I’ve always been a hyperactive individual. Those that know me well will be able to recall the story of the ‘blue smarties’ and how even a small glass of fizzy pop would send me off the rails! This is why the next journey that I connect with will be the next challenge in my life.
I only ever wanted to teach and practise Yoga from the physical aspect. Years of weight -lifting and gym work sent my body and mind into a state of stress and tightness. Stretching and alleviating the tension here was my main focus for partaking in Yoga. Holding poses for long periods of time, where my mind was given the option to bounce around, bored me and I held no attention span. Thinking about the spiritual and emotional aspect of Yoga made me feel like a hippy and that I had to be religious to even attempt to go to this level. No thanks!
So, what changed?
No longer the life and soul of the party
After being made redundant from a job that I loved and had been doing for over a decade, I had a massive shift in my perspective. Time to give myself some much needed self -love and do stuff for myself and no-one else. Not only in my Yoga practice but in my life also. I made a pact with myself to do something different every day that didn’t involve scrolling on my phone, wishing my life was different and/ or better after seeing others' social media posts. Reading books, growing vegetables, walking in the park all took my mind to a different place where it was less stimulating (now, I know that this is something that people do and have been doing for ages, but this was all new to me). This gave me time to reflect and enjoy what had always been around me but was never aware due to the technology taking over my life. Staying still for periods of time now and holding poses seemed to entice me more and what I felt myself gravitating towards. Having that stillness and quiet place is what I craved, and I found myself getting easily stressed and angry when greeted with too much stimulation.
Everyone knows the benefits of holding Yoga positions for a long time (2-20 minutes) allows the stretch to move deeper through the layers of the body, allowing for the connective tissue, fascia and other areas that aren’t muscle to release. However, Yin Yoga is so much more than this, a route to a deeper connection with your spiritual and emotional side. Letting go of your demons and aligning your energy with something that is much greater. This was always a reason why I shied away from this type of Yoga. This deeper learning now though has gripped me, and I want to take my practise further. To be more authentic in my teaching of Yoga.
“When you open your mind, you open new doors to new possibilities for yourself and new opportunities to help others”, Roy T. Bennett.
Time to connect more with my mind and open up to Yin Yoga, time to train….
My experience of the Yin Yoga course
I was very anxious and stressed for a week before attending the course; weird dreams occurring every night and lots of sleepless nights; 42 years of age and only been away abroad alone once before. I’m used to going away with people that organise everything for me (I know, I’m an organised and structured person and an adult but I choose to let others do all the work for me!) Feeling grown up and having to do stuff for myself is stressful! Worries about what to wear (I don’t own many clothes and usually just live in the same bikini all holiday when in hot, sunny places!) and wonders of ‘will I fit in with the group’ were swirling through my head; countered with thoughts of ‘just be yourself Jeni, you are a really likeable person and if people don’t like you, their loss’. Had to keep thinking that I’m there to do the course for my own journey, and getting people to like me was not my main objective.
After experiencing the week course in Corfu, how wrong could I have been about my expectations and worries. Not only have I come home with a qualification and another string to my Yoga bow but I have learnt so much about myself, it’s crazy and a little scary. In hindsight, all my worries before the course were absolute nonsense and the group couldn’t have been nicer or more supportive! To say that the trip was life changing for me would be an understatement. I’m already thinking about the next trip I can make alone and can’t wait to experience more!
What lessons have I learnt from my trip?
1. What you think of yourself and what others think of you is very different. We can be so judgemental of ourselves but wouldn’t dare to think or say to others what we say about ourselves, often on a daily basis.
2. Embrace YOU. We are all individuals and have the qualities that we have for a reason; sense of humour and high energy, perfectionism, zero filter when speaking to people, for example. Trying to hide or change these qualities because you think they make you a bad person will only end up making you seem insincere and eventually unhappy as you are not being true to yourself.
3. Never be afraid to step up and make the change to better your life. Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in the same routine as it’s easy for us and we feel safe. Remember, nothing ever grows in the comfort zone. Be brave and find the courage, you certainly won’t regret it!