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Living Your Svadharma

Living Your Svadharma

 As a friend, lover, wife, mother, daughter, sister, yoga instructor, and mentor when I hear the word "should," I both cringe and smile. In this instance, I cringe because that small little word carries much power, and each time it’s unconsciously placed in a sentence, I can see more clearly where this conversation is going. I know why she is having trouble moving forward. But I also smile. I smile because not too many years ago "should" was my favorite word, a word I used so often that I forgot whose life I was living. I smile because that’s what my mentor did when he heard me use that word incessantly and nonchalantly throughout the years, knowing all too well that one day I would realize just as he did that our lives don’t have neither the space nor the time for that word. One day he told me, “You know, Alex, a while back I took that word out of my vocabulary.” Gradually and with time, when I was ready, he inspired me to do the same.

So, inspired by the support of my mentor and the journey I have been on for some time now, I told my friend with honesty and complete sincerity that, “I know sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the “should do’s,” trust me, I do. But really, my life truly began to unfold when I stopped "should doing" and began listening to what made my heart sing and then started doing that.”


You see life has a tricky way of convincing us that we need to do certain things to be happy or look a certain way to find our other half, or accomplish that yoga pose to be a true ‘yogi’ (whatever that means) or make a certain amount of money to live the life we have been waiting for.


However, what life has been continuing to teach me and what I truly have faith in, is that we offer and receive the most from this life when we step into the current and believe in the worthiness of our own gifts and our own talents; the ones we were born with, the ones we were meant to share with the world.

In the end, though, it all comes down to one thing: our willingness to claim our space in this life as humans on this planet at this time. When we accept our divinity, we no longer question whether we are worthy, because we know that we are meant to be here to fulfill a particular purpose, a purpose that no one other than us can fulfill.

So I continued to probe, “What do you think your dharma is?”

“My dharma?” she asked.

“Your purpose,” I clarified.

After a few moments of pause, she replied, ”I don’t know! It makes me want to cry that I’m 32 and I still don’t know…I’ve been searching for my purpose and …”


“Honestly, Al, I know it sounds ridiculous but I think maybe, maybe it might just be to be a mom.”


And then she told me, “I love you!” And I responded that I loved her too.

After in so little words we exchanged our mutual affection for the other I responded, “being a mom…that is a start and if you ask me, it’s not ridiculous, it’s a beautiful purpose."

Remember, it’s not about evaluating ourselves or our purpose as worthy or unworthy, so much as it’s about accepting that we have been called here to serve and taking the steps required to listen and respond to what our lives are asking us to do.

So to all of you questioning out there. Know that it doesn’t have to be something grandiose. It doesn’t have to sound extraordinary. It doesn’t have to be what you’ve been thinking you should be doing for years. More often than not it’s that small thing that makes you smile, that makes your heart sing, that makes you get out of the bed in the morning with the excitement of a small child on Christmas morning. More often than not you already know what it is, you’ve just been afraid to step into it because to truly live, to truly be who you were always meant to be is the scariest way to live because it requires that you show up as you – authentically, radically, bravely – EVERYDAY!

So start now. Ask yourself, “what is my purpose?” And then share it with the world and start living. And do it not just for you, but to be the catalyst in your community who inspires all those around you to do the same.

Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it.

To living your svadharma!


By Alex Cordoba

Alex Cordoba began practicing yoga in 2001 and from that very first class she fell in love. It was when on the mat that Alex felt truly at home. Like a voice is to a singer or a paintbrush to an artist, yoga became just that for Alex’s life…it was her muse through which to share her passion to the world. In Alex’s classes she weaves together yoga philosophy, asana, pranayama, laughter, messages to inspire and uplift so that she can offer a unique and creative journey to her students every time they come to the mat. She encourages her students to practice compassion and patience towards others and themselves, to invite breath in, to find laughter, humility, and grace on the mat, and to be open to the possibilities and the adventures that arise when one dances with uncertainty. Read more about Alex at

Awaken to your svadharma with the following YogaDownload classes:

The Fearless Heart - Michelle Marchildon 

Do it Yourself - Roger Martin Pressman 

The Power of Your Intention - Nancy Nielsen 


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