A mindful Community
What is CHUDOGRAPHY YOGA about? Craniosacral Therapy (CST) has completely changed my approach and intention of what yoga means to me. I appreciate the traditional methodology but I have learnt that there is much more on offer than just stretching and strengthening. Through my CST training I did significant work and research of the physical and emotional effects of trauma and stress on our bodies and have learnt that feeling and building an inner awareness is the key to support our health and wellbeing. Interoception is the powerful mindful sense that helps you to understand what’s going on inside our body, allowing you to slow down, be in the present moment negating external stimulation and distractions. We may be better acquainted with internal sensations in common sayings such ‘Gut feeling. ‘Butterflies in my stomach.’ Took my breath away.’ and ‘Made the hairs on my neck stand up.’ A physiological response is a direct message to you, do not ignore it. We track sensations within our bodies to help us be certain that we are making decisions that align with our values. Mackinnon Interoception is a practice, it takes time and training and we practice throughout every class. Can you sense the weight of your body, can you feel your breath, your heart beat, the liquid moving around your body? ‘Of course I can’ you’re saying. But can you stay with that, noticing the changing patterns and the slowing down? It’s about recognising the ever-changing, re-organising shifts of our internal landscape and accepting that these are part of our narrative, the expression of our body in response to life. We must work to stay present with these sensations without judgement or trying to change them. The more stressed we are the less we notice these messages and turn to external sources to distract us or to find a 'solution,' whether that's exercise, food or alcohol. These may numb for a while but the sensations and thoughts will still be lingering in the background. Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives. Van Der Kolk. I always call our classes communities as that is what they are to me. I often sit at the front of the class watching you all chatting and love being able to come a talk to you; the celebration of achievements and birthdays, talking about pets or giving you some feedback and advice on your practice. So many of us arrive early to get our chosen spot (all nodding Yes!) but also for the pre-class interaction. I often get asked ‘How do you remember our names?’ Whether you’re a regular or come to class you are invited into our community and you deserved to feel and are a valued member. I stay present and hold space for you to ensure your safety both physically and emotionally…you know I’m always observing. Me….’check you have your right foot in front.’ You glancing down to look…’ Wrong foot!….How can he see me back here?’ If we notice our breath we are in the present because we can’t breathe in the future or the past. anon The breath is an integral part of practice, not just to stay alive or to provide energy and nutrients to muscles. Deep exhalations are the most effective way of stimulating the Vagus Nerve which helps us to relax, allowing space and time for our central nervous system to assess, react and regulate more efficiently. When we are calm the nervous system also lets muscles relax and lengthen as well as releasing tension and compression around joints and nerves. Yoga is about unity of mind, body and breath and if we can connect these three we become stronger, more determined and more resilient. I don't believe in teaching you a language, enforcing a religion on you, or expect you to chant. I do believe that each of you will come to class with your own intention; whether it’s escaping a stressful day at work, to chillout, to escape the kids or for fitness. By the end of the class you arrive at YOUR resolution and I see it in your eyes, your faces, your smiles as you float out of the studio. Take this practice out of the studio and into life. Whenever you can stop and take a minute; 'As I'm doing this what do I feel in my body?' 'Are these good sensations and how do they change?'