Does life feel especially stressful and confusing these days?
Do you feel disconnected from yourself, unsure of what really matters?
Do you have the vague sense that something in your life needs to change, but have no idea what, or how to go about figuring it out?
When life gets overwhelming (say because of a global pandemic), one of our animal instincts is to tune out all the stuff that feels unimportant to our immediate survival, and focus on just getting through the day. Sound familiar?
This response is brilliant for dealing with short-term threats, but when it goes on for months and years, it can leave us dissociated from vital signals. We lose touch with our body, only noticing it needs our care when there is acute pain. We lose touch with our authentic desires, unable to make clear decisions about what we really need. We get stuck in stale habits that no longer serve us, preferring familiar suffering to the risk of something new.
Maybe just try harder?
That’s the most familiar cultural response to a problem. Work harder at eating healthy. Journal like hell. Exercise #everydamnday. All of these things have their place, of course, but they easily become another stressful item on our to-do list that we guiltily ignore.
There is another way: thaw the frozen lines of communication. Regrow healthy connections to parts of you previously turned aside. This often means trying less so we can listen more. Allowing movement rather than forcing it. Relaxing assumptions and discovering forgotten capacities.
There are lots of methods that can help you do this. The trick is to pick one and actually do it.
If you’d like some expert guidance and good company, Nick Beem is offering a 6-week course this Fall based on Phoenix Rising yoga, somatics and Buddhism. It’s local, in person, and totally doable.
The essence of the approach is to:
- Reopen friendly, diplomatic relations with your body
- Increase your awareness of what’s happening in the present moment
- Recognize what you can change, and what you cannot
- Practice making choices based on what’s true, rather than your ideas of what should happen.
- Learn to collaborate with your life, rather than be either the victim or the commander
The yoga practice is quite simple and accessible to beginners. The yoga postures serve as laboratories of discovery, rather than exact architectures to accomplish. There is also guided meditation, journaling, and group process. You’ll get interesting homework assignments and practice recordings.
As one past participant noted:
There is a surprise in all this. It really is not that difficult to get in touch with awareness, integration and discovery of your inner truth. No matter how busy you are, it is possible to incorporate it into your everyday life
At the end of 6 weeks, you won’t have a solution to all your problems, but you’ll have new tools to help keep you oriented and engaged with whatever comes. Another participant observed:
The yoga and meditation gave me a sense of hope and a positive way to look at the world when often that view is not obvious. More often than not, my life is in a state of “chaos” and this work helped me direct the energy associated with these situations in a more forward-thinking manner. It’s hard to put into words, but if I trust that I am making the right decision in a given moment, then the eventual outcome, I trust, will be favorable.
You can read more student stories here.
This class meets 7 times.
- Six Monday evenings, 7:15-9:15p, October 16 - November 20
- One Sunday afternoon, Nov 12, 1-5p.
- Please save Nov 27 as a possible “rain date” in case one class needs to be rescheduled (Nick has young kids; viruses happen!)
All ages, abilities and levels of experience are welcome. This work is trauma-sensitive and can be an excellent adjunct to, but not a replacement of, individual therapy. You will receive a student information form upon enrollment. Nick may reach out to schedule a phone call to be sure the program will be a good fit for all participants.
Who else might enjoy this course? Even if you don’t feel actively stuck or stressed, this work is a very effective way to deepen your relationship with yourself and gain more clarity around fuzzy aspects of your life. Meditators and yogis may find it quite catalytic for their personal practice as well, as it provides a direct, embodied experience of many aspects of yoga philosophy.
What you receive:
- Six 2-hour classes
- One 4 hour Sunday retreat
- Class manual
- Home practice audio recordings
Cost: $350, payment plans available, members save 15%
The facilitator, Nick Beem, has been teaching this course since 2010, previously titled Calm Within Chaos. He is a certified yoga therapist in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, an E-RYT500 yoga teacher and Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Guide. He co-owns Grateful Yoga with his wife Lela Beem.