Thank you David Bowie for that intro.
Life is full of stories about change. I love a good story, particularly one that illustrates the strength/love/resilience of the human spirit.
And the one's lately I'm really into, are the small personal victories. The tales of people making small steps toward their best selves. Now, I'm not going to go all Anthony Robbins on you but it really makes to jump for joy to hear these from my friends, family and students.
Because the big change, the large platform, the overnight success, and the list goes on, well that makes headlines, right? And I think this is because we underestimate and shrug off small change. We dismiss it because on some level I think we believe as a culture, that BIG CHANGE is the only change. That we need to look like we are "making it happen", we are edgy change agents!
I have learned, through personal experience, that small change is sustainable and often endures. If I use a Yoga example, you might see someone really pushing to nail a pose, say a handstand, and they push and push each class to get "there". Or a friend decides to "give up sugar" (been there!!!) and clean out every cupboard, every crevice where its hidden, and after day 3 ..... they are a cranky mess (um, yes maybe me!!).
Through studying ourselves and really knowing what works for us, we can implement change that will stick. The old "Svadhyaya", getting to know ourselves, all of ourselves, really & truthfully. That's really a very worthwhile step to take, before implementing any new habits or rituals in our lives.
So, lately I've jumped for joy (internally) after these small but awesome things happened:
- A student told me after class that they are feeling their body opening up in Yoga, they can feel it week after week of class. Yes! Yes! Yes! When this happens to us we are literally living into Yoga Sutra 1.12, we are living into the practice with a sense of not being attached to a certain outcome.
- After a Yin class recently, a student said that they finally are feeling a sense of calm when they do Yoga. She mentioned that in her day to day life at work that the breathing I talk about really works!
- For me, rolling out the mat or just doing 3 to 4 Yoga postures before bed really helps me to get a good nights rest. Its not fancy, its usually in my PJ's and its only 3 to 4. I talk about these in class often, but incase you want to know I do:
This can take about 3 minutes or up to 15! It depends. But I do it most nights and it makes a difference, I can feel it in my body.
So the story here is, do you have a small victory? A small insight? Have you made any little changes that are holding up, that feel like they are becoming embedded in your life? I'd love to hear.
Until then, keep tinkering!
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.