You Are Supported
Do you ever feel like you’re unsupported by your friends, family, life or the Universe? If you said ‘yes’, you’re going to love episode #004 of The Prana + Patchouli Podcast where we explore the subtle power of restorative yoga and how we can tap into the surrendered energy of the practice, with props, to allow support to flow in - both on the mat and in our lives.
Press play or click here to listen:
Whenever I feel unsupported, I always have to check in and ask: am I supporting myself?
The answer is usually no. It doesn’t matter whether it’s neglecting my self-care, allowing myself to get sucked into a story that lowers my vibration or just making things way harder than they need to be. If I’m not supporting myself, I can’t expect anyone else to support me either.
Every thought we think and action we take, creates a ripple of energy that can be felt all around us. If we’re literally repelling the support that we crave so much, even if we don’t realise we’re doing it, how can we allow ourselves to receive it?
Awareness is the first step to healing this block. Then, we can ask for help, whether it’s from the people in our lives, or a prayer to the Universe, and finally, we open ourselves up to receiving.
I know, believe me, that it isn’t easy to ask for help. It’s something I really struggle with, even now and perhaps you feel the same? We feel unsafe when we give up control. We often rely on our own strength, but the truth is, we don’t have to do it alone. If we stay stuck in our ways, in stress and struggle, eventually, we’ll burn out. But if there’s one thing my spiritual practice has taught me - we’re more supported than we could ever know. The Universe is always conspiring to support us. We just have to learn to surrender and let that support flow in.
I teach a lot of restorative yoga which uses a lot of props to support the body from every angle. When your body is supported in this way, it sends a signal to your nervous system that it’s safe to calm down. In my classes, I often notice that it’s difficult for people to let go and loosen their grip, or even just to unplug their body and brain so they can relax without fidgeting.
Honestly, nothing makes me happier than snuggling a bolster. If you ever join me at home for a restorative yoga practice, you’d find me, like a hamster, nesting, with my blocks, blankets, bolsters all around me. I LOVE them.
But I didn’t always feel this way. I used to resist props, thinking they made me less than in my yoga practice, like I wasn’t enough. I remember going to an Ashtanga class in London (oh how things have changed) and the teacher kept popping a block under my hand in triangle pose. I, of course, kept moving it out of the way. On the other side of the mat, as a teacher, this is something I see often and now I know better.
Using props in yoga helps us let go in a way that feels safe as we are physically held and supported. We can have a deeper experience in our practice, whether that’s finding the right alignment and support for our unique bodies in a pose, or creating a sacred container so we can truly surrender. By embodying that feeling on the mat first, we can then learn to cultivate it out in the world.
One thing that I’ve noticed is that the more I support myself and let myself be held in my yoga practice, the more I’ve started to see the support I need manifesting all around me - at home, with work and money, health or in the face of challenge.
So, how would it feel to let go and allow yourself to be supported, by others, by life and the Universe? For me, it feels like one BIG exhale. A sigh of relief.
To help you with this, I want to guide you through a simple journaling exercise.
Grab a pen and paper, or your favourite journal and scribble down your thoughts as I ask the following 3 questions. They’re simple, I promise. Don’t overthink them, just allow the words to flow through your pen and onto the page:
- Where do you feel like you’re lacking support in your life?
- Who can you ask for help? Maybe it’s your partner, or just a simple prayer! When you wake up in the morning, whisper: Thank you Universe for showing me how much I’m supported today.
- How can you allow yourself to be supported? Perhaps it’s just embodying that feeling on your yoga mat and surrounding yourself with props.
And now, to wrap up this episode, I want to share a simple affirmation that you can use anytime you need to remind yourself that you are supported.
Silently, or out loud, say to yourself: I am supported today, I am loved today. I hope this reminds you that you are always supported, you just have to surrender and allow that support in.
Next week, I’m going to be spotlighting one of my all-time favourite restorative yoga poses, Legs Up The Wall, where we’ll continue this conversation on support.
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