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Yoga Virtues

First Step : Acceptance

When we come to yoga, after a while we begin to realise that the first step is not about what we do or how it looks, it is more about how it makes us feel. It can take a while sometimes to realise that yoga is more about touching your heart than touching your toes. And then, we may begin to notice that yoga is actually about our Inner World, not about how it looks on the outside, and it's about how we feel, today in this moment, rather than how others feel about what we are practising. Yoga is an intimate personal practice, showing us how we may connect more directly to our Five Senses and to Nature with a foundation of Mindfulness.

And, each day, Yoga shows us a reflection of how we show up in our life with our thoughts, our feelings, our behaviours, our aches and pains, our grief, sadness, losses our laughter, sense of humour and our connections to those we love. And most of all to our Joy in Being here right now. This is Acceptance.

Second Step : Gratitude

Over time, during our yoga practice our feelings and our senses start to integrate into our yoga practice. This comes as a felt sense in mind and body and it is the arising of Gratitude for what we have in our life and in our body right now to support our every day needs. And we realise how Yoga shows us the way. What may arise is Gratitude for the body we have been gifted for the duration of our time and the miraculous way it teaches us how to go forwards, when to be still and how to be reflective or how to be mobile and alert. And most of all, the gift of Patience, how to listen. And also perhaps something very rare, how to be grateful for our Self, our higher sense, the one that knows best, even better than the mind! Welcoming our deepest sense of knowing, our intuitive self that throughout all odds, with a little help from our yoga practice, may remain curious enough to support our willingness to keep on showing up during and through the chaos of life. This is Gratitude.

Third Step : Love

When we find our self in a place of Acceptance it naturally prompts us to share our feelings of Gratitude towards others. To share an experience of gratitude for the presence of others in our life, to feel our gratitude for the simple things in life. And to notice when others reflect their Gratitude to us, how it makes us feel. By noticing how we feel when we are on the receiving end of kind words from those we respect comes a sense of warmth, wellbeing and Love.

So practising awareness of Acceptance and Gratitude lead to a deeper sense of connection to loving our Self and to sharing with others. The Gift of Love.

Step Four: Compassion

Compassion arises when we are aware of Acceptance, Gratitude and Love, We recognise Compassion in the form of Loving Kindness. We may witness ourself naturally engaging in simple every day acts of kindness, like talking to a stranger, acknowledging someone by looking into their eyes and smiling or helping someone pick up something they have dropped or lend an arm to help someone to cross the road. And during our interaction we may become more aware of our choice and tone of Words when communicating. And the Joy of of saying Thank You, and meaning it. These are every day acts of Loving Kindness.

We may also notice some of the harder edges of our Thoughts softening and that we are able to remember more of the good things we have experienced, amidst the ones often playing the loudest on 'repeat. ' They are the ones that take us to dark places. The force of opposites, good/bad, kind/evil, happy/sad, sick/healthy etc and how they affect not just how we feel but how we think, speak and act an eventually with practice, may lead us to deeper Awareness.

And finally our Words, the tone of our voice and the nuance of our physical posture, how it is a reflection of how we are feeling in any particular moment. Posturing is an interesting word especially from the perspective of posturing our feelings. Have you ever seen someone you know walking along in the street, looking down at the pavement, unaware of their surroundings, what we often call 'deep in thought'? We may also notice they look sad, distracted, worried, anxious. And at the same time we also notice how our own organism, through the nervous system, responds to this person's posture with a variety of our own thoughts, feelings and actions. Do we engage, do we ignore and walk away? Knowing whatever choice we make will affect us in wide variety and sometimes conflicting way.

Words may also be sent in private, personal, Prayers of Loving Kindness, like the Metta Prayer of Loving Kindness we share at the end of each class:

May all Beings everywhere be Healthy, Happy and at Peace.

And may I in some way, contribute to this with my Thoughts, Words and Actions

May there be Peace for the Planet, Peace for the World, Peace between Nations

And may there always be Peace in your Heart.

The Yoga of Compassion

Here we are experiencing the duality of life with all it's opposites. In Yoga this is represented by the the right and left hemispheres of the Brain. As in Hatha Yoga. A traditional overall term used to define any form of yoga that involves both the body and the mind. Ha means Sun and tha means moon often referred to as the masculine and feminine. To balance with Nature and the integrity of our own true Inner Nature, both are needed. We learn about opposites all the time in yoga practice, we know how they can trip us up but it doesn't make it any easier to feel at ease.

For many people, Yoga Nidra is the most direct way of experiencing the opposites as they manifest in our body and in our mind. This practice is the most direct way of working with opposites towards integration, either by a One to One in a Workshop. or an Immersive You can read more about Yoga Nidra by clicking iRest Yoga Nidra or by attending a Workshop.


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