Mate, mate, mate… writing this live from the building site, hence the chat…
Currently got the sound of a very loud drill as they knock a wall out underneath me, I’m listening to Limp Bizkit on FULL blast in an attempt to drown it all out, singing at the top of my voice (whilst missing out the swear words so I don’t offend Andy the painter like), and basically spending every waking second wondering whether I might end up falling through the ceiling at some point.
Why are you not in the library? You might ask.
I need my yoga mat next to me when I write classes so I can play around a bit and test the flow.
Why not write it after they’ve gone? Hashtag bad planning – I’m working tonight for ITV so no can do.
How can you work in that? Dunno mate, self study – the art of self study I guess – Svadhyaya.
When I write my classes I teach and learn at the same time. I need my environment – my room, my space, my safety, I like writing from my desk, I’ve got used to all the boxes that surround me and I like the peace this area brings to me – despite the noise.
Plus – actually in all honesty – I can sit in my leggings, a hoodie and ten thousand blankets and still be way comfier and more switched on with all this noise around me than I am sitting in actual normal person clothes in a library where there’s too many distractions.
Not all my work is like that… the digital stuff I can do anywhere – but when I write yoga I want to feel it, delve in, bed in, absorb, soak it up, drink it up, my study comes from the felt sense of my body – it feels great to sit here writing my class and this blog from my space – no matter what that current space looks or sounds like. I like it, it brings out the best of me and what I can deliver to you.
The felt sense of knowing this is the best environment for me to work in.
I hadn’t realised until now that I was using the felt sense to navigate this – but as my builder James (off of Whitley Builders Ltd fame, who I highly, highly recommend for ref) said to me this morning: “you should probably go to the library today” I thought, I’m writing yoga, doesn’t feel right mate (they say mate a lot so now I am in a habit of saying mate, mate), so I stayed in, and here I am, studying, observing how I feel in that space and I feel GOOD MATE!
Enough about me though (this is just so I can put it into perspective for you)… how do YOU take in the practice of self study?
How often do you listen to the felt sense of what your body says?
Becoming the witness and studying the self is literally one of the hardest things to do, because we listen too much to our ego.
When we listen to the ego, we often do things that don’t always align with our true beliefs or intuition, our physical capabilities or even our heartfelt or gut sense of what we should be doing.
We do what that irritating voice inside our head tells us to do.
By paying attention to, or ‘studying’ our ‘self’, listening to our body and not our ego, we become more aware of the things we do that harm us, thus connecting us with the true Self.
So on the mat, when we study the breath, are you actually doing it? Or is your ego telling you ‘you sound silly doing Ujjayi breath’?
When you chant has your ego allowed you to fully give it a go? Are you listening to how it feels when you do? Are you feeling the benefits of song? Or are you not giving it a go at all?
How’s your alignment? Are you comfortable? Or is your ego pushing past what the body wants and needs?
Are you out of breath? Are you breathing at all?
The breath is a sure fire sign you can be doing too much ego listening and not enough body feeling. Out of breath – SLOW DOWN THEN! Mate – seriously slow down!
Learn to develop a bit of self enquiry – ‘this feels painful’ – why? … ‘this doesn’t feel enough’, ok, can I take it to my edge then or do I wanna just hang out here?
Sun salutations – do you think *yawn, rolls eyes*?… If so, why?
Observe the self.
Observe yourself as though you were watching someone else.
And maybe take this thought off the mat… observe the way you speak to friends and family, the way you react when plans change… just observe and have a little self enquiry.
But how do we do that?
We call on our friends:
Satya – truth / honesty, and tapas – discipline, but also – always – Ahimsa (non violence) which reminds us to look upon ourselves without judgement or criticism – if you observe and you think ‘oh my god I’m a terrible person you’ve gone the other way – observe, take note – let it go and move on.
Study the self to feel into yourself and get in touch with your SELF – connect the mind and body.
Try this with a few things day to day or maybe with your sun salutations on the mat- observe, question and explore.
But above all, FEEL.