There is so much speak revolving around alignment in the modern yoga world... so many jargon on where to place our hands and feet and rotate shoulders and turn pelvis and engage our core... to somehow conform to a set of universal rules to make our yoga body instagram worthy, and / or to fulfil some teacher's or lineage's perception of what is "correct".
As I delve deeper into understanding my own body, trying to make sense of the decades of habits and patterns intrinsic to my genetic make-up, lifestyle and conditioning, I've discovered a whole new terrain in uncovering movement patterns that are simply unique blueprints of our essential being, honouring who we are individuals, and melding into the universal sentience that is already within our innate consciousness.
As a movement teacher and therapist, this also means facilitating, encouraging, allowing, welcoming, and most importantly, not obstructing the flow of deep, self-manifested movement patterns to rise up from within, creating the space for inquiry, for practitioners to re-discover their own strength, balance and healing... Our moment-to-moment perfect existence, aka alignment.
"To unleash our life force, maybe even change our course, we can choose to consciously turn towards the brilliance of intelligent life. Unguided, self-movement (which is not directed by anyone) bubbling up from deep within is elemental for becoming integral. Valuing how intrinsic this self-movement is for supporting our quality of life, we can look no further than the river. Like the river, we too are part of a larger earth and cosmic life force. We are not inanimate (body objects) lacking perception and volition. We cannot achieve good posture by simply correcting, stabilizing, or objectifying. Rather being human, we must become flowing expressions, animated by the movement of the inner sea, the underground springs, and the outer planets…fluid, dynamic, ever changing, a life force… if you will"
~ Liz Koch on Core Awareness
It's been almost a year since I officially launched Yoga with Daphne as a RYS for teacher trainings & continuing education in the ever blossoming community of like-minded yogis and practitioners. I hold within my heart an immense amount of gratitude to everyone who has offered me immeasurable support in the evolution of my practice and teaching, especially in light of the big move from Chiang Mai to Australia.
As my teaching schedule now revolves around periods of my own retreat into studying and preparation in our little quiet cottage in the Blue Mountains, and then hopping on planes to facilitate intensive workshops and trainings in various places, there are days and nights of quiet solitude when I'm just sitting in a room poring over books and research papers, writing manuals, and being on my mat, waiting for the next breath to happen...
I have been seeking deeper answers into what I'm actually bringing to the table to offer practitioners, students, and the community as a whole. What do I want to embody that is also in line with my own evolution as a yogini, a teacher, a human being trying to be the best I could be, in every moment, one breath at a time...
Movement. Inquiry. Embodiment.
Cultivating the inquiry into how we inhabit within our body.
How do we truly listen - deeply, without judgement?
How do we relate / react / respond to the people, elements, environment?Facilitating the art of movement, through our embodied soul, through ceaseless inquiries into who we are, why we are, what we are, how we are, when we are...A deep dive into the essence of our being which is beyond just our doings. A quest into seeing how we are simply and deeply connected in this intricate flow of life, where reality begins and ends.
How then, can we live, love, cry, laugh, dance, sing, embody, die...
Our body is a treasure chest of information that we can tap into to move with more ease, less injuries. With a mind-body holistic approach, this work promotes wellness and self-care through inquiry and deep listening, and not a one-size-fits-all go-to quick fix. It is work for the curious, the inquisitive and the courageous. What is it like to let go of old beliefs that do not serve, to completely embody our true essence as a living spirit, to be a human-BEING instead of a human-DOING?
"Between stimulus and response there is a SPACE.
In that SPACE is our POWER to CHOOSE our response.
In our response lies our growth and our FREEDOM"
~ V Frankl
Logo "embodiment" designed by Jesi Kah
I've shared this poem by Thich Nhat Hanh in a couple of my classes... and just a few days ago at a yoga therapy training in which I had the good fortune to be a student, someone in class asked how do we bear the incredulous suffering of people afflicted by war, poverty, diseases and unimaginable circumstances which are just too overwhelming for our heart to bear and mind to comprehend... how do not turn away from the pain...
How do we keep coming back to seeing all beings as the same - the same divine energy in a million trillion zillion forms. How do we keep our hearts from closing, our minds from contracting? How do we keep coming back to recognise that beneath the shattered dreams, the broken hearts, the the seething angst, the steel cold fear, ... is our capacity to keep coming back home - to empathy, to compassion, to deep listening, to unconditional love - hidden in the most unspeakable, horrid shells, waiting to be cracked open?
Don't say that I will depart tomorrow--
even today I am still arriving.
Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.
I am a mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.
I am a frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin a bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.
I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.
I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his "debt of blood" to, my people,
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.
My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up
and the door of my heart
could be left open,
the door of compassion.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Registered Yoga Therapist, Somatic Movement Educator, Bodyworker, Yoga Teacher Trainer