A Pretty Bad Year…?!?

2021. It has not been an experience of reality that I will not, in the broadest sense, look back on with a huge fondness.

It started with the inherent stressors that came with the lockdowns… namely, for me, keeping up with everything relative to work and home when the homeschooling of my three children landed on my daily to-do list. It was in no way unpleasant, in many ways it really was very lovely, and I do, I really do, feel fortunate to live where I live and to have the family that I do… but it wasn’t easy. Not at all. At the same time, my best friend and dog companion, Rebel, was diagnosed with Lymphoma and on 16 weeks of chemotherapy… or would have been. It would be easy for me to begin listing all the other stressors here, at this time… things… things that went wrong in my house, my job, with the minutiae of my small human existence … I will not.

I do not usually write this way. I do not tend to post huge amounts of my life relative to the personal aspects of it… but I reflect back, as we stride toward the end of the year, in our face masks, with one hand grasping our smart phones, refreshing news apps, and the other, hopeful, at the end of an outstretched arm for a (still cautious) hug, that I had some really hard times.

Loss. Loss is so much. So hard. I had a family loss in February that really is too personal to post about on my website. And then, after the treatment did not work, I also lost my Rebel, my Rebel who I can call my best friend without a moment of questioning relative to the childlike nature of applying such labels to anyone, let alone a canine-companion.

She really was my best friend, a non-judging, funny, forever grateful, forever loving, adorable, clever, friend. Who I spent so much time with… most hours of my days and nights. Who got me out in nature for hours, gave me comfort when I felt lost, and loved to be with me in my classes, curled up by the fire out of view. I miss her so much. So much. I cried today, again, when I saw a dog that looked just like her trotting past me in the street. Losing Rebel broke my heart. It will never be quite the same.

Beyond that, I had a malignant melanoma diagnosis, a couple of operations and some awkward biopsies… a tricky thing, for me, relative to specific parts of my anxiety history, and a real test of my ability to regulate and stay present. I can say that this was especially true when awake, face down, hospital-gown glad, on a cold operating table with a face mask on for what felt like a very long time. 

Lots of hospital visits and waiting for results. These things that we all, as humans,  go through at times. You know, I’m sure, if you’re reading this, what it is like….

And all of this, every part of it, within only the first months of the year.

I sound like a real misery here, I do know. But, to be clear, I am not miserable. Not at all. I have not been miserable, as such, through any of it. Sad, yes, so sad. Tired, certainly. But soft with it, generally, all of it. And I have been proud of that. Other than in the occasional, hugely overwhelming, moment where I trod on a Minecraft creeper whilst tidying away the toys, or Uber Eats cancelled my ‘Giant Doughnut’ delivery (this happened today, no lie… I was furious!)… where I have fled to my room to scream into a pillow or allowed past behaviours to surface in my professional life (terse emails afoot)…

…these moments aside… I have been shocked at how I have held myself.

I stayed sober.

I stayed with my practise.

I didn’t take a single day off ‘sick’ and I stayed well, physically, too.

So many wonderful things happened to me, for me. I had amazing opportunities for teaching. Teaching this thing called Kundalini Global that I so love. So adore. Feel so passionate about.

I deepened connections with a few people who have come into my life in recent years. I let go of others. I laughed. I laughed so much this year. So much of that laughter in yoga classes. I learned. I trained to teach breath and I trained, again… more… on working with addiction and anxiety. I set my sights on new goals, new ambitions, new projects… new qualifications that I will start working through next year. I launched my zine (don’t ask about issue 3… it is on the way… it’s a long birthing process) I took on new jobs and roles at work… I read SO many books, I kept creating, I kept teaching, I kept going and I stayed on the right side, just, of sanity.

I love my life. On workshops I have done with Carolyn Cowan she encourages us to say ‘I love my life’ 11 times and ‘My life loves me’ 11 times before bed and on waking. I always do my homework and so I do this. I have for some time. It’s pretty epic when you start to realise that it becomes more and more true.

