At 19 years of age I made the conscious decision to search out a yoga studio and turn up to my very first class, I had no idea at the time of how this ancient practice would end up transforming my body, mind and soul. Although I didn’t know the depths of how it would touch me I had answered some feeling from deep within me, to show up and take the first steps of a journey, that I have now been on for over 20 years. At the time I was a sensitive girl, just trying to make sense of a complicated harsh world. The practice of yoga gave me the space to move my body in ways that made me feel strong and empowered, I learnt more about who I am and became aware of the busyness in my mind. By learning more about myself through the practice I became more aware and began to make more informed decisions in my life.

Becoming more aware and responding to our surroundings defines conscious choice. Our conscious choice is like a super power that we are always armed with. Sometimes in a world where we are bombarded messages from advertisements and influencers, it can be confusing to know who to trust, we get stuck in the trap of looking ‘out there’ for the answers and we can forget this innate super power that lays at our core, aligned with our highest values.

Making change is never easy but making the effort to change ourselves for the better is a worthy goal. If we are serious about making positive changes, we have to start somewhere. One suggestion is to cultivate conscious choice. If we recognise the correlation between stimulus and action, we can pause, consider potential consequences and then make a positive response instead of just reacting out of our fears and past experiences. This is cultivating conscious choice. Because many of our choices are often unconscious, cultivating conscious choice becomes a healthful practice that is at its heart a yoga practice.

I make a conscious choice to wear We’ar clothing not only because the organic fabrics feel amazing on my skin and allow my skin to breathe when I practice, but also because our values are aligned. Jyoti lives her brand and it is deeply based on what she is passionate about, the world needs more people like this who genuinely care and try to make a difference.

Sutra 2.1 “The more we refine ourselves through Yoga the more we realise that all our actions need to be re-examined systematically and we must not take the fruits of our actions for granted.” —T. K. V Desichachar, The Heart of Yoga

Conscious choice in action

Take a few slow deep breaths and ask yourself, whats my highest intention in this moment?

Physical body: What am I feeling in this moment (contentment, anxiety, restlessness, joy)? Breath: Am I able to breathe fully and deeply, can I sense any sensation of energy (tingling, pulsing, heat or coolness)?
Mind/Emotions: What am I thinking in this moment? Are those thoughts feeding my highest intention?

Do I need/want to change my attitude/perception and accept what might be challenging me right now?
Can I make a choice that aligns me with my inner values?

When we apply this practice on the mat or to the many daily choices we make, we are gradually changing ourselves in ways that help us live healthy, wise, and balanced lives.

For workshops, retreats and teacher training with Nikki in 2018 visit www.theralstonmethod.com for more info

photo credit: Mareea Vegas