A MESSAGE FROM FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, ROSIE MCCAUGHEY
I am often taken aback by the stories of how and why people come to yoga - what inspired them to take their first class, the journey of physical change, and the stories of their personal transformation through the practice of yoga. My own yoga journey started as an addition to a rigorous training schedule in my triathlon days, a way to unwind my muscles, and to open up the physical channels that the strenuous training would choke within my body. But what kept me going back to class, intrigued and yearning for more, was not the love of downward dog or warrior one pose (or how I could finally touch my toes!), but the way yoga left me feeling at the end of each class.
I could go in with a troubled, stressed, anxious frame of mind, and come out at the end feeling calm and at ease. It was as if the problems that swirled around my busy head were somehow smaller, less significant or more manageable. I truly appreciated the kind and motivating words of my teachers - whether they spoke of ahimsa (non violence), letting go (don’t sweat the small stuff!) or offered permission to utter a wholehearted, fulfilling, emptying sigh in downward dog, melting away the stress and worries from my body and mind.
I began to see myself as more than the physical, human being that ran from one workplace, training venue or meeting to the next, ticking off the list of my life along the way. It invoked a longing for a more meaningful, compassionate and grateful existence. I also realised that I needed to start by directing those sentiments towards myself, rather than continue to self-criticise.
One of my teachers, Swami G, said that what we see in our external world is a reflection of our internal world. In order to love, to give and to inspire others, I need to love and accept myself. My personal journey towards self-love, compassion and gratitude has not been easy or perfect, but the conscious effort has had a dramatic impact. When you are kind to yourself, it becomes easier to be kind to others. When you appreciate the little things in life, you begin to notice and appreciate things that perhaps were never visible before. Gradually, like a small Mexican wave, a trickle of rain or a snowball gathering momentum, you begin to feel less urgency in your life and more contentment in simply being.
It is my greatest wish that through the art and practice of yoga, we can begin to love more, live more, and be more. I hope that your experience at Rise Yoga starts the Mexican wave for you and - whether you want to stretch your hamstrings or learn to meditate - that you find a pathway to that which you seek.