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Gentle Yoga starts 21st August

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Gentle Yoga

The best class I ever taught…nobody came

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Originally posted on ceibhfhion.blogspot.com

First floor studio at In The Moment

“The best class I ever taught, nobody came” Yogi Bhajan

For the first time ever last weekend I had to cancel one of my seasonal yoga workshops because nobody booked to come. Of course, I have had times where nobody turned up for a class, or when very few people turned up for a class, but my seasonal workshops have always been very popular. 

And herein lies my difficulty. I realise that I am – whether I like it or not – partly in  a popularity contest.  Of course this is not the whole story. Many factors conspire to fill or empty classes, and the popularity or otherwise of the teacher is just one small part of that equation. Much of my work and reflective practice as a teacher over the years has been in learning to let go of this desire and expectation. Accepting that whoever turns up is there because they are up for exploring what I have to offer. 

But, clearly, there are reasons why some people’s classes are full whilst others struggle to get by with 3 or 5 students. And in my experience of mentoring newer yoga teachers, it is often those who have more depth to offer who are struggling in this way. Maybe it’s because, with greater sensitivity, comes greater humility and the effort to “sell” oneself in the yoga marketplace (because – sadly –  that’s what it has become) doesn’t come easily or naturally. I see teachers struggling with their teaching identity, burdened with the notion that they have to adapt what they teach, and how they teach,  in order to  appeal to the “market.”

In marketing, this is the accepted norm, and in a consumerist world, necessary. Adapt and change the product in order to move with the times, to capture new markets, to appeal to a new generation of consumers. 

But in yoga? 

From me – a big resounding “NO!”

Despite my best efforts in marketing, I have never had packed out classes the way some yoga teachers do. This is fine.  It’s actually the way I like to teach. But, I also confess that I have those days when I have a bubbling up of resentment for the packed hot yoga classes across town, or the knowledge that one of my students isn’t coming to class because they have defected to someone else’s. But when I take time to really tune in to the reality of what’s going on, I reach a deeper sense of what is at play. 

I acknowledge that it has a lot to do with how I teach. Not everyone is up for experiencing the kind of deeply embodied and mindful practice that I offer. I teach the kind of yoga that brings you face to face with yourself. No escape. To me, this IS yoga. Yoga is not an escape from reality, or a way of anaesthetising the mind. Yoga brings us into awareness of WHO WE REALLY ARE. And whilst I offer this in a gentle, loving and safely held way, I am up front about this and  I acknowledge that  the very thought of even beginning this conversation is enough to put people off.

Most yoga classes offered nowadays seem to be what a fellow teacher describes as “yogacise.” A stripped down version of what  yogis understand yoga to be. What they are offering is yoga-asana, the postural aspect of Hatha Yoga and – in many cases – nothing else. Some yogis  debate whether it is even asana or if it’s actually just some glorified version of callisthenics.  If you’re lucky you might get a cursory “Namaste” at the end of class (my aversion to the term has some roots in this disingenuous nod to the tradition) In terms of exploring the other aspects of the practice – if you are even aware that they exist – you need to look elsewhere. For those of us offering the “elsewhere”, it can be really, really difficult to raise your voice loud enough to be found. 

And even then, it can feel like shouting into the void. The truth is Yoga has become a product. As with any product it is subject to  fads and fashions and the whims of the market, to the power of celebrity endorsement, to the desires of the consumer. And whilst there are many yogis and teachers who work to counter this phenomenon, it is like standing in the path of a juggernaut. We can continue to hold the depth and truth of the practice, but we are swimming in this veritable ocean of consumerism that is, relentlessly and  undeniably changing the very definition of Yoga.

