Yogic cheating and enlightenment

Dear Yogis.

More fun with belts this week (!) but yogis can be concerned, when I offer alternatives and blocks and belts, if a ‘proper’ yogi would do it like this or if it’s cheating. May I generalise and say that people generally don’t know how fantastic they are! You already know how much you improve with every class and you can feel the body responding. Where’s the cheating in that? Also, think about what we are doing when we ‘practice’ yoga: breathing, dristi (gaze point), and postures, all with the hope and intention of stilling the fluctuations of the mind. Ashtanga yoga has ‘eight limbs’ which include Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and enlightenment... which doesn’t care if we’ve used a belt or not! 

Also, I get asked about yoga music often. Given that Christmas is coming, a really nice present is the CD I play in my Home Studio all the time: Kino MacGregor, ‘The Mantra Collection’. She has the most beautiful temple-like voice. 

Home Studio

Given the usual rush of New Year resolutions that take people to the gym, running clubs and Military Fitness groups, I will reintroduce the early Monday class from 6.00-7.00pm. If there is demand, I can also introduce an earlier class on Thursdays. Let me know what would suit you. There are plenty of places left in my Home Studio classes next week. Book a place!  

Hit & Run

It’s been a year since I was knocked off my bike in Shepherds Bush. It’s been a year since I was surrounded by massive Shepherds Bush-ian kindness while traffic had to creep around me sharing one lane. A year since the driver drove around me and apparently barely missed my feet. I spent weeks really loving having feet. The settlement agreement has just come through bringing up memories... mostly of the lovely people who came to cover me with their jackets, hold my hand and stay with me till the ambulance came. I’ll never forget their love and care. 

Writing from the Heart

I’ve been watching my dying Uncle Bill over the last few months and often found myself reflecting on his best qualities and, by extension, the best qualities we should practice in preparation for the end; kindness and manners; generosity and appreciation of others; helping whenever opportunity arises. Even when there was barely any life left in him, he rustled up a smile and a ‘thank you’. A nurse asked (insensitively) why he never married. He answered that ‘when they dropped a bomb on our house and killed 6 people, all I wanted to do after that was put a roof over people’s heads’. He showed that the qualities you have at the end are the qualities you practice all your life.  

New Year Resolutions

Sort it out now. Don’t wait for midnight on the 31st... plan something interesting.