What I have managed, through 2021, is to keep working on what I have come to rely on… allowing emotion, noticing how I feel, landing myself into presence, being gentle, kind, soft… all of these things. Embracing my faults. Embracing my humanness. My imperfection. Some days it all falls apart and I have a moment of ‘oh, fuck, I remember this…’ … the anxiety the stress, the thoughts like maggots… they can creep in still. But how lovely, how very lovely, that I can notice now, only because it is no longer the ‘norm’.

Some of my practise has been about conscious, daily choices that have formed into habits, others have been a real challenge for me. Truly. I’ve worked really. Fucking. Hard.

I will not look back on 2021 with huge fondness. But I will look back on it with a beneficent smile and with gratitude for how it endlessly showed me my edges, encouraged me to make change, made me step up and out of so many aspects of ‘being me’ that I thought were impossible to put down. . .

If 2021 has been tough for you too then I am sorry. But also I do hope that, like me, you walk toward the end of it with an awareness at how badass you are at holding yourself through it all…

We are amazing in our ability to shape how we experience our reality. I think that is what I mean by the quote I have now put front and centre on my website homepage ‘Life is not about finding yourself, It is about creating yourself…’

I plan to create something even more amazing going forward. Even more amazing, if possible, than this very moment, this lovely moment, where I sit, writing this for you, at the end of a work day, warmed by my log burner and tea, curled up in the world’s comfiest chair that I was gifted for my birthday from a junk shop that I love, and with my oldest child photographing curiosities on my mat at my feet

‘I need to photograph some really weird stuff for art homework so… I need your things…” They said.

Haha. That made me laugh. This moment is lovely. Every moment can be so.

Before I go, earlier today, Kundalini Global shared a post about music. It got me thinking that you may enjoy listening to, or nosying through, some of the music that saw me through this year. An eclectic mix taken from what Spotify told me were some of my ‘top tracks’ of 2021. I am almost certain that none of them are actually from 2021, or even anything close to… it is one realm in which ‘living in the past’ seems acceptable to my new-found, more present, sensibilities.

You’ll find snippets here and it should link you through to it on Spotify too.

If you enjoy that, you must be as peculiar as me. Do let me know.

Sending you all so much love for this festive season.

Sara-Jayne xxx

PS  – I have plans for a blog post about my favourite books of the year coming soon… if you have anything else you’d like me to write about or share do let me know! And take care. 

Swaying to stillness and the exquisite bliss of longing for…

Lovely humans,

I’ve been caught up in longing.

Longing – a “yearning, eager desire or craving,” It comes from the old English langung  a “…weariness, sadness, dejection…” but no definition gets it quite right, for me.

To sit in longing is an interesting space.

Longing for someone is entirely different to ‘missing’  them, in my awareness.

We ‘miss’ with our mind. Longing, it seems, is an experience that encompasses the entirety of our being.

I’ve been on a journey with being able to notice and name emotions. To name longing took time, “perhaps this is sadness?”  “feeling weak?”  “A curious and quite lovely type of pain?!” But knowing, in my reflection, it was something far more than my words managed to touch.

I like longing. Is that a strange statement to make? I believe that longing comes from an encounter with something magical enough that this (to me, peculiarly beautiful) emotion is evoked.

The universe we exist in places endless expectation on us to find and satisfy our hungers and desires as instantaneously as we possibly can. That the outcome is never, in the least bit, satisfying is what keeps us in a loop of consumption… be that of sugar, carbs, porn, fast-fashion or whatever lands on the doorstep in one of those too-familiar brown cardboard Amazon parcels.

Perhaps, I reflected, that is why to sit still, with longing, feels so unusual. So welcome. 

I find that sitting with longing, which can be considered a pretty melancholy emotion, is extremely lovely.

But why? Really? Can it be as simple as it being so at odds with a fast-paced, ever-scrolling, society that seeks reassurance from ‘buy now’ buttons and navigating Porn Hub with a well-trained thumb?

My love of longing feels like more than that. It feels like connecting to an entire new universe.

Swaying to stillness…

To long for something is to feel its lack. And to exist with longing is not easy.

In the world of yoga it seems that many who come to the mat have an awareness of a certain, dark, untouchable space… you could call it a void… that exists in us. Perhaps the awareness comes from some experience of sensing that space and becoming curious about what it is, and where it could lead us. Down the rabbit hole…

I mention this as, for me, there is a connection between that space and the feeling of longing.

