move. smile. release. Uma Spender (previously Jessie Neave) - name in transition - new website coming soon!

Uma Spender (previously Jessie Neave) - name in transition - new website coming soon!

returning to grace

Dear Yogis,

Last week I was rushing around, blissfully putting all of my energy & every waking moment into preparing for my Long Weekend Women’s Retreat when this popped into my head:

The only thing stopping you from being in the flow of grace is your resistance to it

I scribbled that down on a scrap of paper after a long yoga session, I was playing with the idea of Samastitihi - the posture of grace. What is most interesting about the name of this asana is not that it makes you feel like you have a speech impediment but that it's meaning is not simply grace, but a return to grace. If Grace is something that we RETURN to, rather than strive for, then of course it goes to follow that the practice of being deeply immersed and centred in grace is one of allowing things to unfold, with a deep sense ofsurrender and trust that things are unfolding as they should, moment to moment, and, in a broader sense too. So, with this lesson bubbling around in me I decided to theme my Retreat around the process of allowing - noticing resistance in all it’s forms and quite simply taking the inward posture of Samastitihi.

Don’t get me wrong, I was not the embodiment of Grace in the lead up to the retreat - I was still dealing with the usual stresses of the million details of a new venue, seemingly endless office works shenanigans, waking children and the agony of pet sitting (another!) high needs animal (why do I say yes to this, again & again?).  Then it happened, 3 days before the retreat, and on the one & only child-free-full-day I had to complete my husband had a push- bike accident and broke his collar bone. OH NO! We spent many hours in Emergency and as the sun went down on that exhausting day we were all feeling so blessed (that it was only the collar bone), and so grateful for the amazing care we had received. I didn’t have much room for feeling any stress about what I could or should have been doing. The accident certainly shifted what already was feeling like top gear into a new level of pressure…reorganising the baby sitting (and grown-man sitting!) so that I could fully immerse myself in my work became a full time job in the lead up to the weekend, and, rather than feeling distress that I should be spending more time preparing for my sessions, I had the solid inward posture of Samastitihi. I trusted that even though it made no sense for now, it was right. That my resistance to what was happening would be the only thing that would keep the weekend from being everything it could or should be.
I surrendered, and, I allowed. I allowed people to come out of everywhere and help my family, but most of all, I allowed myself to trust that I already had all the knowledge I would need to hold space for 15 women, for 3 days. In short, I allowed myself to be carried off in the flow of Grace…and it was divine!

The weekend was pure delight, the incredible, huge-hearted, beautiful women quickly connected with themselves & each other and I felt the work flow through me effortlessly. I loved every minute of it & am busy planning more dates for this year - details very soon. 

If you would like to read some reflections of the participants click here. And… an especially lovely blog post about the weekend here.

May you all be in the flow of grace.

Hope to see you on the mat soon!