In times of change, we ourselves shift on our axes. Perhaps, unawares, we simply begin moving to a different rhythm, but it may be that we find ourselves questioning, doubting, or resisting the shifts in our bodies and minds. Perhaps we are clinging to the way things were before. Perhaps we are grasping at a future that has not quite manifested.
The changing of the seasons brings changes to our routines. As householder yogis, a change in the season will almost invariably bring about a change in our asana practice. We may find ourselves unable to practice as much, or practicing in a different way. As I browse around the blogsphere, I notice a degree of anxiety about these changes. I read words from bloggers who are hard on themselves, who judge themselves, who "beat themselves up" in their minds if they don't practice long enough, hard enough, if they don't do that pose. Now, we have all been there, and maybe this is part of the process that we all have to go through in order to let go of our egos, but it makes me think that it is easy to get too attached to our asana practice.
Now, wait, isn't that what yoga is all about? Well - no. In times like this I remind myself that asana is only 1 of the 8 limbs of yoga. I remind myself that the fundamentals of yoga are the yamas and the niyamas (the restraints and the self-restraints). They are like the roots of the tree, the soil that nourishes the soul, and they are a practice in themselves.
The yamas and the niyamas ground us when the road is smooth, and guide us through the bumps of transformation. Like all ethical codes, they are there to help us handle hard choices. Most of all they are a lens through which we are asked to see ourselves - and this, of course, is the hardest journey of all.
The inspirational Nadine Fawell is no stranger to hard journeys. She has had to confront the emotional scars of childhood abuse and the damaging cycle of fear and self-sabotage that it left her in. She dug deep, and emerged on the other side with a profound insight into how to use the transformational power of yoga to "cut through your emotional B.S., get strong and comfortable in your body, and learn the art of radical self-acceptance."
And the best part? She wants to share it with YOU. She has taken what she has learned and created a 4-week e-course called Light Up Your Life. Combining yoga, yoga philosophy, journalling, healthy eating and relaxation techniques, Light Up Your Life is designed to help you identify the areas of your life, or yourself, that you want to shed light on - and to realise that desire. I think what she has put together is amazing, and I am super-proud to be an affiliate of the course.
Does lighting up your life sound like just what you need this fall/spring? Head over to her website and bring on the light!