We have a certain posture that we work with in Kundalini Global yoga classes… to my knowledge the posture has no name… born of ‘neck rolls’… it involves a gentle swaying from side to side. I believe it is the brain-child of Carolyn Cowan. If it is not, then that is certainly where my experience with the posture began. And where I fell head over heals in love with it. I share it here because it is what truly awoke this longing in me… and what I turn to when I want to sit with it once more.

You could try it if you haven’t… we sit cross legged, spine straight, hands on the knees.

The breath is gentle. Quiet. We inhale in the centre and exhale as we begin to sway. Move to the left first. Ear moving down toward the shoulder, swaying gently to the left, coming back up to gently inhale, then exhaling and gently swaying, ear toward shoulder, to the right.

Gradually, with each breath, each exhale, moving a tiny bit lower.  As we slowly descend the arms can come to the side, on the floor either side of us, to offer support. Rocking slowly, slowly, lower and lower. We take just as much time to descend as to slowly come back. I’d start with 3 minutes… so 90 seconds to descend as you sway, and 90 to come back slowly to tall and straight.

And then, not lying back as we commonly do after a posture, just sit in stillness. Really soft in the body. And notice…

What Carolyn brought my awareness to is a pulse. A pulse in the spinal fluid. It is called the lumbar cerebrospinal fluid pulse. And the rhythmic, swaying, motion of the posture allows us quickly, gently, to being able to tune into it. I find my body still sways a little with the pulse. So gently it is like being rocked in the weightless arms of an angel.

Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear, colourless body fluid found within the tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord of all vertebrates. When we are entirely present and still and when we are landed in our bodies, we may be able to become aware of this pulse. When we do, when we can, it is, or has been for me, an experience of myself that is otherworldly in its gentleness, in its perfection. I do not use the word perfect often but it really is. Perfect bliss.

Yet. Yet. In this perfect bliss I seem always to find a paradoxical longing. An ache.

How is this possible? To be entirely accepting of the moment, blissful, and yet the experience is one where longing is the word… Before gentle. Before calm. Before present. The only word I may place before longing is this one… Divine.

Carolyn teaches that the lumbar cerebrospinal fluid pulse is the Divine within the body.

How beautiful is that?

To me it feels exactly right.

Utter Perfection

The stillness that comes from the posture I describe above leaves me sitting with an emotion that feels so much more than ‘happy’. It is an aching, longing, blissful pull that feels like … a calling?!? Words. Words. Sometimes they fail.

Whatever the words are, I’ve felt this bliss before. Along with its accompanying, paradoxical, ache. One instance in-particular springs to mind, owing to how entirely unremarkable the moment was that it came. At least from the outside…

It was after my usual clockwise run around my local park on an Autumnal evening last year. It came as I walked home through an extremely ‘rough’ area of my city as the sun set. My trainers had rubbed my feet and my hair was wet with sweat. Cars passed. People shouted between windows in the flats lining the street and kids wove around me on scooters, giggling. The sky was beautiful. Purple, pink and orange. A huge flock of geese flew noisily overhead. Of course, after my run, I was flooded with endorphins. But nothing was unfamiliar. Nothing was noteworthy. Yet, all of a sudden, I had this sense come over me. I stopped still and looked up.

Utter perfection. Utter perfection in every cell of my body and… again, that deep deep longing.

It is so lovely when we can have such moments and consciously think ‘I will not forget this moment.’  And we don’t.

…something you cannot explain or know

When reflecting on this sense of present longing I, of course, needed to research, to dig into it and see what others may have taken such a feeling and experience to be or to mean.

In my reading I came across a word I like. It’s a German word: “Sehnsucht.’’

The dictionary tells us that ‘‘sehnsucht’’ is an “intense, mostly bittersweet longing for something remote or unattainable that would make life more complete”. Like a really intense yet infantile crush, then? Where you imagine complete perfection and bliss would come to all aspects of life with the first, passionate kiss? No. Not that. The translations of this word are tricky in English, but roughly it is, yes, a longing, but no, not like a crush, it is a deep yearning for something that you cannot ever explain or know.

