Mind Body and Spirit resource

This is my Yoga journey blog and resource with tips and hints relating to the mind, body and spirit. Collaborators, contributors are welcome to add their own journey and tips too.

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by Kimm Fearnley
Bournemouth, Bournemouth, United Kingdom,
Created on 1 Jan 2017

This project is for those interested in learning more about yoga, meditation and other aspects of spirituality. It is a place to share tips and experiences, views and information with others.

Tanya Ring is a yoga and pilates teacher and Kimm Fearnley founded the Happiness Centre - a yoga and meditation centre in Yorkshire where she taught meditation and gave away the profits to good causes. Kimm, who handed over the reins of the centre a few years ago now has a social media page called The Backroom Buddha. The two friends are passionate about yoga, meditation and healthy lifestyles and intend to offer a range of articles and videos to encourage the practice of gentle exercise and meditation. 

In the first article Kimm reveals how yoga helps her to face daily challenges and Tanya talks about how emotional release can be found in yoga postures.

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There are lots of yoga and meditation videos and blogs online put together by people much better qualified than I - all of which will show you how to get into the perfect posture. But yoga is so much more than the asanas and once we begin to dig deeper, to listen to our bodies, to put aside our ego we really can begin the journey to becoming whole, to achieving our full potential, to be better, more useful human beings.

To be stronger than we ever thought possible, to be focused, light and free.

This blog is not to show you how to perfect your downward dog or stand tall like a beautiful tree -although I envisage there may well be a few short clips and tips as I share my own observations along the way- it is more about bringing the trinity of ourselves together and finding our true state. Achieving stillness and detachment.

The trinity of our mind, our body and our spirit.

This ‘trinity’, in most of us, has become so fragmented and separate that we seem to have lost the understanding of the connection and importance of the three aspects of ourselves.

We focus only on our body when we want it to do something for us - lose weight, exercise, feel pleasure, enjoy sex or when it fails us by becoming injured or sick and only then we start to properly notice it and bemoan the loss of it. 

We don’t fuel and feed it well, we don’t give thought to breathing or ensuring it has plenty of water and rest - until we want something from it.


As for our minds, we allow the constant chatter of thoughts in our heads from morning until night - imaginary conversations, stress, re-living things that have gone, worrying about things that have yet to come and in the middle of it all is our soul, our spirit.

Our soul, the essence of us, the emotional, responsive being that is wise and has all the answers if only we quieten the chatter.

If only we can learn to be still.


The first time I truly became aware of my body was when I suddenly decided in 2012 that I was going to increase my physical training goals and run the London Marathon in 2013.

I was pretty fit and thought nothing of pushing my body to the limits. Weights, gym, classes, running, hot yoga to increase my physical endurance - my ego was in overdrive!

Wanting to achieve, wanting to look good.

I had a history of substance abuse, eating disorders, stress and never really considered my body’s needs only what I wanted from it. 

I expected my body to do what I wanted when I wanted.

Then one day, shortly after signing up for the marathon, I found myself up a hill gasping for breath and wondering why I didn't seem to have the power and strength to run. I was most odd.

It was there, in the cold Yorkshire wind that I ‘heard’ my body for the first time.

It stopped.

It would go any further.

My legs buckled and my heart raced and I sat on the rock.

Confused and angry as to why to just wouldn't go harder and faster. It always did before. 

At my command.

Then it spoke:

“You want me to do what?! . . .You have starved me, pushed me, abuse me, fed me drugs and alcohol, underfed me, overfed me, completely bloody ignored my needs and now your want me to do what? . . . run a f*****g marathon?!

“Well you can think again!”

It was as if my body had a voice and it had decided to speak for the first time.

It went on . . .

“You and me are going nowhere. I am sick and tired of not being considered. If you want to run 26.2 miles non stop then you can start by listening to my needs because I am going nowhere. I need rest, water, nourishment . . And that’s just the start. . .”

I sat in shock on the hilltop and realised that it was true I had never respected my body and often hated it and for a few years I had been practicing meditation and silencing my mind and working on my soul journey but I had not once made the connection between my body and my mind and spirit. I was busy “calling back my spirit” but it was my body that I needed to call back!

The trinity.

There was clearly work to be done. . . 


My Beautiful daughter India took me to yoga telling me Pilates was for flat stomachs and good posture and yoga was for the whole being. She was only a teenager at the time.

She said my ego took me to run and search for the perfect body but my soul would prefer a little yoga.

I thought yoga was for lazy, sentimental people. For hippies.

But I quite fancied the idea of being a cool beautiful yogi so rolled out my mat - after buying about half a dozen in various colours along with some fancy yoga wear - but struggled to get into the postures and could only do a class if I was standing in full view of myself in a mirror.

