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During this morning’s yoga practice I had a fuller breath, more graceful movement and gentler expression on my face than I've had in months, after a night with five wild Aussies in a tattoo shack.

Do you want to know why? My evening was spent with happy souls, living out my happy soul. We enjoyed a drink, designed some body art, played pool and ate cheesecake in bed. And we laughed. We laughed the night through, sharing moments we’ll remember.

And, wow, what an impact an evening like this can have on our yoga – the joy we foster has the potential to develop a happier state of mind, more open body, and a practice that merrily flows.

The majority of yoginis spend their lives experimenting with a set of ever evolving boundaries. These may be quitting alcohol, trying a vegan lifestyle, cutting out coffee, banning gluten, or knocking back wheatgrass every day. Each approach gives us an interesting insight on our personal make up, both in body and mind, however it’s rare that we find a happy balance long term with an extensive set of self imposed rules.

I’ve learnt that a life with very few boundaries is what brings out the best in me.

The yoga community is particularly vulnerable to the constant shower of external pressures to be a certain type of healthy, and many of us swallow up that expectation so it lives within us. Identity, image, reputation – so prevalent in our society and wonderfully positive attributes when considered with a non judgemental mind.

However, many of us, and society as a whole, still have a way to go in freely accepting this individuality. Yes, and that could be welcoming an ‘alternative’ yogini into your world – one that thrives on a generous chunk of bread, stays up past the witching hour, and enjoys the odd glass of ale.

What I've begun to do, and I say ‘begun’ as it doesn’t come easy, is live out my own individuality. I'm starting to listen to the hint of my heart, sometimes it cries out to dance like a feral fool until the small hours, on other days it asks for time alone. I hear it whisper chocolate occasionally, it also sings for wine.

To listen to this heart of ours, we sometimes need relax the rules a little. I believe it’s when we’re in this freer place we can tap into what our very own individual loveliness wants and needs, and only then do we find our true self.

So, cheesecake anyone?

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