As long as I can remember, I have been effected by the emotions and energy of the people around me. I easily become overwhelmed and need quiet time to myself. When I’m in the presence of someone who is sad, I start to feel sad as well. The same with any number of other emotions. I have high levels of empathy. Something I am only recently coming to terms with as I figure out how to manage and deal with this part of myself. Don’t get me wrong, it is a trait that can be very useful when I teach yoga and work individually with others, but it can also be difficult in daily living.
Restorative yoga and periods of rest throughout the day or the week can give you the mental clarity to meet your life with grace and ease. When we are relaxed, we are kinder, more patient to others and ourselves. After relaxation, life seems a little easier.
If we run around frantic all day it is inevitable that we crash at some stage. This may be the 3pm lethargy that leads to a coffee break. It may be the cold that hits hard and you can't get out of bed. It could look like the back injury that prevents you from moving much at all.
Restorative yoga and periods of rest throughout the day or the week can give you the peace to slow down. To not have to crash in order to reboot.
Over the next few blog posts, I'll be offering yoga tools to help relieve stress and anxiety. My passion in teaching yoga is helping others find a sense of ease and relaxation in our busy world. I personally came to yoga for the same reason. It was a refuge from the chaos of New York City and my high pressured marketing job in television. Now, I rely on a few specific postures, movements, breathing, meditations and chanting while going through particularly stressful times in my life.
This 2 hour workshop is designed to bring yoga and it's mental/physical benefits to anyone and everyone. Chair yoga is a great way to practice with a little extra support if needed. You will leave with the tools to create a practice for yourself while sitting at your desk at work, on the sofa at home or even in an airplane seat!
And time stands still again as my watch stops dead for the 15th time this month. I would love more time, extended time, drawn out for ever like a lazy Saturday afternoon in summer when the sun is hot, the flies buzz and the only movement done is between the lounge chair and the lake. I feel I'm not sure how I got here. 32, now 33!
Just as there are always two sides to every story, two faces to every coin - there are two parts to every person. There is the face we put on for the world to see; the shiny, well polished and expertly crafted variation of you. On the flip side of that coin, there is the face, whether we know it or not, that comes through while practicing yoga; the more authentic variation of you.
I know the way back now. I used to get lost for weeks, months, years, so consumed with the busyness and chaos I couldn't even breathe, let alone feel to the depths of my being. After practice - years of yoga, meditation, retreating for a few days at a time into the profound silence and peace of an ashram, a meditation centre, I started to touch that depth. I got glimpses of a place of silence inside of me that just sees life happening; watches as things arise and fall and doesn't need to respond.
I am a terrible decision maker, whenever there is a decision to be made about a life direction, a change of some sort, I panic. I freeze often in uncertainty. I FaceTime my parents, I talk to my friends, I agonize and debate, I write pros and cons... I discuss and deliberate for ages until I finally, after much agony and stress, come to a decision. What should I study? Where should I live? Who should I date? What should I do to expand my business?
This year I've been lucky enough to spend time in two countries known for their yoga expertise, their Hindu faith and their deep, ancient culture steeped in tradition and spiritual ritual - Indonesia (Bali) and India.
Settling, I have the urge to nest. To be still and snuggle into one place, one house, one area, to delve deep to get to know it well and all its perfections and imperfections. To not run into hiding when the imperfections become larger than life in my own mind. I have the desire to dig in my heels and stay put.
I've been so embattled recently, against myself. Be better, eat healthier, get up earlier, you're lazy, you're not going anywhere, you'll be alone forever. These are the phrases that were running through my head like a tape stuck on reply of my least favorite song at top volume. Torturing me over the past few weeks without me even realizing it! The tormentor was a hidden demon, while I was left wondering why I felt so down all the time. Over the weekend, I attended Tammy Shemesh and Vanessa Wolf's workshop as part of the "Embody Love Movement". Held at Balmain Buddha, a beautiful and heavenly space set up for healing the soul.
Thanks to a brilliant recommendation by a yoga student, I've started reading Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. It's changing the way I think about a lloooottt of things that were probably long due for an overhaul. Here's the gist in case it helps you like it's helped me.
Flowers are a thing of magic. They appear out of tiny buds that shows the infinite potential for life. From the smallest seeds, a tree grows and grows, that tiny seed holding all the information and potential energy needed to produce the frangipani flower I hold in my hand. That little seed only needed a bit of nourishment from the sun, the rain, the earth and her soil. Then, little by little, with some patience, its full potential becomes reality.
he color of our lenses make such a difference to our perceptions of the world. When the world is seen through the eyes of love, it seems bright, happy, sunny and a positive place to be. On the flip side, when it is seen through the lenses of lost love, it seems macabre, sad, lonely and a frightful place to inhabit. When in love, everything is in bloom, sunny and shiny, people are nicer, you are kinder, the sun is more yellow and the stars twinkle brighter. Each of these states are temporary of course, and each one will come and go for years to come
I was looking through my phone recently and came across a picture from my parents of the backyard of the house I grew up in covered in snow. “winter wonderland”. Waves of nostalgia washed over me.. I remember the days we would have off from school because the snow was too high for the school bus to make it to our houses. On those days we would strap on our snow pants and boots, bundled up in jackets and hats and rush outside to the awaiting untouched fresh snow of the back yard.
This morning, Les Leventhal, one of my favorite yoga teachers, was in Sydney putting on a workshop. His classes always seem to provoke some kind of insight or deep, intense feelings in me. Last time I practiced with him in Bali, I had this sense of shedding the external layers of who I am to get to my inner being, throughout the progressively more challenging sequence he taught [link to post]. Today his workshop reveled an intense sadness, loneliness and the desire to be held and taken care of. Not such a nice insight as last time but a very important one nonetheless. I woke up this morning feeling this way (without actually knowing it until later).