Welcome to rachelposner.com: The Nature of Yoga. The seed of this site was planted many moons ago but it took the support, love and brilliance of Wanna Johansson to bring it to fruition. Isn’t that how it is sometimes? We talk a lot about support. We spend hours in therapies of one sort or another exploring why it is so difficult to ask for help. We identify where and who our support systems are and we make a plan to reach out. We think about how we can delegate tasks and make more time for the things that nourish us, like being with family and friends, yoga, exercise, sleep, and playing outside. And in the end, we live in a society that prides itself on independence, productivity and accomplishments. Even though we know that we can’t and shouldn’t have to do it alone, our brains are wired to send the message that we should be able to handle it all, and that going it alone is a sign of strength (and if you are a self-identified control freak like me, you think that no one else can do it right anyway).
Although I’m writing about my experience, I have connected with enough of you to know that I am not alone. This website is my own personal example of how asking for and receiving support can unfold. It took the help and encouragement of my friend Wanna to make this happen. Not just artistically and technically but to move it beyond an idea in my head. For a number of years, I’ve held an intention to create a place where I can more easily connect with and support students outside of classes. I planted this seed a long time ago but I was stuck and could only give it enough water to keep it from dying - not nearly enough to grow it. So in opposition to my typical way of doing things, I accepted support. I was asked - more like lovingly shoved - into the modern world of technology by someone who saw that I needed more than an invitation, and I said yes!
This is a big, beautiful example of receiving assistance and nourishment from a source outside of myself. But what about also finding a simple place everyday that doesn’t involve an inner struggle or a to-do list or even another person? We’ll get back to that in a moment….
The truth is, most of us do too much. We are overworked, in all areas of our lives and our nervous systems are in a chronic low to high level of fight-or-flight all the time. Why do we work so hard? I think much of the time it’s because there are so many things that we love and care about. We say yes for lots of reasons and sometimes it is truly because we care deeply and we are passionate about the places we are putting our energy. So what I am personally pondering is, if I am going to say yes to another place to put my energy, how am I going to replenish that energy? And if I don’t have the time or money to go on a retreat, or take a hike or a yoga class, what can I do? What inner resources create support within me that don’t require me to ask for or do anything?
Consider taking a minute or two - maybe even right now - to lay on the ground. Once you arrive, notice the places in your body that are in contact with the earth. Notice the sensation between the earth and the contact points of your back body. Let your muscles relax and allow the earth to take more of your weight.
Bring awareness into your exhale and with each breath out, feel your body drop down and relax into the support beneath you. Drop into the quality of this support. What does it feel like to not have to hold yourself up? With each exhale, focus on the qualities of support and relaxation. Take another 10 breath cycles with this focus.
Now bring attention to your inhale and with each breath in, notice what you receive. Focus on the qualities of warmth and nourishment. Take another 10 breath cycles with this focus.
Imagine that every breath in, is feeding and energizing you and every breath out, is supporting and relaxing you.
Stay with this for a few more minutes and explore the restorative quality of your breath and the support of the earth beneath you. Acknowledge this support is always available and to access it requires a few minutes of allowing ourselves to internalize and cultivate that support.
This practice can help you shift into the parasympathetic nervous system (our rest and digest system that moves us out of the fight or flight response) so you can replenish your energy, shift perspectives and then get back to doing exactly what you want to do.
If you’ve read through this and want to be guided through a meditation, click the link below.
If you feel drawn, please wander through rachelposner.com, I’d love your feedback. If there are practices you’d like to access through the site or topics you would like to read about, let me know. As always, my intention is to help you to listen deeply to what you really want to shift or bring alive and then explore the inner and outer resources and practices available that will support these shifts. This is the work I attempt to facilitate in myself everyday - with a little help from my friends:) Thanks Wanna, and thanks to all of you for reading. I hope to connect with you very soon.
P.S. In 2018 I’ll be working with some wonderful teachers to bring you a 300-Hour Advanced Teacher Training, Costa Rica Retreat and Your Brain on Yoga course. Lots of seeds coming to fruition! I hope you will join me.