Whether you are vaguely interested in yoga or cannot go a day without some breathing, strength and stretching or meditation, I hope that the year is treating you well and I am grateful for your readership!
2021 has been a very interesting year for many of us, and it has been so hectic for me that I really could not find the space to send out a newsletter in April. The purpose of this article is to tell you a bit more about what I have been up to and to share my insights with you on how I have dealt with stress in the face of uncertainty or feeling disconnected.
At the end of February I was accepted to study Psychology part time at WITS. The decision to apply is part of a long term vision of equipping myself to more deeply understand how we experience life subjectively and the ways in which we can move toward a harmonious internal and external world.
By the middle of March I had also signed a contract to join a new company in an industry in which I am very new! Despite the increase in intensity in the face of uncertainty, I was very busy traveling around our beautiful country, and some of you were able to practice yoga with me virtually from these locations. I would like to share with you the lessons I have learned over the past two months.
- Having a vision which depicts the way in which you would like to see your day and life play out has been very useful for me. It has given me the determination to focus on what is important in order to have as much influence as I can in bringing these goals to life, and to avoid situations or activities that would detract from this. It also sends a clear signal to those closest to you of what you are trying to achieve which in turn, gives them the information needed to support you.
- I have been reminded clearly of the importance of mental health. Despite my passion and understanding of holistic health, I too am subject to overthinking, destructive thinking and behaviour, food cravings, neglecting social relationships and ultimately neglecting my own path of health and spirituality. I wish that you take the time needed as we approach the middle of the year, to give back to yourself with more quality time alone and with loved ones, a healthy dose of fun and laughter, cleaner nutrition, more rest and a more balanced approach to day to day living, especially if you too have goals that may be stretching you to a new limit.
- Sometimes we must relinquish control. When we have high expectations, the margin for error increases and we need to have a degree of acceptance of this. Ironically, the more we push towards goals and achievements, the more challenging it becomes to recognise the need to slow down, to rest, to balance our drive with relaxation and fun. I know for me, laughing is the way in which I release my stress constantly throughout the day. We must each decide on what we are willing to sacrifice to achieve our goals, but I believe that no goal is worth long term damage to health and important relationships. Again, being clear on your intention and communicating this to others may give us the space we need to breathe and become more observant, which, when highly focused, may provide necessary foresight.
- We are completely connected to nature and our lifestyles should incorporate as much of this as possible to absorb the nourishment that nature constantly provides. With most of our lives focused primarily on human issues like work, technology and relationships, we have lost touch with the incredible complexity and power of nature around us. After spending 3 days hiking in Grootwinterhoek in the Cederburg, sleeping under the stars, feeling the fynbos on my skin and smelling the multitude of plant life around us, I was reminded of the healing and raw beauty of nature. I strongly recommend getting out into nature as often as you can, especially to connect to the deep rhythm within us.I am deeply grateful for my brother Paul, who organised this magical experience for us.
Going into May, I will be offering online and physical yoga classes and truly hope that I can make a positive contribution to the physical, emotional and spiritual health of as many of you as possible. I will offer online classes in the morning only for now. Let’s see how it goes!
Feel free to share any of the information in this newsletter with someone you know that might need motivation, guidance or would like to be part of a micro-community of individuals pursuing balance, strength and alignment between body, mind and soul. Feel free to pop me a message if you feel that I may be able to assist with your journey of deeper discovery.