Align - Love - Thrive
Our heart team proudly curates a set of teachings, practices and information each month and season to help you live the life of balance and alignment: yoga! Click through regularly to explore, learn and grow on the path.
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Hello, dear sangha,
Last year, as a fresh and tender new mama, I took a course centered around postpartum mama care. I had thought that I would learn a bunch about the nuts and bolts of caring for families during this time and, while that information was certainly there, I was awe-inspired to learn a great deal more about the way in which mom's (and surrounding community or lack there of) lay the foundation for emotional resilience in their children.
The leading teacher shared her deeply rooted belief that "women are the heart and foundation of the people. The support of mothers, supports healthy and empowered families, which supports thriving communities, which supports all of humanity." Scientists understand that a healthy, connected nervous system begins in the womb, much before we are able to self-regulate. Unborn babies are soothed by the sound of their mother's voice and the movement of her body. After the baby is born, the mother/ caregivers speak, smile, rock and hold them. Every interaction matters. When a nervous system meets another nervous system a new nervous system is created. Psychologists refer to this communication between nervous systems as co-regulation. Co-regulation continues as the child grows - their brains literally download (until age 3 littles are largely in the delta brain frequency!) the reaction of their parents/ caregivers when they experience a stressful situation. If the adult is able to comfort without panic, the child usually moves on more quickly. When the child feels safe, seen, supported and can witness calm, they will learn how to self-regulate, self-soothe and cope. We can think of co-regulation as the sharing of calm instead of chaos. In this way we may see how the health of our mothers is so vital to the rest of humanity. If a child is not adequately and consistently responded to, they will struggle to learn self-regulation and it may become a lifelong difficulty that affects them and others. This is no knock on our mamas! In fact, what is missing for most mothers is support and environments that may help them to thrive. Society as a whole needs to do better for our mothers/ caregivers. We would never blame a flower for lack of bloom when the environment is not suitable for its mere survival.
Ok, so no co-regulation = a lack of access to self-regulation. Co-regulation precedes self-regulation! When it comes to our practices in Yoga and Meditation, it is understood that the heart of this work is in the revival and healing of the nervous system. It is found in our relationships and our ability to move through life in a connected state (mind, body, heart). Through co-regulation we are able to have our hand on the emotional dial so that we may shift gears in our nervous system in connection with others and the world around us. Mindfulness itself is the return to awareness! The return to connection!
Co-regulation is about expression. When you feel safe, seen and connected you are most able to express yourself authentically: your feelings, vulnerability, your autonomic state. Showing who we are and how we feel is the cornerstone of co-regulation and health. We depend upon a response from others that validates us and provides us the ability to see others as they are. Since we consider that learning first happens while we are in the womb and as little ones, most of these cues are actually non-verbal: gaze, posture, gesture, timing, rhythm, and yes, words and tone of voice. These are the responses that validate and impact the communication shared between us and another. From here we know whether or not to go deeper. From here we can discern what is required to stay or return to a connected state.
I cannot express how proud I am to be a teacher of a community that is deeply invested and ready to engage in this most important work. Perhaps we all didn't get the best start, for whatever host of reasons, known and unknown. Give yourself space to feel into that AND see potential in the now. We have the ability to create new habits; to generate harmonious patterns in our heart's rhythm for greater connection and emotional regulation. When our nervous systems, our bodies, are regulated, we experience a harmonious interaction among our body's systems which creates calm. Calm = learning, making supportive choices/ decision, expanded perspective, states of joy, loving connection, and environments for growing and sustaining thriving life into the future. We make a difference not just for us but for all beings. The way we feel and make other people feel, endures. Maya Angelou said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." This is the cornerstone of our work, heartlings. I look forward to growing in connection with you this coming month and beyond. Now let's co-regulate!
All the feels,
October 2021: Contemplative Interbeing
September 2021: The Nobility of Silence
August 2021: Dissolve Your Fixation with Self
July 2021: Let's Linger
June 2021: I am in the Flow of the Universe
May 2021: Lighten Up
April 2021: We Travel the Path in Good Company
March 2021: Om Mani Padme HumM
February 2021: Embodied Dharma
January 2021: "Everything can be a 'that'; everything can be a 'this' "
December 2020: I Am a Sanctuary
November 2020: In the One is The All
October 2020: Ready, Set, Rest
September 2020: Attract Beauty Today, Create Tomorrow
August 2020: Refuge in One and blogging by the sangha
July 2020: Awaken Your Voice
June 2020: The Spirit of Sangha
May 2020: Just as You Are
April 2020: The Next Buddha is Sangha
March 2020: You and I Are Essentially Infinite and blogging bits by Heather Kolvenbach
January 2020: I am
December 2019: Give the Gift of Presence
November 2019: We are All Royalty by Roy Grant
October 2019: Rekindle the Heart
September 2019: Where Your Intention Goes, Energy Flows
August 2019: Come Home & Be Anywhere
July 2019: Paradise is Now
June 2019: Let Peace Be Your Superpower
May 2019: Play is our Pathway to Possibility
April 2019: Give Yourself Room to Bloom
March 2019: Living Your Highest Truth
February 2019: Out of Love, Our Path Can Lead us to Serve
January 2019: True Belonging is the Spiritual Practice of believing in and belonging to yourself...