I'm so grateful, I teach community Yoga.
Teaching my local community is such a gift. But it wasn't a gift that I could have even imagined. My Dharma led me here, for real. After some deep and thick study of the Bhagavad Gita with my teacher Kelly Sunrose, I really dropped into what felt real and true for me. Oh I'm not saying it was all roses and lattes, it was something I had kinda struggled with, as I wanted to be "more".
But "more" brings a stress with it, a longing and a tension between where I was and where I wanted to be. Or where I thought I wanted to be! But slowly, over a few seasons, I began to notice something. I noticed a feeling of truth, a feeling tone of "this is right", and as I began to notice that, I began to feel so happy and grateful.
Teaching locally is the best for me. Its connecting with students, knowing their names and sometimes their families, its remembering that yes this student has a sore hip, this one is going through something major, has just recovered from ..... And this is a gift, THIS is for me an honour. This is the truth of teaching for me, that my dharma in teaching yoga is to teach local and to offer the best of myself to these students.
And this isn't always easy. Because even the Yoga world is full of courses, How to pack out a room, How to be more, 10 steps to be a great Yoga Teacher, How to take your teaching to the next level, when to share, when not to share.... and it goes on and on! And Instagram! Oh how I love Instagram. But I tripped up there a couple of months ago. I almost developed a little Instacrush on a fellow Yoga teacher's account,, you see her photo's and words are divine! It's beautiful. And it captured me for a little while, until I realised ...... oh THIS is beautiful and she has a way with texts and images, but I'm feeling distracted by her path. So I unfollowed her. Not because I don't want to see her glorious images pop up on my feed, but because it was distracting me from my own path. And more and more, I'm feeling that this feeling of truth, authenticity and integrity forms the foundation of my path. This takes effort, self reflection and truth... and these are sometimes gnarly, awkward and uncomfortable. But hey, isn't life like that sometimes! If we aren't growing, if we aren't catching ourselves and re-orienting toward our own true north, what are we up to?
I feel true and lit up when I'm practising Yoga, when I'm studying the old Vedic Texts, when I'm bringing that forward in an accessible and sometimes fun way to students. This is my dharma, I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. It feels "true".
One of my favourite texts is called the Radiance Sutras and here's a little of their wisdom on it too from Insight Verse 160:
Friends, relatives, neighbours, people who abide
In your village, city, country -
Be not concerned with their attitudes
Toward these teachings.
Everyone is discovering the intimate universe
In their own way.
We are aren't we! No one can do that for us. We must discover this life and our path for ourselves.
If your reading this and want to throw in a Yoga posture to contemplate all of this with, do what the ladies in the top photo have done. Find a bit of wall, snuggle up to it with your hip (whichever one) and then turn and gently swing your legs up the wall, Viparitia Karani. Find a good distance from your hips to the wall, and then Rest your hands and arms where they feel comfortable, by your sides, resting on your heart or even up behind you.
Sometimes its good to turn things inside out, and upside down to have a break and get some perspective.
I love to swoon around in the words of this recent genre of Poets; Nayyirah Waheed, April Green, Cleo Wade and Atticus.
Their words are like little offerings, little Altars to our spirits. I find poetry soooooooo nourishing and calming. How about you?
Lately, I'm loving the poem above by Nayyirah Waheed and I'm going to dive into the words and extract some Yoga for you (and me) from them.
tonight. under the moon. choose you.
Such a beautiful invitation.
tonight. This first word feels to me a little like the first word in the Yoga Sutras, Atha. A sweet calling or invitation to your heart and soul, to commit to a time but not any time ...... tonight.
under the moon. Oh the magical night time feel and sight of the moon. Under to me also feels like the exhale, a kind of surrender to the busy "to do", "to be" or lately "be more". Tucking that to the side and stepping out, under the mystery and beauty of the moon with feeling of the exhale. Open, listening, surrendered bathing in the beauty of the moon.
choose you. Yes! Choose you. Make that choice to have your own back, to spend some time thinking and feeling what it might look like to simply make that decision. What does that look like in your life? It feels to me like a little reminder of our dharma. To choose the blueprint of your soul, to follow that map. The Bhagavad Gita indicates that following our dharma is where our happiness lies! Even if we fail, even if we have to try and try again, that our real happiness lies in following our own path wholeheartedly.
This sweet poem, this little cup of words feel like a prayer for me. A calling, and a reminder to step out and take a few minutes to soak it up, be with the moon, the nighttime smells and make a little intention to choose me, my highest, my best.
Thank you always to Nayyirah Waheed for your books of poems! Forever grateful to you.
Books: Go to either Book Depository or Amazon for her publication: Salt and Nejma.
This morning I did a beautiful walk, there were 4 of us girls.... 2 were of the furry variety!
We walked and talked, laughed, sipped our coffees and picked up poop! About 1/2 way around we bumped into a lovely person who for the longest time was a regular at my Hatha Yoga Class. The five of us stood and 3 of us chatted for a while and when we said our goodbyes something struck me.
It got me thinking a few things.
1. Yoga helps, if you let it. On a really tangible level, it gives us permission to relax and breathe. To simply think about not much if we choose, and drop into how we are feeling. This is why Asana is the prelude to Meditation, the entree to the main meal. There are so many ways to practice Yoga, or like Rumi said more poetically "there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground". Find your way.
2. Dharma. Sometimes our path isn't clear, on some days we may not know the right thing to do or say. Clarity isn't always waiting for us. It can take weeks, months or years.. and one day we might look back (love a bit of self reflection) and see that our path makes complete sense. But until then, we only have our feels: our inner tools. Intuition, Insight, Inner Knowing, our Heart and finally to sort it all out, our mind. And we need to trust these! And more difficult sometimes, we need to trust the path we are on fully. After all its better to be on your own path 100% and fail to be a poor imitation of someone else! Kinda riff on the Bhagavad Gita.
Step into your own, more fully, more you & be true. It's funny how a lot of our life can sort itself out if we step into our own more fully & trust a little more.
Be true. Be you.