I love to find a word that feels in alignment with the incommunicable. Not perfect. But close.

A yearning for something we cannot explain or know. Perhaps that is a definition not only of sehnsucht but of an aspect of devotion. Of a longing for the divine without. The external divine of our awareness. Whatever, whoever, that is. I think it is that. And I think it is a beautiful thing.

If I told 99% of the people in my real life that I was sitting in stillness with a yearning for God they would think I had lost the plot. . . but that is what I have come to.

I’ve been reading a lot about St. Augustine. I cannot go into his life here but do look him up. Quite a character. I have come to believe he was probably neurodivergent in some way. We share the same birthday. I did think once, ‘I hope we share little else…’ But of course we do. And not only this longing, this “Sehnsucht.” Although this is an aspect of human existence I am certain that we both have touched.

Holy longing?

In  Augustine’s sixth homily in his Homilies on 1, John states that a distinctive quality of Christian living is to learn to live into our longing:

“The whole life of the good Christian is a holy longing. What you long for, as yet you do not see; but longing makes in you room that shall be filled, when that which you are to see shall come.”

It’s such a curious thing. I love seeing an empty room inside me. A space. In Augustine’s thinking it is as if we are to be trained by longing. Not an arbitrary longing for our fuck buddy or a pair of cheap trainers. But by a holy longing.

A holy longing that creates a space, a ‘room that shall be filled’. I do not know if I want it to be filled. But I like sitting in that room and waiting in stillness. I like that a lot.

Most of us never sit in it.

So often, through a vast array of means and methods – returning to the list above of fast-food, fast-sex, fast-fashion – we work to soothe ourselves with anything other than… other than what? Other than the Divine.

I do not think these things are ‘bad.’ If we can be present to any moment, any experience, even a show we consume on Netflix or a cheap glazed doughnut… they can all be Divine.

Perhaps some aspect of longing comes when we forget the giver. Whatever or whoever we imagine that to be.

I believe that I have no satisfying way of ending this post for you. Perhaps I want to leave you in longing for an answer that may never come.

That is where I find myself. Happily.

I still sit, and sit still, in longing. And yes, I move between the experience of presence in it and seeking understanding of what it is.

I have come to realise that to sit in this longing is excellent for giving birth to artistic expression.

But I also reflect that, to go back to the ‘void’ inside that many in yoga, in ‘spiritual’ circles, seem to have become aware of in some way,  whatever the thing is that we believe to be a missing part of ourselves… perhaps is not a space that needs to be filled but one that is perfection as it is. If we can sit with it, in it. 

The longing for…

I don’t feel it needs to be named. 

What happens when you stop giving your power away? A Barbie doll massacre, a neon crucifix and gold leaf flakes over all of my life forevermore…

Lovely humans

I am feeling especially creative. As if I could transform my universe with nothing but an orange felt tip pen and my fertile imagination. As if my fingers leak glitter, birdsong and gold leaf flakes in every moment I am forced to be present to a task that does not lend itself, naturally, to creative expression.

Perhaps I can assign the joy this brings outside of myself to the full moon, to a teacher, or to the fascinating book I am reading by an extremely clever man. I find that I do not want to do those things, though. And that feels like progress.

I’m working on not giving my power away. On noticing when I do. The more I do this, I find, the more creative I feel. The more I have to give. The more clarity I find in what it is that I should channel my energy into. 

Becoming Dangerous…

The less power we give away the more dangerous we become. It is a practise of summoning our own salvation. And we become dangerous to the ‘shoulds’, to the expectations, to the systems that we exist within that do not want us to know how powerful we are when we can bear to be present enough to notice all that we give away.

Giving our power away… we all do it. Mostly unconsciously. When we allow something ‘they’ said, how ‘they’ looked at us, feeling left out, something horrid (I find, often about animals or children) that we read in the news… there are a million things I could list… but when we allow these things to tarnish any moment… to take us out of presence, to create contractions in our bodies and make our thinking short and fast… this is giving away our power. Our potency.

I have been robust in my insistence that my power should not be my own. Eyes darting around constantly, frantically, for anyone who will take it off my hands when I become aware that I have such a commodity in any aspect of my self.

