Throughout our lives we are often encouraged to concentrate on what we CAN do rather than what we have difficulties with – for example at school: no ear for languages, no artistic eye, don’t worry concentrate on sciences! In play: not supple, don’t worry with gymnastics instead use your speed and play hockey instead, be a sprinter!
I enrolled in the beginners yoga course in May last year as a start to reclaim myself. I had sat at a desk for 13 years and was unfit, overweight and struggled to move my body in any shape resembling a pose. My hips and shoulders felt locked, my hands and arms were weak and I berated myself each lesson for what my body had become.
In many sports we can adapt a golf swing, a running or swimming style to suit our bodies. But in a yoga class – there are no excuses! Hands and feet must be placed with precision, legs and arms straightened, questions asked of the body … and mine screamed back-what are you doing to me?
In 2016 a few things have changed, I no longer work, I completed a long distance (1000km) walk which made me fitter, stronger and more confident but no more supple after carrying a heavy backpack. So back to another beginners course in January and I am ready for more conversations with my body but slightly more forgiving this time.
Repeating the beginners course was really helpful- I began to understand the ‘rinsing action’ in the legs, the names of the poses are more familiar. I still struggle every class and more attention to my practice is required but I enjoy the process and feel more balanced. Progress is being made!
Thank you yoga, thank you Polly and Vera.
Yoga is the lay persons neuroscience - Yogis have known for centuries that there are layers of mental activity that can be harnessed and directed. When attention becomes concentration and concentration establishes a pause between the rise and fall of thoughts, we arrive into a state known as meditation. The interconnections between the layers of consciousness create the conditions for wisdom.. it arises in the pause, in the interruption of habitual thought.
“As soon as there is stopping, there is happiness. There is peace. When we stop like that, it looks as if nothing is happening, but in fact everything is happening. You are deeply established in the present moment, and you touch your cosmic body. You touch eternity. There is no more restlessness, no more seeking.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Yoga provides a context in which teens, living in a sea of peer pressure, performance stress and emotional change, learn restraint and self reflective awareness. This course for teenagers aged between 12 and 15 years of age, will both challenge and nourish them.