The ‘Anicha-thing’. Welcoming change

Hello again

Wow. I can’t believe I’ve finally taken the time to sit down, open my laptop, make myself a nice cup of tea and simply write. It’s been months since I did that, and this very moment makes me realise how I’ve missed it. In the past period I have probably experienced a wider range of emtiones than I have ever experienced before. I’ve felt happy, sad, lonely, supported, lost, home and lot in between. But I’m back and it’s only now that I can see the beauty of it all. The beauty of change and of surrendering to it. In other words, I’ve experienced the meaning of ‘Anicha‘ (or Anicca). I first came across this Pali word during my 200 hour Vinyasa Teacher Training and it means ‘unstable’ or ‘impermanent’ and refers to the Buddhist concept of impermanence; that all existence is temporary. That everything is subject to change and all that arises will pass.

These words may sound a little depressing and in a way they are, but if you think about it, there is great beauty and comfort in them as well. For if you can find peace in knowing that all that surrounds you changes, those things probably become even more valuable and memories more precious. Also, there can be great comfort in knowing that this concept applies not only to the good stuff, but also to the bad. So no matter how dark times may seem, they too will pass.

The Anicha-thing

So change and transition. The transition from one season to another, of one emotion to the next. From holding on to something to letting go. From outside to inside. From focus to distraction and back. The interesting thing is that yoga itself is all about embracing change and accepting it. So since I have been practicing yoga for a while now, even teaching it, I thought I would deal better with the whole Anicha-thing. Well, I am and at the same time I’m not at all.

I am in the sense that I have definitely become more aware of the importance of being able to embrace change and to surrender to the unknown. But I’m not in the sense that I can accept that change is a fact of life over which I have no control whatsoever.

The interesting thing though is that I did become aware of a parallel between my yoga -so me on my yoga mat- and me in real life with respect to this Anicha-thing. For during a lot of poses I feel a certain resistance that has nothing to do with a lack of strentgh. Exploring this resistance I found that I have a hard time surrendering to a pose. To just be in that pose, feel my body and not know when we will move on to the next pose and what pose that will be. Turns out, I have a hard time not knowing, not being in control and fully surrendering to something or someone. Hm. Not world news to be to be honest, but it’s good that I have become more aware of this ‘problem’ through simply practicing yoga.

Now, I’m sure I’m not the only one having to deal with this issue, but it proved the importance of yoga to me once again. Had I not been practicing, not paying attention to what I was feeling, it would probably have taken me so much longer to become aware of it and do something about it. Does that mean I’ve now found a way to surrender and completely embrace change? Nope. But, it has given me the opportunity to explore this aspect of me further and find myself a way.

Let’s move on the something lighter…

The yoga day-retreat

View from Pele Surf shack in Hoek van Holland, The Netherlands
Interior of Pele Surf shack, an amazing vegan beach bar in Hoek van Holland and the decor of my first yoga day-retreat

Since change is ever present and unavoidable, my two wonderful friends and I thought it a good theme for our very first yoga day retreat on the 21st of September 2019 at Pele Surf shack in Hoek van Holland. Yes, I’ve officially hosted my first retreat. It was only a day, but it counts.

On the 21st of September summer transitioned to fall and my friends and I tried to let this theme of transition return in both the yoga practice and meditation we gave that day. The weather was perfect – one of the warmest September days in a long time – so what should have been a cooler September day that introduced the new season, actually became a super sunny beach day. Not complaining here of course, for it couldn’t have been a better start of yet another new chapter in my life.

Hosting a full day with food, talks and attention for everyone who attended our try out, was amazing. Also, teaching yoga around a theme and incorporating it not only in my choice of words, but also in the build up and choice of asana felt very good. The feeling of creating something for others to enjoy and experience gave me such a thrill, mand seeing them enjoy it confirmed to me once more that teaching yoga, sharing yoga, is what I love. And of course, being able to do this with friends made it even better.

Teaching a yoga class at the beach

Future plans

So last week my friends and I evaluated the day-retreat and went over the feedback we’ve received. We loved organising the whole day and decided to organise another day-retreat in the beginning of 2020, most likely on the 12th of January. We will start planning soon and this time we’ll open it up to all those who are interested. So stay tuned if you would like to join us at the beginning of next year. From there on, we’ll take our plans further and who knows where we’ll end up teaching yoga, guiding meditations, serving food and connecting with others!

I for one feel so lucky to have ended up on this path of yoga and all that is connected to it. And though I am aware that change is always there, that all that is will pass, I will try to surrender more and more to this and simply enjoy all the good things that come my way!

Lots of love,

Jantine