"Your playing small does not serve the world, who are you not to be great" - Nelson Mandela
So it's officially spring and the sun is on its way, the perfect timing to drum up a manipura chakra (energetic centre) practice on the mat.
Hi, I'm Lucy Beckwith-Ball. I like to bring a theme to the yoga classes I teach in Barcelona so that we can have a focus to heal and bring into balance an aspect of our whole body that helps us move out of our thinking mind into our instinctual bodies.
As a teacher, of course, relevant yoga poses to activate a relevant energetic centre are essential, however for me, the most important factor in a yoga class is the intention with which we practice, the inspiration behind our practice, what I call the spirit of the practice.
Even if we have no self esteem, to turn up on the mat is an affirmation that something inside you is rooting for you, that wants you to feel good and acknowledge your place in the world.
I value every single class with the highest intention, because for me, it is my life's work, my act of service in the world and the way this kind of intention makes me feel is nothing short to incredible. Yoga practice makes you feel at a base level, alive, if we can begin with that and hold faith to it as we attend class after class, something in us begins to shift and as our body opens and becomes stronger we start to feel empowered, which leads to more practice and maybe some glimpses of a you, a little bit of you, you can feel proud of.
This little bit will then begin to grow and influence your decisions and before you know it, you will feel the sun at the centre of your being shining from the inside out.
Something I advocate strongly in my classes is feeling - use your yoga practice and the poses to allow emotions to rise, especially with a manipura chakra practice, because in this environment we can use our breathe rather than our heads to work it all out.
As my father always says to me ´just soften into it darling´ whatever you are feeling, and also, have FAITH that even if you think about something else for the whole of the yoga class something way deeper than you is at work, so just let go again of all the pressure you put yourself under because part of that pressure is robbing you of discovering your true self worth.
Our stories, our distractions on the mat and in life ARE our journeys back to ourselves and something to be proud of. Own your personal tragically beautiful story.
Just the other day I read an article by a young woman on yoga journal who wrote about her hero's journey, her personal story of incredible survival through a debilitating illness and financial bankruptcy which through time on the yoga mat finally led her to deep inner healing and recovery. A story that is tragically beautiful and represents exactly the message by Rumi I chose to inspire my Manipura yoga class this week.
"You cannot know the fire from words alone. Enter the fire if you want to know the truth".
We all have our own personal hero stories however small they may seem in comparison to others, if on the inside you have been in the fire, you know it, no matter what it looks like on the outside to others, it is REAL inside of you.
Entering the fire is a golden opportunity to grow and empower ourselves but how do we grasp this notion if we do not have any self esteem or sense of value in the world.
When we have been in the fire, its like a huge knock to our faith, to our sense of self and challenges how we feel about ourselves in the world. It takes energy and strength to feel good about who we are and value ourselves. This is where yoga practice can step in and more specifically a yoga class that focuses on healing, empowering and softening through deep rest.
I always suggest to my students that they take one dynamic class and one YIN/restorative yoga class per week to offer the body an opportunity to empower, heal and rest. I always say YIN practice is like a big loving hug to yourself and dynamic practice is a good kick up the arse.
A dynamic vinyasa class gets that fire inside ignited which on some days you have to drag yourself to the mat for, but please drag yourself if you have to, because I promise you its worth it and you will congratulate yourself after. Just the other day when I went to teach my Sunday afternoon class, there were a few participants who admitted that they really had to push themselves to make it to class but they all said ´I just know how good I will feel after and just that thought got me here´.
If you are doubting your greatness, get on the mat, if you are doubting your value in this world, get on the mat, if you're heart is breaking, get on the mat, because your body and your spirit on the mat is a miracle in itself, not because you can stand on your head or crack that super wow yoga pose - NO - because Yoga is a call to action, it is an acknowledgement that you are way more than you imagined and that you are willing to enter the fire and dare to discover the power and resilience that is inside all of us.
'Once you know who you are, nothing can stop you'.