on my mind this week.....
take a moment to appreciate....
Exam day come and gone! What an amazing two years of Vajrasati yoga teacher training, fun, friendship, stretching the body, the brain, challenging the memory to learn new concepts and digging deep to master a-semblance of the Sanskrit language and how to pronounce it( That’s a small portion of the book pile in the picture above) Not to mention travelling up to London for weekly yoga school - well, until Covid hit and then we all went virtual! It’s been absolutely brilliant and I still only feel like I’ve scratched the surface, despite now having 700 hours of yoga teacher training under my belt. And the best part is I now have a group of like minded yogis to whom I am ‘yoked’ (one of the the original definitions of the Sanskrit word yoga)
Given the social distancing currently in place there aren’t many opportunities for face to face teaching, so I’m offering some online zoom classes and some in studio. I’ve attended a lot of online classes myself during lockdown and it definitely has its benefits, you can stay in relaxation after, there’s no travel time and if you’re a little shy at mantra then there’s no one listening so you can chant away to your hearts content.
Hope to see you soon on the mat 🙏
I’ve chatted to a lot of people about yoga recently, and am on a mission to try to get more people to benefit - hence my teaming up with the amazing new Unity Lewes centre, which is a community resource for all.
So what is yoga? Well maybe it’s helpful to talk about what it isn’t...yoga does not require that you do a headstand, put your foot behind your ear, or get hot and sweaty (though of course you can do all of these things too). Yoga can be many things to many different people, it is that moment when you are absorbed in the flow of what you are doing.
I am offering a Monday morning class at Unity, similar to my Wednesday morning class at St Mary’s The Nevill. perfectly suitable for complete beginners, people who have done yoga before and like to take it a bit slower, and people with limitations. Also, anyone will benefit, even if they have done yoga for many years.
What we won’t be doing is a fast paced class.
some of the people who have been doing yoga with me for a while would say things like...’anyone can do it’ (said by a lady over 70 who has never done yoga) ‘Jane really cares’ (said by the lady who felt warmth and reassurance as I sought to make her comfortable.
What they would also say is that some of their friends have said ‘yoga? Oh no, I’m not flexible for that...don’t they make you stand on your head?
Having been a nurse for more than 30 years, I am so aware of how our bodies stiffen up, how ‘if we don’t use it, we lose it!’.
When you wake up in the morning, pretty much one if the first things you need to do is stretch, yes? Overnight, connective tissue forms around our muscles, and we get stiff. If we don’t regularly break this down, by movement or massage, it continues to impede our flexibility. It’s not a given that just because we are aging, we will become inflexible.
Busting myths! Hoping that you will be curious enough to come and join us in a Monday morning, easing into your week, especially as it’s getting colder now and bodies stiffen up. A warm welcome and full support await you. Give me a call f you’d like to chat more about whether any of my classes will suit you x
How often do we really listen? It’s a frequent subject for discussion in our weekly mindfulness group, as there are so many different aspects to explore. So many times during our day we are presented with an opportunity to connect to another, and we let ourselves get in the way, by only hearing what we want to hear, or by part listening which is actually just waiting to speak! A kind of selective listening that is filtered out by the habits of our mind.
This can also apply to ourselves...how often do we take the time to listen to ourselves. Yoga is a brilliant practice for this, and I was thrilled when one of my regulars told me that she had learnt so much about herself being on her mat each week. Listening to ourselves takes practice, then it takes compassion, in order to accept what we hear. It may be that we ‘hear’ that our body is tired, but that isn’t convenient as the mind is telling us there is lots that ‘should’ be done! It may be that in our asana practice we are pushing too far, and the body is complaining but the mind is telling us we have been doing yoga for years so we ‘should’ be able to do this pose!
Once we get tuned in to what we hear, we need to find courage to act on it, to honour ourselves and find ways to treat ourselves better. Maybe this means stepping away from a toxic relationship, giving up a job that makes us unhappy (one of my clients has done just that recently and feels sooooo much better) sleeping more, whatever suits. Treating ourselves with care and compassion will mean we have so much more to give, wholeheartedly to others, so really it’s a win win.
Listening to the sounds around us is another practice, a quick and easy one that we can do anywhere, that is really helpful if the mind has gone into overdrive.
In what way could you benefit from listening more in your life?
I’ve arrived, finally finished the transition to the country, settling into my new home in Barcombe. I’ve not moved house for 8 years, so it’s been quite an experience, getting right out of my routines and comfort zones...always very interesting. It’s a time of letting go of the old and embracing the new. I find a great way to approach change is to start to dismantle routines and habits gradually before the event, this way it doesn’t feel like such a wrenc.
