I have not written a “personal blog” in a very long time. It’s making me feel unusually vulnerable and uncomfortable, yet the inner work I did this weekend with Seane Corne is worth sharing.
The two hour workshop I attended on Sunday was called “The Yoga of Awakening” and although Seane had a variety of workshops during her weekend at the Toronto Yoga Conference, this was the only one I could attend. Which was perfect, because the title alone caught my interest.
This life is such a crazy journey. I went from working the weekend at the blissful Ste.Anne’s Spa in the rolling country hills of Northumberland to the harsh city-scape of Toronto. I went from nurturing others through yoga, to doing deep inner work through challenging flows for mySelf.
Seane started the workshop by gathering us close sharing her purpose and philosophies of yoga. Her confidence and compassion were refreshing, and her experiences so powerful. I felt my heart swelling, and that uncomfortable sensation of vulnerability began to creep in.
She touches on topics of politics, environment, global upheaval, humanities suffering, activism and ultimately our individual and personal place in it all- and the OBLIGATION we have (the DUTY she says) we have once we AWAKEN: to do our own work. That until we have made peace with our internal conflict, how can we expect to create peace outside of ourselves?
She talks about our “body memory” and how yoga starts to move everything (physical, mental, emotional and energetic)… that if we are going to to start a serious, dedicated, daily yoga practice, we should also be seeing a therapist!
And this is all me paraphrasing from memory, and sharing my interpretation of what she said… We don’t make peace within us by denying our bad feelings, or ignoring the reality around us. We make peace by turning inwards, feeling everything we need to feel, everything that is there within us in each present moment without judgment. We make our own peace through awareness, love and forgiveness. Loving and forgiving ourselves fully, and loving and forgiving others fully.
Our yoga practice is there to support, assist, and move out (not deny or repress) the old traumas, emotional and energetic blockages. Our meditation supports our mindfulness, our ability to reflect and feel without attachment or action. Yoga and meditation prepares us (is our “practice” for) the real world. Your practice is working when you can feel more, love more, forgive more. Your yoga is working when you can take compassionate action, which can help dismantle or dissolve conflict. Your yoga is working when you can feel peace and stillness within the worlds chaos.
By the time I approached my mat, I was already on the verge of tears- ready to release my old limitations and current negative fears and beliefs.
I walked to the back corner of the room, towards my mat, my heart already full of knowing, and feeling my personal Truth bubbling to the surface… Seane’s words made me realize I had forgotten (dare I say been denying?) my Duty. I was re-remembering my purpose, my power, my wants and desires for this world and others in it. I had stopped believing in myself, and for that matter had stopped believing in others. Seane filled me with hope and light and Love again.
So I got to my mat, standing with hands at my heart, and she starts directing us. First just with a prayer or intention to dedicate our practice to someone who has inspired us and moved us to become who we are- and the tears started flowing. We moved through a somewhat relaxed vinyasa flow, and ended standing with hands at our heart again. She guides us to dedicate our next flow to someone who has hurt us (and likely to forgive them), and the tears flow some more. We move through a more challenging flow, again ending standing with hands at our heart. We dedicate every flow to someone or something (I forget the list now), and every time more emotions come forth, and each flow becomes more challenging but always ending standing strong with hands at our heart. I close my eyes as I flow, and at one point I’m in upward dog, tears streaming and I open my eyes to see Seane smiling sweetly down at me- what can I do? I just smile back and she nods knowingly and continues to walk gracefully through the flowing mob of 130 students. My heart feels full and happy.
By the time we are complete the one hour sequence, we lay in sivasana and my body feels strong and calm, my mind full of realizations, and heart full of gratitude.
THE ENERGY HANG-OVER
Have you ever had one?
It’s two days later and I’m still feeling the residual effects of “Awakening.” I’m very tired, irritable, sensitive, open, vulnerable, and once again, unsure. Yet, I also feel an underlying Trust, compassion for Self, and deeper awareness that life is shifting and changing and opening and uplifting me to new opportunities. I feel grounded in the uncertainty. My job at the moment is to be aware and honest about all these feelings occurring at once. My job is to take care of myself in Body, Mind and Soul.
THE FINAL REALIZATION
This idea of “Awakening” is not new to me. It’s a journey I’ve been on (perhaps it’s one we’re all on) since I was a child. Profound and deep awarenesses have been with me my whole life, and nudged me towards meditation at 14 years old and yoga at 17 years old. I’ve done a lot of inner work, and explored a variety of healing modalities that have made me who I am today.
Along this journey though, especially through early motherhood, I lost my faith in myself. I lost belief in my place, in this world, on a larger scale. I forgot my own value. That we ALL have value here, on this earth, and we do have a duty to awaken, and help others awaken, and help heal this earth and everyone on it (without expectation).
I am most grateful to Seane for reigniting my faith and trust in mySelf. I am grateful for her creating these safe spaces that allow us to receive, release and remember LOVE.