The Trainee Yogi!

10 Years after my initial opening and introduction to the yoga world I embark on my first teacher training study session this weekend. To say I am excited is an understatement. Saturday at 1pm I shall be sat cross legged ( hips slightly more relaxed) in the same beautiful room that i stepped into back in 2004. I still can’t get my head round the fact that potentially in 18 months time I will be the “Teacher” and will be sharing my evergrowing knowledge of this ancient and wonderful art.

I played at yoga in my 20’s but it was in my thirties that i truly connected. Spirituality found me, or i chose spirituality . Anyway one of the two, practicing yoga took on a deeper meaning. It wasn’t just about the stretches or even obtaining a peaceful state of mind, it was more a process of letting go, nudging into the crevices of the body, mind and soul, edges that before i found a bit uncomfortable to look at or delve into. I started thinking i want to explore these areas, however scary. I want to accept all parts of myself, not just the happy, joyful, safe and light parts but also the darkness, the anxiety and the pain.

Our muscles have memories within their structure. We accumulate alot of emotional stuff not only within the brain and heart but also in our soft tissues. The softness of these tissues becomes rigid and tense. As a massage therapist i ease out these contractions by using Aromatherapy, deep muscle work and by increasing the blood circulation to the affected area. More oxygen then flows through the system creating a more energetic and calm body and mind. Everytime i step on to my yoga mat I breathe a sigh of relief that for the next 20,40, 60 minutes i will be letting go of something. The more we let go the lighter our lives become. Practicing yoga on a regular basis can have a profound effect on our well being. Life’s obstacles become challenges we embrace and we gain more equanimity of mind.

I wonder what this weekend will bring? Possibility, oooodles and oooodles of possibility and isn’t that just great!

My Yoga Journey

2004 the beginning of a life long journey. I am now aware that even though I was born into this beautiful world (took me a while to see this) back in 1973 it was many years later that my real purpose was born. April 2004 grief found me and some days it engulfed my entire being. I tried to resist it, I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening, I put my mask on every morning after a sleepness night where I just wanted life to swallow me up and hide me somewhere just for a while or on some days forever. On the worst days I can’t remember breathing and other days it took all my strength to just breathe. Every breath seemed painful and dark and full of a deep sadness.

When the intensity of this passed and let’s face it EVERYTHING does I began my YOGA JOURNEY. I’m not even sure how I reached the decision to try yoga but I’m pretty certain it was to quash my rising anxiety levels. Anyway I rocked up at the Yoga Sanctuary in Southampton one day and a lady called Debbie greeted me with a friendly face and warm smile and immediately I felt a lift of mood. So we sat in a beautiful studio and breathed. Debbie showed me a different kind of breathing. Ujayi breathing sounds like darth vader in your throat. My mother said to me it sounded kinky when I showed her! Ujayi translates as “what clears the throat and masters the chest area” and involves drawing air in through both nostrils with the glottis held partially closed. I felt relaxed and invigorated at the same time. We then stretched (asanas) and I remember my hips feeling very tight (we hold a lot of emotional stuff in our hips) To finish we did some meditation and a different breathing technique where you breathe twice in through the nostrils by making a sound and out of the mouth twice making a ha ha sound. Within minutes I was floating in between consciousness and unconsciousness I was connecting with my soul spirit.

Before I came to the Sanctuary my belief was that yoga was all about putting yourself into funny and interesting shapes but that is NOT the case. Yoga is the stillness after the asanas. The space, union with self. When you start to become more self aware there is an understanding which brings a feeling of liberation. So I left Debbie feeling a bit freaked out with all I had experienced. I felt more balanced than I had in a long while.

That was 10 years ago and since then I have learnt Everything is impermanent Everything is love when we let go of the fear