If ever there was a time to slow down your yoga and take your speed of life down a notch or two the summer is it. With the warm weather (fingers crossed!) and long summer days, slowing down and simply drinking it all in can feel just great.
Yoga, before it was transformed in its journey to the West was a breath-centered practice for the wellbeing of the whole person. Something that would provide a vehicle for slowing down and learning to truly take care of ourselves. Something to counter the difficulties encountered in life. But yoga changed when it came to the West. New styles and brands developed which met the desires and expectations of a western audience. In recent years powerful yoga styles have gained widespread popularity such as Bikram yoga, hot yoga and power yoga (which are often prominently branded and franchised). Such practices can be physically draining and focus on outer physical achievements, often excluding those who do not have a stereo typical ‘yoga body’. Such approaches are also often at the expense of the mind-body connection, andsense of really feeling yoga that a slow approach can bring.
But the older traditions have also continued, and with Yoga For Modern Life I hope to achieve a modern take on the ‘old-school’ yoga. A yoga that is nurturing, accessible to all regardless of body shape or fitness level, and that is warm, open and inclusive. An approach that is slower yet still powerful, and that looks more at finding a stillness in body and mind. In short a down to earth and modern approach to the ancient practice of yoga.
This is the approach I take in all of my yoga classes. I’ll also be launching very soon a new yoga workshop called ‘Slow Sundays’ which really epitomises this type of slow yoga (as the name suggests!). By taking this approach a step further in a longer yoga session (2 hours) we will be using yoga to really take some time to hit the pause button, to relax and unwind both body and mind. A time to slow down and have some me-time in an always on world.
The workshop will start with slow flowing movement and simple yet effective breathing techniques to restore balance and calm. Moving onto longer held yin yoga stretches to go deeper into the bodys connective tissues and promote flexibility. We'll then move into some wonderfully relaxing restorative postures to replenish body and mind, and end with a beautiful long guided relaxation called a yoga nidra (an ancient yogic deep relaxation technique). Accompanied by a chilled soundscape, candlelight and subtle aromatherapy scents to add to the feeling of tranquility and restfulness in a beautiful yoga space. These will be regular workshops (every couple of months) and great to add to your existing yoga practice or for those people who can’t make a class every week but still need some space to relax and nourish themselves, and learn to slow down.
Watch out for the Slow Sundays event launch over the next few days on Facebook.