Yoga at Home (re-post)

As you may know, I offer a weekly yoga session and am an occasional guest blogger at the Sunshine Coast Health Centre.

The world of recovery and the creation of a meaningful life is one that is close to my heart. As a trauma-sensitive yoga teacher, spending time in yoga with people in recovery is an honour and a gift. As a person in recovery from trauma and devoted to living a holistically sober life, the work offers me continuous opportunities to check myself, reaffirm my commitments, and to practice self-compassion and self-care.

Here is re-post from the SCHC blog… maybe it will offer you a little something too!

Yoga at Home

addiction treatment yoga

So, you tried out the yoga program at SCHC and you want to build it into your meaningful life plan at home. How do you go about doing this?

Here are a few offerings from me to you (let me know what you think and what has helped you bring your yoga home and into your daily life).

Remember that yoga is not just the physical asana (posture) practice. Yoga is a holistic system of health & wellness, a practice of self-inquiry and self-care, and is rooted in kindness and mindfulness.

Keep it Simple, Keep it Kind, and Keep it Real.

One day, your yoga practice may be to take 5 deep breaths before you speak to someone about a challenging or triggering topic. On another day, it may be noticing how stressed out you feel and taking 10 minutes in your day to listen to a guided meditation. Today, it might be simply taking a moment to rest in Child’s Pose or another yoga shape to remind yourself of your BIG 5 and your personal intentions.

At SCHC, our yoga practice includes Gentle Hatha, Yin, and Restorative Yoga. We focus on gentle movements, move into a healthier and respectful relationship with our bodies, and tap into our natural resources of breath, relaxation, and meditation.

What is the Entry Point That is Most Meaningful for you, right now?

If it excites you, dig into the philosophy and how this can support you in your daily life. If it fulfills you, find a meditation teacher and sit with them. If it nourishes you, seek out a yoga class (in-person or online) that offers you what you need.

In the yogic spirit of self-inquiry and self-care, ask yourself, “What do I need? What is my intention? What would serve my highest good right now?” Choose a skillful action that supports your meaningful life.

If it is a yoga class, there may be many types of classes and a wide variety of places to practice in your hometown. No matter what your options, I invite you to approach the quest with that spirit of joyful curiosity. You may want to look for a Studio or a setting where the teacher(s) offer a trauma-informed/trauma-sensitive perspective. There may be classes that are specifically offered for those in recovery for addictions. And yoga teachers often offer sessions to help us deal with anxiety, depression, chronic health conditions, back pain and more.

Find What you Need. Explore Your Options. Get to Know Yourself With Kindness and Care.

Commit to your yoga practice. And notice if you start to use that commitment as a way to feel guilty or unmotivated or bad about yourself.

If you do, come back to your centre. Feel the ground underneath you. Come back to your breath.

Remember that you don’t need to do everything at once. Keep it simple, keep it kind, and keep it real. You got this.

In my next blog post, I will offer a few tips on how to stay committed to your practice in times of stress, disinterest, or busyness + a few more resources including my favourite yoga teachers who offer their teachings online.  Check back next month.

Take good care,
Jessica

A few Resources to Explore

Yoga for Healthy Aging
Posts, pictures, and videos that highlight how accessible and beneficial yoga can be for all ages and all conditions.

Yoga Poses?
Check out Yoga Journal and remember that these folks spend hours being photographed – don’t try to look exactly like them. Yoga is an individual practice, simply use the pictures as a guide.

Yoga International
Classes, articles, practices, and courses from a range of highly skilled and experienced teachers.

a bit of the beginning

1 J Leavens - this is what grief looks likethis is what grief looks like: acrylic, charcoal, golddust.
artist: heartashome , 2009.

this re-post visits a time when, earlier in my practice and before my yoga teacher training, i was quite ill and wildly discontent. in that time, my practice offered me what i did not have – a ground, a moment of respite from my fears and worries, and moments of breath and relief from pain. it was also confusing and difficult. and work. it was/is a lot of work to be with myself.

now, after a few more years of intentional, committed and consistent practice, i am called to share these words again.

as a reminder. as a celebration. as witness.
_________________________

move the body, spark the soul

there is a part of me that is stuck. stuck and sad and tired. this ill health is, yes i know, an opportunity. but but but  i am struggling. some days i just want to get off the busy mind train and into the wide open space of heart. and some days i just want to sit in it.  and i do.

the tracks of my mind are rough and tumbled and i see the same scenery …. i dip into the stories of loss and done-me-wrong … the trees whisper ‘forgiveness’ and ‘light’ … teachers say ‘let go’ …whatever that means … and little bolts of joy come every so often …

i know it is true that to stay disempowered and sad doesn’t serve anything or anyone and yet, the tracks seem to be getting more and more worn and harder and harder to jump off … fear, anxiety, self-hatred — such strong words but present here, now in the spiral of disease and discomfort.  so, where to go from here? today? right now?  what to do with all this fear bouncing around in my mind?

how bout some yoga?  move a little.  breathe in. breathe out.  stretch to the sky. and fold to the earth. letting the flow move through me and keeping my mind on the movement is sometimes the most grounding thing i can do.

When I move my body to the rhythm of yoga, to my breath, and to my teacher’s voice, i am sometimes able to just be right there. no where else. not on the train. not locked in my mind. not completely afraid. here, with intensity, with calm, with emotion, with feeling, with sensation.  i feel a little spark in my soul. i remember. and then i forget again. and then i remember. try to just come back with gentleness. sparking the soul. moving the body. jumping off the train.

____________________

IMG_1519
basic goodness: wool, copper, thread, chesnut, fabric map, message in a bottle, acorn squash mold.
artist: heartashome, 2013
_________________

oh what sweet relief it is to reflect on this piece of writing and recognize – i am now able to hold my own heart with a depth of kindness and care unavailable to me at that time. over time, my practice has cultivated a compassionate resilience within that i did not dream possible, ever. in truth, i have experienced a cellular transformation from a place of self-hatred to a deep knowing of my own basic goodness. woah.

yes, i still dip onto that track and sometimes take a ride on that train. it always takes time and practice and work and breath for me to find my way through. but the moments in between are long, sweet, and filled with gratitude. i have jumped off the train and into a wider sky-heart-field. and i am so grateful.

all of this is the ground from which my offerings flow.

this is recovery.

take good care,
jessica