July 2019 LGY Newsletter: On Boredom

July 2019 Newsletter

On boredom

Today, 7am, on 15 July 2019 
 

I have just returned from 10 magical days in the Spanish Mountains with Kia and a fabulous group of yogis. A lot of what I have learned will make its way into my classes so I hope you can join me from September. Part of the marvellous effect of a retreat is the interesting conversations I have with people. In one of such, my dear friend V, who is reading this, asked me: do you ever get bored in your practice? On my mat, I experience everything: joy, frustration, fear, compassion, disquiet … and of course, boredom. I am not bored easily, but I know that doing the same thing every day does get to some people.

Why do we get bored? Is it the repetition? Repetition is not in itself boring. We have plenty of it in our lives but we are not constantly bored. I think boredom is related to expectations and what we ask from our practice. Forward folds, repeated this way and that, can be boring, but they are also an invitation to experience sensation, to open the mind, the body and the breath to the present moment. The depth of nowness can never be boring because there is no expectation, there is simply being. I used to dislike sweeping the floor, however this changed when James Boag told me to meditate while doing it. Now, I do it in silence, mindfully, as a practice. I still cannot say it is my favourite thing to do, but it is not frustrating either.

No feeling is bad in itself so rather than trying to escape  boredom, we can practice pratyahara (sense withdrawal), acknowledging the boredom but not reacting with aversion. So, the next time you are bored of the forward folds in primary series, my invitation is to experience the subtleties. Try to feel your pelvis, concentrating on what it is doing and how it is moving; or maybe follow pulsations in your body. Or, even better, follow the great teacher within: your breath. 

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

 

 

 

 

What I have been watching
I am lucky enough to know the world’s foremost authority on boredom, James Ward. James writes about stationery and has organised the Boring conference for 9 years. I attended a couple of times, and saw Jon Ronson and Adam Curtis speak. I have been watching this video on YouTube, where he explains how the conference came about. The video is a treat because James is a wonderfully funny guy with very interesting sources and, actually, something quite profound to say. He quotes John Cage:

If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.

Precisely how I approached Ashtanga when I experienced boredom!

 

 

 

 

What I have been practicing
Since 2015, I have taken photographs on my walk to practice, when this happens between the hours of 7 and 8am. Apart from when I travel, it is usually the same walk, the same 3 or 4 streets. My Today, 7am series, is, I would say, about the mundane, and also about revealing patterns that are hidden. The decisions I take are about noticing what is different in this familiar place, what is unique to today. It makes me focus on patterns in the clouds, bird formations, light changes, tree foliage, the weather … So much is different in sameness. Do you have a daily practice that reveals the extraordinary?

 

 

 

 

What I have been reading
Some of you know that I have a passion for psychoanalysis. One of my favourites, Adam Phillips, wrote a marvellous book called On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored. I have been re-reading the chapter on boredom and it is full of beautiful, insightful gems: 

Boredom is actually a precarious process in which the child is, as it were, both waiting for something and looking for something, in which hope is being secretly negotiated […] The child’s boredom starts as a regular crisis in the child’s developing capacity to be alone in the presence of the mother. In other words, the capacity to be bored can be a developmental achievement 

Boredom is integral to the process of taking one’s time […]
that state of suspended anticipation in which things are started and nothing begins, the mood of diffuse restlessness which contains that most absurd and paradoxical wish, the wish for a desire […] it’s just having nothing to do. But moods, of course, are points of view.

What I take from his book is that boredom is something we actually have to learn to be with, as it is part of us. Actually, quite a creative part too!

 

 

 

 

I hope you are enjoying your summer. I am off until the first week of September. My class timetable for Autumn 2019 is below. I have also included the full studio schedule, with Kate, Sue, Catherine, Ali and Rosina’s classes. Also in September, Sue Crow and I will be running our retreat in Barmolloch. There are only 2 places left so if you want to come book now! All the details are below. It is going to be the perfect way to extend the summer a little longer, getting ready to welcome the new season.

 

 

 

September–December 2019
Rosina Bonsu Moves
at the Arlington Baths

WEEKLY CLASSES

Monday 2 Sept to Thursday 12 Dec

Mondays, 7.45–9.30: Yoga Assisted Practice (Mysore)
Tuesdays, 18.25–20.30: Yoga Assisted Practice (Mysore)
Thursdays, 7.45–9.30: Yoga Assisted Practice (Mysore)

COURSES

Introduction to Assisted Practice

Tuesdays 3, 10, 17 September 2019
17.00 – 18.15
£11/£9 Arlington members, concession
Class card valid

Pranayama 

Tuesday 24 September
Tuesday 29 October
Tuesday 26 November

17.00 – 18.15
£11/£9 Arlington members, concession
Class card valid

 

Last 2 places left on our retreat.
Book now to avoid disappointment!

On the September full moon, Sue Crow and Laura González team up to offer a yoga retreat aimed at using the strength, warmth and lightness of the summer to nourish the mind, body and breath.

We are inviting you to take time to focus on your yoga practice, assisted and adjusted by us, and complemented by workshops that will help you open your hips and make the most of working from your core. There will also be an opportunity to tune into your breath through pranayama, and ask us anything you want to know about yoga in the satsang sessions.

For programme, prices and booking: https://www.lauragonzalez.co.uk/yoga/

 

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