At least now I am aware.

Something that has enriched my life enormously over the past 18 months, since I began teaching Kundalini Global, is to observe how my creativity inspires the other. The energetic exchange this facilitates is phenomenal. I find, again and again, that being aware of any creative endeavour I played a part in inspiring, in turn, inspires me a thousand-fold. Which, perhaps, inspires something else in another again…

I was touched to receive something in the post this week that was inspired by a practise from one of my classes. Touched is an interesting word isn’t it? It is for me, as I have always said I don’t like being touched. Perhaps I do. The etymology of the word ‘touch’ is telling in this… from the old French tochier which meant “to touch, hit, knock; mention, deal with” and from Vulgar Latin *toccare “to knock, strike” as a bell (source also of Spanish tocar, Italian toccare). I particularly like the concept of being ‘touched’ to be like a bell being struck. That feels correct, to me.

Anyway, I digress (something I am good at…) this post, this artwork that landed on my doormat at a moment when it could not have been more welcome, it inspired me.

It inspired me musically. In terms of picking up my flute. Which I have fallen back in love with after years of neglect. And in terms of finding myself in need of the comfort and inspiration of the music I love.

These little earthquakes…

I’ve written before about my love for the utterly fabulous Tori Amos. Next year her debut album, Little Earthquakes, my favourite album of all time, turns 30. This week, as I played the record on repeat, I smiled as I realised that it never, ever, stops unfurling for me. The emotion it releases, the ways in which she inspires, the pain it brings… it moves with me. It’s like every song speaks to me in the moment, whether than moment exists within the bright yellow bedroom walls of my teenage years, adorned with stencilled stars and moons, carpet burnt by incense sticks as I sit on the floor applying black kohl liner badly, or as it blasts out from an Alexa in my airy kitchen as I cook a meal for my children, patio doors open to the summer heat…

I love this album with every fibre of my being. And I decided this week that I need to create something from this love.

This led to a whole host of incredibly fun and inspiring moments, and the world’s most peculiar ever Amazon order.

And this is how, last night, I found myself massacring a ‘Made to Move’ Barbie with a breadknife by candlelight whilst covered in gold leaf flakes.

My children think this is fabulous.

I know… I know…


Why do we, crucify ourselves, every day?

I started, what is to become a bigger project, by creating something inspired by the first track on Little Earthquakes. A song called Crucify.

You can listen to it. I will embed a YouTube video here, although I fully recommend you check out the remastered version via Spotify or similar on good speakers to feel it fully. 

Crucify is a song about abandoning ourselves. Yes… about giving our power away.

It’s a song that makes me sad and empowered in equal measure. I must have listened to it 100 times this week. As I wrote not too long ago in an Instagram post, sad feelings evoked by music are pleasurable to us when sadness is perceived as non-threatening, when listening comes with psychological benefits such as emotional regulation and when the sad songs bring recollection of/reflection on past events that bring feelings of empathy.

I believe this to be true when I look at my relationship to Crucify. It evokes empathy for me. For my self. It evokes other emotions too. Rage, fear… but in a safe way. A way that facilitates release.

And if that release comes with the death of a Barbie doll? Well, I don’t judge myself. I’ve given up on that too.

You really can feel Tori’s rage in the piano in this. And her lyrics, as always, are incredible. Incredible.

Tori’s father was a preacher and has recounted how, when her father held prayer meetings she masturbated upstairs. Crucifiy is, I suppose, about freedom from the religious dogma imposed by her family and in society. Freedom that she looked for by abandoning herself on the ‘dirty streets’ and beneath ‘dirty sheets’ but ultimately found only within herself.

If you’re easily offended you may not want to see what I created. I don’t make such things for anyone else. I just, on occasion, find I have to make manifest how I feel in the form of something that makes me horrified, and hysterical (in the positive way) in equal measure.

Here it is, if you would like to see… it’s probably not finished. I am not too good with endings because they make me cry and crying… let’s just say me and crying have work to do.



I hope you all have a glorious day… week… month… life… until we meet again.

