Be the change...
Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life, but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We do not transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind to transform it into something better ~ Donna Farhi
2 years ago I re-directed my globetrotting, wanderlusting mode from outward adventuring to a more inward-looking home life. It was the year I began life in the 40's, when the term "mortality" is no longer a far-fetched word reserved for "old people". Something shifted from within me to pause and ask what "living life to the fullest" really means. And if there are other ways for me to satiate my appetite of living life experientially. So I laid down my travel-weary heart and planted my feet more firmly into studying the connection between our mind-body, why we need to, and how we can inquire into the nature of reality as we experience it. It has since facilitated the inner geek in me to delve deeper into understanding the way our human body functions and how we relate to the world, which include intrepid personal introspections, in conferring with my shadows without running away to new places to meet new friends and sample exotic foods… I know I have to face my own neurosis and trappings in order to be an advocate in what I want to facilitate, i.e being able to help people deal with their fears and sufferings, into how our storylines become trapped within our very own visceral bodies.
As human beings, we are ultimately seeking more peace, more bliss, more freedom, in our moment-to-moment existence. In this digital age where everything is literally available at our fingertips, we are ever so much more inclined and accessible to instant gratifications, including medications, substances, and other escape strategies for our discomfort.
It is easy to put a bandaid on pain and confusion and suffering, even when we know we are trapped in the same patterns – be it in our body or mind (and as we will explore in this course, are actually one and the same), for years, for decades, for lifetimes. We rather bury our heads in the sand, we run away the pain, and we look outwards for somebody, something to fix us, and it keeps tripping us over. We are too conditioned, too lazy or too stubborn to change…
Self-inquiry has existed since human civilisation. and we are at a revolutionary juncture. Yoga and bodywork are becoming game changers in questioning and uncovering the ways we inhabit our body-mind which is essentially our relationship with the environment. It is challenging how we experience reality. What blows my mind, is that it makes perfect existentialistic sense to begin altering our root behaviour through recognising and understanding the organisational pattern of our body, the functional patterns of our mind, and the intricate interconnectedness of our consciousness. All this can be done through a holistic approach beyond Prozac, traditional talk therapy or cognitive therapy.
My teacher Richard Freeman said, “Yoga is a one way ticket”. There is no going back once we open the door to uncover how our microcosm is intricately woven into our macrocosm. However, there is work to be done. As yoga teachers and therapists we are working with other human beings who are dealing with their own discomfort, pain and trauma, storylines… We need to learn the tools to that will bring about change. So many dis-eases are lifestyle and behavioural driven. Yoga professionals are in for the long haul when we possess an insatiable hunger not just for knowledge, but also in embodiment, so that we can walk our talk and bring to the table true healing and transformation.
Healing is not about erasing memory or desensitising, but really it's a transformative process. It is a portal to spiritual awakening and also to spiritual disciplines. People come to really learn to meet their shadow, to process it, to let go, and to move into a more empowered, more open life ~ Peter Levine
Yours, in wanderlust,
"Medicine is great at changing chemistry, but it is lousy at changing behavior...We have to get better at it. But this is basically our realm: How to change behavior or to change movement, which is behavior... If yoga teachers are only talking about energy and how everything is connected, then they won't really get a seat at the table..." ~ Tom Myers, author of Anatomy Trains.
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Registered Yoga Therapist, Somatic Movement Educator, Bodyworker, Yoga Teacher Trainer