Yoga

Durga

on April 13, 2017 No comments

The thrash of the tiger
Is held so quietly within
the stillness of her striped form.
Soft muscularity,
Terrifying black, gold beauty.

Would my hand dare caress
Her silken curves,
Her pulsating chest,
The vicious magnificence of her passion,
Deadly and divine
With no transgression
Sensuous jugular enclosure
a powerful embrace,
Enters the darkness in rapture
Overpowered by grace.

Meditative feline
Stalk the deepest depths of being
Heart roars, erect claws,
Mortal flesh trembling.
Golden mirror of my soul
I know you could consume me whole
Untamed beast flying wild
She honours her nature
Like an innocent child.

What is the mirror that you hold
Hidden in your black and gold
Devoted to your enticing grace
Your ferociousness holds no distaste
You hold the power of the passion
Unashamed and unrationed.

If I am you and you are me
We are the perfect symphony.

~ Carly Mountain

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Carly MountainDurga

Pregnancy Yoga

on April 1, 2017 No comments

Join me at the beautiful Nether Edge Studio for a nurturing pregnancy yoga. Classes centre around deepening listening to your body and baby and the natural wisdom of the dance that only you two know how to do together. Simple yoga movement, voice and a deeply restorative Yoga Nidra practice.

This class is unique in that it is limited to 4 women per class. Current block Wednesday 27th March – 17th May inclusive (no class 13th or 20th April). Pre book only £54 for 6 weeks. If you are 37 weeks plus I am happy for you to pay as you go.

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Carly MountainPregnancy Yoga

Butterfly Course Taster Day 16th October 2016

on September 6, 2016 No comments

IMG_7769

Would you like a flavour of what the Butterfly Course offers? Then come and join me for this taster day in October. The taster will include yoga based movement, creative enquiry, time to chat and ask questions on the course starting next February and a yummy vegetarian lunch.

Date: Sunday 16th October

Time: 10.45-5.45pm

Where: Instinctive Health, Sheffield

Cost: £40 full/ £35 concessions lunch included

For more information and to book please visit the Instinctive Health Website places limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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Carly MountainButterfly Course Taster Day 16th October 2016

Coming out as…grey

on March 14, 2014 No comments

For 20 years no less, I have polluted my system with hair dye.

I’m done. I am taking my masks off. I do not want to pollute my system or our water with those chemicals anymore. I am done with the violence of the beauty industry, to the earth, to animals and to myself.

Change is life. And to age is a privilege.

If we are to walk a life of meaning we must do just that, walk it. And there are many ways to do that. We are after all transmitters and I find myself asking everyday “What do I want my transmission to say?”. So many people have said “you are so brave”. But isn’t it odd, that it is brave to be natural, to be seen as I am? I have finally realised that to let the earth shine through me is the most beautiful I could ever be. It’s not conventional, it requires a letting go of looking to those ideals for a sense of worth.

Ultimately we hold the keys to our own cages. Age brings wisdom. Women as they ripen into the autumn and winter of life are often mocked for being menopausal, or are “traded in for a younger model”, get the sack whilst their male counterparts work on in their distinguished gentlemanly aging. And we perpetuate it with surgery, hair dye, dieting, grasping outwardly for some resemblance of summer that we think will make us desirable, empower us and make us feel we have a place. I am not saying that enjoying looking after our appearance is wrong, it can be a beautiful way of taking care of ourselves. But, it is worth checking in with who we are doing it for and what our choices are based on.

You can’t grasp power from outside, you tap into it from the inside. We are abundant, we are earth, we are love.

So enter the reign of the wolf, the wild, the free.

Grow old with grace. And be the change you wish to see.

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Carly MountainComing out as…grey

The beauty of a shell

on March 1, 2014 No comments

The natural beauty of a shell. My daughter was looking at this this morning and she said thoughtfully, “Sometimes I look at shells and think they are so beautiful that they can just have appeared, they must be ‘man-made'”.

To which I instinctively replied, “But the most beautiful things in life cannot be made by humans…they all come from nature. Natural things are the most beautiful of all”.

