What 30 days of yoga taught me
I’ve been going to Divine Flow in the Northern Beaches for almost a year. A regular in the fact that I can’t go a week without visiting DF. I’ve shed a lot of layers in that studio and it has always supported me no matter where my head has been at or what may be happening in my external world. Safe to say DF is one of my happy places, my place to let go, my security blanket, my place of deep release and surrender.
When the 30 day challenge came about it was a no brainer that I should sign up! However, I quickly noticed some negative thoughts rise up – ‘you don’t have the time’, ‘you won’t be able to do 30 days straight’, ‘you’ve got other things to focus on’, ‘ooh look, beer’.
In the midst of our first Savasana, my mind quietened enough for me to hear a deeply penetrating thought that I needed this 30 day challenge more than anything. My excuses and blame were holding hands; skipping down the street, distracting me from doing something nourishing and loving for my entire being. That day I committed to embracing movement and yoga for next 30 days and never looked back.
The first week was surprisingly a breeze. “I’ve got this in the bag” I thought. I signed up for a lot more yin classes which had my hips opening like a can of baked beans. Through these daily hip openers, I felt mixed emotion of elation and anger. I believe we store suppressed emotions deep in the subcutaneous layers of our flesh. When we begin to shift this ‘energy’ throughout our system, it will bring up the emotions we conveniently squashed down in the pitt of our body. This is what I believe is the most confronting thing about Yoga. Sure there is the tightness, the slight discomfort of some positions, but the emotions that bubble up to the surface can be an uncomfortable challenge to greet. The battle of the mind on and off the mat is what makes Yoga a unique practice of dedication and compassion that can transcend the negative noise you may encounter and replace with thoughts of inspiration, love and joy.
Throughout the second and third week, I experienced moments of flow and moments of sticky resistance. I noticed an increase in strength, stability and my own sense of security. Blockages felt as if they were melting away. I had moments of pure motivation, clarity and inspired thinking. I also experienced episodes of frustration, tiredness and rebellion. I witnessed Yoga as a true duality, both the yin and the yang.
It wasn’t until the fourth week that some heavy shifting was going on. My emotions were erratic, I felt unbalanced, off centre, very un ‘me’. I felt anger, lots of anger – an emotion I rarely feel. My breath was shallow, my mind was wild and my thoughts were scattered. I was an energetic mess that couldn’t be contained. With a heavy work load and sporting a knee injury from running, my yoga practice dwindled. It wasn’t until the very last day of the challenge that I was able to shift a lot of this dense and heavy energy I had been carting around with me all week. I booked myself in for a double class, power flow and yin! It was my time to surrender and meet myself again with where I was at. Adversities and all. Waking up on day 31 I felt my peace I had been looking for, the love I was seeking and the lightness I had been desperately wanting to feel. You see, it was already there – unfortunately I had too many physical and energetic blockages in my way. A removal process that only I could undertake and Yoga was an instrumental tool in being able to do this.
For me, Yoga is more than the active wear you have, the mat you use, the milk you drink with your coffee. For me, Yoga is meeting with yourself every time your feet hit the mat. It is witnessing the mind chatter that rises, the judgement of yourself and others that may surface. Yoga is taming your anxiety and connecting with your heart space. Yoga is showing up everyday whether you are happy, sad, angry or energetic. Yoga is facing your own resistance and falling in love with your body as it bends into peculiar positions. It is feeling your body flow effortlessly through asanas like a cosmic orgasm one day, and falling out of nearly every posture the next.
So what did 30 days of yoga actually teach me?
Yoga has taught me to bend, bend into the spaces of resistance. To move slow and with grace. To stay humble and deliberate. To flow through all of life’s adversities. To centre myself back in to my heart. To trust the process of life, the unfolding and the unravelling. To breathe; to really breathe into the pain and the pleasure. To feel every moment that brings me joy and every moment that brings me sadness. To heal the cracks and the kinks. To soften; to always stay soft, especially through the hardening of the world. But above all, Yoga has taught me to love. To love myself on and off the mat. To love others and to always remember the truth of who we all are.
I am by no means a ‘yogi’, I am simply a women who fell in love with Yoga because Yoga has helped me fall in love with myself and lessen the peaks of anxiety I was experiencing before I met myself in my Yoga practice. Yoga is my gracious love affair which has taught me how to connect and truly feel into my body, my heart and spirit.
It is a true joy to share my experience and thoughts around Yoga and in doing so I hope to encourage everyone to embrace this profound practice at some point in their lifetime. Divine Flow has allowed me to really dive into this ancient art of movement and for that I will be forever grateful. A unique and beautiful space that will transform your being ever so subtly every time you walk through those studio doors.
Thank you Eliza and the team for this 30 day offering. A game changer for me both on and off the mat.
Follow my journey at myunspokentruth.com.au.