At St Margaret’s Church in Streatham Hill, I’ve been teaching yoga by candlight each Monday evening over the last couple of months. And I’ve been suprised at how special the sessions have felt in the big space.
Early in the evening, warm light floods in through the large stained-glass west window. As the sun sets and the space darkens the flickering light of candles creates an intimate atmosphere.
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What they said last time:
“Just wanted to say thank you for a wonderfully inspiring time. Notes and moments are with me each day since, and I’m so grateful to have been able to join in. ” Jo Pardue
I constantly struggle with the tension between a life-long desire to change the world (still undiminished at 50!) and yoga’s ideas of acceptance and contenement with things just the way they are.
In the days since the momentous Brexit referendum result, it’s been hard for even the most detached yogi to avoid the murky world of politics. Almost every conversation I’ve had since waking up on June 24th has begun with expressions of disbelief and dismay.
Two weeks ago I injured my back very badly. I’m not entirely sure what happened – something involving unloading the dishwasher, I think, but the result was extreme pain and an inability to sit or bend and even lie flat for any length of time.
I’d like to share with you here what I’ve done to get over this injury – as after only two weeks I’m back to almost normal function again. I’m convinced that without my yoga practice, it would have taken much, much longer.
Christmas at “home” 2007
This will be the first Christmas without my Mum. And our boys’ first without any grandparents. So you’ll forgive me for feeling a little sad and nostalgic.
There will be no Christmas visit home this year. The small village in Nottinghamshire where I grew up remains the archetypal “home” of my imagination, even though I’ve lived in at least 14 other flats or houses in the last 30 years. The other morning shadows on my yoga room floor Continue reading
For the last couple of months I’ve been teaching a weekly yoga class to men coming towards the end of long prison sentences. Some were introduced to yoga in prison – for others this lunchtime session in probation service hostel is their first yoga experience.
Aged 20, around 1985/6
I turn 50 tomorrow. I can’t quite believe it. I feel more like 15: still a bit nervous when I meet new people, uncomfortable with figures of authority, curious about the world, full of awe for its beauty, and longing for connection with my fellow human beings.
But I have to face it; I am now in my autumn years. The high energy and excitability of youth has gone; the decade or two of focused intent on work, marriage and children is passing and I am entering a new phase. Continue reading