I did not grow up in a household that had peace with money. How about you?
I discovered yoga when I was 15 at my local YMCA (this was just before yoga got really popular in California) and I wondered why no one had ever told me about it?!? For the first time in this life time, my body was singing and I spent the next 10 years doing a deep dive into yoga and Pilates.
When I started yoga it was in a nondescript room with a bunch of older people. There weren’t any buddha statues or hot pink tights. The instructor was in her 50’s and there was a lot of grey hair in the room. But those grey haired people where doing 10 minute head stands and touching their for heads to their knees. They had clearly been in this nondescript room for a long time before me, and with them I discovered what my body could feel like through consciousness movement.
For the first time, I found out what my body could be, and I loved it.
I became an instructor in both yoga and Pilates. I had a 6am Ashtanga yoga practice (hard ) 4 days a week, and taught Pilates all day long, 6 days a week. This went on for a while until my body just broke. Yoga and exercise had become a punishment, rather than the pure joy I first had with it.
Some where along the line it became about ‘fitness’ and to be honest a lot of judgment. So many body judgments. Not just mine but everyone else’s body judgments. Yoga became about how you looked and how awesome your pose was rather than really deeply exploring consciousness through the body, and all that that brings. Any ways, I got caught up in the southern California fitness insanity (yes I think the way people treat and view their bodies in California is insane. And of course not just California, but you know what i mean). And so I pushed my body rather than listening to my body. I judged it’s fat and lack of strength, rather than celebrating and enjoying it’s beauty, ability and sensations. One day, my shoulders just blew out. My body would no longer do chaturanga (where your body is in plank and you lower down by bending your arms). When I tried, it was excruciating, and so that was the beginning of my body giving me different information about how it wanted to be used.
It was also around this time that I was getting more and more committed to Access Consciousness®. Traveling to classes and facilitating my own classes. The owner of the Pilates studio I was working at took me aside and told me I needed to make a choice. I either needed to commit to my hours at the studio or to all the traveling I was doing. That was really a pivotal conversation for me, and I had to look at what I really wanted to choose. I had been falling in love more and more with Access and all that it could do, and how different my connections with the people I was doing Access with were, compared to the people I was doing yoga and Pilates with.
So I took a leap into the less predictable and started facilitating Access. And some how in this processes of hurting my shoulders and not finding the answer I was looking for through physical fitness, I just gave up on it. I stopped really moving my body and at first it was a relief. But eventually my body was not happy without movement. So I had to start a new by asking my body what kind of movement it wanted. And discovering what that was even when it didn’t match my points of view about what the right thing to do was. I explored Nia, Zummba, Iyengar yoga, Kundalini yoga, Gyrotonics, and on and on and nothing ever felt right ALL the time.
Now I carry a yoga mat with me around the world to all my different Airbnb’s and hotels. I find a way to enjoy my body where I am and with the space, or weather, or environment, or the energy I have available at the time. Some times I just rock around on my back, some times I climb mountains, some times I have sex. Other times I do nothing for too long and my body screams at me to move and stretch and work.
My body gifts me joy through movement.
How does your body want to move today?
Ready to dive into more? Discover more about the joy of conscious embodiment with Shannon O'Hara and look out for her upcoming Access Body Classes HERE