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The Only Way Out is In



Overwhelm plays a great part in our mental health, and in time, this has an impact on the physical mobility, agility, balance and dexterity of the body.


Yoga gives us exactly what is needed, when the mind just simply hasn't a clue. In fact it probably continues to repeat the same old habits, always reacting to things and situations with the same old numbingly repetitive compulsive actions. But the body, because it has it's own intelligence, knows exactly what is going on. The body is the referee, it keeps the score, it has to, because it wants us to survive, to be creative, to grow and to thrive.


In fact Einstein said something along the lines:

"the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome."


Change comes when presented with a different approach, a different view, a different angle and yoga shows a way of accessibility, being adaptable no matter what's going on in either the body or the mind. Yoga is an invitation to slow everything down to the time of the body. This is vital because the body cannot be in the past or the future, it has to be in the present moment in order to take care of its own needs to remain well and healthy.


The constant fluctuations of the mind from past to future and its inability to rest in the present cause mental disturbance and emotional distress.


By introducing different shapes and movements to the body, we are able to rest in the spaces between movement and the breath. This gives time to welcome the safety and sensation of the pull of the earth's gravitational force and we begin to notice changes in the subtle ways of our breathing. This heightens our awareness of the many sensations that arise in the body that offer an opportunity to begin to listen to and to learn how our body communicates through our five senses. Learning this language, we become more connected to 'energy in motion', our emotions, and eventually to a deep sense of belonging to this earth to our ancestors, our family and to what it is really like to live in a human body and live life. to the full


We may refine this practice by introducing Mindfulness. Mindfulness brings us back moment by moment to what is arising in both body and mind in each moment and to how it changes, dissolves and disappears, to what comes on repeat and to what lights us up or brings many challenges. We may also refine practices and improve our presence by taking longer classes or intensives


So in this practice, instead of following the stories that are merely distractions from the present moment, we have a choice to note them all as simply that, distraction, and watch how they come and go. We find support by choosing a posture that is comfortable and a focus for the mind to act as an anchor, for instance like the weight of our hands in our lap, so when the mind wanders we are immediately aware and able to either let it continue to wander or to bring our focus back to the anchor, into the present moment.


For this to happen we need to feel safe. And for that reason, it is advisable to seek guidance from an experienced practitioner or professional yoga therapist.


Workshop: Tuesday March 5 Friends Meeting House 1100-1230 Silence at the Centre


Resources: Michael Lee, Phoenix Rising, A Bridge between Body and Soul





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