The Beach

I was away for the weekend visiting Newcastle for a family wedding, somewhere I’d never been before but fell in love with. The mix of industry, architecture, ocean and history left me wanting to go back to explore more.

So what to write about in this weeks post? It is hard to choose but I’ve decided to go with the beaches. There is something very symbolic about a beach, the meeting of the water element with the earth element which can be quite violent and strong or quite gentle, like an embrace. The fire element in the sun shining down on all, the air element in the wind whipping the water and sand up and carrying them together. The tides coming and going in predictable yet variable patterns. The horizon where the sky  meets the water stretching into infinity. The smallness of me when faced with these grand expanses of ocean, sky, sand and rock. Yet although I feel small I also feel like I have a place here, a sense of belonging on these edges of everything.

Sunshine on the sea

Well that got a bit more poetic than I intended but lets go with it.

The sand squeaked beneath my feet, millions of grains of earth making way, shaping themselves to support and embrace the weight of my body as I took each step. The waves washed over my toes as I walked along the shoreline, every now and then a larger one would come crashing in, splashing my legs and spraying my face with saltiness. The horizon drew my gaze with the promise of an unknown future stretching out before me. There it was, visible yet unreachable, no matter how much I seek it, asking me to trust in it and surrender in the knowledge that all will unfold in the right time and place.

Three dolphin fins rising beside surfers at the beach

I stood looking out over the water, feeling the sand beneath my feet being washed away a little more with each wave until I had to step to another place or lose my balance. My heart leapt for joy as three dolphins surfaced near some of the surfers waiting for the next big wave. I  reflected on the hidden depths, the life beneath the surface, the endless rolling rhythm of the sea.  I thought about life, comfort zones, moving beyond them, the erosion of time like the waves of water, the beauty of it all laced with a touch of danger.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxxA beach

 

Those tight places…

We all have them, places where we tend to hold on, to tighten up without even realising it. For me and many of my students the shoulders are the biggest culprits with the jaw and eyes following closely behind. Other places that commonly hold unknowingly are the hands, feet, belly, hips, the list goes on and on.

The first step in reducing this type of physical stress is becoming aware of it. Noticing your own little patterns – where you clench, tighten, grip and eventually ache. Yoga is a great way to notice these things but you don’t need to wait until you’re in a yoga class to tune in to them, you can do it right now, take a little tour of your body and notice where you are holding.

The second step is releasing when you notice that tension is beginning to creep in. Consciously softening in those places, reflecting on how this holding is in no way helping to resolve whatever situation has caused it and letting it go. Again our yoga practice helps us to do this, to feel in and create space, to release and soften into a posture or practice, to stretch out those tight places but there is no reason you need to carry it around with you until you get there. Try it now, breathe into those tight places and feel them gently softening, aaaah.

The final step is to begin to break that habit, to notice the tension as it starts to creep in rather than waiting until its there. This isn’t as easy as it may sound but can make a huge difference to how you feel and how you function. Over time practicing steps one and two regularly will lead to this.

May all of your tight places release.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx