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Last week I ran into a couple of friends in Ghent and some wonderful synchronisity occurred. We ended up talking about our businesses and the FEARS we’re often overwhelmed by when thinking about our projects.

I mentioned I didn’t sleep very well as I felt restless and faced some fears. One friend reacted, “YOU? FEARS?”, she couldn’t believe I’m facing them as well.

I recently read the book from “Yogagirl”, Ratchel Bratchen and yes, she writes a chapter on fears as well! She says she used to be afraid of teaching big classes, speaking in front of groups. This was very recognizable to me.

I guess we all have our fears, our demons to face, especially when we do new things or attempt moving beyond our comfort zone. We all have this voice inside of us, an inner critic that wants to convince us we’re not good enough. This is a voice in our heads, but how real is this voice and what do we do with it? It’s only as real as you allow it to be! If you repeat that you are not good enough a thousand times, you will actually start to believe it and your behaviour will result in acting smaller than you truly are.

So what matters is how much you feed this fearful voice. Can you shift your perspective and think about love instead of fear? Can you change your point of view and look at what you have realised already? Can you see and appreciate your own qualities? Because we all have our unique values! We’re surely all different from one another, but that makes up the beauty of being human.

I practise looking inside of myself, seeing my own qualities and use these to serve the world around me. I look in my heart and try to listen to my inner voice and be true to myself. I realise that when I do this, I feel more comfortable and I attract more like-minded people in my yoga classes and life.

I realise that fears will always be there but it is up to me to shift my perspective and not feed these distresses! I also see fears as wonderful chances to grow. Whatever makes me fearful offers me an opportunity to develop myself and move beyond. E.g. I am afraid of heights and I went cliff jumping and parapenting in the French Alps. I was terrified of speaking in front of groups, but I overcame my demons and did it anyway! Teaching yoga has helped me a lot in this and now I, slowly, start feeling more comfortable where I used to be least at ease. I was very nervous about recording my yoga classes, but empowered myself and started publishing some work on the portal website of “Yoga with Evy Gruyaert”. Only three years ago, I was incredibly afraid to travel by myself, but I went on a solo trip around the world and discovered my deep love for travel.

Whatever freightens you, challenges you at the same time. It’s a chance to just get out there and “go for it”, become a stronger, more open version of yourself!

If I would have allowed myself to be restricted by my fears, my life would have been completely different! I would not have the same life I have now. I would not feel as free.

The beautiful synchronicity that took place when meeting my friends brought some relief, to all of us that day. We saw we’re not the only ones feeling fearful at times. We all have fears, even the world known teacher Ratchen Bratchen writes about it!

Know that you’re not alone on your path, that fear is a great teacher. Surround yourself with people that support you instead of hold you back. Know that fears are not real and they only exist inside of your head. Turn your demons into love, faith, trust, self worth. Be okay with who you are right now and know you already have everything inside of you to shine your light.

Annick portrait retEvery day we wake up and feel different. Sometimes we feel so strong we feel we can do anything. Other times we feel fearful and can’t even find the courage to start the new day.
Know that life consists of these constant changes, fluctuations of ups and downs.

The art is to observe the quality of what exists here and now and welcome all emotions and feelings. It’s normal to feel different every day, but the question is: how soon can you shift your perspective when necessary? “How can I do this?”, you wonder. Focus on the positive aspects of your life, the opportunities on your path. Can you concentrate on what you learn from your challenges? We all need these to grow. Truth is: if everything would always be smooth and easy, we could not expand. So start seeing every challenge as an opportunity for growth.

I love this quote from Marianne Williamson

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Shining our light and seeing our own qualities is a practice.
I’d like to share some tips with you on how to be more happy, more fulfilled in your life.

