The first leaves are morphing to colours of autumn in the southern hemisphere. In a few weeks the street we live on will burst into flaming shades of red and auburn and magenta, adding yet another filter to the landscape of the Blue Mountains. Mother Nature holds our attention in her nonchalant ways of always being in flux. She captivates us with her sense of humour in impermanence. Ebb and flow. Water carving rocks. Every single moment is one of creation, sustenance, dissolution. If we stay quiet enough to notice...
Wabi sabi. The Japanese Zen Buddhists coined this term to describe the acceptance of transcience and imperfection. The aesthetic is the beauty of which is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete - the law of nature.
In Sanskrit, the word Purna: meaning fullness, wholeness, perfection, as it is at any given moment.
The universe's celestial architecture functions on the premise of this law. Perfect straight lines do not exist in Mother Nature. Her canvas is filled with squiggly lines of skies and mountains and trees and rivers and streams and rocks and leaves. These manifestations serve as a constant reminder of the passage of time. Nothing in nature possesses perfect symmetry. Everything has to be taken as it is, with all its cracks and warts and uneven shades.
Still nature has an order. The order in which no 2 sunrises or sunsets are the same. The order that moves through the wind that whispers in the peaks and valleys, through the pelting of raindrops, through the pounding waves and flowing streams...
The only place we find straight lines is in human dwellings. Take a walk through any metropolis and take in the geometrical wonders of the skyscrapers, Stand amidst the towering buildings and marvel at the engineering ingenuity created by human minds. Tune into the static humming of the electricity running through cable lines, the heaving of generators and air-conditioner compressors, the honking of traffic, mobile phones ringing…
"The order of Nature never moves in straight lines but basic human logic does. Nature creates perfect order from chaos. Human logic creates chaos from order. Nature was an indirect thinker…” ~ Sam Ovens
The application of yoga in therapeutic settings is still a relatively new field in the realm of modern healthcare. Its magic lies in the approach in bringing the body-mind into homeostasis - a state of moment-to-moment balance, by recognising the body-mind as an eco-system. Contrast this to the problem-solving, symptomatic methodological tactics of the western medical system - which has its place in playing an important role in saving human lives and preserving mortality.
In Yoga Therapy we observe the energetic qualities that arise in the experience without judgement. We recognise the three-dimensional, living, breathing, complex, messy creatures that we are instead of seeing our body as mechanical parts. There is no form to conform to. It is not about what we do but how we do it. Yoga Therapy is a non-linear science and a sensible art form with its roots firmly grounded in the order of nature. The focus is on the process, not the end result. It honours the body, instead of trying to conquer it.
This approach brings about the embodiment of everything that makes us whole. It is the awareness that spans beyond the frontal lobe of logical reasoning. Awareness is a cellular knowing, a witnessing that takes into consideration our personal context but being able to move past the storylines.
This work is labelled self-inquiry - the inward process of uncovering this blueprint, to uncover a timeless consciousness that is woven into the tapestry of our body-mind. It stems from a deep desire to explore, to surrender to the truth that what makes us whole does not exist outside of ourselves.
My hope is to bring the understanding of this work to as many people as possible. Especially in a time where as a species, we are starting to forget that we are not walking-breathing-thinking-doing machines. We are not a container of parts that make up the whole. We cannot "fix" our ailments and suffering by popping pills and acquiring things.
We need to slow down. Be still. See the interconnectedness of our environments, from within to without.
As a yoga practitioner for almost 2 decades, my foundational practice in Anusara Yoga has provided me with a solid map in understanding the musculoskeletal system in functional movement. And with that map, I’m now exploring the terrain - on how to embody the creative interplay of all the other systems - our fascia, organs, glands, fluids, brain! The complex universe of our body-mind is full of squiggly lines and bio-rhythms that echo the eco-systems of Ma Nature!
This year I’ve “re-labeled” the yoga therapeutics trainings I’ve been facilitating as Embodiment Modules to provide more clarity in communicating both my personal evolution as a practitioner, as well as my professional development as a therapist and educator. The Embodiment Modules will explore applications from my study and practice in areas such as the work of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen’s Body Mind Centering® in somatics, embodied anatomy and developmental patterns; Thomas Meyers’ Anatomy Trains in functional movement and fascia intelligence; as well as the applications of classical yogic philosophy in Yoga Therapy in the lineage of Krishnamacharya . They all speak of the same thing - that every one of us possess the innate capacity to heal if we learn how to listen deeply to what our relationships are telling us, from within to without.
Going forward,Yoga with Daphne’s embodiment, therapeutics and bodywork offerings hopes to cater to:
I’ll be offering my first 100-hour immersion and training this year in 2 separate 6-day 50-hours modules - back-to-back at the gorgeous earthy space of Maladhara Eco Retreat in Chiang Mai. It will be a 2 week deep inquiry into the intricacies of our unique blue-print, coupled with plenty of soothing restorative and hands-on practices to calm our oft-frenzied mind and body. All these while imbibing in the soulful nourishment of healthy food, good company and the squiggly wholeness of northern Chiang Mai.
I’ll also be back on the road from May onwards after a 4-month post-surgery hiatus.
City workshops & TTCs for the next few months here
And finally, a little plug for my multi-talented better half. He never ceases to amaze me with his creative wonders, from photography to music making to album productions and now to publishing his series of books on positive living! Check out his “All it takes is an hour” series here
"There is a natural order and harmony to this world, which we can discover. But we have to feel it in our bones, in our hearts, in our minds"
~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
~ Phenomenal Women, Maya Angelou
Yogini, Yoga Therapist, Movement Facilitator, Yoga & Bodywork Therapist, Wanderluster, Homemaker, Student...