It’s a time to realise how much ‘stuff’ we own, and how complicated it can feel to need to ‘manage’ it all. Obviously a brilliant opportunity to de clutter, once we can get past that little nagging voice of how useful it all is, or might be! Having started that process, I feel like there’s plenty more that can go to the charity shop...I just need to avoid buying any ‘bargains’ whilst I’m there! I have a lovely room to practice yoga and meditation in my new home, and it feels so much more peaceful the less clutter I have in there. Creating space, in the physical sense leads to a calmer headspace too.
It feels like such a lovely time to move, there’s so much change in the air each day, with the birds making nests, with trees coming into leaf and blossom and the spring flowers. All of this speaks to me of the comfort of change, of new beginnings. I’m looking forward to creating new routines, with the woods in my doorstep, being more connected with nature.
Watch this space for new developments as I’m looking for new venues to set up new classes. The first of which is a new yoga class starting on The Neville after Easter, after I take a break for a few days in The Highlands of Scotland which I’m very excited about.
I will also very happily be popping back to Brighton for my existing commitments in that area.
Time for a spring clean then?!?
See you soon x
What a great experience that was! I sent last weekend at the beautiful Dartington Hall, bringing yoga and mindfulness to the Simply Women on Purpose run by the inspirational Michelle Preston. We were joined by the wonderful Glastonbury based homeopath and nature worked Sophie Knock.
Between the three of us we created the space for an amazing bunch of women to come together to consider meaning and purpose. We looked what we could let go of and what we will all commit to going forward, had lots of really stimulating discussions, made connections and shared laughs. Michelle imparted some of her vast wisdom on positive psychology and meaning. The setting really supported the experience, Dartington is such a beautiful place, ancient buildings and acres and acres of open land. Sophie guided us with her knowledge of the outdoors and led a walk to the old yew tree where all enjoyed a meditation and discussion on the wisdom of trees.
With each of us coming from a different angle, but all from the same page, the weekend really flowed well - apart from me having to leave early with a heavy cold. As a so called 'wellbeing expert' I needed to take a dose of my own medicine and head for bed! A mindful lesson indeed, sometimes things do not go the way we planned, and that is what we deal with. Things do not always go the way we planned, and mindfulness has helped me to cope with that much better in my life.
Up until that point I had been loving bringing yoga and mindfulness to the group. Each evening I used yoga nidra to offer a relaxing experience pre bed, and the ladies all enjoyed it as much as I do.
I have also been using yoga nidra at the end of my wednesday night class in Lewes, as the class is a little longer. This wonderful practice helps to bring us into a deep state of rest, just what the doctor ordered at this time of year when everything is starting to get busier in the hectic pre christmas rush!
Come and join us on a wednesday or get in touch if you'd like to arrange small group sessions for yourself and a few friends.
Take care, rest, play, sleep and eat well namaste x
I'm really enjoying teaching yoga to adults too, having taught kids for a few years. I have two lovely venues and am exploring other opportunities too. I firmly believe that there are lots of great yoga teachers, all with their style, and the more of us the merrier, we all have something different to offer. So if you are one of those people who are interested in feeling good, looking after your body and mind, keeping your muscles strong and flexible, taking care of your posture...to name but a few benefits - but have tried a yoga class and decided it wasn't for you - I urge you to try other ones. There will be a teacher out there for you.
I bring some of the light heartedness that I use with the kids into my classes, and find that we grown ups benefit from that. I also use lots of mindfulness, so the classes are relaxing and rejuvenating. Classes vary from week to week.
I also weave in lots of wellbeing tips into the classes, using my whole experience base, and we finish with a very relaxing experience as this is so important. In the Beechwood hall class we have longer so the relaxation is longer. We rarely get chance to switch off nowadays o just attending the class to gain this benefit will help you feel better.
Drop me a line if you're interested and have questions or want to chat, namaste
I am so excited to be embarking on the next steps on my journey.
I have been practising yoga since I was a teenager, having done many many different classes and styles, always coming back to my practice. i have loved teaching yoga to children and young adults, and will continue to do this. When I started to do so, I did not expect to be doing my adult yoga teacher training. Yes I love running groups, having regularly done so for the past 10 years or more, in a variety of settings. I so enjoy my adult mindfulness classes, sharing our practice together.
People used to assume I did teach adults, and so would often ask me if they could come to a class, sorry, only if you are under 18 years of age i would quip...then about 6 months ago, I heard myself making that reply and realised, I have changed my mind!
And so I set about looking for a teacher training that felt right for me, hence I am setting off for a small island in Canada, just off Vancouver, next week! i am so thrilled that life has guided me this way, and send a big thanks to all of the yoga teachers that have inspired me along the way, and still do.
I have set up one weekly class for my return, just outside Lewes. Watch this space for news of more, as soon as I find other venues that I would love to use to share this amazing practice with you all.