From this point onwards, over the last 5 years, we have been driven by an insatiable desire to learn, to understand and to experience. In particular, we have been drawn to Samahita Retreat in Thailand to study with Diana’s teacher, Paul Dallaghan, now our main teacher. During our first month-long course Paul asked us all: ‘Have you adopted the path of yoga?’ We realised that we were just scratching the surface of the deep layers of yoga philosophy, tradition and practice that there is to explore. It felt both exhilarating and overwhelming at how much there is to learn and experience. Yet a very practical message Paul gave us was the importance of practicing and living with awareness. Perhaps this, we wondered, is the start to ‘adopting the path of yoga’.
Practicing and living with awareness is harder than it sounds. What if you are not aware that you are not being aware? As Paul says, this is why it is called practice. Over a long period of time. There are no short cuts and it certainly cannot be cultivated in a 200 hour teacher training course! The journey is life-long and not always a comfortable one. Our daily meditation, pranayama and asana practice is our ‘practice’ for becoming more aware of ourselves, our natural tendencies, the patterns of the mind and our conditioned thinking. We are learning more and more that practice is also about being gentle with yourself and cultivating self-acceptance rather than reinforcing negative patterns that keep you feeling stuck. Teachers often say that what comes up on your yoga mat is a reflection of what is going on in your life. It is very true if you are willing to listen! So these practices are one way of cultivating an open attitude of enquiry where you are the object of ‘research.’ Then it is up to you what you do with your research ‘findings.’ Hopefully this will involve living a more balanced life, in harmony with yourself and others.