GRACEFUL YOGA WITH KATE BELL
When I decided to write about Grace I immediately had images of the straight-backed women carrying enormous bundles of some sort of grass on their heads, that I saw, walking beside the road in the foothills of the Himalaya in India; They were full of grace. Graceful.
I grew up in an outer-most suburb of Sydney where life was simple. We were one of the last families I knew to get a colour TV so my first experience of yoga was copying female yogi Swami Saraswati on her yoga show in black&white. Afterwards I’d make up my own sessions that included free-form dance and leaping off couches. At high-school I chose Yoga for my Phys Ed elective and would tag along with my big sister to yoga classes at the local Squash Courts. When I was 16 Light On Yoga, Mr Iyengars definitive guidebook to yoga magically came my way, becoming my constant companion that firmly founded my personal practice. I began travelling, learning from yoga teachers all over the world. 26 years ago I received my yoga teaching certificate and the rest is as they say….
People often use the expression ‘gracefully practicing yoga’, hey I’ve had it said to me, and although it’s nice, thanks very much, we know they attribute the term Grace, to moving effortlessly in asana, yoga positions. However being a graceful yogi means so much more than that to me.
Building true grace is like playing snakes and ladders. We’re going about our best lives, off to yoga, chuffed when we stay up in handstand, make headway in our upper backs in backbends. Then we walk out and do what I did the other day and talk about someone in a totally mean way for no reason other than I guess I was feeling nervous. Boom!, straight down a snake!
Climbing ladders towards graceful yoga demands strength and requires agility to navigate all interactions with compassion and curiosity so that others feel seen and heard. It means engaging in fortitude when life becomes challenging and the keeping the lightness of spirit by never complaining. Focus and patience are also needed to stay present and certainty help our decision making; No problem can’t be untangled with calm gentle fingers.
Having been a yogi most of my life, I’ve come to realise that in classes we polish physically and mentally the same requirements necessary for being a graceful yogi in the ‘outside world’.
The great beauty of composure, married with sheer determined strength of those Indian women, took my breath away. Their yoga, the union of mind, body and spirit, in an unfaltering quest to provide for others and uphold responsibilities inspired me to be more and deepened my understanding of true grace, truely graceful yoga.
Join me on my journey @i_am_katebell
SHOP KATE’S LOOK
Peached Tess Top in Black, Peached Midi Pant in Black