Well as a novice yoga teacher, sometimes I take a deep breath at the name I have chosen. It seems like a very big name to me. But I had to go with what means the most to me, what I have discovered through my own practice.
The Earth was one of the biggest and most powerful discoveries I made in the first year of my training with Contemporary Yoga.
First I found the ground, the unwavering and powerful support of the ground when you seek it. Before I began to practice yoga regularly, I was often ungrounded. I used to feel particularly ungrounded in large groups of people. I put it down to my strong empathic qualities, I am the kind who can sense everyone’s emotions when I walk into a room. But in doing this I often took on the role of minder, peacemaker, trying to account for everyone and make it ok for them. This used to leave me feeling overwhelmed and ultimately shaky, because I couldn’t manage all the different emotions I was feeling and taking on. When I was doing my course in Counselling and Psychotherapy I was aware that my greatest gift for becoming a counsellor was also my achilles heel; my deep power for empathy was also my undoing. In the end I was asked to take time out to address this issue. So finding my ground was huge for me. It was a revelation, finally an anchor that would hold me in my own space, my own being.
For some people grounding is so natural they are probably even wondering what the hell I am talking about. My partner is one of these, being grounded was and is just an entirely and wholly natural way of being for him. However, especially in the modern age of living, I think many of us have lost our ground. We live in our heads, we act and live through technology, and we have lost that connection with the Earth, with our own natural rhythms, and with our own bodies. So for me this was one of the most powerful gifts of my practice. Finding my ground, finding the Earth beneath my feet, connecting to my body and sensing and feeling from the ground of my being, my body.
The second sense was discovering the Earth, dear wildly beautiful Mother Earth. Through finding the ground and it’s unwavering support I also realised the Earth as a nurturing loving being. I mean this in the sense of experiencing it, not just reading it, or hearing it, but finally realising and knowing that this beautiful Earth that we live on provides for us in abundance. She offers us food, air, water, beauty, power, warmth and light. Her larger body offers unwavering support for our bodies. When we lie on the Earth or the ground, when we learn to surrender our bodies and take the support of the Earth the ground can act like a sponge soaking the tension and dis-ease from our bodies. In my classes I compare the Earth to Mother, who when her child comes to her arms agitated and distressed, Mother simply holds the child with love, it might take a few minutes but eventually the agitated child surrenders to the love and larger body of Mother, and Mother soaks all the distress into her larger body. When we really experience the support of the Earth it can bring about a great transformation in our being. We find ease, strength, grace, humility and more. The Earth is a true Mother, nurturing and supporting, consistent in her always being there when you seek the solace of her embrace.
So then I come to Soul. I smile for where would I be without soul. I falter too, for I fear my words will fumble around and miss the true beauty and magic that is Soul. You know it, but it’s hard to put words to it. Poetry does it best in spaces and feeling. You recognise it when something moves you so deeply inside that it aches. A piece of music, a face, a small perfect extra ordinary moment in time. I think when we move into the space of our soul, these moments arise more often, moments that are suffused with sacredness, our aliveness.
So this is what I hope to offer in my classes. A space where you can reconnect with your own soul through the physical ground of your body. Where you will have a safe space for your souls longings to be remembered, gathered and honoured. A space where you can listen to the wisdom of your own body. For it is our body’s that hold all our memories, our wounds, our joys. Our body’s hold the map to find our way home, finding our way back to our true selves.
So hence the name Earthsoulyoga : )