Sensation = Transformation
What do I mean by that?
I recently attended a beautiful yoga workshop with Les Leventhal (he is amazing!) and it was such a beautiful, inspiring class. I wish I’d taken a notebook along with me to record his words of wisdom. Instead, between each in-breath and out-breath in downward dog, as he walked around the room, I kept saying to myself ‘remember that, ooh remember that sentence. Remember that word, remember this feeling!’
He would say, ‘Reach your fingertips to the ground. If you can, that’s amazing. If you can’t, that’s amazing. If you need support, ask your friend.’ By friend, he meant our blocks, straps or bolsters.
Isn’t that a wonderful way to look at life?
If you can, that’s amazing.
If you can’t, that’s amazing.
If you need support, ask your friend.
He spoke of how he used to be too scared to ask for help, but now asking of support is one of his greatest joys. He spoke about how sensations (in the poses) can be how we transition from one space to another. Feeling the sensations is ok, he told us. He gently asked us that to remember we don’t have to move out of the pose as soon as we feel something. And that’s often what we do in real life, right? We feel something icky, something we’re not sure of, something we don’t like, and we instantly move away. We instantly want pleasure, no pain, and we’re not even willing to feel the sensation that might help bring us closer to transformation.
His words resonated with me because so often I believe we hold back from feeling everything, the whole scope of our emotions, because we somehow believe this to be wrong, or damaging, and feeling uncomfortable is uncomfortable for many of us.
We strive for balance, yet we only want to think good thoughts. We strive for homeostasis, yet we only ever want perfection. We set our sights on equilibrium however we have no idea what it feels like to embrace all parts of ourselves, even the ones that feel icky and ‘wrong’.
You’ve heard this before; if we haven’t felt the ‘bad’, how do we know what the ‘good’ looks like?
If we have a bad day, we let it define us. We wipe our hands of our sense of self and think ‘Well that’s it, I had a bad day so I’m undeserving. I’m in a bad mood so I’m a grumpy person.’ However, what would be truly amazing is if we learnt how to feel the sensations of those thoughts, and then if possible, detach from those thoughts.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I feel there’s a strong attachment to the theory of detachment, and in the words of Morrissette, isn’t it ironic? But of course, detachment has its merits.
What would happen if next time you found yourself in an ‘uncomfortable pose’ (be it work related, relationship issues, body image) you just let yourself feel it?
What if next time you feel irritated, frustrated, weepy or teary, instead of identifying yourself with that emotion or shoving it back to where it came from, or trying to quickly move to ‘peace and happiness man’, you just observed it. What if you just took note, and said to yourself ‘Ok excellent, I can see I’m not in a great mood. But I am ok here. It’s safe to be here, and it’ll pass soon.’
You’ve also heard this before; this too shall pass.
If you never swing from one side to the other, if you never feel pain, you can’t feel joy. If you’re always in a blissful state of mind, you’re not really balanced right? To find that ‘elusive’ balance we must swing through all our emotions and feelings, until we can find our centre of balance. We must swing, until we settle in equilibrium. And even then there will be days which don’t feel balanced, but isn’t that the very definition of balance anyway? If we were always in the best mood ever, that’s not balanced.
Sensations (feelings) = Transformation (growth) and once we’ve felt it all, we can heal
That’s what my Cleansed philosophy is about. It’s about acknowledging all parts of you, accepting and embracing the ‘ugh’ and the ‘blah’ to make space for the bliss and the beauty.
Something else I was reminded of during this yoga workshop; it’s ok to un-choose. Trying a new career but it’s not for you? It’s ok to go back to your old job. Moving into a yoga pose variation, but it doesn’t feel so good? It’s ok to go back to the previous pose. Les made us laugh, constantly, throughout our practice. He made the uncomfortable become comfortable, and the painful become pleasurable (or at least, manageable because we were laughing!), and the serious become funny.
He told us not to worry what we were thinking our neighbour was thinking. He said why should it matter if you move into a pose, but then decide to un-choose and go back to a more simple variation?
Why do we think it’s not ok to un-choose?
Why should we worry what our neighbour is thinking?
My lessons for you today? Simple.
- Sit in the sensation. It will become your transformation
- Remember; if you can do it, that’s amazing. If you can’t, that’s amazing. If you need support, ask your friend.
- It’s ok to un-choose
- Don’t worry what your neighbour is thinking, and don’t try to guess what they’re thinking
- Go to yoga 😉
Where in your life can you ‘sit in the sensation’ to find your own brand of balance?
What can you really feel, or un-choose, say yes to, or say no to, which will help you heal and create space in your life?
P.S. At the moment registrations for my Cleansed eCourse are closed, however jump on the list (signup box just below) to hear about the next launch date. And grab your copies of my Cleansed eBook and the Companion eBook here.They are beautiful tools to help you find your own brand of balance, connect with yourself and start your healing journey.