The truth, for me, is that I can’t compete with this. And I won’t. Yes, it is difficult when I rely on teaching classes and workshops for my income but I am blessed with other skills and strands to my practice that serve to keep the wolf from the door. I could, as was  (helpfully) suggested by another fellow teacher the other day, give up teaching yoga, go back to simply practising yoga, and get a job to earn money. As if I don’t already have a job! I confess it more that crossed my mind. I was ready to give up teaching. Feeling the juggernaut bearing down on me and realising that, in that moment, I simply didn’t have the strength to compete any more, I was a hair’s breadth from giving it up and doing anything, anything else. 

No, I am not going to compete any more. But I am not giving up. I will be there, in the yoga room, holding space for anyone who is curious, interested, hopeful, open-hearted enough to join me. 

Even if nobody turns up. 

New Classes with Jude – starting 10 June

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I’ve got some new daytime classes starting this week.

Evening classes remain the same but in addition I am teaching a dynamic hatha class on Tuesday mornings and a gentle class on Thursday mornings starting on 10th and 12th June.

Hope to see you there!

Time change – Yin Yoga 29th April

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Yin YogaThere is a slight change to the scheduled Yin Yoga class on Tuesday 29th April.

The class will be at 6:45 pm ( finishing at 8 pm) just for one week while we sort out the schedule.

This class will be in the first floor room at 72 Berkeley Street ( buzz 1st floor/front)

Next “My Healing Space” Workshop – 14 May

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photo by Jude Murray - all rights reserved

Next class – Wednesday 14 May 2014

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at In The Moment

Yin Yoga – Mindful asana practice. Working with the deeper connective tissues and energy channels.

Mantra – Using sound, chant and specific words and phrases to explore the power of vibration and intention

Meditation – Seated mindfulness practices, breathing, visualisation,

Yoga Nidra – A deep guided relaxation technique, often translated as “Yogic Sleep”. Longer than the usual relaxation in class, usually 20 -30 minutes. We also work with “Sankalpa”  – a resolve or affirmation, and a visualisation. Deeply healing.

 £10

ITM expands!

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I am delighted to announce that In The Moment has taken on a second studio space at 72 Berkeley Street. So, in addition to our lovely original studio on the second floor, we now also have the space directly underneath us on the first floor. And this means that there is lots more room for our wonderful classes and workshops.

This new  room is already beginning to be well used ( hence my decision to make it formal) but we do have some space available for teachers who would like to come and work as part of the In The Moment Community.

View the room specifications

View our availability calendars

Get in touch

Yoga for the Spring Equinox

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Click on the pic for more details/booking

Readings and Mantras from My Healing Space 5 Feb

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Our mantra was

OM Gam Ganapataye Namah

OM and salutations to Ganapati (Lord Ganesha, remover of obstacles)

Our reading was from Courtney A Walsh

” Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And the to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.

January Sale

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For a limited time only buy a 5 class pass for Melissa’s Monday morning Hatha class for £25.
For more information please contact: puredream@hotmail.co.uk

Mantras & Prayers from “My Healing Space”

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I’ve had a request for the mantra and prayer I used at the “My Healing Space” workshop on Wednesday, and it seems like a good idea to publish them here for everyone. I will do the same each month.

The Mantra – from the Upanishads

ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः
Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih

Meaning:
1: Om, Lead us from Unreality (of Transitory Existence) to the Reality (of the Eternal Self),
2: Lead us from the Darkness (of Ignorance) to the Light (of Spiritual Knowledge),
3: Lead us from the Fear of Death to the Knowledge of Immortality.
4: Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

The Zen Prayer – from “Zen Prayers for repairing your life” by Tai Sheridan 

“For Now”

I open myself

to being alert

in the present moment

and to being

completely alive

and responsive

to whatever happens

 

I am ready

to stop avoiding

my experiences

and internal states

of thought emotion

sensation and intuition

as they occur

 

I am ready

to slow down

so that I can

be centered

within myself

and live close

to the bone

 

I am ready

to give up

acting as if

past memory

and future wishes

are a satisfying substitute

for right now

 

I open myself

to being alert

in the present moment

and to being

completely alive

and responsive

to whatever happens