This Sunday I'm turning 40 years old. As much as I don't see it as a turning point, I very much perceive it as a distinct marker. I've been contemplating a lot about the number 4 and what it means to me at this stage in my life. Coincidentally, my husband and I also had our 4th wedding anniversary on the 1st of May of this year. The number 4 is the number of completion - of full circle. There are four directions, four seasons, four phases in the moon. It symbolises arriving and a strong foundation.
After the teacher training in Peterborough, I taught workshops and then went on holidays in South Africa. It always takes me a while to step out of work mode and to arrive at a quieter space in myself where I'm more connected to nature and myself. Initially, the space caused me anxiety, before a deep sense of peace opened up for me. In that moment, I realised that at times in very subtle ways I'm feeling like a victim; I feel that something is imposed on me and I have to react to it without having a real choice.
On a very mundane level, this is how I handle emails. I feel that they are just coming in without me having any control over it; becoming a victim to technology. When my therapist suggested that I don't check my emails for several days and just let the out of office message do its work, I nearly had a heart attack, but I gave it a go. It was the most liberating experience and it deeply shifted something in me. I did not feel that there was this invasion of my space, but when I sat down to reply to emails and work my way through my inbox, I actually felt ready to do that - with a sense of inner authority and agency. Not surprisingly I was also more efficient at it. It had a profound experience on me moving me out of the victim to a place where I could stay connected to myself, have a sense of authority and stay in a calm place even when outer things were chaotic.
I have now decided to give myself a gift for my 40th birthday: no emails on two days of the week and additionally be more mindful not to check my emails twenty or thirty times a day, but to decide when I'm in a good enough space and have the time to actually answer them. I feel that this a very important, even though seemingly small, step to arriving more fully in myself.
Walk in beauty!
I have written about the experience of overwhelm in the last blog, but I've been very compelled to write some more about it, because it is something that is so prevalent in myself and also in the people I work with.
Last week the first half of the Forrest Yoga Teacher Training finished and one of the things I always tell trainees at the end is to leave enough space to digest the content and the experiences of the programme. Often, the tendency is to get back home and into a routine as quickly as possible. There is no downtime or in body psychotherapy terms there is no "downswing". The nervous is continually fired up without chance for the body to actually absorb what has been learned and experienced. There is not enough space to absorb fully and get nourished. Creating space and keeping that space is something I continually have to pay attention to. It is not something that comes natural to me.
As one of the people I work with very aptly said:
"My heart's desire is for lightness, simply "being" and joy."
It's about leaning back more into oneself and resting in order to live life to its full.
Rest in beauty!
The teacher training has been a very transformative and intense experience and I would like to say thank you to everyone who contributed to making this a big success. Thank you also for sharing the space with the teacher trainees who are now fully fledged Forrest Yoga teachers and who came from all over the world to take part in the training.
For me personally, the training was an opportunity to explore a different side of myself that is not so serious and has a lighter and more playful quality to it. I feel that as human beings we have a choice of what facets of ourselves we nurture and foster and which ones we decide not to invest energy in.
Being German, the older sister and generally from a family that promotes ethics of working hard and being busy all the time, I have neglected the aspects inside of me that are more creative, care-free and playful. The training has given me the opportunity to explore the side of myself that actively takes part in life and enjoys it rather than just endures it. Even though the hours were grueling, I managed to find lightness, delight and joy!
August is a very big month for us at the Peterborough centre! We're very excited that Ana Forrest is here to teach her incredible month-long teacher training. We'll have 60 yogis and yoginis from all over the world who will be participating in this amazing event.
It also means that you will be sharing the space with many more practitioners than normal. We've made every attempt to keep things running as usual and to keep changes to a minimum. We had to cancel our Monday to Friday day time classes, but we still offer our Saturday and Sunday sessions.
Our evening timetable is unchanged - with some teacher substitutions. If you are craving some day time sessions during week, why not try our studio in Huntingdon? Classes there run as normal - again with teacher substitutions and passes and memberships are valid across both centres.
We hope you will support us in August by coming to class! We also offer free community classes in August. Please have a look at our timetable.
Yoga, well-being and mindfulness... always walk in beauty.