Teaching Schedule, May and June (+ Workshops and Covers)

Summertime is upon us! And with it, some upcoming changes to the schedule. But first, let us enjoy the glorious spring! Hope to see you on the mat soon.

with Lizzie Reumont at Indaba Yoga Studio

Our bodies were designed by a master architect to house the most precious creation: the soul! Nonetheless, life can be complicated mentally and physically, and too often we end up living without an awareness of what it means to be in the body, without knowing how to use the resources that we have to enrich our day to day existence and to deepen our asana practice. This three – part workshop aims to shine a light on the body’s function and potential so that we may re-integrate the parts in a meaningful way. After all, a yogi is an embodied being: aware, confident and purposeful…integrated and balanced in the world.

Sunday, June 8th, 1.30-4:30pm
Finding Foundation: the feet. The structure of one’s physical architecture is rooted in the feet and connects via the legs to the spine. This 3 hour workshop will explore the anatomical phenomenon of the feet and how it relates to the legs, hips and spine in asana practice. We will look at the ankles, knees and hip joints in particular as they relate to standing postures.

Sunday, July 6th, 1.30-4.30pm
The Centre Column: the viscera and spine. The core body not only has a boney casing of spine on the back and rib cage in the front, but it has top and bottom boney landmarks in the girdles of the shoulders and hips. These hard surfaces offer containment for the vast and oceanic underlying visceral world. In this 3 hour workshop we will explore the dimensionality of the spine in conjunction with opening of the lateral body to create space. Asanas will include side-bending, twisting and back bending (front extensions).

Sunday, September 7th, 1.30-4.30pm
The Cupola: the neck and head. An awareness of the head, jaw and neck in asana practice is crucial to being balanced in body and mind; after all, it houses all of the nerves that help us to function physically and mentally. This three hour workshop will focus on the cranium and neck and their relationship in key asanas and pranayama. We will also explore techniques for releasing tension and emotional holding patterns.

(To book email Indaba Yoga Studio, or book on their website)

Cover Classes:
Monday, May 19th 6pm Indaba
Tuesday, June 3rd 4-5:30pm Indaba
Wednesday, June 4th 6-7:30pm Indaba
Thursday, June 5th 7:45-9:15pm Indaba

Weekly Classes in May 2014:
Mondays 2-3:30pm Indaba

Tuesdays 6:45-8pm The Life Centre, Notting Hill

Wednesdays 10-11:30am Indaba Yoga Studio

Wednesdays 2-3:30PM Triyoga Primrose Hill

Fridays 11:15-12:45pmThe Life Centre, Notting Hill 3 month cover for Molly Harrigan

Saturdays 10-11:30am Indaba Yoga Studio

Day Sixteen, Lizzie’s Yoga Challenge: Yoga with Laura Gate Eastley

As far as the Yoga Challenge is concerned, the past three days have been a wash, due to familial responsibilities and work. If I had been sitting around on my rump I would feel slightly more guilty about it, but as it is I feel a little disappointed in myself not to have put more of a priority on my own practice. On the other side of the coin, I’m hoping that a bit of a break from twisting and bending will aide in my wound recovery, which is proving to take on the longer side of forever. Ho hum.

After Monday’s schedule shifted around several times during the course of the morning, I found myself taking the tube to Soho for Laura Gate Eastley’s class at Triyoga. For me the journey on the tube was the first time I had taken public transportation in almost a year, after the doctors told me to avoid it due to my low immunity. Going into town was a welcome treat from my normal routine, and it was nice to return to Triyoga Soho after quite awhile.

Laura’s class began lying in a supine hip opener called supta baddhakonasana using blocks to open the chest. We did a short warm-up that included cat-cow and sphinx pose, followed by about 35 minutes of asana that included one sun salutation followed by standing postures such as warrior 1, warrior 2, reverse warrior, extended side angle, half moon, parsvattonasana and rotated half moon, interspersed with the option to “take a vinyasa” or stay in downward dog; we also came down from time to time to take rounds of cat/cow/puppy ( stretching arms foreword with chest touching the mat) and forearm plank. We took one “official” backbend as camel pose (with lots of back bending preparation work), before sitting for pranayama in the form of nadi shodhana. We were then given the option to stay seated in meditation or lie down for savasana. Quiet ‘yoga-music’ played throughout the class up until the pranayama.

There were no seated postures or inversions, and it felt a little abrupt when all of a sudden from camel we were seated for breath work, but then, an hour is an hour, there is only so much one can fit into an hour.

Laura was kind and relaxed; welcoming from the beginning, and giving attention to those who needed and offering variations for everyone in the room.

