In follow up to my last post, this month in class we have been exploring our natural cycles, digging deeper into practice, offering more of ourselves and playing with the “grrrrs” and “ahhhhs”.
You cannot “do” yoga. The doing of asana is the result of a very westernised approach to yoga which often values the perceived body beautiful over the truth of our nature and connection.
“We have created forms of yoga in the image of our own disconnection. Practising this way simply mirrors our own disgregard for our inner guide” – Uma Dinsmore-Tuli
I enjoy working physically, because when we truly listen to the gross reality of our body we can eventually get under the noise of our egotisitical perceptions. The body cannot lie. In this way the inherent wisdom of our body teaches us, slows us down when we need it, wakes us up when we are asleep. Through listening to this inherent intelligence we can connect, we remember that we are part of a vast network of other creatures on a planet that we rely upon to feed us and nourish us. A planet that we do not love, respect and value nearly as much as we should.
As Philip Shepherd so beautifully puts it,
“If you are divided from your body, you are also divided from the body of the world…which may appear to be other than you or separate from you. Rather than a living continuum to which you belong.”
In order for yoga to be yoga it must address this. We work with 5 bodies, not one, we are never alone, all of our actions have an effect on others and the planet we inhabit. Until we feel and live this there can be no yoga.
So if you haven’t done so already, I invite you to start to tune in. Women have a very apparent menstrual cycle, so in some ways it may be easier for you. But even menopausal women, women without periods and men all have cycles. There are natural cycles all around us in the seasons, the moon, the weather……so we can all tune in, it is not exclusive to those people with a womb! And once we start to respect and bring our natural rhythms to our consciousness we immediately feel more connected to both ourselves and the wider world.
My classes run on 6 week cycles so during that time women who come to class are very likely to have a period. If a class lands on the first 3 days of your period I would ask you to please not come to class but instead do an appropriate practice at home. I realise you will have paid for that session, so once a month I will be offering a restorative practice session for women. I will try to make this on a moon day where possible. This will be a chance for us to come together and explore what practices we can do on your period, or the “winter” part of your cycle. There is a lot of downwards energy at this time making it ideal for more meditative, restorative practice.
There will not be a charge for these classes but there are now an astonishing 4 food banks in Sheffield so I would ask you to please bring some food for the food banks which I will collect on the day. I will be intouch as to when the first one of these will be and those of you who are interested in learning more please do not hesitate to contact me.