IN HER OWN WORDS.
My mind rarely stopped and ran in several different directions at once; the kids, my husband, my latest arts project, my to do list, issues, and whether there was milk in the fridge and I don’t even drink milk!
I THINK THIS IS A COMMON MODERN DILEMMA AND I IMAGINE THERE IS PROBABLY SOME AREA OF YOUR LIFE WHERE YOU CAN RELATE TO THIS?
My mind had a tendency to loop through conversations and events that had already happened or race through all the possibilities of future events. Rarely did I just experience what was happening in the present moment. I also had that nagging sense of uneasiness that so many of us are taunted by, so to give myself a break I would go on exotic holidays and take on exciting projects after which the feelings would return and no amount of talking with friends or counsellors, could tame that internal storm. I was just mentally noisy.
I AM GUESSING THAT I AM NOT ALONE. THINK OF THE LAST TIME WHEN YOU STRUGGLED WITH THESE SORTS OF THOUGHT PATTERNS AND FEELINGS?
HOW NICE WOULD IT BE, TO JUST BE THINKING ABOUT WHAT IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU? AND I DID WONDER IF THAT WAS EVEN POSSIBLE.
In hindsight, I can also tell you this was having an impact physically. My nerves were reactive. Conflict of any sort would give me an Adrenalin jolt and that along with maintaining an outward appearance of composure was exhausting. For years I caught every bug, got infections and there was always an ache or a pain somewhere in my body that ailed me, often without explanation.
And then, as life has a habit of doing, something happened. A family crises occurred that shattered my understanding of my role as a mother. At the time this really felt devastating, but it did lead me to ask a really important question:
DID I REALLY WANT TO CONTINUE THINKING AND FEELING MY WAY THROUGH LIFE IN THIS WAY? WAS THIS ACTUALLY SERVING ME? WAS THERE REALLY NO OTHER CHOICE? OR WAS THERE SOMETHING THAT I COULD DO?
So I turned to yoga. I had been a student of yoga for nearly two decades by this time, but its role in my life was primarily as a regular physical exercise that I found relaxing. However, now that my inner world and outer world were locking horns I decided the only way I was likely to navigate this difficult time was to hit the mat daily. During that time I learned many different aspects of yoga that previously I had never even heard of even in classes. In addition to learning these new techniques I learned how our minds and behaviours become conditioned over a lifetime and how trauma lodges itself in our bodies and how this can be unwound through certain yoga techniques and I practised these.
After a time, I noticed something quite profound. As I went through my practice, my mind had slowed down significantly. There was no longer noise. On my mat I could exist in a space of stillness and ease, basking in the joy of my own being and I really liked it there.
IMAGINE HOW AMAZING THAT FELT. IT MADE ME THINK; HOW DIFFERENT MIGHT ALL OF OUR LIVES BE IF WE COULD FEEL LIKE THIS ALL OF THE TIME?
Well, needless to say, I wanted more of this. And the more I practised, the longer I was able to sustain this state and carry it off the mat, into my daily life. Now my approach to everything and everyone was altered, all because of my yoga practise. I had decluttered my mind, virtually rewiring my internal framework. Along with this new mental clarity, I slept better and woke refreshed. My health improved and my energy became abundant. My lived experience and relationships were now radically different and brought into harmony with what I valued.
IT REALLY WAS QUITE EXTRAORDINARY, I MEAN ON A DAILY BASIS, HOW OFTEN DO YOU FEEL THAT AT EASE WITH YOURSELF? HOW OFTEN DO MOST PEOPLE?
And after a time, I realised that there was an entirely different role for me in the world. I could guide others through this process, so I became a yoga teacher. It is a privilege and a joy to facilitate others to learn yoga techniques to still their mind and revitalise their bodies, so that they may bring genuine ease, health and well being into all aspects of their lives.