Recently I had the opportunity of teaching to a small group of students - 3 men and 2 women. Their experience with yoga was minimal to none and I am always honored to have the good fortune to teach this level. I gave them the opportunity to just BE on their mats. They explored their breath and movements that were not all traditional yoga postures but were techniques that would benefit their lively hood of spending a lot of time sitting at a desk in a the fast paced world of New York City.
We had fun together as they were challenged to do things with their eyes opened and then with their eyes closed. Closing your eyes not only gives you the chance to truly understand and feel what is going on inside yourself but when practicing a standing technique, it takes away your visual sense of balance so all the intrinsic muscles in the feet and ankles are scrambling to figure how to keep you from falling down. There is a moment in time when the ego is working hard to fight this feeling and saying “I am not going to fall”. However, if the body wants to fall, it will fall! At some point you can practice letting go of this limiting belief and just go with the movement. Instead of resisting the challenges, and I will refer to standing in a tight rope foot position, one foot directly in front of the other that my students practiced, (it helps for the sobriety test 😉), give yourself permission to TRUST yourself and your ability to accept the fluctuations in your life. This helps to create the resiliency that makes you stronger - much like how a tree survives a storm.
If the tree does not bend with the power of the wind, it will snap in half.
Learning to bend can be related to the physical but it truly comes from the ability of the mind to let the ego and the need for attachment to things go and to let yourself BE much like how I gave my students yesterday the opportunity to experience it on their mats. It is in this pause moment of just BEING that our true being has the space to come out and play.
After class, one of the men came up to me and confessed that he had really thought he was going to come in to the class and not be able to focus and was planning on getting up and leaving because in his mind he is programmed that taking a break from work is not a good thing and he should just WORK, WORK, WORK. He expressed how good he felt after the class and discussed his interest in starting to incorporate yoga and mindfulness into his life. He did not seem skeptical of its benefits because he certainly felt them but HOW to add it to his life when his mindset tells him it is a waste of time was his concern.
It was a heartfelt moment for me to have this reality check of the world out there. When did it become so cut throat? You don’t have to answer that question - it was rhetorical. But, consider, when in your life did you stop doing the very things that were so good for your physical, mental and spiritual well being and why? When did you tell yourself that you weren’t allowed to give yourself 5, 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes to practice something, anything, that would create stability and balance and give you clarity in your life. You push through what is needed and expected of you but now you find yourself sick and tired and burnt out in a society filled with technology, social media and constant contact with everyone…
We are programmed to work on ourselves when something breaks yet we change the oil on our car, fill it with petro and wash / wax it to keep it looking like new?
Many people take better care of their cars than they do of the
vehicle that ACTUALLY drives them around all day!
The medical industry says we will find a cure of dis-ease NOT prevent dis-ease!
I understand this because I recently went through more months than I care to admit to of self sabotage. Meditation was difficult because I was struggling with LIFE and the last thing I wanted to do was sit down and face this LIFE. I became a wilted, listless flower when my water intake dropped and eating was sporadic.
I was choosing not to take care of ME
and I thought, if I didn’t want to be with ME, why would anyone else?
I literally forced myself to get up and go to my last Mindfulness Meditation training weekend. It was in this weekend that I was put on the spot by my teacher. “What do you mean you come in and out of your meditation practice?” “In order to teach, you MUST have a practice”. I was mortified inside and embarrassed but it was in this moment that I heard the voice in my head say
“You can’t help anyone else unless you are helping yourself”
I was born to help others and I was falling short of my calling in life. Since that day, I made a conscious decision to discover the many ways to care for myself and in doing so, I feel more stable and balanced giving me clarity in who I am and who I inspire to be!
Who in your life NEEDS your help?
Your spouse? Significant other? Kids? Parents?
Boss? Employees? Students? Who?
What is the one thing you NEED to tell yourself today?
What in your life is not serving you and are you WILLING to change your life?
Ready and willing to change your life - Contact me TODAY
Hiking Photo by VInce Ligouri (Instagram: RDXSTRONG)
Tree Photo by Alexandra Seinet on Unsplash
Car Photo by Matt Antonioli on Unsplash