The You're Enough Yoga Philosophy
There is nowhere to get to because you are enough. You are enough, just as you are.
I never wish to leave people thinking they NEED to be more of something and less of something else. The wellness industry thrives on the myth that we are not enough, that we must be and do more, more, more. Honestly, I hate that. This curse of 'not enough' is a patriarchal and oppressive one which dictates that if anybody is not white, rich and male, they do not measure up.
I have loved Yoga for a long time, but it took me a while to find the style of yoga I enjoyed most and the practice settings which felt the most accepting, nurturing and safe while I developed my own relationship with yoga. The more I practised Hatha Yoga and Yoga Nidra with patient, supportive teachers, the more contented I began to feel. The practice blossomed feelings of contentment with what I could accomplish on the mat, including simply resting and breathing. Contentment on the mat slowly but surely became contentment in daily life. I also learned to guide compassion toward aspects of my ego which I had disowned. The dawning realisation of how discontent I had been for much of my life was a definite contrast with the little moments of peace and satisfaction that were becoming more frequent as my Yoga practice continued. I felt that part of myself was getting rebuilt and slotted back into alignment with my true self, the realisation that I had always been enough.
There are eight branches on the tree which we know as Yoga. Making shapes on the mat is the branch called Asana, this is the branch of Yoga that we mostly recognise as ‘doing yoga’ when we arrive for a class. There are also branches called Yamas and Niyamas. I began to understand that my feelings of ‘enoughness’ were in line with these principles of living. Living in a manner which is non grasping (known as Aparigraha in the Yamas) and choosing to align with feelings of enoughness and contentment (known as Santosha in the Niyamas). These values are woven into my classes.
When we approach our Yoga practice from a place of contentment with ourselves, the benefits of yoga can feel like very cool bonus prizes, instead of results that we have to produce, attempting to plug a hole where we feel we are lacking. I intend for You're Enough Yoga students to feel that they are enough. Stepping on to the mat is enough. Sitting to meditate on the breath is enough. Connecting with the breath is enough. The beautiful heart that beats in your body is enough…the rest is just extra to play around with.
I do not wish to bypass the issue of difference. I recognise and I am ongoingly learning that for some groups who are marginalised by patriarchy ( womxn, people who have black or brown bodies, LGBTQI people, people with disabilities, and those who identify as being at the intersections of these groups) the idea of being fully one's self feels riskier because of having to learn to navigate and survive this patriarchal system of oppression. I intend and endeavour to bring awareness and sensitivity to this social injustice within my yoga teaching, while also taking action against white supremacy, abuse, and the unacceptable marginalisation of people so that being enough feels safe.