I’ve had a number of requests to continue with my Thursday morning Zoom class. Zoom has served us well and I know for some, practicing from home is really convenient and people have enjoyed having access to the class recording. So there is always the option to join me on Zoom, or sign up for the Zoom class and watch the recording at your leisure if that suits you best.
So as we enter this new phase and move towards Summer, I look forward to seeing you either in person or on Zoom,
I hope you’re doing OK. For some, right now may feel like a bit of a struggle. There’s not much sunlight around and perhaps your Christmas plans won’t be quite what you hoped for this year.
But we’ve come a long way and brighter times are in sight. We’ve adapted, we’ve had to deal with change, which probably felt a bit uncomfortable at the time, but as a result maybe we’ve all grown a little…
During this unusual year I’m finding it essential to make time for the things that ground me and also give me a lift…getting into the great outdoors, connecting with others, nurturing seeds of ideas for the future and of course yoga!
Usually I take a break from teaching over Christmas, but this year I’ve had a few requests to run some extra Zoom classes to keep us all moving and connected. 😊
If you’d like to join me, here’s the schedule:
Last class at The Space: Tuesday, 22nd December
Last class at Tree of Life: Wednesday, 23rd December – you can also join this class on Zoom
Christmas Zoom class: Wednesday, 30th December
The normal schedule resumes on Tuesday, 5th January.
To book please visit: joshawyoga.com/classes
January yoga afternoon – Saturday, 9th January
In the New Year I’ll be running a yoga afternoon on Saturday, 9th January, 2pm to 5pm at Beeding and Bramber Village Hall. It’s a lovely hall with plenty of space (social distancing will be a breeze!), plenty of parking and only a 15 minute drive from Hove.
During the afternoon we’ll be exploring how our practice – asana (postures), pranayama (breathwork), mantra (sound) and yoga nidra (yoga sleep) – can be a source of vitality for the whole body. There are many unseen benefits – for our nervous system, respiratory system and digestive system to name a few. The health of our internal systems underpins our sense of vitality. As you’ll know if you’ve been coming to my classes, yoga is not just about stretching!
Each time we come to the mat we notice where we’re at – physically, energetically, emotionally and mentally – and this is our starting point. As we begin to tune in, we can notice that yoga brings about a shift in these states. We become aware that we have the tools to change our experience of the present moment.
If you’d like to join me, you can book via my website. Gift vouchers are also (please email me at email@example.com).
A Yoga Nidra for a winter’s evening
If you’re interested in finding out more about Yoga Nidra, or trying it yourself at home, I’ve uploaded a new recording to my website. I hope you enjoy it.
I hope you all have a restful Christmas break,
Stay well and warm and I hope to see you soon,
I took this picture just before lockdown, at a yoga exhibition at SOAS University of London (School of Oriental and African studies). It’s amazing to think that the roots of yoga reach back all the way to texts called the Vedas, which were written 1500 – 1000 BCE. And yet the practice of yoga is still as relevant as its always been – because the human condition remains the same.
Our experience of being human is ruled by our senses, which are hungry for stimulation and often overwhelm us. We mistake passing thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations for who we are. We get caught up in our experience and our body and our mind get tied up in knots.
The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” meaning to yoke, join or unite. We can think of yoga as a way to ‘yoke’ and control the senses when they overwhelm us and draw us out of ourselves.
Modern yoga asana (postures) are varied and complex, while early yoga asanas were predominantly seated postures. The definition of asana in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (4th Century CE) is simply ‘a steady and comfortable posture’. How appealing that sounds in an increasingly fast and complex world!
I’m running three yoga mornings this Autumn, exploring how the practice of yoga can help us cultivate equanimity, ‘calmness and composure, especially in a difficult situation’. We can’t control what happens to us, but our yoga practice can help us find new ways to respond.
I hope you’re in good health and you’ve found ways to enjoy this unusual Summer.
2020 has asked us all to become more inventive and adaptable…little did we know a year ago that we’d be meeting on Zoom or in parks or gardens to practice yoga. I’m very grateful that our yoga community has held together through the pandemic, at a time when we’ve needed our practice to ground us and keep us well.
Yoga class update
I have lots of news. I’m pleased to say that I’ll be returning to teaching in studios in September. My outdoor classes will continue until the end of the month (weather permitting) and my Thursday Zoom class will continue indefinitely.
Sadly, James and Sam Pickard will be closing The Healthy Living Company at the end of Summer. I wish them luck for the future.
Happily, the studio on Northease Drive will be opening under new management and I will be running a class on Tuesday mornings, 9.30am to 11.00am (start date to be confirmed).
In addition, I’m very happy to say that I’ll be teaching at The Tree of Life Centre on Portland Road in Hove on Wednesday mornings, 9.30am – 11.00am and Thursday evenings, 7.30pm – 9.00pm. The Tree of Life is a lovely venue – you can find out more at https://www.tolcentre.com/
Classes at Tree of Life will be starting on Wednesday, 9th September.