1) Choose to feed your positive thoughts
We all have limiting beliefs that hold us back and keep us small. Heavy thoughts of not being good enough, not being worthy, not being perfect or valuable. These ideas make our fears grow and hold us back, limit us in our growth. The art is to see our limiting beliefs, to become aware of them and, eventually, stop obsessing about them!
What part of us are we feeding the most, which emotions and thoughts are we nourishing? We do have a choice!
We can focus on our misfortunes and our lacks, but we can also choose to concentrate on what we do have. Guide your mind in the direction of your qualities, the opportunities you have, the little things you too often take for granted, e.g. a hot shower in the morning, a warm bed, a long talk with a friend, a nice cup of coffee, having a healthy body,…

2) Slow down, find time for yourself – learn to say “no”
Turn off the automatic pilot you’ve installed in your life and start listening to the signals your body gives you. There are plenty of them! Your body is an intelligent system and it does tell you what you need, when you need it. Too often we don’t even feel our own bodily signals anymore or we’ve simply started ignoring them. We take better care of our car than we do of our body! When a light suddenly starts blinking in the car, we it to the garage, yet when the orange light of our body flashes, we ignore it until it becomes red… Our body will continue giving us signals until we start listening. Do you want to stubbornly stand in front of that red light? I didn’t think so… When we slow down, we will see and feel the signals better. Our body is an amazing, self healing system, we just need to listen to it and take care of it!
Slowing down is daring to say “no” to others and choosing for yourself. That is not always easy as we’re afraid to miss out on things and we do want to please others. Know that the only person you really need to please is yourself. Feeling good and happy, you will be able to share your light with others and expand your happiness.

3) Stop comparing
Often we compare ourselves, we look at others and only see what we lack. Comparison is the worst thing to do! Focus on yourself, look inside of you. Look at your own, unique qualities. We’re all different, we’re all here for a reason, with a sacred gift to share in this world. What is yours?

4) Stop trying to be perfect – just be you – you are lovely just the way you are!

Try to let go of perfectionism and just be good enough. Perfectionism is often what holds you back from moving forward. It fills you with fear and, eventually, blocks you from doing anything at all, from making your dreams happen. Just take the first step and do your best without getting too attached to the outcome of things, without asking yourself what others will think of you. Stop criticising yourself, just be you and do your best, that truly is good enough. Take off your mask and show yourself just as you are. You then will attract people on your path that like you for who you really are, not for who you pretend to be.

5) Start and end your day with a gratitude practice
Open your heart, find softness in body and mind and allow more positive things in your life. Just stand still for a moment, breathe and connect deeply to what you are grateful for, even the most LITTLE things.
Practice gratitude every day, focus on your blessings and shift your perspective on what you have already, here and now. Know that you have all you need! You have your unique talents. See them, honour them and use your qualities to serve the world.

6) Have faith – be present
Practice being present. The past has gone, the future does not exist, there is only the now. Have faith that all that comes your way is what you need to learn to grow. Have faith that if you are persistent and continue doing what you’re doing with passion, the universe will reward you and you will attract the right things and people at the right time.

“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.”

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Take the first step
Even if you don’t see the entire picture, even if you’re not exactly sure how you’ll realise it, you do need to take a first, little step in the direction of your dream! Don’t hesitate to take action and don’t wait until you are “perfect”, you’ll end up never believing you’re good enough. Procrastination and a lack of self-esteem will keep you from moving forward. The trick is to hop on the first step of the ladder, even if you don’t see where it leads to yet. Climb towards the top of the mountain and trust in yourself! You’re the only one who can take that first step, no one else can do it for you!

Put your dream high and protect it!
It’s easy to lose faith, feel discouraged and put your idea aside. When I came home from my world trip and enthusiastically Googled “yoga holidays”, I thought I was crazy dreaming of organising yet another one of those famous retreats! There seemed to be more than enough fish in the yogi sea, I was afraid of jumping in the water myself. But then I realised: there is plenty and even more of everything! If I really want to do something and I am passionate about it, I will make the difference!
So, how high do you put your dream? How easily do you let people steal it from you? How much do you protect and feed your ideal? If you put your dream higher than your obstacles, then – even if you have what seems like an insurmountable amount of hindrances – you’ll still see your ambition towering over it. Stack your dream high, very high, so you’ll be able to overlook your internal and external obstacles. Plant little seeds of that dream in your heart, water them, give them attention, take care of them and, surely, they will grow. Dream big and a wonderful reality will come your way!

