Your own Parachute

Imagine doing something that you enjoy and the more you do it the more you get better at it, and it helps you reach heights that you never thought possible? (And no, it’s not parachuting!).

Cultivating a regular yoga and meditation practice can prepare you for anything. That sounds like quite a claim but it’s true. If you can achieve a natural resting state of equanimity and emotional resilience then you are pretty much prepared for whatever comes your way.

I know because I speak from experience. A recent example is from early 2019 where I had to have an operation and undergo surgery. It is without doubt that my yoga and meditation practice helped me physically and mentally, pre and post surgery. The many years of yoga and mindfulness helped create the resilience necessary to face difficult times. Since my operation I feel that there has been a radical shift in my nervous system and consciousness, and my body has an unprecedented degree of suppleness and energy.  This is thanks to the operation itself but also to my regular practice of meditation and breathing work, all part of yoga.

Mindfulness research is showing how meditation can benefit physical health as well as mental well being and the best way to know this is to experience it for yourself.

Yoga unites the mind and the body through the breath, and that is an almost literal translation of the word. It also helps us in times of difficulty. When I did the 8 week MBCT course some years ago, the trainer said that sustained meditation practice was like weaving your own parachute, so that when the time comes when you need all the help you can muster, your parachute is ready. As Mark Williams and Danny Penman wrote in ‘Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World’, “there’s no point in doing this when we’re falling headlong towards destruction. We have to weave our parachute every day so that it’s always there to hold us in an emergency.”

Here are two videos, one is a short guided meditation, the other one is a body scan. Both can help you in your journey to weave your own parachute:

Over Satty Yoga

Hello, my name is Satty VerbArt. I live and work in Vathorst, Amersfoort.  My husband and I have been living here since August 2017, and we love living next to the canals and experiencing the big open sky.  My purpose is to share my passion for yoga, mindfulness and meditation with you.  There are enormous benefits when you incorporate yoga, meditation and mindfulness into your life. You can read about these in journal articles and studies, but the best way is to simply try it for yourself.

I started practicing yoga over 15 years ago, I wanted to become a more grounded person, not so impacted by work or family stress. I knew yoga had physical benefits and I was curious about the mental benefits.

Once I got immersed in the world of yoga I focused on my body and the postures, trying to accomplish the best I could with each move I did. I judged myself, I was looking to achieve something. It took a while for me to realise that I was not being very mindful. I was holding tension, lacking compassion, wanting to get somewhere through a physical practice.

I started my yoga experience with the Ashtanga primary series. I also explored Hatha yoga and Bikram yoga, and in the last 6 years started to cultivate my own meditation practice, this allowed me to uncover the inner body and the co-dependent relationship with the mind. My yoga evolved and so did I. I learned that the real benefits went beyond being able to do the perfect downward dog or warrior poses, that yoga is in fact more about the internal than the external.

My practice has become one of integrated yoga and mindfulness. Yoga is the union of the mind and the body through the breath. A non judging, non striving approach to yoga; a felt experience that goes beyond the work on the mat. We experience the natural energetics of the body and at the same time still the fluctuations of the mind.

The classes I give vary from dynamic ashtanga based sequences to slow flow movement. All classes embody mindfulness, meditation and movement, a process of cultivating balance and harmony so we feel more centred, grounded and at ease.

I studied the foundations of yoga and philosophy with the British Wheel of Yoga. This was a sound basis for personal development and the start of the journey towards becoming a yoga teacher.  I did the 8 week Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Course which helped develop my mindfulness and meditation practice. This was a pre-requisite to study Integrated Yoga and Mindfulnesss with Hugh Poulton, a 200 hour yoga alliance teaching qualification. (Hugh Poulton is one of the UK’s most experienced mindfulness teachers, his work is referenced in Mark William’s bestselling book “Mindfulness: a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world”).

Whilst the term mindfulness has become very widely used, and in many respects over simplified, it remains the corner stone for cultivating greater awareness of the unity of the mind and body and our relationship to tension. Through yoga and mindfulness we learn to recognise how our mental states are expressed in the body and how this impacts our moment to moment experience.

With me you will develop a yoga practice that meets you where you are now, allowing you space and time to grow and deepen your awareness of you, your mind, your body through your practice. Slowly through continued practice, yoga will bring an inner peace. You will discover a calmer mind, a more open heart and you will experience the inner energetics of your body on and off the mat.

Keep Smiling! 🙂