June 23: On closure

I like a circle. As a shape it is so pleasing, the arc equidistant from the centre; an upwards trajectory that has a tipping point downwards, this structure replicated upside down. Circles roll. And I acknowledge that my life is made up of so many of these: daily, monthly, seasonally, yearly … Yoga has taught me to respect them and, even more importantly, to honour them. In particular, it has taught me to be sensitive to cycles and celebrate these moments.

At the end of June, I closed a big circle. I left Yoga Moves Glasgow. The last session seemed to be just another Thursday morning Mysore class, like I had been teaching for years. Then of course it was not, because it was the last. The mundanity, unmarkedness, felt very strange. I had to take the decision to leave as I needed to slow down, but that does not mean it was easy. Some close friends have helped me mark the moment and it has been good to honour all it was given me, to reflect, to be grateful in order to let go.

For weeks, my body has been suffering the confusion that closing circles can represent. It shows in strange little disturbances that I am careful to pay attention to and to integrate. The downward spiral of the circle, although not always pleasant, is essential to the whole structure, as without it there is no clarity (as shown in the medicine wheel I wrote about in September 2021). Leaving something known, even when it is not working out, for something new is a scary process. But it is also where growth happens.

I don’t know exactly what I will be doing, what shape my days will take, where my attention and interest will go. And that is ok. In fact, it is liberating not to have everything tightly planned. Part of my intention is to do more yoga, for its own sake, not to prepare for teaching or to keep anything up other than the practice itself. Part of my intention is also to create performance works, something I have been craving and not able to fully engage in since I began in the studio. As I was teaching that last class, I received an offer for something I really wanted to do. Circles close to make space for others to start and I am reminded to trust that wise process.

I leave you with a wonderful passage from Richard Wagamese’s Embers: One Ojibway’s Meditations, which my pen pal Marie Claire Forté introduced me to (and I don’t know how I lived without):

Me: What do I need to live at my best?
Old Woman: Truth and courage.
Me: Not purpose and strength?
Old Woman: Truth and courage ARE purpose and strength. They are the roots of everything powerful. Everything spiritual. When you keep your truth in front of you and have the courage to keep moving toward it, through anything that arises, you live at your best.
Me: Even if I stumble?
Old Woman: Especially then.


I began to walk more gracefully after that.

This month’s offering

I am off until the end of August so I want to leave you with something wonderful that will support your summer season. And what better than savasana? Savasana, or corpse pose, is a perfect practice for the hot months, where we overdo it on so many levels: activities, food and drink, socialising … Sometimes I find it hard to keep balance with so much going on around me. The heat is great if handled with care, but it can burn out too.

In Closer Together, Kia and Yotam guide you every step of the way, whether you do savasana regularly or are new to it. They set it up in the rain forest in India, which is cooling, soothing and nourishing wherever you physically are in the world.

I am taking a sabbatical from teaching regular open classes in order to become a student for a while. I have no end date for this period but I will continue to teach monthly pranayama at Yoga Rose in Blantyre (Saturdays) and hopefully a new class at Studio 70 in Glasgow (Sundays) as well as covering some classes here and there. And, of course, I am assisting Kia win the Spanish Mountains in August, and I can’t wait.

I am available for one-to-one yoga and/or pranayama sessions (introductory or following up practice). I am flexible on time and place and I can also do online.

Keep an eye out on my Instagram and Facebook pages for announcements of new classes once I return.