Autumn term 2020

Autumn 2020

The solstice is long gone and the autumn equinox will soon be upon us.

We are present in the waning of this strange and challenging year that is 2020.

As we begin our autumn term we might well consider the lessons of this year of the pandemic where we found ourselves seeking answers that no one yet knew, longing for forbidden contact with our friends and loved ones, immersed in an enforced retreat from the daily lives we knew. Facing the unfamiliar within our familiar world and finding time to reflect on the changes that we might make when a semblance of normality returns. Facing up to our fears and rising up to support those around us in any way we were able to without putting them at risk often meant that we were left isolated and alone. Perhaps our theme for this new term needs a more contemplative element that allows us to move forward embracing changes that we might not have imagined had we not faced these circumstances.

One thing is certain, we cannot go back to exactly how we were, but for many we are still uncertain about the changes that are manifesting in our daily lives.

This is not unlike the yoga immersion experiences of ashram life or silent retreats where we were compelled to seek out our inner guide and learn to listen to the inherent wisdom that comes from gut feelings and an intelligence beyond the realms of the intellect. Leaving the ashram we were never quite the same as we were when we arrived and no matter how uncomfortable the lessons were, we somehow emerged stronger to see the world and it’s workings through new eyes.

I expect that when we leave 2020 we will take with us some very profound lessons and adapt our lives to embrace the changes that we need to face in a world in desperate need of healing.

Solitude can have a profound effect on human beings. It requires inner strength and discipline to maintain a positive outlook without personal contact with others. Where daily routines and connections are severed we can often find ourselves in states of depression and lethargy. It is more important than ever at such times to maintain a regular yoga and meditation practice and to create a routine that is simple but effective in maintaining balance in our activities and in our mental outlook. Without such resources to fall back on it is easy to fall apart.

For this reason I uploaded many suggestions for creating your own yoga sequences onto the website. It was my intention to remind everyone of the tools at their disposal and in any case it was a continuation from where we left off when the country went into lockdown and classes stopped.

Later I took on the challenge of online classes and many people joined me on zoom. I have grown to enjoy these classes and although they don’t offer the face to face element and social interactions, I soon discovered they offered good challenges that were not as easy to access in face to face classes. One example is that the level of attention is more acute and students are far more inclined to listen to the instruction and interpret it from their personal perspective. With no one next to you to watch and copy, the experience becomes more complete. There are many other benefits that I have observed that are relevant to progressing along the yoga path. The purity of the practice when we are working alone reveals aspects of our nature that we may well never notice in a busy class. We are far more likely to experience the deeper subtleties of yoga practice and reach a more truthful state of consciousness. These are often the lessons we learn when we participate in silent yoga retreats.

I hope that you have enjoyed the classes and have found this to be true? I have an idea that this term we might get back to developing gentle and manageable sequences and return to the theme of Satya (Truth). Finding and learning to apply the deeply personal truths that manifest in our practice and indeed in our personal lives when our exterior connections are curtailed. We learn the truth behind our ageing bodies and apply the accompanying insights into creating a routine that supports and nurtures us physically, mentally and spiritually.

As we get older our potential to be great manifests in far more subtle ways. It takes greater courage and inner strength to face the truth and become the wise elders that few people want to be in current times. So will you join me for another adventure into the subtle and less known inner worlds that make us who we are? Classes start next week. 😉

Published by liz on Tuesday, 8 September 2020, last updated on Tuesday, 8 September 2020 at 3:17PM
Categories: Yoga Times

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