Dancing with dis-ease

Dancing with dis-ease

‘When we are upside down we are dancing,’
Proclaimed the Tibetan monk under a blanket of giggles.
When life knocks you sideways and you veer off your path,
When your sparring with life gets you knocked out in the second half,
Welcome it.

Invite it in.
Pull up a chair and acquaint yourself,
Listen like a deer in the depths of darkness,
Watch like a hawk above the intricacy of land,
Welcome it.

In the fullness of life you have found emptiness,
In having everything something eludes you,
In happiness you have found sadness,
In pleasure you have found pain,
Yet you still strive to avoid dis-ease,
When does sanity become insane?
Welcome it.

You will grow, flourish and surpass your expectations,
You will enter the abyss and discover the depth of your being,
You will embrace the joy that resides in your heart,
You will uncover the truth behind Earth’s most magnificent show,
You will grace the stage and dance, because now … you know.
You are it.

Author bio


By Juliette Oliver

OrcKid Yoga was dreamt up seven years ago while I was a school teacher and novice yogi who lived for Wednesday nights when I would make the frenetic hour-and-a-half journey into Elephant and Castle for my weekly yoga class. I attended Ashtanga Yoga in a Buddhist Centre and always arrived full of enthusiasm, slightly stressed and full of a sense of freedom as this was my only night off from marking and being a single parent of twins. I made a mammoth effort to be there every week, enlisting the help of my good friends, because this one class never failed to evoke in me a feeling of being alive — I always left with a heart full of inspiration, a sense of confidence and a lightness of mind.

After a few years as a school teacher, I realised that the juggle of jobs and nine-year-olds was not working; I was worn out! So we headed to the sea. We moved 100 miles to Dorset with dreams of a different existence — one of harmony and happiness and space to enjoy each other.

OrcKid Yoga was still an idea when we arrived in Dorset. After spending the past four years in schools, I could see the benefit of children practising yoga and I wanted to bring the positivity and nurture of yoga into schools. I built OrcKid Yoga for children over the next three years. During this time I also trained to teach adults, and gradually I built up enough yoga classes to be able to leave school teaching altogether.

My intention to teach has always remained constant. Now my goal is to help bring a sense of lightness, contentment and strength to all who practise with me. I vividly remember how I used to feel after Savasana (the relaxing end part of a yoga class), and if I can help provide a space for others to feel this too, then I feel I have contributed to this world in a useful way. My approach of being of use to people has expanded into teaching meditation and mindfulness: I have been a practising Buddhist for six years and from my own experience have realised how much unnecessary suffering we endure by allowing our minds to run riot. I am a happy being. My children are happy. We have found happiness among some real challenges and I credit this to the wisdom that yoga and meditation shows us.

To be happy is a human right, but to be human is to be subjected to all kinds of pain. Yoga and meditation bring a sense of strength and stability into an ever-changing, fickle world; our practise allows us to realise our best selves, and our best selves have the best effect on others, which contributes to the best possible outcome of a connected, happy world.

Photography by Hannah Stocks

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