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Featured Teacher - Dia Michelle Smith

Posted on 4/1/2019 by Yoga Download
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To My YogaDownload Students, You inspire me. I know it isn't always easy to stick with a home practice. I am so grateful that you are prioritizing your health and well being, even when there are a million other things you could be distracting yourself with. We are here to do important work together. I believe it is the most important work we'll ever do. This is the work of cultivating our inner landscape. It happens each and every day, when we choose to connect with our breath, give thanks, soften on the inside, and share our compassion with others. Yoga helps us to connect with what is true inside of all of us. Connecting our breath with our movement, even in the most simple of ways, is a profound tool for bringing us back into our center sanctuary. Something many of us are encouraged to stray from in most of our waking lives. It gives me great hope to know that you are committed to growing deeper in your relationship with yourself. This is indeed the first step to all the greatest miracles in life.

What inspires your teaching?

I am so lucky to live on this beautiful Indonesian island of Bali ~ known by many for good reason as The Island of the Gods. This place never ceases to amaze and inspire me. This island has the most temples per capita of any other place in the world!

Each and every morning, incense smoke carries the prayers and blessings up to the gods from the hands of the women who craft the most beautiful offerings from gifts of nature. It's an island of ritual ~ where we are constantly surrounded by reminders of our connection with the sacred. This inspires my teaching everyday. When I see the banana leaf offerings in the streets, I breathe and cannot help but feel grateful. We are surrounded by reminders of abundance. The jungles, the rivers, the mountains, Oh my! There is more than enough for everyone. What's important is to connect with our gratitude for what we already have. 

I am endlessly inspired by nature. When I am feeling stuck in life, a barefoot walk on the beach/jungle/forest/garden will always sort me out. 

I am inspired by all of the amazing people around me. When life gets tough and I feel that I want to retreat into myself and ignore the world, that is usually the moment that some unexpected stranger pops up and reminds me how human connection is what we're here for. There is so much good happening in this world. It can easily be overshadowed by all the darkness. It's so important we remain focused on our goal of the light. When we focus there, it grows brighter. So each day, I focus on what brings me a feeling of lightness. It could be a beautiful reading, meditation, interaction ~ the world is full of inspiration when we choose to acknowledge and look for it. To me, the key is stillness. I absolutely must take some time each day to be still and quiet with myself. Inspiration bubbles up internally from this place. This is where all of my teachings originate. It's a treasure trove eager to be accessed by each and every one of us. 

My background in Psychology and Counseling also heavily inspires my teachings in yoga and beyond. I believe we all have the power to heal ourselves from many of our troubles, and yoga is a perfect environment to explore these abilities. The lessons I learn in my own life and those of my clients also inform much of my teaching. After all, these experiences are the greatest way to gain a pulse of what's relevant in the current moment. For example, what I've noticed is effecting those around me in huge ways is issues around Self Worth. As such, I bring a great amount of focus onto Self Love. For me, it seems the greatest lesson we can all come back to time and time again. After all, there can really never be too much of it! 

How do you bring yoga in your day to day life? 

This has been quite a journey for me as I have been on the long slow road to recovery from a shoulder injury for the past year! My physical yoga asana practice was the main thing that kept me from living a life in back pain as I have a condition called Spondylolisthesis, which effects me daily. With my shoulder injury, I found that my physical asana practice became dramatically limited. In fact, I spent many months not even being able to hold a table top or child's pose position! This was a very difficult time for me, and I didn't know what to do. None of my therapies seemed to be working, and I was once again living a life in physical pain. During this year of extremely limited physical yoga practice, I was forced to switch it up. I dove into Yin Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation, and Bhakti practices. I found solace and hope there, and I knew all was not lost. I am so thankful for the gift of Yoga in all its manifestations. 

This experience was a great reminder of the original intention of physical asanas ~ to help us sit longer in Meditation! This has been my practice for the past year.

My physical asana practice is still limited, and everyday I make it a priority to listen deeply to what my body wants and needs. I am slowly working my way back into my physical asana practice in a way that is healthy and nourishing for my body. We are all completely different in this regard.

This is why I place such an emphasis on listening to your own body in my teachings. But every single morning, I certainly dive into my Pranayama, Meditation, Mantra, and Affirmation practices. I absolutely swear by Alternate Nostril breathing, and complete at least 10 rounds each morning. If you want to experience my personal morning routine, check out my class Breathe Your Way Into the Perfect Day  I also create meditations for myself using my own voice, with my own crafted affirmations based on my goals and what I want to manifest in my future. I recommend others do the same! After all, nothing will be as powerful for you as your own voice. 

It is the insights and inspiration I gain from these daily practices that I share in the Self Counseling Club which is completely Free! Check out my website at soultherapist.co if you want to join our tribe <3 If we're being honest, we could all use a therapist or a personal yoga teacher, am I right? That is an ideal scenario! . And, there is support around you when you're ready to ask for it! Another important thing to remember is that we can do a ton of the work by stepping into the role for ourselves! After all, no one else can know what you need exactly as accurately as you can. 

How do you think can yoga help our world?

I believe that yoga can absolutely help our world, and I believe it already is! What this world needs is individuals who are connected to what is true and infinite within them. That means not money or competition or ego, but what is at the heart of everything. Love, relationships, compassion, generosity.

I believe Yoga helps to cultivate these perspective shifts in people, because something magical happens when we connect the breath with our body movements. When we slow down and take the time to be mindful of the more subtle shifts within us. It's in these moments where we can discover the truth that's been waiting to be heard beneath the surface. That we are all good, worthy, spectacular miracles walking around, experiencing this one precious life.

Some have morphed into zombies along the way through conditioning and armoring themselves against hurt time and time again. The experience of Yoga begins to soften all of this. When we move with the breath, our past traumas and hurts which have been stuck in our bodies for years can begin to move. We can release what has been weighing us down. We can rediscover the simplicity of the truth of love. Love for ourselves first. As we begin to love ourselves again, everything transforms around us. This is how we change the world. It all starts with the inner journey. Thank you Yoga!! 

If you'd like to dive deeper on this journey with me, head on over to my website at soultherapist.co and sign up for Free Weekly Emails as a part of the new and exciting Self Counseling Club! You will receive an email each week with some of my favorite tips and tricks from the worlds of Counseling and Yoga for self healing and figuring out how to best navigate this wild and beautiful existence! 

I absolutely love to hear your feedback! Please don't be a stranger. You may contact me with any questions or requests at diamichellesmith@gmail.com. I live in Bali, but I plan to record more YDL material this summer, and I'd love to hear what you're craving! I am sending you my sincere gratitude, and please continue to take kind and loving care of yourself. Set the example for how others ought to treat you <3

From Bali With Love,
Dia Michelle

Dive into your beautiful inner landscape with one of Dia's transformative and lovely yoga or meditation practices, HERE!

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