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Practicing airplane pose at Blue Osa.

I just wrapped up a month of working and living in the jungles of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. I was there to help the incredible Blue Osa Yoga + Spa as they work to grow, while Eric helped them with their photography and videography needs.

Going into this opportunity, we had little expectations beyond the fact that it would be amazing to live in the jungle for a month, working alongside wonderful people, at a place we really believed in. What neither one of us realized is how much we would get back.

Just one day after our arrival we were invited to take part in the week long yoga retreat Flow, Align, & Restore.

When you are doing five hours of yoga a day for six days, it’s hard not to have multiple transformational moments and epiphanies on the mat.

The biggest transformative moment came to me after Alain (our fearless yoga leader) said this about alignment:

“When we align ourselves we provide a space for growth and change.”

Proper alignment in yoga is important to minimize the risk of injury, maintain the health of muscles, joints and internal organs. With each practice, you are stretching these parts within their limits and slowly building strength and flexibility. Without alignment we do not give ourselves the room to grow, change, and advance on the mat.

This led me to think about alignment off my mat and in life. I asked myself if my values are in alignment with the way I am living. I realized that there are some big areas in my life that are out of wack.

Without taking the time to align your values with they way you are living, there’s not a strong foundation for growth.

So what do you need to realign in your life?

Spend 10 minutes writing down your values and how you want to be living your life. Then check for alignment. (Do an hour of yoga first if it helps you!)

Is the life you want to be living close to the life you are living? How far off is it?
Where do you need to make changes?
What things to you need to start doing? Stop doing?
Are the people you surround yourself with positive or negative influences?

Next, pick one thing you can start changing this week. Maybe that means not taking your work home, applying for other jobs or making the move to start your own business, spending more time with your family, planning a vacation, eating healthier, or creating more time in your life for fun.

Creating alignment on the mat in yoga or off the mat in life can feel risky. It takes practice, courage, time, patience, and dedication. It can make you question yourself and your abilities.

But the more you practice, the stronger and easier it becomes. When you give yourself space to explore, you open yourself up for endless possibility, growth, and change.

In the comments below share your values, how aligned you feel, and what changes you are going to start making now.

For me, some of the values I’m working on to bringing more of into my life are:

Creativity
Inner Peace
Health
Relationships
Community
Fun

Over the past few weeks, I’ve worked to align myself more with my values by eating better, drinking enough water, making time for my relationships and spending quality time with Eric (where we don’t talk about work and upcoming logistics), expanding my graphic design abilities by taking another class, writing more, practicing yoga at least 5x a week, and making time for fun. Even when we are traveling to new exotic places, it’s easy for me to get caught up in work. By consciously making the choices to do these things over the last four weeks, I feel more fulfilled and happier.  I find that it’s opening new doors I had yet to imagine.

It’s not an overnight change and the journey is not a short one. It’s a process, but you have to start somewhere.

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