The Mandala Mission
The mandala symbolizes the universe and asks us to receive all the gifts and lessons of life, to notice our resistance to what shows up in our sphere of awareness and stay open to all experiences to eventually become grounded in who we are and what each of us is in service of.
The Mandala Mission is to design, develop and drive outside-the-box, evidence-based, integrative and collaborative experiences that empower practitioners and educators of consciousness to work with their ‘resistances’ through yoga to up-level and diversify their practice, teaching and engagement in all aspects of their life and in the world.
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Nicole & The Mandala Community
- CURIOSITY. What’s all the hype about yoga anyway? You may believe it is about gaining flexibility, getting stronger, managing stress, enhancing health, living a happier more holistic life…This is all true, but these are the side-effects of bringing your attention to your breath, your mind into synergy with your body, your consciousness to your thoughts, speech and way of being in the world. Your curiosity about yoga opens the door to healing on all levels—soul, heart, and the physical body all of which express the ways in which we are out of sync with ourselves. In this way, you begin to rediscover that most authentic resonance and expression of you within yourself, that which may have been forgotten or discarded in the midst of the stuff of life. You are not beholden to any particular stylistic approach to this practice. Decide what your personal and financial investment point will be and run with it. This is your commitment to yourself. Feel the power in that.
- EXPERIENCE. You keep hearing how transformative yoga is. The split second this thought permeates your consciousness (which means right NOW if you are reading this!), is the time to dive in – do not think! The mind gets in the way of the heart. If yoga keeps coming up in your sphere of awareness, NOW is the time to experience in yoga what it is you are meant to experience. You do not want to look back with regret at something you should have tried but didn’t because the time wasn’t right, the money wasn’t there, the fear got in the way, life was too ‘busy’. NEWS FLASH: The time is never right; the money IS there; fear is a contraption of the mind to keep you limited in your life; and life is only ‘busy’ if you choose that to be how you define it for yourself. I’ve been there, and excuses are a dime a dozen and stop you from getting the work done. Yoga empowers you to act and manifest.
- RITUAL. Yoga is more than mere routine. It’s about establishing new habits to replace the ones that no longer serve you. And carving out new ways of doing things requires ritual, because this is what brings meaning to your life and shifts the belief systems underlying negative patterning. First you have to see the suffering, the substance of that which gets in your way and shortchanges you on the merriment and joys of life: Notice the injury, the trauma, the tragedy, the strife that has limited your experience of yourself. Now acknowledge it, say it out loud, feel it: Yoga allows you to touch the hurt, gently, with friendliness and curiosity and, with time, to transform its rough, fearsome edges into something steady and known. Just as painful habits take time to unravel, it takes time to rewire the brain to a new way of perceiving and thinking about things…In this way, yoga works from the inside out to change behaviors and physical reactivity.
- RELAX. Contraction is how your body protects you from all the hurt you have suffered, the negative energy around you, and the stuff of life you don’t see coming. Yoga has a way of showing you how much tension your body holds and where it holds it. So first, you learn to soften the tightness in your body, the bonds of muscular tension and myofascial rigidity. This begins the process of freeing up communication between your body, cells and tissues and the brain, also known as the somatic nervous system. Engaging your consciousness in the process of shifting physical tension engages the motherboard of the brain, the central nervous system, and you become aware of the mental strain, the emotional resistances, and the anxiousness that comes from the content of your thoughts. Then, you begin to relax your thoughts, you lean into the sensitivities of your heart, you feel into the points of tension in your body. Yoga will teach you to shift your dynamic from thinking to feeling, from over-rationalization to inspiration and creativity, from ‘doing’ to ‘being’, from the stress response (flight, flight, freeze) to the relaxation response (letting go). This is what it means to relax. And in this place of relaxation the body heals itself.
- SPACE. “I’m too busy.” “Life is crazy right now.” “There are too many distractions, there is not enough time, and way too much to do…” We choose this by continuing to think it and by saying it out loud, repetitively and continuously. Yoga teaches you to shift your attention breath by breath, movement by movement, thought by thought. All it takes is one, single, conscious breath to shift the dynamic away from reactivity to pause. In that one breath, you create the space to not react, to notice your inner dialogue. Over time, you begin to see your thoughts and experience situations with more clarity and less reactivity. How much do you want that for yourself, in your life?
- HAPPINESS. Make everything you think, say and do matter. The key to contentment and peace is to invest time and energy in getting to know yourself on all levels, the same way you invest in the stock market, or raising your children. Why would we not invest the same level of care, resources, energy and time in ourselves, knowing that this is the path to our own salvation? Delve into this time-seasoned practice to re-discover the wisdom within you that serves as your guide in this one wild and precious life.