Blindfold yoga

25th November 2015: Sydney, Australia

The recent decision to trial varying yoga teaches and styles has resulted in the sense of needing to share a specific experience with others. Last night, I arrived as usual to the studio, prepared with some brief stretches before being informed the class would proceed without use of our predominant sense. Obviously, there was an option to discard the blindfold, however, I was not going to pass on this moment. Immediately, an excitement, intrigue and overall enthusiasm was felt at this foreign prospect. Honestly, no hesitations were present within my thinking. Instead, a receptive, curious and awaiting mind was centred upon the next hour.

At the most basic level, eliminating our sight could link to thoughts about an unsteadiness, and of course, I imagine differences would have been evident if the many times I had my vision were compared with yesterday. However, solely focusing on a physical unsteadiness overlooks the deeper awareness allowed to open when a shift occurs in the way we reliance on our senses. Honestly, the class facilitated a deeper connection in regards to the relationship between my body and the space around me whilst also making me feel attuned to what was happening inside my mind. Furthermore, the act of temporarily taking away the sight from everyone in the room allowed a true freedom to exist. A freedom whereby everyone could move without a worry about how they looked.

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Bellingen and the ‘Promised Lands’

21st October 2015: Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia

Today, a moment occurred today whereby a thought came upon me, and has since stayed with me till the time of writing. I was at the ‘Promised Lands’, a place known for freshwater swimming pools existing in the area. My intention was to complete yoga on the banks before cooling off in the majestic natural baths. So, a secluded place was located, and in a typical manner I commenced preparing for some yoga, however, a feeling swept across me. A feeling only described as a sense in my body of a reluctance to proceed with the range of planned poses. On other occasions, I usually push through, and always reap the benefits of the practice, however, an overwhelming sense that my intentions were incorrect could not pass from my consciousness. Thankfully, I listened to my body, and ultimately stopped any further attempts. Instead, I simply sat and looked at the scenery. Honestly, it was a moment whereby the natural surroundings evoked total appreciation for my life, and the next two hours were spent interchanging between swimming in the freshwater and sitting on the rocks eating fresh fruit. On reflection, it was a necessary reminder of not always needing to rush or adhere to plans. Rather, the need to be connected with my body to at times have the capacity to just stop. Consequently, I passed on a yoga session on the banks of the water, but experienced complete and utter joy in my surrounding environment whilst returning to a childlike version of myself exploring the water and rocks.

How to balance self-improvement with a social identity

9th September 2015: Sydney, Australia

The yoga classes attended yesterday and today made me reflect on the time spent since my operation, particularly in regards to questions about whether I used the time effectively. I definitely allowed time for my body and soul to heal, however, I am uncertain if a degree of complacency was able to creep into my life throughout the latter weeks. I believe a feeling of simply being content in life was apparent, and ironically, it seems I have an enhanced ability at juggling multiple tasks when a greater number of activities feature in my day. Moreover, virtually all the tasks I wish to be completing when I make a return to my usual level functioning are undertaken on an individual basis. Consequently, sacrifices to the social component of my life are necessary should the life I thought I wish to strive for be implemented. It seems my previous planning centred upon the concept of self-improvement, and the planning resulted in a loss to my social connections. Therefore, it is essential to ensure I learn from my past, and still partake in all the actives I wish to complete, however, prioritise the space to regularly connect with friends and family in social situations.

Yoga is the best form of rehabilitation

8th September 2015: Sydney, Australia

The reintroduction of yoga could not have come at a better time. Honestly, it feels like my body was sending messages to my brain, alerting it to an increased capacity to do more than just rest and recover each day. Admittedly, yoga only lasts an hour, however, it provides a sense of purpose, focus and stimulation in my life. In addition, it reinforces the reality of the restrictions in my current movement. An overall awareness is also associated with yoga, namely, the need to focus on where your body is willing to allow you to move, a seemingly pivotal point during the the early stages of rehabilitation. Failure to be attuned with your body could easily result in temporary or permanent damage, and it is only through total awareness whereby you will instinctively know when and how much you can push yourself through each pose.

Why I travel…

19th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

Yesterday, a moment occurred that will be forever remembered. The location of the moment was at a surfspot I have recently being surfing. The waves at the place break over shallow, sharp reef, and yesterday the size of surf significantly increased. A complexity is associated with the place due to the fear associated with falling into the sharp reef. I should note at this point a pivotal factor coming to surface on reflection. I have had the mentality throughout the trip of solely wanting things from the ocean. The entry will hopefully portray the understanding learned from the experience whilst also showing an overwhelming respect to the ocean.

So, a friend and I were intending on surfing together. Upon arriving at the place we saw the actual size of the larger waves running down the reef. It was an extremely low tide so we had to walk approximately 100 meters on the reef before attempting to challenge the ocean. My fried successfully managed to make his way out to the waves whilst I remained stuck on the reef throwing my board into the sky attempting to litigate the potential risks of the oncoming balls of fury breaking directly in front of me. Three consecutive waves rolled me along the reef, resulting in my sensing a message was being delivered about an imminent dangers should I continue. There definitely would have been a time when I would have reflected on this experience as a moment of weakness, however, my acceptance and submission lead me to respect the ocean whilst also allowing other opportunities to surface.

The outcomes of being rolled along the reef by three waves resulted in me drifting approximately 150 around the cliff. I noticed a patch of sand was exposed by the low tide forming a little bay, and I felt an overwhelming connection with the world around me. It seemed my fate was to submit to the ocean. Therefore, I decided to turn around to commence the journey back to the shore. Whilst paddling, I felt drawn to the exposed bay, and again felt I needed to follow my instincts. Once standing on the bay, I rested my board in some shade, and completed a powerful and emotive yoga session. I was surprised at how deep into the practice I became, and felt the three waves served the purpose of getting me to find strength in accepting my defeat. I fully acknowledge the criticism by some at the content, however, I can honestly say it is an accurate account of what I was experiencing at the time, and still believe the events are to hold some meaning in my life.

The mysterious powers of Bali?

8th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

It has been over 18 months since physically feeling like I am at present. A point I find so intriguing, especially considering the scan undertaken just over a week ago showed a Cancerous tumour was growing inside of me. To say I baffled is an understatement. The only way of comprehending the circumstances is by believing the chemotherapy now has a target to direct the intended function of the drug, opposed to reckoning havoc on the entirety of my body. Obviously, I may be completely incorrect, and must admit, the climate, laughter, friendship, yoga and enjoyment from surfing simply may be enhancing my current feelings. I also cannot overlook the importance of constant company of close friends in keeping me elevated whilst also stopping any destructive thoughts entering my headspace. Lastly, there is also talk of mysterious powers associated with the island, could it be that I am on the way to recovery without any need for surgery or another example of my desperation and vulnerability.

Yoga

23rd May 2015: Sydney, Australia

I attended a yoga class for the first time in many months last night. The class, was more of an event to raise money for the people of Nepal impacted by the recent earthquakes. I must admit, I have throughly enjoyed completing yoga in my own house since heading to London last year, however, the class environment seems to take me to a much deeper level whilst also acting as a mechanism to release loads of endorphins throughout my king and body once completed. The class definitely reinforced the benefits of attending a class, and there is certain to be a greater focus on completing yoga within a group whilst in Indonesia.