• Jenn Russell

How yoga got me through


For those inevitable times in life when something unexpected happens, when we're challenged in the most profound of ways or even if we're just feeling a little unsettled we can allow the practice of yoga to do what it's really designed for ... to connect us to what is true, and move through challenges with grace. I am a self confessed (recovering) control freak, and I have always struggled a bit with change. For the past 6 years I have chosen the life of a travelling yogi... one that is transient, ever changing and yep ... at times, pretty unstable. I think on a subconscious level I chose this path for a reason because it's the one that teaches me the most. It's equal measures calming and chaotic, beautiful and raw, complex and oh so simple and it requires me to be vulnerable every single day. The one constant in my life through all of the changes and challenges has been my yoga practice and here I am after 8 years on the mat finally understanding that for me ... it's a practice of coming home. When it's time to stop searching ... I think inherently as humans, we all crave stability. Whether that's with our families, our jobs or where we live, we are on a constant search to make things more comfortable. But instead of waiting for things to improve, the practice of yoga teaches us to make the most of what life has given us. On the mat, we understand that despite any physical limitations or injury we can still have a beautiful mindful practice. We dont have to wait until we're more flexible, more strong. Yoga teaches us to be grateful for THIS body, THIS life, THESE circumstances by propelling us into the present moment. And start growing ... Then something awesome begins happening. We start to thank adversity because we now see it as an incredible opportunity for growth and learning ... because we've been here before, haven't we? Every time a yoga posture feels difficult or we have to navigate through an injury. When we find ourselves in a strong yin practice that bursts through held in emotions and we're crying into our mat, we open ourselves up to FEELING! And its through all of these feels that we get to learn about our true selves ... and inevitably, if we act on what we find, that leads to growth. It's time to start being brave ... Yoga connects us to who we really are. Not wife, mother, sister, boyfriend, brother ... not the labels, but what's underneath all that. Over time the practice answers the most pondered question of all time - 'Who am I?'. When we truly begin to know ourselves we connect to what matters most to us, we identify our basic needs and then we get a little bit brave an open up to the possibility of asking for those things. The vulnerability we practice on the mat every time we come to yoga allows us open ourselves up off the mat too and forge better relationships, more congruent lives ... lives with true purpose. Because we know we are exactly where are supposed to be There is beautiful line in my chakra book that says - "the gift of adversity is never given without the ability to overcome it". Ultimately what this practice has given me is the faith that life doesn't happen to you, it happens FOR you. The universe isn't trying to trip you up. All its asking is that you open up your eyes and see the opportunity. Maybe thats a new career, the end of something stagnant to make space for something amazingly new, an opportunity to put yourself out there are share from the bottom of your heart how you feel. Know this ... everything is this amazing crazy life is a gift. Once you start to see that the entire world opens up to you.

With love always, Jenn

xxx

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