Jackie Heffer-Cooke, The Orange Grove Clinic’s co-director and Norwich yoga teacher explores the idea of how to be content.
Of the ten virtues which are the foundations of a true yoga practice, contentment is my own personal elephant in the room. Other yogic virtues like truth and honesty, well the fact that I am writing this blog owning up to struggling with contentment, proves I’m pretty honest.
Contentment… not so easy for me to grasp. Contentment, a state of happiness and satisfaction. Anyone who knows me I hope will tell you I’m a pretty happy person most of the time, but satisfaction… hmm
So yoga helps me. How? Through ‘movement therapy’ – That’s a very western way of explaining it – but it’s true.
Everyone is different. Good and granted. Some people so much energy that they don’t know where to place it. Energy in their mind, in their body. Sometimes it feels so intense your mind and body could burst!
On good days, these ‘types’ of people release the pent up energy by working, or running, doing something creative, or dancing like crazy. Sometimes, on the bad days, it might make them jittery, frustrated, upset, even angry.
Some people are seemingly more content, solid, more stable. Whatever the psychological or biological reason, ‘it is what it is’, it’s how we manage it seems to be the issue.
For me, yoga just seems to be the answer. Different people need different degrees of physicality, and the same people need different physicality at different times. Listening and responding to that need seems to me to be a root of why yoga works as a ‘therapy’.
Some days when I need to burst, doing some really active flowing yoga – I like to call it “flowga” – helps move the energy around the body, unblock and release some ‘stuff’ (academic yoga term) and once I’ve done that for 30 (or 60 minutes) I can lie down, still, with a quiet mind. I’m able to observe, rather than be entwined in, what I thought was physical energy but is possibly just super intense emotional energy. Then – I can let it go and actually, really, relax. Reach Shavasana.
Is that contentment. Well for me, yes. Peacefulness.
Can I have it every moment of every day? On school runs, in traffic jams, when there are bills to be paid, when I criticise myself or I want more life? Well, I am human, a human who lives in the UK in 2016 rather than in a yogic monastery in India. But for me it helps, it truly helps.
This month at YogaBuds we are being aware of contentment, exploring ideas of movement into stillness. Come and try it out for yourself, I can’t promise you a long and content life, but we may reach a moment that may just feel really nice.
To book onto one of Jackie’s Monday or Thursday YogaBuds yoga Classes in Norwich click here.