Irina van der Sluijs

yoga path (3) - yin yoga & mindfulness

As part of the 500 hrs Insight Yoga Training with Sarah Powers, we are also asked to explore the psycho-spiritual path. I consider this as the last deep dive that I took on the brink of the 2021 pandemic outbreak.

In March 2021 at Kripalu retreat center nearby Lennox (MA) in the US I attended Richard Schwartz' IFS introductory. IFS stands for Internal Family Systems and Schwartz developed this himself after having worked for several years as a family therapist. In IFS we learn to take distance from inner parts that act a certain way. The distance helps to feel not completely taken over by anger, hurt, isolation andsoforth. 

What is so meaningful here is that we feel carried by greater essence , hosting the exiled parts and getting to know our psychological conditioning and defence structure. The key (and this is KEY) here is to go towards, to engage with the inner firefighters and scary cats. And how simple this sounds, it is a discovery worth its own Nobel Prize! And should be taught to children in elementary school.

These parts are usually framed negative, pushed away. Now we host them with interest and ask them the questions: what do you need? what is your job here? when did you take on that job? what would you rather be doing? This inner voices that can really sabotage our work and love life now finally are being taken seriously. The key to a safe release...

So while teaching yoga and meditation we tend to forget about the psychological field as if everything should be bypassed with 'love & light'. That never appealed to me to begin with. I love the blissful states yet we want to bring them to our jobs and families and creative expressions. In that journey down is where we meet our humanness, our past hurt and conditionings from family lineage or cultural or gender that feels engrained. But we can rewirde and should rewire our mental states! For our own sanity and that of the world at large.

Fun fact: I absolutaly adored driving from Boston via Springfield to Lennox MA. '...the turnpike from Springfield to Boston' as James Taylor sings.

And he still lives there! Holy ground ... 

and the vastness of space and nature - for a Dutchy who is used to densily polulated country just amazing land