This was an intense moment, even though it was performance-based. I had to conjure up real thoughts that elicited true raw fear, the role I was dancing. And while dancing, shaking, running and screaming can be helpful outlets to channel stress impulses, can we stay a moment and lean into what's there--what's really alive in us--before trying to rid ourselves of it? Because, as with every earth experience, I believe, there's value in this pause and introspection toward our awakening from the sleep of our conditioning, i.e., the should's/shouldn'ts of how to be human.
Being vulnerable is something I've long been trained to avoid, having found myself already categorized as the weaker underdog in so many contexts growing up as a petite female immigrant with a heavy "un-American" accent in LA. And so, in building my internal defenses to feel stronger than I was perceived, my inner sergeant developed such competitive harsh mantras, like, "You need to show you're worthy. Do more! Always be productive and on the go! Don't let them beat you. You need to prove yourself!" I've learned that repeated thoughts become beliefs, even if they're not truth but merely tainted perception, sometimes born out of insecurities.
But as yoga has taught, while movement is important, stillness and deep listening are gold, too. Self-inquiry that questions my long-held beliefs has been essential to help unveil illusions I've developed as barbed wire around my heart; The barbed wire helped me feel tough but didn't give room to expand beyond the limiting familiar. It takes courage to sit with the discomfort of emotional pain, but in doing so with love, we can deconstruct the hurtful thoughts that imprison us. Moreover, we can realistically approach the yogic practice of pradipaksha bhavanam, or transforming negative thoughts into their opposite, without spiritual bypassing and ignoring that there's any internal disturbance altogether.
If you're feeling called to explore this courageous inner work, it will be the focus of our Zoom workshop, Transform Obstacles into Opportunity (Tools for Clarity), Thursday, 12/17 @6-7pm PST. Learn more or request a recording of the workshop here.
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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!
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