In the yoga community, they often talk about the concept of holding space. For so long I didn’t understand what that meant but I was drawn to the expression and liked the way it sounded. Learning what that means took me some time but I guess you can say holding space feels like you open up space and time to just let your feelings be validated, not judged, or changed. Just letting them show up to the surface and be noticed. It is allowing your voice to take over and letting the truth come out. Letting your emotions be there, whether they are negative or positive.
Communication is the key to any relationship but what happens when you feel like you aren’t being heard? When all you do is listen to other people talk on and on about their lives. Well, then it might be time to question the relationship and redefine your rolls.
If you are a nurturer who cares for people and wants to hear about their problems it can sometimes get overwhelming to have deep relationships with people. Hanging out with friends who won’t stop talking about their own problems can feel draining. You might feel like you can’t express your emotions and end up feeling alone in that relationship.
That is when you have to put up boundaries and let people know you won’t be their therapist anymore. It might be hard to draw that line and make that change but you deserve a friend who actually holds space for you.
I get that everybody feels like their problems are the worst and the biggest but sometimes I feel like telling everybody else to shut it. I try to always listen to other people and I validate them by hearing them out and letting them rant. But there is a difference between being a good listener and being a dumping place for people’s anxiety. Sometimes those people only come to you when they want to chat and hear their own thoughts out loud. They don’t really care about your opinion or what you have to say, they just want someone who listens to their sad stories.
I have realized that oftentimes I feel drained and low after spending time with a person who doesn’t let me talk. Partly it is my fault because I give up my own power and let them take control over the conversation. But a part of me wishes they would have the decency to ask how I am doing. The truth is that if I don’t take the space to be heard in return no one will give me that time to speak my mind.
Giving that gift to others is how you build a strong relationship in my opinion. That is what a good friend or therapist does. They hold space. They give you permission to be yourself, open, and free.
There is nothing better than having a friend who listens to what you have to say. A friend who just listens doesn’t talk about their own perspective or give you advice but just sits still and listens. The only time they interrupt you is to ask questions to make sure they understand you fully. It is rare to find that kind of person who can sit with you and your emotions without judgment. Having that person who just sits with you while you speak is what holding space means.
The magic of it is you can start by giving it to yourself by showing up for yourself and your emotions. You can journal and free-write to see what comes up. Use the concept of holding space to start taking your own power back. Allow yourself to fully express your emotions and then it just might get easier to ask people to hold space for you when you are ready to speak.
I would love to hear what your thoughts are and how you deal with communication issues in your relationships. Let me know in the comment section below.
Here are some questions to make you feel connected to your highest self. Journal on them, discuss them with a friend you trust, or simply just meditate on the answers and get closer to yourself. Answer one at a time or all at once, make sure to take your precious time. Create a sacred space for yourself to feel your feelings and answer the questions from your heart.
It is perfectly okay if you don’t have all the answers or if some questions are hard to answer. Just invite honesty, love, and patience to see what comes up for you and see if this practice works for you…
How are you doing in your life right now? What are you feeling? What are your emotions making you feel? What do you think they are trying to explain to you? What makes you sad? What makes you happy?
Can you tell when pain is trying to tell you something? Do you feel safe? Are you trying to make peace with your past? Where are your thoughts going? What are you giving your time to? Who are you giving you time to?
What are you devoting your life to? Would you be okay if today was your last day on earth?
Do you feel stuck? How can you get unstuck? Are you living your dream life? How can your life get better?
Who is supporting you in life? Who can you give support to?
How is your physical body doing? What is going on with your heart? What do you feel in your mind? Do you trust yourself?
Where are you going? Who is with you on your road? What are your dreams? What do you need right now?
Who do you love? Who loves you?
Who do you talk to when you’re happy? When you are sad, who do you go to?
What are you longing for? What are you waiting for to happen?
If you feel like sharing your answers or have any thoughts you want to share please comment in the section below. I would love to hear what comes up for you.
We pray and wish and hope. Put all our money on that special thing that will give us happiness. Finding a four-leaf clover is the dream and then we use that wish on simple things that we don’t actually need.
