Category Archives: newsletters/Information

This term: What is yoga?

Wednesday evening yoga returns tonight (8 January)

During my last yoga study group, another teacher asked: ‘When did yoga become about relaxation?’ I can’t stop thinking about this question. I suspect the need to disengage with the busyness of life has redefined the perception of what yoga is. The trouble with the word ‘relaxation’ is that it can be viewed as disengaging. Emptying the mind. Allowing the body to switch off.

Our focus for this term is: Yoga is engagement. It is an active (but gentle) process to find presence of mind and to be in the world, not separate from it. It is to be aware. To know what is going on internally so that we understand our reactions to the external and sit with those reactions so we can find our response. In a world of immediacy this is really really important.

I have (finally) started reading a new book published by my teachers’ Ranju Roy and Dave Charlton: Embodying the Yoga Sutra: Support Direction Space. The book focuses on 17 key sutras. The first chapter begins at the start of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. It brings the focus back to what yoga is. It’s tempting to write out the whole chapter … however these are some of the reflections to support our practice this term:

  • Yoga is a word used at different times and in different contexts to refer to quite different things. Different definitions are not necessarily contradictory
  • The root yuj = to join together, link. Yoga links two principles to allow a useful outcome
  • Yoga is not union. We yoke two things together but they remain two separate things
  • Yoga as a practice is a transformative process. In yoga we place ourselves in relationship to something in order to produce a positive effect. No relationship no yoga. No transformation no yoga
  • We have become focused on the external which can be overwhelming. With lack of space we ignore what is going on internally. Yoga practice cultivates are sensitivity to our inner landscape and processes. Yoga can change our sense of being and our quality of seeing
  • Stillness is part of the practice
  • The route to quietening the mind for meditation is to focus it not suppress it [yc: or try to empty it]
  • Cultivating stillness requires a light touch

Link to book

I was then sent a link to a YouTube video of TKV Desikachar in 1996, talking about his book the Heart of Yoga. Desikachar was the son of Krishnamacharya. If you have a half hour to sit and watch I really encourage you to do so. The conversations are done in a question and answer format. Some ideas support our theme for the term:

  • Yoga allows us to manage life. To feel better. If we have symptoms that take us away from ease then yoga practice changes these symptoms because we feel better
  • The tools of yoga are asana (physical exercises), pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation (enquiry)
  • It is the linking of one thing to another to bring about something profound
  • Where does yoga lead? To freedom
  • The goal of yoga is a different idea but again it leads to freedom. We can be independent
  • There is only one yoga. Over the world, yoga looks different because of local requirements and the preference of teachers but bring them together and they are all the same. Different yogas are just practices with a different emphasis

Link to YouTube Video

Term information

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2020! I hope you’ve had fun and some time to rest during your festivities. I am very grateful for a few days to myself before I return to Yanley Court on Monday morning.

Chris Scott

Inbetween the festivities of Christmas and New Year, I had the honour of being Acting Celebrant. My friend Chris was diagnosed with cancer over two years ago and last April he called me to ask if I would hold his ceremony. I was blown away and deeply honoured. Last Monday was a challenging, uplifting, emotional and exhausting experience. Thank you to everyone who supported me – it enabled me to be present, enjoy and hold the space for others. His wife Nixie, is one of my dearest friends and thankfully an amazing Celebrant. Together we created a funeral, memorial and concert all in one! Though I have to say, she did most of the organising – thank you Nix!

So, to next week – the diary is quite full but things change for people so if you can’t find what you want, let me know as a space might come up.

Yanley Court

I am beginning to turn my attention to planning yoga classes. I would like to start the year discussing what yoga is and how yoga influences us individually. Classes return next Wednesday evening at 6.00 pm and 7.30 pm, for a six week term: wednesday-yoga

The next restorative yoga class for people living with fatigue is Wednesday, 5 February at 2.30 pm: restorative-yoga-class-living-with-fatigue

(c) Reiki Evolution

The first reiki share of the year is on Monday, 13 January at 7.00 pm. Let me know if you would like to book in. I am focusing on my own development for the first half of this year. From September I want to offer ongoing reiki courses and peer supervision. If you are waiting for course dates, please come along to the reiki shares to begin your reiki journey: reiki-shares

I am planning to write more about yoga practice, massage theories and studies as the year rolls on. Any feedback or comments are welcome. I will try not to swamp you and if it’s all too much, let me know!

Blessings for the year ahead, Yvonne x

Reminders …

Good morning!

Next Monday, 9 December, there is an evening Reiki Share, 1900-2115 (£10 per person), let me know if you are coming

And there are a couple of additional yoga classes. I am aware the dates are close to Christmas but I’m hoping there will be enough people available to run the classes. Again, please let me know if you are planning to come:

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