Woodford Folk Festival is around the corner once again & I'm filled with the excitement & anticipation of seeing friends I only see once a year, meeting amazing new people, working with my dearest friends & celebrating the coming of a new year.
Six years ago I signed up to volunteer at the festival a year after I had finished travelling with Circus Joseph Ashton. I had travelled for six years as a circus performer & after a year in one place I was ready to move again.. so the journey began as I turned the corner into my thirties & was forced to recreate my life after leaving friends, family, a job & my home behind at the show. I'm not sure how long I had been experiencing anxiety prior to this time, but for the next year.. I discovered what it was like to be debillitated by the workings of my mind.
A turning point arrived the following year as I lay down at the end of a yoga practice early one morning amongst 300 other festival goers & experienced a profound shift enough to awaken me towards a new direction of my journey. I had found my teacher and within another year passing I had turned full circle and was back at Woodford, this time as an assistant to my teachers with their morning yoga classes. My life as a yoga teacher had begun.. and there was no looking back.
The experiences within the pose we know & love as Savasana (which translates as corpse pose) can be as varied as there are human emotions & conditions. But the momentary dissolution of thought that we can access within this deeply restful pose is where a level of profound healing occurs. Surrendering into this place of healing isn't as easy as it seems though & like most things in life.. persistance & dedication yeilds the greatest reward.
Savasana is meditation. It is the observation of thought & breath.. it is allowing all to be as it is. It is committing to stillness & giving yourself permission to feel. Savasana is a gift of serenity within the turbulence of our mind. Like the ocean, some days are rougher than others.. unpredictable & scary. With a familiarity that arises out of consistent practice, we can dive beneath the waves & potentially explore the depths of wonder that lie under the surface of our day to day lives.
With practice, time & commitment.. we can bring the essence of Savasana into our daily lives. We can soften our tension at the bus stop.. we can observe our breath when we are in a difficult situation.. we can feel our heart as we look towards the sunrise.. we can see our anxious thoughts as they try to convince us of a false truth & we can choose how to live. Choose to Live Your Yoga.
The journey for me is far from over.. but I can see how far I've come. So if you see me at Woodford this year with a smile on my face, you'll know it's because of the friends I am surrounded by.. the years I am grateful for.. the gift of a new day.. and Savasana.