Autumn term 2019

It is the start of a new term and as the summer draws to a close we begin the process of shifting from an outer awareness to a more contemplative inner attentiveness. Just as the leaves turn from green to glorious shades of reds and browns, so we radiate the vitality that the summer months have injected into our lives and begin the process of preparing for the cooler autumnal transition.

It is a time for self-evaluation where many decide to pursue new interests. 

Filled with the increased vitality of the summer months it is often a good time to focus on maintaining that healthy glow that the warmth and light infused into our systems.

At this time of year there are often new faces at the start of term in our Yoga groups. Some may have decided to take up Yoga for the first time whilst others may be returning after a period away from a regular class.

 One thing I love about the autumn term is to see familiar faces and hear the tales of summer events and holidays. I will often wonder if they have practiced over the holiday period and look for signs of any changes that may shape the classes during the autumn term.

It is one of the terms where we are most likely to be welcoming a few newcomers into our group and it always feels good to have some fresh faces with an eagerness to learn something new. I often detect some trepidation in the faces of the newbies although I can rely on the rest of the group to be warm and friendly and welcoming and so often the long-term members of our group do my job of reassuring new students for me.

I have never forgotten how welcome I felt when attending new Yoga classes in the initial days of Yoga’s popularity in the west. My great aunt had been teaching for some time and was one of BKS Iyenger’s students in the early 60s.

That feeling of welcome impacts on our feelings towards the class and towards the Yoga community generally. As a teacher I need to see that everyone feels welcomed and valued so that they can then safely explore the new opportunities that Yoga presents.

 When we first come to Yoga we tend to be mainly focused on our physical wellbeing. I have noted throughout my years as a teacher that most people are quite unreceptive towards the holistic nature of the practices until they have been attending for some time and begin to appreciate the all-embracing nature of the benefits of Yoga. It is the new learner’s body language and other nuances that tell me that I need to give uncomplicated explanations as to why we include the practices that may seem bizarre, if not ridiculous to them and how those practices are vital in connecting us to the undercurrents that steer us throughout our lives. The familiarity we have with the physical body makes it a perfect starting point from which we learn to recognize the effects of thought processes and habits along with the many other influences that make us who we are.

Over the years I have found that it is so often the people with the most physical difficulties who are more willing and able to understand the multidimensional influences on our lives and the value of a practice that nurtures our mental wellbeing and all the subtle, less tangible aspects that affect our physicality.

As always the term will begin with assessment and we will work towards a routine that meets the needs and requirements of all who attend. There will be challenges that will be set by each individual within the practices that we include. This enables us to achieve realistic progress based on our unique needs. 

Apart from giving the contra-indications of certain practices, I am not here to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do but instead I will continuously remind you to feel your way into the asana practice and inform me when concerns arise. 

We carry out the practices with a healthy questioning and curiosity to find what we are capable of and what might hold us back. There are no universal answers and therefore you will all find unique ways of arriving at the place where you want to be.

We will develop a theme throughout the term, which is based on the philosophy and classical teachings of Yoga. 

After half term we will begin to memorize a sequence to exercise our memories and create flow in our movements. This practice also allows us to appreciate the currents of energy that flow through us when we move. It often leads to small changes in how we move and offers us a more balanced awareness of the movements we make in our everyday lives.

It is always a joy to welcome you back to class and I look forward to your inspiration and input in the lessons.

With massive gratitude to you all,


Published by liz on Sunday, 8 September 2019, last updated on Sunday, 8 September 2019 at 12:24PM
Categories: Yoga Times

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