What we show speaks as loudly as what we say. Society values human made objects so highly and often to the detriment of nature. The so-called beauty industry sells the idea, primarily to girls and women that we must do so much to ourselves in order to become beautiful. So many Mums in the playground with eye lash extensions that on a timeline at my little ones preschool a child had included “put her eyelashes on” as part of her morning routine. Our children absorb everything and it subconsciously shapes them.

I dye my hair, I shave my legs…..there are some things that I cannot yet relinquish. But more and more, I see that we are being sold an empty shell of what a woman can be. And I wonder what could be more beautiful than letting nature shine through us? That women could once again be valued, protected and cherished as an expression of mother earth. That perhaps would be the most beautiful union, respect and liberation.

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Carly MountainThe beauty of a shell

Beachtime practice.

on February 14, 2014 No comments

I rarely practice handstands…but was messing about on the beach with the kids. And surprised myself, I went up fully expecting to fall out within seconds but there I stayed….

When you work from the root of practice peeling back the layers to the base of asana, using seemingly simplistic sequences and movements and repeating them daily, what I have found is that without realising your practice deepens signifcantly. But because it happens slowly, you barely notice. The dots join on the deepest level…. So when you return to what are generally viewed as advanced yoga postures you find (as I did yesterday and do so repeatedly) that you have unconsciously been building more strength and connection than you realised. Not by grasping for it but by listening, feeling and allowing.

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Carly MountainBeachtime practice.

Yoga is a process of becoming more intimate with yourself. Taking the time to spend with yourself, as you would with someone you love. Turning towards all that you are with compassion, so that you can embrace wholeheartedly the fullness of your being. Leading us towards naturalness, no pushing no holding back. Letting the notion of perfection repeatedly give way to love. What are we cultivating? Love.

The Why

An invitation to tune in…

on January 2, 2014 No comments

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.

Carly xxx

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Carly MountainAn invitation to tune in…

Yoga – the whole picture

on December 20, 2013 No comments

Sometimes I get a bit weary of all the “look at how great my body and my life” yoga pictures and quotes that are out there. Mainly because I think they don’t show the whole picture. I love positivity and beautiful pictures, it’s great to celebrate as long as we are still honest. Some days practice is tough, some days I just feel sad, some days feel dark. Practice can be both celebration and joy. But true joy encompasses the dark and the light. And isn’t practice about being present with what’s there, rather than looking to be calm or balanced or some other ideal that is not truly where we are at? If we are not careful, yoga can become a stick to beat yourself with. A search for an ideal and within that is a pressure to pretend that we are supremely sorted, calm and in control; rather than honest, real, people.

When darker emotions rise, anger, desire, frustration, grief, its great to be able to recognize it mindfully and know that it will pass. But, if we do not ever allow it, and give in to its messiness then I feel that we do not fully embrace what it is to be human. Take belly laughing…impossible to do mindfully, it just wouldn’t happen if you were being mindful about it. And we all know how delightfully close laughing is to crying. Sometimes it’s okay to break into a million little pieces. Infact, this is the process of yoga.…..

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction” Cynthia Occeli.

We need to break in order to be visible and shed some light on what needs to be seen.

“The world is like a dropped pie most of the time. Don’t kill yourself trying to put it back together. Just grab a fork and eat some of it off the floor. The carry on.” Elizabeth Gilbert.

We always employ the 3 second rule in our house.

Surely, being human is about experiencing the full spectrum of our emotional life. We can feel totally raw and still be grateful and reach beyond to those around us and our practice and our life. Yoga is not about what a strong beautiful body we have and what a ‘together’ person we must be to achieve that.

“Although there are many physical places one can go to feel her way back home. The physical plane itself is not home; it is only the vehicle that rocks the ego to sleep” Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

I can honestly say, my greatest challenges and joys come from allowing my most vulnerable self to show…be that out of necessity, celebration or despair. I am learning that the messy parts of me, that I feel scared to show are not my weakness but the parts that hold my deepest strength.

So today I feel quiet and tired and sad. I still practiced. And I am still totally grateful for my life. I am human and I am alive.

And day always follows night.

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Carly MountainYoga – the whole picture