When your love life is good it’s wonderful, but when it’s bad it’s crippling! Seen as medicine for the body, mind and soul, registered Hatha teacher, Penny Slein, says that by bringing yoga practice into your relationship, you can foster a lifelong connection, and a love that will endure the journey of life.
“The struggle for self-acceptance is continuous because you are constantly changing,” says Penny. “Along with personal growth and development comes age, and as soon as you’ve found self-acceptance, you change, so you have to find self-acceptance over and over again. This shifting, growing, changing, getting older never stops.”
While change occurs physically from day to day depending on what you fuel your body with, how mobile you are, what mind frame you’re in, your hormone fluctuations, immediate and global environment, Penny says that to have any form of longevity, the very concept of self-love needs to be holistic and unconditional.
“Factors that need to be taken into account are your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states. Let’s say you have a goal weight you strive for and attain. Subsequently you put on weight. What now? Do you still have love and acceptance of yourself for all that you are? Or are you now beating yourself up? If you only have love and acceptance for yourself when you look a certain way, then your inner peace will be momentary and fleeting. True self- acceptance runs deeper than this. Look at who you are in the space that you occupy, and consider that you are very busy at an unconscious level. There are thousands of autonomic processes occurring which you will never know about, but your 37 trillion cells are trying their best to keep you physically able and balanced even though you do not always fuel your body with positive thoughts, healthy food and drink.”
Additionally, Penny says we are constantly being stimulated by vast amounts of information entering via our sense of taste, touch, sight, hearing, smell, sixth sense and perception. Wherever we are, our minds are making judgement calls all day long about the information streaming in.
“If you’re at work, home or on holiday, your mind is weighing up who you are in the context of your environment, and what role you play, who is judging you and who has expectations of you. This goes on tirelessly whether or not you are aware of it, and everybody is in the same boat because we were all pretty much born with the same cognitive and anatomical tools.”
“Your life is but a split second in the grand scheme of things, and we are all here to learn and grow. Whatever you go through in life, no matter how difficult, it is a blessing. Why? Because if something challenges you, it allows you to access an aspect of yourself that you may never have been aware of. If you had no hardships in life, how would you ever enter the depths of who you really are, and what true power and potential you have? This is where tantra comes in.”
Although tantra is actually a complex spiritual science, Penny says it is already present in everyday life. It’s about conscious awareness, expansion, growth and liberation, and bringing tantric elements into your daily life, simply means to find everything as sacred – the good and what is perceived to be bad, yourself, your surroundings, your family and your loved ones.
“Tantra can be used to explore your body, mind and soul, feel comfortable and safe in your own skin, and create a present connection with everything. The aim is to initially turn your focus inward and find that sense of self-love and acceptance. Then focus outwardly and find that same love and acceptance for your partner, your family and your surrounding environment. To breathe in the energy life has to offer and embrace life and all that it brings, instead of fearing it.”
The word tantra means to weave together or to expand. Tantric yoga Penny Slein style, seeks to weave together yoga practice, breathing techniques, meditation and subtle energetic elements in order to create connection. This gives an opportunity for two people to have a specific, regular time to dedicate to one another in a space of love and acceptance. Time where the focus is on connecting with and listening to one another using the body and the senses.
“During sessions, poses or asana are used, together with the breath, as tools for two people to engage, be present and listen to one another. These are all tools that are essential in everyday life. Especially in this busy and distracted lifestyle. This is an excellent opportunity to begin fostering some good habits that can be taken off the mat and into the home life to help create longevity and contentment within a loving relationship. We all long to be seen and heard, to feel and to know love. Ultimately this practice is about living a happier, more fulfilled life.”
“There is no hurry and there is nothing to fear. Whatever your life looks like right now, wherever you are today – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, financially – it is all sacred, all part of your journey of self-discovery and all temporary and forever shifting and changing. Start here. Let go of the past, love who you are and begin to develop from the space of presence. This is where you can discover your very own potential and passions.”
If you are interested in joining a yoga class with Penny, visit pennysleinyoga.com for more info on classes and times, or contact her on 0614134000.
We are giving away a free one-hour couple’s yoga session at Penny Slein Yoga in Durban North. To enter, send your name, your partner’s name and one word to describe your relationship to [email protected] before
Head the subject box: Penny Slein Yoga Comp
Models: Penny Slein or Chenelle Godfrey.
Leggings by: Gearbunch
Photos by Pierre Retief