I really didn't get it and the perfect asana eluded me. . It was frustrating and impossible.

I give up and headed back to the gym.


Then my Beautiful Girl became ill and I had no strength to run, it meant nothing anymore, and it was to the mat I took my fear and desperation as we fought for her life and it was where I turned alone to rebuild myself when the battle was lost. . .

Some days all I did was weep on my mat and others I would barely know how to breathe. Every breath stirred the grief that threaten to drown me, every movement hurt. My Tree wobbled, my Warrior was all over the place, I felt pained, broke and hurt but I listened to my body and slowly, gently I called it back. I nourished it gently, I quietened my mind, I calmed the panic and fear and I kept on going back to the mat.

I searched for the warrior within. 

I knew if I didn't find it I may die.

I rolled it out under the gentle gaze of various beautiful teachers who have become dear friends. I rolled it out on mountain sides and beaches, I rolled it out in Tibet, Kathmandu and in the sacred home of yoga in ashrams in India, in studios in California and New York, in Greek Islands and British moors and shores. Some days I am floored and overcome with longing for my Beautiful Girl so I lay there and let the pain and love flow through me and other days the joy flows through me and I feel as light as a dancer.


Last month I embarked on my Yoga Sutras studies with The British Wheel of Yoga Foundation Course and I realised that not only do I now never practice in front of a mirror - scrutinising myself for every finger out of place - I actually most often practice with my eyes closed. It makes me smile to think how far I have come.

It is a long crazy journey this thing we call life and for me yoga has become an important part of my existence. 

It helps me take control of my mind, to focus and centre me, it makes me aware of and grateful for my body and for my breath. It makes me strong of mind of body and of spirit.

It brings me back to me.

The true purpose of yoga is not to do the perfect headstand but to train the body to be still so it can meditate for long periods of time.

To sit still.

It is in stillness that we will find strength.

It is in that silence we will find clarity and wisdom.

I hope you enjoy joining me on my yoga journey and I would love to hear about yours whether you have just started or have been practicing for years.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Namaste.

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9 Comments

2112

Mia Manners

Lovely, honest & inspirational...
Thank you

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Kimm Fearnley

Thank you for reading @Mia Manners

2954

Julie Millward

What a beautiful, honest, raw, and inspiring post, Kimm. I'm on a yoga journey myself, so I recognise - and share - much of your belief and enthusiasm for the restorative power of yoga. I've just set out, with some trepidation, on a teaching course with Friends of Yoga after completing the British Wheel foundation courses 1 and 2 a few years ago. Like you, I started out with trendy leggings and a keep-fit attitude, and it's taken a while - probably twenty years or so - to realise that, actually, it's the answer to making sense of this crazy life. Wishing you all the peace of mind that you can find in your yoga bubble. x

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Kimm Fearnley

Hi @Julie Millward I am just started BWY after years of self practice and was inspired to study more of the theory and Sutras following a two week Yah Sutras course in Riskikesh. It inspired me to hug deeper.
I am enjoying keeping a journal too. How exciting for you to begin teacher training! Sending love and peace to you too. X

1408

Cathy Mason

Wow. What a beautiful piece of writing! So heartfelt, poignant yet full of hope. Thank you. x

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Kimm Fearnley

Thank you @Cathy Mason for reading and making contact. X

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Ralph Pettingill

Thanks @Kimm Fearnley . I notice what mixed feelings I have, even beginning to read this piece ... and then I notice that those feelings are so similar to the ones I bump up against annoyingly often. I know that I'm always pleased if I make it to the yoga class, but practice alone at home isn't so easy. I was pulled up short when you referred to the things you'd struggled with-that was the point I really sat up and paid attention. Thank you; looking forward to joining in with what you share.

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Kimm Fearnley

As always @Ralph Pettingill your comments are honest, thought provoking and kind. Thank you for reading and sharing your views. They mean a lot to me. X

2675

Kay Bottomley

I loved reading this Kimm, thank you for all your insights.
My current yoga journey very much ties in with things you say - the perfect headstand is a million miles from where I am the moment.... tired, stiff and often stressed with the day to day graft of making sure the "little man" is clean, fed, comfortable and feels loved.
Its only when all that's in place that I stop to think of me, my body. And more often than not the most I can do is get myself to a comfortable space where I can stretch a bit, relax, and meditate. And then dialogue with the aches and pains, easing my body into accepting that for now it isn't the powerful, driven machine that cycled, swam, danced and looked good in the mirror. Its now the slightly saggy receptacle of an overstretched older lady. But once we are connected, there's an ease that comes through the yoga, of accepting this unexpected, difficult yet beautiful phase of my life with good grace, a wry smile, and loads of laughter.
Thank you again, and I look forward to more insights and teachings. And a good holiday in your retreat centre when you get it up and running!