Sara-Jayne

 

I Started A YouTube Channel

Lovely humans

Just a quick update for you. I wanted a place I could more easily share some short but sweet practises for changing the rhythms of body and mind. The things we can do when we have only 3, 5, 10 minutes max but would like to change how we feel.

The result is a YouTube channel. I put my first video up last night. I plan to do 1-2 a week. I would really love it if you would subscribe to the channel and let me know anything in particular you would like me to film.

The first video is here. I hope you like it. If you would be kind enough to click through and subscribe or share on etc. I’d really appreciate it.

Sending love

Sara-Jayne

Slowing Down Time, Bunny Rabbit Post-Run Euphoria And The Octopus in The Evolution of Intelligent Life

Hello lovely humans

Over the coming few weeks, as we get to the final two classes in the series of The Art of Changing Your Mind (you can still book on to these classes and access the final two live, recordings of the first 3 and all of the goodies that come with booking) I have some extra classes that you can join me in too.

I have my regular free classes, at 8am on Saturdays and Sundays. And, for the next two weeks, I am covering the Tuesday morning and Thursday morning, 10am, Kundalini Global classes for Carolyn Cowan.

Tuesdays: June 22nd and June 29th. 10am-11:15am. Via zoom. This is a 75 minute Kundalini Global class, that follows the same format as my own classes.

Thursdays: June 24th and July 1st. 10am-11:15am. Via zoom. A Core Abdominals and Pranayama class. This class, as an attendee, is my favourite class of the week. I plan to make it an excellent and fun experience for all who come along. It’s a little different to my usual offer, we will be doing breath practise, a series of core abdominal exercises, and a short yoga series. All in 75 minutes.

To book these classes you can go straight to Ribbon, who manage the bookings for Carolyn’s classes. Pick the class you would like to join and take it from there. If you have any questions about accessing these classes, or anything else, send me an email.

Book Classes On Ribbon (I am covering the next 4, between June 22nd – July 1st)

Can I stop time?

Do you ever consciously choose to move slower in one aspect of your life only to unconsciously speed things up in another? 

I take on less work, I do more and more exercise, I let go of needing a tidy house, I decide I ‘need’ to start a new social enterprise, read 27 books at once that hurt my brain and learn to play a new musical instrument. 

Right now I too often choose action over rest. There is so much cool stuff to be getting on with. But even when our action’ turns toward service, we still need rest. All of us. And lots of it. 

And it is a choice. To choose to listen to our bodies. And I know that. 

It is incredibly important to recognise when our entire being is in hyperdrive. If we find ourselves spinning 75 different styles of dinner plate sets, on a variety of distinctly unstable poles and for extended periods of time, not only does it put our physical being under huge amounts of stress (circus manipulation art is a sport in itself) but it also means, or very likely means, we’re missing out on the bliss of presence. 

Sometimes the reason we won’t slow down is because we can’t bear what we find when we do. We’ve all been through an incredibly challenging time of late and it can be really tough to sit in stillness and just …notice.

Notice how we really feel.

What we really need.

To stop.

To just be.

I believe yoga practise comes in here like a fairly godmother. To make your pause present. I have a good idea of where I would be, mentally, physically, without my yoga practise right now. And it is not a nice thought. . .

After every morning practise I spend time in child’s pose. There, I feel utterly safe. Utterly still. Grounded. It is so so lovely. ‘I need this’. Is all my mind says. And, when I move to uncurl as the first item on the never ending todo list creeps in to my thoughts, in a whisper, the voice adds, ‘I need more!’

It’s something I’ve never been that good at… take my approach to running over the years…

Endorphin addiction?

You may or may not know how much I adore running. I truly do. It’s my ultimate way to move anything that needs to move … be that my legs, a headache or some crippling self-doubt. And, whilst I love the run itself, what it is that I really cannot get enough of is the endorphins that come at the end.

It is only in the past 12 months that I have come to appreciate and relish the endorphins. Training to teach Kundalini Global gave me so much invaluable information on changing hormonal flow in the body… and this unlocked a whole new experience of my post run euphoria.

Yesterday I ran about 7km from my house. I had not been for a run for over a month owing to a minor surgery I had on my leg. With the stitches gone I pulled on my trainers, made my way to an abandoned railway track, and I ran. I was SO thrilled to be running. I ran entirely in a straight line.

