The Space Between, by Michelle Chua
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”― Viktor E. Frankl
This sums up one of my reasons for meditating daily. In case you don't know me that personally, I tend to be very passionate. While this passion joyfully fuels my work and play, it has also lent itself to impulsive reactivity. In a fit of rage, I once punched glass repeatedly with my bare fist until it shattered because I felt betrayed and disregarded by a partner I loved and trusted. That "rock-bottom" moment of being hijacked by my anger was over a decade ago, and I have the scar to remind me that I'm committed to self-healing, which includes letting go of my shame about it in order to transform "my karma (or, effects of my actions) into my dharma (or, spiritual path or duty)," as author Kathleen Hanagan says.
I felt nervous to post this, but it's a part of my shadow that spurred self-study and tools for self-healing. I eventually started a daily sitting meditation practice in 2013 and it continues to serve as a tool for learning to observe my thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them that I lose myself. Meditation is my teacher of equanimity, the ability to feel wholeheartedly (not sweeping uncomfortable things under the rug) but allowing the space for discernment to choose my response.
I share this story because in our common humanity, I understand we all feel difficult emotions, especially when life challenges arise. And during physical distancing and quarantining, we might forget that we have support and are not alone. Thankfully, we're in an era of technology that lets you read this or live-stream together from different time zones. So, I'm taking the opportunity to share what I can and what's been of great service to my healing and continues to be: my meditation practice (the 7th limb of yoga).
You can find a link to a free YouTube playlist of various lengths and kinds of guided meditations, from beginning to sit for it to dealing with anger and negative self-talk here:
If you'd like to share the practice live, here are some Zoom events you're welcome to join:
1. Fridays 4:30pm Yoga postures, breathwork and 10 minutes meditation (weekly)
2. Sat, 2/13 at 5:30pm Metta Date Night: Yin Yoga, breathwork and a guided meditation for sending loving kindness to yourself and others
3. Thur, 2/18 at 6pm Integrative Yoga Night focusing on Nurturing Resilience
4. Sat, 2/27 at 1pm Peace through Forgiveness: Qi Gong + Integrative Yoga, co-facilitated by Sigal Mehuyas
Details + Sign Up at Root2RiseYoga.org/Community-Events
You're welcome to invite a friend. Come to practice with a community that supports each other.
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REviews of Root 2 Rise Yoga with Michelle chua:
Michelle truly lives out what she teaches. She is so much more than a yoga teacher - I learned this when I went on her exquisitely curated trip that she organized to Costa Rica this past June 2018...Hopefully like me, you'll be delighted by her effervescent love of movement, nature, and all people!
Michelle clearly stands out with her beautiful and bright energy. I love how her practice and teaching encompass body, mind and spirit. She not only teaches yoga but lives and exudes it.
Michelle not only teaches 'yoga', she embodies it fully with her heart and soul...
Michelle is by far one of the best instructors I've ever had, period. Patient, clear in her explanations and demos, and so encouraging...
My first yoga class was with Michelle years ago. You can have the best (yoga pose) sequence and not teach from your heart. With Michelle, I also feel her passion when I'm in her class. I can see she loves what she does, and she inspired me to want to teach yoga, too.
Check out our upcoming retreats here!
I'm so grateful to have met Michelle! Her kind energy opened up my interest in pursuing yoga and meditation. She is such an incredibly light and soul. She starts with grounding ourselves through mindfulness and breathing exercise. She brings the most authentic energy to the class by sharing the history and understanding behind poses, names, and techniques. I truly appreciate her work and impact on my well-being!
I’ve had dozens of instructors over the years, but Michelle is far and away the best yoga mentor I’ve ever practiced with. She epitomizes grace during these difficult times. Michelle has saved my sanity and my back while working from home, keeping me grounded with her sharing of yogic teachings and meditation techniques. Her repertoire of physical asanas is encyclopedic, and I’ve loved learning new poses and stretching my boundaries. Jump in, all. You’ve got this!
©2010 Root 2 Rise Yoga