There’s a swirling sense of anxiety. And it’s making me unsettled.
I know logically that I’m quite well-protected. It’s not a challenge to stay fed and sheltered and entertained. I’m pretty healthy and likely to stay that way. I have just about every creature comfort at my disposal. But those rational thoughts don’t stop me from fretting about the state of the world.
A few things help: talking with friends, family, and a professional (shout out to Building Bridges for excellent online counselling), giant hugs from my very-in-bubble husband, staying off social media if I’m feeling meh, getting into nature, cuddling with Sofie (she’s less and less amenable, but occasionally consents), and meditating.
I love savasana. Practicing it. Teaching it. Evangelising about it.
And after more than two decades practicing yoga and loving corpse pose, I’ve discovered a new way to lie flat on my back. Pressing the soles of my feet against a wall has brought a new twist to this old practice—and given me a newfound appreciation for the possibilities of the pose.
When we lived in Vancouver, I taught a regular yin yoga class on Friday evenings. A perfect time slot for kind-of-lazy, totally relaxing yoga… and the pub two doors down from the studio probably made an end-of-the-week practice even more enticing!
I’m bringing back the tradition by starting up virtual last-Friday-of-the-month yin sessions, with the option to practice live with me starting at 8pm European time (see what that is in your timezone) or enjoy the recorded class at your leisure over the weekend.
Most of us could stand to show ourselves and others a little more kindness. And I feel that need for compassion is more with the amplified sense of hatred, fear, confusion, and division that’s reflected in my social media feeds.
I ended my last online Yin Yoga class with a short meditation to encourage compassion for ourselves and others and I’ve recorded this short practice to share more broadly.
After several weeks of pandemic-pause, I’m super excited to be teaching yin yoga again—and even more excited to be doing it online, so students can join from anywhere in the world!
I’ll be teaching on Tuesday evenings and the classes will be available for replay for 48 hours afterwards if that better suits your schedule. The first class was Tuesday, May 19th at 8pm Zürich time (see when that is where you are).
Much of what we think of as ‘resting’ is pretty active. Watching Netflix, reading a book, listening to a podcast, scrolling through Instagram, paying attention to current affairs—all tasks that require our brains to be engaged and alert. It’s rare that we allow ourselves to simply be, letting the mind drift and the body be entirely idle. Even catching some zzzs isn’t the same as conscious, deliberate rest. Our brains work like crazy as we dream and our cells shift into maintenance mode while we sleep—not to mention that we wind up in all kinds of not-so-comfortable positions when we subconsciously shift in bed.
This coming Saturday I’m teaching a special extra-long yoga class at Younion Yoga to mark the Winter Solstice. It’s the third year I’ve led this seasonally-driven session and I particularly love using yoga to embrace darkness on this longest night of the year. The inspiration for the practice fits perfectly with my teaching style: deliberately slow, purposely restful, mindfully self-centred, well-supported—and with a bonus literary touch.