Why do we chase around searching for meaning when we know the power of our minds can give us all the things we want? We just have to think about it and it can happen. It is called manifesting and it really works if we use our minds right.
The world has us thinking we need more than we have to get what we want. That we need more knowledge, more books, more medicine to achieve our goals. We are all searching for healing outside of ourselves but the truth is that the healing is inside of us.
Sometimes I think we care more about the chase and that is why we don’t even notice when the dreams we had at one point actually comes true. We got our eyes on the the next best thingtelling, not asking God how to give it to us and when.
A year ago I was sitting where you are right now, surfing the web and looking up different yoga schools. Reading reviews and looking at their social media pictures to see if the place would suit me. I eventually chose a school that seemed to fit me and I don’t regret picking it whatsoever.
In this article I will describe my Yoga Teacher Training experience and give you some tips on what to expect. If you are considering doing a YTT I suggest you start by getting clear on why you want to do it. Do you want to teach or do you just want to deepen your practice? You don’t have to become a yoga teacher after the training but you might feel the urge to start teaching after learning all about the magic of yoga…
Yoga Teacher Training – What to expect
Everybody is scared…
Like with all new adventures it might feel a bit scary in the beginning. The feeling of booking your spot and getting your tickets is sweet and can give you a bit of a rush. However, packing your bags and going to the airport to travel by yourself might feel a little less fun and that is when all the weird and crazy thoughts enter your mind. Why am I doing this? Who else is crazy enough to do this? What happens if I back out now?
Traveling is draining and can take the fun out of the adventure. I knew I would be in a bad mood during that first day so I prepared myself on feeling those low vibrations of emotions. Later I learned that I wasn’t alone feeling scared, actually, a bunch of the group also felt the same way they confessed as we had our first sharing session.
Do you like hugs, crying in public and being outside your comfort zone?
Landing into a retreat is always different and can be intense depending on what your energy levels are like before. For me, I was pretty rested before I got to the villa where we had our training in Tuscany, Italy so I could just observe my thoughts and felt that the transition was easy. But if you are coming into this space from a stressful life, prepare yourself emotionally and be aware that the slow and secluded life can feel overwhelming and that it is okay to feel that way.
After meeting everybody and getting acquainted with the surroundings the first evening together, I went to bed early to get some rest. I slept like a baby and woke up feeling eager to yoga.
We had our first yoga session at 7 am in the morning the next day where it all fell into place. Our yoga shala was a wedding tent that they had set up for us outside the villa. It had heaters in the middle of the room and uneven floor but it was kind of perfect to practice there. It was going to be our classroom for the next three weeks so we all adjusted our mats and gave each other enough space to share the experience together. Everyday after we had our intention setting and warm up, the sun would rise outside the tent and light up our space in a special way that felt like magic. That feeling still lingers in my mind and warms up my heart when I think back to that time in Italy.
Things to think of before you book your training…
If you are really considering investing in a training here are some things to think about before you actually book your tickets.
Into the wild…
So, a yoga retreat is very special. You have to have an open mind to the experience because some of the things that goes on there are not things we do in our normal lives. I don’t know about you but in my world, crying and sharing my emotions openly are things that is frowned upon in society for the most part. Even though these things are so human and natural we can sometimes feel the need to hide our raw emotions from people just to fit in. We have to stand tall, be strong, bite our tongues and act nice all the time. It is exhausting trying to fit in to whatever is expected from us in real life but in a yoga retreat all things that are “weird” are welcome.
It is kind of leaving your comfort zone and stepping into a world where you can just be free and people will accept you for you. So you have to give that gift to other people too. And also, be prepared to get a lot of random hugs.
In my training we learned about so much more than just yoga. Our syllabus was filled with lessons of the chakras, pranayama, philosophy, ayurveda, astrology, conscious dance, meditations, mantras and chanting. Some of it required leaving my old programming behind and stepping in to the weird and uncomfortable ways to move my body, mind and spirit. But it was fun to challenge myself and see just how much of me is me and how much of my boundaries are ingrained in me from my parents, society and culture (my samskara).
