Last weekend I was in Kapsali, Kythera, the place of my heart, on a weekend retreat with Kristina Karitinou Ireland. I took part in her Kythera weekend retreat last year too. PLEASE come with me next year! It’s a lovely weekend of Led and Mysore classes finishing up with a talk which is followed by Zazen Meditation.
Kristina talked about the ‘reference points’ we create while we practice yoga. During our practice, the body is supposed to feel happiness. Every moment is supposed to feel beneficial, even when we come to a difficult posture. As we practice, we create, mark and build those feel-good reference points. They give us strength. Kristina said that: “When it feels good I take that feeling into my home, into my day... I take it with me. It’s like receiving a beautiful kiss..., it's a reference point”.
Reference points are not just from yoga practice: we also get good feelings with friends, with nature, with nutrition, with the arts. It is our nature to want to feel good and to repeat whatever activity gives us happiness, energy and strength. “Hopefully these reference points are going to help us to get us through difficult situations, like Odysseus going through the Sirens, getting us through in the best possible way”.
I quite like this view of yoga’s benefits!
Come with me in September! Practice yoga in The Land of The Gods. Collect memories and lay down reference points that will sustain you through challenging times. Porto Delfino, the home of our retreat, is becoming an exciting place for Ashtanga yoga. Already this year the hotel has hosted retreats by Baptiste Marceau, (student of David Williams, Danny Paradise, and Sri K Pattabhi Jois) Kristina Karitinou-Ireland, (qualified as an Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga teacher by her late husband Derek Ireland and authorized by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois) and, this very weekend, Lucy Crawford, (started practicing yoga in 1992 with Derek Ireland and Radha Warrell in London)... Then it’s us in September! We’re part of this extraordinary list. If the planets align and the timing is right, Kristina will be our guest teacher this year.
This is what I’ve been playing in class recently which gets a lot of reaction: Indian Flute Meditation Music. Also this, which might make you vibrate...: Tibetan Singing Bowls. There aren’t too many spaces left next week – you might have to book for the following week! You can see class availability on my website (which I update often). The latest availability is attached to this email.
Tonight (19:45 - 21:45) I’m going to Charlie Merton’s Yin Yoga and Gong Workshop at Triyoga Ealing with yoga chums! Charlie promises to shift our Spring into Summer; to transport us from the season relating to the liver to the season relating to the heart. This sounds promising! There will be a one-hour soundscape using 4 gongs and Tibetan Singing Bowls Come with me!
The Cocoon Academy wrote to me to ask me to tell you about their free 60 minute guided meditation sessions. I am very happy to pass this on. Their next offering is on Saturday May 25th at 10:00 - 11:00am at On Route in South Ealing. Everyone is welcome. Free!
Yoga in the news
This is a lovely BBC TV News piece: Pilates inventor honoured with giant class at Manx WW1 internment camp. Joseph Pilates was detained at the Knockaloe camp on the Isle of Man. During his three and a half years internment he refined his system of exercise. ‘During his time in the camp it is believed the young Pilates worked in the camp's hospitals and was highly respected. He spent his time developing a comprehensive system of physical exercise which he called "Contrology".’
The Hindu tells us that Mysuru gearing up for another world record in yoga. It’s to celebrate International Yoga Day on June 21st with the largest yoga demonstration or lesson at a single venue.