My yoga practice has been much flatter since having knee surgery in December. Reclined. Prone. Horizontal. Or maybe up a wall.
The swelling has yet to abate, making more active sessions out of reach. Down dog is a no-go. Butterfly makes me shudder in horror. Even my favourite yin-yoga-style practice with its many very-bent-knee poses (squats, sleeping swan, and happy baby, to name a few) is beyond my current capabilities. And child’s pose, well, that’s inconceivable.
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.
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).
“Hari om, tat sat. Hari om, tat sat. The practice of yoga nidra concludes.”
Satisfied that the class has surrendered to the spell of my voice, I sink down to the bolster, knees out to the side, ankles crossed. From this so-called easy pose, I observe my prone students enjoying their supervised nap—but hopefully without the actual REM state.
It’s been more than two weeks since I taught my last yoga class at Bound Lotus Meditation & Yoga Centre. I’m already feeling the absence of teaching and I’m missing the students at my Friday evening class.
The last class I taught fell on the last Friday of October, which meant I did a lovely long relaxation. Leading students through yoga nidra (guided relaxation) and then a quiet savasana (corpse pose) is often a transcendent experience; my mind calms and time stands still.
There was such a deep stillness in my last class at Bound Lotus, it was hard for me to bring the students out of their relaxation. I wished the class would never end.
But there was a workshop immediately following the class and I knew that students probably had places to be (and meals to eat!) afterwards. Savasana ended, students woke up, class was over.
I usually close the class with an impromptu blessing of sorts and that last Friday class was no exception. These are my wishes, my hopes for my final class at Bound Lotus.
I hope you’re all able to drift home and have beautiful sleeps filled with amazing dreams.
I hope you awaken tomorrow feeling refreshed and renewed, ready to take on whatever your day, your week, your month, your year holds.
I hope you feel secure, supported, and comforted; that you are respected and prosperous.
I hope your lives are filled with meaning, with friendship, with adventure… and that you create many amazing memories.
Most of all, I hope you know deep love and powerful joy.
I share those same hopes with everyone who reads this and everyone I’ve ever taught. May you all know deep love and powerful joy.
Whatever your plans are for the last long weekend of summer, I hope they involve a bit of relaxation. There’s often a lot of pressure to pack the Labour Day weekend full of summertime activities before the whirlwind of fall, but what about enjoying doing nothing?
Find rest in the forest, in a park, at a beach, on your living room floor, maybe even on a boat. Take half an hour and just lie down.
It’s not lazy or self-indulgent, it’s a recharge.
If you’re looking for an easy way to find rest this weekend, join me at Bound Lotus Meditation & Yoga Centre for a delightful end-of-the-month yin yoga class tonight. Class starts at 6:30pm and we’ll slide into savasana (corpse pose) no later than 7:10pm.
During savasana, my voice leading you through relaxing every part of your body will help you find a deep, conscious state of relaxation. This ancient technique of yoga nidra (guided relaxation) encourages a sleep-like state that reduces tension, alleviates anxiety, and fosters an overall sense of well-being.
Find rest over this last long weekend of the summer. Fall tends to be active and rushed; take some replenishing downtime that allows you to start your September feeling balanced and calm.
For a few summers, this time of year meant going to camp on Gambier Island. I discovered a bunch of photos from camp a while back (including the one to the right), which triggered a memory of my first exposure to yoga.
One of the camp counsellors was obviously a yogi; she led the cabin in meditations and would help us prepare for sleep by doing guided relaxation. Summer campers sitting in sukasana (easy pose or cross legged) now seems a little silly (or maybe that’s a reaction to my crazy neon pants!), but that introduction to yoga obviously sparked something.
Summer camp was likely where my appreciation of yoga nidra stems from and the childhood connection is probably part of why teaching and practicing this form of guided conscious relaxation is so powerful for me.
The yin yoga class I’m teaching tonight at Bound Lotus Meditation & Yoga Centre taps into that summer camp spark: a short sequence of yin poses, 20-ish minutes of guided relaxation, then a long savasana.
Join me at 6:30pm tonight and say farewell to any stresses you’ve accumulated in July with a deeply relaxed practice. I might even wear neon for a little nostalgia 🙂