Courage in Words
For the last couple of months I've been cultivating my intention with teaching yoga. I've been asking myself what the practices of yoga have done for me, my life and what it really is that I want to bring to the table as a practitioner and as a teacher. I've had some great help in the process from my coach and from many of my students that have commented on my approach to teaching after class and given me feedback in writing.
I know that yoga has helped me to be courageous - in the original meaning of the word.
The Latin root of the word is cor and it means heart - so in its original meaning courage meant: to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart. This does not mean to be brave or heroic as we in our modern society often talk about courage. But rather, the orignial definition refers to the inner strength and commitment that is needed on a daily basis to stay true to oneself. This is the type of courage that helps us to make the difficult decisions in life, to own our story and in the process stay true to your heart by being as authentic and real as possible. This is a continuing practice - and we’re never done! For more about courage and authenticity, I encourage you to look into Brené Brown and Marianne Williamson - both amazing sources of inspiration.
In the beginning of my yoga journey, meditation was my primary practice and it’s in meditation that answers to many of the dilemmas in my life have arisen. Sitting in stillness is a profound practice, a deep soul work and yet it’s really simple. Meditation continues to be the practice I go to when I need to listen to the inner loving guiding voice of my heart. For years now, my daily sadhana (practice) combines many more of the yogic tools and has become it’s a mixture of asana, mantra, meditation, pranayama, mudra spiced with contemplation and prayer.
It’s these practices and embodied experiences that I want to share in my teaching - therefore I’ve chosen to call them courage practices and my approach to teaching: Yoga for Courage. I'll be offering class series and courses that dive into these courage practices that have inspired and helped me - and on an everyday basis are my foundation to staying balanced and centred.
For me courage is:
- being open and honest about my sons mental problems (another post for another time)
- to let go of my ambition to become a university professor (search for acknowledgement in the external world)
- to know that I am good enough (and be ready to recognise when I’m searching for acknowledgement to prove to myself that I really am good enough)
- to know that I do not need to live up to some imaginary standards of what makes a good life (the constant search: there must be something more to life than this)
- to use themes in my teaching that have roots in deep embodied personal experience
- to try again when I fail (to actually stay in the arena - there are no mistakes just experiences)
These are just some of the examples from my own life off that mat, where the practices of yoga have helped me to develop faith in my self and to use these opportunities as invitations to grow myself as a human being. I truly believe that we are here to grow - and that this longing generates a feeling in ourselves to connect to the deepest and finest place with in ourselves - that we can attend to and nourish in our practice. (I’m deeply inspired by non-dual Kashmir Shaivism and the work and writings of Swami Chetanananda - you can check it out here)
I've come to understand how every life situation, not matter how hard and unwanted it may feel, is an opportunity to step into my courage and engage in a way that helps me to become more compassionate and loving in my interaction with others. It’s not easy and its definitely not always comfortable but it’s most certainly more empowering and real.
Talking about empowerment - I also sometimes feel utterly powerless and completely without control. Do you ever feel that way? Stay tuned for the next blog post where I'll share my thoughts ont that.
This is what I'm inspired to convey in my teaching - that you too can access the courage in your heart and become the most powerful, joyous and compassionate person that you are meant to be.
I’m honoured to be on the path with you
with great love
Every day I’m a devoted fully AWAKE, loving, kickass warrior of LIGHT that inspires deep connection of hearts. I’m hell-bent on changing the world and I refuse to accept the negative vibrations and the fear and the hate and the illusion of separation that shuts down human connection. I inspire to let LOVE rule and I’m determined to lift others up, to raise their awareness so that they also become true warriors of light.