Hello yogis, wow, we are already half way through January 2014!
2013 has now been put to rest for a long Shavasana, and the end of another year invites me to reflect back with such love and gratitude for the lessons, wisdom and good times that came with it.
Equally, Im looking forward to all of the new offerings that the New Year ahead has in store for me. I love the excitement of new potential as well as the apprehension of the unknown, I feel that it creates such optimism for the next phase in my journey, whatever and where ever that may take me .
Looking back at the highlights of 2013 wow, what a wonderfully busy but fulfilling year 2013 was for me as a teacher.
I feel so very blessed to have taught three beautiful retreats in such amazing places around the globe. Goa in India, Dalyan in Turkey and Calabria in Italy and boy did we rock out some cool yoga and have fun on all of those retreats. I absolutely love teaching retreats as they are so rewarding, satisfying and life enriching to all attendees, myself included.
By the end of a week on retreat, without fail, the group have gelled together as a family and not only does our yoga/meditation practice progress beyond expectation but also something transformative happens to all of us.
This is because the fast pace of every day life can make it so very difficult to listen to our very own inner guidance, or in other words, our own wants, needs, desires and wisdom. A retreat provides a sanctuary, the support and the structure to unplug from the every day busyness of life; it encourages you to immerse yourself into rejuvenation, peace and universal flow. Then, something magical happens; your intuition begins to miraculously unfold. Intuition is like our own no-fail inner guidance system that allows us to listen inwardly, become inspired, even creative so that we choose to live our lives to their fullest potential, sometimes making big lifestyle changes. Believe me; I have seen this so many times now, it really is magical and pure joy!
Some other amazing highlights on my Yoga Schedule in 2013 were;
1. My two wonderful Urban Retreat Days.
2. A fantastic workshop with the amazing Ross Rayburn in Milton Keynes.
3. The creation of Gong Flow Yoga and Gong Restorative Yoga both in collaboration with the very gifted Kanti and hosted by Whitespace Yoga Studio as well as Ourselves.
5. Our now famous community event – Milton Keynes Flash mob Peace in the City in collaboration with Naz Khakoo and Deborah Berryman.
6. My Get Milton Keynes Meditating Workshop with more than 50 peeps attending was also an awesome experience for all involved and for me as a teacher!
These events were all so well received and participated in; I cannot thank you all enough for your continued commitment and support.
2013 also marked the birth of my fully equipped mini Yoga Studio (log cabin) at the end of my garden. Here I have absolutely delighted in teaching weekly Restorative Yoga sessions and One to Ones and I am looking forward to sharing my little yoga haven with many more of you in the months to come.
I also have continued teaching my regular weekly, grass roots Yoga Classes both at Whitespace Yoga Studio and other Milton Keynes venues. These classes are my main love, and reflecting back on the fullness of the years lessons, I am truly blown away at the generosity of students/friends and the way that they continue to inspire me into new places of growth, understanding and clarity both in my teaching and in my life.
As always each Year is an opportunity for me to personally broaden my yoga knowledge and 2013 was no exception. I did a very uplifting on line training course named aptly Asana Junkies, with a wonderfully inspiring American teacher; Christina Sell (whom I have admired for years).
I also studied and qualified to teach Yin Yoga in London with a lovely authentic teacher, Norman Blair last year. Yin is a meditative slow-paced style of yoga with postures that are held for longer, applying moderate stress to the connective tissue, the tendons, fascia, and ligaments thus increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. Yin Yoga poses are also designed to improve the flow of qi, the subtle energy said in Chinese medicine to run through the meridian pathways of the body, this is said to improve organ health, immunity as well as emotional well-being. I cant wait to share my Yin teachings with some of you soon.
2013, on a spiritual level, was a year of real growth for me. I was particularly inspired by 3 books that have had impacted both my teachings and life.
1. Take Your Time: How to Find Patience, Peace and Meaning – by Eknath Easwaran
2. Conquest of Mind: Take Charge of Your Thoughts and Reshape Your Life through Meditation by Eknath Easwaran
3. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose – by Eckhart Tolle
These books in particular have taught me so much about the skill of living in the Present, Perception, Self limiting Thoughts, Ego, Behaviour Patterns and Self Identity.
Theses habits/patterns form our personalities and our tendencies in how we respond to life and can sometimes cause us to suffer or limit ourselves. As we become more conscious through mindfulness practices, we realise that we can choose how we develop and respond and that our body, ego, thoughts, senses, perceptions and even our occupation do not define who we really are and what we really feel. In time, we are able to enter into a new relationship with both our inner and outer worlds. Can we learn to accept ourselves, remain humble, curb our egos and keep our sights on the more important targets of self knowledge and wisdom? It will probably take a lifetime of practice, but we can certainly try our best.
Finally, I would like to Thank You all quite simply for your presence, and for being so open to my teachings, hopes, passions and beliefs. Yoga has brought me community with cherished friendships and fulfilling opportunities and for that I am so grateful..
Students are held in the grace of the teacher and so too, is the teacher held in the grace of the student – Christina Sell
In a nutshell, I teach because you are willing to be my students and together we are learning/sharing an amazingly fulfilling yoga journey.
For me in 2014, there still remains a vastness to explore and accomplish in my personal practice, this involves the reading and experience necessary to really deepen my knowledge and skill of yoga.
In my 30s yoga asana was fun and challenging, yet yoga studies and philosophical territory was something that I really only skimmed on. Today, at 47, my practice is essential to feel good, really good, physically and emotionally. Yoga is my path to retain health, vitality, life balance, and the courage to accept/ trust in what is, exactly as I am.
Hence, my intent this year is to be kind to myself and to invest in myself; starting with a 2 week holiday with my partner to Goa, India in February (we will practice with some cool yoga teachers over there too). I will also be winding down my teaching schedule and retreats a little bit in 2014.
My plan is to advance my yoga on and off my mat and I have marked out time to study with more senior teachers, I am also actually treating myself to a Retreat in September!.
Heres looking forward to sharing another fabulous year of yoga with you, lets dive deep, explore together and smile lots in the process. Below you will find a list of special yoga events in 2014 for your diary with links to further information;
Back Care Therapeutics Masterclass – Saturday – 1st March 2014 – 1pm-4pm – Broughton Pavillion, Milton Keynes
Yoga Urban Retreat Day – Sunday – 23rd March – 2014 – 9.30am4.15pm
Bletchley, Milton Keynes
An Evening of Restorative Yoga Accompanied by the Healing Vibrations of the Gong and Singing Bowls – Friday 4th April — 7.00pm – 9.00pm
At The Granary Yoga Studio, Brogborough, Beds
Yoga Weekend Retreat at Champneys Spa – Friday 16th – Sunday 18th May
At Champneys Spa, Springs – Leicestershire
Yoga Retreat – Crete Tuesday 1st Tuesday 8th July 2014
At Kissamos, Crete, Greece
With Blessings and Love