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“There are others out there who feel into the roots of yoga, and aren’t scared of ‘meditation’

yet at the same time love to really work the body..”

Definitely no elbow room at this Christmas work meal…Squished behind the unrelenting table of sumptuous dishes, I had no choice but to listen to the views of my temporary neighbours-in-food. It was an unnerving mix of pleasure and claustrophobia as their stories unravelled whilst I attempted multi-tasking, slipping the occasional brussel sprout in, aware of its precarious journey from table to mouth…artistically juxtaposed with the relevance of their expressed feelings to my own journey in Yoga (practicing for 28 years, teaching for sixteen, always learning, always in love).

Context aside…I found one basic theme ringing out. These students in yoga, were both saying in their own way, that the average yoga class delivers only half the promised goods. Yes, there is the delicious toning and stretching of muscles, the increased awareness of posture (and deficiencies..), the chemical high that comes from core strengthening, challenging vinyasas, and sharing the process with other beings in the class. Also, usually, (thankfully) some level of release – some Restorative poses, words of wisdom enhancing a positive head space, and then if you’re lucky, a few minutes lying down at the end, chill out time…

But what appears to be missing is sufficient time to RELEASE and ASSIMILATE and ENJOY THE PEACE.

Yoga is a fascinating combination of physical work out/emotional unravelling/mental and physical re programming/reflecting and evaluating on life path/prioritising health and positivity/ head space from life’s dramas/elevating consciousness to ponder Spirit and Meaning……The thing that keeps me hooked is this holistic alchemy; one can choose to bring into focus any of these aspects, which is excellent when one has a tendency to get bored of one angle! Just re kindle the passion by focussing on a different element of the mix! And in this way, allow the practice to be Creative – ever changing, adapting, consciously responding to the seasons of the earth, and the seasons of ones life…

What these neighbours-in-food expressed to me, was the fact that most Western yoga classes squeeze out the time alloted for complete release and stillness, the timeless time for ‘meditation’ . Not the seriously ‘trying to meditate’ sort of meditation. But the naturally peaceful, restful, kinder head space that one cultivates through the beautifully designed practice of physical (Hatha) yoga…the very thing that working with breath, posture, and presence  so magically cultivates is given short shrift…..sorry, no time to bathe in the Peace, because one must rush headlong into the rest of ones tightly scheduled week.

If any of this rings true for you…

a) suggest to your teachers that they consider redressing the balance, even just a little…(it would be good for them too..)

b) break your pattern and try another class, for example mine!! ha ha…..

There are others out there who feel into the roots of yoga, and aren’t scared of ‘meditation’ yet at the same time love to really work the body, celebrating strength and creativity, with a practice that is buoyant and challenging yet deeply restorative,  supported by presence and non competativeness…

If you got to the end of this blog…and are interested in trying out one of my yoga classes or yoga workshops/retreat days or even coming on an yurt-wilderness-yoga holiday, I look forward to meeting you.