It’s International Yoga Day today. It began in a speech PM Modi made to the UN in 2014 when he called for an International Yoga Day and said of yoga: ‘It should bring a change in our lifestyle and create awareness in us and it can help in fighting against climate change’. The UN approved it and the first IYD was in 2015.
Here’s my suggestion of a way to celebrate the day. Not everyone has time to get to class and not everyone who reads this email practices yoga. Take a couple of minutes to contemplate the breath and make your inhalations and exhalations a little longer and deeper. That’s it!
Here’s what my teacher, David Swenson, says of the breath and here’s why a five-minute-focus is appropriate for IYD. He says: “We breathe in the same language. It connects us. It connects us to the past, present and future. We're all breathing the same air. The air isn't British or European or any other nationality. The simple act of breathing is a spiritual act. Many languages have the same word for spirit and breath. If we grab hold of the breath it has an immediate tangible effect on the mind and calms us down. It even interacts with plants. We exhale and they take it on and give us oxygen.”
Watch your breath connect you to yourself, to others, to other countries, nationalities, belief systems, and to the planet. Cool, eh!
Valentina and I have devised a timetable for our magical Kapsali Yoga retreat in September. I will teach the sunrise Ashtanga class looking out onto the morning glory of Kapsali Bay. Buffet breakfast next. Holiday time next and lounging around down on the bay.
The afternoon workshops with Valentina will start with a ‘warm up’ and work on technique and alignment. She will also focus of memorising the Ashtanga sequence. Of course, there is plenty of information and detail for Mysore and non-Mysore practitioners.
Then the daily themes Valentina will explore are: 1. The background of yoga / Breathing, Meditation and visualisation. 2. Principles of Vinyasa / Practice with inner alignment, breath and bandhas. 3. Acro Yoga and Arm Balancing / Fun yoga!. 4. Transitions.
We will also have Candle-lit yin sessions under our starry Greek sky. Come with us!
Classes are totally booked up next week! Crickey! You can see class availability on my website (which I update often). It gets pretty booked up so you might have to book in the following week.
Yoga West is offering two free International Yoga Day classes at the top of Acton Park near to the kids playground. You have to look out for the Yoga West flag. Bring your own mat: 13:15 Vinyasa Flow with Csilla and 16:45 Pilates with Yasmine. And there’s more free yoga in London today if you google.
In our community
We have yogis who are ’dedicated coffeeholics’ with a 2kg roaster in their micro coffee lab in a converted studio. If you would like freshly roasted coffee write to Gosia and Bartosz: email@example.com or sign up for their newsletter.
A brilliant yogi who practices in my lucky studio is offering Jing Thai massage, an energy-based treatment. A testimony: ‘You know Mariusz, the biggest benefit of your massage is that you put my body together. Before your massage, my body felt all over the place. Now, it’s all in one place, perfectly realigned and balanced.’ Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yoga in the News
Quartz has: In photos: How Indians are marking International Yoga Day 2019 (They are 5 ½ hours ahead of us).
Time Out has the slightly silly It's official – London is the yoga capital of the world. ‘The craze shows no sign of entering savasana: data from the report shows more than 6,000 yoga events were held across the UK last year – that’s nearly triple compared to 2016, which saw just over 2,000.’
This is interesting. Greatest has: Should You Avoid Yoga Inversions During Your Period? The article asks: ‘is there any legitimate medical risk involved in doing certain poses during your period? Or is it as outdated an idea as female hysteria?’ and adds ‘It’s important to recognize that this prioritization isn’t rooted in biological function, but in philosophy’.