Finding your why

A story about finding your ‘why’ and using it to guide you through the tough times in life. By Anna Kichenside

To quote Find Your Why Foundation: “Life is like a hurricane…where would you prefer to be if life is a hurricane?”

Pretty strong quote, right? Notice how you feel in your body and what thoughts creep into your mind when you re-read it.

Hell yeah, life is like a hurricane! Ups, downs, forward folds, backbends, twists, lunges, arm balances, inversions, headstand and handstands! That’s your life’s hurricane all wrapped up in a yoga class!

Okay, let me take a moment. Let you take a moment. How is your life? Like a hurricane? Especially during Covid-19? Right now my life feels very much like, well, maybe a whirlpool…but hopefully a manageable whirlpool.

Let me explain a little about me…

  • Three years ago I moved into my first ever home after signing a mortgage.
  • Two months later I lost my job and got made redundant.
  • I then enrolled in a yoga teacher training, which completely chained my life!
  • I managed to get another design job part-time, meaning I now have the perfect balance of both my passions: design and yoga. Better work-life balance…living the dream!
  • Then Covid-19 came along and threw us all into a storm!
  • One week into the first Covid lockdown, I lost my job and got made redundant, again!

I should mention within all of this that I’ve also been investing into launching a range of yoga clothing that I’ve designed. And whilst investing money into it and getting production made, I’ve lost two well-paid design jobs, and lost two lucrative incomes!

I should also mention, I’m 38 years old. After feeling a huge sense of ‘life is passing by too quickly’ on my 37th birthday last year — where last year was the hardest year ever, after suddenly losing my mum to cancer — I now can’t even begin to think how I’m going to cope with my 38th birthday coming up in June. It will be my first birthday without my mum.

Most definitely, Life. Is. A. Hurricane.

Finding your ‘why’

But, with all this said and done, what we need to be focusing on during all of this ‘drama’ (my drama, your drama, the world’s drama) is our WHY.

Why? Because without our WHY, without that connection you find with yourself and with life, it is so easy to get swept up into the eye of the storm — and guess what…you may never come out of it!

So, how do you connect to your WHY? Take a look at the ‘The Golden Circle’ diagram and see how your WHY influences your WHAT and HOW.

I hope this is making you sit up and think of why you practice yoga. In fact, I urge you to sit up and find your WHY for your yoga practice. For me, my WHY is ‘to be strong and confident, on and off the mat’, because for me, it constantly reminds me to keep fighting, keep thriving, keep pushing, keep evolving.

On the days I struggle to show up and have no energy, I come back to my WHY and it gets me on my mat. Not always. But most of the time.

Yes, I’m a yoga teacher, but that doesn’t mean us yoga teachers practice all day, every day. People have this vision that yoga teachers must be completely stress-free and zen all the time, with their all their sh*t together. Far from it. I don’t sit on a rock looking out into the ocean, practicing five hours of meditation each day. I don’t sit and chant listening to sacred mantras. I don’t wake up, jump out of bed and come into full splits against the wall whilst straightening my hair with GHDs.

What do I do? I practice yoga, when I can, on and off the mat.

So, who am I? I’m normal…just like you. And I use all the tools that are within each and every one of us — our breath, our body, our third eye and our intuition — and hopefully, our WHY. I use yoga as a tool to guide me through this thing called life. Through this hurricane.

To quote Find Your Why Foundation once more: “Yoga can provide you with techniques to teach you how to, at any moment, step into the eye of the storm.”

Anna Kichenside

Anna from Flamingo Yoga Maya is a relaxed and friendly yoga teacher, who focuses on finding your WHY through yoga.