Easeful is different than Easy

No longer. Not yet. Maybe not ever.

This is the first time in a long time where I do not feel the need to take immediate action on my dreams. Oh how I tried (#PittaAF), but my heart lately has helped me to discern emergence from forcing. It's let me know that I'm on the right path, even if it's wildly different than what I expected. And, I struggled with those expectations I set upon my own Self. I see that so clearly now. I’m sure you have strong expectations of yourself, too, yes? How does that really make you feel?

Dearest friends, I’ve started a new role. And, it’s not yoga necessarily. And, I cried at my desk and in the bathroom the first day and the second and the third - a) because I’ve gotten used to longer days with my baby and b) because this means surrendering some liberties I had before. But, it came so easefully, which is different than easily, and felt so right that I had to say yes.

I am now serving as the Development Director for Foster Forward, a wonderful organization with amazing people that serves youth, children, and families touched by foster care in Rhode Island. Did you know I had a former life in development // fundraising? Before Yoga Dear?

Courtesy of Jenna Honeycutt Calligraphy

Courtesy of Jenna Honeycutt Calligraphy

Here’s the thing. I adore yoga. You know this. I am dedicating my life to sharing the truths of yoga, particularly to nourish the feminine (this exists in men, too). But, I’ve heard this whisper that my work needs to reach beyond yoga studios. I wasn’t sure what that meant. To a degree, I’m still not. But, what I do know is that yoga has a branding problem. Yoga is not “fitness.” It is not fancy poses practiced in 100 degree temperatures. It’s purpose is not to make your tush look better (although that could happen). Yoga is the teaching of wholeness. Of recognizing our Divinity and our beauty and our gifts and our worthiness through a time honored and tested technology.

And, so I’ve started to pull away from certain settings. I’m starting to have these images and these dreams. I long for space where we learn + DISCUSS the essential elements of our practice - the ethics, history, meditation, subtle anatomy. I long to chant mantra and dance to live music. I long to teach people about how movement and yoga (inherently its philosophy) can nourish the body and the mind, and in turn heal the soul. I long to share ayurvedic ways of living + eating as a reflection of nature.

I long to utilize the teachings of yoga to help solve the world's greatest problems and connect with great thinkers. I long to help women uncover the wildness and sacredness of their femininity supported by real life community. I long to support play, imagination, respect.

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No longer. Not yet.

In this moment, I’m choosing to honor the closing of a chapter and the seeds of creation for another. I’m not sure if the above vision is a physical place or a digital one. I’m not sure how often we meet (because, yes, I still want to teach you) - monthly, quarterly, yearly - or if it’s person or online or both. I’m not sure if anyone is even interested.

And, so when this new role came along (and met my negotiation to part-time work) I said yes. I said yes to emergence, rather than forcing an outcome based off of expectation. I said yes to a new challenge and the chance to bring my yoga practice into a field that I think will deeply benefit. I said yes to allow myself time to actually study, experiment and play with yoga education, and continue to work with the handful of beautiful souls I see every week for yoga therapy. I’m trusting what has felt easeful, undeniable, peaceful, sattvic, even with its challenges.

I write all of this to acknowledge your own spaces of in between, too. I know that you have your own places of no longer and not yet, and how hard it can be to allow for that. Rather than forcing, how can we step into the flow of our lives? Can we trust what feels like calm, steady energy even if it’s not what we envisioned for ourselves? What do you think? If you have a moment, please pass this message along to a friend who needs it…perhaps a friend who’s life feels uprooted or steered in a new direction. And, as always, I’d love to hear from you and how you are (I respond to EVERY comment and message.

Why yoga therapy?

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We often come to yoga for more than the movement. We're searching. We want relief from anxiety, depression, loss, overwhelm, pain. We crave purpose. Connection.

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A new [but, actually very old] approach towards well-being

Hey there,

As I type, I’m elbows deep in books, papers, and notes, preparing for Yoga Teacher Training this upcoming weekend. I had another letter in mind for you, but I decided to hold on that and share this:

There is absolutely nothing WRONG with you. You are not broken. You don’t need to be fixed. You are already whole. Your ability to heal is within you. And, that’s what yoga + ayurveda aim to do. To support you on your journey back to your Self. Back to your wholeness, your whole being wellness.

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That’s not to say you may not need some help on the journey. And, here is where we can seek out the support of trusted care providers (acupuncturists, doctors, therapists, yoga teachers, chiropractors, herbalists, nutritionists, health coaches, yoga therapists, etc.) to help guide our way, to encourage it. Emphasis on guide.

There’s another path of study I thought you might be interested in, and that is Ayurveda. Ayurveda is something we’ve been studying in teacher training as well as a layer of yoga therapy that I’m practicing. It’s known as the “sister science” of yoga (because yoga is actually a science…but you knew that, right? Insert wink).

“Ayur" means life. "Veda" means knowledge. The practice was recorded 5000 years ago, and is one of the world’s original forms of medicine. What I love about it is that it's particularly tailored to YOUR needs. You won't find a one size fits all diet, exercise regime, or meditation practice. You won't find a "demonizing" of wheat or dairy or fruit or legumes or meat. You won't find workouts that preach high intensity or low impact or cardio. Nope.

Ayurveda takes into consideration your unique make-up, your unique way of moving throughout nature (and how it moves in you) to figure out what foods, movement, and other practices would serve you and your body best. Isn’t that beautiful? To know that you don’t have to eat or move the way “everyone else” is moving/eating in order to find wellness? Ayurveda is such a specialized and personal journey that for me and I know many, many others has been profoundly healing, especially coupled with a yoga practice. I find it hard to separate the two now.

***

Are you intrigued yet? I hope so, and I’m happy to write more about ayurveda and using it as a tool in your wellness journey. But, the point I’m trying to make here is this: Eat what’s right for YOU. Move how your body is asking YOU to move. Listen to what’s happening within your mind. Use your yoga practice as a way to check-in with your needs at any given moment (maybe a stronger practice today and a gentle one tomorrow). Let it be a reminder of your wholeness, your amazing-ness, your ability to heal. And, know that there is a science of health that goes hand in hand with yoga to start to explore if it speaks to you.

As we embark on a month that’s wrapped around the concept of love, please remember to love on YOU today. Remember that you are unique. You are beautiful. You are not broken. You are already imperfectly & perfectly whole. Try not to let anyone [or thing] make you feel otherwise.

With love,
Leanne

P.S. If you’re intrigued by Ayurveda, check out this article here. And, if you’re a bookworm like me, consider picking up a copy of Eat, Taste, Heal (a favorite of mine!) or Eat, Feel, Fresh (a recommendation from a Yoga Dear student). Please know, at the moment I receive zero $$ for sharing posts and books with you. This is 100% based on my own study that I want to pass on.

P.P.S. Really, how are you?? How is your yoga practice? What are you working on/with? How is your body feeling? What do you think about Ayurveda? If you have three minutes, send me a quick message. I love reading them and learning about how yoga is supporting you in your life.