Blogger: Helen Leach, Receptionist (Eastern Regional Office).

Every week I pop along to my yoga class hoping to relieve myself of life’s stresses and achieve that, sometimes seemingly elusive, state of total relaxation and connect with myself again.

Last week the class started as normal talking about our focus for the session and then after over an hour of bending, twisting and inverting my body into what looked like impossible positions for a human body to get into, the time came to be still, meditate on the present moment and capture that feeling of complete contentment in the here and now. As we settled down pulling on socks and blankets to keep in the new warm energy, our teacher slowly turned up the relaxation music with the sound of waves lapping against the shore and bird song calling over it.

As I lay there my mind slowly became transfixed on the soothing sounds with no outside thoughts entering to interrupt it. I was so absorbed that I felt quite perturbed when the time came to bring my awareness back to the room and how my body was feeling.

The following weekend I was walking through my local park when I was struck by the stunning sound of birds singing in the trees and immediately the same feeling of inner calm, freedom, and contentment washed over me as if I’d just done over an hour of yoga all over again. I stood there relishing in the moment with dog walkers and cyclists moving past me in slow motion, holding onto the sensations for as long as I could.

In life we experience numerous types of connections and associations with people, music, books, sentimental trinkets; the list can go on forever. Now every time I hear a bird song I will be connected with those special feelings that bring true contentment to my life and the best thing is I can get that every time I walk outside my front door. The best things in life really are free!


Credit: Chris Gomersall (