The (Un)bearable Lightness of Being

I put the bracket in the title above, because at this stage I am not sure whether it’s bearable, or not.

It’s not so easy to center yourself, to find and explore your inner self. For me, the hard part is the physical part.

The lovely practice space, evening time. (Photo: Facebook)
The lovely practice space, evening time. (Photos from Facebook page)

So it was with some trepidation that I first approached the TrueSelf Centre of Being, a haven of tranquility among tall trees and many birds in uptown Kingston. I was attracted by an invitation to join a special Yin Yoga session for activists, conducted by a gentle Canadian woman with blonde dreads. I consider myself an activist, more or less. It was a long evening, with the whistling and chirruping of crickets and frogs as a soundtrack and the scent of candles and incense wafting across the space. But I hardly noticed the time passing. We did a lot of noisy exhaling. Our teacher propped me up on occasion with various objects, to prevent me simply toppling over in embarrassing fashion. I realized I can hardly sit cross-legged any more.

After that, I felt ridiculously stretched and at the same time loose and relaxed. I spent the following day feeling very comfortable with my body (apart from aches and pains here and there). So I ventured to dip my toes in again, and this time it was Kundalini Yoga – a morning session, complete with birdsong. This was possibly the most rigorous workout I have ever experienced – including those hectic aerobics sessions I used to attend in my younger days. I have all kinds of things wrong with my back (I won’t bore you with details). By the end of the class, it had been twisted, stretched and massaged in a hundred different ways, while sweet and soothing music murmured to me in the background. For the next two days, my muscles quietly complained to me – including some I never knew existed – but I felt great. Invigorated inside and out.

Some of the lovely items that bring my stiff old body some comfort!
Some of the lovely items that bring my stiff old body some comfort!
Looking out...
Looking out…

Yesterday, I took my husband along to a Tai Chi session. We are both complete novices, my only brush with martial arts having been a huge enthusiasm for judo at high school in England. We were both nervous. We both, of course, found it ridiculously hard even to walk in the correct way from one end of the room to the other. For those who don’t know, or have never practiced yoga (or tai chi): None of it is as easy as it looks. It is incredibly demanding. You find yourself in an impossible position where you are supposed to have reached the floor – and you are only half way down. And then you remember – oh, I’m not breathing! Breathe…

I have seen people doing Tai Chi in the park; it looks so easy and relaxed. Well it isn’t easy, although one day it might get easier. We are both determined to try. If at first you don’t succeed…

At the end of our Tai Chi class, we went outside onto the lawn. Grey clouds floated around, serving no useful purpose. With our toes deliciously tucked into the thick grass, we raised our arms and faces to call down some rain. Later that afternoon, large warm drops of rain fell for five minutes, and then stopped. No, we were thinking of a bit more than that, Oh Rain God.

Did I mention that all of the above has been an uplifting experience? Truly. My head feels clear and alert, and the rest of my body is trying hard to catch up. I could get addicted to this.

Moreover, Deepak Chopra is starting one of his online meditation series on Monday. “You will hear a soft bell…” In the end, both my mind and body will feel so light, I might just float away.


The TrueSelf Centre of Being is on Facebook, and you can contact them at (876) 819-7899 or Do some good for yourself and sign up for a class today! 

The Centre's peaceful garden. (Photo: Facebook)
The Centre’s peaceful garden. 






18 thoughts on “The (Un)bearable Lightness of Being

  1. Reblogged this on battymatilda and commented:
    I have read Emma’s review and heard so many positives about this place from others that i have decided to give them a try. All of this is part of a personal wellness journey i started a few weeks ago. As some of you will know I turn 35 in September, now over the last decade I have gained about 40 dress sizes , well let’s just say I am no longer a size 4. At first the weight came on slowly, but after 10 years ìt’s an extraordinary leap from one decade to the next. I’ve yo-yoed a bit as well over the years all in an effort to satisfy other people’s expectations of what I ought to look like. That right there was the problem. I was so ill at ease with myself and my body that that when results didn’t come fast enough I just gave up.


  2. When I did yoga a number of years ago, my biggest problem was also remembering to breathe. Weird. You would think if yoga has you in such a relaxed state, the breathing part would be easiest of all.


    1. Yes, it IS hard to remember to breathe! It’s supposed to be all in harmony with your movements! I am not sure I really feel “relaxed” when doing yoga, not quite how I would describe it!


  3. This sounds like such a great experience. This post has reminded me to get back to meditation classes and try to book that Buddhist retreat I’ve always wanted to go on.


  4. Excellent post. I was doing yoga and Tai Chi at the YMCA. They have a yoga for senior citizens and those who have mobility issues. Do you remember the movie, The Incredible Lightness of Being? I thought of it as soon as I saw your blog. Hugs and thank you for your support, Barbara


    1. Hi Barbara – I hope you are OK. Thanks for your comments, too. I was thinking of the book by Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being – they also made it into a film, are you thinking of that? It just came into my head because I felt “light” after attending classes (and physically, I am far from light!) Many hugs to you, Barbara and take care…


      1. Yes, it was what I thought of immediately. I am in a lot of pain. I woke this morning and the right side of my face was a swollen and my eye is all bruised. I look abused. Tuesday is Passover and I hope to rest this week. Hugs and light, Barbara


  5. Sounds divine. I miss my yoga – with three small children to chaperone from class to class and not enough discipline to practice at home, my good habits have taken a big hit recently. Time for a rearrangement of priorities I think…


    1. Yes Aisha – I can imagine how demanding three small children must be! And it is quite difficult to practice at home, although I do a little bit each day. I wonder if you could find time to fit your yoga into your day, somehow… Priorities, yes. When you are so giving of yourself you forget about giving back…to yourself, don’t you.


  6. That sounds like a really interesting experience. I once tried some form of yoga a few years back and struggled with the notion of letting your mind go and just focusing on the instructions. I figured it wasn’t for me. But recently I’m attempting to learn meditation as part of my daily routine. I’m in my last year of university and my partner and I have a project revolving around the idea of solitude and enabling people to incorporate that slice of solitude as part of our lives – like say, brushing one’s teeth. I’m quite curious to know, what made you decide it was time for you to look for your inner self and find that little bit of tranquility? I’m assuming you’re planning to have this piece of solitude as part of your everyday life?How are you able to maintain it? Or I guess, the real question is, how were you able to convince yourself that finding tranquility has a place in your busy daily life? Finding time to do what is seemingly “nothing” is so difficult.


    1. Oh yes… The hardest part is shutting out those random thoughts that continuously crowd our brain and stop us from just living in the moment, and focusing! Your university project sounds interesting. Personally I have always been very comfortable with physical solitude and quiet – in fact I often seek it out. What made me decide to do this? I think because my life was becoming too crowded with “stuff” (not bad stuff, mind you) and I needed the quiet and the focus. It will be (and already is) a part of my everyday life. I am now retired, so can organize my time the way I want to – so I can simply do it, and still remain busy with all my other things going on (mainly writing at the moment). In fact, it seems to help me to be more effective and to get things done. I can almost see it as a kind of “spiritual (and physical) exercise” – the equivalent of an aerobics class or a gym session… 🙂


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