Out of your head into your body

The conditioned modality we live in is in our heads. We live in our heads almost all of the time apart from when pain or tension in the body calls us to respond. When we do respond the response is often a head based reaction, a verbal reaction. We often treat our body as if it were separate from the head.

Every moment thoughts are vying for our attention. It is as if our head is hovering 30 cm in front of us as we proceed through the day: planning, thinking, creating narratives, projecting forward. The head leads, the body follows.

We live in a back and forth relationship with past based thinking and future based thinking, only occasionally do we feel and see the present as a tiny slit of light in a dark room. That light is integration, the head is back on the neck, integrated with the body and interconnected with our surroundings. We are in felt relationship with the self and the world around us.

Using the breath as an anchor, feeling the breath deep in the lowest part of the belly, we can cultivate befriending the self and bring the head back to the body. As we practice yoga and mindfulness our mind, heart, and belly come into balance and harmony.  There is a feeling of space and freedom within and in relationship to our environment and our interactions.

Life is like the (dutch or british) weather, it is never the same for very long!

Life would be dull if things stayed just the way we wanted them to be. Every minute, every second there is constant change and movement taking place, in everything. In this moment,- sitting or standing, wherever you are, change is happening in your body, right down to the most subtle level.

I feel good right now, I want to stay feeling good. It’s bright and sunny, it may rain later, it may hail or even snow. I might cry. Yet I want to stay feeling good.

We want to cling to the joy, show aversion to the pain, make it go away somehow.  It is easier perhaps to stay present with what is joyful, yet often, ironically, we can be more present with suffering because it feels more raw.  To be present in whatever mood state or situation we must practice being in touch with our mind state and body state and we can do this through the breath. Conscious breathing is our anchor to finding balance and composure in the midst of change.

Circumstances change, people change, everything changes, even though we can delude ourselves into thinking otherwise.  Becoming aware of this helps to create a more balanced and contented perspective. All of us will face sickness and death, all the big topics we don’t like to think about when it comes to impermanence, especially our own. Yet confront them, – see that change is all pervasive, understand it and embrace it.  Make the most of your life and your potential for being. There is nothing passive about accepting impermanence!

 

 

Herinneringen

I am learning Dutch and the word herinneringen is one I came across at the weekend, I wanted to say: “memories are a funny thing”. (I didn’t get much beyond the first word, herinneringen!).

What is the memory of this summer just gone, was it a good one? What defines that?

Memories are part and parcel of the complex nature of being, some form deep emotional roots, others are so transient they evaporate. We cannot be who we are without our backlog of memory files, created moment by moment; they form and shape the narrative of our identity. Some files gets edited and re-edited as we retrieve them, talk about them,  and embellish them. The weight of those files, is either the baggage we carry on our backs, or,  the notepad that weighs very little.

Herinneringen is an interesting concept when we talk about mindfulness. Mindfulness is often interpreted as moment to moment awareness, but it is of course bound up with memory. The traditional Pali meaning of the word mindfulness (Sati), is seated somewhere in the realms of remembering, calling to mind. How we experience successions of now moments is based on the history of how we experience and interpret our life.

Think back on part of your summer, how much of what you remember and recollect truly reflects the experience? There is a tendency for the remembering self to focus on the negative aspects, even if they only constitute a small part of the overall experience.

The cultivation of mindfulness helps create memory files that are less judgemental, less prone to mental elaboration. We learn to experience  our day to day without getting caught up in the proliferating narrative and the meta narrative that ensues. This happens over time as we develop our mindfulness practice and get to know our selves better.

Herinneringen

I am learning Dutch and the word herinneringen is one I came across at the weekend, I wanted to say: “memories are a funny thing”. (I didn’t get much beyond the first word, herinneringen!).

What is the memory of this summer just gone, was it a good one? What defines that?

Memories are part and parcel of the complex nature of being, some form deep emotional roots in our being, others are so transient they evaporate into the ether. We cannot be who we are without our backlog of memory files that are being created each moment; some files gets edited and re-edited as we retrieve them, talk about them,  and embellish them. The weight of those files, is either the baggage we carry on our backs, or the notepad that weighs nothing.

