Authenticity ~ An Evolving Daily Practice

~ Sarah Morris ~

I love this time of year because some favourite things start to resurface in my day-to-day experience. Fresh asparagus, peony roses and late evening walks are some to name just a few. They are a sweet reminder of nature, its many cycles and also of the certainty of change. Things emerge, surfacing into the foreground of our lives, opening into their fullest expression before closing and receding into the background.

Sometimes change is welcomed and easily accommodated like a sunny day and sometimes not so much. In the swirl of its determined presence, it is our chosen experience, as a reflection of change that holds the most potential for growth.

Because we have the discernment of choice, and are physically mobile with that choice, we have the wonderful evolutionary ability to adapt as humans. So too does our sense of authenticity in our movement practices. What feels authentic and YES on the mat today may not feel so true in a month, in a year, in ten years’ time

Brene Brown says that ‘Authenticity is a daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.’ Defining and cultivating authenticity as we navigate the full spectrum of life’s many experiences and its perennial transitions is a great and ongoing challenge. I often get it wrong. Now and again I get it right. More often I stumble along struggle street confused. It sure ain’t a perfectly laid out process.

This year I returned to my mat as a student. Now midway through my 300hr Teacher Training with Noah Maze, never before has the question of authenticity been so present in my experience navigating life as a student, a teacher and studio owner. It has been a reminder that authenticity has never been a fixed list; that my personal practice, my teaching and Urban Yoga have evolved through many transitions of what ‘felt’ authentic and true. What was important historically, what is important now, what will be important in the future are all going to have different answers.

Pulling back to peer at the bigger picture through the lens of an intensive training has enabled an opportunity for an even fresher perspective. From this wider vantage point there is greater potential to see the simple, the genuine and the meaningful. As time steadily propels us toward the end of one chapter (2016) and the start of the next (2017), the conclusion I have drawn is that anything is possible. It’s our choices about how we choose to participate, daily practices that bring us back again and again to the real, that will determine what the experienced outcomes of change will be.

We can move, therefore we can adapt. In our movement practices, what may have felt supportive in our yoga practice back then, may not be so useful to us now. What was once anticipated in its familiarity, may feel less authentic and repeated now more as a routine habit. When the status quo no longer feels current, then things need to evolve so we may continue to cultivate authenticity. Where Urban Yoga heads in 2017 may not be as familiar to some of us, even unexpected, but collectively our movement evolution is guaranteed. Now more than ever we need to be the change.