I’ve spent this weekend in Lancashire, staying at an historic hall with my Mum. It’s been gorgeous. We have spent a couple of days glamping in our shed and from here have gone on nature trails, cooked meals over our very own campfire and enjoyed a change of scenery.
A new environment often inspires me and the topic that popped up today was that of rhythms.
I meditate every day and it is an integral part of my personal practice and has been ever since I did my yoga teacher training in Thailand.
Meditating in a new place is interesting. Not only is it a new environment in which to listen to myself, my internal sensations and to explore these from a new perspective. A change of scene also offers new sounds, scents and sights externally for the mind to consider and this change can be a good prompt for inspiration.
Today in meditation the words Circadian Rhythm popped into my consciousness. This is timely because earlier that day I had been discussing jetlag and the way it affects your body with my mini-break buddy as we explored Brockholes Nature Reserve.
Circadian rhythms are the natural, internal process that happens inside our bodies every day and are what governs and regulates our sleeping patterns. It is these patterns and internal rhythms which are thrown off balance monumentally if we travel long distances and cross time zones. This is why one can experience jetlag and the associated side effects. I’ve been there, these are not nice.
The worst jetlag I have ever had was after travelling from Medan in Indonesia to Sao Paolo in Brazil. Four flights (the longest of which was 16 hours) and two days of constant travel was intense and it threw me off in a big way, affecting my sleep, gut and general balance.
Being off kilter and out of alignment isn’t pleasant.
Finding my rhythm and being able to listen to myself is something that has grown stronger in my personal practice.
When I began my meditation practice in Thailand I learned about another important internal rhythm. That which flows along the Meridian Lines. In Traditional Chinese Medicine these lines are a sequence of channels through which your vital energy or life-force, known as qi (pronounced chi), run.
When there are imbalances in the body which happen for many reasons there are blockages along these channels and the qi is unable to flow freely as it should. This can then develop into illness and pain.
This is how the practice of acupuncture is delivered, whereby the practitioner endeavours to free up these energy blockages by placing tiny sterilised needles along a complicated, yet beautiful pathway of pressure points all over the body .
I had homeopathy and acupuncture on my travels and it really cleared up my own personal blockages and helped me see the benefits of this way of treating people.
My training really altered my mindset and enabled me to view myself from an entirely different perspective. To tap into my own rhythms, to listen to myself and understand what I felt like because I was alone for the first time.
By establishing a really firm personal practice I was then able to complete my training from a grounded, calm place. Knowing what I felt like, what worked for me, how these practices helped me and to come away, not only a certified yoga and pilates instructor but also a more self contained, self sufficient person. Aligned with my own rhythms and more in balance with myself than I ever had been.
I continue to follow my own rhythm now. From setting up my own business and working with adults and children online and in person; to learning the ukele and enjoying making my own musical rhythms.
Its all really come together for me and the understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Buddhism, alongside the establishment of a firm practice, has really enabled me to forge ahead more aligned and conscious of myself.
And for me it is only when I stepped away from all I knew and ventured off to train in Thailand that I could finally FULLY listen to myself.
Being aligned and in touch with yourself is impossible if you don’t know what tune your rhythm follows.
I’m so happy to have found mine and to be moving in time with it. Feeling like you’re moving to the beat of your own drum is a pretty awesome feeling. I will continue to listen and learn about the best ways to keep that rhythm playing.
I hope you enjoyed reading this.
Have a lovely day.