Taozi Tree yoga is proud to present…
“Adventures Abroad” with special guest writer, Ingrid Schroder.
If there are but 4 things yoga teaches me daily:
This too shall pass
Love conquers fear
But it hasn’t always been so. My definition of yoga has changed over the years. What started as hot-sweaty-bikram-workout-competition has gradually become being at one with myself, slowing down, completely present and in the moment… whether there’s a yoga mat involved or not.
These days yoga to me is whenever I’m totally wrapped up in what’s happening here and now. Whether it’s photography, being with those I love, floating in the ocean, travelling or simply sitting somewhere peaceful in nature – being present is key.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have a daily asana practice, I love it, but it’s less about doing and more about listening to my body, letting my breath lead me, and moving however feels right at the time.
One of many turning points came for me during my 200 hour yoga teacher training in Bali (where my path first crossed that of the beautiful Miss Theresa Pauline) and the concept of forgetting about achieving and striving – especially with asana – was first brought to my attention. Accept that you are already perfect, everything in this moment is exactly how it is meant to be. Don’t pay attention to what anyone else around you is up to. It has nothing to do with anyone else and everything to do with you.
I started to find that what you become aware of on the mat, more often than not, transfers into the your life.
This, amongst many other pearls of wisdom I picked up during these studies, had me yearning to learn more, and this journey took me to my level 2 teacher training in India.
India. India. A place of colour, spirituality and challenge. It was here that meditation became a regular fixture of my yoga practice. I’d dabbled with it before but nothing beyond a few minutes at a time. With our philosophy teacher, zen Buddhist monk, Hamid Ebadi, as our guide, we learned to be with that which makes us most uncomfortable. And what better place to deal with this than in noisy, dusty, sometimes smelly and uncomfortable India. What helped me most break through this barrier was the thought ‘this too shall pass’, even though I’m far apart from my loved ones, sitting for an hour at a time with my noisy mind, it won’t always be. Just as the happy times together also are indefinite. Nothing lasts forever.
After all the yoga camps were said and done, I realised that what I was searching for was with me all along. No one else but me could carry these lessons into everyday city life. But I couldn’t get it by doing what I’d always done. My heart became louder than my mind and I had no choice but to listen. I quit my job, started my own business and before long I was living the life i’d always dreamt of. Free, happy and in the moment.
You don’t need me to tell you that what you’re looking for is within you. Not on the other side of the earth, not by practicing hours of asana. You have gifts to give the world, but you must be brave. It can be a scary road looking so closely at yourself. But take comfort in knowing that ultimately love conquers fear. Love for yourself. Love for everyone around you, even your worst enemies. Love every challenge, don’t be afraid, if you just let go and trust your heart…
Presence, acceptance, patience and love… with these on your side your soul will surely shine.
This has been a special guest post by my dear friend, Ingrid Schroder. She is the editor of blog Cohabitare.com and a graphic designer/photographer/owner of freelance creative company Be Visual.
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