Next term “Balance in your life” will be the central theme; working with the Eagle pose – Garudasana – and the 8 Fold Path of Yoga. Our yoga will continue to strengthen the foundations of practice, something that is ideal for both existing and new students. Please contact me if you would like to join us.
The next term will run for 6 weeks from November 2nd to December 11th and you can practice yoga with me at Exton Village Hall and online. Once you have emailed me with your booking I will confirm your place and send payment details shortly before the term begins. All payment is online now.
The options are as follows –
ONLINE ONLY – £42 ONLINEPLUS (1 CLASS 7/11/20) – £51 IN-PERSON – MONDAYS 10.30 – £54 IN-PERSON – WEDNESDAYS 6.30 – £54 IN-PERSON AND ONLINE – £75
As part of the Covid19 safety precautions I’ve been conducting the Pranayama (breathing) and chanting practice on my YouTube channel. Students can go through the whole course at their leisure. It’s open to everyone free of charge – so subscribe and join in if you’d like to. CLICK HERE for the latest session
Eagle Pose looks like your stereotypical idea of a crazy, twisted-up-like-a-pretzel yoga pose, but it’s actually not as difficult as it looks. It is a balance challenge, but since the limbs are drawn into the body and the bent knees, the centre of gravity is low. This makes Eagle Pose less precarious that most poses where you’re standing on one leg. It also works the difficult to access glutes and inner thighs. In addition, the pose is a great shoulder stretch.
The standing Eagle Pose strengthens your calves, ankles, thighs, and hips as you build your balance and core strength. It helps you develop better concentration. Some people find it beneficial for a low backache or sciatica.
Eagle Pose is truly an antidote for the shoulder strain you feel when you have been sitting at a computer for long hours. You can do eagle arms a few times a day while seated as part of a desk yoga routine to unkink your shoulders or immediately after your yoga warm up.
Some people like to learn by reading instructions – so here are the steps we take to get into Eagle Pose. Of course I will talk you through it in class and demonstrate as required as well…
Cross your right thigh over your left thigh as high up the thigh as possible.
Hook your right foot around your left calf or place the right big toe on the floor for balance.
Bring both arms out to the sides at shoulder height.
Give yourself a hug. (Whichever leg is on top, the opposite arm should be on top.) Then pivot the forearms at the elbow try to hook your hands together.
Lift the elbows to the height of your shoulders while keeping the shoulders sliding down away from your ears.
Keep your spine at right angles to the floor and the crown of the head rising.
Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
Repeat on the other side.
Although Garudasana is translated to “eagle pose” in English, Garuda is actually the name for a divine creature. In South Asia, a Garuda is a huge, mythical bird with the golden body of a man, a white face, red wings, and an eagle’s beak. He is the king of the bird community, the enemy of snakes, and the friend of humans. Garuda is the vehicle of Lord Vishnu, the aspect of divinity which sustains the universe and takes birth as a man.
When you obtain balance in this pose consider –
What qualities do I need to maintain this pose?
What is my breathing like?
How do my muscles and joints feel?
If you are interested in learning more about the history of the mythical bird ‘Garuda’ take a look at this website
The Covid19 safety precautions are working very smoothly in our Yoga Classes at Exton Village Hall. There’s a 1 way system in place with sanitizer gel at entry and exit. Masks are worn until each student is in their own space. As you can see from the photo everyone has their own square which is 2m x 2.5m marked on the floor. Students are always at least 2m from any other person. And, although the windows are kept open for ventilation at all times, the hall is warm as the central heating is on a timer to come on before the class begins.
A huge thank you to all those who have worked so hard to make Exton a safe place to work and visit. Hands free lighting and sanitizer are just some of the ways they have made it safe.
“It’s great to be able to come out to class,” says Louise, “The online classes were fantastic but so often the mind got distracted. As we get further into winter with less and less opportunity for getting out of our homes, it’s brilliant that Deb has put on these classes.”
There are 2 classes available, Monday morning 10.30 – 12.00 for Gentle Yoga and Wednesday evening 6.30 – 8.00 for Yoga for Vitality. Please get in touch with me by email if you are interested.
There are a few changes to how we practice – under normal circumstances it’s best to leave all our excess shoes, bags etc. in a separate area, but we are keeping these with us to ensure the 1 way flow of traffic. There is no chanting, but I have recordings of OM and other mantra for us to listen to. The breathing exercises are done online via my YouTube channel. It’s working very successfully and well done to all the students for adapting so quickly.
This beautiful poem is taken from ‘A year with Rumi’.
If we are not together in the heart,
What’s the point?
When body and soul are not dancing,
there is no pleasure in colourful clothing.
Why have cooking pans
if there is no food in the house?
In this world full of fresh bread,
amber, and musk, what are they
to someone with no sense of smell?
If you stay away from fire,
you will remain sour,
doughy, raw and numb.
You may have lovely just-baked loaves
around you, but those friends cannot help..
You have to feel the oven fire yourself.
“The poetry feels like it belongs to all. When Rumi died in 1273, members of all religions came to the funeral. Wherever you stand, his words deepen your connection to the mystery of being alive.” Excerpt from the introduction by Coleman Barks.
How do you feel about Autumn? ‘Nights drawing in?’ ‘The end of Summer?’ Rather than think of the negatives associated with autumn, concentrate on the fantastic changes that our new season brings. Think of ways to LOVE AUTUMN The wonderful colours of the leaves; the opportunity to say hello once more to our wooly jumpers and hats; curling up by a warm radiator with a good book.
