A couple of days ago I went to a ballet by Ballet Black, it was a beautiful production, really good choreography with very talented artists. The dancers in this company brought back a memory when my ballet teacher (mind you I was 5!) didn’t let me go on stage because according to her standards I didn’t have the right physique for ballet. I wanted her to sit next to me; be amazed, excited, sad and even laugh(laughing during a ballet , right?) with me and see that art shouldn’t be restricted by body shape or skin colour. Obviously not everyone will end up as a professional artist, but you shouldn’t be told not to do something because you are different (for any reason).
When you are a kid, you do things naturally for the joy of the action, you draw pictures, you sing songs out loud, dance carelessly until somebody(sadly often from education) says that there’s no purple elephants, your voice is out of tune and boom! Self consciousness steps on stage, holds the pencils, echoes your voice and the enjoyment of the activity slowly disappears behind the (dis)approval of others. An Oscar-winner Hungarian short film tells a story about this in Mindenki (Sing), watch it, it’s really good🇭🇺🏆👍🏼📽💜
I think it is important to find the way back to that pre-consciousness stage again. To draw a picture, sing a song , dance around the house , loose yourself and feel the happiness coming from the activity itself. And just not listen to the inside voice telling you off, dare to be silly, feel the freedom of expression..whatever form you choose💃🏻🎤🎹🎼🎬🎨🎭.
And about yoga… I heard so many people saying “I don’t have the yoga body”; “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible enough”, “I’m not the yoga type”… this is just the same voice telling you that you are shouldn’t do something if you can’t be good at it..
THERE’S NO SUCH A THING AS BEING GOOD/BAD AT YOGA
When I you do yoga for kids, I can see how they enjoy the practice without being overly conscious about themselves, they don’t feel ashamed if they fall out of a balancing pose or can’t reach their toes etc.
People full of doubt should just give it a try, treat it as an experiment, don’t look at other people just feel your body doing something new (maybe weird) and don’t judge… Just enjoy the movement, the breathing, the meditation. Leave your ego behind and sink into yourself, it might be hard at first, but be able to laugh at yourself and take it easy.
It’s just yoga☺️🙏🏼😎
As for ballet, I decided last year to face my demons and I found a beginners class with an amazing teacher. I didn’t receive offers from the Royal Ballet, but I spent a great time getting reacquainted with this beautiful art form, laughing at myself when I missed a step and felt proud when I got them right and most of all, I enjoyed dancing👯💃🏽💕.
Sometimes people’s life is straightforward, like a train ride, two parallel lines going to a clear destination with predictable stations.
Well, my life is probably more like cross country trekking without a map. I moved to London 8 years ago ( leaving my 🚂 behind) and somehow ended up in teaching young people with learning difficulties. But my restless mind was looking for new challenges. It was time for a change.
It happened in a weeks time really, from the initial idea that I want to do something else beside my job ( which is a weird and wonderful, challenging and beautiful area), to the conclusion that I want to be a yoga teacher, and how I’m going to do it. The pieces of the puzzle came together so quickly that I started to be suspicious ( you know when everything happens so smooth and you are waiting for something to go wrong..). With a help of some very supportive friends and fellow yogis I conquered the fear that “I cannot put myself into a pretzel, how can I be a yoga teacher”, I realised that honesty and authenticity in my practice is more important 😊
Then a colleague/friend suggested to look into teacher trainings in India, specifically in Goa ( his family orignates there and he thought I’d like the place) so I did.
I had to decide the time and I ended up looking for a course in October-November. Imagine my boss’s face in January when I asked for a month unpaid leave right after the beginning of the next academic year… But everybody was really supportive and after some research I found the perfect school: Trimurti yoga(💜). They offer multi-style teacher training, this sounded perfect as I wasn’t really dedicated to any yoga style.
