A peace of shell

BrokenShell
08.07.18. Tibee Island, GA. No Filter.

 

A fragment of something

much bigger than itself

Broken

until it can’t break any more.

Now, it’s as Strong as it is

Lovely

& has something to teach us all.

 

What is Yoga Therapy?

What is Yoga? What is Therapy? What is Yoga Therapy?

Filtered 7.11 avecafe cropped
I should probably have an answer to that, huh?

Yoga means union between all things, &/or awareness of this union in the present moment. The practice of yoga can be meditation, prayer/chanting, making cool shapes with your body, but most of all, conscious breathing. All you have to do is unite your consciousness with your breath, mind, and body; eventually achieving a sense of one-is-allness with the Universe as a whole. It’s a great feeling!* We good? Good. Moving on.

Therapy (at least according to me**) is a safe space for you to explore what it means to be yourself. True Love is an example of therapy. Not Love the feeling, Love the ACTION. What is Love? Love is patient, love is kind… Love listens for the sake of understanding, not just waiting to speak. Love asks questions to further that understanding. Love encourages true expression with no judgment. Love is curious about who you are the way we’re curious about our lovers’ bodies. If we’re receptive to it, Love ~ &/or Therapy ~ can liberate us from the binds we place around our hearts and minds and actions.

Yoga Therapy is the application of the physical &/or meditative practice of Yoga in any of the ways in which yoga can be therapeutic… there are many. Mindfulness and Acceptance Therapy could cost you hundreds of dollars an hour, and it wouldn’t change your body. Practicing yoga ~ the way I practice ~ is essentially the same thing, only framed as an unapologetic act of Self-Love.

My relationship with myself had always been shrouded by some degree of clinical depression (see what NAMI has to say about dysthymia here!). Very often, the love that my friends and family had for me wouldn’t register, like there was a barrier between their affection and my heart. I now think that was a symptom of me not yet loving myself; I didn’t even know how to start. More on that later.

If you’re reading this, we probably have a lot in common. Maybe you’re Queer or Blaq or FemmeAF or “too smart for your own good” or in recovery (from codependency, organized religion, academia, divorce, abusive relationships, disordered eating, or all of the above), maybe not. Maybe we could stand touching noses for a week and never see eye-to-eye!*** But if you soften your gaze, and listen from a place of Love, I promise you’ll recognize a piece of yourself. It might not seem like it sometimes, but we really are made of the same stardust. Yoga therapy means reuniting all the parts with the whole with Love. I truly hope my words will bring us all closer.

Welcome to my perspective. Namaste, y’all.

Resources:

“Is Yoga Therapy Supported By Research?”

International Association of Yoga Therapist’s Defininition(s) of Yoga Therapy


*Notes

*Another way to say it is “Divine Consciousness.” Christians might describe the feeling as “God’s Love.” A Buddhist might say “Nirvana.” FSM-followers (What? You don’t know?) would say they’ve been “Touched by His Noodley Appendage.” Same experience, different words. NOTE: Like all feelings, the sensation comes and goes based on the stimuli in your environment. In other words: the more you practice, the more you feel it; the less you practice, the less you feel it.

** I’m no doctor, but I did spend about 4 years in a Clinical Psychology Doctorate program, 3 years as a patient of psychotherapy, 2 years on-and-off of Fluoxetine (knock-off prozac), and 1 year as a bilingual social worker in Chicago…. That’s just the short story. Eventually I’ll publish a longer explanation of why I’m a valid source of information… or not, lol. If you don’t want to listen to me, listen to your intuition (it speaks from your heart and/or gut). Know that fear and excitement are physiologically the same sensation. Sit with whatever your body is telling you until you know what your truth is.

*** Sooooo many bonus points if you get this reference. Please comment below!

Cafe Envie ~ Upriver

July 12th, 2018: Changed title of Homepage post from “What is this?” to “Where am I?” I think it goes better leading in to the disco ball metaphor.

On my 2nd or 3rd steep of tea, Café Girl,* L., asked me what I was working on and I told her about my blog, half-jokingly. To me “I’m working on my blog” sounds pretentious AF no matter how you say it, so I might as well say it pretentiously. I also fear that I come across as pretentious whenever I talk about what I do ~ can’t say I do it for a living yet, but here we are: putting one foot in front of the other. What do I do? I’m a Yoga Therapist/Life-Coach.

 

 

7.12 UpperEnvvie Tea
“Life Coach?”… Really?… ::sips tea::

L and I talked about whether Life-Coach still sounds as fake and pretentious as it did the last time I heard it discussed… in a psychology class… 10 years ago… it does. I said “it sounds like I’m full of shit, right?” L said “it sounds like something rich people pay a lot of money for.” To which I replied “hey, I’m not opposed to that.” L agreed.

When I say I’m a Yoga Therapist, people (L included) don’t usually know what I mean, but no preconceived notion is definitely better than a negative one. People who are immediately attracted to my “job title” make the most compatible clients. People who are immediately repulsed by the words “yoga” &/or “therapy” could probably benefit the most from working with me, but I’ve never talked someone from that end of the spectrum into giving it a try. Hopefully I at least plant the idea-seeds that yoga is therapeutic, that people in America who look like me practice yoga and therapy; that yoga and therapy may look different than what most people expect…

Oh yeah, the review:

If you didn’t know, there are two locations of Envie Espresso Bar and Café in the French Quarter. I like the one on UPPER Decatur (308 @Conti versus 1241 @Barracks) because it’s closer to bike to and generally smells a lot better. I was there from roughly 9-11 pm on a Thursday. Totally clean, no line/crowd, as you’d expect. Absolutely Zero cracktivity in all this time, which could be attributed to the New Moon (opposite of full, so no crazys?), how BRIGHT the lights were on, or just really good luck. L’s partner came in and cuddled a bit at an empty table when she wasn’t busy, now he’s helping her with the trash ~ ALL of which I think only makes this experience cuter. Never did his presence interfere with her work & like I said, the place was spotless (Don’t come for her!).

It’s about time for me to leave to catch the last streetcar, but now I want to stay! At first it was difficult to think of what to write about, but once I started editing my first post ever, I was thoroughly engaged, despite how baggy my eyelids feel.

7.12 UpperEnvie Meh
It’s bright, okay! This is why you keep sunglasses on you at all times, people.

Okay, problem solved: the song “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” is playing, and I want to pack up because I know it won’t get better than this ^_^ The only downside is now I’m thinking of Tingyo.. at least I have a cute text to send him. Thank you, The Shirelles ❤

 

 

*Usually I detest calling women “girls,” but I call myself and others Café Girl sometimes because I think it’s cute 🙂 What do you think? Comment below, if you wish.