Updated: Feb 10, 2022
Life lessons along the way!
I recently returned from a solo road trip to the eastern edges of La Belle Province a.k.a Quebec Canada. I covered more than 2500 km in my newly converted minivan camper I named Bobby McGee. This road trip was an opportunity for me to spend time with myself, as well as connect with some very dear friends who live on the east coast. The idea was that I would find time to explore new places, practice a little guitar (my newest COVID hobby), walk deserted beaches and hike some amazing trails. Happily all of these things happened.
In addition to these wonderful holiday experiences I also had a few things happen that I would not describe as "fun". Nothing terrible or dramatic, but still not terrific either. So as a good "yoga practitioner and teacher" I thought I better practice what I preach. I decided that I needed to sit with my thoughts about these less that wonderful experiences, and explore the notion, "what is this teaching me?" It seemed to me that if I truly believe that everything in our lives, all our experiences, good and bad, have the potential to help us grow and learn, then I needed to explore all my travel experiences. If I want to learn from the lessons these experiences were offering me, I needed to pay attention.
Okay, so knowing what to do and actually doing it is not always easy. And sitting with uncomfortable or unpleasant experiences and emotions is REALLY not easy...or fun! But okay, if I can talk the talk, I better walk the walk, I told myself. So I sat, and let the emotions roll over me. I shed a few tears, felt sorry for myself for a few moments, and then moved on to the "lessons" that were on offer. What I discovered, and will continue to discover, is that I can trust my inner teacher. What she is telling me is grounded in honesty and truth, if only I take the time to slow down and listen.
"Don't believe everything you think?"
Now listening, trusting, finding and believing the inner teacher can be tricky business too. It is easy to allow that ego-driven mind to hijack the listening and take me down a less than helpful path. So when I noticed this was happening, I called upon another notion I use to keep myself grounded and on track. "Don't believe everything you think!" Remembering this from time to time has been SO helpful! It is easy to get caught up in self pity, blaming of others and doubting the real meaning behind our life lessons. When I notice this happening, which it inevitably does from time to time, I return to the ancient teachings of the yoga sutras and yoga philosophy. This helps to keep me from getting lost in my ego-driven meanderings.
The great South Indian saint, Thirmular, said,
"Where the mind goes, the prana (life force vital energy) follows."
This concept has had a profound impact on me throughout my yogic studies and as I walk this life path. I make efforts to consider this often, especially when I am experiencing difficult or challenging things in my life. I interpret it to mean that if I linger in negativity, then that is what I will feel and experience. However, if I choose to find positive, even in the difficult, then I will experience positive in my life. For me it boils down to the concept of awareness and purpose, choice of where and what I want to focus on in my life. I have the power to live with happiness and joy.
As my wonderful yoga teacher Sylvie Gouin frequently says,
"What will you give the gift of your attention?"
The recent full moon of July 23rd is known in yogic philosophy and by many eastern religions as the Guru Purnima. Simply put, this full moon time is a celebration of the "Guru" or the teacher(s). For me I have chosen to think and celebrate my inner teacher and the knowledge that lies within me (and within each of us). In celebration of the power of the inner teacher I would like to offer a free gentle hatha flow class to anyone interested. Join me for this recorded class, and tune into your inner power, calm and peace. Listen and honour your inner teacher...there is much wisdom there.
Free Hatha Flow Class
Come Practice with Me Live!
Slow Mindful Flow: I am currently teaching five live classes per week. On Thursday @5pm and Sunday @9am join me at my Virtual Studio or if you are local to Chelsea/Wakefield/Ottawa, join me on the magical covered bridge in Wakefield Quebec. Tuesdays and Thursdays: check out all the details here: Bridge Yoga with Laura
Calm Kids Yoga Teacher Training - Fall Online Certification
Planning is underway for the next four-week live online children's yoga teacher training. Please go to Calm Kids Yoga to learn all about the certification program. Reach out if you have any questions! I would love to tell you more about the training.
Wishing everyone well!
In peace and friendship,