108 yoga at Paddock wood
108Yogablog, yogablog

Yoga as transformation

So it is out with the old (our fabulous private yoga studio : boohoo!) and in with the new (fantastic opportunities to work in different ways :  yay hey!)

One thing that yoga has taught me over the years is about transformation. This happens on different levels at different times and it is what I think people mean when they talk about the ‘yoga journey.’

Some days it just a case of throwing a few poses and feeling immediately better. Muscles stretched out and a sense that my body had been de crinkled! Then there are times when it goes a bit deeper than that, as the breath links in and I am left feeling mentally calm and relaxed. There are other experiences, which are less easy to articulate too, like the moments when the whole body, mind and spirit seem to sing together with a new note.

Then there is the broader, longer term transformation that yoga seems to bring to so many. Subtle changes in habits around what to eat and drink and a desire to quit the stuff that drains us of energy and make us feel bad. But this level is also about the transformation of priorities, such as making time for my yoga practice.

Finally, I have noticed the way yoga had changed not only my mood on any given day, or aspects of my lifestyle, but the bigger picture. What I want to do with my life, how I want to be. Maybe it is just a case of getting older, or at least more mature (I hope!) but there is no longer the desire to ‘go get’ to ‘make stuff happen’ or even ‘to make something of my life.’ It’s true I have my lovely home and garden, friends and family and I have seen much of the world, but even so I feel yoga has led me to a place of internal rather than external shift. Now yoga has bought me to a stage in life where I want to spend more time alone and where lots of stimulation feels disruptive rather than pleasurable.  Lockdown for a yogi is heaven sent!

But that said, all this transformation can be disorientating and scary. Some days feel lost and there is a sense of not knowing where things are going. The purpose we get from having a job, studying or aiming for something in life is not there. Each day becomes like each breath, new and transient. Also there is increased pain around the suffering and sorrow of others. As yoga has opened my heart to the good things in life, so too has the distress faced by so many become more vivid.

I am at a transformation point with 108yoga and how to proceed now that there are so many restrictions on how and where to teach. Not so easy to pitch up at the village hall and run a class. But not all changes need to be made alone  and one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is to ask for help. In this instance it has been a yoga teacher and life coach who I met on my teacher training that has come to my aid. A couple of skype sessions have proved instrumental in helping me to focus and stay true to myself in a time when it would be all too easy to panic.  It was she who suggested the blogging! Thanks Jo! (find her on Instagram @jobriodycoaching)

One thing about all this change however feels certain: it will happen! Each moment, with each in breath and each out breath, ideas are forming, reforming, being abandoned or taken forward to the next stage. Practical steps start to populate lists of things to do. Hopes and fears dictate helpful or nagging thoughts, some make me feel like I am walking on air, some like I should just hide under the duvet!

Whatever transformation happens to me or the yoga business the only thing I can really do is trust. Trust that the right things will happen at the right time and my job is to remain authentic to who I am and what I love: the transformative power of yoga!