Ilyse: Healing through Yoga and Mindfulness
by Emily Trama
I made the time to sit down and call a very close family friend of mine, Ilyse. Ilyse is a very strong and inspiring woman whom I look up to and for the past seven years she has been on an intense spiritual journey to living a more fulfilling and peaceful life. Healing is immensely important to her and her journey as well as me and my journey and we wanted to share things we have learned thus far with the hopes of helping others through theirs…
“Whatever is really happening right this second is all we have.”
When you are a person who enjoys life, there is always going to be something you are going to miss out on. We are going to get invitations and make commitments to things that conflict now and forever. What is hurting us is how we look at these situations. More often than not, you find yourself wishing you were somewhere else, doing something else, asking yourself what would be happening right now if you had made a different choice. This is no way to live. You are forming unnecessary regret and turning that moment into something negative rather than being in the moment and accepting the moment as part of your journey.
When you take yourself out of that moment, that experience, you are causing yourself to suffer- it is not that choice that is making you unhappy, it is your mindset. There is an infinite world of “what if I did this,” but there is only one reality and you’ve made your choice. When we make all of our choices during our journey through life, they need to be our own; Do whatever your heart and your truth tells you to do, not what others want or expect.
We spend so much of our time taking everyone’s opinions into consideration. Being considerate of others is important, but not when it is making you someone you are not. “Half of how we spend our time… we don’t really need to be doing those things.” It’s a lie to yourself when you are trying to please everyone around you at the expense of your own free will. People are going to create a version of you that works for them and we need to stop pushing ourselves to appeal to that version.
“Time is valuable… you can’t get the day back.”
“When there is more flexibility in the body, there’s more flexibility in the mind…”
Yoga is a practice. “At first I didn’t understand that… like what does that mean,” Ilyse told me when thinking about how she used to look at yoga. When you “practice” yoga, you are experiencing it, making it what you want it to be. In yoga you are creating an intention for yourself, you are settling yourself. The practice allows you to drop into the present state and create both physical and spiritual spaciousness.
Being on the mat gives you the opportunity to relax, reflect and learn more about yourself and what you want, how you are growing. “When you start to learn about yourself, you start not to see all of the junk around you as much.” Things that are not necessary or true to you disappear and you become more aware of yourself and what that really means. We are clearing the way for new experiences and lessons. We are preparing ourselves for change, getting ready to keep our composure when we are given curveballs because, “Life is always gonna throw us curveballs.” That’s out of our control, but we are in control of our reaction- is it what we think it is “supposed” to be, or is it purely ours? As Ilyse said to me, “The mind wants to go there.” There is no reason to fight it and that is what yoga and mindfulness is all about.
“This is going to help you grow so much more kindly to yourself.”
“God-willing you’re changing… everyday.”
Growth is healing. What was appropriate at one point may not be appropriate for us anymore. “Everyone is on this journey about healing. Everyone has a lot of healing to do because they have not stayed in their truth.” You don’t need to put on the mask of who you once were to appeal to the people who want you to stay that way; because whether they like it or not, you are changing if the mask is on or if it’s off. We need to be honest to ourselves and others. Make sure that whatever you are talking about is honest and true. The more honest you are and the more of yourself you bring into your conversations and work, the more people can relate and grow with you.
“When you start to learn that there is only one person that you need to please and it is yourself, you start making choices that blend nicely with other people… because everything starts with valuing yourself and then valuing other people because you see who you really are.”
Being yourself is scary. We all want to be completely ourselves, but something holds us back and healing is about letting that go. We need to be courageous and vulnerable because, “When you allow yourself to truly be honest, there is nothing to hide from.” When you embrace yourself, nothing feels unnatural, uncomfortable.
“We are born to express whatever our true nature is. The true healing is when we allow ourselves to blossom in whatever our distinctive calling is.”