Through observation and awareness, yoga has the ability to start us on a journey of self discovery on the mat that is transferable to life off the mat.
By connecting to our bodies through mindful movement, we channel our energy and our minds into an elevated state that allows for deep self reflection and knowing.
As we begin to delve deeper into our inner and truest self, we open ourselves to learn and connect with the world around us in new ways.
This practice of self study is called Svadhyaya in Sanskrit, and is the fourth of Sage Patanjali's Niyamas. It is a life long exploration for those who are willing to slow down and simply notice.
During the past year, while many faced struggles, there was not a single person I spoke to who didn't have some gratitude for the extra time we were gifted to slow down. Whether folks wanted it or not, 2020 presented the opportunity to pause and re-evaluate. We spent time with ourselves and loved ones, we stepped off the hamster wheel and onto the yoga mat, we spent time in nature, we did not rush, we prioritised self-care, we connected with our communities in new ways, and we were forced to stop ignoring the things that were not working. This is self study.
Through the benefits of slowing down, practising yoga and meditation, the power of mindfulness, and deep connection to self we are able to recognise the shared spirit in ourselves that resides in all things living.
There is a greater sense of peace and interconnectedness to the world around us. There is a calming feeling of being a part of something greater than the self.
Many people are eager to put 2020 behind them and move on - quickly. However, I would like to urge anyone feeling like this to reflect on the growth they experienced throughout this struggle. How desperately do we really want to jump back into full calendars and long commutes to work?
We will move forward, but with more self awareness and knowing than before. With this new knowledge we can make decisions about how our lives look as if we are the drivers, not the passengers. When we understand more about ourselves, we are able to design a life that truely aligns with our values.
Let us take the lessons of the year gone by into our stride and move into 2021 with sincerity and commitment to our truest self. While we might all be beginning this year feeling a bit shakey and unsure, remember those things that made you feel good when times were tough and hold them dear. Whatever that was for you; long walks, a yoga or meditation practice, reading a good book, or slow cooking. These rituals and practices are our greatest tool for lasting wellness. Remembering that the journey to our highest self is never complete, it is made up of all the little efforts, wins and set backs along the way.
This year I will be continuing to offer free recorded yoga classes, as well as paid online work shops and classes to help support your lasting wellbeing. I am available for 1:1 sessions and always here for a chat. Let's look after one another.
Happy New Year. May you manifest your joy in 2021.