Updated: Jul 5
"how does stretching and moving your body into shapes, enlighten the spirit?"
January 2014 I attended my first yoga class. Not having any knowledge of what yoga was besides slow stretching. I was aware that many spiritual people around the world spoke of their enlightened spiritual growth through this practice. At that time I thought to myself, “how does stretching and moving your body into shapes, enlighten the spirit?" This concept seemed so silly to me.
The teacher sold me on the intro package which was an amazing deal for 30 days of unlimited class'. I challenged myself to try at least three classes a week; creating an informative environment for me to decide whether this was for me or not. Within three weeks I was in love with the changes a yoga practice brought within my life. I had very little flexibility my entire life; playing sports involving a lot of running. I knew it was time to give up the running saving my joints and back, creating a lifestyle that supported the health of my body.
Three to six months into my practice of yoga I noticed many more changes within my body as well as my mental health. I became more patient, peaceful, calm, and generally happier. My eating habits shifted as I wanted to support my body with more nutrition, and naturally started drinking a lot of water due to the amount of sweating in the hot room. My body felt stronger than ever, which I never expected to feel within my 30's.
I then realized that I can continue and have the ability to feel more strength and balance as I age!
I have quite the competitive side and had no idea that I would love yoga so much, as it is the opposite of competition. I can challenge myself with goals; keeping in mind that every day your body's needs are very different. My relationship with competition and goals shifted entirely. Letting go of the judgement of good or bad, and inviting the moment to offer what is. Some days I take it easy and some days I have fun with pushing a little further, resulting in falling out or down. That is all part of the process, the curiosity of going further can sometimes result in ungracefully landing on your matt. It’s hard not to laugh at yourself after falling, how silly it must look within the stillness of the room. And that’s a big part of the yoga is not to take yourself so seriously.
If I were to read about someone’s experience within a yoga practice without ever having tried myself; I would not believe all of the possible benefits/experiences. The discovery of body awareness is so fascinating! The awareness I’m talking about is the ability to tune into the ecosystem that is the human body; listening and responding accordingly. Meeting the needs of rest, nutrition and play..........and to simply acknowledge that there is a communication between you and the body.
How are your conversations with the body?
Are you tuning in? Are you listening?
What do you hear?
The connection between the postures and emotions where a huge surprise to me. For the first year a 'standing back bend' brought tears to my body along with a very high dose of anxiety. When I reached out to my teacher and shared my experience with her, something interesting happened. She started to stand two feet behind me during the 'standing back bend.' Within a month, the physical and mental feeling of discomfort transformed into curiosity, peace and excitement. That’s it! I needed to feel supported!!!
The one phrase repeated by many yoga teachers during class is 'letting go'. I realized during that experience of transcendence within my 'BACK BEND'; BREATH and TRUST within yourself will carry you on and off the mat. What I did not realize at the time was that my body was carrying years of anxious emotions just waiting to be released. I can’t help but giggle with amazement that moving slowly into various shapes with breath awareness invited me to let go of years of emotional baggage.
I would like to give a huge thank you to all of the Yoga teacher who helped me along the way, my YTT Teacher, and all of you who support my work. It is truly an honour to be in this journey with you.
Thank you so much for sharing a conversation on topics that inspire and illuminate the path of embodiment.
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Hello. I'm Natalie, Transforming the way we show up, hold space and lead, within the world. Committed to supporting Embodied Leaders, Changemakers, Healers, Practitioners, and Visionaries in embodiment, integration, ethical practices, and illuminating your medicine into your soul lead work, healing, and offerings.
The world needs you and your gifts, we need healers, leaders, holistic practitioners, intuitives and awakened souls who are serving from a space of embodiment, alignment and ethical leadership from the heart. This is how we cultivate and sustain the change we want to see in the world.
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