I hope this note finds you sound and healthy. Spring is on its way, and we (at least here in the far North) just need to be patient a little longer! I am a spring and summer person. This is where I feel most energized and inspired. Yet after some years living in Denmark, I have learned to value the invitation of the long winter to go inwards, light a candle or two, and just take it mellow and be ok with lower levels of energy. As winter will be over soon, I am realizing that the preciousness of the darker times also will soon forego.
Although you might find yourself ready to make some room for new beginnings and well-deserved freshness, the next few weeks are actually an opportunity to draw in a little longer before stepping into the brighter and more outgoing part of the year.
What did you learn this winter about letting go? What did you have to “digest” and “hibernate” with? Did any seed got planted, maybe to sprout this coming spring?
On the personal level, as many of you know, I had to let my mum go this fall. Winter has then been an opportunity to grieve and let her depart, wherever she has gone to. My family and I had to learn to make space for the emptiness that her loss left us with and gradually accept it, just as farmers need to let some of their fields lay fallow before it can grow again. During this whole winter, most likely amplified by our collective fatigue of moving through the pandemic and all of what it brought up for us, my energy level was generally low and had me take one week at a time.
Quite paradoxically, I cannot remember a time since I started teaching yoga where I have felt so enthusiastic and thrilled about each class and workshop I led as in the past couple of months. I realized how nourished and “at home” I feel each time I teach and share the depth of yoga with you guys.
In addition, I realize it is also the first time in years that I simply focus on teaching and release any other expectation about more growth and new directions in my business. While I still wish to grow and evolve with Heartwise, there is a degree of control I have let go of this winter. I am doing my best to listen to what feels alive each day and each week, and if planning a workshop or a retreat feels right, I do it, and if not, I focus on what is currently on my schedule.
As I am writing this, I am understanding that what might have happened is that I have let myself live in the present as much as I could. I love Eckhart Tolle’s distinction of clock time and psychological time. While the former relates to the mere setting and running of our schedule (as we need to do to live our daily lives), the latter is where our minds get stuck most of the time: where we mentally attach ourselves to our plan, expectations or stories and situations from the past. Tolle does not suggest to drop all our plans, but rather to plan what we need to and then quickly return to the present moment. In other words, the invitation is to consciously limit our absorption in past or future. Yoga also describes the illusion of time, Kala, which the yogi needs to see beyond in order to contact the one and only truth: this very moment.
How do we drop our attachment to kala or psychological time? Well, the spiritual teachings say, by favoring the present moment before past or future. Concretely, what I have found the most helpful is the following; I call it the STAY practice (see also my earlier post from Aug 2020).
Each time you finish some task or activity, give yourself five seconds to breathe and just be. For example, when you are done reading this sentence or text, pause and take three breaths. When you finish the dishes, enjoy your own presence for five seconds. In between two meetings or tasks at work, before you check your phone, after the next yoga class, simply break and stand still, breathing.
It took me years of practicing yoga and meditation to understand the importance of pausing and favoring the “nothing” pockets of times. I think a lot of us are driven to be effective and thus afraid of missing out if we do not optimize our time or are productive. The truth is that the experience of deep, lasting inner peace only comes from our capacity to allow and make space. Yoga, meditation, and other practices truly help; but they are not sufficient per se. What practice do is to support us in becoming comfortable with “staying a little longer” and thus re-inviting space in our lives, also as we plan and “produce” in our everyday life.
So, what’s the plan? 😉
Trying not to get lost in psychological time, I have set up the following events!
UPSIDE DOWN on Feb 26th at Yoga Flat: 3 hours to play around on our hands with inversions and arm balances. Don’t think you need to have strong pumped arms for it, because you don’t! Just bring your willingness to play and learn simple techniques to ease you into getting “high” on your hands 😊 Read more here.
SLOVENIA RETREAT: BACK TO NATURE, May 10-15. Yay! This 5-day Slovenian retreat is now up in the blocks and registrations are open. Five days with yoga, meditation, organic food, sauna, mountains, and nice walks. Read more about it here, and let me know if you have any questions. We’ll need a minimum of participants to run it, so if you feel ready, let me know!
GROUNDING EARTH on April 2nd at Pakhus Yoga: 3 hours to connect to the virtues of Earth and experience the power of alignment in our body and mind. Review yoga techniques and learn meditation tools using earth as our inspiration. A grounding experience to align and balance inside and out. Read more here.
And of course the weekly schedule in Copenhagen:
- @The Yoga Flat: Monday 15.30, Tuesday 7.15 and 9, Sunday (odd weeks) 9, 11 and 16
- @Pakhus Yoga: Saturday 9 and 11
- @Dalgas Yoga: Wednesday 9.30 and 11