Visualize your dream, have a positive attitude
I’m fond of using visualizations in my yoga practice. If you can see yourself doing a pose, then there’s a beautiful chance you will do it! If you tell yourself, “I cannot do this”, then there’s no way you ever will. The same goes in real life, so create a positive attitude towards your dream!
Visualize your dream daily, imagine what your life will look like in a couple of years. You can let your creativity and imagination flow in the making of a dreamboard. Create a collage of nice images that inspire you and will enhance your visualization practice.

Dare to fall, have patience and enjoy the process
When realising your dream, you need to be persistent and believe in yourself; you need to overcome your fears, but most importantly, you need to dare to make mistakes. If you’re afraid of falling, it will limit you to walk further down the road and witness the amazing sights hiding behind the corner. Be prepared to make mistakes and see what you can learn from them and how you can grow. Find the courage to stand up again each time you fall.
You’ll need to be patient and, most of all: enjoy the process without getting too attached to the result! Know that in every situation, you are exactly where you need to be!

Surround yourself with positive people and find your inspiration
Make sure you find people who inspire you and support you in manifesting your dreams. Some people will, unconsciously, want to keep you where you are. They won’t want you to change and this will keep you from growing. They’re not aware of this, but they’re projecting their own fears on you.
Find people who you want to follow, whose way of life inspires you, who you admire for what they do, how they earn money, … Get inspired.

parapentingI have just returned from 3 weeks in the French Alps and I am truly grateful for having connected with other beautiful yogi’s. The Alps remain a special place for me, a place where I can connect to nature, a place where I can fully recharge my batteries and find inner stillness. During my stay, I got inspired to go parapenting, mainly because this was one step beyond my comfort zone. I believe in order to continue to grow, we need to do this from time to time. For me stepping out of my comfort zone is about overcoming my fears. This is my motto since a couple of years, I want to feel stronger, more powerful and more confident, so parapenting was the act for me in France ;-) I am so happy this also inspired other people, in fact almost everyone decided to expand their comfort zone. This parapenting was not part of the program but people told me they were so happy they did it. Enid said she would enlarge the picture and use it once things would be more difficult in her life. She would call upon her powerful feelings when she would have challenges in her daily life.
Not only parapenting, but off course our yoga practice is a way to help us getting stronger in body and mind and certainly some poses are challenging.
A yoga holiday is a perfect environment in which you can feel safe to explore, everyone is free to do what he/she wants but I can tell that the group is uplifting. The environment as well, the Alps give you loads of energy, so definitely a place to recharge the batteries and go home with renewed energy, new inspiration and ideas.
I hope to welcome you in France

I would like to share my experience from 5 weeks traveling in Thailand. I always say that travel and yoga are both transformative, and i can assure you i had my portions of confrontations during these 5 weeks. To be honest, if everything would just run smoothly, we would not learn. That’s how i see it and that’s why I am happy to share my insights with you.

