Yesterday was Mental Health Awareness Day and companies have been taking advantage all week to get employees involved. Companies that offer yoga at work are doing such a positive and worthwhile thing! One person told me of their day-long stress, things hadn’t gone right, deadlines missed and a sense of disappointment infused the end of the day with that tight feeling in the stomach and throat. That’s not great to take home! Along comes yoga on its white horse to rescue the situation!
Yoga is really a fancy way of meditating. The crucial thing is the breath awareness. Postures come and go and try to teach us about ourselves, mainly that we can’t keep the mind in one place! Kristina Karitinou Ireland says: ‘There’s a playfulness to the practice: the mind goes; you bring it back to the breath, in one second it's gone again. That is the nature of things. You don't have to feel guilty or bad or critical.
It’s through the practice that we re-educate ourselves: good postures give you a good feeling; postures that give you fear teach you that you can overcome difficulties; strength postures teach you that your strength is there to build. When you achieve difficult postures, it’s not that the ego has to go crazy; you create what Kristina calls ‘reference points’ and you remember what it's like to be in a good situation and overcome restrictions. That gives you mental strength. That’s the feeling that you take off the mat to energise and benefit your day and benefit the people around you. That’s the beauty of yoga.
If you’re interested in a retreat with emphasis on Meditation, check out Deborah Smith’s Grow Your Own Happiness retreat. (See flyer). Her brilliant book of the same name has had a load of media coverage. (Here’s my blog from her last retreat.)
If you’d like to come to Kythera with me next year, please let me have your preference for May or September. So far, four people say September... so it looks like September at the moment! And like a sign from the heavens, a Greek inspired coffee shop will be opening up in The Grove next week. Let’s have a coffee there!
I’m lucky enough to find people come to yoga class with their conditions, illnesses, recovery processes and aches and pains. It’s humbling and a privilege to teach. Yoga boasts that it is for every condition and I’m interested to hear people report their feelings of how yoga has helped with various problems. This week classes had people getting over cancer, a broken back from a car accident, Parkinson’s and high blood pressure. Hopefully we can lessen some symptoms and some prescription charges! See attached for class availability. There are plenty of spaces left on Monday and Tuesday in the stretchy classes.
On Friday 1st November, 19:45 - 21:45, Charlie Merton is teaching her beautiful Friday evening workshop, A Complete Practice: body, breath, mind + mantra with gong bath: 20 minutes working with mantra, 20 minutes of breath and mudra, 40-45 minutes physical asana practice and 40 minutes of sound meditation with gongs and other instruments.
Have a look at the attachment for some of the Triyoga workshops coming up. I haven’t looked at other studios yet... Also, the Om Yoga Show is next weekend, the 18th, 19th & 20th.
Yoga in the News
Financial Times has: ‘Do mindfulness activities really work?’ FT colleague Claire Barron leads the in-house meditation and yoga classes. She says corporate mindfulness can lead to happier staff. “They’re less stressed, they become more innovative in their thinking, creative, productive.”
India’s Times Now has: Benefits of Viparita Karani yoga asana: What happens when you put your legs up on the wall? ‘This yoga posture is considered as one of the most calming and nourishing poses for the mind and the body.’ I’m a fan of this posture.