The desire to write lessened enormously during the lockdown period. It felt more like a phase of “survival”, rather than space for deep, calm creativity. However, there were also many magical moments in between where we immersed ourselves in our garden, and set up an urban vegetable garden…we are enjoying the fruits of our work right now.
With the warmth and less restrictions, this sense of inner spaciousness is returning. Is this a collective feeling, I wonder?
So many themes and topics have arisen during this time, and some of them not so comfortable. Pleasant. Neutral. Unpleasant. The full spectrum of what we can experience, sometimes on a daily basis, and not just within ourselves/our inner world, but also all around us.
What touched me deeply during this strange life-phase, was the dedication and commitment of certain students who, no matter what, continued to turn up on the yoga mat either live-streaming or on my yoga platform. Despite the teachings all being online, they met this challenge with grace and often much needed humour. The small collective community that stayed connected has served us well. Even those who could not manage to meet me on the mat during this time, I know there have been challenges to meet that none of us expected. Deep respect to you and I hope you find your way back to meet me on the mat soon.
So, what exactly is changing? What am I learning from this experience? Have you reflected on this question? What I have learnt so far is that connection comes from intention. Intention can hold such deep value, which seeps into the body and subtly supports our changing process. In me, there has arisen a deeper desire to continue to support others to use yoga as a tool to live more fully and with purpose. Why? Because you are worth it. We all live together on this planet and we need to live in harmony, not only within ourselves, but also with each other and nature.
If you already know how yoga effects you, you love it but don’t practice regularly, what is holding you back from fully committing to integrate the teachings in your life? If you are not so familiar with the teachings of yoga, would you be curious to open yourself up to the potential of the teachings and how they can nourish you on more than just a physical level? Join me on the mat.
Whether you plan to have quiet summer days, or intense experiences, the change of seasons is always a remarkable time to simplify and quieten. Simplify our actions and output, and quieten our “inner life”. I recalled this wonderfully inspiring paragraph from Sarah Powers, my Yin Yoga teacher, which I would like to share…
“The desire to be happy is natural and universal. Yet happiness based merely on stimulus can never offer lasting joy, since when you remove the stimulus you extinguish the happiness. Look to the more reliable realm of true well being which is to be found in being aware of simply quiet presence where we pause from all our wants and needs, our likes and dislikes, and simply listen to the space of the mind. It may sound like the murmur of the sea from under water or like the wind whooshing on a mountain top. You are listening to your intrinsic quality of openness, which is as vast as a spacious sky, and is naturally infused with the nature of love. Simply bask in this uncluttered inner landscape for 6 minutes, breathing slow and deep. Can you feel it? Imagine you can….”
Sarah Powers - Dharma Drops - blog (20 June 2014)
What are we practicing on and off our mat for the next 6 weeks?
Let us use our practice on and off the mat to journey to a Heart-Centered practice, restoring balance, re-energising and feeling grounded, with an open heart. I invite you to join me to embark on a few simple mandala flows to stay focused, free the mind and open the heart. This is an invitation to direct experience.
Words from an elder Navajo medicine man and shaman:
“In order to walk in beauty with all things, we must connect with all things. We must take them seriously, with reverence. In this way, we participate with all things and become one with them. It’s from our direct experiences with life that we encounter the timeless and learn its hidden secrets.”