It’s difficult to explain…. Kind of like a song.

This song speaks to me about something we all go through as intelligent and empathetic creatures on this earth… reaching an end point, feeling the loss of direction, and then shifting into a return of soulful connection. It’s a difficult subject to communicate, and a rare quality with immense power when it is expressed. Will you please listen to the sweet harmonies and feel into the beautiful lyrics of this song?

On this website, you may notice a lot of apparent happiness with fun pictures and glamorous appeal. I want you to know that I am authentically happy to be sharing these practices and posts with you. But at the root of practicing yoga there is pain, suffering, and a search for answers and wellbeing. I can assure you that I have not spent my life pursuing this path because I wanted to be beautiful, or to be glamorous, or even because I wanted to be happy.

I wanted to be free from pain, I wanted to discover my life purpose, and I wanted to embrace love.

As you may know, I recently took a trip to New Mexico. Just me and my dog. We hit the highway with a Yeti cooler (borrowed from a friend) stocked with a weekend’s worth of food from Trader Joe’s and Violet’s puppy chow and food bowl. We drove for 10 hours to a tiny desert town, and stayed at a humble hot springs retreat where Violet was welcome in the room with me.

I had reached an end point, which was a good thing because there were patterns and habits in my life that needed to end. I needed to deeply heal my mind and my body. And it happened. It did not happen like magic. It happened more like the grace of God providing me with an immense depth of compassion.

It’s difficult to describe. Kind of like a song…

People sometimes think that once you become a yoga teacher or reach a certain level of practice that you’re “perfect” or that you know enough to transcend suffering. People want to become yoga teachers ALL the time because THEN they will be on the right path. Well, I know enough about myself (and plenty of other yoga teachers) to tell you that in the long run, it’s a rough journey on the “right path.”

The symbol of Yin and Yang expresses this clearly. The seed source of darkness is surrounded by light, and the seed source of light is surrounded by darkness. In other words, there is darkness on the path to connecting with the source of light.

So, I arrived at that flat and arid desert with my dog and I spent 3 days in dark steamy rooms soaking in hot mineral waters that naturally flowed from deep within the earth. I cried, and I journaled, and I studied, and I began the process of severing what was hurting me, and what was holding me back from my journey towards my self and soul purpose.

What was it that was holding me back? I can’t at this moment explicitly say. But what I can say, is that I felt disconnected from my ability to share who I am and all that I have to offer with the people in my life, the people who come to my classes, and the people on this website.

The process of self transformation is a mystery to me. It’s hard to explain. That is why art, and music, and yoga, and other forms of self expression are so vital to the process of transformation. Because maybe the process of transformation is supposed to be a mystery, and something that doesn’t warrant an explanation. Maybe transformation is something that rather needs to be felt, to be experienced, or to be moved.

The lyrics that linger with me from this song are:

“And the sun keeps giving it away. The sun keeps giving it away. The sun keeps giving as much as it can.”

“And I keep giving it away. I can’t keep giving it away like I am.”

I feel that we, as human beings, have to give up sometimes. We have to turn around, and acknowledge that the darkness can take us to the source of light if we ask for help, for clarity, and for direction.

Especially if we are living on pavement, or on eggshells… we need to feel the radiance of the sun, and to reflect on the luminosity of the moon. It also helps to bow in adoration and reverence to spiritual connection, time and time again. Maybe even to bathe in hot springs and wrap yourself in a warm embrace of self care.

And so, dear reader, I want you to know that I have asked from a place of deep intention to be set free into self expression, into teaching, and into connecting with communities to keep current in this life with what matters most… authenticity, alignment, and peace.

If for no other reason than, “the sun keeps giving it away” … and here I am alive another day in its radiance.

16 Replies to “It’s difficult to explain…. Kind of like a song.”

  1. Truly amazing being open and honest. I have recently gone through an experience where I had to make a major lifestyle change and it’s starting to feel outstanding. The thing about being enlightened is that it feels foreign because you are so used to being in a state of darkness for so long. I don’t think it was to personal at all. Expressing that you still have flaws is what makes us grow. Thank you for your life lesson and the self healing through your yoga classes. Namaste.

  2. Courtney, I can’t tell you how much your words are healing to me. At time feeling lost or without porpose. This week specially and reading your words bring tears comfort and guidance. Thank you!! Song totally speaks volumes to me.

  3. Great message. Everyone has an important story to tell, glad you shared. I think artists, and I can speak directly to this as a musician, have an extremely attuned since of inner awareness that isn’t as developed in other people. After all, we have spent our lives unlocking those little boxes inside so we can better express our truth of life through movement, music, and art…or try. We “feel” everything, and it can be great, but also heavy.

    With all of this said, I hear in your writing heartbreak… I know that dark place well, it’s filled with misunderstanding and words that can’t quite penetrate the souls of those you wish would listen. Carrying someone else’s weight can only last for so long before you collapse… I struggle with this, and maybe that’s your story and maybe not, but you’re certainly not alone there.

    I hope the desert and fun lizards running around helped heal some of what had you on the ropes. I’m sure the pups also loved the adventure!

    You’re on a beautiful journey and helping to lengthen the stories of everyone you teach…

    Imagine that, you are making life stories last longer!

