I don’t think my house knows what is going on. It’s being visited by people plus there’s a consistent and regular cleaning routine. This week has seen the return of face to face appointments. We’ve been completing forms, wearing face masks and washing hands. It’s been good to connect in person and not just through the laptop. I have been working full time through lockdown and this has included studying, researching and writing. It’s been a shock to have appointments in the diary with the need to plan around them but also exciting and stimulating. I hope that we are able to continue and gradually adapt and manage living life with COVID 19 in the environment.
It’s disappointing that the government’s focus seems to be on building, flying and the economy. I know that the economy is important and our financial health impacts on our mental and emotional health but this shouldn’t be at the cost of everything else. I have enjoyed the quieter roads, the space to stop and talk with neighbours during the day, the reported presence of wildlife in cities, the lack of aircraft, the sense of self care and caring for others, stories of people in India being able to see the Himalayas in the distance for the first time in their lifetime with pollution levels decreasing, the waters of Venice being clear and the beautiful weather we have had partly due to less pollution in the air not just because of climate change. I wanted these changes to be permanent. I wanted these stories to continue.
My work routine has changed permanently from moving my therapy workroom to home. This has been a positive experience particularly as I now have a dedicated space at home to immerse myself in my own practice and to dream and develop ideas. We have lived here for nearly 25 years. Our home has seen a lot of changes alongside family growth and for many years I used to practice from the room I am in now, when I started my therapy practice over 20 years ago. Over the last four months, I have noticed the different rhythms of the neighbourhood which quietly changed over time. At the end of last year, the Parish Council built a children’s park at the end of the road and occasionally I hear children exploring and playing and dogs joining in; there are deliveries being made, postmen waving through the window and muted conversations as neighbours and villagers walk by. At other times there are just the sounds of nature outside my window where I have the flowers and plants from Yanley playing in the breeze. Butterflies, bees and birds visit and sometimes a cat uses the garden as a cut through. It was generally quiet at Yanley Court but I was separate from my life and the village. Now I am part of the community once more.
I have always questioned the need to separate ourselves from life in order to recentre. All of life is still there when you return from sanctuary. We should be working to create a life we don’t feel a need to escape from and that needs to be ethical and sustainable. Obviously lockdown was not a choice we all made individually and for some it has been the stuff of nightmares but a number of people are questioning systems, demands and norms. If we return to lockdown maybe we will have a second opportunity to make changes that are for the better and permanent.
A bonus of being at home is that the Early Morning Dailies are at the bottom of my stairs. I get up to enjoy a coffee and my own yoga and meditation practice before welcoming classes for the day. We have nurtured a committed community during Lockdown; sharing daily practice and saying hello has been invaluable for everyone. The last few weeks we have focused on cobra/bhujangasana; placing the breath in the body to develop strength, length and flexibility. We are all agreed that these spaces will continue. There are a couple of earlier classes on Mondays and Fridays to allow for family and work commitments. You can come to one class or the whole week or something inbetween.
On Wednesday afternoons and evenings, Term Yoga has morphed into a Month of Yoga. Lessons are for an hour and the group size is limited to eight. There has been space for some movement between times to allow for shared living space to be negotiated; we still have partners, children and pets visit momentarily but it’s all doable. Through July, we have focused on how to rotate the body around the axis (spine) while using the breath to create length and awareness.
Indoor yoga classes are still not permitted but I suspect this will change as indoor gyms are allowed to reopen. I am hoping to teach a face to face Wednesday morning class in Long Ashton during August but I am waiting for restrictions to lift before I call the lady (again) who organises the Guides’ HQ. At the moment, I do not have a space for evening class teaching so will continue teaching evenings online. I decided the hall I was going to book was not for me. I can’t justify it logically, it is a gut feeling and I know from experience that if I ignore it, it will be at my peril. I think I want a space in the village rather than outside it. For individual lessons, we are using the garden so the weather has to be in a sattvic (‘clear and pure’) mood.
Face to face appointments will hopefully be able to continue and grow. At the moment there is a maximum of one hour for appointments with avoidance of contact with the face. I do have a face shield but I think the mask does a better job and I have asked clients to wear a mask also. A bit of hand washing and the appointment can begin. There are forms to fill in via email which seem to be reassuring rather than annoying.
From August, online reiki shares will move to fortnightly on a Friday afternoon at 2.00 pm for an hour. There are two meetings in August (14 and 28) and from September, shares will be on the first and third Friday of the month. In the future I hope we will be able to alternate between online and face to face get togethers.
Monday evening meditation continues to the end of July and I will let you know what happens from August. I am currently talking with the group to see what shape is most useful.
I’ve been one of the lucky ones in being able to continue to nurture my practice ably supported by clients and yoga students – thank you. This has meant that I haven’t stepped away since lock down. During the first week of August, I will only be teaching the Morning Dailies (including the early ones); the rest of the day will then be playtime. I am taking a full week off from 7-11 September. I am going to Cornwall to a possible retreat centre. I am not sure it will be suitable for groups but it’s definitely suitable for me to hide away with hubby for a week. I will update you later in September.
Have a great weekend and see you next week.