Living yoga off the mat with Lauren Penning
This blog series is a reflection on how incredible yogis are living yoga off the mat – taking the powerful and ancient principles of yoga into their world.
I’m honoured to have Lauren here on my blog, sharing from the heart how she lives Yoga off the mat.
I’ve mentioned Lauren Penning from The Life Pod on more than one occasion. Particularly I’ve shared the beautiful work that Lauren does with mamas-to-be as a Prenatal Yoga Teacher, a Calm Birth Practitioner and a Doula. In fact, she was all three to me.
When it comes to Yoga, Lauren certainly embodies the spirit, energy and philosophy of this practice with such grace, authenticity, honesty and love. She has such a beautiful and giving heart and I know that comes from her consistent (and dedicated) yoga practice – on and OFF the mat.
Lauren has a tenderness to her. A gentle way. And it’s like being wrapped in a warm blanket. She is present. She is open hearted. She is real. And she is always willing to do the work, to open more and to support others on the same pathway.
This woman held space for me during my pregnancy – held my fears, my hopes, my joy. She was there when my baby girl was born. She literally held me and carried me through labour. She cut Soleil’s umbilical cord. To say this woman is dear to me is an understatement. Everything she has taught me I still carry and tune into every single day.
I hope her words resonate with you and guide you towards oneness, just as it has done for her.
Love + light,
Finish this sentence:
My yoga practice is… sacred.
A space to cultivate deep trust in my intuition. It’s my way of letting go of the busyness, my plans, deadlines, and responsibilities. My yoga practice is an opportunity for transformation, to release the tension that my body has absorbed, to soften the holding around my heart and to allow beautiful source energy to move freely through me. It is both sweet and intensely challenging.
To me, yoga means… coming home, surrendering, being in the present with an open heart and a space to listen to my inner world.
My experience off the mat has… been varied! I have practiced all sorts of physical yoga with many wonderful teachers over the years and my experiences have led me to the absolute knowing that we all find the right practice ‘on the mat’ at the right time in our lives. Over the years I have struggled with intensity in my body, with my ego and with my heart. It has been a bittersweet journey, as it is for so many of us, and it has been my absolute savior at the same time. I love moving my body and I love the feeling of freedom that yoga brings. My experience of the mat has taught me to trust in what is. That the present moment will always hold me and reveal what is needed.
The biggest shift/epiphany/moment of insight I’ve ever had during yoga was…
Yoga is the doorway into oneness. That was my greatest epiphany! That yoga, whether it’s moving, breathing, walking, swimming, meditating, being, feeling, opening, …all of it was my way into connection with God, Goddess, Source, Love, Joy and Union, with everything, everyone, ALL.
This profoundly changed the way I both practice and teach. Over the years I’ve come to understand that everyone has a very different way into this connection and union and that we all need to have permission to find our own rhythm, our own individual path & journey. Sometimes this is on the yoga mat, however ultimately our yoga is in our everyday, with our kids, with our family, friends, partners, within our businesses, our community and deep within our selves.
I absolutely love that everyday is different and that my body and my mind desires something particular in each moment. As a yoga teacher, birth educator and shamanic midwife in training, I feel so blessed to hold space for my students to fully be themselves and to find their unique way, to bravely drop out of the ego mind and listen to what they need to heal. Trusting the connection within and being guided by their own inner knowing.
Yoga is so very beyond the physical and I am so thankful to have a deep understanding of how healing this practice is. To simply be held and given permission to be ourselves is the greatest gift, and what we all so desperately need to shine as brightly as we can.
Quick Fire Questions
What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat? Be kind, be understanding, non judgmental and present – with myself and all other beings.
Why are these important to you? Because they all help to cultivate JOY and we all need to be more in that vibration, leading us back to our true nature and not further into madness and chaos. Kindness, understanding, compassion and presence will guide us back home, will lean us into love and help us all to see clearly, remembering who we are, earth angels x
What yogic principle have you translated for yourself – what, how and why?
Truthfulness and self study. ‘Live your truth…discover what you are moved by and lean into it as lovingly as you can, and then repeat. This has become increasingly important to me over the years…age is a wonderful thing and gives you incredible perspective. Life is precious and there is only one me! I want to live my life as fully and as truthfully as I can, with passion, joy, energy and trust in myself.
Another principle that I love and am beginning to trust in profoundly through my work as a shamanic midwife is ‘healer heal thyself’. We all have the wisdom to heal, it is within each of us, not in something outside of ourselves. If we can create a loving, safe, sacred environment then healing will take place, and I am so happy to be on the path of understanding more and more how to create this space for women, whether it be through birth, fertility, or some other transition and threshold that is being met.
I trust in the knowing that my wounds are my gifts and my healing is my work, and my offering to others.
What does ‘Living Your Yoga’ mean to you? Living my yoga means aligning my thoughts, actions, words and intentions. It means living a conscious, present, spiritual life.