Ahhhhh. How did I survive without Her in my life.
SACREDNESS. LOVE. PRESENCE. DEVOTION. REVERENCE. INCREDIBLE HUMAN BEINGS.
This practice has invited an abundance of beauty into my life over the past 2 years. It has intensified my relationship with self and all that I experience. It has brought me to tears. It has had me in fits of laughter. It is majorly responsible for my ever-present SMILE!
And it brings me unbelievable joy to now be sharing my understanding of this DIVINE practice with the world. Since recently diving into Yoga teaching, I have fallen even deeper in love with my practice. And as the more poetic energy of the Universe would have it, as I’ve begun to teach I’ve simultaneously become intensely aware of Yoga’s influence on my life.
She has been my greatest TEACHER and I believe She will continue to be… ALWAYS.
So in honour of Yoga, and all She has given to me, I’d like to share with you the greatest lessons I’ve learnt from this prophetic, philosophical and powerful teacher of mine.
1. I AM WHOLE, FULL AND COMPLETE
My practice started as a way in which to “get fit”, a form of exercise I was drawn to because it didn’t seem too blood-sweat-and-tears-y. Now, 2 and half years later, my motivation to jump on the mat has completely transformed. I’ve come to realise yoga isn’t about manipulating our body into a certain pose in order to gain ascetic change. In fact it really has nothing to do with the body at all.
Yoga is simply a practice that helps us remember our Truth – that we am WHOLE, FULL and COMPLETE.
We move through our asanas (postures) in order to shift and shed any energy that is keeping us from this Truth. We move through our asanas so we can FEEL and truly EXPERIENCE our wholeness. Lying in Savasana, feeling into my body, soaking up the goodness of my practice is when I feel most aligned. It is here I’m reminded of my WHOLENESS, my FULLNESS, my COMPLETENESS. And is why I continue to get back on my mat, day in, day out.
2. The power of the breath
Breath is the foundation of yoga – only when we bring consciousness to the breath are we truly practising. When we harness the power of our breathing, our practice becomes flowing, fluid and effortless. We are better able to move through blockages in the body, surrender any tension we may be holding onto and sink deeper into each posture. It is the breath which drives our practice forward. It is the breath which allows us to evolve. Its if the breath which turns movement into yoga.
Not only has a consciousness of my breath allowed me to advance my practice on the mat, but it has also dramatically changed my life off the mat. It has become a tool that I use to move through bloackages in my body, to surrender any tension I may be holding onto and to sink deeper into LIFE. Yep,….
I’ve learnt to use the breath in the exact same way in life as I do in Downward Facing Dog.
When I’m feeling uncomfortable, nervous or angry – I come back to the breath. It grounds me, centres me, heals me.
When I’m in my head, giving too much power to a particular story – I come back to the breath. It teleports me out of my head and into the present.
When I’m feeling depleted and lacking in energy – I come back to the breath. It infuses me with life force.
In my day to day life, just like on the mat, it is the breath that drives me forward. It is the breath that anchors me into the present. It is the breath that transforms my movement into LIFE. And because of all of this, I’m hell-bent on reminding myself, my students and now YOU to…
“Come back to the breath.”
Life gets a whole lot easier when you do!
3. LEAN INTO RESISTANCE
Yes, often I resist my practice. There are days I cringe when thinking about getting on my mat, having to lye there in stillness. So I procrastinate. Simply put, I f*ck around, attempting to fill in the time so as to avoid practicing.
But on these particular days, when I do end up on the mat (after running out of things to procrastinate on),my practice… well, it’s ubelievably blissful! The floating-in-savasana kind.
Resistance is a signpost, leading us to what we most need.
And when I say resistance, I’m talking about the kind fuelled by the head not the body. The kind ignited by excuses and fed by procrastination. My resistance to practicing comes when I’m too in-my-head, too doing-oriented. My resistance to practicing comes when I’m moving in the direction opposite to that of my Truth. And I realise now, it’s purpose is to lead me back. I choose to jump on my mat when I’m experiencing this kind of resistance because I know it’s where I need to be. I know “unbelievable bliss” lies on the other side.
And this, my friends, like all the other lessons Yoga has taught me, is one I am devotee of off the mat too.
4. I am a VESSEL
I’ve only been teaching for a few months now, but already I have stopped planning classes. I simply turn up and allow the practice to take shape in the present.
Teaching Yoga, for me, is a direct expression of my connection with the DIVINE.
As I teach I am not consciously predicting or planning the next move or my next words – they are flowing through me. I don’t focus on what poses to explore or what stories to tell – I simply make my alignment and connection to Source my sole concentration. When I’m in this space, classes flow effortlessly and easily. They feel fluid and amazing.
I am learning to now to practice such connection in the parts of life that don’t feel so effortless. I am learning to make my connection to Source my sole concentration always.
We all have the ability to experience this fluidity and this creative power. We all have the ability to be free of pushing, planning and predicting.
We’ve just got to let go, connect and be the vessel.
5. Community is ever so important
I have made the most DIVINE connections through the practice of yoga. Whether it be my fellow yoga teacher trainees, my teachers themselves or now my students – these people are those which uplift me and are unapologetic in their expression of LOVE.
My Health Yoga, my studio in Brisbane, does an unbelieavably beautiful job of holding space for all those who walk in the door. Buoyed by the studio’s energy and the beautiful souls around me, it is here I have learnt so much about OPEN EXPRESSION. I’ve learnt that there is such power in sharing your experience and expressing your graitude to those around you (eg. your yoga teacher) – something I was always a little afraid to do. I have learnt the true meaning of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE & ACCEPTANCE.
The beautiful Carrie, I have YOU to thank for that.
I adore YOGA, it is a SACRED and FULFILLING part of my life.
And I’m so excited for this weekend, as I get to celebrate this amazing, ancient practice with a a community of other yoga-enthusiasts at WANDERLUST FESTIVAL in Sydney.
Will I be seeing you there?