The gift that keeps on giving

“You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”

Khalil Gibran

 

know your light through the dark

Candles In The Dark
photo by אליעד מלין

Yes, yes, you know what I am going to say now: the Season is upon us. Or should I say the Seasons: Hanukkah, Bodhi Day or Rohatsu, Christmas, Kwanzaa, plus all the ancient festivals associated with the Winter Solstice.

It’s cold. It’s dark.  There seems to be an ancient intuitive call: to walk towards the light, the bonfire, the candle, reflect and get warm.  A lot of us go into this dark cave of hibernation and feel the need to reach inside our own psyches with a sign of care. Similarly, we reach out to our loved ones with a gift, a thought, a phone call, an act of kindness.

Additionally, the winter holidays mark the passing of another year. Memories, family dynamics, losses and longings all come up again, stirring a mix of emotions that makes winter hibernation hard to escape!

This time can be very overwhelming for a lot of us.

My way of dealing with this time of the year is by going into my body, into my breathing, into creating moments with myself. It is by going into my yoga.

If you feel you need a special place to go inwards during this solstice, we invite you to come and try out a class. This is also a great gift for a loved one who you think could benefit from the calmness and grounding, the gentle moments of solitude, and a more emotionally sustainable way of life.

English Yoga Berlin offer yoga gift cards for one or more Hatha yoga and Vinyasa yoga classes. You can buy them at our yoga studio in Kreuzberg, or online.

Pregnancy- A Time of Transition

photo by Shaleah Dawnyel

photo by Shaleah Dawnyel

There is no doubt. Most people think that pregnancy is a magical moment. It’s the moment that a new human being is preparing their entry into the world. It’s a moment a new parent is getting born. It’s the moment that things get shifted in the psyche to make space for the new. Magical? That’s most probably an adequate word to describe this time. But don’t confuse “magical” as a synonym for smooth, easy, happy, light. It’s wonderful when these attributes can also describe your experience, but mostly pregnancy is a time of massive transition. And transition is usually difficult, exciting, full of challenges and uncertainty.

It’s important to acknowledge this other aspect of pregnancy too. It is not just your body that gets stretched to make room for this new human being. It is also your psyche and spirit. Space, both physical and energetic, becomes an issue in your life. Transition is often accompanied with uncertainty and worry. This is normal. This is how transition works. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed by it.

This is where prenatal yoga can help. Pregnancy yoga promotes mental and physical well being and balance which is vital during times of transition or uncertainty. Learning how to breathe during pregnancy will not only help during pregnancy but in the many moments of parenthood to come. Creating a sankalpa and returning to it again and again will help you focus in the positive change you wish for your life. Learning how to listen to your body will help you accept your body and its’ changes, and will be of great value during childbirth. Prenatal yoga visualization techniques will help bring serenity into your present life and serve as an anchor of focus during childbirth.

We will be offering a new English prenatal yoga class in Berlin starting September 2015. Pinelopi has taught Hatha Yoga in English for 8 years now and pregnancy yoga to private students at home. After having being pregnant in 2013, she is now ready to offer pregnancy yoga to a small group at our yoga studio in Kreuzberg.

Sorting Through Suffering–Is your subconscious talking?

I recently offered a workshop: Self Healing through Yoga. Two weeks before the workshop, I got extremely stressed. At one point, I realized what I was doing. I caught my “ego mental voice” worrying about being successful rather than listening to my heart which was clearly saying, “I trust that the people who need to be there will come and they will receive what they need from the workshop.” Repeating negative mental thoughts, together with the pressure to not fail, brought intense stress and unnecessary mental pain into my life all the way up until the workshop.
The workshop went very well.

The following week, however, I had a series of unpleasant events which seemed to culminate in the loss of my wallet. I wondered what was happening to me. I immediately posed this question to my dreams and asked them to help me understand what was I missing.

I looked at the symbolic messages from my dreams and the things that were happening in my life and was finally able to decipher the message my subconscious was trying to send me. I realized that I had not been humble about the success of the workshop. I took most of the credit for myself without recognizing all the support I had from the other teachers at the studio who promoted my workshop, the support of my community who sent good thoughts my way and also the support from the greater force who guided the right people to attend. I didn’t take the time to sit and meditate in gratitude for all the help sent my way.

The day after this realization, I found my wallet. It had been in my house the whole time!

Instead of believing that the universe was playing a trick on me, I believe that my subconscious mind was trying to bring me to a place of awareness that I previously couldn’t see. The loss of my wallet was representing a loss of focused values within myself.

One of the first questions in the workshop that I had just finished teaching was “what needs to be healed”? This is what I really need to heal: I did not need to lose my wallet in order to make up for my lack of humility after the workshop. I needed to forgive myself without needing to punish myself- to be concious of my attitudes and learn from my mistakes.

Through the symbolic interpretation of the messages of my dreams and others events in my life, things started to make more sense. I became very aware of something that was restraining me from being free. I am now more aware of how difficult my subconscious mind can make my reality- even to the point of actually losing my physical things!

There are many types of pain. There is external, internal, that which is brought by others, and that which we bring on ourselves. They are all difficult and they all hurt. But they can also teach things, about life, about limits, about taking care of ourselves and about practicing gratitude.

Perhaps the most complicated of the types of pain is the kind we bring on ourselves- the kind that is so often created by our subconscious mind. Self inflicted pain often shows itself in the form of useless stress and mental turmoil that we so naturally create in our own lives. Fortunately, we always have the option to examine this pain conciously and to grow in the process.

For more information about interpreting your dreams, join us for our next Dream Yoga Workshop.

Spaces are limited and the last workshop was full–you can contact us to reserve your space in advance.