “smiling more”, I just don’t support these measures of resistance. I understand that there is a long history of women being conditioned to be quiet, to be polite and to not have an opinion on things “only men” should talk about, and that shit is WRONG. Women have a voice and I want that voice to be heard loud and clear! I want our voices to be respected around the world. This is where the “anti-likeable” movement is coming from, which definitely makes complete sense. To be “likeable” to fit into a box defined by men/society is not right and I do NOT support this box. And to be told to, “smile more” instead of telling someone what you really feel due to fear of being judged or being punished by men/society is not right and I do NOT support this either.

But… Continue reading

Is Yoga For Everyone?

nicthehappyyogi

I’m not flexible.

I’m too busy.

I’m can’t focus long enough to be still for 75 minutes.

I don’t want to become too flexible.

I have injuries.

I can’t meditate.

Yoga is too hard.

Yoga is boring.

These are the common comments I get when I tell them I teach yoga/ask if they would like to yoga with me. Since they can’t touch their toes, balance on their head, retain focus, meditate or are too injured, they think that yoga isn’t for them. Or they tried a couple yoga classes and either felt intimated by advanced poses or not stimulated enough to be interested. No matter your reason, you just feel like yoga isn’t for you. Well, yoga CAN BE for everyone, but the yoga you did previously or what you consider yoga may not be the best type of yoga practice for you right now. Yoga has many different forms (8 actually) and while one may not serve you at this moment, another could. Our bodies, minds and lives are constantly evolving, and so should our yoga practice. Continue reading

Happiness is a Choice

happiness

I have officially arrived in Melbourne and wow, is this city beautiful! From the old fashion trams, to the abstract artwork on every block, to the beautiful trees and grassy fields, to the gorgeous harbour and walking paths, I have to say I’m in love!

But this post isn’t exactly about Melbourne; I’ve had a lot of time to think since I arrived because the Internet in our apartment does not work. This means I cannot spend endless time browsing the web on my phone and computer. It means I need to actually spend time with myself and the people around me. How horrifying is this for most people of our generation, to live life past the screens! Many would be frustrated with the disconnection to their online world. They would allow the first five days of their first visit to Australia to be ruined because they were forced to step away from their phones and computers. They would choose to feel the emotions associated with being unhappy because they would dwell in the thoughts that they’d rather be connected than where they are now.

The thing with happiness is, it is entirely our choice whether to be happy or not! How we react to any circumstance is a choice. We have expectations of how we would like our day to go, how we expect our life to unravel, but when it doesn’t happen the way we want it to we can choose to be unhappy and bath in negativity, or we can choose to be happy with what is thrown our way and perceive it as a positive change. With the internet not working, I choose to see this situation as an opportunity to spend more time exploring Melbourne and catching up with my boyfriend whom I haven’t seen in 4 weeks. I choose to not only be happy, but ecstatic that the internet is broken! I’m ecstatic that my first Australian activities are completely uninterrupted by the online world. 

Happiness is in fact a response to external stimuli. We are exposed to so many situations every single day; from the person who serves us our morning coffee, to the drive to work, to the tasks at work, to our athletic activities, to our conversations with loved ones, to our time spent alone. Each moment of every day we have an expectation of how that moment is going to unfold and sometimes we do not get the result we expect. The result becomes an unexpected stimuli that we then choose to react to. Reactions can unfortunately become habitual, such as yelling at other drivers in rush-hour on your way to work (most people don’t even realize this reaction anymore, it has just become a natural response). But breaking these habitual reactions is simpler than you think, you ultimately just need to become aware that you are making a choice. Another driver cuts you off and instead of instantly reacting without thought, you take a moment to think, “Will yelling at this person really make me feel better? Will it really add value to my day? Will yelling make me happy?” When you suddenly become aware of how your body and mind have previously reacted and how you could react, your choices shift to a more positive place.  Continue reading

Happy Reflecting

   meditate

I have been so fortunate to have three incredible Calgary studios invest in my new beginning, supporting me as a new yoga teacher and welcoming me to their family. They have offered me many classes to teach to grow my experience and are shoulders to lean on when I have questions about this new adventure of teaching. Yoga Passage, HotShop and Karma Calgary Yoga are all incredible studios with their own special communities that I love getting to know. HotShop recently asked me to answer some reflective questions for a teacher bio on their website and I found myself really enjoying the process of answering them. It is important to take the time reflect on what is important to you and what makes you happy, and I realize how little we do this as a culture. Here are my answers:


What do you want to be when you grow up?

A full time yoga teacher and world explorer.


Describe your perfect day:

Wake up, put on a robe, have a fresh fruit smoothie/tea on a patio overlooking a beautiful view of the ocean or mountains. I’d then practice yoga and meditate on everything I am grateful for, followed by cuddles with the love of my life. Next, we would go on an adventure hiking in the mountains or kayaking along the beach to have a picnic at a place of peace, solitude, and natural, untouched beauty. After our adventure we’d come home to make dinner and create; maybe paint, make bracelets, write stories. I would end the day with more cuddling while gazing under the stars. A perfect day.


What motivates you to get up in the morning?

Knowing that each day is full of new adventures to experience, new places to explore, new friends to meet and new knowledge to learn.


Why do you do what you do?

I love to be surrounded by people that enjoy being active, caring for their health and see the joy in life. I love to teach and inspire others to look after their bodies and their minds and to be there to support and uplift. I love sharing what I love and what I love is the positivity yoga supplies to my life.

Continue reading