‘I have been so sad about leaving your classes.’ These were the words from a weekly student of some 5 years, after her final evening class at my studio last week. She lives in the country and has just rented out her city apartment so no longer can come. We are creatures of habit and many of us rely on routine and familiarity to guide us through our week, our lives. Change is inevitable, but how we choose to respond will influence our perceptions, our emotions, our thoughts, as well as the outcome. This is how she chose to respond…
I have taken some time out to sit quietly to read the ‘Soul’ book you gave me and have been inspired by the following entry. Thank-you so much.
Change is not something that we should fear.
Rather, it is something that we should welcome
For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom,
And no one in this world would ever move forward
To become the person they’re meant to be.
I was heartened by this student’s capacity to find an insightful way to move forward. I know it is not easy for her. However a clear demonstration she has learnt much more than physical poses on the mat over the past 5 years.
I reminded myself of her response last Saturday as I baked some cakes….baking is not a regular activity for me these days however we had guests for afternoon tea on Sunday. I’d baked both these cakes once before and both had turned out less than perfect! ‘They still taste the same’ my husband says to me! However somehow I could not ‘let go’ of the image of the ‘perfect’ cakes that my friends bake…
SO here I was in the kitchen, calm music playing and then the words of Desiderata came into my head
If you compare yourself to others you will become vain and bitter as always there are greater and lesser persons than yourself.
I come back to the calm repetition of this poem many, many times. I learnt the words of Desiderata over 15 years ago, prior to leaving for my first ever yoga retreat. It was recommended that we memorise these words and say them daily prior to embarking on the trip. At the time it seemed more like a chore than a pleasure, however not these days.
My realisation, as I stood beating the eggs, was about letting go…and in the moment what I needed to drop was..
Expectation – my striving from school days for the top grade in the class.
Responsibility – I’m sure my visitors will have a good time regardless of the cakes.
Self-talk – Where is it written that I must be good at all things?
I truly believe that there are NO shortcuts (sorry for those who have read this far!) However below are some practical ideas (and be rest assured I’m still practising and will be for some time @ 7-9 below!).
For the everyday person
- Practise simple self-care – buy a beautiful organic body lotion, light a candle with a relaxing fragrance, cook a simple nourishing meal.
- Be out in nature, connect externally with all your senses.
- Talk honestly to someone in person, face to face. Not on email, Facebook, mobile…!
For the regular yoga student
- Be in your favourite yoga pose for two minutes. Aim to loosen the grip, soften your breath.
- Sit still and watch your ‘monkey’ mind for a few minutes, be the observer, simply watch, no judgement.
- Take a full yoga nidra or rest for 15 minutes in a restorative pose.
For those on a spiritual path
- Increase the length of your daily meditation practice.
- Practise antar mouna, all six stages, one stage per month.
- Read from the Scriptures daily and invite this to create acceptance and understanding of your current life.
- Or finally join me for some support, with like-minded others, at our:
SPRING DAY RETREAT: LEARNING TO LET GO
Find and recognise the peace of mind that can be present through life’s daily challenges. Take the opportunity to leave town for the day, to let go of what is holding you back.. Practise extended yoga poses, sustained breath work, deeper relaxation and complete focus of the mind.
SATURDAY 8 OCTOBER 2016 @ 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost $140 (includes vegetarian lunch)
Early bird $125 by 31 July
Space limited to 10 people. Open to all with some experience of yoga.
Located at a beautiful private residence just over an hour’s drive by freeway from Melbourne.
Click on 8 October on the Timetable to book in and pay.
Read about previous retreats