A year on

So it is a year on since the last International Day of Yoga and once again I organised an event on the University campus - this year saw us take the session to the Jubilee Campus. As the weather has been so unpredictable I decided this year to book an indoor space just in case. However on the day itself we were blessed with some sunshine, a little overcast but all in all a fab day for practising outside. We had a fab location on a grass area by the lake and water feature. It was fantastic to see everyone there and a special thanks to those of you who are not connected to the University but found the event and came along. It is always such a special day for me and made all the better for sharing it with old and new friends.

It has certainly inspired me to do some ‘Mobile Yogilocks’ sessions over the summer so watch out there maybe some more outdoor sessions at various locations across campus………

What else has been happening this year?? well it has been all change for us. We have made the decision to move off our boat having spent the last 24 years afloat and now live in a house in the Stapleford area. Nick is busy converting the outhouse into his workshop. I am just sorting out one of the rooms to convert into my yoga studio which is very exciting, the new cork floor covering arrived last week so hopefully that will be laid soon and I can start to have people over for yoga sessions. In the meantime we are getting used to life with out our fabulous friend Jack the Border Collie who sadly passed away last week and have welcomed the 8month old Angel into the home - I had forgotten how much a handful border collie pups are, she is certainly keeping us busy!

A Journey of learning

For me one of the fascinating aspects of yoga is that over the 15 years or so I have been practicing I have found that the more I study and practice the more I realise there is to learn.  As you move down one path more paths open, as you discover more about yoga you start to discover more about yourself - it really is a journey of discovery & is up to you which way you want to go.

As a beginner I recall the first few lessons where I was keen to give it a go getting to what I saw was the 'final' pose.  I got frustrated with my body trying to make it get into positions it was not used to, then at some point I thought I knew the basic poses and wanted to move on to more challenging poses.  Oh how much I still had to learn!!! I was not 'wrong' to want to try knew things however at that stage I still had not learnt patience and the all important lesson that yoga is not just about getting into a pose  and a key part is the quieting of the mind - allowing ourselves to just 'be' in the moment.

I began to realise how important those familiar core asana were - they provide a grounding, the foundation to build on and indeed in themselves provide us with a full balanced practice for body and mind.  I come back to these core asana time and time again allowing myself time to get into the poses, bringing my focus to different aspects, and then allowing myself time to be in the pose, allowing my mind to quieten and then finding a most wonderful balance of effort I put into the pose is returned 100 fold by what my mind and body get out of the pose.  The more I practice & am open to learning the more I see the benefits on the mat and more importantly off the mat in all aspects of my life. 

Be open to learning and discovery but remember that often 'less is more' - come back to basics to ensure that your foundations are good and strong, listen to your body, as your body becomes quiet the mind will quieten also. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Chapter 1 v2 gives us the ultimate goal of yoga 'Yogas citta vrtti nirodah' - yoga is the progressive quietening of the fluctuations of the mind. 

Namaste

WOW what a day

So a quick round up of yesterday.......the sun was shining and I was brimming over with excitement and anticipation of what was going to happen on IDY, and it did not disappoint!  First up was the lunchtime session at the University of Nottingham - a first for me as I had never taught a class outside before and also had never taught a one-off drop in event like that.  Was I nervous? Oh yes but in a good way as I knew it was something I wanted and needed to do.  As soon as we got ourselves settled and I welcomed everyone to the event I felt 'at home' I spent the next 45minutes just being in the moment there and then it was such a wonderful feeling.  That event really was a highlight of my yoga teaching so far and made even more special that it was on my 'anniversary' of teaching.  Most of the people who came along had some experience of yoga but there was one person who had never done yoga before but saw the opportunity to try so came along - how marvelous to start your yoga journey on such a special day.  Which brings me onto the session at Nottingham Yacht Club.....................