Still, I left wishing either the class was longer or perhaps the time had been allocated a little differently, so an inversion and a seated posture could have been included. It definitely leaves me contemplating whether an hour class can be long enough for a class practice. Perhaps I will have to try a few more hour long classes before the end of the challenge, but at this rate, I would say I have already failed at my self-inflicted project! I have certainly not made the goal of practicing 30 days in a row with 30 different teachers, but perhaps in the midst of finishing up the Rolfing training, fresh out of the hospital post transplant with a nearly four year old son, it was not a very realistic goal.

Here is to hoping for a longer practice tomorrow and a more dedicated practice week. I guess in the end, that’s a big part of what the challenge is all about. Exploring practice, what is available in the form of classes, and finding out where I am with mine; acknowledging, even respecting, my obstacles…

Day Fifteen, Lizzie’s Yoga Challenge: Iyengar Yoga with Alaric

Alaric Newcombe is somewhat of a household name on the Iyengar scene in London; he is a senior teacher whom generally people either love or hate. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t have a strong opinion about him either way, and over the years I have stood equally on both sides of the fence. Luckily, I have more recently grown rather neutral, and have a great deal of respect for him as a teacher even if I don’t always agree with the way he treats students. One thing is for certain, he is an excellent technical teacher for asana alignment from an anatomical perspective, and throws in other gems of wisdom throughout the class for those who are open to listen.

The other thing is that actually, he really does care, both about people he knows and about the yoga he teaches. I’ve only seen Alaric a couple of times since my transplant, but over the years he has been gracious in understanding my medical condition and limiting how long I am in certain poses or which to avoid, and I have somehow managed to remain off his hit list of students to pick on. Hallelujah.

Today’s class at Triyoga Primrose Hill was a well balanced twist class. The first half of the class matched supine twists with inversions followed by standing twists and a shoulderstand sequence, and as usual, there were many demonstrations by both Alaric and students either showing the right, or wrong way to do the asana. Alaric has a wicked sense of humour even if not always PC (when one woman was turning her face rather than her chest when he had specifically asked us to turn the chest he shouted “Do you wear your bra on your face?!?”), which makes the class fun, albeit often at another students’ expense. The bottom line is that one can learn a tremendous amount about the actions the body needs to take to practice asana, and capitalize on all of the positive aspects of his intelligent and very funny personality. As with anyone, the aspects that don’t mesh we can usually learn to leave behind. After a class with Alaric, I almost always feel fabulous, and even more importantly, I always learn something.

Back to the challenge: a week later, day seven with Kate Walker

Although this hasn’t been my first yoga class in a week, up until now it has either been self practice, test classes or Rolfing school, not accounting for much time or material to report on. I surprised myself by honoring my intentions to attend Kate Walker’s class today when I actually made it to Triyoga on time, even without a lot of energy to spare.

Kate is a wonderful, well-established and reliable teacher, apparent by her full class in the middle of the day in Primrose Hill. It had been many months since I had attended her class, but it felt very much like a Kate Walker class; steady with ample time for meditation, warm up, basic standing, seated, back bending and inversion asana work with lots of choice given to the practioner. There was music, set a quiet mood, more than anything else, and there was a good space at the end for a dreamy savasana. I have always liked Kate’s classes and today was no exception. For the practitioner who knows what to expect and doesn’t like to be pushed too much by the teacher, I can’t recommend Kate highly enough. Her class balances effort with ease, and similarly there is a balance in her personality. She has an angelic vibrancy to her personality without affect or ego. What’s more, she just back from five weeks of holiday overseas and is rejuvenated and tanned! Lucky Kate.

Tomorrow my class plan has changed. Luckily Louis’ knee is no longer bothering him so he’s off to Belgium with papa, but I have been nominated chauffeur to the train station during the time of Alaric’s class. I will instead check out Feldenkrais for Yoga with Daniel Gelblum at 12:45pm, the Life Centre Notting Hill. I’m a little bit fascinated with Feldenkrais as I gave understood it to be a related work to that of Rolfing. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s entry!

Yoga Challenge Week Two, Upcoming Schedule

It’s been three days since my last yoga class. I have to admit, some of the pain I was having around my wound that is still healing has gone away, but I’m really missing the mat. I’ve traded it in for a massage couch and have been giving Rolfing sessions, which is a different kind of practice of sorts, but one very much wrapped up in the breath and intention, so I’m in familiar territory as we watch each other work in this phase. In any event, if all goes well, my Yoga Challenge week starting Monday the 13th of January will be:

Monday night, 6-7:15pm The Life Centre Islington, Tanya Mickwitz
Tuesday, 9:30-11:30am Indaba Yoga Studio, Helen Stylianou
Wednesday, 12:15-1:45pm Triyoga, Primrose Hill, Kate Walker
Thursday, 3:30-5:30pm Triyoga, Primrose Hill, Alaric Newcombe
Friday, 5:15-6:30pm, Yotopia, Marcus Veda
Saturday, 7pm, Black and Light Yoga
Sunday, 12:30-1:45 The Life Centre Notting Hill, Leila Sadaghee

Please Join Me!

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