Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life truly exists” – Unknown.
Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher once said that the only constant in life is change.
It’s true. The hands on the clock only ever move forward and Life has this habit of smacking you square in the face and dishing up a whole heap of change whether it was in the master plan or not. How many times have you felt this aching need deep in your soul to want to change your life? To show up for yourself and commit to living more mindfully?
As a yoga and meditation teacher, mindfulness is a natural by-product of all that I teach. A few years ago, I was living for others, the archetypal people pleaser. To all intents and purposes successful on the outside, but as we all know, when you give and give without replenishing, eventually you run out of giving. And down I crashed. In one great big heap of ugly messiness, angry with myself and the world around me.
And so you see, I am the poster girl for that Rumi quote: ‘ You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens’. I didn’t ask for change but I felt it in the depths of my soul for years and kept ignoring the voice. I didn’t trust myself. And the universe clearly had had enough of me messing about and gave me a helping hand. Well, more like a massive slap in the face. Overnight, I quit the career that was sucking the life out of my soul, put my needs first, and went on a journey inwards to rediscover who the true ‘Me’ was.
Therapy helped of course but after that, I wanted tools in my toolkit because I was never going back to my old life (besides I wouldn’t fit into my cage anymore lol!). So along came yoga. Yoga is the practice of getting to know yourself. It offers us the opportunity to be curious about who was are, in all our uniqueness. In gaining more flexibility in our bodies, we gain flexibility in our minds and our spirit grows strong. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. We take each moment and accept it for what it is. In the here and now. And in accepting who we are, in cultivating kindness and compassion for ourselves, we begin to recognise the suffering in others and can act with kindness and compassion to those who need it. This is the Art of Living. More than that, it is the Art of Living Joyously.
And for me, the journey is the discipline. The discipline of living in the moment, knowing the past is creating the future but accepting that real change happens in the present, and from this present moment, we take steady steps towards our future.