  4. Dear Courtney,
    Because of your video’s, you have become an inspiration to me. You create light and forfill wholeness in the one and only place every humanbeing has to deal with.. Their body.
    Thank you for following this path.

    I’m sending you all the light and peace in the world, and please know that you are loved all over the world.

  5. Dear Courtney,
    thanks for sharing your Story. I think life is a good deal about sharing who we are. I ‘ve come a long way on my way of being who I am or becoming the person I could/should be and I am still in progress – it is a never ending Story. I ‘ve been to some dark places and sometimes I thought that’s it. But it wasn’t because I Chose life,
    My world started to fall apart when my father became very ill and for almost two years I took care of everything, For two years I watched him dying and it was terrible cause I could feel his pain so much. When finaly we were told that he had only two or three weeks I granted his last wish. I organized an ambulance and a place to stay in his homecountry very Close to the place he had been Born. He was so happy , he had hope and was looking Forward to this trip. It was a ten hour drive and I knew there was no hope. After a week I returned home I thought I had to, my brother who was with me insisted and old Patterns took over – I am a good Girl I do what I am told but I was crying all the time. Two days after my return my father died, I took a plane the same day and organized his return. I was on my own and in so much pain I felt so guilty
    I organized the funeral, Christmas, New years. I am so good in functioning but I was unconsolable I had failed him I had left him. That tremendous pain I felt brought other things to life eg my marriage was in a terrible state and my husband proposed a seperation and that’s where I lost my foundation – I couldn’t handle the thought and then my Body started to respond I was rushed into the Hospital with a heart condition due to surpressed Depression. Terrible I felt like dying and had my first surgery. My last attempt to save my marriage was the family vacation the same year to California I endet up in an emergency room – second surgery. My life had turned into a nightmare a half year later I checked into a mental Institution. When I arrived there was nothing left of me but guilt and shame I couldn’t tell who I was besides selfhatred I felt nothing. My marriage was over! But for the first time I was surrounded by People who believed in me, I had so much help so much Support. I rediscovered myself through painting, Music, silence and acceptd the fact that I have this Disposition that it is ok that I have to take good care of myself.After three months I had enough strenght to start a new life , find an Appartement move out, start School, accomplish School. Easy? No way nothing was easy,nothing Comes easy. I started yoga because moving my Body makes me happy. Because there is a deep Connection between the Body and Soul. I am not ashamed that I have stayed in a mental Hospital. I am who I am. My Goal is to never lie to myself anymore – because that’s what I had been doing for too long and it was my Body who redirected me to myself again. I have my practise, my piano my books, a forest near by where I go hiking. A very good relationship with my Kids, my d<ance classes. Still my life is not easy there are a lot of Problems but I will survive if I stay true to myself I can deal with the rest and yoga and nature are a big help.

  6. Thank you ! For sharing this. I’m recently and have been for years, going through torment with life. I heal people for a living and when the day is done, it’s time to clock out, their is no one left to heal… I’m lost. I love yoga for the serenity it brings. What is hard for me, and I’m sure many others , is recollecting what helps you when In “the rut.” I personally cling to God but I personally NEED to feel connected. Yoga is my connection to God in this world of pain. I had to respond as thoughts were in my head but i am listening to your song after I send this post. I wanted you to know that your post made an impact on me tonight and it is keeping me on track with my goals. I’m a massage therapist and I love my practice and all its rewards, but my most favorite thing about my passion is this, I struggle with helping my self but through helping other I find grace, peace, blessings, confidence, appreciation. I appreciate you for doing your passion. For helping others see the light within darkness. God is light and we can find ourselves through yoga to gain connection to a higher, stronger entity than ourselves. 🙂 namaste!!

  7. That was very spiritual and moving Courtney. Thank you for sharing such profound words with us. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers each day. As I journey through my life experiencing the peace and love of true happiness, I’m reminded that you must be happy with yourself in order to be happy in a relationship or in life period. God Bless!

  8. Beautifully written, Courtney! I’ve been using your yoga videos for over a year now, and I agree that transformation takes place through expression of oneself. It is nice to know that we all get lost in the darkness, so we aren’t alone, but even nicer to know what’s on the other side. I wish you all the love and peace the universe can bring 🙂 namaste!

  9. Courthey: Love the sone and the blog. I am a 78 year old who still works part time assisting the elderly and came across your Yoga videos while doing a daily yoga session during lunch time at work with four or five others. We were dpoing Rodney Yee on a regular basis until we came across you. We love your videos. Legs up a wall was a major hit. One of the people would appreciate it if you would verbally say when your moving to another side. I can’t way to show them this blog. Let me say this. I am happoy for you and please continue your journey and share with us. I love the song. Love. Richard Namaste!

  10. HI,
    I enjoyed reading this very much as I am in the same place and time. I feel as thought something is missing, yet when I look around I don’t see anything that is lacking. I’ve been searching for something that I can’t put into words.

  11. Wow, that was not what I was expecting to read here … what an amazing, honest, open and inspiring blog post.

    I do Courtney’s yoga vids every other day on YouTube and she’s been the only one who ever held my attention to do this stuff, and knowing that she’s got such depth of personality is quickly making me a lifetime “fan” if that’s even the right word here.

    Can’t wait for your new classes to start. Can’t wait to join.

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