Friday, 23 December 2011

Happy Christmas, work is over

I taught my last yoga class of the year last night: a one-to-one session with a lovely lady I’d never met before but with whom I felt an instant rapport. Actually, it wasn’t so much a lesson as a sharing session, and we swapped ideas on various approaches to the postures we were working with. Great stuff.

My own classes this week have been working through a Christmas Nativity sequence, based on a lesson posted online by Anne Vincent. It seemed to go well – although I’ll admit it was a bit contrived in places. Yes there is a Camel posture, which fitted the Wise Men well, but when they arrived at Herod’s palace they found him on a Chair – if there is a Throne posture, I’ve never heard of it!

My Tuesday class is held in an upstairs room in a church and we are always accompanied for a least part of the session by music floating up from the main room below where the regular ladies’ group meets. This week they were having a carol concert, and as we lay down to relax they struck up with ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’. Suited the mood perfectly – and makes up for a couple of weeks ago when the speaker was taking them through his recent travels and at one point his PowerPoint slides were accompanied by Madness’s ‘I’ve been driving in my car’. 

Meanwhile in my ‘other’ life, I’ve just heard that a book review of mine will be published early next year, which is nice.

I’m going to try very hard not to switch on my computer for the next week. Merry Christmas, one and all – especially to my new blogosphere buddies.
Om shanti.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Contentment? Humbug!

I heard Len Goodman talking to Chris Evans on the radio this morning, saying he was perfectly content. Lucky man!

Not much to ask for, surely!
I went shopping yesterday for two pretty basic things: a tablecloth (having succumbed to a sudden flush of domesticity) and a stamper that I can use to mark my yoga students' attendance tickets. Neither was to be found, not even for ready money, to coin a phrase. The town looked very shiny and twinkly, but the people looked mithered and grumpy. I came home cold and miserable.

I know that true contentment doesn't come from outside influences, but sometimes it's hard not to get caught up in the guff that surrounds Christmas. When did a new sofa become a yuletide essential, for Pete's sake!

I need to remind myself of the yogic concept of vairagyam, or non-attachment. As Patanjali has it: 'The consciousness of self-mastery in one who is free from craving for objects seen or heard about is non-attachment.'

Deep breath - and relax.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Yogic inspiration

I woke up on Saturday morning feeling grumpy. Fortunately the sun was shining, so I strapped on my walking boots and set off for a brisk walk to clear my head.

There is a yoga mantra I like to march to, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, which roughly translated means Salutations and prostrations to Lord Ganesha. I’m not a Hindu so the call to Lord Ganesha means nothing to me on a religious level, but I’m not averse to tapping into his energies. He is the one who it is said helps in overcoming obstacles, so was ideal for my frame of mind. That’s often the way with mantra: it’s not the literal translation that matters, it’s the way it makes me feel that’s important.

Anyway, whether it was some other-worldly power or just the blast of cold air, I don’t know, but something did the trick. Since then I’ve felt quite inspired. I’ve subbed and proofed a batch of copy for a professional journal I work on, entered a couple of writing competitions, written a list of possible themes for future yoga lessons and planned my lessons up to Christmas. Hell, I’ve even signed up for the Sport Relief Mile next March!

My main challenge for this week, however, is to make sure I’m as near note perfect as I can manage for my choir performance on Saturday: highlights from Handel’s Messiah, a bunch of carols and, just for fun, a selection from White Christmas. Should be a good evening.