Wednesday, 16 October 2013

super strength

Every time I stop to hear someone's story, it touches me so deeply how strong some of us have to be in life. Super strength is in fact, human strength. the strength of the heart and soul. 

One theme run throughout these stories though...
We all have our battles, great and small but we also all have our victories, great & small. Our yoga practice illuminates this each time we step onto our mats. We come with expectations, struggles, insecurities, love for our body, hate for our body, envy, admiration, ego, humbleness, hope, fears.... All of life's battle in one practice :-) My practice reminds me every time, to notice and celebrate each little victory; as i feel my body in a new way, find a pose in a new way, defeat a defeating thought or feel a pose for the first time! And it also shows me how each "rubbish" practice (or each "battle" lost) just reveals to me more strength, more determination and more wisdom to try again with sturdy equanimity. It has definitely taught me to notice the finer details of life- not just see a moment as having won or lost, but as many little processes, all victorious! 

That is not to say that I live each day victoriously! Haha! Don't i wish?! But learning to be mindful moment to moment, and not beating myself up when i loose the plot, has definitely been the greatest gift of yoga. I hope you find your gifts too. 

I salut you all super humans! For your resilience, your tenacity and your spirit. 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

comfort zones

Comfort zones just creep into our lives without invitation and without prejudice. It takes a hold of us and starts to build this fear fence around us! It's gripping! 

I've noticed in the last couple of years how I seem to have developed more concrete ideas about what I like & dislike and find myself in these gripping comfort zones! I find myself reluctant to try new things or explore workshops that offer new perspectives especially! And I know now that it is out of fear. And anyone who knows me will tell you that this is completely out of character of me!! 

Recently, I attended Ana Forrest's workshop. I signed up for it because my friends were going to be there (to cut a long story short) I had signed up for her firts visit to the u.k. but it did not run as she had become ill. So it wasn't something I had not considered before. I did not read anything about it; just signed up. A couple of days before the retreat, I received a email inviting me to choose the workshops I had wanted to do. How peculiar that those words caused me to cringe & contract! I thought "oh my word! What is this?? But...I had paid, so let's just get on with it and if I really hate it, I can skip the second day" Even writing this makes me laugh & makes me quite annoyed that I should have even thought those things! At this workshop, I received wisdom that was new to me, wisdom that had been forgotten to me & an experience that blew my heart open. Imagine if I had missed it because some words made me insecure! Because it was something unfamiliar to me! Imagine what I would have lost out on! It would have also been lost to all whom I had shared this with immediately after. Wow...
The irony of it all is that in the previous year, I felt the same about another teacher, Rod Stryker's workshop, that turned out to be one of the most powerful yoga intensive I had ever experienced!

I've come to realise this:
In the last couple of years, I have developed comfort zones that I feel really uncomfortable, or unwilling to get outside of. I don't want to say stuck - this is all new so I am still working it out. It's as if when I turned 40, a crazy switch got turned on and now I have to be so aware of this crazy space that I am in. 

I am in Crete on a retreat at the moment- writing this. I am still not afraid to come to yoga retreats alone at least. But..phht yoga retreats are the best places to go on holiday if you have no one to travel with. You always meet great people and you will always feel included and safe. I recommend yoga rocks here in Crete. So anyway. What I did have to do is drive myself from the airport here. Left hand drive and all. Let me tell you, I get lost even following a sat nav! And of course, I got lost....& broke my side view mirror! Aaarrrggghhhh!! But- I got here I could have taken a cab but the idea of driving on my own got me so scared I just had to do it. It never used to scare me, so it had to be done. I'm glad I did it. Whatever. The point is, it sounds so silly- but it is exactly these silly things that easily builds up into bothersome big things. 

How mad that as I purportedly gain wisdom, I lose courage? That as I seemingly gain knowledge, my mind should narrow! That with all this amazing life experiences, I should choose not to experience anything new!? Thank you yoga for giving me the insight to at least be aware of this so that I may work on it. And here I am bathing in beauty, nurtured by the sounds of crashing waves as i share this with you. Something unlikely if this fear fence just got too big!