To ensure that classes are Covid compliant:
- Class sizes will be limited to 6 students
- Please bring along your own mat and blanket (and any other props you have)
- I’ll bring along some additional equipment and then take it home with me again so I can clean it regularly.
How studio classes will work
Please book your space via my website (joshawyoga.com). Tree of Life classes can also be booked via the Tree of Life website https://www.tolcentre.com/.
You have the option to book blocks of Tree of Life studio classes:
- £12 drop in
- £55 for 5 classes (£11 a class)
- £100 for 10 classes (£10 a class)
Blocks of classes booked through the current system are for Tree of Life classes only. However all payments come direct to me (rather than being held by the studio) and are valid for a year from the date of purchase. I’ll update everyone on how payment for Hangleton classes will work in due course.
Anyone who is new to my classes is welcome to attend their first class for free and if you bring a friend, you and your friend receive a free class. Please spread the word!
You can either contact me directly to claim this offer before you book a class via my website (and I will book spaces manually without payment) or I can refund payment to those claiming this offer after the class.
New Yoga Timetable from September
Monday or Tuesday in September (weather permitting)
9.30am – 10.45am: outdoor class (£8 – variable dates and venues) Book here
Tuesday (start date to be confirmed)
9.30am – 11.00am: Northease Drive, Hangleton
Wednesday (from Wednesday, 9th September) Book here
9.30am – 11.00am: Tree of Life Centre, Portland Road, Hove
10.00am – 11.15am: Zoom Class (£8) Book here
(From Thursday, 10th September)
7.30pm – 9.00pm: Tree of Life Centre, Portland Road, Hove Book here
A yoga practice gives us an opportunity to step off the hamster wheel, to release tension in the body, to find freedom in the breath. To sink beneath the distractions of our habitual thought patterns to a quieter place. I hope you’ll be able to join me over the coming months.
I enjoyed teaching my first outdoor classes this week and happily the sun shone for us.
I plan to continue outdoor classes through the Summer (usually on a Monday or Tuesday, or both) depending on the weather and on family commitments.
Each Thursday I’ll have a look at the weather and add any new outdoor classes for the following week onto the website joshawyoga.com.
The venue will vary – next week we’ll be at Portslade Old Village Green (Locks Hill/South Street) on Monday and on Tuesday a student who lives in Portslade Old Village has kindly offered to host a class in her garden. Anyone is welcome to book for either class.
If you have a good-sized garden and you’d like to host a class, please get in touch!
It’s so nice to finally see some of you in person. And just to mention that my Thursday morning Zoom class continues every week, so even if it rains, we can practice together. If you’re unable to join us live, you’re welcome to book and receive a recording of the class to watch at a time that works for you.
I hope you’re all doing OK.
Today is the Spring Equinox and I’d like to share a Spring Equinox Meditation with you. It’s on Insight Timer, which has loads of fantastic resources you can access. You can download the app onto your phone in minutes and it’s free.
When I first sat quietly I was aware of all the Adrenalin flooding my nervous system. It felt intense to be sitting and allowing my thoughts, feelings and emotions to flow. But as we do in class, I imagined my breath (along with tension and anxiety) flowing out into the ground beneath me.
This is a very gentle guided meditation, but if sitting quietly feels overwhelming, stop, take a deep breath open your eyes or even come back to it another time. Take the same approach with meditation as you do with your physical practice – approach strong sensations/emotions, explore the edges and soften off if you need to.
It can be helpful to notice how an emotion manifests as a physical sensation. Notice where it’s located in the body and send your breath there. See if you can be present with the sensation and notice as it starts to subside.
Moving from face-to-face classes to online classes is a steep learning curve and I’m currently working out the best way to do it. I’ll be home schooling the boys from Monday, so I also need to see how that unfolds. It’s tempting to rush ahead but I’m trying to follow my own advice – breathe, be present and let the best way forward reveal itself! No doubt you’re all trying to do the same.
Sending love – may we all be happy, healthy and at peace.
I’m getting in touch to let you know that in the light of the Government announcement last night I’ve decided to postpone all my classes until we’re the other side of this pandemic.
Please check my new website joshawyoga.com for updates – the website’s a work in progress so please bear with me!
I’m going to explore uploading some online classes onto my website, so we can all keep moving and take care of ourselves at home. I’ll send you an update on my progress with the world of technology in the next week or so.
In the meantime, I’m personally limiting my exposure to the media and trying to settle into the new ‘normal’. I’m reminding myself that this time will pass. Stress compromises your immune system, so it’s really important to do things that you find relaxing. 10 ‘who breaths’ – breathing in through the nose and out through pursed lips – is a great practice to help ground you, slow down your heart rate and bring your nervous system into ‘rest, heal and digest’ mode.
Sending love to all – stay well and I’ll be in touch soon,