From College Chaos to Calm: Trough Challenges to Wellbeing with Lexi
Paola Cruz, a dedicated yoga practitioner and spiritual guide, delves into the profound depths of loneliness, even amidst constant travel and company. Discover how her journey led to a stronger spiritual connection and the healing power of community in her intimate conversation with us.
Do you take care of your mind as much as your body?
I prioritize my mental and spiritual health above anything. Caring for the mind is a continuous process. It goes hand in hand with the practice of mindfulness and meditation and is truly strengthened with a deep sense of spirituality.
Remember a challenging period regarding mental health?
2022 taught me what it is like to feel lonely. I had been traveling around the world and was very rarely alone physically, yet there was a sense of loneliness inside of me. I realized with time that this was a call from my spirit to awaken to a deeper sense of Spirituality through Sangha (community). After this challenging period and growing a Spiritual community, I have never felt more connection and depth in my life.
How do you calm your mind during stress?
During stressful times, I slow down. I make the effort to sit with myself and meditate. I practice Atma Kriya Yoga, which is only passed on from Guru to students, yet I incorporate other meditations as well. Usually, during stressful times I like to go deep within and meditate on mantras such as “Aham Prem” - I am Love or “Aham Brahamsmi” - I am Brahman/Divine.
Favorite feature in the VOS app?
I love the interface and how gentle the reminders and instructions are.
Advice to your younger self?
I wouldn’t be here if I had changed anything in my past - and I love where I am now. From this journey, I have learned the importance of being committed to my daily spiritual practice and my Dharma. Moving forward, I advise myself to stay fully committed on this journey of Love and growth.
Someone who positively impacted your mental health?
I can’t possibly name them all. I have had so many guides… My Guru who has always been with me. Swami Chidananda, the community I help guide and from whom I continuously keep learning from… Ultimately it is all The Divine and all of the ways it manifests in.
BONUS: A reflective question for readers regarding mental health?
“If you want to feel happy and well, go back to your roots. What is it that holds you firmly? Where do you get your inner fulfilment/ spiritual nourishment from? Connect to these Truths and no matter what life presents, you will remain unshaken.”