What makes us happy, what makes us laugh? I’m sure if you have attended my classes you will know that i do randomly call out how yoga makes me happy.
It’s a feeling that perhaps can’t be described in a simple blog post, but it is what has glued me to this practise for the last 17 years.
There’s a joy in the physicality of a practise – a stillness, and a true involvement of all the senses. As a student you need to listen to your body, to my instructions, to your intuition, and to sustain a comfortable rhythm of breathing.
On a mat there’s a variety of movement in all directions. You stand, fold, unfold, sit, rise, lift, twist and lie down.
Yoga is humanity, yes it is. You come with a group of students or yourself and you unfold into the life force, the prana, the today, the nectar.
Natalie is a young student at the studio who just finished high school in 2018 (yes you think you feel old!!!) I always ask what each student needs from the class prior to starting the yoga session. Natalie’s answer is always: “I want to have fun”. And that’s it, my friends. I smile as soon as I hear this.
Your practise is hard work, you try to do the postures or the meditation that at times we resist internally. What?!?! Cobra???!!! Planks??!!! Balances??!!! Sit for 5 minutes and observe the breath???!!! But you stop, breathe and concentrate. Then we try, we put effort, we have a smile, we give ourselves an internal warm high five and move on. I call that happiness.
Yogis groaning in class, yep I call that happiness too – haha!
Happiness is when you simply observe your toes and that’s it. Happiness is having that time and momentary stillness to listen to your breath. It’s magical. Happiness is fumbling with some postures and being fine with that. Not beating yourself up, not been hard on yourself.
Teaching young kids is something I truly love. The 4-5 year old demographic – boy do we have fun. 5-12 year olds – you are sublime and giggly. I learn from kids all the time. They see right through us. They live for joy and are gifts to this world. I just wish adults could get off their phones and be amongst the happiness of kids.
Happiness is to have time to see the light, to find the inner knowledge, the inner spark, to smile. Life is crazy nuts!!!! Yoga and meditation makes me sit back. At times, I fail. My current test is related to the traffic that is growing daily in Sydney’s streets. The beeping cars moving past, and being stuck in traffic at peak times in front of our serene yoga home. I try not to roll my eyes, but to crack a joke instead (hmmm I think they need yoga and move on!)
Yoga is the sun and moon, the feminine and masculine, and with happiness we have sadness. With my late teacher, at times in Shavasana, I have experienced moments of tears streaming down my face. Just a pure release. While undertaking my yoga teacher training course it was at a period of my life that was constantly shifting. I was post a shock divorce, an abrupt end to a love story that had bad timing. While going through the divorce, an eating disorder that reared its ugly head. I worked three jobs, as well as studying and figuring my new path in life. We all have a story, don’t we.
But!!!If you are experiencing anxiety and panic attacks, please tell me, or list it in your medical clearance form so we can have a discussion. Shavasana at the end of the class may not be relaxing for you and may bring you to an anxious state, when that’s not something we need to experience in a class. An 80-90 minutes class may be too much too handle. I will advise you and guide you.
Yoga is a proven therapeutic modality for anxiety and depression, but do discuss with me what you are currently experiencing, so that we have a clear path of where we are heading. If you are taking anti-depressants, list them on your form. Some of the side effects I will need to draw your attention to, so I may give you variations in your practise, in a subtle way.
Yoga is my happiness and my light and I hope it’s yours as well. Tune to the breath, to stillness, to love and compassion for yourself, others, animals and the environment.