A beautiful changeable day for our first morning retreat at Yanley yesterday morning. We explored our connection with this time of year through bhavana (visualisation) and practice, as well as connecting to the centre of our breath. I hope the lovely group of yogis can put the chilliness of the first session into their experience of emerging Spring, with one foot in winter and one foot in spring. (I hadn’t realised that anyone was feeling the more wintery side of the year – apologies!)
The next morning is Sunday 29 April (0930 – 1300). You can book by going to the booking system or sending me an email via this link: Morning Retreats at Yanley
Thank you for a very grounding and meditative yoga term. I hope the ideas about winter, earthing and finding your root support (muladhara) informed your practice. The next term starts Wednesday 21 February. Full details can be found via this link: Yoga at Yanley
February sees the beginning of Spring, bringing our focus to the chest and heart centre to create space for inspiration and compassion.
Please let me know if you are not returning to yoga next term (it would be very useful to know before the start of term). Thank you!
If you go to the home page there are diary dates for the year. This includes links for yoga terms, morning retreats and the residential retreat in September.
I hope this new format makes it easy to find out information. At the top of the page are quick links to the most popular pages.
I hope you had an inspiring and restful weekend. I made a trip to Slimbridge and whilst sitting in the Kingfisher hide was joined by this chap (or chap-ess). I also saw my first flocks of lapwings. I feel recalibrated.
I have spring-cleaned the website/blog. If you do access it for information, let me know what you think. I am hoping it is clearer to see what’s available and easier to read.
Right, now to do what I meant to start 2 hours ago …! Hope your week has spaces to feel the oncoming Spring
The days are beginning to rush towards the Equinox in March. I’m really enjoying watching the light return. I hope you are too. There’s quite a bit going on this year. I am slowly creating a full diary page with links to relevant information. This will become the front page of the website, which I hope will make it easy to find everything. In the meantime, here’s some highlights:
Early Bird Yoga
Thank you for making it to Yanley Court in the dark and sometimes frost. It’s been a great start to a new class. We now have an extended break and return Friday 23 February for 5 weeks: Early Bird Yoga
Morning Retreats at Yanley
The February morning retreat is fully booked. If you want to book for April, please message me or book online: Morning Retreats at Yanley
Next term runs 21 February to 21 March: 0930-1100; 1800-1915; 1930-2100. Please email me to confirm attendance. Details: Yoga at Yanley
Although classes have a break I am still available for appointments and individual lessons Monday to Friday.
Yoga on Dartmoor
For the residential retreat, I will be inviting you to return to High Heathercombe Retreat Centre on Dartmoor. Spaces are not limited to students who have been away with me before, everyone is welcome. There will be a maximum of 12 spaces. There will be an option to arrive at different times during the day on the Friday. I am waiting to confirm details and costs with the centre. Once I have these I will let you have full details: Friday 28 September to Sunday 30 September.
I am starting shared spaces for reiki practitioners, whether practice is personal or professional. The first day is Monday 23 April. There are 6 spaces, 2 have been booked: reiki days
I’m really enjoying the reiki teaching and sharing ideas and ways of being with others. The next introduction to Reiki is in May (Reiki I): reiki I course.
Reiki II will be available in August – unless holidays are an issue for those who are interested. I am going to offer two levels to this teaching: everyone will develop their own practice and learn about reiki at this level. There will be an option to develop this further with case studies and supervision; the aim is to support you to start your professional practice. Details will be published soon.
A day for reiki practitioners to meet to share reiki and be nurtured. All levels are welcome. We will start with gentle yoga practice in the beautiful loft at Yanley Court. This will lead to a futon-based reiki share. The day will include conversation relating to healing experiences and the space for sharing ideas and peer supervision. Our time will end with a distant healing circle and meditation.
I want the day to feel spacious and restorative. I was introduced to working with reiki on the futon by a friend and fellow reiki practitioner. I feel a deeper connection to the person receiving and to everyone giving. If you are concerned about knees, hips, backs, please don’t be. There are ways to work to ensure you are comfortable and part of the shared healing process.
When: Monday 23 April, 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Yanley Court
Cost: £55.00 per person (early bird price £45.00, booked by 1 March); payment due at time of booking
Everyone to bring lunch; tea/coffee and biscuits will be provided
Six spaces available
Email me to reserve your space and to arrange payment:
We are continuing aligning our yoga practice to the seasons. In winter we can focus on the BK – bahya kumbaka: the empty pot. This is the still space that follows our exhale, before we inhale. Last term we used the exhale to bring us into the lower abdomen and then paused to take our awareness into the root of the body, muladhara (mula = root; dhara – support). This term, the attention is on the BK.
Muladhara and winter are associated with the element of Earth, illustrated beautifully by
Image by Erika Pochybova-John
this image. This time of year allows us to bring our inner wisdom out of the dark unconscious where it has been rooting in the earth and preparing a foundation for the year ahead to grow and develop in the light.
If you tune into the season, the Earth is beginning to pick up energy and prepare for spring. We are not separate to this process, we are part of the system.
As before we can work with cakras physically and/or symbolically. You can choose which approach works for you. Muladhara’s superficial location on the body is in the perineum, the space between the vagina/testes and anus. Within the body it is found in the nerve plexus of the coccyx. It is said that if muladhara is balanced, we will be able to find our path in life and stand on our own two feet; we will have the ability to put down roots and nourish ourselves physically and spiritually. Wonderful sentiments for the start of a new year.
