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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Sun, 01/01/2017
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Life imitating art imitating life - Lessons from the dance floor

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I have twirled the wrong way, got myself out of step, over-thought everything until I was utterly hopeless.

LIFE LESSONS FROM THE DANCEFLOOR

Everything we are confronted with in life is an opportunity to learn something, to grow our spirit, to deepen our soul and to train ourselves to be better human beings.

Many of the situations we find ourselves in are often reflections of other events, emotions or responses to things that are happening in our lives. We can find ourselves frustrated, impatient or angry at one thing and soon the day unfolds as a series of testing situations, slow service, hours waiting on the phone for a call centre, red traffic lights seemingly at every turn and people who press all our buttons in the wrong way.

If we can learn to view these moments as opportunities to put into practice what we have learned about how we choose to respond, then we can find the obstacles being removed and the path in front of us less cluttered - the horizon more in focus. 

Choosing our responses is the only real power we have, deploying this power instinctively is not always easy, seeing clearly what is really happening beyond the actual events that we are facing is difficult, especially when we are in the thick of a situation.

I was reminded of this recently after deciding to take up Cuban Salsa classes and despite having a dance background, I found the technical side very difficult to master indeed. Attending weekly group lessons under a very patient and encouraging teacher, paired with dancers of greater ability than I, gave me confidence and I was excited to attend my first social Cuban Salsa evening. 

I went with a friend I met at class who is more experienced and a better dancer than I and on the dance floor, surrounded by some incredibly talented dancers, I found myself completely lost. I couldn't find the beat, the rhythm eluded me and despite the patience of my dance-partner, I managed to look like a maniac had broken onto the set of Strictly Come Dancing!

I kept trying but the music was too fast, I was out of my depth and my brain, feet and body failed to grasp a single movement in unison.
It was the early hours went I stepped into the rain-drenched streets, deflated and ready to hang up my shoes. I didn’t belong here,  I told myself, I was never going to be able to master this, feisty Latino dance. I was hugely disappointed.

I went to bed heavy-hearted and  On awakening, I picked up my discarded dance shoes and threw them into the back of my wardrobe. I closed the door, unrolled my yoga mat and began my practice - acknowledging how much more at home I feel in the asanas, the postures. 

It was then I dug deep into my soul and asked myself  . . .what was really happening here?

The realisation was swift, but gentle and I allowed my response and my emotions to teach me something. I opened up to what I could learn from these feelings, this experience. What did it mean? What could this experience and my response teach me?

Without trying too hard, I reflected on my short dancing experience and was surprised to realise that learning to Salsa was deeply symbolic of my learning to walk again in my new life - this life I didn’t want, this life without my Beautiful Girl. 

That dancefloor, those complicated steps, being led by someone I don't know was a reflection of all that I was facing in life itself. Feeling lost, not knowing what to do, bumping into things.  .  .
Where dancing would perhaps be the last thing a bereaved mother would feel like doing, it is exactly what my brave, Warrior Girl would want for me. She would want me to dance, to feel joy, to seek out new experiences to grow, to learn . . .and most importantly - she wouldn't want me to  give up.

I jumped off my mat, fumbled among the fallen dresses in the dark of the wardrobe and pulled my dance shoes out of their short retirement.

Sitting on the floor of my bedroom, I put on my shoes, the blisters on my heels, sore and raw and I danced. 
Around the room. 
Carefully practicing my steps.
Not rushing
Going back to the basics.

It was here I knew.
It was here I chose.
I chose to keep on dancing

I will dance, I will learn the steps, I can do this.
I will walk this new life, light on my feet, I will learn how to live a different way, I can do this.
I will belong, I will return to the dance floor of life know the correct steps / excelling even. 

Plunging myself into as many classes as I could, turning up alone at 11pm on a Saturday night at a bar that looked like something out of downtown Miami. I danced with sweaty strangers.
I watched, I learned, I failed, I lost the beat, I spun and turned in the wrong direction but I got back up.
I have had a few successful dances - I have also had a lot of fails.
I have twirled the wrong way, got myself out of step, over-thought everything until I was utterly hopeless.
I have looked at my feet instead of into my partner’s eyes - looking down rather than toward the horizon. 
I have tried to lead instead of follow and trust my instinct.

Just like life.
I choose to dance on.

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