Through yoga we become intimate with life and realise our generative power.
Generative power is creative. It is our life force that we share with all nature. Through yoga we can understand ourselves as nature. The studio is named Generative Yoga to underline our fundamental being as nature, and also because yoga supports that which we desire to generate/ create. As nature, we are ecological beings – in relation to all. Yoga involves heartfelt relationship to both human and non-human beings.
Yoga is an ancient practice associated with different traditions and religions. In the contemporary context it has many manifestations. But yoga is always a deeply personal practice of self enquiry and realisation. I encourage you to find out what yoga means to you, and to also develop a personal practice.
I understand yoga as a movement-meditation the most essential aspect of which is the breath. I merge the fundamental aspects of hatha (physical) yoga with an intuitive fluidity. I consider yoga a practice for every body, every day that enables us to realise the beauty and brilliance of life that we always already are and our emergent creative life force.
Combined with the breath, focus, and compassion for self and others are central to the practice of yoga. I understand first-hand that these aspects of yoga have a powerful healing effect in relation to depression and anxiety. This is not to say that yoga should be looked to as the only method of healing, but one among several modalities that can support well-being and flourishing.
In today’s world we struggle to process the limitless information at our disposal through our digital technologies, whilst becoming increasingly dependent upon them. Many of us have a ‘head-centric’, addictive relation to our technologies as we endlessly scan, search, check in and out, and increasingly feel disconnected from ourselves, each other and our environment. For these reasons an embodied practice that brings us into presence with ourselves, each other and our environment is perhaps even more necessary today than it was thousands of years ago when yoga first emerged.
My key focus other than human well-being, but fundamentally connected to it, is environmental well-being. As mentioned, a deep yoga practice brings us into relation to nature such that there is no separation between us and nature. Now, more than ever, as we face the climate crisis, extinction of species and destruction of ecosystems, we need embodied practices that can bring us into better relation with our environment. This relation might at times compel us to activism, or take more subtle forms of working towards protecting, and regenerating our natural environment.
A third focus is music. Throughout my classes I employ music composed by artists such as Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnolds, Luke Howard and Keaton Henson that can be described as minimalist, meditative, explorative, atmospheric, sensual and sacred. This music supports yogic, intuitive movement, alignment with the breath and a sensitivity to the nuances of sensation, and to the deeper spatiousness of consciousness. It allows for an awareness of movement in stillness, and stillness in movement – a central aspect of yoga.
I have traipsed the globe to receive the teachings of many internationally reknowned yogi(ni)s and other spiritual teachers. The most recent impactful teacher I have had – Thomas Hubl – taught me the importance of grounding: ‘to relax deeply into the ground of one’s being’. Here, the exhale is paramount. Thomas imparts the significance of relation for healing, which provides a key reference point for my yoga teaching and my future as psychotherapist (I am in training). He underlines for me that one who walks the spiritual path, whilst embodying timeless, essential knowledge of the wisdom traditions, must also express their individual creativity. His perspective of the sacred as 100% commitment to life deeply resonates with my own. Thomas remains influential to my development as teacher and human more generally.
To enrich my development as teacher, therapist, and human in this great ecosystem we call life, my intention in the coming years is to journey more deeply into this magnificent land Australia, and learn from our indigenous peoples.
I have been teaching for 3 years. My intention as teacher is to support my students in becoming deeply embodied and developing a relation of presence to themselves, others, and their environment, where they are connected to their heart-space and vitality and can begin to release any stuck energies that limit their flourishing.
Simona Schmidt, PhD.