Autumn

Season of soft fruits – I’ve been enjoying baking with the plums straight off the tree. The nerines are starting to flower – they look like autumn sparklers. The sunshine over the last few weeks has been glorious, keeping the hall nicely warm for the face to face yoga classes. I particulary enjoy being able to use my candles during the guided relaxation in the evening class, as the nights begin to draw in.

As covid cases rise again, I’m so glad I decided to keep the classes really small, with good social distancing and all the covid precautions we have become so used to, so that everyone feels safe and secure. It makes such a difference to how people relax at the end of a class.

Classes continue online and in person, and I am constantly reminded how luck I am to be able to share the benefits of yoga with others.

Classes resume after the summer break

It has been lovely to take a break from regular classes over the summer and do some different things. My private lessons have increased, and it is a real privilege to work with individuals in their own homes or in a hall, working on the things that they need. I was also thrilled that the first Yoga and Meditation Morning at Nettleton went so well. I was asked to run another one, so booked a date in October, and that too has sold out. There was a mixture of people at the last one, some with yoga experience and some who were completely new to it, and the same is true of the next one. More and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of regular yoga, and that is a joy to see.

The autumn schedule resumes with a Relax and Restore online class. I love delivering these sessions, as everyone seems so relaxed by the end of the class. I’m offering an additional face-to-face class this term, and all three of the classes at the Library Hall are full. Again, some people with experience, some trying yoga for the first time. We seem to be emerging from our homes and braving a post-pandemic new reality. However, some people are wary of being in a group again, and so I continue to run weekly online yoga classes even though the numbers now are much reduced. Interesting times.

Always time for yoga

Exciting times here at Yoga On Up. We had a really lovely Yoga and Meditation Morning at Nettleton Village Hall on Sunday, and I was asked to deliver another one. The next one will be at the same venue, on Sunday 31st October – the day the clocks change. I’ve had requests for more malas, and for details of some of the meditations we used. The venue was fantastic – lots of natural light, a wood floor, and a spacious car park.

Requests for private lessons have increased, as people become more aware of the benefits of yoga, and the general class timetable for September has just been released. So busy, in fact, that it will be nice to catch my breath before the regular classes start up again with an online Relax and Restore Yoga session on 7th September. I’m almost as relaxed at the end of those sessions as the participants.

Summer is here

Today is the last session of the current term. I have been overwhelmed by the support for both online and face-to-face classes. Negotiating the new Covid era has been challenging, but I’m glad we moved back into a hall. People online prefer to stay there, but so many former students have returned now that we are also back for ‘real’ classes – they either haven’t got the space, the technology, or the patience for zoom classes.

Anyway, we break for summer this week, and resume normal classes week commencing 6th September. I’m really looking forward to the two classes planned for the summer break: an online Relax and Restore session on 27th July and the Yoga and Meditation morning at Nettleton Village Hall on 15th August. Yoga has made such a difference to me, and I’m just so grateful that I get to share it with others.

Sadhana

With the move to face-to-face classes, my own practice took a back seat for a week or two. I have realised how much I missed it. This week, I made a real effort to make time for a daily sadhana. I aim to do 5 in the week. Sometimes it will take 45 minutes, sometimes nearer 20. I like to light a candle and burn an incense stick, to create the right atmosphere. I work through some simple limbering asana, which helps to settle me into the practice. A metronome is useful for nadi shodhana, I find, before I move into a seated meditation. Following the session, I often feel refreshed, more mentally alert, and I notice that I am more creative too. It seems to me that it is all to easy to be ‘busy’ and to neglect making time for yourself, yet a simple daily sadhana makes a great deal of difference. I hope to be able to share some of my practice with people on the Mediation Morning in August, and in the Relax and Restore session in July.

Abundance

We continue our focus on the Yamas, and this week we have been considering Asteya (non-stealing). As a counterpoint to taking things/ideas/attention, we have been encouraging feelings of gratitude for what we have, feelings of abundance in contrast to any perceived ‘lack’. This has resonated with me, as I can be a ‘glass half empty’ sort of person if I don’t pay attention. I have grouped my houseplants into abundant groups, rather than dotting them about the house. I have packed hanging baskets with an abundant display of begonia flowers. In particular, I am grateful for all those people who turn up for my online and face-to-face yoga sessions. Some have been with me for a long time now, and some are new to yoga, emerging from the lockdowns looking for something a little different. When I look back in my diary, I see how far I have come with my yoga teaching, and I am humbled by the support. When considered this way, even my yoga teaching is showing signs of abundance – I teach 5 classes a week, have a Meditation Morning planned for August, and will deliver another Relax and Restore Session online in July. As my teaching has increased, I have become increasingly aware of the difference my own practice makes to my mental well-being, and am grateful that I have space at home to enjoy this quiet time for myself.

Ups and Downs

It was a joy to be back in a hall for face-to-face yoga last week, but I had forgotten the minor irritations after a year away. Teaching on zoom has its own difficulties, but you are doing it from the comfort of your own home, in your own space that has been set up to your preferences. The local hall is something else. On the plus side, the space is quite large. I’m keeping my classes small so that everyone gets their 2m of space around a mat. However, to make that work the layout is a little peculiar and takes some getting used to – who would have thought that my teaching kit now has to include a tape measure and laminated ‘place your mat here’ cards. On these bright, sunny days the temperature inside the hall is pretty good, but there is always someone whose mat is spotlighted by the strong sunshine, and the blinds are not easy to operate. Good ventilation is ensured because I bring my husband to act as doorman, so that the entrance doorway can remain open throughout the class and passing strangers are discouraged from entering. After sorting all of that out, the business of actually teaching the class is a joy, and the response from those attending makes it all worth while.

Yamas

It has been a busy few days, getting ready for the new block of teaching and for going back to face-to-face lessons. Many of those who joined me online have chosed to stay with that format, and many of those who stopped doing yoga when classes closed last year due to the pandemic have chosed to rejoin the face-to-face classes. It seems particularly appropriate, then, that the theme for the term is the five Yamas, and that the focus this week is Ahimsa. The idea of thoughtful consideration of not just others, but also of yourself, seems more relevant than ever as we all strive to find a new ‘normal’.

Added to this is the launch of the Yoga and Mediation Morning in August. I trained for 3 months last year, and have developed my own practice for a further 6 months, so feel able to offer this session. It promises to be a lovely morning of gentle asana, pranayam and guided meditation.

Yoga and Meditation Morning

As the yoga retreat I had planned last year was cancelled due to the pandemic, I thought to ease back into such things gently. I am going to run a yoga and meditation morning in August, date tbc. It will run 10am to 1pm at the same venue, Nettleton Village Hall. Since the 3-month course on teaching meditation that I attended with Sheffield Yoga School last year, I have included meditation in my own daily sadhana and have really felt the benefit. It seems to me that a morning ‘off-grid’ would be of benefit to many people. More details once the date is confirmed.