United we stand . . . on one leg!
"Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.
The most commonly understood meaning of the word yoga is union. Perhaps, union of the body, mind and soul. Is that what happens for you when you practice? Maybe just a hint of that feeling?
In the famous yogic text, The Bhagavad Gita, it is said that a person has achieved yoga, the Union with the Self, when the perfectly disciplined mind gets freedom from all desires, and becomes absorbed in the Self alone. That does not mean we become self-absorbed, per se, but rather we find a way of calming our monkey minds (all that chatter!) in order to find peace within. We've talked about using our breath and gaze to help us focus and quieten our minds as we practice. And of course, there is the practice of meditation.
In the last couple of weeks, we've practiced two of our balance poses - Tree Pose & Dancer's Pose - as a group in a circle. I've seen a level of concentration and commitment that may have arisen because you feel a level of responsibility to commit to the pose so that you do not disturb your neighbour's efforts. Up until now, I have not seen such steadiness with ease (sthira sukasanam) amongst you all as a group. It is quite a beautiful thing to witness.
"Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation."
We have our own little yoga community now - supporting and encouraging each other, taking risks in front of each other, and even applauding, like when Rachael pulled a stunning wheel in tonight's class. We are a diverse bunch of people, with different backgrounds, experiences, ages, shapes & sizes, pay packets, fitness & mobility. Yet, we are Our Yoga. It is truly ours.
We are flowing in both morning and evening classes, in our own special way. The fact that you share with me what is happening for you, and then I see you put your personal modifications into practice during class, makes me so happy as a teacher. I am witnessing each of you practice . . . in your own time, in your own way. Enough already . . . I'm gushing now!
"I can do things you cannot. You can do things I cannot. Together, we can do great things."
We have just completed Class #9 of our Absolute Beginner's ten week workshop. In order to plan future classes, it would help me if you participated in this Poll so I can work out which time/date slots suit most people.
I will know by next week whether I can continue to teach at the Waikanae Rugby Clubrooms on an ad hoc basis. It has been a great venue, albeit chilly, but it may be time to move somewhere new until our studio is ready in summer.
One of our students, Cath, has done an incredible amount of work identifying different options for us. I've been snowed under with our building project and a trip back to Whanganui for a meeting (a 5½ hour meeting!!) this week, so have not yet followed up on her leads. But I'll endeavour to do that this week.
No matter where we practice together, as long as I have an indication of sufficient interest (ideally 12-20 students per class), we can continue with a morning and evening class each week.
I will start another Absolute Beginners workshop when the new school term starts (lessons learnt), so classes after next week's finale will be 'open' classes for AB graduates and any other person who has some prior experience. People joining theses classes will need to have at least the same level of experience as those of you who are about to graduate.
I will offer a term concession card which will give you the choice of coming to either a morning or an evening class ten times in a term for $140. The drop-in (or one off) rate will be $16 per class. These classes will be 90 minutes long and will need to be booked via the booking system on the website. This is so I know how many people will be attending, so can plan accordingly.
If you have friends, family or colleagues who might be interested in these classes, please give them my contact details.
In the meantime, continue your practice, make time for yourself, and enjoy this beautiful weather.