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 creativity.
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.
In human development since the Enlightenment there has been an emphasis on rationality, where the intellect has become abstracted from its embodied origins. Our education systems reflect this separation between ‘mind’ and ‘body’, where the former is attended to, and the latter neglected. The digital revolution has brought this separation to its extreme. Many of us struggle to process the limitless information at our disposal through our digital technologies and develop a ‘head-centric’, addictive relation to these technologies. Distracted we 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.
Contradistinctively, in this current period of physical distancing I am becoming increasingly interested in how digital technology can transmit presence/embodiment, and be more than just a socio-technological connection, transcend its tendency as mode that exacerbates our cultural inheritance of the separation of mind and body, and produce deeply-felt connection that supports well-being and flourishing.
Human well-being is fundamentally connected to 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.
I have been privileged to learn in person from internationally renowned yogi(ni)s and spiritual teachers. Currently my learning is focussed on nonduality and meditation. My two key teachers in this context are Thomas Hubl and Rupert Spira. I have been blessed to learn from Thomas in person. It is difficult to put into words what Thomas enabled me to access through his transmission; he introduced to me the power of the exhale as an entry to belonging, and to the soul/ light as an entry to becoming. I continue learn from Thomas through live webinars, and I also participate in Rupert’s live webinars. (I realise now that spiritual transmission can occur through the live virtual space.) Thomas is an important influence because his work focuses on healing, and many of his students are therapists, which resonates with my training in psychotherapy. Rupert is significant to me because he often refers to poetry and explores beauty, which resonates with my background in aesthetics. I am also interested in Ellen Emmet’s nondual teaching, which focuses on the body. Ellen is also of interest to me for her background in yoga and psychotherapy. I have recently come across the restorative teachings of Jeff Foster that focus on holding and rest, and influence my practice and being.
Aside from, and in relation to, my contemplative journey, I aspire to journey more deeply into Australia and learn about country from our indigenous peoples. My work as a research assistant in digital mental health is currently focussed on Aboriginal wellbeing, and when I graduate from my psychotherapy training I would love to support Aboriginal wellbeing in some way, and in turn draw from Aboriginal knowledge to support non-Aboriginal wellbeing.
I have been teaching yoga for 4 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. My recent teaching in meditation is an extension and deepening of this intention.
Simona Schmidt, PhD.