Month: June 2020


Letting go and embracing uncertainty

I thought it was time to get in touch with some of my thoughts on yoga, an update on my online classes and a link to a recording of one of my previous online classes.  If you haven’t tried an online class yet, you might like to take a look.
Letting go and embracing uncertainty

I hope you’re riding the ups and downs of lockdown in good shape.

Personally, the ups and downs have become less dramatic in recent weeks, but I must admit that this feeling of being in limbo is unsettling.  But I’ve been asking myself, what’s the struggle?

I feel that my freedom has been limited, but when I think about pre-lockdown times I’m aware that I was trapped in a web of habits (called samkaras in the yoga tradition) – a series of actions and thoughts that I carried out unconsciously, without reflection.  In lockdown I’ve felt a freedom and expansiveness that’s arisen from breaking free of these routines.

Can I set aside these habits for good and remain empty of expectation?

The answer is often no!  I want the kids back to school, I want our foreign holiday to go ahead and I want my indoor yoga classes back again!

But this is the practice…noticing that I have a strong attachment to things I think will make me happy and an aversion to letting go, surrendering to the unknown.  Noticing the freedom that arises from knowing that the future will unfold as it wishes, regardless of my thoughts or desires.

Looking after our nervous system
Yoga has so much to offer us in times like this, not least in terms of the effect our practice has on our nervous system.

The Government is telling us to ‘stay alert’.  Being vigilant requires us to be in a ‘fight or flight’ mode in our nervous system, ready to fight the invisible enemy.  When our body is ready for action our heart rate increases, our blood pressure rises, our breathing becomes faster and shallower and we release the stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol.  This can be very useful in the short term if we need to respond quickly to danger, but we’re not designed to remain in this state for long periods of time.   If we do so, our health is detrimentally affected.

The nervous system is governed by the vagus nerve and the health of our nervous system is referred to as our ‘vagal tone’.  Yoga helps to settle the nervous system.  When we’re in ‘rest and digest’ mode, the body performs activities such as digesting, detoxifying and building immunity.  This is when healing and regeneration occurs.  Yoga helps us to develop a high vagal tone, enabling us to be resilient in stressful situations, maintain a strong immune system as well as general physical and psychological wellbeing. Things that are vital right now.

Yoga class news
Zoom classes

You’re probably aware that from the beginning of April to the end of June I’ve been asking for donations to my Justgiving page for Hangleton and West Blatchington Food Bank in lieu of payment for classes.  I’m thrilled to update you that at the time of writing I’ve raised just over £1,500!  Thank you for your generosity.

The Trustees of the Food Bank are incredibly grateful.  They’ll be spending the money on Asda deliveries, topping up food donations from the public with essential items that they run low on.

Thinking of trying an online class?

If you’re curious to try one of my online classes, why not give it a go: *  For this class you’ll need a sturdy chair (no arms), a couple of blankets and a folded towel or firm cushion.  Using Zoom is a surprisingly effective way of practicing yoga, in the comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you.

*If you have an injury or an ongoing condition that may affect you’re ability to participate in an online class, please get in touch with me at before trying the class.

Starting with the class on Thursday, 2nd July, I’m changing the way you book and attend online classes.

This is how it’ll work:

  • You’ll be able to book and pay for the class via my website,
  • The cost of each class will be £8.  You’ll be able to pay by card via the website.  Once you’ve paid, you’ll be emailed a link to the class.
  • To make life easier, you’ll be able to book more than one class at a time if you wish.
  • After the class you’ll also receive a recording of the class, which will be available for a week (until I upload the next recording).
  • If you’re unable to attend the live class you’re still welcome to book and you’ll receive the recording after the class.
A couple of other things to mention:

I’ve added some extra information onto my website, such as Terms of Service and a Privacy Policy.   After listening to a few podcasts about teaching yoga online I thought this would be a good idea.

I also have a new email address – ‘’ – though you’ll still be able to reach me on my current address, ‘’.

Studio classes and Mid Summer Yoga Day Retreat at Daylands Farm

We still have no idea when indoor classes will be permitted, so sadly I’m not going to be able to run my Yoga Day Retreat at Daylands Farm.  I like to think of this as a postponement rather than a cancellation, somehow that feels less disappointing!  I’ll be in touch with a new date at some point in the future.

On a positive note, it’s my intention, weather permitting, to run a few outdoor yoga classes in Greenleas, the recreation ground close to The Healthy Living Company.  I’m waiting until more than six of us are able to meet outside before I arrange this. 

Final thoughts
I think each phase of lockdown has had its own challenges.  Right now we’ve been in lockdown for what feels like a long time, which no definite end in sight.

But the only thing we can rely on is change. Things will shift and we’ll find ourselves in a different place, mentally if not geographically!

In the meantime, my intention is to live in the now – with gratitude, an open mind and an open heart, as the future unfolds.


Jo x