Love at First Yoga
Once upon a time, I was backpacking in India and decided to try a 10 day silent meditation retreat in the Himalayas. I thought that such a feat would be impossible for such an incessantly talkative, extroverted, enthusiastic person such as myself.
It was surprising to me how easy it was to melt into the Simple Life , and I knew immediately how important this experience would be for my life. It was challenging at times, don’t get me wrong, but I was in deep gratitude everyday for having discovered this practice of Being in my early 20’s.
On this retreat, they offered Yoga practice everyday. From the first downward dog I ever took, I knew. This was it. FULL YES. I fell head over heals in love with Yoga. Everything about it. The movements, the breath, the philosophy, the community of truth-seekers.
Truly, madly, deeply in LOVE.
The next move on my travels was Thailand, where I met Lily of the Blooming Lotus. Again, instant Love. We kept in touch and I always knew that I wanted to learn more from this incredible embodied and wise Yogi.
Over the next many years I became a true Yogaphile. Travelling for Yoga, taking as many classes and workshops I could, reading all the books. Yoga started to make my life easier and more enjoyable. We know that life isn’t always easy. Buddha’s first noble truth state that “all beings suffer”. Its part of the package of being gifted this embodied life. But Yoga always helped make things better.
After living for some time in Bali, teaching at the Green School, I decided it was finally time to take my Yoga to the next – level with a Teacher Training course. Of course Lily was top of my list of who I wanted to study with, even though I had only met her for a few days 6 years before.
The teacher training blew my mind and my teachers invited me to assist and work with them. Dream come true.
Shortly thereafter, I moved to Thailand and started running classes, then retreats at the Blooming Lotus.
A few years later, my teachers decided that it was time to move to Bali and open a beautiful new centre. This transition invited me to step up in to a new role – stepping up to take over the space in Thailand and create my own flavour of offerings. Another dream come true!
Yoga is my forever teacher, in the good times and the bad. You always help remind me of who I really am, beyond the stories and emotions. It helps guide my way home.
I feel beyond blessed and grateful to dedicate my life to practicing and sharing Yoga, opening my heart, discovering deeper dimensions. And I vow to continue to evolve and grow and become a more balanced and diverse person and teacher along the way.
As soon as I started loving you and practicing Yoga, I felt openings and awakenings in my body and almost instantly the mind benefits started to creep in. With more space, flexibility and awareness of my body, I learned to heal 16 years of chronic pain in my IT band – in my outer knee and thigh. I also began to feel a lifetime full of indecision and the dances with depression begin to loosen their grip. Resilience continues to grow stong all the time.
So, Happily ever after?
Yoga helps me so much to navigate the reality of what presents in each moment. Its help me to know what the “highest alignment” is in each given situation, and it helps me to the see a true reflection of the roots of my suffering more clearly. It improves each present moment most especially when I am in a really dedicated space of active practicing.
Life is still life. Up, downs, waves, emotions, times where I feel alone, time where I feel not enough. But every time an emotional fluctuation arises, it lasts less long and I can see the progress and resilience, I can feel it…
Yoga is the one thing I can absolutely commit to for the rest of my life. And I love nothing more than sharing this passion for the Practice, for being a student of life ever-after, and for living the ever – evolving dream of sharing this love with you all!
Yoga + the Good Stuff
Hatha Yoga combines movement, conscious breathing, and mindful awareness and presence to offer physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual practices that connect us to the deepest aspects of our selves and our true nature.
The Benefits of yoga are boundless and include alignment, balance, strength, flexibility and connection to nature, community and our highest selves.
Yoga literally means “union” or “to yoke” our everyday selves with our highest most divine selves. Yoga is a powerful tool that teaches us how to live a life of balance, peace, harmony, strength and flexibility on all levels. The practice of yoga helps us become stronger, more open, free, happy, flexible and balanced, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Through yoga, we open ourselves to the infinite possibilities of life, allowing us to connect more deeply with ourselves, nature and community.
A Discipline Practice
A Disciplined Practice of yoga has the transformational benefits of deepening our connection to the body, mind and spirit, supporting us in living and loving long, vibrant, happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.
Yoga teaches us the art of letting go, letting grow, letting flow.
We move our bodies to move energy and restlessness to ultimately still the mind and enter the bliss of meditation, wherein our individual consciousness can merge with the ultimate or spiritual oneness consciousness, leading to our remembrance that we are not separate from that which appears to be outside of our own minds.
In practicing yoga, we become humbled and cultivate our trust in the body of wisdom that is sacred and vast and greater than our individual selves.
We are invited through our practice to look at the reflections life shows us in the form of experiences, the people we come across, emotions that enter.
We practice the art of receiving, giving, continually striving for an open heart especially when it wants to close.
We come to believe seemingly impossible to be possible and begin embracing feelings of gratitude for the perfection of it all either way
From wherever we are at, breaking through our somewhat uncomfortable comfort zones of who we think we are, the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves that we believe – “I’m not good at yoga”, “I’m too stiff/ old/ etc.. allows us to have the biggest heart, mind and body openings and shifts in our attitudes, mindsets, behaviours and thoughts.
Becoming more consciously aware, more mindful, in the choices we make everyday, from diet and lifestyle to the company we keep, so that we are living in full truth, love and integrity, is another great ripple effect of the practice.
Yoga helps inspire a deeper connection with mother nature and her cycles. Perfectly orchestrated symphonies of synchronicities and coincidences being to more readily flow and stream through life.
And most importantly, at the end of the day, Yoga is simply a practice.
So all you really gotta do is show up.
Do you love Yoga as much as we do? Let us know in the comments section! 🙂
Enjoy this short practice that explores a simple standing sequence to build strength in alignment, flow with the breath and movement and openness in the hips and heart.
Francie is a passionate and free-spirited Yogi, hula hooper, musician and lover of all things Magic. She is the inspired founder of Pure Flow Yoga in Koh Phangan, Thailand where she spends half of the year offerings daily Yoga classes, workshops and ongoing transformational Yoga Retreats in Paradise. She is also the founder of Hoop Love Tribe, an international co-creative collective of flow artists offering weekly community by-donation hoop jams for Spark! Circus, as well as the bi-annual “Hoopapalooza Flow Fest”, a 3-day beachside Hula Hoop and flow arts immersion experience. To follow Francie’s personal calendar, to receive her playlists, blog posts and music, like her Facebook page: Francie Fishman :Yoga Hoop Music Love