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Know yourself, Love yourself

Post by Liliya Rudakova,  3 November 2014 ,  Interview
Our today´s guest is unconventional and adventurous Chara Caruthers, the founder of BlissBody&Soul.

Chara is a yoga therapist and Ayurvedic practitioner, recognised by Yoga Alliance, International Association of Yoga Therapists, and National Ayurvedic Medical Association, as well as a global health and happiness expert dedicated to balanced and blissful living. 

I have stumbled upon Chara´s articles on doyouyoga.com and thought our readers would be happy to discover someone like her. Luckily she managed to find some time to answer our questions. 

Chara Caruthers, yoga therapist and Ayurvedic practitioner

What yoga style do you practice? Why do you prefer it to the others?  


I teach and practice Vinyasa Flow yoga in various speeds ;-). What I enjoy most about this yoga style is how it shows me what’s going on inside and outside of me. It changes as I and my surroundings change because it’s not static. What I also love about it is that it allows me to see, or create what I need in the practice and in my life. Whether that’s focus, or patience, or confidence or just feeling strong, adaptable and connected, my yoga is a beautiful “workshop” of tools and possibility!

What brought you to yoga and Ayurveda?  


My husband brought me to yoga. Literally. He took me to my first Hatha yoga class, about 20 years ago! (fell asleep about half way through).  
I’m convinced that Ayurveda and I were destined to find each other. I actually first heard about it nearly 20 years ago as well (that was my husband too!) and as I fell deeper into yoga I wanted to explore all the ways it could be applied to expand our experience of life, healing, and just being our authentic selves. I decided to become a yoga therapist and learned that ayurveda is pretty much the foundation of yoga therapy. I fell deeply, madly in love with it immediately!

Chara - yoga therapist and Ayurvedic practitioner, arm balance

How did you come up with an idea to start BlissBody&Soul? What was your vision and success criteria for it? 


BB&S started as my original yoga therapy offering. It has evolved in name and deed since then. I realized from working with clients, that people really wanted to know more about themselves and their relationship to the things around them. I could see that people were getting cynical about the standard wellness advice out there, and they suspected that there’s more to health than diet and exercise and that there’s more to them than body and mind. 

Ayurveda embraces...

...the beautiful dance that occurs between us and everything around us. Its number one focus is paying attention to ourselves and embracing at the deepest levels what feeds us (whether it’s food, or people or environments, or activities or all of the above). BB&S was created to respond to the needs of women who have arrived at this place where they’re ready to embrace who they are and what it means for them to feel vibrant, strong, powerful and connected. This is what Ayurveda was created for and sharing it is both an honor and a pleasure!

My vision for BlissBody&Soul centers around community... 

For as long as I can remember I have been a pretty independent person. I’m the kid who always wanted to do things myself (no help from parents or anyone). 

But what I’ve learned over the years and all over the world is that community is the foundation for growth, transformation, health and happiness. Being supported and being given the opportunity to support others is ultimately what feeds us. It’s better than any medicine out there.

So ultimately I see BB&S as a community of passionate, compassionate women who are dedicated to being more authentically themselves than they’ve ever imagined. Ayurveda says that our natural state is healthy and balanced, but that we live in a state of imbalance which looks more like illness, and dis-ease. So our work in this life is to recreate the balance that we were conceived with by returning to ourselves. That starts simply with being our authentic selves in an environment that supports that. I want BlissBody&Soul to be that environment on and off-line.

What is the most common challenge people come to you with?  


I see all kinds of stuff. I tend to get people who just feel bad or uneasy. They know something’s a little out of alignment in their lives because they feel it. And they’ve felt it long enough that they can’t really deny or cover it up anymore. So whether it’s their digestion, or weight, or panic attacks, or insomnia, or just getting older, they’re ready to understand how to feel better in their own skin. One thing that’s pretty common with everyone is that they wear the “Mask”. You know it, the “I’m okay” smile mixed with a little bit of tension and denial. We’ve all got our version of that mask. It’s the one that usually responds “Good, fine or great” when asked “How are you?” when the real answer is more like “it’s complicated”. It’s the way we have of hiding who we are (even from ourselves) and it contributes to just about every ailment there is. I see my role not as the one to remove the mask, but the one who helps folks to see that it exists, and sometimes that’s all it takes to make a difference. 

Do you ever feel like giving your mission up?


Ya know what? I don’t. I love this stuff and part of the reason I do is that it lets me take off my mask and express myself authentically with people. That wasn’t always possible for me in my corporate life which was part of the reason it became so stressful for me. And I’ve found that taking my “mask” off gives people around me permission to do the same, which very often is the first powerful step towards… well anything good! 

How do you motivate yourself? 


I get up and go to bed every day and ask myself four questions (Thank you Deepak Chopra)...  
Who am I? What do I want? What is my purpose? What am I grateful for
Reflecting on the answers to this is often all the motivation I need to push through and do what I need to do. Exercise and connecting with friends also helps a lot!!

What is the major source of inspiration for you? 


Students, clients, children, husband, friends, teachers, ocean, life.

If you had one wish, what would it be?


To be able to instantly transport myself to anywhere in the world. I’ve got friends and family all over the world, most of whom I am deeply connected to but haven’t seen (or hugged) in years. I would love the ability to just pop over for dinner or a cuppa tea or to give them a hug or a shoulder to cry on when they need it. That would be a dream come true.

Do you have a universal piece of advice for everyone, who wants to change his/her life for the better? 


Know yourself, love yourself. Just start there.

Chara - yoga therapist on a mat, arm balances

And to wrap it all up we have a bunch of our traditional phrases to finish up... 


I was born... to do the work I’m doing right now!

I have always been fascinated by... my hands and hands in general, they say so much without “saying” a thing.

I practice yoga, because... it’s an adventure… every time!

If there were no limitations in my life… oh wait… there are no limitations in my life (yours either)!

I will always remember the day, when I … realized those voices in my head that kept telling me not to speak my truth weren’t really me.

In life one often finds himself in such a situation when… you’re faced with a choice to choose peace, calm, happy, or stay in your patterns.

As far back as I remember myself, I wasn’t about fitting in.

By the way… I know how to tap dance.

In different countries… it’s beautiful and amazing to see the ways that different cultures express the same human values that we all share.

Looking back … all the mistakes and pain and good times and confusion and coming and going have made who I am today possible. 

I love … the way my husbands strengths compliment my weaknesses.  It’s a dynamic that I seek out in other areas of my life as a result of how well it works for us. 

Our mind craves for… order and certainty when the only thing that is really certain is change.

Why not… just be who you are.

This is my simple religion… Know yourself, Love yourself

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, Chara! It was a great pleasure getting to know you. The best of luck with making this world a happier place!

Visit Chara´s website to learn more: http://www.blissbodyandsoul.com .
Like BlissBody&Sould on Facebook

Love,
YogoMotive

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