And another first which, for those of you who trained with me will know what a major step for me this is, all the way through my teaching programme I was the one adamant that I would not have children in my class 'it will spoil it for others'  'I only teach adults' etc etc.  However last night my very good friend asked if she could bring her daughter along, now to put it into perspective I've known her since she was a baby and she is now a young teenager, if she couldn't come then her mum was going to miss out on IDY.  I said 'Yes'!!!! Oh boy what a special class that turned out to be so on IDY2018 a mum and daughter had their first yoga class together and I got the chance to have my first young person in my class - I felt so honoured to have shared that moment with them.

Then it was back to the boat to relax and reflect on a beautiful day, I wonder what today will bring......................................

International Day of Yoga 2018

Well here we are on the 4th IDY & Summer Solstice and I have a feeling of excitement, almost giddiness, welling up in side of me.  This is such a special day to come together with millions across the world to connect through Yoga bringing peace and harmony to all. 

The world we live in is increasingly frantic and busy; the news bombards us with events across the world which more often than not, as is the human nature, focuses on the negative showing scenes of hurt, pain, violence and tragedy - but our world is not all negative there are many positive, beautiful and wonderful people and places. 

Through yoga we start to change our perception and our actions; by starting small and bringing a change to ourselves we begin to experience how that starts to ripple out to our environment and the people around us.  Just notice how when you smile at someone they tend to smile back – that one action may just lift another person’s spirits enough for them to help them through the day and maybe pass that smile on to someone else. 

Today is a day to connect with people, nature and the world around to celebrate Yoga and bring some peace and harmony so I encourage you to focus on the wonder and beauty of the world around you, when you feel a negative thought arising recognise that and replace it with something beautiful and positive!   You may like to use the image of the lotus flower – traditionally used as the lotus grows in some of the murkiest muddiest ponds and out of that comes the most beautiful flower, symbolising purity and beauty.

A Sunday reflection - 17 June 2018

As we are approaching summer solstice and 2018 IDY I’ve been spending some time today reflecting on what yoga means to me on a personal level.  Over the years of developing a regular practice yoga has provided me with tools to help ride through the difficult times, painful times and happy times of life.  Whatever state I’ve been in I have managed to find an answer in yoga whether that’s in asana, pranayama, meditation or in the underlying philosophy.  OK so sometimes it is not quite that straight forward and the mind kicks in and tells you that yoga is the last thing you need and you reach for something to ‘treat yourself’ and gives you a quick fix – for me its food, for others it may be alcohol or spending money on that ‘must have’ gadget.  Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this but how many times do we do this and afterwards realise that we are feeling just the same (if not worse!) than we did when we started?  And then we do a yoga class and we somehow come out feeling more balanced – may be more energised if we were feeling lethargic or relaxed if we were tense or just generally feeling ‘good’.  So why isn’t yoga always the first place we go to when things are out of balance??? I wish I had the magic answer to that question but I suspect, for me, it is something to do with habit & human nature to go for a ‘quick fix’ to distract me from how I am feeling but over the years I can honestly say that yoga has slowly helped me to become more self-disciplined and increasingly I turn to yoga and always feel better for it!

Relaxed and refreshed

Well here I am again back on my boat on the River Trent having just had a glorious week of R&R with my mum in Corfu.  The scenery there was stunning, right from the moment we were coming into land it was obvious what a beautiful island it is as it was so green.  

The week was spent getting a lovely balance of activity and relaxing and a few massages just to help things along the way a little!  The exercise classes were run by a lovely lady called Katarina from Germany and included late night pilates by candle light, yoga, body stick and step aerobics.  When we weren't attending classes I had the chance to practice my own yoga in the wonderful fitness space which was a covered outside area looking out over the sea towards Albania.  And then there was the obligatory lying around on sunbeds and swimming in the sea!

One of the highlights of the week had to be my early morning run along the Corfu trail which hugged the coast line - a few bits were a little precarious but the views were stunning and it was so quiet.

I'm now looking forward to getting back to teaching so hope to see some of you  over the next few weeks.

Namaste

Yogilocks

My first website

So here it is my first ever website - its going to be a learning curve as to what works and what doesn't so please bear with me!!  My desire is to share with you my yoga journey and hopefully inspire you to find a yoga which is 'just right' for you. I want to help people find something that works with their own bodies and fits around their lives.