I really can’t believe how fast this year is progressing and I feel like I need to slow down and smell the roses (or the coffee) a little bit more. I joined a new yoga class at the start of February, as the class I attended last year and loved – BRYSC Studio with Donni, has sadly closed down. So many little businesses can’t hold their own at the moment with the recession that has hit us post Brexit and Covid-19. It’s so sad and a real reminder to support our local businesses, as they are the heart of a neighbourhood and without them we will just be little towns or cities that all look the same due to the big boys dominating – Tesco’s, MacDonalds, Starbucks etc, all without an ounce of originality or local roots.
Anyway, BRYSC was a fabulous little studio in the heart of Todmorden offering hot yoga at a fast pace – Rocket Yoga, and I absolutely loved it. It’s funny because I mainly teach Hatha Yoga which places emphasis on attaining the correct alignment and is practiced at a relaxed pace with an emphasis on slow, deep breathing in every pose. Whilst I love both teaching and practicing Hatha Yoga, it is really nice to shake things up a little and take a class that is entirely different to my own practice and teaching style. So, I felt quite lost and very sad for Donni when his studio folded last year.
Fast forward to the start of February, however, and I read about Donna Southwell’s Ashtanga Yoga classes in Todmorden, so I dropped Donna an email and joined up. I go twice a week, although I will probably make it three times next month, as I am really enjoying the classes and Donna’s supportive teaching style. Donna is one of the original yoga teacher’s in Todmorden and her expertise and knowledge of Ashtanga Yoga shines through. I have tried Ashtanga Yoga previously, but moved house about six months after starting it, and had not continued. I like the discipline Ashtanga encourages, although I would find it too repetitive to practice solely Ashtanga as it consists of certain sequences in a series. Also, my first love is, and always will be, Hatha Yoga, followed closely by Yin Yoga and Vinyassa Flow, (all of which I’m qualified to teach, along with Restorative/Recuperative Yoga and Chair Yoga).
What struck me tonight in Donna’s class was just how individual we all are physically, with some body parts that work amazingly well and other parts that aren’t quite as flexible, or as strong, as we would like. I have a flexible spine and can easily do forward and backward bends and twists – binding my arms in quite advanced poses. My ego gets a little stroke whenever it’s time to do the twists in class, but this is very short-lived when the balances start! Having broken my legs three times in a similar spot, (once in a very bad car accident and twice horse riding – well, horse falling off!). I have since had operations on my knees. This has had the overall result of weak, painful knees that swell up and make strange creaking and cracking noises during class!
Due to my weak knees, I’m a joke at balances most of the time, wobbling all over the show like a drunkard on a Saturday night. Just now and again, for no known reason, I can balance beautifully and when it happens it’s like the heavens have blessed me from afar and the angels are singing. The next time I’m on the mat though, the wobble returns and my ego is dashed once again. I think it’s yoga’s way of reminding me that it’s not about the perfect asana, it’s about the practice, and it is certainly not about my inflated ego, which does raise it’s arrogant little head every now and again!
Anyway, my yoga life definitely has two separate parts – one where I’m a confident and able yoga teacher, and the other where I’m most definitely an eternal yoga student, with so very much to learn!
In case you’re wondering, the picture at the top of the page is of today’s swim – I’m on the right. I’ve been continuing the cold water dipping and swimming throughout winter. Three of us went swimming today and when we were in the water, a passer-by asked could he take our photograph as he had never seen anyone crazy enough to swim in freezing waters in February wearing nothing but swimsuits and hats. He didn’t actually say the word ‘crazy’ , but it was fairly obvious what he was thinking – well, it was either that or he thought we were witches, ha!
All good things,