Britt Steele: Living Your Yoga
HOW DO YOU START YOUR DAY?
I pray. I pray. I pray. And, at the moment I am on day 47 of 108 days of morning yoga. I also light three candles: one for my catholic upbringing, one for the indigenous tribal practices that have drawn me in, and one for the more than two decades I have been studying yoga. And then, I drink a cup of green tea.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE OVERWHELMED OR STRESSED?
Absolutely nothing. Which is my new everything. I don’t talk. I don’t engage. I listen in and listen "UP"... and once again, I pray (in my own unique way).
WHAT GIVES YOU THE FEELING OF TRUE BLISS WITHIN?
This usually comes at the end of a yoga practice, or at least that is my most common place and time to encounter "true bliss within". It's when I've loosened up and released all the "gunk" and I'm just sitting, feeling grateful, remembering who I am (and who I am not)... and truthfully, often I can't help but weep.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
I am re-reading Women Who Run with the Wolves.
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
The rain.... but if you meant something more tangible, I'd have to say I've been listening to a song by Krishna Das over and over again -- Sri Argala Stotram / Show Me Love (I get goosebumps every time.)
WHAT DOES NOURISHMENT LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
It's multi sensory—it's not just food. It's picking a single flower (that some might call a weed) when I'm walking, or oiling my body as anointing, or listening to music, or practicing yoga exactly as my body asks -- with no agenda for "strong" or "relaxed" —none of that. It's the conversations I have and the way I take in the sound of church bells or children laughing or sun streaking through a dirty window. It's all of that.
How do you make space for play?
I don't. I feel like play asks me to welcome it in all the time -- when I'm writing or walking or preparing a meal. My mantra this past year has been "I am soooo over myself". And what I mean is that I have stopped taking myself so darn seriously and I laugh more (at myself included) and I breathe deeply whenever I remember and take in the world through my eyes - like a child takes in their first trip to the fair.
What are some favorite mantras you cling to?
Name it. Claim it. Set it free. (aka be honest with myself, own my choices and then let them go and move forward in life). I also still love Om Gung Ganapatayeh Namah and chant it everyday—so that the sweet energy of the elephant can come on in and make my way easeful and free from obstacles. And one more :: Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do :: I've taken a liking to my catholic upbringing again, and this one helps remind me that the only reason people lash out is because they are afraid or hurting or lost.
Please share some words of wisdom you've learned over the years.
Nothing is certain in this life. I have learned that I should not give advice and that instead I can only share my own life's experiences. I have learned that I am WAY stronger than I "think", and that if I have a "problem"—that problem is always and inevitably "me"—not the timeless, spaceless, formless real me that lives in and through all time and space, but the "Britt me" that is attached to life and everything in it being a certain way. If I turn my attention to realizing peace—always and in all ways, the problem I thought was plaguing me loses its power. And perhaps above all, I truly feel that Love prevails—that love is light and when light and darkness both enter the same space, light always prevails. And so, I love... the best I can for as long as I can.
Britt B Steele is a thought leader, yoga teacher, and the author of Pilgrim: Living Your Yoga Every Single Day. Britt is the co-founder & designer of Deva Daaru YogaFarm, a yoga retreat center, located in the coastal foothills of Oregon. Learn more about Britt on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, and Vimeo.