I went to a Manifest Your Life yoga workshop in New York City with Jennifer Pastiloff, a phenomenal Los Angeles-based yoga teacher. I first discovered Jennifer after reading her moving article about fear in Elephant Journal.
I have had few yoga experiences that felt as complete as this workshop. It was the perfect blend of guidance and independence, meditation and asana, and humor and intensity. It’s rare that I find a class where we do pranayama exercises, inversions, meditation, arm balances, twists, back bends, and flow and truly go deep within ourselves. Jennifer created a class of love and safety where it was okay to fall and fly. She encouraged us not to take ourselves too seriously and said we had to laugh if we fell out of a pose. She helped us to align our body and our thoughts.
What do you want to manifest in your life? JP asked. Get a piece of paper and write down one, ten, or twenty things you want to manifest. Be as specific as possible.
I wrote down seven words to describe what I want to manifest: whole, love, courage, acceptance, abundance, authenticity, and peace. I want to be a loving and open person no matter my circumstances; I feel like everything else will fall into place in my life if I have those two things.
Give voice to your dreams. Be in a feeling of that which you wish to receive. Thank the universe in advance for what you are manifesting. — JP
What do you think of when you think of faith? — JP
I feel faith:
when I am one with myself
when I fully embrace the present moment
when I stop judging and start feeling
when I let go of my fears and worries and believe in life; believe that my life will unravel just as it should without my controls or worries
when I embrace my love for me,
when I feel how connected we all are,
when I love, when I hurt, when I laugh, when I find the freedom in being.
What do you think of when you think of doubt? When you start thinking about doubt, what starts to show up in your thoughts and your life?– JP
I think of the fearful, guarded person I used to be. I worry can I ever be fully free of that person? I think of the chronically depressed, negative person I used to be. I worry do I really deserve to feel this happy?
I need to claim my power and let go of the past and fully embrace myself and my life. I am not my past. I am not my future. I am this present moment, this present breath, and I am capable of anything in this present space.
I want to live to my fullest, love to my deepest, and breathe to my freest.
When you ask yourself what you want to manifest, ask yourself does it feel natural?– JP If you’re dreaming of being a professional football player, do you actually have the age, anatomy, and determination needed to make this happen? Be realistic but don’t let your self-doubts keep you from going after your dreams.
When we were in savasana, Jennifer read Marianne Williamson’s gorgeous text about self-actualization.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson
I felt tears come to my eyes as I felt fully embraced by my worth, my light, my love, my talent. The words Who are you not to be? kept ringing in my head. I’m tired of playing small. I’m tired of hiding myself to make others comfortable. I’m tired of holding on to the person I used to be. I want to live. I want to love. I want to be.
top photo by ojaipatrick.
bottom photo by monbikke.