“When you can’t go outside, go inside” has been the mantra since the start of lockdown; using this opportunity to spend time on one’s inner journey whilst the distractions of daily life have been disrupted, for some of us at least. My work came to an abrupt halt in March and most of it won’t resume this year, as the summer festivals have all been cancelled or postponed. Having digested this new reality, I am able to focus on my studies; Aparokśanubhuti. Dŗg Dŗśya Viveka, the Mandukhya and Kathopaniṣads, and brushing up on my Sanksrit.
I have also been invited to teach small yoga classes outside; a novel experience for me. Although many yogis are lucky enough to travel to warmer climes for retreats or training, for the most part we practice in gyms, studios, village halls, living rooms or health spas, and although these provide consistent conditions (unlike the British summer) they lose touch with the original setting of yoga, which was always in nature.
In wind, rain, cold and heat we have practised together. Observing the cosmic breath as the god Vayu roars, or giving thanks for life-giving warmth or cooling rain. Listening for the birds, the rustle of leaves or croak of frogs as we feel gratitude for our life and health. In spite of some challenges, many of us now don’t want to go back inside, having experienced a quieter, more breath-centred practice.
Hoping for a final fling of pleasant weather; Kate and I will be teaching two contrasting classes in a beautiful garden in Wash Common, generously loaned by Hemant and Gita, who are offering traditional Indian hospitality and the hope of a coming together of hearts and minds. Please join us if you are able. Namaste.