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Yoga Me Well Blog

How to Change – Part 2

It appeared to be an ordinary rose, just another of the botanical gardens’ bouquet, but I stopped. Drew closer.




The heart of this flower revealed its radiance. And I was utterly stilledHere was power, undisclosed, until one paused to take it in. Others too distracted to see, remained unaltered. Striking in its glory, yet a humble presence in a flooded petal garden. It moved me to wonder and inspiration. It reminded me again of the subtle nature of change (see How to Change – Part 1 below). 


Your Centre is a Know-All

The heart of you and me is like this. The teachings handed down by Sri T Krishnamacharya and his son, TKV Desikachar, speak of the heart as our true centre.  It offers us guidance that is beyond thought and which comes directly from a place of illumination and radiance.

“We may have received a good education, been exposed to remarkable teachings, have an impressive curriculum vitae and accomplished many extraordinary things, but when it comes down to what really matters in life, these are all secondary compared to being close to our heart. We must evolve towards more simplicity and listen to our feelings, which come from our heart.” 

From: What are We Seeking? by TKV Desikachar with Martyn Neal.

When we are unhappy with our circumstances, we need to reach toward our heart centre.

The Way In…


Through our yoga practice we learn to breath and move with a focus that creates stillness. We sit in that stillness for many moments in the hour of class. When we choose to practice at home too, we cultivate that centre. We find ourselves enjoying quiet moments throughout the day, more often, where we think nothing, and feel peaceful.

 As we grow toward it, the heart blooms to reveal paths forward previously hidden. It knows who we are back to our infant innocence and before it. Our heart is our surest guide but we must first learn its language of feeling, intuition and silent whisperings, which we experience as ‘Knowing’. This is the right thing to do. This is what I really want. Here is the way forward.

And slowly, we change.


Liv Mitchell

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Liv Mitchell is a senior yoga teacher and freelance writer/editor.


How to Change – Part 1

We know the frustration of living the same circumstances over and over again. How we find ourselves landing in the same dysfunctional relationships, job circumstances, confrontations with family or friends. Or repeating annoying daily behaviours like one of my favourites – carrying too many things awkwardly until they predictably topple and halt my inefficient progress.

“Oh the pain, the pain,” as Dr Zachary Smith would say (Lost in Space, 1965-1968).

Our best support through change 

Our regular yoga practice teaches us the self-awareness to unmask our thinking. Over time and periods of daily quiet we learn to tune into our thoughts, and keep track of the misguided ones. We may begin to suspect that we are contributing to these cyclical events through our own thoughtless action. We become more prescient, aware of those thoughts and actions before delivering them into the world.

Why stumbling helps

“Oh no,” we acknowledge quietly, “I’m doing that thing again!” Hurrumph! We may do that thing again many times more until we muster enough presence in the moment – a pause – to try something different.

In that moment of honesty with ourselves is the birth of, and commitment to, real change.

The big pay off

Genuine change is a continuum. We remember our commitment, we forget, we act on it and then we don’t. But each time we become aware of a poor thinking pattern or response, the neural pathway to change it is strengthened.

Then one day the old thought and response is gone. The ‘breakthrough’ is a huge, quiet achievement  so deeply rewarding that we share it with no one. Instead, we revel humbly in the gathering of our wisdom which required the vulnerability of seeing our errant Self at work. The reward unfurls as we observe how our internal change now allows others to alter their response to those situations too.

Subtle, powerful, incredible this living matrix, don’t you think?

Liv Mitchell

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Liv Mitchell is a senior yoga teacher and freelance writer/editor.


2018 Reflection

Living the life you were born to live takes courage. 

We come into this world from our soul state, the blueprint bright within. Over time, the external influences fog that clarity. We lose consciousness of who we came to be and what we came to do. 


The work of yoga invites us to remain open to inner guidance to live dynamically; that is learning, growing, gathering wisdom. With self-awareness and a global spirit our energy can effect genuine change in the people and systems around us.

Each year-end we enjoy a collective sigh and slow down. This quiet pocket of days supports time to reflect.

Take yourself somewhere quiet, beautiful. Be comfortable. Enjoy 10 quiet breaths with your eyes closed. Pause in stillness and do 10 more slow, even breaths. 

After your reflection (below), write one or two words on a card and place it somewhere that you will see every day. This is your personal work, the gathering of wisdom, which becomes world service as you change and influence others to consider their responses to life more carefully.


1 What personal values do you yearn to live by? Or, rephrased, what part of you do you wish to bring to life? 

Most of us already know the answer but struggle to live it. I refer to the person you can feel inside but who continues to use the same responses to life under pressure, or who takes the comfortable route because it is too hard to practice being more “positive”, “easeful”, more of a “leader”, more “trusting”, “charismatic”, “fun” or “courageous”.  You were born to be these things too but we tend to lose the blueprint in others’ plans for us.

Here are some personal values to aspire to live by: Balance, Ease, Persevering, Assertive, Kind, Attentive, Leadership, Optimistic, Determined, Ethical, Self-Aware, Contentment, Light-hearted, Supportive, Reflective, Steady, Reliable,  Spiritual, Creative and here are 400 more (choose 1 or 2 that resonate). 

2 Once you have identified one or two values to work toward, list a few obstacles or resistance that appear to block attainment.


3 Are these obstacles real, imagined, stemming from beliefs that are not aligned with your Nature? Write your honest understanding of what prevents you from reclaiming these positive soul traits. 

4 List a few simple ways could you could cultivate this state. Include one big step, even if it feels impossible now.  Sit comfortably with the awareness of the boundaries you create.

In 2019, our sanga (YogaMeWell’s student group), begins the inspired work of expanding into these heart-led values.  Because we all deserve to love the skin we’re in.  Come on, join us. 


Liv Mitchell

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Liv Mitchell is a senior yoga teacher and freelance writer/editor.