I had to write this while I was fresh with the inspiration and excitement from attending the OM Yoga show this weekend at Alexandra Palace! It was an amazing experience for me and I loved every second of it. I wanted to share a little of what I discovered while at the show and my huge gratitude to all of the wonderful people I met there, learned from and practiced alongside. Especial thanks to the lovely ladies I trained with, always lovely to catch up <3
- You Are Full of Loving Energy
I’m quite a scientific person. Before becoming a Yoga Teacher I was a researcher, so when someone makes a statement to me my natural response is ‘what are your three peer-reviewed sources to back that up?’ So when I accidentally wandered into a 1-1 meditation class from Sahaja Yoga Meditation and was told by a blissful, smiling man that I was just made of ‘loving energy’, I was sceptical. Then he asked me to sit down and he slowly guided me through a meditation for self-love, followed by love for everyone. Afterwards he told me to love myself and to let go of any angry thoughts about others. It was a very simple message and it was beautiful in its sincerity. I thought he would then try to sell me something, but instead he gave me a leaflet with information about free meditation classes all around the UK. He was right, inside all of us is the capacity for huge love, great kindness and to let go of anger, I think we all know this, but I suppose for me anyway it didn’t hurt to be reminded of it.
2. You Don’t Have to Be Comfortable All the Time
I had an amazing Yoga Teacher in Dublin, Chris, who sometimes told us ‘you don’t have to be comfortable all the time’ and this message came back to me at the OM show this year. Yoga is so often discussed in relation to healing – relieving back pain, strengthening arthritic joints etc. And yes, Yoga can do wonders for the physical body! But it can also change the way your mind responds to things. In your Yoga pose you never want to feel pain, but learning to accept moderate discomfort is such a valuable life skill which in modern life we seem to have lost. At the show I put my heart and soul into everything, from a workshop on the splits (which I can’t do and may never be able to do… but now I know that’s not the point, the point as Sabi Kerr so wonderfully named the workshop ‘is the journey’) to attempting aerial Yoga poses. I have done so many vinyasas this weekend, but what’s a little discomfort for three of the best days of your life?
- Even When You’re in the Wrong Place You Can Still Work on Being Your Best Self
On Sunday I did a workshop with Sarah Ramsden on common Yoga injuries and how to teach to avoid them. I was so interested to learn from Sarah and was looking to then implement practical strategies in my teaching to further support and care for my participants. So you can imagine my surprise when a rather flamboyant man burst onto the stage, told us to all close our eyes and walk around the room. When we’d bumped into three people we then had to dance with the third person. Then we group hugged for an unsociably long time with our eyes closed. The session proceeded with thumping pop/rock playlist, wiggling in Downward Dog and giving a total stranger a massage. It was only when I got home that I realised I had done a workshop by David Sye on ‘The Infamous Yogabeats Revolution’ because I was in the wrong room! As someone who twelve months ago was so anxious I couldn’t make it around Tesco without crying I honestly can’t believe I spent an hour and a half hugging and touching perfect strangers and dancing with my eyes closed. I would argue that David Sye was teaching Yoga for injury at the OM show, just as he teaches it in Israel, Palestine and Syria – Yoga for one of the greatest injuries any of us can suffer from… fear. As he put it: this could be our last day alive, we don’t know, so let’s love and live right now.
Have a beautiful week!