''When I practice I am a philosoper. When I teach, I am a scientist. When I demonstrate, I am an artist.'' - BKS Iyenger - 14/1218 - 20/08/14
A few weeks ago I shared snippets of my life as a yoga teacher. You can read all about it here, but today I wanted to muse about the joys of being a yoga student and the wonderful yoga retreat I took…
Let’s start with the obvious, shall we: Being a yoga student is pretty awesome! I get to listen and follow the sound of my breath and observe its ebb and flow as I move every muscle and work every joint in my body. Moreover, when I step into the practice space I feel happy, I feel alive and I feel free. (Of course, there has been some blood, tons of sweat and loads of tears but that story is for another day...).
The best part of my practice however comes at the very end; it is then that I get to indulge in a long, peaceful savasana (corpse pose, the part where you lie down and can just ‘be’) and feel like I have arrived at the place I was always meant to be.
As a yoga student I have followed a rather lovely tradition, which I adhere to rather religiously. Every year I go on a yoga holiday so as to delve deeper into my practice without the distractions of the daily grind. Moreover, a yoga holiday also means I get to share this magnificent experience with my husband and mischievous son - who happily come along in case you were wondering - … as well as a gorgeous bunch of strangers!
This year our yoga holiday took us to the lovely mountain range of the Cevennes in South Central France. Each day started bright and early with a sweaty ashtanga yoga mysore class. My yoga teacher Gingi Lee, director of The Shala in London, created such a welcoming environment, has a very traditional, but non-dogmatic approach and ensured that I genuinely worked to the core on the mat, without pushing my body beyond its capabilities. I feel pretty lucky to have found him.
Participants range from complete beginners to those with a breathtakingly beautiful practice! (In fact my son stepped into the yoga studio just as students were deeply engrossed in their practice. He was completely, totally and utterly mesmerized by their movements and watched attentively and in silence (SO rare for this little fella, let me tell you). After a couple of minutes he tried to imitate various complex postures before coming over to me for a well-deserved cuddle. Gotta love him!). Everyone is so supportive of each other during the class, although not a word is ever spoken. After practice we all gather for a vegetarian/vegan brunch and interesting, stimulating or plain silly discussions.
Would you like to learn more about the yoga retreats I attend and join one yourself in 2015? Then please click here for more info.
Or if you would like to learn more about the 1-day yoga retreats and vegan brunches I host please feel free to follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook so as to stay informed.
Thanks for reading everyone!
IMPORTANT: Pictures that do not carry The Little Plantation watermark (i.e. of yogi, mini yogi, yoginis and dining hall) were taking by the talented Ella Milroy.