Photo: Emma, with permission des hauts et des bananes
This week: Des hauts et des bananes
Unfailingly willing to give her
best, “juggling and running,”
Emma’s life is on thrive
with her practice!
“I am French I live in Belgium and I love the UK !”
Reading Emma’s blog is plain unabashed delight. Des hauts et des bananes is by turns animated and exhilarated, sometimes pausing in reflection, going quiet in weeks of an overwhelming schedule, and then popping back up, once more completely giddy with pleasure. Along the way there are really great travel snapshots, recipes for lentil soup and vegan muffins, a romantic weekend in Paris (planning a trip to Tokyo to fulfill a lifelong dream) and posts that regale us with the elliptical runner as yoga prop (mais, bien sûr, en français…)
If you’ve read Autobiography of a Yogi and enjoyed the stories of the many obstacles and unexpected turns Paramhansa Yogananda finds as he follows his heart into his practice, you can’t help reading every post all the way through Emma’s increasing excitement as yoga roots in and transforms her life.
I started yoga about two and a half years ago. At the time I was taking a yoga class once a week, then this class got cancelled, and I kept practicing at home, once a wee, on Sundays… I also went to the gym for a good cardio/weight sesh twice a week, I started going to pilates classes too.
Then last year, I think it was around May, I started wanting to delve deeper in yoga. Just like a friend you enjoy hanging out without, and one day you wake up and realize that your are in fact madly in love with them!
Emma is ambitious. Holding down a job she’s outgrown while she completes a management course is already enough to make you cheer her on with enthusiasm. Your post-clicking loyalty is made sweeter by Emma’s descriptions of her growing trust in her practice, especially the way it shows up in her everyday life. I even love the name of this post: Economicsasana!
They say in yoga that the postures you dislike the most are the ones you need the most, the ones you have to work on…
As you may (or may not actually) know, I am pursuing a evening course in “business management tools” until June, and in this course there is a particular class my little friends and I don’t really enjoy: economics (*sigh*). We had 4 evenings planned, but another one was added last night.
I decided to approach this class the same way I would a yoga pose that is not part of my favourites: by going, simple as that. And concentrating on what the teacher said, doing my best to understand, trying to soak it in (“inhale, exhale, sink deeper in the pose and feel the alignment, inhale, exhale, feel”).
In the end, I realized that even if the class is not the most attractive class in the whole world, this teacher is a wise man with a huge knowledge on a lot of topics, and we could definitely learn a lot from him. And a teacher mentioning vedic scriptures in an economics class can’t be bad
Thanks Mr. P.!
Her journey involves long hours, hard work, and questioning everything from career plans to the meaning of home and where she will find it. France? Belgium? The UK? And it involves steadily going on with practice.
Emma turns to yoga to get centered, to get grounded in spite of the hectic pace and the looming uncertainties of life. She is both surprised and moved one day when she realizes how far into her life her practice is reaching:
And then at the end of the class, one of the ladies asked me: “did you do ballet?”. Of all people, me, who a few years ago couldn’t touch my toes to save my life, who rejected vehemently any kind of physical activity, who was as flexible as a broomstick, who could have played the Hunchback of Notre-Dame because of poor posture. She asked me she said, “because of your posture in the poses, straight, tall, and shoulders down the back”.
1st lesson: the most important changes are not the most visible ones. Yes, I still need to work on headstand, but I stand and sit taller, I breathe better, and that’s what matters in everyday life;
2nd lesson: when I answered no, I never did ballet, she said “then it gives me hope for the future”. And I felt so happy. This is what I want to convey when I start teaching, that what you believe is impossible is actually possible, that you can go beyond the limitations you set, that you have to trust yourself and your potential. I am in a way an example of that, even if I can’t yet put my foot behind my head
I have come a long way. It starts on a yoga mat, but it doesn’t stop there.
If you think back to your early relationship yoga you might be able to remember when it changed from something at first awkward, something your friends or family laughed about, something for which you felt an uncertain yet determined attraction, to that other moment – the defining one.
Enjoying the good results of dating the friend she has fallen “madly in love” with, Emma’s feeling good about herself in a way she finds hard to describe, “more open, taking things more lightly,” even pleased to have a trimmer waistline. Then in May she takes another step exploring the idea of teaching yoga, and has difficulty putting into words what happened next -
I cannot just write a proper recap, it would not do justice to what really happened. Actually I am not sure I know what really happened, it’s still sinking it.
The funny thing is, when I signed for this training I was more intrigued than excited, a bit skeptical maybe, but I wanted to see for myself and learn (and practice yoga in London? where do I sign?). So I went with an open mind. Ok, I still have some perspective here, but I have to admit that nothing could have prepared me for this.
I didn’t expect to be so touched and moved, I didn’t expect to dig so deep into my own self, I didn’t expect to sweat so much (oh yeah!), I didn’t expect to stand on my hands (with great assists may I add), I didn’t expect to break down in savasana, I didn’t expect to have such a powerful meditation, connected with all the people around me and yet being out there, “seeing” beyond the very room, I didn’t expect to stand up and share my meditation experience with this yoga community I was part of for the week end. I didn’t expect all of this, yet it all happened and I’m still in shock
I can sense more happened, deep down, but it has yet to be shown to be.
I am tired, physically and emotionally, and yet I feel so empowered now.
I’ll leave you with what I wrote on my notebook when Baron asked what our new way of being was: my new way of being is of confidence, openness, and fearlessness. The possibilities for me now would be to connect with people, and show people that it is possible to let go of fear.
I can remember my own experience of this quite viscerally and I was deeply grateful to Emma for sharing hers.
The Magazine of Yoga is full of admiration for the authenticity of des hauts et des bananes. We’re delighted to award Emma our Real Life is Real Yoga™ Pure Prana quality rating. We highly recommend you add this inspiringly perky, ready-for-anything yoga adventure blog to your reading list.
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