I have always loved yoga, but when I say this I didn’t love it in the way people who practice daily and live the yogi way of life love yoga. I loved the idea of gentle asana’s, stretching the body for flexibility and of course the final pose of a yoga flow, Savasana laying still and just being so present in that moment with nowhere else to be. Just a lovely calm presence, a stillness in time. I didn’t know the depth of yoga and what it can truly do.
Living on a large cattle property roughly an hour and a half drive from the nearest major town for more than a third of my life, meant I didn't have the ease of just popping down to my local gym or yoga studio for a class, but the one thing I did have was a personal live-in trainer! My darling Lachie, among many of his skills, was a Personal Trainer. A certificate he obtained while playing premier grade rugby for the Sunshine Coast Stingrays in his early 20’s. This meant I had someone who would tailor my workouts each day and also join in on the youtube yoga classes I would set up in our living room. We loved working out together, and no one could motivate me like him.
I always wanted to be the best version of myself because he brought that out in me.
He still does.
When Lach passed, the furthest thing from my mind was working out. I could barely get out of bed to go to the bathroom let alone think about moving my body in any capacity that would exert energy. As you can possibly guess, I was drowning deeply in my grief, and there was no way to get up for air. With time however I started connecting to myself again, and connecting to Lachie. I can’t tell you what day of the week it was, or how many months had passed, but I just realised, no one is going to make you happy George, and what disservice to Lach if you don’t pull up your big girl pants and at least make a go of this life while you can.
My family had moved properties and were living only 15 minutes drive to the closest town now, so I joined a gym which had a lovely yoga studio attached to it. I started going to the classes.
That was the first step.
At first I couldn’t connect to my breath, and be still with my thoughts. My thoughts were nothing but clouded with pain and trauma. But, I was finally moving my body in a healthy way.
Now most good yoga instructors will tell you, yoga is not about who can do the poses perfectly or hold a headstand for 10 minutes. It is about connection to the breath, to the body. It is a mindful practice, a ritual of grounding and gratitude. But for me, in these early days of getting back to movement, it was all about the asana poses. It was what I needed, and it again is something that saved me.
The two teachers at the studio were friendly, calming and gentle. It was such a lovely welcoming space to go to and start feeling like I was living again. And by dedicating myself to go each day, eventually I started finding myself naturally falling into focus. Breathing deeply without bringing on a panic attack. Laying in Savasana and truly feeling peace once again. I started building a morning ritual to add on to my journaling (Refer to blog 1).
Before leaving to hit the mat each day and watch the sunrise, I throw on some activewear, cover my decolletage in a soothing body oil, hop in my car and head off to the studio. This oil has been a grounding scent to me through my practice. When I am breathing deeply I can smell the calming infusion of sweet almond oil infused with Calendula flowers with lavender, patchouli, frankincense and bergamot essential oils. At times when I can’t concentrate, distracted by thoughts, this beautiful oil calms me and brings me back to the present. It reminds me to just go back to my breath, to my body, to the now.
By being present I truly find peace and joy in the moment. I find gratitude, something I truly never thought I would find after losing Lachie. Taking the time each morning to put my oil on and hit the mat, even if it is for only 20 minutes in the morning following a yoga class on youtube, because let's face it we can’t always get into town for class! I ground myself for the rest of the day and I go into the day with a smile on my face. Grateful for the life I have lived, the love I have known and the life I continue to live as Lachie’s legacy.
I will leave you with a quote from the incredible book, ‘The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’ by Eckhart Tolle, “As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love - even the most simple action.”
If you are struggling to find joy and peace in your life, try some yoga, put on your ritual oil and try gently bring yourself to your now, with nowhere else to be but home to yourself.