I love words. And I adore words in Sanskrit. And English and Italian, Spanish oh and French for sure. And after our trip to Thailand, I love Thai.
When I was 10 my mum gave me a book of Poems, and in it she wrote "For all your hard work in reading and spelling". I loved that book! I treasured it and at her funeral I read a poem from it, which was one of our favourites. I loved and adored my first Thesaurus (I know, funny right) and my first Dictionary. I've always loved books, signs, poetry and chants.
Lately I've become enamoured some particular words and the magical spell they create, and drum roll they are:
Intention // I am ..... or I feel ...
Prayer // May I .... be blessed into usefulness - Ravi Ravindra
Wish // It's my wish that ....
Blessing // I bless you and ....
Sankalpa - Sanskrit for Intention
From my own experience these words and their feeling, are like tiny stars filled with potential. And the potential is for creation. Yes, the creation will look different to each of us. But I feel the lightness and positivity of those words creates space for us to take steps toward what it is we desire to create.
This quote: "If we can feel it in our hearts - not just think it, but also REALLY FEEL IT - then its possible in our lives!" from secrets of the lost mode of prayer by Gregg Braden.
Take a seat, get comfy. Set aside any thoughts or feelings and get cosy with your breath, drop into the rhythm of your own heart. Be here a handful of breaths. When you feel happy and clear, rest your eyes upon these words: Intention, Blessing, Prayer, Wish, Sankapa. Which one appeals to you? Blessing, prayer, wish, intention or Sankalpa. Then maybe write a few words about:
What you might like to dare to wish for?
To aim for?
To bless and let go of?
To pray pray for?
What lies deep in your heart, what do you realllllllllly wish for?
Take a pen, your notebook, jot it down, scribble it, maybe its just a bunch of words right now, or an image or a symbol. Take your time over the next few hours or days and let it come to you. Patience my dear.
Once you feel its complete, write it out on a small piece of paper and place it somewhere where you will see it. It might be beside your bed, it may be inside your wallet (where your bound to see it), or in the car on the dashboard. Whisper it, say it, pray for it, wish for it when the moon is new, feel into it. Get close to it, to the feelings, to the heart of it.
There you go, there's a small practice for you. Enjoy. Okay, really go do this and enjoy it.
In a couple of weeks I'm launching a Yin Yoga Class, at the Dee Why School of Yoga. Yippeeeeee!
Quite a few of my students and some friends have asked what Yin Yoga is, so I thought I'd write about this and how I found it.... or as is usually the case .... how it found me!
In 2013 I went to the Bondi Yoga Festival and said yes to a class called "Gratitude". I really didn't even notice that the style of class was called Yin. I'd heard of it but not practiced it. So I turned up, rolled out my mat, and was transfixed & transformed. The theme of Gratitude was most certainly felt, but the real gratitude was for the day magically unfolding leading me to this new style of practice, Yin Yoga.
I felt so good. Like REALLY GOOD!
Its hard to put into words but I'll try. I sensed a feeling of spaciousness in my body, and a deep sense of calm in my breath and my headspace. I enjoyed the slow and intentional practice of dialing it right back. Most of the practice was either lying down or floor based, so there was that too, no standing, no vinyasa, no balancing. Yes, nice!!!!
Fast forward to 2016, I decided that after some self-study (in Sanskrit: Svadhyaya) that I would like to study this style of Yoga. I needed to know more, because it was becoming my "home practice". So, I said a big mighty YES to my teacher Cora from www.slowyoga.com.au and enrolled in her Yin Teacher Training, a cool 50 hours dedicated to learning all about this glorious practice.
So, what to expect when you come to one of my Yin classes?
For your body, my aim is to help you "unwind". It creates some space in places there may be been tension and tightness. Its also more of a practice of surrender, its the letting go and being led by the body and its messages.... "ah my dear enough here or Ohhhh I think I found some space here, etc". Yin gets deep, it gets into the connective tissue, bones, joints, ligaments and tendons due to the long holds. We will hold poses from 3 to 5 minutes! Yes, juicccccccccy.
For your headspace, this is where it gets really good. As Yin is a more inward way of practising Yoga, it encourages a more soft and intuitive way of practice, you get the time, real spaces of time, to investigate and "BE" with your body and see/feel what's going on, you can get the opportunity to come up close and personal with your thoughts, with your breath and your physical structure.
After your Yin practice, you might just begin to feel calm, a sense of trust that things are just okay the way they are which is why Bernie Clark (a founding Yin Teacher) says that the philosophy of Yin is pretty much reflected in the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Grant me the courage to change the things I can change
And grant me the wisdom to know the difference.
Launch details are:
Wednesday February 15th
10am Yin Yoga / Room 2
The Dee Why School of Yoga
673 Pittwater Road, Dee Why
I'm super duper excited to bring this practice to you. Hope to see you there.