The Low Down on Dharma: 5 Questions to Ask and Answer to Own Your Passion

An inquisitive mind is a busy, active, reaching mind who loves to solve mysteries and develop destinations. Determining our dharma only asks that we continuously seek our deepest understandings of ourselves and what drives and impassions us.

While various religions and philosophies embrace and utilize the concept of dharma, there is no definitive definition. The overall idea is that our dharma is our passion and the reason we exist. Heady stuff, but most importantly, it's the most exciting knowledge we'll ever gain.

Not certain what your dharma is? You are far from alone, and we want to help! Asking questions, owning the ardor and zeal we feel for certain things and people, and trusting our truths are how we land with feet firmly walking along the path we're meant to follow and love.

If you've already developed an understanding here, these questions and answers many coax an even more extensive and heartfelt commitment to your passion.

It's crucial for each of us to understand our dharma is not necessarily how we make money, nor is it anything anyone can determine outside of ourselves. No one knows you the way you do. And this is the very best news. However, surrounding ourselves with others who seek constant growth and a deepening understanding of themselves and why they live the way they do will only light up our own paths with more luminosity and vivid comprehension. We need our mentors and examples of living dharma to propel us towards our own.

Grab a pen and paper or your laptop and get down with starting right here, right now. No moment of meditation or contemplation is a wasted moment. Can you feel that growing giddiness in depths of your spirit? Let's get going.

 

  1. Where is your very favorite place in the whole world and why? If this answer came to you in a nanosecond, cool. Now, why is this your favorite place? What feelings or opportunities does this place evoke?  If you're not sure, that's also quite amazing news. It means travel and exploration are your dharma right this moment. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to get on a plane or pack. It might mean your journey is a book you've never read that will introduce you to concepts and beliefs you hadn't yet considered in this life. Or, perhaps it's dusting off your yoga mat and exploring breath, movement, and your inner teacher's voice.
  2. What's the one thing you want to do every single day without question? Omg, I LOVE this question. I didn't use to love it because I didn't have an answer. Now I know it's to teach yoga to eager, willing, and passionate students who come to their mats to feel. If that one thing for you is being a parent, for example, each day offers singular thrilling moments, teaching opportunities, learning possibilities, and so much joy. Whatever it is, don't let a day go by without experiencing the thing that gives you purpose. If you're not yet clear on what that is, again, this is a big opportunity. Not yet knowing means each day offers you the chance to try things you're interested in and curious about until you have that lightbulb moment of, "Oh. Yes. Here it is." It's intoxicating. Keep looking.
  3. What moment made you so uncomfortable that it propelled you forward? See, we kid ourselves sometimes and convince ourselves that discomfort is bad. That's empirically untrue. When we embrace and revel in our discomfort, our truths come to light. Even really wonderful feelings can be so powerful that they cause us unease and we question what that's all about. It may be that abandoning one identity so another layer of who we are can be revealed is the only way we cut the bullshit. Honesty is often coupled with discomfort, so look for those awkward moments and run towards them to find out what they offer.
  4. What were the three most compelling takeaways you learned from your biggest growth spurt? We're not talking growing five inches in six months here. Growth and wisdom come at all ages. When it happens, we change. And everyone and everything around us changes too because we are different. Write down your lessons and where they took you. If it hasn't happened yet, oh, it will. Welcome it and bear witness to how your life shifts to accommodate the new you.
  5. When did the Universe speak so loudly you had no choice but to listen? Synchronicity is a compelling force. Signs are everywhere, especially when we are really tuned in and alert. Stay vigilant and don't ignore the obvious signs all around you leading you in the direction of passion, purpose, and deep contentment.


It doesn't matter what anyone thinks or what everyone wants for you. What drives you? Where do your wisdom and insight lead you? Own it or find it and enjoy the experience of discovery. Enjoy the ride and be true to you. Dharma is your destiny when you are willing to walk with it. We are so incredibly excited for you.


5 Ways to Cultivate Your Passion Through Your Yoga Practice

5 Ways to Cultivate Your Passion Through Your Yoga Practice

Whether you’re embarking on a new career path or seeking out a creative hobby to fill your spare time with, discovering what you truly are passionate about can prove to be as confusing as ever.

While it can be frustrating to know that you must be passionate about something, yet not have a clue what that something might be, there’s reason to embrace this unknown.

Contrary to popular belief, passion does not typically arrive out of nowhere. In reality, we become more aware of what we’re passionate about by exploring a variety of interests, experiencing new things, taking risks, making mistakes, learning, and readjusting what we think we could do better or what we think might bring us more joy.

The meditative and self-explorative aspects of yoga make it an ideal practice for cultivating your passion. Here are five things to focus on in your practice to help move you closer to what you’re truly passionate about.

 

1. Breathe Your Way to Calm

To find your passion, quiet your mind. It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s the key to connecting to your Higher Self—that part of you that knows what will bring you utmost joy and satisfaction in life.

Consider starting your practice off in meditation or in supine pose with gentle breathing. As you begin to move, try deepening your breath in standing poses to help expand the chest and upper back before finishing on the floor with hip openers and poses that lengthen the spine.

 

2. Notice Attachments to Desired Outcomes

Sometimes it’s our attachment to the ideas we have of what a passionate life might look like that hold us back from discovering and fulfilling our passions.

Use your breath work to detach from thoughts from a mindful distance to observe what outcomes you might be clinging to. Don’t try and change them—just notice them for what they are.

 

3. Greet the Morning With Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)

Traditionally performed at sunrise, sun salutations are wonderful for sparking your internal fire by targeting the major muscles in your spine, legs, and arms.

Starting your morning practice with sun salutations acts as a rebirth ritual, reminding you to seek out and embody your truth. A 20-minute flow through surya namaskar has incredible physical benefits and can even be powerful enough to bust you out of a mental slump.

 

4. Practice Grounding Poses to Heal Your Root Chakra

The root chakra is at the base of the chakra system and represents your solid foundation for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-bing. When out of balance, we may feel stuck or unconsciously caught up in desires.

Located at the base of the spine, practicing yoga poses that ground this foundational energy center to the earth can help you feel more secure and stable in all aspects of your life. Try poses like easy pose (sukhasana), garland pose (malasana), mountain pose (tadasana), and savasana (corpse pose).

 

5. Embrace Poses and Sequences That Encourage You to Release Negativity

Moving unwanted energy out of ourselves is key to clearing away the blocks that keep us stuck or unconsciously repeating bad emotional and behavioral patterns.

The breath work and poses discussed above will certainly help, but you can always go above and beyond. For example, you could create an emotional release ritual out of chair pose.

Start by standing tall in tadasana, visualize something you no longer need or want in your life and imagine grabbing it with your fists as you extend your arms up over your head. Then as you sit back into chair pose, quickly sweep your arms down in front of you toward your sides and back behind your torso as you release your fists and throw that unwanted thing away.