Stepping away from your habits, from your daily life can be such a learning process. During my stay in Thailand, I have had many confrontations. I was on the nicest and most idyllic island and still i did not see the beauty. I was not happy being where i was as I came with the wrong expectations and i did not listen to my heart. It took me a day until i started changing my perspective. I was acting like a child and i saw some of my old patterns coming up, but i could not act as the victim, because there was no one around me to listen to me. Very soon, i started seeing my old patterns and started to shift my perspective. As soon as i did that, everything fell into place. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place, this is a quote from Eckhart Tolle and very true.
I have been confronted, but through our confrontations, we are learning.
I made some decisions back in Thailand to make some shifts in my life and so far, I am really sticking to it. I promised myself to be more kind to myself, to take some more time for me, to listen to my heart and to minimize the word “have to” . I have learned to let go and trust the process and it’s amazing what is coming on my way. I don’t put pressure on myself and i enjoy the process. Only the shift in my attitude makes me so much more happy and relaxed and things really seem to flow. I have a nice example during my travels which i want to share. So on this beautiful island, i was not happy with my room (a typical Thai room with little bugs in the bathroom, yes cockroaches) and every day i went to all the guesthouses in the area (there were only like 10 places) and none of them had a room for me. I was even happy to pay a lot of money, i just wanted to get out of my room as soon as possible. Well, i stayed for 5 days in that room, after a couple of nights, i started to accept and i even started appreciating as i had a lovely view on the jungle and the bed was very good. So as soon as i accepted i did not bother anymore to look, the owner of one of the guesthouses came to me and offered me a room. This was for me such a nice sign that once you let go and you surrender and accept, things come on your way. This is really a tough lesson for me as it is in my nature to want to be in control. But Thailand thought me a lot. And i know the only thing i am in control of is my reaction to what is happening. So now, i came home and i am trying to keep up with the same attitude, surrendering to the journey, accepting what is coming on my way. And it’s amazing, my yoga classes just fill up, i don’t have to do anything and i have bookings for my holidays. So I am really happy sharing these insights and i wish everyone could try this out. I can tell you IT WORKS.

Yoga Thailand - Koh Lanta beach

Dream big – the way to your dreams!

 

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One and a half year ago, I came home from a worldtrip with a dream. Before that I was lost and did not find any meaning in life, I was jobless and did not know what to do, I had a carreer switch 7 years ago that did not really bring me fulfillment anymore, so I was eager to look for a new direction, a real passion and new goal in life. I was hoping that my travels would give me an answer on my questions. Very soon I realized that I would need to have more patience so I had to let go of the pressure trying to find the answer and had to learn to surrender and go with the flow of travelling. However after 5 months travelling and observing myself in what I like and what I am good at, there was a little idea growing and unfolding.

During my travels I fell in love with yoga and I spontaneously asked any yoga teacher that would inspire me to come to Belgium and teach in my country. As I come from event management, it is in my nature to organize, in fact I was already organizing our group ski holidays when I was 20 (I just realized;-). In all my excitement I did speak to teachers about my idea and was inviting them to Belgium. My idea was growing and it became a dream, a dream I wanted to realize.
So in March 2013, I came back home with this little seed that was planted in my heart during my world trip.
And now we are one and a half year later. In the meantime, I have organized yoga holidays in France http://yoganicmoves.com/beauty-french-alps/, Turkey http://yoganicmoves.com/yogacruising-ahoi-turkey/, Belgium and Thailand and invited two teachers over to Europe.
The road was not easy and very bumpy and to be honest, it still is, but all what I do gives me so much fulfillment.
I just want to expand a little bit here on how you come from an idea to realizing it. The first and most important is taking the first step. Even if you don’t see the complete picture, even if you don’t see how you will realize it, you do need to take a first tiny little step in the direction of your dreams, the first step on a ladder, even if you don’t see the end of the ladder. It is easy to be discouraged and put your idea aside. When I came home from my world trip and googled on “yoga holidays”, I thought that I was crazy to start organizing yoga holidays. There were so many yoga holidays already. But then I realized, there is so much of everything, if you really want to do something and you are passionate about it, you will make the difference.
So how high do you put your dreams? How easily do you let people steal your dream? How much do you protect and feed your dream? Only you can take the first step, no one else can do it for you.
Going for your dreams, you need to have persistence, believe in yourself, overcome your fears, find the courage to stand up again each time you fall and see what to learn from it and how you can grow. You will need to have patience and most of all enjoy the process, without getting to attached to the result. If you put your dreams higher than your obstacles, then even if you have a lot of obstacles you still can see your dreams as they reach over it.
I have to say that setting up a business for me is like a yoga practice off the mat, I compare it with practicing for a difficult pose where you need the persistence to try it again and again, without being attached to the outcome, but enjoying where you are in the pose and just doing your very best, finding the balance, falling and standing up again, overcoming your fears and believing in yourself.
I continue to take steps towards my goal, little steps, slowly but surely, but I have to say that I am happy with what I have realized so far. I am grateful for all the people I have met and meet along the way and grateful for the nice yoga weeks and for every yoga class I can teach.