Taking long walks through the autumnal countryside is another way to celebrate the season. Why not collect some conkers and pinecones and let your creativity loose? Conkers are especially good for keeping spiders out of your house at this time of year. I made these pretty ornaments by using hot melt glue onto some bought wicker heart shapes. Bowls or vases filled with conkers look fabulous too. They are a great way to take advantage of this time of year and lift the spirits.
Autumn has inspired many poets to put pen to paper. One of my favourites is by John Clare (born locally in Helpston – you can/could visit his house – very interesting) – here’s the first verse of the aptly titled ‘Autumn’.
I love the fitfull gusts that shakes
The casement all the day
And from the mossy elm tree takes
The faded leaf away
Twirling it by the window-pane
With thousand others down the lane
You can read the rest of this poem and several others all about the season here
You can find a wonderful meditation of my own on Autumn Leaves in this post here not exactly poetry but lovely non the less!
Gather yourself an array of summer fruits and make a delicious compote… I used plums, gooseberries and black currants. Buy what’s in season from the supermarket or pick fruit from your own garden. Simmer with a little water for about 5 minutes then add honey or sugar to taste. Leave to ‘stew’ (not on the heat) overnight and then bottle and keep in the fridge.
You can use your compote in many ways – spoon over Greek yogurt, onto your breakfast muesli or over vanilla ice-cream. Drain off the solids off and use in a crumble or fruit pie saving the liquid to make a drink with sparkling water or prosecco! I made ‘crumble picnic bars’ using a simple crumble recipe and pressing it into the base of a small square tin, then adding a layer of the solid fruit and finally topping with a sprinkling more of the crumble. Mmm delicious – I’m hoping to make another batch and keep them in the freezer for when summer seems like a distant memory.
We are very lucky in this area to be close enough for a day trip to the coast. Norfolk is just 1 and a half hours away and since the lockdown has been eased I have been trying to get away once a week for a change of scenery.
I like to take this handy little guide which offers a wide variety of walks roughly taking 1 to 3 hours and of course in todays situation, a picnic lunch.
Though I have done several walks around and about the towns and villages, I often just walk down to the beach and keep on strollin’. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that. The sea air and wide, expansive skies never fail to invigorate.
Here is a lovely poem about the seashore that always takes me over to Norfolk.
White foam drifting, turquoise waves swaying gently to the shore. Looking out to open endlessness. Feeling insignificant and vulnerable, yet relaxed as the sand between your toes massages away every pain. Carelessness fills up your rosy body as heat heals your bones. Dancing overcomes you as you spin alone on the crest where sea and land embrace. Your mind is finally blank in thought and peace settles throughout the delicate shades of the bright blue horizon which is reflected by the sun deep down into your soul.
Treat your body and mind to a fun yoga course that takes off on holiday to a far flung destination. Yoga for summer 2020 is all about THE GREAT ESCAPE. Picture sandy coves, turquoise seas, cloudless blue skies, and wall to wall sunshine. In each weekly class, we will focus on things you may do on holiday – trek in the jungle, take a boat trip or stroll on a sandy sea shore. We’ll explore a wide variety of posture variations including Horse pose, Half Moon, and Pigeon. Of course we’ll round off with a wonderful relaxation exercise transporting the mind and soul to rejuvenate and invigorate. The 6 week summer special runs from Monday 27th July to Friday 4th September. The cost is £40 for the course and can be watched at home (or anywhere with wifi) at a time to suit. Alternately, see the live feeds at fixed times throughout the week. Suitable for all levels of fitness and yoga experience – why not ask your friends to come on holiday with you?
On Saturday it was the longest day. The Summer Solstice. The word solstice comes from Latin meaning SUN (sol) and BE STILL (stitium). It’s as if the sun has stopped in the sky and our daylight just goes on and on! The sun is our own radiant star and this ‘cosmic pause’ should be worthy of some kind of celebration don’t you think?
For starters its’ always good to think about nature, be in nature and let nature ‘hold’ us. As we have learned over the last few months, it really doesn’t take long for the natural world to re-inhabit once we remove the toxins of car exhaust fumes, so great is its power. Our living Earth is a wonder and miracle and this is a great moment to pause and reflect on it.
The Stillness of a Star: Observing a Cosmic Pause
This stilling of the sun heralds in the summer. It’s as if the sun stops for a moment to prepare for shining her brightest over the new summer season. Encouraging the plants to grow, flowers to blossom, fruits to ripen and animals to come out and play!
Though we don’t always notice the Summer Solstice, we certainly notice summertime. Lazy sunny days with cooling drinks in the garden. Hopefully soon, enjoying some company in the beer gardens around the countryside. Rambling, trips to the beach, riverside picnics and reading a book on a blanket in the park. Summertime is something special.
Perhaps it’s because there is literally more time- more daylight hours – that makes life seem more leisurely. More time to go out and do different things. Which means more time to get jobs done. And lots more light to be able to see things clearly…
Why not take a moment to enjoy the sun? A very simple meditation is to focus on your breath and, as you breathe in imagine breathing in all the illumination of the sunshine and as you breathe out imagine breathing out a radiance of love and kindness to everything all around you.
***Breathing in – sunshine and brightness***
***Breathing out – a radiant shower of kindness***
Hydrate inside and out!
As the temperatures rise allow yourself more time to go about your daily live – rushing and heat don’t work. Avoid imbalances of energy as we make the shift to summer by accepting that we are in a transition period for a week or two and ‘take it easy’.
Stay hydrated by drinking about 2 litres of water per day. Take showers and bathe to keep the skin clear and healthy. The skin takes on more work in hot temperatures by regulating our heat. Try to ensure that it remains well aired and well hydrated.