If ever there was a time to see if yoga really works as a practice, we’ve had the past six months as a serious trial. We’ve had to face shock after shock and the need to adapt very quickly to a different way of life, with no certainty for the future in sight. Yoga has provided a resource for regular practitioners – helping them deal with the uncertainty and many necessary adaptations.
For us yoga teachers, there was a steep learning curve in taking our classes online. Apart from the vagaries of the tech, we had to quickly adapt to different ways of teaching. Instead of being able to clearly see what our students were doing and hear what they were saying, we often had views of just a body part – closeups of feet, a crotch, or the occasional arm waving in the air. A colleague described to me how one of her online students appeared to be practising on the ceiling! And mostly our students had to be ‘muted’ to make the sound quality acceptable. My teaching aims have long been more about teaching in a personal way, to the individuals in front of me, rather than a performance by me for students to follow. So it’s been a challenge and I’ve really missed seeing my students in person.
Over the summer I began to realise that further adaptations were required on my part: the virus situation meaning the need for classes to continue being live online, or recorded; extensive building work to repair subsidence damage to my house and yoga studio; last but not least – I’ve become a grandmother! The schedule that’s been a constant for twenty years has to change. And I’m a creative person. As a result I’ve spent the past two months busily making videos with a somatic approach to yoga. These are available to download individually. I’m also offering a series that includes a video plus three online classes on that theme. There’s more info about this here
The first series is called Clarity and Form and starts on 22nd September
I’ve described my new videos as having a somatic approach to yoga. What does that mean you may be wondering? Students who’ve been coming to my classes for a while, will be familiar with the approach – in particular via the language I use. My aim is that the videos will make the approach more explicit. We can practise the same asana but with the ‘mind’ of organ support for example, or of cerebrospinal fluid, or sequential movement of the spine – the experience will feel quite different.
To very briefly explain somatisation a bit more – we can begin cognitively by taking a look at anatomical and physiological images or models, we can also employ imagination and visualisation to guide us. Somatisation also involves becoming witness to body experience. Gradually, these pathways may lead to embodiment – awareness on a cellular level.
I very much hope you’ll enjoy my videos and to see you in class, albeit online!