Sometimes you meet someone and you know that you are connected somehow. Sometimes this meeting happens out of nowhere, out of the blue, yet you just feel that it was not random. Rather it was almost orchestrated so that you can form a bond with this person. This is how I feel about this week’s guest on My Yoga Story series, Lyndsey Eden.
Although we are miles apart, every communication I have with her confirms she has a massive, open heart and is not afraid to let you in. I love Lyndsey’s honesty and authenticity in her work and I am so deeply honoured she has decided to share her story with us over here.
Let’s dive straight in to meet beautiful Lyndsey!
Describe yourself in a few short sentences.
Well I believe that true happiness is within all of us. Sometimes you need to dig deep to find it, but happiness is a choice even through our most tragic moments, it is something we get to choose each and every day. I also believe life is a celebration of beautiful, delicious, wild & free moments. I am a home body; I revel in a cup of tea, a glass of wine, a good book, cuddling with my man and our kitty. Nature grounds me and yoga opens me up, so I spend a lot of time with both. I also love being in the kitchen, creating messy, yummy concoctions. I am a mind, body, soul writer and I created lyndseyeden.com as a way to show and share my creative side and my passions; health & wellness tips, gratitude, self-love, interior design, nurturing and nourishing recipes (the sinful included, because life is much too short to live without those), DIY crafts and all things spiritual and mystical. It is a lifestyle mix of everything that lights me up and that I absolutely adore.
My hope is to inspire others to live life on their own terms, silence that inner mean girl and self-sabotaging ways and dream (like big and bold kind of dreams) eat delicious, simple real food and always surround yourself with beautiful things that light you up.
Ok that wasn’t really short, sorry! And here I thought I wouldn’t have much to say about myself 😉
What is your life philosophy?
Don’t dwell, be kind, show compassion, love hard, love deep, love yourself first and foremost, make mistakes and lots of them, say sorry, forgive yourself and others, listen to your heart, dream big, never apologize for being you, and on that note always be you!
Part of my life’s philosophy came through my hardest loss, the passing of my Dad. Through his loss I learned a lot, I was cracked and felt broken but when I started to see some light again I realized his loss taught me to always be open and receptive to everything life has to bring, the good and the bad. There is always a message, a piece of wisdom, or a lesson to be learned from everything and everyone that enters our journey. Let life flow, blow with the wind, crash with the waves, blossom with the flowers, shine bright like the sun and stand tall like the trees.
Life is as hard as you make it, everyone has their own battles but how you choose to fight those battles will determine how you live life. Choosing love over fear, happiness and gratitude have been life changing for me and how I process the harder times life brings us.
Tell us a bit about your yoga story. When did you first step foot on a yoga mat and what brought you there?
My first ever yoga experience made me think I was never ever, ever going to practice yoga again! It was about 10 years ago and I signed up with a girlfriend to do an 8 week yoga program. It was so freakin’ hard and the type of yoga that it was, was just much too rigid and structured for me (especially being a beginner). The teacher would come around the class and perfect our positions to the point that I was holding a pose in so much pain because they kept forcing me to be in a place I wasn’t ready to be in. Which I now know and believe is the exact opposite of what yoga should be. So sadly it took me another 5 years before I even looked at a yoga mat again, I am not sure what exactly drew me back, I suppose it was the universe directing me to where I needed to be, lighting a path for me to follow that would ultimately lead me to an utterly blissful love of body movement.
I thank my stars every day that I was guided back to trying yoga again, I knew having a body movement practice was important for our health and wellbeing but I never knew I could love and crave a movement so intensely. I sometimes think that it was my Dad up in the sky who guided me back, knowing that I needed the solitude of yoga, the healing powers and the alone time with my spirit that would lift me back up and help me find my happiness again. So by thanking stars I mean I thank him.
What makes you return to your mat?
It is the combination of relaxation and total rejuvenation I feel after practicing, the deep long breaths I get to take that release any and all tension, the light calming wave that engulfs me with each practice, and the feeling of presence, of being wholeheartedly in the now. Yup that brings me back again and again and again…
Oh and also it has been life changing for my back, I get a lot of pain along the middle of my back and when I practice regularly it is gone, like it never even existed and that is pretty amazing!
What does yoga mean to you? Define it in 5 sweet words.
Serenity. Absolution. Harmonious. Clarity. Euphoria.
What does your yoga practice look like at the moment? How has it evolved over time?
Well I went from “I am never doing that again” to “I can not live without it” so I think leaps and bounds?! The majority of the yoga I practice is at home, through myyogaonline.com. I find when I am by myself my yoga deepens and the journey I have with myself is so much more connected and present. My favourite kinds at the moment are Kundalini, Vinyasa and Flow and sometimes a combination of the three.
Kundalini is my heart content though; it opens me up in ways I didn’t know possible. I love that you can actually feel the kriyas working their magic deepening on the area they are focused on, the liver, the heart, a chakra, you feel it, you feel it all and with true meaning, along with the chanting mantras that come with Kundalini it is an extremely powerful and purposeful practice.
