I can't quite believe that it's October - can you? It's been a while since I've written a blog.
Nearly everyone I talk to seems fatigued, fighting off or recovering from colds and flus or covid.
According to Alan Watts in this article, "wu-wei, is always to act in accordance with the pattern of things as they exist. Don’t impose on any situation a kind of interference that is not really in accordance with the situation."
In many ways, I totally go for this principle because we can spend a lot of time fighting against things that are resisting against us too much. But it's not a case of not taking any action at all. It's about going with the dance as opposed to sitting it out and trying to work out all the steps and where they'll land first. Do a little bit of observing, see what nature the dance has and then get stuck in there and start to move with it.
I feel like lots of us are in the audience right now, wanting to dance, but not sure how to get started, or feeling too tired or lacking in motivation.
What I've realised myself is that I need to consistently do things that get me moving. I'd felt tired and decided to rest. But then I rested too much and I missed out on my daily exercise routine, and I got less and less motivated. When I get up early and workout, I am in a better mood and I have more focus and energy. I need very Yang type activities to get me going, and then I'll take short naps and meditations in between all the activity. But the truth is, I'm happier and feel more purpose in life when I'm moving and doing all the time. I don't always feel like it, but I move through life better when I do.
I've spoken to so many people who have let their physical activities go at the moment and to so many people who are feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, low mood or despondency. If this is you, have you tried doing something active that you enjoy? If not, give it a try, even if you think you don't feel like it. Then rest afterwards.
On Friday I went to a conference and had a really busy week, and I thought, maybe I should just have a quiet night. Instead, I booked in the morning for a Free Flow yoga class at Kali Collective in Glasgow. Steph was DJing for the first time and it was a class where you were not given instructions - you just moved. It was so refreshing and even though I was a bit tired, my body still wanted to move and I felt so good after it. I felt like resting, but what was of more benefit to me was a completely new, fun experience.
Maybe, you've been doing the opposite, and you've been trying to do everything and see everyone because you missed socialising with friends and family. Maybe you need to schedule in some time for deep relaxation. Make it really good quality, conscious relaxation and you'll only need to do it for a short period of time - but schedule it in.
We put these things way down our priority lists sometimes, but these things - exercise, meditation, relaxation - they affect how we show up in every other aspect of our lives. They should be priority number one. Then you can show up with energy and wholeheartedly participate in your life.
And it's not about ticking off the righteous list either. Telling yourself you're only a good person if you meditate, do yoga and eat clean all the time. I spoke to a good friend recently who talked about this - the feeling of doing things to tick them off because you should. She really drilled home to me that it's a good to ask yourself why you're doing what you're doing and who it's for. Only you will have the answer to that. Another friend was driving herself nuts by immersing every spare thought in yoga philosophy when she felt much better when she went a walk, did some gardening and watched a film.
My favourite feeling in the world is after my Taiko drumming and at the end we say:
It means “thanks for your fatigue/effort” or I am most honourably tired and is said as a group at the end of a practice. We're saying it to each other but also to ourselves, expressing a feeling of satisfaction after having worked really hard.
Vinyasa Flow classes
Last month in Vinyasa Flow we were working on Strength and Mobility. We used inspiration from Jenni Rawlings and Steph Wall Yoga to incorporate props and movements designed to strengthen various part of the body including glutes, back, abs and shoulders. I've now uploaded three new Vinyasa Flow videos on the on-demand library from the Strength and Mobility series.
This month, we are working on flow and we'll be doing lots of different transitions, moving around the mat and forgetting all about whether we get right or left wrong, how many we do and just going with it! We'll practice some of the flows we'll do in my Vinyasa Flow workshop at the end of the month, you can read more about it here - vhairislavenyoga.com/workshops Only 3 places left. Subscribers get a discount.
After completing my Yin Training with the Kali Collective, I have really enjoyed teaching Yin Yoga this month. We started a new online class on Monday nights at 7.45pm - 9pm and we started an in-person class at Bene-FIT Gym Ayr on Tuesday nights from 7pm to 8.15pm. We have access to a private room there with heating, adjustable lighting and our own music system, so it's a great space for Yin.
I've started the Yin playlist on On-Demand as well and plan to add to that over the next couple of months.
Restorative Yoga on a Sunday night was one of my most popular online classes last year. Where have you all gone? Out drinking gin? Well, restorative is still on Sundays at 7pm - 8.30pm. It's a blissful way to end your week and to start your week feeling totally rested.
Yogable classes have started up again in person:
Wednesday afternoons at 4pm - 5.15pm at Belleisle Conservatory
Friday afternoons at 12.15pm - 1.30pm at Meadowgreen Centre in Troon
The classes are adapted to suit whoever is there. We incorporate a good degree of challenge, but in a way that everyone is able to participate in. The classes are for all bodies with any level of mobility. We do breathing, yoga using the chair and props, meditation and relaxation.
The regular price per class is £7 but you can use coupon CON for the concessionary price of £5 or, if anyone can't pay, then that is not a problem – just use coupon FREE.
You can book at www.yogable.org
Please pass these details on to anyone you think might benefit.
I've managed to arrange my first in-person workshops in maybe two years lol! They'll both be at Symington Village Hall.
Foundations of Yoga Workshops
I'll be doing a Foundations Workshop on Sunday 17 October at 2pm to 5pm where we'll go over the foundations of yoga practice. This will be great for those new to yoga and also for people who've been away from it for a while, or who've been practising on Zoom for the past couple of years. Plenty of spaces left for this at the moment, so if you know anyone that's been thinking about taking up yoga, or if you've been away for a while and would like to get back to it, have a look.
Vinyasa Flow Workshop
We'll work on a sequence that will encourage you to move with rhythm, mindfulness and fluidity. Practised to music and in a repetitive way, we'll begin to explore the idea of ‘Wu Wei’ to help us tap into the feeling of effortless surrender to the ebb and flow of life. This workshop would be enjoyed best by people who already have a regular yoga practice and are comfortable with sun salutations and continuous movement.
I'm adding videos to On-Demand all the time. Last month, there were 4 new classes added including Gentle yoga for the spine, Strength and mobility for backward bends, Strength and mobility for glutes, Yin for arm lines, and Yin for tight hips.
I'll continue to add to the videos every month.
If there are any classes or themes that you'd like more of, let me know. Are you managing to fit in the hour long classes, or would you like more 20 minute ones?
If you have any other helpful feedback about On-Demand, I would be pleased to receive it.