The often written definition of yoga is ‘union’ or ‘yoking’ and it goes further suggesting through the practices of yoga that we can develop or ‘unite’ with a sense or awareness of oneness. Oneness is about an experiential understanding at a deep cellular level that there is no separation between us and the amazing universe swirling around us. Yoga moves energy and consciousness around us through a variety of practices – physical, emotional and mental. As we practice we start to sense this energy in ourselves and perhaps begin to feel how everything is connected in ourselves, perhaps feel a deep connection to others and also to the natural world.Yip that we are all connected, we are nature, we are energy.
And yet many people come to yoga believing they are broken, lacking wholeness and not connected.
My journey inward began in my teenage years when I ended up in hospital because I couldn’t figure out the meaning or point of life. Over the year, I have tried a variety of ways to find respite from my crazy mind. Partying, alcohol, drugs, travel anything really to run away from or numb out that little voice who really wasn’t kind, supportive or loving towards me yet was always there and I couldn’t get it to be quiet. My mind state oscillated between self doubt, self loathing or between anxiety to depression. I had planted a whole garden of un-supportive weeds in my head and was watering them on a daily basis as didn’t know how to change this pattern. I started looking for ways to fix myself believing that I was broken not whole.
A horrible mantra if ever I heard one – I am broken not whole. I need fixing. But it was on constantly, continuously, endlessly on my mental sound track. Over the years, I spent years and hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to fix, change and improve myself. I have seen naturopaths, nutritionists, acupuncturists, healers, gurus, chiropractors, osteopaths, massage therapists and more. One day I saw a notice for a yoga and meditation class and decided to give it a go. For the first time a caught a glimmer of what mindfulness practices can offer and was essentially hooked.
Yoga has taught be two huge lessons, firstly, that love is who we are and secondly, we own our power.
Let’s untangle the first one.
We have a choice to either move from a place of fear or move from a place of love. My approach to life and myself was coming from a place of fear. The thing is in each situation you have choice – love or fear! Perhaps you are not aware of this but all day each day we make decisions, that is, we are constantly choosing between love and fear. When I shifted by awareness to moving from a place of love for myself my life started to change. I felt better, my health improved and good things started to happen. A few years ago an autoimmune illness manifested and this has proved to be a huge challenge for example, at one point I didn’t sleep for over a month and this really pushed home that you have to move from a place of love even when it is really difficult because fear just fuels more fear and it just grows like the weeds in the garden when you keep fertilising and watering them. Water and feed your flowers.
Over time, I began to see these choices being made by people around me and inspired me to start teaching what I had learnt. This is not to say that I move from love 100% of the time after all I am human and had been practising fear for quite some time.
This morning I made my way to my mat from a place of LOVE. So what? I hear you say…yes I practised to see how I was feeling, how I was traveling in my mind body vehicle. I was not there to fix, or improve or to strengthen I was simply there to connect to my wholeness to connect to being nature itself. When I practise from love, I want to practise as I have no expectation of there being a specific outcome, no pressure, no self loathing just love and curiosity.
Do you practice from love? Or are you ‘working out’ to fix you, change you, make up for you eating too much chocolate cake or because you paid for the classes upfront.
Much love and gratitude as we journey on together AWARE and WHOLE.
LOVE TO ALL