I’m really excited to be signed up to complete 30 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) in Yoga Nidra. The training is run by Melanie Cooper (who was my teacher trainer for my 200 hours certificate) and Jennie Wadsten.
Yoga Nidra, or ‘yogic sleep’ is a beautiful, restful practice that I find wonderfully restoring. If I’m short on sleep, or suffering from night-time wakefulness, a guided yoga nidra can either refresh me far better than a nap, or get me back to sleep so that I don’t have to watch the small hours tick past. However, that is only one small part of the art- so I’m very excited to learn more about the different styles, the science, and the history behind yoga nidra.
I can’t wait to be able to offer yoga nidra as part of my classes, and to share the benefits with everyone who wants to try!
In-person classes could restart on Monday 17th May, and I kicked off with a beginners’ class in Slimbridge. It was a simple, straightforward routine designed for people who haven’t done yoga before- slower so that everyone could find the pose, work out how their body needed to approach it, and have time to find integrity in it. We worked on breathing with the movements, and ended with a lovely long savasana. I really enjoyed teaching the group, and I hope to see them all again next Monday- along with some others who’ve previously thought that yoga wasn’t for them!
I haven’t yet managed to get to an in-person class for my own practice, but I hope to very soon. Life’s been pretty hectic lately and my body and soul are both craving mindful movement with somebody else directing me!
On Sunday 25th April we braved the chill and enjoyed the sun as we moved through a simple vinyasa flow before getting some expert tuition in hula hooping from Fi Lewis.
The yoga flow was offered with different options for the different bodies, from a gentle vinyasa with knees down, chest down, baby cobra; to a full plank-chaturanga-upward dog. We moved into different lunges, Warrior poses, a balance flow, and some hip-opening and side-stretching postures.
Fi tutored us into walking in a circle while hooping (well, some people did that. I found it way too challenging!!) before a sequence of catching the hoop mid-spin and spinning it the other way.
In the beautiful sunshine, a yoga flow followed by the fun of hooping left me glowing both inwardly and outwardly!
For many people, their mental image of yoga is of an impossibly bendy person holding a really challenging pose, but actually the asana are just one ‘limb’ of the eight in classic yogic thought. For me personally, yoga is a way of grounding myself, reconnecting to my body and being mindful, and fully in the moment. It can reset my mindset and make me feel peaceful. Other people see it as a way of getting fitter or stronger, more flexible, or even achieving those challenging asana as a form of validation. While all of those things are very individual, the image of yoga often seen on social media is, in my opinion, very superficial and often doesn’t consider the philosophy or the aspects of yoga aside from the postures. That can be off-putting to the beginner.
To anyone thinking that yoga is a thing that thin, bendy people do- I would say, give it a try if you struggle to be mindful or grounded. Have a go to benefit from increasing physical strength and flexibility, but appreciate the process and the journey because that is where the growth is to be found.
This image, shared by Om Magazine, really sums it up for me.