We’re not really sure where November has gone, and when this time of year comes around it does make you feel like you were only just putting the tree away (if Xmas is your thing). It’s still getting colder and darker but it’s been really nice to see you still coming out to class, even if it’s not easy at times.
It has to be said what a nice feeling the classes are having of late, and we’ve been really lucky to have such supportive and kind people in our new classes, it’s also been really good to see our Cedars Park and Goffs Oak classes so busy. We’re in the process of arranging a new class for next year at Cedars Park too, and we’ll have details shortly. It’s a lovely place to practice yoga.
We also had our second Extended Yoga Class last week, and again, it had such a nice feeling about it. It really is something different to our regular classes - I didn’t want it to end.
If you’re wondering what my new bells are at the end of class, then they’re called Tingsha Bells. They’re used to bring your attention to the present moment and focus your awareness - they are often used at the beginning and end of yoga or meditation classes. Originally they were used in Tibet, and later bought into Buddhist meditation practices.
The bells have engravings of the Eight Auspicious Symbols around the outside and are very similar to the Yamas and the Niyamas of Patanjali’s yoga sutras, the last of which, Ishvara Pranidhana, we’ll be learning a little bit about next month…
November Theme of the Month Recap
The month of November got us thinking about Svadhyaha – Self Study and has the potential to deepen your yoga practice beyond the mat. We encourage our attention to turn inwards and allow ourselves to observe our actions, reactions, emotions and habits.
With your breath you can start drawing your awareness to the feeling of the inhales and exhales, the pace of breath and the quality to allow the awareness into the sensations and to find mindlfulness and presence in the here and now.
Notice how you react to situations on and off the mat without labelling and judging and that awareness will help you to grow. Find time everyday to simply notice how you are feeling as this will offer you opportunities to change behaviours or continue with those that are already positively serving you. You always have a choice to choose a different response.
Allow yourself to read inspirational passages or explore the teachings of the sacred texts to understand human nature and bring more awareness into the meaning of life.
Svadhyaya can be any activity that cultivates self – reflective consciousness.
December Theme of the Month
Ishvara Pranidhana (which literally translates to “True Self fixing”), is the last of the Yamas and the Niyamas and our last theme of the year. In truth this last Niyama talks of surrendering to a supreme being or something that is more than just ourselves, a higher conciousness or creator..? So it’s a tricky one to talk about.
In terms of yoga, you may have noticed there is always the sense within the practice that there is something bigger than just ourselves, maybe more a collective “oneness…”
In my Theme of the Month video, I talk about how Ishvara Pranidhana relates to your yoga practice - it is actually a really nice theme and probably not what you’re thinking having read the above…
As always, we will start the new theme at Goffs Oak Methodist Church class 9:30am Monday morning…
Ishvara Pranidhana is the surrender of the ego to a higher purpose. As the ego stops fighting to be number one, life begins to nourish and feed us in amazing ways.