Yoga is my main body movement practice, if it is a really good week then I am getting 5-6 days and some weeks it can be 2 or 3 days (and full disclosure some weeks none). I listen and tune into myself (something that yoga has taught me) what my body needs, what my mind and soul need, which is the beautiful part of yoga it truly incorporates all three. I am just about to start a 30 day challenge, which I like to do every once in a while.
What have been the most powerful a-ha moments/sparks of inspiration + wisdom that you’ve experienced through yoga?
How incredibly strong our mind, bodies and souls are especially when they are given the chance to work together in harmony, a show of balance, an intertwining of song, dance, rhythms, and soul stirrings. Yoga got me through a huge and sudden loss in my life and every day that I spent on my mat after my Dad passed away I felt my heart lift and fall, I felt pain and sorrow but I also felt a beautiful amount of unconditional love and “this too shall pass” moments. Our bodies are such incredible vessels truly they are magnificent. Through yoga I have learned so much about my body, the strength it has and how much it has gained through practicing. There were poses that when I first started that I thought I would never be able to do and now they are the easy ones! When I let myself go and took the pressure off, stopped comparing myself to others that is when I gained strength not just in body but in mind as well. The easier I was on myself the easier and faster the poses came. Our minds can be our biggest enemy at times but yoga has taught me how to lessen those moments of worry, guilt, wandering thoughts and self-sabotaging ways. Yoga has a way of calming my mind down, of bringing everything back in, back to love.
How did you transform these into life lessons off the mat?
I have gained so much clarity through yoga; I sometimes define it as my therapist. I truly believe that our worst and saddest times in life are our biggest catalyst for change and yoga proved that to me through our journey together after my Dad. Yoga has taught me to let go and release anything I may feel and that it is ok to do so. It is ok to feel sadness and be vulnerable and show our human side, actually it is more than ok, it is needed. I now feel my feelings, truly and deeply and I am better able to process them and see the light at the end of any tunnel, no matter how long it may seem. Yoga helps me bring awareness to the parts of my inner being, my spirit that may need more attention and I can tune in and feel those moments and what I need better than ever now.
What have been the biggest challenges in your practice on + off the mat? What helped you overcome them?
Confidence:: One of my biggest fears when I first started doing yoga was that I was not flexible enough, I was never going to be able to do “that” pose, I didn’t have a yoga body, spirals, spirals, spirals. I had a lot of confidence (body and being) issues growing up that led me into my mid-twenties but after I started practicing yoga on a regular basis, my confidence started changing, gaining and growing, it blossomed. I noticed that not only was I more confident on the mat I was more confident off the mat as well. Through gaining this new found confidence I started showing up as myself more, I started sharing my truth and my opinions and stopped being afraid of being myself. Which I think comes back to building that connection with myself, loving myself, and tuning into that inner goddess that so badly wanted to shine. So I let her shine and people love her. People love seeing your authenticity, that’s all they want, just truth.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to be a yogi?
Just do it! Don’t worry about the person next to you, don’t worry you are not flexible enough, about the clothes you should wear, don’t worry about taking a break when you need one, take it! Yoga should be about you and only you and if you are at a studio that pushes you or makes you feel uncomfortable (unless done with loving intentions and that push is something you are wanting and striving for) they are not teaching the yoga philosophy correctly, that is not what yoga is about. There is no fear within yoga, only love. There is always going to be someone more flexible and there is always going to be someone less flexible. Just do you, trust me it is worth it.
And finally, what is your favourite yoga asana and why?
Ok I have two. I love bakasana (crane/crow pose) at the moment because it has shown me so much strength, I have gone from not lifting my feet, to lifting one and balancing on the other, to lifting both for 2 seconds, to lifting both for 5 seconds and so on. It is such an amazing feeling to conquer a pose that you thought would never be possible, the power of the body and the mind together once again shows.
And savasana (rest pose) and no not just because it is the easiest pose, because that is when I feel the most free and can completely release all of myself. It is when I feel my mind connecting with my body and my body connecting with my soul, and then all three connecting with each other in this grand gorgeous finale. My chest rises and falls to the fluidity of my heart, my pulse fully relaxes and every part of me unwinds, mind, body and soul.
Lyndsey Eden is an advocate for true inner happiness and self-love, a mind, body, soul writer and spirituality inspired creator of LyndseyEden.com; which she likes to describe as “A celebration of life and all its beautiful, delicious, wild & free moments”. With passion, creativity and a whole lot of love Lyndsey’s goal is to inspire and revitalize her tribe through wellness tips, gratitude, interior design, nurturing and nourishing recipes (the sinful and the healthy), DIY crafts and all things spiritual and mystical. Her mission is to awaken your inner goddess, your big, bold, daring dreams and give you permission to live happy, wild and free, all while making everything around you as tasty and as beautiful as can be. Her other happy places include surrounding herself with friends and family at home in Victoria, BC with her boyfriend Paul and their kitty Chai.
Such a beauty right? This is definitely going down as one of my favourite interviews on this series!
Thank you so much for sharing your story Lyndsey!
Let’s leave a comment for Lyndsey below + send her some love xx
Image credit: Lyndsey Eden