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 receive the teachings of many internationally renowned yogi(ni)s and other spiritual teachers. The most influential of these have been the mystical teachings of Thomas Hubl. In this teaching I have found a home to house much of what I care for and also to be introduced to new principles and modalities of awareness. Whilst on retreat with Thomas, I was blessed to receive two transmissions related to his principles of belonging and becoming. In the first, my nervous system became aligned to his, particularly through his exhale. I experienced a deep relaxation and sense of wellbeing, and walked into the world with the joy of feeling fully part of it. In the second, seated before him in meditation, I experienced the movement of what he calls light enter my body, and a sense of expansiveness that then later fuelled my intellect in such a way that I had a series of creative insights that came rushing in one after the other. Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, during this period, I was also confronted with my shadow, and so experienced the extremes of dark and light – a most significant experience in terms of my development. It was humbling to witness him support one person after another release and heal through tuning into and holding their energetic being. His work impacts me as both teacher, writer/researcher and future psychotherapist (I am in training).
My most recent teacher is Rupert Spira. Although I have followed his work over several years, it is only now during this current period of lockdown that I am experiencing the beauty he transmits. During his live webinars, especially at the beginning, when he greets his participants, his eyes are filled with such love that I experience my heart expand and radiate warm rivers. I also appreciate how he shares his personal experience, thus collapsing certain boundaries between ‘teacher’ and ‘student’.I look forward to one day meeting him outside the virtual space.
Adyashanti is another teacher important to me. Thomas, Rupert and Adyashanti are non-dual teachers. Their teachings give me a context for my meditation, which has now become a key element in my teaching.
Aside from continuing to learn from these significant teachers, I aspire to journey more deeply into Australia and learn about country from our indigenous peoples, and support the first Australians in whatever small way I can.
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.