It’s Valentine’s Boxing Day so I feel compelled to continue the love theme in the hope you’ll take your Cupid heart into the weekend… and on and on! For inspiration, I turned to the teacher whose only theme is love and joy, not precise postures, breath exercises, meditation, austerity or any kind of seriousness! My adored teacher David Sye teaches people to have fun. That’s what the practice is meant to do, he says. If you’re not a more loving, kind person because of the practice, you’re doing it wrong.
His teacher, Clara Buck, demanded that he practice yoga to be a better human being, not a better yogi. She said: the level of love and kindness and adventure we give ourselves is the level at which the body is going to give back. ‘Unless you love this body it will kick you out’. It’s ok in your 30s, 40s and 50s but when you start hitting your 60s and 70s then you see what you’ve laid down in your body. If it’s cruelty, it will bite you back.
She taught him to trust love because it’s the one thing that ‘turns the mundane into the miraculous and then the miraculous becomes continuous’.
After February’s Valentine fizz comes Spring’s Hayfever season and then, after we’ve used up all the tissues, it’s Kythera retreat time where sore, city noses can breathe in Kapsali’s clean and healing air! I think there’s a bit of travel uncertainty, so I’ll just hold one retreat, the Ashtanga retreat, in the second half of September and find a UK venue for a more general retreat. If you haven’t done so already let me know if you’d like to come to Kapsali. Then I’ll write to all of you separately.
Last weekend my lucky Home Studio hosted Andy Gill and his all-day Teacher Development Group workshop. It was the kind of training and support a teacher thirsts for: new approaches to postures and adjustments, discussions about the role of a teacher, how to support students while setting boundaries and how to manage teacher/student relationships. Then, on sunny Monday morning, another Home Studio yogi baby was born. Welcome to Kit, whose spectacular mother I taught through the pregnancy and whose brother was the first Good Times Yoga baby! And, finally, red roses shone their special magic on the Valentine’s class where we explored some of Any Gill’s postures. Bring your magic next week! There’s plenty of space. You can see class availability on my website (which I update often). The latest availability is attached to this email.
Tonight I’m going to Charlie Merton’s ‘ mantra, mudra, pranayama, asana, meditation and nada yoga (the yoga of sound)’ at Triyoga Ealing. I feel like a Gong bath! Come with me!
Yoga in the news
The Evening Standard has: Why hitting the yoga studio will help you lift weights better. ‘“It’s all about making sure the joints are protected and balanced,” says Dyl Salamon, the man behind Gymbox’s Yoga for Lifting class.’ (Gymbox is opening in Ealing and we need to give this a go!) Salamon says: “If you’re constantly fighting against stiffness or injury, you’ll never achieve your maximum potential” and “to feel truly strong, he says, you should aim to hit the yoga studio twice a week — at least”.
The Courier tells us: Want to improve your golf game? It’s time to take up yoga. The paper tells us why they are such good candidates for (proper) yoga: ‘A common issue with golfers when it comes to training is the fear that they can’t become stronger as they’ll lose flexibility’ which will affect their golf swing. Yoga is about both incredible strength and amazing flexibility!