I’ve been reflecting on how much I enjoy learning from unexpected sources.
I first discovered Benjamin Zander, a conductor, master teacher, world-class speaker and author in 2014. Interestingly, a few months after I’d finished my initial yoga teacher training, eager to explore new beginnings and possibilities.
I was captivated by his TED talk The Transformative Power of Classical Music and have watched it several times over the years, each time finding greater depth and appreciation for the message I love to be reminded of.
Today I found another layer. Maybe due to Covid. As the world begins to open up, it has taken me a while to shake off a more restrictive, habitual way of being. I’ve got used to a certain pace and routine that felt predictable and safe.
Benjamin shook that up. He educates, embraces music and possibility, deeply passionate about what he does. He sparks pleasure, delight and release, reminding us to love, respect and value life.
I’m sharing it with you, hoping to inspire or challenge you to think about an aspect of your life in a new way.
Gift yourself 20 minutes of distraction-free time to watch, learn and enjoy.
There is so much I have to say about this talk as it touches passion, music, leadership, it is multi-layered but for now I’m choosing to focus on the vision, the long line and finding our way home.
How Can We Apply this to Yoga?
One of the most memorable and beautiful things a student ever told me was after a restorative pose during a private yoga session. She was quiet and reflective, there was a long silence and then finally she said very softly:
‘I feel as if I’ve been on a long journey and have finally come home.’
The essence of yoga is to still the mind but also to allow you to become connected to your true self. It is Coming Home.
My Own Personal Experience
When I stopped dancing ballet professionally, it was a difficult transition. I’d been practising since I was very young and my whole life had centered around movement and dance. I remember one morning during that transition as I was getting dressed, I looked down at my feet and it occurred to me that my one great asset, my feet (or so I thought!) were now going to be hidden forever inside socks and shoes. No good to anyone.
Two decades later, I travelled to Thailand for my very first yoga retreat. I’d practised yoga on and off for several years but it was negotiable, meaning if I was too busy, which was often the case as a business owner, I didn’t make it to my weekly class.
Practising every day in Thailand deeply affected everything on a physical, mental and emotional level. My body became more toned, strong and flexible and I felt energised and composed. Stressful situations became easier to manage and I began to sleep better… my relationship with myself shifted.
One morning, at the beginning of class in the beautiful, spacious shala, we stood at the top of our yoga mats, I looked down – and there were my feet.
I felt I’d come full circle, I felt I’d come home.
They have been grounding me ever since. They have helped me to find strength and balance and above all, guide others to do the same.
What does ‘coming home’ mean for you?
If you, like me back then, have never experienced a yoga retreat but are curious and feel deep down it would do you good, I encourage you to learn more here.
Retreats are my favourite way to bring the practices of yoga and self-care to life. They are where I feel most at home teaching and it is beautiful to witness the transformation that can happen.
If you’re still not sure what to expect, let’s chat. If you have questions, reach out here and I’d be happy to help.
P.S. If you want more of Ben Zander, he also co-authored a book called The Art of Possibility.