The time flew by really quickly and I did my preparations etc., but it didn’t sink in until I was sitting in my friend’s car and I saw a plane taking off when we were approaching Heathrow. Sh*t, I am going to India! The beginning of the actual physical journey materialised in form of a Jet Airways plane . 17 hours later I landed at Goa airport, in 35 degrees and bright sunshine.
My first adventure in Goa was sitting in traffic ( literally outside of the airport) for 2.5 hours, still in my London clothes, not knowing what’s happening ( later on I found out that there was a big international conference and they closed the roads). India is teaching me patience I thought…
A few days after my arrival the course begin. The location was perfect, in the jungle between Agonda and Palolem, surrounded by nature and I had my own little cottage. Happiness:)
Elephants in the garden
My little cottage
Dead Guy is waiting for his next anatomy class
During my journey I started to write again, I neglected this for a long time but the jungle seemed to awaken the sleeping spirits and they came out in form of words. This one is about the very first days.
India. Mother India. It feels like I’m in film
and the rhythmic noise of the fan is coming from an old movie machine.
Suddenly the dream comes real. Blow horn! cow on the beach
First time in India? Where do you come from?birds screech.
Buying overpriced elephant pants from a very nice lady’s shop
I say to myself: one silly tourist mistake is allowed, but it has to stop.
Palm trees and lush gardens, a pink house. The Arabian sea kisses my feet.
I find peace in the noise, quiet in the crowd.Toes in wet sand. I am complete.
Our days were pretty intense, starting at 6.30am with pranayama and meditation, followed by asana practice, anatomy, art of teaching, philosophy, alignment and adjustment and finished with an evening asana practice at 7pm. Some days it was more challenging than others but learning something I was truly interested in made up for it.
And of course the team. I always find it fascinating how various people can be drawn together and connect via a mutual interest. My Trimurti friends, coming from literally all over the world meeting in Goa, India and going through the same thing, experiencing it on their own level.
I met so many beautiful people, with their own stories and motivation. And I beleive that even though we are spread all over the World again, some things would make us react the same way, our collective Trimurti unconscious is there and alive😊.
And they do!
The unmissable sunset asana with the beautiful Mariana
Day off yaay
The elephant project was born here, giving m inspiration for my future logo:)
They supported me through classes and beyond, shared happy moments ( a very special birthday) and challenges ( ashtanga week😬), days off and late night studies and in the end we proudly observed everyone teaching their final practicum.We did it!
The guides towards this point were our teachers, representing different backgrounds and yoga styles from the very traditional to modern, helping us unfold our own yoga teaching path( at least the beginning of it:) .
I also have to mention the staff who made all this happen from organising to looking after us every day, real heroes handling everything with a smile.
The one month flew by, hatha, vinyasa and ashtanga week was gone, and I quickly found myself starting to think ( and stress) about coming back to the “real world” and what will my next steps be.
I was lucky enough to enjoy a few more days of the beautiful Goa with my newly found friends before I made my way back to London in November. And there it was. The culture shock. The cold. The darkness. But I knew I had a mission: starting my teaching practice by January.
The first steps
I was quickly drawn back to work, and didn’t really have time to think about anything until the Christmas holidays. My first class was for a few friends, and a kids yoga class followed by volunteering with Crisis@Christmas. This was an amazing experience, teaching really unconventional yoga classes to various people( guests and volunteers), there was a point where I had to trade in my football skills for a yoga class( you can imagine, I’m a spectacular football player😉) . In the meantime, I was searching for a place to hire, silly me around Christmas, when everybody is off. I just had to practice patience again. And in the beginning of January( yaay 2017) I found it, it was the first place I was looking at, a friendly ,small community centre in a victorian building not far away from my home.
So now I teach every Monday, sharing yoga with lovely people( most of them never done this before), I feel happy after each class, and I know this was the right decision. And I keep writing.Maybe one day Liz’s Yoga Space will explore the world (or if the NASA going in this pace even space 🚀 ) but for now I spend my time developing my practice and learning from my students. Every single time.