Photo: Noushin Bayat
The Real Life is Real Yoga Practices Index
My own contradictions shamelessly look me in the eye and demand to be acknowledged.
BY NOUSHIN BAYAT
Hi. My name is Noush. I’m a fear-aholic.
I’ve spent a lifetime fueling my engagements in the world from a space of fear. Fear’s helped me get out of tough life circumstances, earn degrees, get fit, and basically try to improve myself in every way. It even got me on a yoga mat over 10 years ago when I’d busted my knees in a biking accident. I entered Bryan Kest’s studio to heal my broken knees so that I could bike and run again.
Gradually, yoga became my only form of exercise, and eventually my sanctuary and my personal revolutionary healing philosophy on life. The yoga mat was the only place where fear’s tense grip over my body and spirits seemed to waver…and for at least 90 minutes, I would feel a curious Ok-ness with my world.
Over the years, as I struggled to make my life outside of the yoga studio “work,” I slowly realized that yoga is my work. Ten years after I stepped into a yoga class, I earned my yoga teaching certification and feel blessed to guide others and myself in this curiously powerful practice of engaged inquiry.
These days, when I sense an episode of fear-mentality creeping up on me, I breathe and allow my yoga to take over…to take me into my body…to make it OK to feel whatever is arising…to expand and make room for what is…to bring compassion and gratitude to the vastness of my life and let go of my tyrannous “shoulds” and expectations …to invite the whole cast of my rejected shadow elements (fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, anger, regret, envy) to see the light of day and speak their truth.
And in this vast unruly space of OK-ness, where my shadow gets to dance with my light, where my own contradictions shamelessly look me in the eye and demand to be acknowledged, I’m learning to take those sweet, often painful, 12-steps toward freedom. One breath at a time.
The Magazine of Yoga 3×5 Interview
What is the task you like to do best in your work?
Holding a safe transformational space for others to speak their truth… and reach their own a ha‘s!
What housework or domestic detail is most satisfying to do?
Creating clutter-free inviting spaces
What in light of your experience in life, should we not waste time on or worry about?
Making ourselves or others “wrong.” I find that this activity is a dead-end street with no regenerative powers to elevate our awareness of the situation.
How do you celebrate?
Cooking a healthy organic locally sourced meal with loved ones
How do you learn?
Trial and error
How do you prepare to do something?
It depends what the “something” is. If it’s a presentation or a workshop, I have to immerse myself in the content and fully feel it all. The content must feel authentic to me and in line with my vision. Once I feel that it’s embodied, I can speak about it with ease and grace.
Do you have a nemesis?
Oh yes: fear and self-doubt
Do you have a vocation?
Yoga practitioner/guide, writer and spiritual psychologist
Do you have a plan?
keep trusting, accepting, letting go…repeat.
National Geographic. It always has a way of uplifting my spirits and helping me see way beyond my self.
Favorite work beverage?
Strong hot coffee, real cream, no sugar
Favorite relax thing?
Goofing around with my nephews…
5 things about your workspace that make it good
when leading yoga/workshops
– high ceiling
– natural light
– clean floor
– my favorite thick purple yoga mat
– willing participants
– comfy chair
– large writing pad
– my purple pen
– picture of my nephews
– view of nature
5 people you want to collaborate with
I’ll keep you posted on that one!
We may publish any content, comments or ideas sent to us.
Name may be withheld by request.
© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.