Having recently attended a 5 day intensive in London on acrobatic yoga and Thai massage I was reminded of how it feels stepping outside of my comfort zone. The course was very challenging physically and at times it did feel a little like 'bootcamp' yoga. That said, I really enjoyed the challenge it gave me although at times I did feel myself getting frustrated when my body didn't do what I wanted it to do. I reminded myself of the 8 limbs of yoga and one of the 'Yamas' Ahimsa – Compassion for all living things - the word Ahimsa means not to injure or show cruelty to any creature or person in any way whatsoever. Ahimsa is, however, more than just lack of violence as adapted in yoga. It means kindness, friendliness, and thoughtful consideration of other people and things. Ahimsa implies that in every situation we should adopt a considerate attitude and do no harm. Ahimsa is also self compassion and kindness to our mind and body. Whilst I felt there was some students who were being very competitive I reminded myself of the reasons I practice yoga and listened to my body and took it easy. 

The Niyama
Svadhyaya – Self study - this is the fourth niyama is svadhyaya. Sva means "self' adhyaya means "inquiry" or "examination". Any activity that cultivates self-reflective consciousness can be considered svadhyaya. It means to intentionally find self-awareness in all of our activities and efforts, even to the point of welcoming and accepting our limitations. It teaches us to be centered, mindful and non-reactive to the dualities, to let go of unwanted and self-destructive tendencies. Once again I reminded myself during reflection that I have to honour my limitations and with practice those limitations would become less impossible and possible.

Having discovered acrobatic yoga which is very playful - I enjoy turning my world upside down so my latest challenge is aerial skills - As you will see if you visit my Facebook page I post the odd photo of me on the Hoop (Lyra) and the Silks. This activity is similar to aerial yoga with many of the movements mirroring yoga postures. There is a great deal of core strength required and of the course letting go of fear - when you suddenly find yourself in mid air it can feel very disorientating so you have to let go of fear (fears stops and prevents us from doing many things and I refuse to be afraid). I definitely believe in 'feel the fear and do it anyway' :) I love a challenge and stepping out of my comfort zone and learning new skills.