For 2014 I am following the sun. Simply explained, on the wheel of the year the passage of the year is marked by a series of solar and lunar festivals. The Spring equinox is a solar festival that falls around the 22 March and is a time when the balance of light and dark is briefly equal. I am interested in how the seasons and solar festivals affect the body and mind. For the spring equinox I will be reflecting on how the year has progressed since the 2013 winter solstice passed, how my intentions for the year are manifesting themselves and hoping see what comes next as the year builds in energy towards the summer solstice. Join me on Saturday 22 March at the Bristol Zen Dojo for some postures, breathing and meditation designed to do just that.
I first came across the idea of ‘Moving into the New Year’ when I went to a day with one of my Inner Yoga Trust teachers many, many years ago. It was a cold grey day on the first weekend of January and at that point I thought it a strange idea to start Yoga so early on on the year with the excesses of the festive season still very much in my body and mind.
It turned out to be such great idea. We moved, we breathed, we reflected on things past present and future and we meditated. I felt refreshed and revitalised and also had thought about my intentions for the year, some of which bore fruit. Intentions are not the same as resolutions, they are much more forgiving and there is no sense of failure if you do not ‘achieve’ them. You are simply sowing a seed for the year to come and possibly beyond if it is not the right time for that intention to ‘germinate’ in you. Now that I teach Yoga, I like to run a new year workshop each year and I hope that others will enjoy the space and energy it provides. See the schedule page for dates if you are interested in this workshop.
The summer solstice 2013 passed on 21 June. A group of Yoga students from Bristol braved the M5 and the inclement weather for a Yoga and social weekend in Braunton, North Devon. Sophy Holker, a regular in one of my classes, moved there from Bristol a couple of years ago to run a B&B and bring up her young family. Some of the people on the trip knew Sophie from the class. We found her in the sun in her lovely garden at Silver Cottage on Friday afternoon. That was really the last we saw of the sun but we still managed to have a great time.
Some of stayed at Sophie’s B&B and at another nearby B&B. A couple of hardy souls camped at a nearby site, and we all met for Yoga sessions on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
The Yoga sessions looked in detail at feet, ankles, knees and hips and how these function and connect to the spine in asana and life.
On Saturday afternoon we all went walking, choosing between different lengths of walk and scenery types – inland, coastal with cliffs or coastal with dunes. Everyone talked later about the new awareness the Yoga sessions had brought to their walking.
On Sunday after the Yoga and lunch in a local cafe we went to Ilfracombe to see the controversial Damian Hirst sculpture,Verity. I thought she was amazing! Sophie wants us to visit again next year and I am planning to do that and to have the Yoga sessions open to my students and anyone interested in my teaching. Get in touch if you like the sound of it. I will put the date on my schedule page when I have it.