Yoga Bliss!

I have returned home from the most exquisite yoga class.  I was listening to Jon Kabat Zinn’s book Full Catastrophe Living last week where he eloquently reminded me of the benefits of Hatha Yoga.  I was very fortunate to learn Hatha Yoga at a young age.  My grandparents taught me and practised with me whenever I would visit.  Considering my Granddad had Parkinson’s Disease and my Nan suffered all manner of mind and body dis-ease it was, looking back, quite remarkable that they practiced yoga.


And so I have danced with yoga throughout my life and the joy of being Mindful, being present with my breath, with each posture and with the stillness between each posture never ceases to bring me peace.  I want to share my joy of yoga with you, not to persuade you to attend a class – although I think that would be wonderful!  My intention is to  share the challenge I face, we all face when it comes to self care.  My working schedule has changed recently , so I have the opportunity to attend my favourite teacher’s class.  The heavenly George teaches a 90 minute class at 12.15pm on Mondays and I can honestly say I find it extremely difficult to honour my mind and body by stopping my work in the middle of the day and serving myself.


If you’ve read my recently released book, Every Teacher Matters, you will know how passionately I advocate self care and serving your heart, mind and body first.  How curious is it that even now after years of teaching Mindful Awareness, Meditation, Stress Management and Life Balance, I still find it challenging to put myself and my holistic needs first.  I know the vast list of benefits Mindfulness, Exercise, and Breath work has on the mind and body.  I have experienced the benefits for myself during and especially through times of extreme stress and I have witnessed miraculous results with my private clients.  Why is it then that I had to set two alarms and drag my mind kicking and screaming to the yoga class?


I am a working mum.  I run my own business and I take my parental and spousal commitments very seriously.  I have had health challenges throughout my life and I continuously endeavour to be in the best shape mentally, physically and emotionally that I possibly can.  How funny that I can induce anxiety by pushing another set of “shoulds” on to my to-do list.  I really must meditate, tune in to my intuition, swim, get some fresh air, practise yoga, maybe tai chi oh and I need to have a therapeutic massage and my kinesiology check up… and before I know it I am drowning in shoulds, swiftly followed by how??? And where on earth am I going to find the time to squeeze all that in and get the washing done, feed the family, catch up with my emails and blogs which are waaaay behind!


And so there lies the dilemma.  If you are reading this and you are a Head teacher, teacher or teaching assistant, you will have your own massive list of to-dos.  You may not have the self care gremlins in your head at all – in fact they may never get a look in if the lesson plans, Ofsted criteria, meetings and reports gremlins are fighting for pole position.  My invitation today is to STOP!  Just for a moment.  Give yourself the gift of Stillness, even for one breath.  The peace, the calm and the feelings of being centred again are worth the pause.  After 90 minutes of yoga with the lovely George I was transported to a place of deep relaxation, openness of heart and mind and the drive home was extraordinary.  I was aware of the gently chinking sound of my key ring on the car keys; I was mesmerised by the golden leaves shimmering in the trees as the sun shone through them and was even aware of the changing aromas that wafted through the air vents in the car.


Now you may say that’s all very nice Kathryn, but I just don’t have the time to do that.  Well I am here to challenge you.  I’m not suggesting it’s easy to leave your desk and take a break when so many things and people are demanding your attention.  What I am saying is why wait?  You only have NOW.  You only have TODAY. You only have THIS MOMENT and you deserve to be fully present to it – better still fully embrace it and completely enjoy it!  Yoga brings you to a place of rejuvenation and expansion.  Reward yourself for all your efforts and although you may resist going to the gym, or walking in the park, when you do you will be sending the biggest and best signal to your mind and body that you are worth it and that you are important!


If you want to feel healthy and energised, relaxed and peaceful inside explore Hatha Yoga, it really offers delightful contributions to your health and well-being that will bring you lasting benefits.


On November 5th, 2012, posted in: Blog by