By Nina Rogocki, The Soul Laundry
About three years ago I was new to Auckland from the UK, and embarking on a new journey that was unexpected but welcome. To settle into my new environment, I found myself a gym, as you do, and I started to attend classes and set my routine.
One afternoon in a daze, I got in the lift and ended up on the wrong floor. The doors of the lift opened up to reveal a welcoming, warm environment that was quiet and felt like total calm. Upon investigation I realised this was a yoga studio.
I have been practicing yoga since that day and have not looked back.
Through the power of connection between mind and body, movement and breathing, my yoga mat became my island and my escape. It has allowed me to make sense of events in my life and approach each one mindfully and with consciousness.
With the support of yoga teachers at my chosen studio I continued to go grow in the journey and meet challenges along the way, some of which have forced me to take a different road to the one I thought I was meant to be on.
Injury steered me into a very Yin and restorative practice, from a very Yang style. This transition was very hard and forced me to let go of many principles I thought defined me and were essential to my life.
It turns out they were not. It turns out listening to your body is the only way to go, honoring what it is telling you and noticing the signs.
I am still in this transition and I am still learning to let go and working to acknowledge that my body is a vehicle that is carrying me, my soul and my being into this world. It is my job to look after it. It is not my job to force it into anything or anywhere it does not want to go.
In a society that tells me I have to be a certain height, weight or personality in order to succeed it is hard to look the other way and continue trucking along. I get by. I by no means have it mastered and I am only human, but you know what?
I am me. I am smart, I am funny, I radiate good energy, I am beautiful, and I accept all of those valuable things about myself.
I feel like my practice, along with my friends and the support of those who are truly on my side, is carrying me over the line to an idea I have been sitting on for a while now.
Throughout my practice I always knew I was going to train to teach, I just needed to find the right person to guide me through. I found that person in form of Jen Allen of Jaya Yoga, an inspiring yogi who totally gets me and makes me feel like she is one hundred percent walking alongside every one of her trainees.
The people I want to teach are young adults, young people transitioning into life from education and blindly stumbling into the real world, in many cases with little guidance.
My vision is to create a programme that will equip teens with a toolbox which they can delve into and choose a sweet outcome for themselves, that they choose and drive themselves with their own skill. Whether it be at work, in relationships or any challenging situation.
To do this I came up with a concept called The Soul Laundry.
To me The Soul Laundry represents a place where you can launder the soul, dust it off, wash it, hang it out to dry and wear it like a cosy old sweater, even with the holes and marks all over it, over and over again.
Currently I am working hard and plugging a Pledgeme campaign to raise funds to facilitate a six week course for around ten students to attend for free and learn Yoga, meditation techniques and mindfulness skills.
The course will take the shape of full toolbox by week six and the students will step out of it and go away with the knowledge that they will take forward into life.
I plan to invite students from youth charities and from challenging situations. I want to introduce journals for students to use and keep sacred and a Q&A circle and open floor in each session as well as motivational speaking. There will of course be many nourishing snacks and coconut water to help power those brains each week.
I want students to learn their true value, like I am doing, and I want to be able to ask them to look in the mirror, list what they bring to the table, and then walk out the door each day and go and do it!
Namaste to that!
You can find out more details about my Pledgeme campaign here. You can pledge to the project and even receive an award and regular updates. It ends on September 30th 2015 at 3pm.
Nina Rogocki is an RYT 200hrs trainee on a mission at age 33. Originally from the UK and a humble warrior!