I decided I was going to write a blog about yoga and I was looking for an image to inspire me and fit with what I was going to say. I almost scrolled over this one as it wasn't quite making sense for me until I suddenly thought, "Your balance is within your reach".
My yoga journey started about 11 years a go where I was lucky enough to start my practice in an amazing studio in Ballarat (Absolute Yoga) and to this day I still enjoy following the happenings of the studio. Since then I've been blessed to practice with some other amazing teachers and over the journey have explored Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Restorative Yoga, Slow Flow & one class each of Ashtanga & Hot Yoga! By the time I became a yoga teacher myself I had been influenced by a number of amazing teachers who had provided me with a deep & inspiring practice.
I was lucky enough to be shown and to experience the way yoga naturally brings you back into balance. It helps you align with your true nature and reconnect to your own innate strengths & wisdom. Yet it also creates a safe space for you to be vulnerable, to meet each pose where you are in any moment and to learn when to go a little deeper & when to take a step back. It invites you to listen to your body & offers you an opportunity to accept your body just as it is in that moment.
Too often we hear (and I just heard it today!), "Oh I'm not flexible enough for yoga!", which is missing the point of what yoga is all about. I have to admit I've seen some amazing videos of some super strong & flexible Yogis but most of us aren't like that! Of course it works for some people but most of us have to meet our yoga poses with our tight hips or shaky legs, fatigued bodies or busy minds (insert whatever is going on for you).
Yet all yoga really asks of us is that we show up! Simply turn up on the mat and be present or if you can't be present right now then simply accept that and through that simple process of accepting our 'limitations' we create space for the magic to flow. One day you'll be practicing your yoga and all of a sudden you'll suddenly find your pose changes, something you never thought you could do is suddenly being done and you will also come to realise that even if nothing changes, that is ok.
Yoga is your practice and as a teacher it is a wonderful thing to witness people honouring their body's and making their practice their own. There is no 'right' way to do yoga, although showing up with an open mind and an open heart definitely helps. Yoga as the power to transform you on many levels, well that's what it can seem like! In reality it is just bringing you back to yourself, as you reach up in your poses you say to the universe, "I'm ready to expand' and as you move through the Warrior poses you say, "I am strong" and as you rest in Child's pose you say "I surrender" knowing it is safe for you to be vulnerable.
Yoga can be for every body & there is so much to be gained from this beautiful practice. I feel blessed to be able to hold this space for people and look forward to continuing to learn, share, grow and let go on my yoga journey.
It's an old story and one I've probably told before but it was one of those treasured moments that changed the way I thought and taught me something super important. Every now and then when I move out of alignment (as we all do) the memory surfaces to remind me. Many years a go now I was meeting a friend at the Victorian Night Markets and it was super, super crowded! We made our way through the dense crowds, grabbed some food and found somewhere to eat. To be honest with you I was finding the crowd annoying or should I say, I was letting myself be annoyed by the crowd! Anyway we sit down on the ground in a place that was not too crowded and without knowing why, something in me just shifted and I simply enjoyed being with and talking to my friend. As I did this it was like the world disappeared and it was only us in that moment, so much so that by the time we went to get up I was surprised to see we were actually in the middle of a mass crowd, our relatively empty spot had filled up without me even realising it. Since then I use this story as a teacher, to remind myself that how I respond inside helps shape my experience on the outside. Inner peace is not only found in a deep meditation on a mountain top, it can be experienced in all conditions and in any moment. Creating a beautiful & peaceful environment can help but bringing that inner peace into challenging situations and noisy environments can help. Practice meditating or taking deep breaths in busy & noisy moments & next time you feel yourself getting stressed out or agitated, ask yourself, "How could I respond to this situation/challenge better" or "This is interesting, I wonder what that's all about". Talk well to yourself and trust that inner calm that lies within.
Nicole is a Reiki Master, Body Worker and Meditation & Yoga Teacher. She loves walking in nature, spending time with animals. practicing yoga and meditation, singing and listening to music. She is also an avid reader ♥