The yantra for muladhara is painted with shades of red and includes the stability of the square, a four petalled lotus and the solidity of a black elephant. Muladhara is the starting point of the three nadis: susumna, pingala and ida. In some traditions, the base of the nadis holds primal female energy symbolised as a coiled snake. Through yoga, this energy rises up the nadis to meet with the male energy from above. (Kundalini yoga works strongly with these ideas if it is something you want to explore further.)
Working with the BK (and so muladhara) in asana, pranayama and meditation, our ability to be firmly rooted, stable and steady in the mind and body is increased. The BK prepares the body for the inhale of spring; it gives a springboard for the inhale to create space and lengthen.
Working in this way can have a deeply meditative effect and you can choose to embrace it or fight it. It’s a space to be rather than do. Here is an opportunity to explore the moment and embrace where you sit in life and the universe.
Four wonderful bodies braved the heavy frost and arrived for yoga at 7.30 today! The mornings are beautiful at this time of year. The quality of the air and stillness is full of expectation for sunrise; the moon and her friends stay as long as the sun will allow. Annie has sent me a wonderful piece of writing to share her experience of the morning:
So it was alarm in the dark, and scraping frosted windscreen then mad dash to get to the 7.30 yoga early morning session. My first at this hour at Yanley Court. In candle lit semi darkness, we were a smal intimate group of 4 others. It was wonderful. The quiet and stillness. Witnessing the day awakening: at one point watching the gleam of sunshine on a way overhead aeroplane. And then such the gradual waking up of my body with a flowing sequence of poses. One of the highlights was in a floor based twist turning my head and seeing the frosted branches of the bushes outside with birds both still sleeping and also starting to flit around. I would highly recommend this way of starting your Friday whether that be before work or the start of your weekend
What a great way to start the day – come and join us next week!
Just a quick note to remind you that Early Bird Yoga is on Friday morning 730-830 at Yanley Court. Bodies are always a bit more reluctant to move first thing but that can be accommodated. It’s a great way to start the day: Early Bird Yoga
And another reminder that there is a reiki share on Monday evening 1900-2100. Please let me know by Sunday evening if you are joining us so I can confirm numbers: reiki shares
This holiday has been restorative which is astounding. I usually start January recovering from the end of December.
Did you try the gratitude mandala? I have created mine using the directions (North, East, South and West) to focus on different aspects of life. For example, North relates to winter, material wealth, sensuality, muladhara/the root cakra, the Earth and pausing in the stillness found between the exhale and the inhale (the BK: bahya kumbaka). Doing this reminded me of a post from April 2016 where I had a moment of clarity about needing to create space in my life. This has continued and having a proper mid-winter break I am returning to practice with a few changes.
I am offering a new structure to my appointments to reclaim some evening time. I appreciate this will benefit some and apologise to those of you for whom it makes appointments difficult. I hope that having Monday evenings, Tuesday and Thursday mornings available, most people will be accommodated. If you already have an appointment booked I will of course honour it. If you would like to change your time with the different availability offered, please let me know:
Mondays: 1330 – 2000 (Reiki shares remain at 1230-1430 and 1900-2100)
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays: 1000 – 1700
Wednesdays: 1130 – 1400 & 1630 – 1730
(Yoga remains unchanged on Wednesday and Friday)
I am in a position where it is necessary to increase my therapy prices (the last increase was February 2014). This will take effect from 1 February 2018:
Massage, reflexology and reiki:
One Hour: £47.00
90 minutes: £57.00
Concession rates are available on an individual basis
Individual yoga lessons (including for class students) remain the same. Combined appointments of bodywork/yoga will increase by £2.00
Yoga classes remain the same
If anything is unclear please let me know. Thank you for your continued presence and support. I look forward to walking beside you through the year
Thank you for your presence this year. I am on holiday until Wednesday 3 January. The yoga term also restarts on the Wednesday, with the new early birds yoga on the Friday (0730-0830). I will be checking in with emails in case you need information for the 3rd, otherwise I will respond to questions later that week.
The online booking system is available for appointments, reiki shares, morning retreats … Any issues let me know. Sometimes Apple software rejects the system. Well, that’s the only link I can see when it doesn’t work out.
With blessings for the holidays, whatever your celebrations may be.
This term we have continued working with the lower centres of the body to connect to the time of year and breath. We have gradually moved from autumn to winter, from sacral/svadhisthana to root/muladhara, from the exhale to the pause that follows (BK: bahya kumbahka – empty pot).
The exhale brings our awareness to the lower abdomen and svadhisthana (the sacral cakra). Like autumn, the exhale symbolises letting go, releasing fruit and withdrawing. It can undo habits that no longer serve us. The first step is to become aware of those habits. In doing so, we might realise what will sustain us through the winter months so we can put the support in place that we may be nourished and replenished; and we also realise the opposite – what are we holding onto that holds us in a place of lack?
Following the exhale is a pause, the ‘BK’, bringing us deeper into our bodies, into our root support muladhara (located in the perineum). Muladhara symbolises our foundation and is linked to the element of earth; when balanced we feel contented and happy, there is emotional stability. We are grounded but free. The BK is a moment of stillness echoing the stillness and regeneration of winter. When we try to connect to muladhara in asana, we can be taken into the still point at the centre of our body.
The asana (postures) we have played with have encouraged our awareness of these centres; in pranayama (seated breathing) we continued with anuloma ujjayi. With the development of the term, classes have become quieter and grounded. Thank you for being with me on this journey.
The January term will focus more on the stillness of muladhara and preparing for the beginning of Spring towards the end of February. Please confirm if you are joining the class in January.