YOUR YOGA MOJO BLOG
How to Reduce Stress with Pura Vida
Moriah Diederich, Yoga Mojo
Holistic Yoga Therapist™, RYT500, Accessible Yoga Ambassador
Stress, stress, stress. It seems like life is full of it these days.
I feel like I’m often anxious, worried and feeling like things, including myself, are just not good enough. I worry about politics, our environment, how I fit into this crazy world and what I can do to be a better person? I think about every personal encounter I have and wonder if I said the right thing, did they like me, could I have done more? It doesn’t help that I feel constantly bombarded by marketing messages telling me that I’m not pretty enough, rich enough, healthy enough. It’s overwhelming!
And yet, if I stop for a minute and think about things, I mean really think about things, everything is amazing. I have a beautiful roof over my head, a plethora of food to eat, a wide variety of clothing for every occasion. I have an amazing relationship with my husband who is also my best friend, and am grateful for the friends and family I have who are all healthy and well – aside from all this stress and worry we carry around with us each and every day.
Restaurant staff in Costa Rica exemplified Pura Vida for us during our trip so much that we had to have our photo taken with them. They will stay in our hearts forever, and we are grateful for the lessons they taught us on how to live more pura vida despite our daily stress and anxieties.
My hubby and I recently had the opportunity to visit Costa Rica for vacation. We were interested in the amazing biodiversity the country has to offer, and wanted to adventure in nature. We were delighted not only by nature on our trip, but by the people of Costa Rica – which truly took us by surprise. No matter who we spoke with, whether they were a taxi driver, a local business person or server at a restaurant – they mentioned how much they love their country. And they meant it! They beamed with genuine sincerity, kindness and a love for life. Co-workers would hug each other (yes, men would hug men) with sincere compassion and friendliness, and shake each other’s hands with zeal as if they were long lost friends seeing each other for the first time.
The Costa Ricans, who call themselves Ticos, refer to this zest for life as “pura vida.” Translated literally, it means “pure life.” But the Ticos use it as a way of replying to the question “how are you?” or as a way of saying hello and goodbye. But more than words it’s a way of life. They are a genuinely happy people and it shows in their every interaction and conversation. What is so striking to me about the Tico’s pura vida outlook is that they could easily find things to complain about. Most of the working class we spoke with gets only one day off a week. They do not have the same comfortable homes we do with an abundance of modern conveniences. Technology such as iphones cost twice as much, and many of the phones we did see didn’t have cases so the screens were cracked. Although the weather is temperate and warm, they get 8-12’ of rain a year depending on location. Yes, that’s feet – not inches.
I look around me and wonder what is so hard about my life that I can’t bring a little more pura vida into my everyday sense of being?
Instead of being so worried about the success of my business, finances, politics, environment and my own personal well-being, perhaps I could convert that energy into positivity and a sense of pride at all that I have? Perhaps I could learn to enjoy life more. Perhaps when I get to spend time with family and friends I can make that time count – and not be so worried about what’s happening on my phone or in the news.
Living in the moment, right here, right now. Being grateful for all that I have, all that I am. Pura vida.
How to Reduce Stress with Pura Vida:
Here are some things I am going to practice in the coming months to help me be a little more “pura vida”:
Less news, more of what’s around you right here right now
In our current political environment it is easier now more than ever to get addicted to the news. Unfortunately the news is focused on negativity and drama and even more potent is that as much as we may be upset by what is happening it is difficult to control or change the situation. Granted we must do everything we can do – vote, participate in making our community better in whatever way we see best. Rather than spending time on the phone constantly checking to see what’s happening in the world, perhaps we can spend that time making the community around us better. Even if it’s just initiating a friendly conversation with a stranger, or helping a friend who is in need of a listening ear or helping hand.
Sincerely ask how someone is doing (and listen to their response)
We are so busy during our day-to-day that we often take those that help us for granted. The teller at the bank, the cashier at the store, the deli person preparing our sandwich. Maybe next time make eye contact and ask how they’re doing that day. If they have a name tag, use their name and remember it for the next time you need their services. Or, maybe you have a friend or co-worker whom you haven’t been able to connect with in awhile. Reach out to see if they want to grab coffee or a bite to eat and catch up. Connecting personally with someone will not only lift their spirits, it will also lift yours.
Stop believing marketing
You are where you are because of the path you have travelled. You look the way you do because it’s you, and there is no one else like you – and that is beautiful. Stop believing the marketing that your car isn’t good enough, your house isn’t big enough, you’re not pretty or fit enough. Be who you are and be proud of it. If you want to change something, great, do it, but please don’t beat yourself up about it. Do it for yourself and no one else. Maybe that’s a little selfish, and maybe that’s okay. Making time for yourself is necessary so you can go out into the world and help support those that rely on you and your services.
Don’t worry be happy
I’m dating myself here, but do you remember Bobby McFarren’s song “Don’t Worry Be Happy?” I personally feel like I waste a lot of time worrying and being stressed out about things. This leads to more stress and worry, and ultimately, a negative and tired outlook on life. I recently started journaling all of the things I am grateful for, and as cheesy as it sounds, it’s helped me realize all that I have and all that is actually right with the world and the community around me. People, fundamentally, want to be good. We just notice the bad, in any given situation, because it is unfortunately what makes the news and adds drama to our otherwise boring lives. Anyway, the point is, I’m making an effort to focus on the good more, and taking the time to notice all that is around me from good people to good things happening to the beauty that surrounds us. It might not be perfect but by golly it’s amazing to be alive, right here and right now.
FEEL BETTER IN YOUR BODY!
I am passionate about helping my clients learn how to realign themselves in order to breathe, move and live better. Please contact me if you would like to learn how to align yourself and move more to decrease your daily aches and pains. I’d love to help you feel better in your body!
Moriah Diederich is a certified Holistic Yoga Therapist, RYT500 and Accessible Yoga Ambassador, and has been featured on KGW8 Portland Today. She owns Yoga Mojo & Movement Therapy in Vancouver, WA, where she offers holistic yoga therapy and private yoga classes customized for each client and their specific needs. Moriah is passionate about helping people move more comfortably on a daily basis with the energy to enjoy family, community and the world around us. She believes that every individual can benefit from yoga because the practice is accessible to everyone and teaches us how to sustain healthy movement for life. Moriah lives in Camas, Washington with her best friend and husband Bret Canfield and their two furry kids: a couch potato Pitbull named Rookie, and a sweet and sassy green-eyed cat named Evie.
Yoga Mojo & Movement Therapy
108 SE 124th Ave, Suite 18
Vancouver, WA 98684
Mon – Fri 9am – 6pm
By appointment only
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Yoga Mojo & Movement Therapy is conveniently located off I-205 and Mill Plain and serves all of the Clark County, Washington area including Vancouver, Washougal, Camas, Felida, Salmon Creek, Ridgefield, Battle Ground, Hockinson and La Center.The second exit after the NB I-205 bridge, Yoga Mojo is also quick and easy to get to from Portland, Oregon.