Having not fully anticipated the (rather depressing) decrease in my level of anaerobic fitness, when I found myself quite qucikly 7km from home and somewhere in South Staffordshire, surrounded by fields, it occurred to me that, with no running juice left, the slow journey home may take some time. I stopped. I laughed. I lay back on some grass for five minutes. It started to rain. A bunny rabbit came and ran over my feet. No joke! The idea of a slow, long walk home, basking in the endorphins, in no rush at all, made me happy. Immeasurably happy. There was a time that would not have been so.

This was me, post-run, during the long walk home. Extreme runner’s high made so much more excellent by the calmness.

Endorphins reduce pain and boost pleasure by eating our stress hormones. They are released in response to effort.

Endorphins are important because they give us a feeling of well-being which can really aid us in being present and in feeling safe and allowing ourselves stillness. 

Endorphins were, on reflection, a large part of what kept me coming back to Kundalini Yoga classes when I first started them. Retrospectively, I can see that the pauses between endorphin releasing postures were what allowed me a new experience of them… of the endorphins. And also, from that, a new experience of myself.

Postures that release Endorphins include:

Planks
Stretch Pose
Gas pose with BofF (one of my faves!)

All of these postures, and many more in Kundalini, especially when held for 1-3 minutes, release a huge amount of endorphins.

What is special about Kundalini Global is that we always allow ourselves the experience of the endorphins flooding through the body at the end of an endorphin producing posture.

This is something I did not get from my running. I never paused. I ran and ran – straight back to my front door, jumped in the shower… then moved right on with my day.

To pause after releasing endorphins is absolutely vital. Our chance of stillness. Our change to experience, maybe for the first time, safety. The pause is also when the endorphins get to work in  eating all the stress hormones. As my mentor and teacher Carolyn Cowan says – if we do not take the rest, the pauses – it is like rolling a joint and then not smoking it! 

Other Minds, The Making of Biblical Womanhood and Seven Brief Lessons on Physics – What I Have Been Reading

My bibliophilia is at what may well be its peak. I have read so much over the past few months. Often up to 3 books a week. (Make of this what you will relative to how I opened this blog post with a need to slow down!)

Much of this has been for research for projects I am working on, but I work to one a week being entirely for pleasure.

3 such books that I have enjoyed hugely over the past month (I will not write reviews or even much of a description here, you can check them out and see if they sound like they are for you) are:

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli.

When I was at school I was pretty excellent at physics. But I did not fall in love with it. I wish I had, because my interest now is unyielding, but the foundations of my knowledge are shaky and uncertain. Books like this, that explain scientific theories in clear and compelling ways, are pure joy to me. I cannot believe that such a short book can teach so much. Truly recommend. As one review says ‘the entire universe in 79 pages’.

The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr.

‘How The Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth’. Women in/and the church has become something that I am compelled to delve more and more into. This is not owing, particularly, to anything specific to my own religious or spiritual belief systems, about which I do not write or share, but owing to the broader implications the way the church has thought of, treated, and influenced the lives of, women is something that was entirely unknown to me until the past few years. Knowing the little I do so far, it is a topic that I feel is of huge importance to all people attempting to navigate life, and shape change, in our patriarchal society. This book ties the ‘Biblical woman’ to clearly definable historical moments. It is an utterly fascinating book and topic.

Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith

‘The Octopus and The Evolution of Intelligent Life’. The octopus appears to be having something of a moment in the popular imagination. Good. I love them. Adore them. I went to a bookshop to search for a gift for a friend and came across this book. Straight in to my basket it went. Reading about evolution – amazing. Reading about cephalopods? Even better. It has a chapter called ‘Mischief and Craft’. Two of my favourite things and words. It’s a really interesting read. And if any creature can be drawn upon to investigate the origin and nature of consciousness then the octopus seems by far superior to us humans to fit the bill.

I get to the end of these posts with roughly 45.682 things I have thought of as I sit and write that I want to share. But I will stop here. And only say… thank you so much for reading.

I hope you have a truly lovely day/weekend/week…

I send you loads of love and hope to see you in a class very soon

Sara-Jayne
xxxx