On a recent trip to India I was offered the opportunity to take part in daily morning yoga sessions. A slightly earlier rise than usual when I'm away, but with the prospect of experiencing sunrise on the beach I signed up right away.
From the first day I felt the benefit of the range of techniques, physically of course but there was much more. The way our teacher Jayesh guided each part of the practice gently and gracefully had a deeper impact on my whole way of being, and it has had a lasting effect.
In the first couple of days I felt stiff and clumsy at times, dropping my limbs with relief when there had been more effort than I am fit for at the moment! And then something changed.
I began to notice a smoothness and strength in my movements, a grace and flow which seemed to grow warmth and connection from deep within, sensing a similar energy coming from the rest of the group. It was like a form of wisdom without words, ancient and new all at the same time.
This awareness stayed with me as I went through the rest of the day, and I gasped out loud as I noticed how the profound experiences from the morning yoga were evolving into deeper learning in my life and in my work. Maintaining the grace and flow of the rhythmic movements, the breathing, and the spiritual connection with the practice was transforming my experiences and has continued to do so.
I have always been an advocate of 'healthy body-healthy mind', and I use a lot of gentle physical movement and embodied learning in my coaching and facilitation. But this seemed much more intense than that. I began to realise how much potential can emerge with a lasting commitment to deeper daily practice, whether it's yoga, exercise, meditation or mindful activity.
On the second last day I saw a dolphin, for the first time in my life. He was gracefully arcing out of the water, close to shore, then disappearing from view before gliding up again. It was magical. I smiled to myself as I wondered if he'd been there all along.
Coming soon to Edinburgh: Mindful Living Day Retreat and 'Time to Thrive' programme
A journey to India: Reflections and New Beginnings
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Thanks to Sue Knight and Ramesh Prasad for a fantastic NLP Intensive programme in Kerala, which I can't recommend highly enough, and who organised the very special yoga sessions. You can find out more at http://sueknight.com.