My yoga teacher training was held in Italy and the scenery every morning made all the difference for me. The villa was located in a small Tuscan town outside of Florence and had an olive grove surrounding the property. The environment definitely made it more magical and gave me the peace and quiet I was searching for. Whether you want to go to Italy, Bali or Costa Rica I think you should consider nature because it helps with the experience. If you are having a tough day moving though a lot of emotional och physical pain nature can help soothe and heal in a way when your normal support system is not there. Consider the location if you are nature person like me.
Back to school
One thing that I forgot to think about is that the training actually means going back to school in a way. There was a lot of information to be taken in during a short amount of time. It can get overwhelming with all the new knowledge that you have to take in and learn so be nice to yourself if you struggle with memorizing things. Learning Sanskrit, taking notes, reading five different yoga books and getting pop quizzes from your teacher can feel too much at times.
Sometimes we can get stuck in our heads trying to get everything right in the first try. Remember to give yourself the time you need to digest the information and have fun while you are in the training. Books can always be read somewhere else at another time but the time with the people will pass by sooner than you think so make sure you take advantage of all that is presented to you and be in the moment.
Leading your fellow students through your yoga routine in another language (if you’re not an English native) can also be challenging. Give yourself time to sequence your classes and think about how you can give the alignment cues in a fun and personal way.
Your style of Yoga
Think about what your learning style is and how you learn the best. A lot of schools offer a 200-hour training that is held during a three week period. It is an immersive training and can be an intense period of highs and lows. Some schools have 200-hour trainings that are divided into different modules that can be spread over a longer time period like six months or even a whole year.
For me, it was nice to have that deep concentrated time of just focusing on yoga for a whole month. It gave me what I was seeking which was to deepen my practice and understanding of my own body. My Yoga is so much more than the asana practice. Yoga is about how we react, how we think, how we love, how we give and how we receive. I learned so much about myself and I am still learning new things about my old self and adjusting it to the person I want to be.
The student becomes the teacher…
Here is the thing, we are never gonna fully master something if we aren’t willing to see things from different perspectives. When we keep on learning and open up ourselves to having that beginners mind as students we become better teachers.
It is funny because when I left the retreat and my yoga community I felt so ready and eager to step away from the role of a student. I felt like I knew so much and couldn’t take in anymore knowledge into my mind.
However, the universe was wide awake and threw me a sign right away as I checked into my hotel in Florence. It was a postcard with the text:
That was a fun reminder to always have my heart open to new beginnings and give myself the permission to keep on learning.
I hope this gives you an idea of what to expect from a yoga teacher training and that you’ll find a kula that fits your soul.
Let me know if you have any YTT tips or questions in the comment section below.
No, I am not talking about the next season of your favorite Netflix show. A new time is here. Yesterday it was spring equinox, today Aries season begins (the start of a new astrological year) and coming up next week in Sweden at least we have daylight savings which means the clock will be moved forward an hour. So literally, a new time is here. Spring is making its landing and we are called to shake out the old in this time of transition.
No matter where you are in the world, you can’t have missed the news that are spreading through media. I kind of wish I lived in a cottage in the woods where there is no wifi so that I would be oblivious to what is going on out there in the world. The thing that is spreading out there is effecting all of us spiritually, emotionally, and economically. Nobody can really escape this because there is no place left to run. It is actually forcing us to stay indoors and reconnect to ourselves.
The earth is telling us to slow down, to tune in. The world is pausing, it is on a break. We are called to chill, to relax, to take care of each-other and most importantly to trust.
It is scary but you don’t have to be afraid. It is crazy but you don’t have to make sense of it. It is viral but you don’t have to spread it. So stay home, pray, heal, keep your head sane and be calm. Let it just be what it is and trust that it is going to change things. And remember that change is good.
Today it’s the winter solstice, the darkest night of the year and the last day of the mantra challenge series.
Winter season is here and it is a time for deep rest and hibernating. Snuggle up in warm socks, heat up your inner fire by burning some candles, drinking some hot beverages, taking warm cleansing baths and keep your body warm by some heating pranayama or core exercises.
Remember to be the light in the dark and spread love to all beings everywhere.
Can you remember how it feels to be in love? How does it feel when somebody loves you? For me, love makes me feel radiant, it feels like I have a glow on the inside of my heart that shines. It radiates good vibes and makes me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.