Guru Purnima, 2018.
I am sending you this newsletter from the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains where I am doing an Ashtanga and Pranayama intensive with Kia Naddermier. The community around Kia is so amazing: experienced practitioners sharing insights, working Individually but also together in the presence of one of the most beautiful teachers I know. And today, 27 July, is guru purnima, a festival that celebrates the student-teacher relationship. So grateful to be here with Kia, honouring her with our yoga practice. Come to my classes and courses in the Autumn as I will be sharing all the gifts I am given by her and her assistants Helène and Maura. But, even better, Kia herself is coming to Glasgow 21 to 23 September. Maybe I will see you there?
When I return early next week, I will be going straight to the final week of preparations for the performance of Warmed Air at The Anatomical Museum in Edinburgh. This promenade work explores levels of perceiving and experiencing the body, from the tangible sensations of one’s own body and the memories that form the stories of our bodies, to the relationship our bodies have with the sun. I am collaborating with wonderful performers: Laura Bradshaw, Paul Michael Henry, Steven Anderson, Ruth Pollitt and John Clark. I am so grateful to be able to create in this company. The work is part of the Edinburgh Art Festival pop up events programme. We are showing this work on Friday 10 August at 12 noon and 3pm only. If you want to come, you can get your tickets here.
And to end a truly exceptional summer, I will be visiting Radha and Pierre in Crete for two weeks of morning Mysore and Breathing Bones with Rosina. There are, so far, 10 of us from Glasgow going. Thankfully, they are used to us as this is our fourth year.
I hope you are having a beautiful, nourishing and supportive summer!
What I have been listening
I first came across David Garrigues though Peg Mulqueen’s Ashtanga Dispatch podcast and I was impressed by his no-nonsense approach and his insights, as well as his energy. He is not the kind of speaker that calms you down, but one that keeps you awake with questions we should be asking ourselves. Through his newsletter, I found out he was doing his successful Asana Kitchen as a podcast. The episodes are focused on specific topics merging asana with philosophy, classic scriptures and the lifetime experience of a dedicated practitioner. Have a listen while you relax!
What I have been thinking about
Buddhists have a beautiful word, sangha, which means community of practice. Kia calls it her extended yoga family. In Sankrit, it is saṃgha, but we do not use it as much. Yet, every practitioner knows how important the concept is, whether it is due to the support it offers, or because we find ourselves missing it as we work alone. I do what I do so much better with my peers (whether in the actual Mysore room or online, for example, with the very nice Aṣṭāṅga (Ashtanga) Home Practitioners Network facebook group), just their breath and their energy, their presence and their help often carry my practice. Thank you, my saṃgha!
If you want to do your yoga with someone, a group of us meets at the Arlington Baths in the morning to practice together. We chip in £2 to keep the space open and support each other through our sadhana. Get in touch if you want to join us.
What I have been reading
In September, I am going to do a Yin Yoga Teacher Training, so I have been reading a lot about the origins of Yin and its benefits to an Ashtanga practitioner. I am thinking of Yin as a support for my life, to balance my yang tendency and offer a fuller whole to what practice can be. I will also offer it to my practitioners, perhaps on new and full moon days as an alternative to Mysore and a softer way of befriending your body. But first, I must finish Bernie Clark and Sarah Powers’ books on my course reading list. Thankfully, I am getting lots of free time in Spain, resting by the pool. What are you reading this summer?
I can announce my open classes and courses for Autumn 2018! I even have an ‘Introduction to Pranayama’ workshop at Merchant City Yoga. Join me for this special one-off or at any of my classes!
4 September – 13 December 2018
at the Arlington Baths, 61 Arlington Street Glasgow G3 6DT, as part of Rosina Bonsu’s programme:
Tuesdays, 18.15 – 20.30: Assisted Self-Practice (Mysore), £11 full price | £9 concession or included in the 8 class and unlimited cards.
Thursdays, 7.45 – 9.30: Assisted Self-Practice (Mysore), £11 full price | £9 concession or included in the 8 class and unlimited cards.
Fridays, 12, 19 October 16.30 – 17.45: Fundamentals of the Breath. Booking required. £26/£23 Arlington members, concessions / £45/£40 for both courses.
Fridays, 2, 9 November 16.30 – 17.45: Deepening your Breath (for yoga & life). Booking required. £26/£23 Arlington members, concessions / £45/£40 for both courses.
INTRODUCTION TO PRANAYAMA
Saturday 15 SEPTEMBER 14.00 – 16.00. Merchant City Yoga, £30. Booking essential!
These classes will keep the summer going a little longer!