InSpire - September/October 2016 | Monthly InSpirations by Fiona

InSpire - September/October 2016

“The exercise is the exercise; the movements in between are life.” Gert van Leeuwen
Where and how is your attention when you are not on your yoga mat?…

I would like to invite this theme into our yoga practice in the next 2 months.
What is your truth, and how are you living it out in your life?
What does your yoga practice bring to you?
Some kind of personal freedom to be more open, receptive, loving, kind, feeling well in your body which affects your state of mind, living with more purpose and truth….the list goes on. What is your truth?

Even when we ask ourselves this question, it is often frustrating and difficult to answer it directly and fully. Could this be because there is no constant in life. Change is always happening. So, how can we adapt to this constant changing process and still feel like we are honouring ourselves and our path?
Let’s start with the physical body, and look at the postures and movements we create and do, that can either enrich our lives and make us more fluid, or become habitual, and narrow our ability to move freely and creatively.

Most people’s skeletons are straight and aligned at birth, and as we get older this changes. Depending on influences from our environment and life around us as well as our predispositions, the body responds to stresses and strains and these get recorded in our system, and imbalances start to occur. These strains start to affect our free balance and movement, and this is not only connected to our physical bodies, but also to the way we think, speak, act in, and see the world.

So, this is where our yoga practice comes in - yoga is one tool that we know we can use to help us regain balance and agility in the body, thus influencing a calmer, quieter, more flexible and present state of mind as well. We look to strengthen the spine, relax stiff muscles, strengthen weak muscles, bring more flexibility into our joint sites, and be more healthy happy beings, who act out from a more truthful place, being in touch with sensation through the body, and not the thinking mind.

“Correct balance leads to freedom of movement and the possibility of deep relaxation during rest. Freedom of movement creates positive feelings in the body: lightness, openness, and sensitivity. Restricted movement leads to poor body consciousness. The body becomes less sensitive to the positive feelings in the body, which is why we rely more on thinking…we experience feeling in our head instead of our body.” Gert van Leeuwen

In the following weeks, we will explore what the power of back bends can offer us…especially looking at feelings of fear and being overwhelmed when it comes to backbends, and how we can embrace these qualities in a mindful way. Relaxing into the “energy of rest” while we perform these poses, and staying connected to the “passage of movement” of the breath within us at all times.