March - Spring Equinox Joy
The Spring Equinox marks the official beginning of spring - a time of joy, expansion, anticipation and growth.
In this workshop we developed these qualities in body and mind through a well-balanced, all-round Vinyasa practice. As Spring is an earthy time we explored different variations of Vrksasana - tree pose - peaking with the most joyful of tress - Adho mukha Vrksasana - downward facing tree, or handstand.
February - Lunar New Year
The first workshop of 2019 marked the Lunar New Year. The New Moon and the New Lunar Year are delicate times of transition when the long darkness of Winter finally begins to give way to warmth and light. During this time energy levels tend to be lower and our flow honoured by being slower and more introspective.
This workshop was an in-depth exploration of the Pancha koshas, the five sheaths of the being. We moved from the physical layer inwards journeying through the subtle body and the mind peaking at the inner witness, Vijnanamaya kosha where we cultivated a presence and an equanimity of mind.
The asana moved slowly and mindfully, yet strongly, working into the upper body. The flow was delicately balanced to enhance strength, flexibility and balance. These qualities came together in an exploration of Pincha Mayurasana, Feathered Peacock Pose.
December - Winter Illumination
This workshop was a different kind of celebration of Christmas - gone was stress, over-eating, complicated family dynamics and consumerism. Instead this workshop offered 2 hours of carefully crafted Vinyasa Flow yoga themed around the Bhagavad Gita - a gem of spiritual literature. The message of the Gita aligns with the story of the birth of Christ. Both are celebrations of light - of enlightenment - of love and of joy.
After practice we shared traditional Nordic gingerbread, mulled juice and other seasonal treats.
November - A Diwali Celebration
As the wind picked up, the fog rolled in and darkness settled over northern lands, we gathered at Burnt Heath Yoga, unrolled our yoga mats and moved until our hearts pounded with joy. This Vinyasa Flow Yoga celebration of Diwali invokeed the power of Goddess Lakshmi who brings wealth, love and fortune. Our practice explored the story of Lakshmi through prasad, backbending asana, mantra, mudra and kriya.
Following a 2hr practice we shared a tasty and filling vegan brunch. There was plenty of food to share: bread from the Brown Bread Company, with seitan, hummus, pate and vegetables making for a totally delicious sandwich; homebaked oatmeal; fresh fruit and homemade juices made from locally sourced fruit and veg. After brunch we headed back to the yoga studio to share the prasad of Lakshmi.
October - Hunter's Moon Flow
The Full Moon of October is referred to as Hunter's Moon. October is a time to prepare for winter - to build inner reserves to carry us through the darkness. This workshop was an inner hunt - a quest for strength and power.
Using strong asana, kriya and energising pranayama we built energy reserves in preparation for the darkness and cold of winter. We finished with deep stretching and a long Savasana.
After practice we gathered for tea and nibbles and discussed Ayurvedic practices on keeping warm and balanced as the temperature drops. Everyone who came was given an opportunity to find out their Ayurvedic dosha to aid them in developing a self-care regime for winter. This workshop was fully booked and it was a pleasure to host it!
June - Summer Solstice Retreat
The Summer Solstice marks the longest day in the northern Hemisphere and is one of the four cardinal turning points of the year. To mark this 9 practitioners gathered for an ecstatic Vinyasa Flow Yoga practice. We followed this by a light, but very tasty and nutritious lunch and calming walk in the in the hot midsummer sun. This was followed by refreshments in the garden.
The day was a success and I'm so grateful to all who came and made it so!
April - Pink Full Moon
The Full Moon moon of April - the Pink Moon - is named after the early spring flowers that bloom at this time. As Spring is a time of fertility and of abundance our April workshop invoked the grace of Goddess Lakshmi. The flow worked strongly through the feet and the hands using foot and arm balances and opened the front body and the heart centre through a series of luxurious backbends.
Autumn 2016, Spring 2017, Autumn 2018
I've had the pleasure of teaching Vinyasa Flow Yoga courses for the Yoga and Meditation Society at the University of Essex in Wivenhoe, Colchester. The classes ran in Autumn 2016, Spring 2017 and Autumn 2018. They were run on a donation only basis and open to all members of the Yoga and Meditation Society.
The classes were very successful and well attended. I'm very grateful to all who came and made them a reality!