February 2020 LGY Newsletter: On Rosina

 

Rosina teaching me Limón technique in January 2015. Image by Brian Hartley.
 

On Rosina

This is the newsletter I never wanted to write. But here I am.

My beautiful teacher, friend and colleague Rosina Bonsu died on 02.02.2020, peacefully, and surrounded by family and friends. She was herself until the very last moment, when she asked for a dinner from Hug and Pint (one of her favourite Glasgow restaurants) and was dancing in her hospital bed.

I miss her and I have found this month to be the worst I have ever lived. I turn around to talk to her, I find myself longing for her voice, her laugh, her touch. I know she gave me the tools to bear this pain and sadness and, slowly, I am learning to put them into practice off the mat.

Rosina believed I could do much more than I believed I could do. Her trust was complete and unwavering. When I said I wanted to teach Mysore style, she gave me one of her own classes to lead on my own, totally confident that I would be ok in that situation, even if I was totally petrified. And of course, it was ok. I loved it. She made the distress I feel in inversions manageable, even disappear. She used to support me in headstand and actually kiss my feet upside down so I associated positive feelings with something I found so uncomfortable. She made sure I breathed and often made me sing the closing mantra upside down while everybody else had there feet on the ground. I loved that too.

She taught me to be a teacher in the most extraordinary way: by becoming my student. In the last 18 months, she regularly attended my Mysore and pranayama classes and showed me, with grace, that the boundary between teacher and student is porous, has to go both ways all the time. She was extremely generous, asking me to drop her back in my first ever Mysore (what a way to learn), showing me to assist her in intermediate poses I do not do in my practice. She trusted me with her own body. She saw each and everyone of us uniquely, as we are, and this made her the greatest teacher, the most considerate friend, the most supportive boss I have ever had.

Her legacy is extraordinary: she sowed love for decades and that love, which has been living inside each person, is now coming together in the most beautifully weaved net. She gave us breathing bones, which, at her studio Rosina Bonsu Moves, we hope to pick up when the time is right. She pulled together a fantastic team around her. I have Kate, Sue, Catherine, Maureen and Brian and talking to them, being taught by them and practicing with them has been a comfort. Just as she told me it would be. She taught us to be appropriate in each moment. She left us a community of practitioners that are dedicated, fun and considerate, each carrying a piece of her. She gave us a wonderful relation with our space hosts, the Arlington Baths, who have been very supportive. She introduced me to her teachers, Kia, Radha and Pierre and left us with a wide international family that has not allowed us to feel alone, because we are not. She offered us seeds to plant many beautiful moments in our lives and practices (lengthy coffeeasana, dinners, self-practice when the studio is closed). And this is only the yoga aspect. She also danced and taught dancers, choreographed, was a wife, an auntie, a friend to many, a thoughtful audience member…

I am sad she will not be here physically but I am beginning to learn to talk to her where she is, continuing to share in this new form she has taken. I need her in my life and she is still there, forever, in the me she changed so lovingly, in the me she pushes forward into the future with her gentle, clear hand. I love you Rosina.

Laura x
https://www.lauragonzalez.co.uk/yoga

 

 

 

What I have been practicing

I have been seeing Rosina everywhere: in the sun, in rainbows, in the light of candles, in the daffodils that are appearing and in the Bhagavad Gita chapter 2. I am listening to James Boag’s teachings on how the yogin should behave in situations of stress (in preparation for the course on chapter 3 I signed up for in March) and Krishna’s voice is Rosina’s. Ever since reading the Gita, I felt Krishna inside me, like a voice of consciousness. Now that voice has Rosina’s specific intonation and accent.

 

 

What I have been reading

This has been a month wholly and totally dedicated to Rosina and what she brought into my life and to the world. I have been reading Kia’s beautiful obituary. I was so so grateful to have Kia and Magnus here during Rosina’s last days. The strength Kia gave me was immense. Without her, Kate and Neil, I would not have been able to be fully present at such an important moment in Rosina’s life. They were an anchor, they held on to me not allowing me to drift, drown and wallow. They continue support me now, when the waters threaten to swallow, I close my eyes and hang on to their wisdom, their beauty and, literally, their hand.

I also read Mary Brennan’s obituary in the Herald (image above). Such a wonderful tribute of a full, generous life!

 

What I have been listening to

If you have been following these newsletters, you will know how much I love Yotam’s music. As soon as he found out about Rosina’s passing, he asked me if it would be ok to dedicate a song to her. What he came up with is both beautiful and healing, and contains samples of Rosina’s voice, from this podcast. Funny enough, I have been able to listen to her voice in Yotam’s song, but not the podcast yet. It will come. Yotam has opened the door for it in such a gentle and supportive way.

 

 

 

Collected Tangents, Paisley Arts Centre, 1993
 

What I have been watching

Rosina deserves four categories! Many of you in the yoga world have not had the opportunity to see Rosina dance, or to be choreographed by Rosina. I consider myself extremely lucky as I have experienced both. I danced Rosina’s piece Making Music Overture in 2012 and even in January 2020, she would sing bits of it to me and we would both start laughing as she sang ‘put the kettle ON!’ (sorry, you had to be there to understand). We had such a great time doing it.

I you missed this side of Rosina, though, fear not. Rosina’s extremely generous legacy means she left behind a vimeo channel with videos of her dances, like the one above Collected Tangents. It is one of my favourites because of the mixture between theatre, voice, dance. All of that in a one-woman show! Enjoy, they are truly wonderful.

 

 

Ashtanga Yoga & Pranayama Workshop

With KIA NADDERMIER & the Rosina Bonsu Moves Team
– A CELEBRATION OF ROSINA –
Glasgow March 13-15 2020

We only have two places left (due to cancellations). Get in touch soon!
Email rbmovesteam@gmail.com

We will gather to practice, share and celebrate Rosina’s life and teachings on the mat. With this workshop Kia wishes to invite you all to help support and inspire Rosina´s yoga community in Glasgow. A community who will now take on upholding her beloved shala and continue the important work of spreading Rosina´s deep love and endless dedication to this practice.

Kia & the Rosina Bonsu Moves Team invite you to a joyous weekend of yoga, community and food, three of the most precious things to Rosina!

All proceeds from the workshop will be donated to Maggie´s Centers, a charity that Rosina supported, offering free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer, and their family and friends.

“Whatever the problem, it can be solved by moving. This has inspired my entire life, this is my passion.”
Rosina Bonsu

Rosina had a big yoga community around the world and many people want to join us this weekend. Since space is limited, early registration is absolutely essential.

For full programme, go to Workshops (scroll down to March).

MY CLASSES THIS MONTH

 

 

 

CLASSES AT THE ARLINGTON BATHS

I am taking a step back from teaching at the Arlington, until late April 2020. I will be assisting Kia in her forthcoming workshop in Glasgow and will collaborate with friends in the organisation of a big celebration of Rosina’s life. I will also be running the back end of our studio, Rosina Bonsu Moves.
  • My Monday morning class will be covered by Catherine
  • My Tuesday class will be covered by Sue
  • My Thursday morning will remained unassisted, with the space open for anyone to do self-practice (free of charge).
Watch this space for announcements of new classes in April!

 

 

 

CLASSES AT RCS
Until 20 March 2020

YOGA for STAFF (sign up with HR)
Monday Lunchtime 13.00 – 14.00

YOGA for STUDENTS (check weekly email from RCS sport for room)
Wednesday Evening 18.00 – 19.00
Friday Lunchtime 13.00 – 14.00
£3/£10 for 4 classes 

 

 

 

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