With a company built on the philosophy that yoga, healthy living, and travel go hand in hand, Heather is taking stock of our new normal in the wake of the COVID-19 and looking within. As co-founder of retreats company Yoga For Bad People and a yoga teacher since 2003, this spiritual guru believes we've been given a gift and a time to heal. Here, she shares her thoughts on being present, becoming our truest selves, plus the importance of creating daily rituals and routines.
Download Heather's online classes at yogaforbadpeople.com/classes, plus check out @yogaforbadpeople and tune into her daily IG LIVE Spiritual Teachings @heatherlilleston
“We could think of this as a global silent retreat. For peace. We can use this time wisely to come out of it more compassionate than ever. This is an opportunity for a major inner upgrade."
You know what's so nice right now is that I’m walking down the street and haven't considered for a moment what I am wearing, how I look or what I'm doing. Two weeks ago I would've been obsessing about which hoodie I wore out or the scrunchy in my hair. Interestingly, when you go on a silent retreat you're supposed to cover all the mirrors and windows in your house to avoid your reflection. Doing this symbolizes the deletion of identity and the idea of who we are and glom onto. Similarly, our world is in a silent retreat of sorts. We have to recognize that we weren’t happy anyways, always running around surviving, not thriving. The number one cause of cancer and depression is stress. It’s time to let go of our old ways of doing things, earning money, living and existing to step into a higher vibration.
“Abundance of things does not come from hard work; that is a myth. Abundance of things comes from belief and tapping into a certain vibration.”
At the end of the day, our survival is not solely based on money. Yes, we need money to buy vegetables and pay for the roof over our heads, but with or without money, the flowers still bloom, the vegetables still grow and nature is coming out now more than ever. Our earth is noticeably in repair after only a few months of pausing our behavior. In LA it's been raining after years of drought and in Asia, you can see mountains that have been hidden by the population for decades. We were sick and needed to heal.
Don't get me wrong, my heart goes out to the nurses, doctors, loved ones lost and family members that can't say goodbye. But I'm holding space for positivity and believe in the higher good for the collective whole.
“Get clear on what feeds your soul and makes you whole.”
Jane Fonda once said about her divorce, "I knew that I would die married and rich, but not whole." This resonates with me and has been top of mind lately. I believe we all must take these days and months to get solid in who we are. Let this time bring us back to ourselves so that we can be whole.
Evaluate what relationships nurture you, and which don't. What food nourishes you, and what doesn’t. What grounds you, and what doesn’t. What activities feel good, and which don't. So we can all stop imitating everyone else and get clear on what feeds our souls.
"Don't worry about the future right now."
Worry doesn’t stop things from happening. There's often a belief that worrying about the future changes the future and instills some kind of security. However, worrying only reiterates fear, lack, and a continued belief that nothing works out. THIS is the belief system that we need to uproot now.
“Mental is always physical and physical is always mental.”
We've been given this beautiful opportunity to be still and in one place. That means time to stop and look at our stuff, our thoughts, our emotions and do the work without any distractions.
Automatically this means we’re going to pay more attention to how our body feels, the food we eat, the physical space we consume and the state of our mind. Even though we're trying to cling to our old ways of being, we're here because we need to be here. Our idea of normalcy and success, plus the constant stress and stimulus, was not healthy. Instead of ignoring our bodies' constant cry for help via double daily workouts, multiple meetings, and too many drinks with friends, we're being forced to stop, slow down and pay attention to every tiny detail down from how we interact with other humans to how we sit with ourselves. Mother nature has put us on timeout so we can rest, heal, sleep, care for ourselves, others and truly be in the present moment.
“Develop a new routine. Rhythms are part of nature and an important part of how nature maintains itself. Choose time to be in rhythm and also time to be spontaneous and abandon that rhythm. There’s a time for both and build that into your routine.”
|1. My day begins in bed, slowly|
|2. Then I get up, make tea, brush my teeth, wash my face, journal and meditate while listening to Eckhart Tolle|
|3. Followed by an early morning hike with my Quarenteam (a small group I trust and know in my neighborhood)|
|4. FaceTime friends while making coffee|
|5. Prep and post my daily IG LIVE spiritual teaching|
|6. Live stream The Class workout|
|7. Have a simple lunch of rice, avocado, eggs, and salad with olive oil & vinegar|
|8. Make a celery juice and take it with me on a walk around my neighborhood|
|9. Text or call old friends - we're connected now more than ever|
|10. Write my master thesis paper|
|11. Tune in and dance in my living room to my friend @jlube64 daily IG LIVE DJ session at 2 PST|
|12. Work some more|
|13. Make a simple dinner similar to lunch|
|14. And, eventually, give in to Curb Your Enthusiasm or Schitt's Creek|
For me, that's sleeping as much as my body needs, journaling, calling and connecting with my friends over FaceTime, carving out spiritual time, and reading poetry.
|1. Stop fighting it and stay in. Shift into the present moment and stop fantasizing about the future, or holding your breath until this is over.|
|2. Develop a routine. Rhythms are part of nature and an important part of how nature maintains itself. Choose time to be in rhythm and also choose time to abandon that rhythm for spontaneity.|
|3. Move your body. Find dance, yoga, and meditation classes that are accessible online, and get involved. Or, simply take a walk around the block. Whatever it is, just flow.|
|4. Boundaries allow us to discover true limitlessness and the quarantine can be viewed as this beautiful boundary we've been given globally. The boundary of the house is like the boundary of the meditation cushion. A quiet place to expand our mind.|
“We need to slow down and rethink how we make money.”
I’m speaking from a personal perspective. My industry, travel, is on hold for the foreseeable future. So, I’m not saying this flippantly or as if I'm not personally affected. But intuitively I’ve known for a while that I needed to slow down but didn’t know-how. Therefore, I’m taking this time to launch my live-streaming classes, meditations, and daily spiritual teachings.
I want to walk out of this more myself than ever. The more I lean into my true, authentic, honest, fearless self, without insecurity the more I will come out of this a better friend, teacher, daughter, lover, and sister. Ultimately allowing me to make better decisions about who I partner with both in business and life.