I hope to inspire you to go for your dreams! Believe in yourself, even if no one is believing you. How high are you putting your dreams?? Put them high, very high, so that you can overlook your internal and external obstacles. Plant the little seed in your heart, water it, give it attention, take care of it and for sure it will grow. Dream big and it is coming to you.

IMG_1135-300x225We are born with a full potential and capacity to be vibrant, radiant and full of light. We are unique and each have our own qualities and strengths. The question is if we really know our own strengths and if we also value and use them? A couple of years ago, I lost touch with what I really want in live. I was in a job that I did not really like anymore, and I was not happy, but was afraid to change and did not know what else I wanted to do. Through my travels, I had time to connect to myself again and fell in love with yoga. I found so much in the practice that helped me moving forward and I dared taking the step to start up my own company (one year ago). My path now is still insecure and sometimes I want to be at the destination already and I can be very impatient. But yoga helps me and I learn to have faith, to surrender to the journey and to find balance in persisting (working hard) and surrendering (letting go). I know that step by step http://yoganicmoves.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/IMG_1135-300×2251.jpgI am heading in the direction of my dreams.
Here is a great story that I would like to share with you.

An eaglet once fell from his nest and a farmer found him and took him home. He put him together with the chickens. The eaglet began clucking and pecking at some grains on the ground as the chickens did, since he thought he was a chicken, as he was growing along with them. Once the farmer’s friend visited the farm and when he saw the eagle amongst the chickens, he said to the eagle, “You are an eagle, you are meant for the heavens, what are you doing here with the chickens?” Hence he picked the eaglet and threw him in the air. The eaglet flapped his wings, but fell to the ground and went back with the chickens. The next time, the friend visited the farm, he saw the same eaglet with the chickens again. He now took the eaglet to the top of the barnyard and threw him in the air, the eaglet again flapped his wings and fell to the ground and again went back with the chickens. The farmer’s friend was sad. When the farmer’s friend visited the farm for the third time and saw the eaglet still with the chickens, he felt really sad and this time he took the eaglet to the top of a mountain and threw him high in the air. The eaglet, very frightened, flapped his wings and fell downwards. As he was falling down, he flapped his wings harder and harder until suddenly he soared up into the sky and disappeared. He had learnt to fly.”


Through our conditioned minds, driven to avoid fear and seeking for pleasure, we often make decisions we think are best for us, but which are not according to our nature. When we let go of our fears and insecurities and embrace our true nature, we learn what it means to be fully alive.  Through our yoga practice, we can learn to let go and surrender, to accept the present moment with gratitude and to give up our attachement to a future outcome.
What are your strengths? What do you like deep in your heart? What are your plans in this unique and precious life?
Get in touch again with your true nature, connect to your body through yoga, nature, life coaching, mediation, …

Yoga is my path for awakening and I would like to share it with you.


Hope to see you soon on the mat or on my travels.

Join our yoga community!

We had a great yoga morning at Dok beach in Gent. The message was powerful, connecting through yoga with yourself and others, overcoming your fears through the practice of handstand. We had a wonderful morning thanks to our guest teacher Joachim Meire.