Herinneringen is an interesting concept when we talk about mindfulness. Minfulness is often interpreted as moment to moment awareness, but it is of course bound up with memory. How we experience successions of now moments is based on the history of how we experience our lives and how we recollect those experiences, what emotions and embellishments we attach to them.

The cultivation of mindfulness helps create memory files that are less judgmental, less prone to mental elaboration. We learn to experience  our day to day without getting caught up in the proliferating narrative and the meta narrative that ensues. Heed the remembering self through experiencing moment to moment life without the negative bias that can be the rod of the remembering self.

 

Workshops

Yoga workshops allow for a deepening of our practice beyond the physical movement of yoga, delving further into our mind and our hearts.

 

Yoga, meditation and creativity to unlock your flow state!

Saturday 12th December 10:00 to 12:30 (via zoom invitation)

An online yoga and creativity workshop to explore how yoga and meditation can unlock the creative portal within all of us. Studies show the correlation between yoga and meditation and a more open flow state 🙂

The workshop will incorporate vinyasa flow yoga, mindfulness and meditation practices and creative expression through drawing or painting.  It is not necessary to be an artist, or an experienced yoga practitioner, simply having an open mind and willingness to explore. The workshop will help enhance internal awareness, self-expression, and mind-body integration.

The materials are up to you, a pencil or lots of coloured pens or even paints, either a canvas or paper, big or small whatever you have! The object of study will be a plant if you have one or something else that is pleasing to the eye with enough form, shape and texture to explore. A vase of flowers is also an option.

(Please note the purpose of the session is not artistic show and tell or critiquing).

Materials required for the session:
Yoga mat, cushion and blanket
Any or all of the following:
Pencil / Pen / Felt tip pens / Paints
Journal or notepad for writing,  and any of the following A4 plain paper / A3 plain paper/ Canvas

The session is 25 euros. Please contact me via WhatsApp 0623598162 or gmail to book your place satty.verbart@gmail.com

I would like to pledge $100  from this workshop to the Centre for Contemplative Research in Colorado. The centre will be researching the nature and potentials of consciousness through a collaboration between scientists and highly trained experienced meditators. Whilst meditation is thousands of years old there is still more to be done to verify the many benefits scientifically. The centre has the blessing and support of the Dalai Lama. There are more details here:

https://vimeo.com/283714132

Previous Workshops

Letting Go, Letting Be

Saturday 20th October 10:00 to 12:30

This workshop will look at what our stress triggers are, at home and in the workplace. What can we do to better manage the trigger and the response? How can we learn to become less reactive so that we don’t hurt ourselves or the people around us?

Letting Go, Letting Be, is about understanding the connection between the mind and body before we even reach the stress trigger.  The relationship is pivotal to our understanding, we can start to see how the trigger manifests itself, catching it early before we react. We will look at how we can change our habitual mode of reacting to one that is more skillful and more responsive.

There will be some yoga practice, guided  and silent meditation breathing exercises to help calm the mind during our stress triggers, and some journal writing.

Please bring a notebook and pen.

Welcome to Whatever Comes!

Saturday 13th January 10:00 to 12:30

In this workshop we welcome whatever comes in this new year. We learn to accept and embrace with joy and heartfulness through yoga, mindfulness and meditation.

Book early to secure your place, call 06 23598162 or email satty@sattyyoga.nl

Please bring a notebook and pen with you. There are yoga mats and blankets available but if you want to bring your own then please do so.

What will I get out of this workshop?

1. Learn to accept and open your heart through postures and breathwork, experiencing a softer, more open and accepting connection with yourself and others.

2. Experience grounding yourself through the breath, whatever life throws your way. Learning to deal with difficulties in a more balanced way.

3. Understand what acceptance means in your life and what intentions you will set for the year ahead.

 

Release the Knot of Contraction

Saturday 16th December 10:00 to 13:00

1. Understand the connection between the mind and the body. Tightness in the mind brings tightness in the body and vice versa

2. Get to drop out of your head into your body as you explore the knot of self contraction

3. Guided meditation to tune into difficulty expressed in the body

4. Releasing unnecessary tension in the mind and body brings us back into balance and the present moment

5. Learn how to develop a relationship to tension. Learn how to release the knot of contraction through sustained practice

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! 🙂