One of the best things for me living in Ubud, is that I have found a private yoga instructor who practice yoga with me in my own garden! She shows up nearly everyday and it is amazing, cause her classes are always so spot on what I need that day! They are usually a mixture between power yoga-vinyasa flow- restorative – yin yoga, every day is different! It is as if she can READ my mind and my body, and knows EXACTLY what it is I need that day! Whether it is an pumped-up class with music, or restorative yoga with tennis balls digging into my sore spots in the body, the classes seems to always tend to my needs for the day..
In fact, she actually literally can read my mind and my body, since it is, of course, me leading these yoga sessions in my garden with myself.
For me it is a great practice! Not in, How to Become a Yoga teacher, but in, How to Listen to My Body, and my needs. Most of the times, we tend to ask ourselves “what do I WANT?!” but how often do we ask ourselves “what do I NEED?”. That question can be from the smallest things to the really major life changing decisions. I can imagine that for some people who are well in tuned with them selves, that answer might not be all that different. But for others, myself included, those answers can be miles a part!
You remember that old story with me and eating disorders..? Bulimic and all that jazz.. yeah, well that kinda makes you a bit of an expert of NOT listening to what your body is telling you, and even if you hear it, you become GREAT at ignoring it. “What you want? Ha! You are not having it! I give you THIS instead!”
So this is my own practice of Listening to what my body tells me that it needs, and follow it. Cause if I ask myself what I want to do, the answer is usually MORE!!! More dancing, more capoeira, more running, more sea, more colors, more fruit! Very rarely would the answer be “I want to rest, be silent, stretch” (but of course, it happens as well..like once in a .. blue moon!? *). So I need to tune in to be able to sense that what I need, might be just to be silent, stretch, rest, even though my mind want to run off to the next capoeira roda or ecstatic dance session.
Thanks to last time I was in Ubud, and the yoga practice I did then, I learnt to start to change the question from what I want to what I need and I have practiced it over the last year, whereby I sometimes try to stop, and feel what I actually need to do to feel good, as suppose to follow the autopilot of what I want to do.
To be able to listen to ourselves and what we need is useful in so many different situations. Most of the time, if we have a problem or discomfort or something on our minds, we tend to turn to other people for advise. We ask friends and family, or we see a doctor, or psychologist, anything to receive external advise. Even though, most of the time we already have the answer within us.
.. IF – we are willing to listen..
Sometimes, we frankly do not want to hear the answer we have within us, and even less to follow it. If we practice to tune into what we need, and listen to the body and heart, that answer might be really discomforting! Cause what if, when that answer becomes “I am not happy because of my job” or ” I am not happy in this relationship, I need to leave it” or “I want a change of scene. I need to start some new habits and meet new people!” It can create a lot of discomfort, to dare to listen to the voice, and to follow it.
On the other hand, of course, we do not have to listen to that voice who whispers to us. But sometimes, at least for some of us, like, like me – I just Have to follow that Voice, knowing that even though the decision, at the time, perhaps will not seem to make all that much sense, one day it hopefully will..!
Two of my best friends asked me recently about how I take decisions, perhaps since they have seen me sweating over a restaurant menu having noooo idea what to order since I can not make up my mind of seemingly anything – and in the next moment I am announcing that I have decided to move across the world to another continent – Again!
How does that make sense?
It doesn’t. But the answer is that when it comes to the Big Decisions in life, I can not do anything else than to follow it when that voice is whispering in my ear that my soul needs to be in Rio, or when something pokes my mind about Bali and Ubud and a knowing is growing within me that there is a reason for why I have to listen to the voice, event though it can in the moment go against my immediate wanting for my situation (such as “What!? Why should I move to Ubud!? All is so well in Rio! Stop harassing me with this thought! I love my house in Rio! I love my friends and my life here!” But the voice was persistent.. “Could be.. but you know you have to do it..!” or “Moving to Rio!? But I have a job for the Scottish Government! That does not make sense!!” “Just do it anyway..one day it might make sense..!”..).
Eventually I tend to listen to that little voice of knowing within me, and so far, I have never regretted any of my life changing moves across the globe (even though it unavoidable have been a bit of fluff and packing and insecurities about the “small details” such as where to live, where to work, how it will come together etc. Thus, by the end of the day, that is just details in comparison to the joy and richness of living in these places!).
What I do need to become better at, is to listen to that small voice even at the restaurant table who whispers to me what it actually desires to eat. Big decisions it seems like I can deal with, but the small ones I still have to work on.. Hence why the yoga practice is really good for my practice of listening to my body and tend to it’s needs. From the bigger picture to the small one, and from ignoring the needs of my body to tend to them!
I am really grateful to myself for daring to listen to that voice which kept whispering “Ubud..! Ubud! You know you need to do it!!” since it was scary to take that decision, but living here, is such an incredible experience, and the private yoga teacher in my garden is only one of the beautiful things of this place! What is that voice whispering in your ear?
..do you dare to listen..?
Thank you for listening!
* Post carnaval in Rio de Janeiro and Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, even MY body wanted to rest! 😉