We often organize one shot yoga sessions in Ghent and other locations over Belgium and we even are enthusastic to visit our neighbors. If you would like to stay tuned on the exciting upcoming shots, please register on Meet-up.27 july joachim

Join our community on meet-up  http://www.meetup.com/One-Shot-Yoga-Belgium/

One Shot Yoga Belgium: We are a group of yoga enthusiasts that would like to connect and practice together at unconventional moments! A sunny morning, a public event, a special venue, … might be a good occasion to organize a ONE-SHOT-YOGA session. Let’s inspire each other.

This initiative was made possible by the co-creating tandem Annick Cuvelier (Yoganic Moves) and Frederik Baert (Coordinator of INspé)

Unfolding like a caterpillar to a butterfly – the way to your dreamsyogMovesAlFl08_Recto_RGB_04

I am grateful to have a dream. Some years ago, I was lost in life without a dream, without a goal, without inspiration, feeling not very meaningful, having a lot of fears and feeling restraint in life.

This was at the time that I left my job, looking for new horizons but not knowing which direction to go.

Now, I have found my dream and that is to share my love for yoga, to inspire people going for their dream, connecting people from all over the world through yoga holidays.

The journey so far has been challenging, every day I am persistent to heading towards my dreams, the road is not easy and I find many obstacles along the way, sometimes I am impatient and I lack confidence, but then I find my inner teacher again that tells me to be patient, that shows me I am on the right track. I find that my yoga practice is a mirror for the live I am actually living, yoga practice is about persistence (sthira), acceptance (sukha), patience, self confidence and faith. It’s a continuous exercice in balancing. It’s about working every day towards your dreams, enjoying the journey without being attached to the outcome. It’s like practicing headstand or working towards a challenging pose, you try it again and again and the day you are not expecting it, you all of a sudden can do it. Headstand is about overcoming your fears, the fear of falling. But life is like a yoga practice, facing your fears, taking little steps, standing up again after failures and having the faith and courage going for it again and again, and then all of a sudden you are one step closer to realizing your dreams.

A caterpillar did not become a beautiful butterfly in one day.

If you have a dream, go for it, take the first step and just continue taking step by step towards your dreams. You will be supported meeting the right people, you will feel you are on the right track, you will get so much energy and synchronisity in your life. Go for it, share your ideas with others, believe in yourself and have faith.

The Power of Yoga

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It was nice to read your feed-back and positive notes on my blog. To be honest I don’t have any experience writing or starting up a blog and I am still in the learning phase. I now decided to jump and to start as I want to share my stories with you. In the past I would have waited until I knew perfectly what it is all about, but life is not about perfection, life is about doing things. Only from doing, you can learn, even more, you learn from your mistakes. If you wait to do a bakasana or headstand to make the perfect pose, you will never start, you need to start doing it, you first bakasana might be a very low one or you might only take one foot of the ground, but step by step, you will get better. I am now reading the book of Kino Mac Gregor, where she describes yoga as “the process by which the impossible becomes possible and the possible after a long time becomes easy”. That’s where many practioners fail, says Kino, as they want to go from impossible immediately to easy. If you want a movement as impossible and you want it to be easy, you will certainly fail, as change does not come easy, Kino says.

She is right, in your yoga practice it is important to just start and try the poses which at first seem impossible, you will maybe fail, but you can try again, you will learn and soon you will see that the impossible starts to be possible (the impossible headstand all of a sudden becomes accessible to you, your legs might not be perfectly straight, or you might only stay few seconds, but at least you are coming one step closer). This is how it is in life, start with the first step, learn from your mistakes, overcome the difficulties and the obstacles. Getting where you want is taking a lot of perserverence, trial and error, hard work and even pain. Kino says “yoga teaches that only by transcending the illusory world of limitations, you can actually move past these false boundaries in your practice and in your life. In fact, yoga is the most basic path of self empowerment”. I hope your yoga practice is making you stronger in life and gives you more trust to move in the direction you want.