We're excited that we will be opening our doors again on 25th of July, both in Peterborough and Huntingdon.
The first session in Peterborough in person will take place on Saturday 25th of July and in Huntingdon on Monday 27th of July.
We've put together a timetable taking into consideration the results of the survey where we listened to your voice, the availability and willingness of the teachers to come to the studios, cleaning times and general logistics around the changed reality due to covid. We think we've come up with a great solution: a good mix of different styles and teachers at times you told us you preferred, in-person and live-streamed sessions with your favourite teachers, new teachers and guest teachers from all over the world, including a regular live streamed Yin Yoga class on a Tuesday morning with South African yoga teacher Ridwaan Lockhart from 4th of August. We understand that the timetable is not perfect and that your most favourite class or teacher might not be on the timetable or at a time you like. We welcome any feedback, and will consider it for future changes.
What we have put in place:
To embrace our new changed world, here is what we have put into place:
Here is an explanation about the timetable:
What we need you to do:
Here is what we need you to do for the in-person classes:
Our Terms & Conditions
Our Terms and Conditions have changed: IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ:
Memberships: If you are currently a 12 monthly member and you'd like to cancel your membership, please contact us by 30th of July. You will be able to cancel your membership free of charge with immediate effect. After that, the regular terms and conditions apply to your membership, i.e. 12 monthly commitment or if you have been a member for 12 months already, a 30-day notice period.
We're currently unclear about mask regulations, so please bear with us and we will send you some further information once we have an update.
Our landscape has been continually changing and we're constantly reviewing best practices, governmental regulations, recommendations by UK Yoga Alliance and expert advice. Please bear with us as we are navigating this increasingly more complex terrain.
We very much feel that in these times yoga is an incredible tool to stay grounded and centred with strong boundaries enabling us to have compassion for others without losing ourselves.
We hope through these measures we will create an enjoyable experience for teachers, therapists and clients alike and provide a space where we can come back home to ourselves in a peaceful and restful way.
Our thanks go to all of you who supported us through this pandemic by showing up online and buying drop ins, memberships and passes. Thank you all also for your kind words and your encouragement during these challenging times.
Walk in beauty
This is a pre-announcement that we will be opening our doors both in Huntingdon and Peterborough on 25th of July. Please bear with us as we are finalising the timetable and processes, so that we can enjoy being at the centre safely and responsibly.
We cannot wait to see you in person. We will continue with our live streamed classes, too, in case you can't or don't want to make it in person.
Please bear with us as we are pulling all information together. You will get a very detailed update on Friday.
Huge thank you, as always, to all the people who have been supporting us.
Walk in beauty
Like the previous years, Brian and I went skiing to the same place we always go to. We took a private session with the same instructor we had before. As a side, it made me realise how important a good teacher is for learning, thinking differently and for experiencing joy in the activity.
On multiple occasions the instructor told me to straighten and relax my arms more and to keep them closer to the torso using minimum effort for the turns. He named my rather ungraceful position "The Wrestler". It totally made me laugh and of course it reflects the way I often wrestle with life instead of being at ease and trusting the process. It's fascinating that how we do one thing, we do everything. My personal intent for 2020 is to be more at ease and not to wrestle on my skis or in life.
Walk in beauty and with ease
Last weekend I taught a three day continuous education programme for yoga teachers. One of the emerging statements, which had a lot of gravity, was: "the middle is difficult".
Throughout this week I have been feeling that this is so true for many people including myself. It's easy to move one way or another. The middle ground is so much more difficult, since it requires feeling into the body a lot more. Going to one extreme or another does not require sensing into the body; these responses are often more habitual and guided by our head and ultimately seeking some sense of control. Being German I like things to be neat, black and white and generally I enjoy order. It's however in the less defined areas, in the grey ones where we can find the most growth and a lot of creativity - and most importantly a sense of contentment and equilibrium.
Hang out in the beautiful middle!
As we are transitioning into autumn with the weather starting to change and the nights drawing in, I feel it's a good time to reflect on what we can let go of. In the four directions, a ceremony we do in Forrest Yoga, autumn is placed in the West. It's the location of where the sun goes down, where things come to an end and also where death resides. It's the season where the trees shed their leaves and prepare for winter. It's the season of letting go.
I've started to read Marie Kondo's book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying". The author suggests that the first step in tidying is to "discard" and the criteria to choose whether to discard an item or not is: "Does this spark joy?". It's so simple and yet so profound. She says that if an item sparks joy, keep it, if it doesn't, throw it away. One of the ongoing learnings for me is to make my life simpler and I'm very excited and curious about applying this principle to more areas of my life.
What is it in your life that you can let go of? What does not spark joy in your life?
Tidy in beauty.
As part of my ongoing personal development and process, I have been focusing on my anxiety that can be evoked over seemingly nothing. I get the feeling of losing my ground, of tightness in the chest, of ants in my whole body and a sense of restlessness and the urge to "do" or "fix" something. The cardinal rule for me is to stop and pause creating space versus going into a headless frenzy. And for sure not to write any emails at this point in time or make any major decisions.
I understand in myself that this reaction is not proportional to what is actually going on, but it is a "trigger" - as we call it in Forrest Yoga. When I manage to create the pause, feel into my body, notice the sensation and come back to myself, the situation looks very different and a lot more manageable. In that moment I have created perspective.
Ongoingly, to cultivate a sense of calm and groundedness and inner peace I have been working on what author and researcher Brene Brown calls "swimming in your own lane". She talks about how we can be pulled out of our body by comparing ourselves with others; she likens this to swimming in a lane next to somebody else and trying to adopt their rhythm and strokes. At the end we are breathless, out of tune with ourselves and very inefficient. It's about staying in my own lane, focusing on what it is that I'm doing and what is important to me; of course taking inspiration and learnings from the world around me, but essentially staying concentrated on my own values, what has integrity for me and my own priorities. Staying in my own lane also extends to limiting my use of social media: as much as it can be inspiration and creates connection, it also can trigger separation and disconnection within myself.
Walk in beauty on your own unique, wonderful and mysterious path!
This Sunday I'm turning 40 years old. As much as I don't see it as a turning point, I very much perceive it as a distinct marker. I've been contemplating a lot about the number 4 and what it means to me at this stage in my life. Coincidentally, my husband and I also had our 4th wedding anniversary on the 1st of May of this year. The number 4 is the number of completion - of full circle. There are four directions, four seasons, four phases in the moon. It symbolises arriving and a strong foundation.
After the teacher training in Peterborough, I taught workshops and then went on holidays in South Africa. It always takes me a while to step out of work mode and to arrive at a quieter space in myself where I'm more connected to nature and myself. Initially, the space caused me anxiety, before a deep sense of peace opened up for me. In that moment, I realised that at times in very subtle ways I'm feeling like a victim; I feel that something is imposed on me and I have to react to it without having a real choice.
On a very mundane level, this is how I handle emails. I feel that they are just coming in without me having any control over it; becoming a victim to technology. When my therapist suggested that I don't check my emails for several days and just let the out of office message do its work, I nearly had a heart attack, but I gave it a go. It was the most liberating experience and it deeply shifted something in me. I did not feel that there was this invasion of my space, but when I sat down to reply to emails and work my way through my inbox, I actually felt ready to do that - with a sense of inner authority and agency. Not surprisingly I was also more efficient at it. It had a profound experience on me moving me out of the victim to a place where I could stay connected to myself, have a sense of authority and stay in a calm place even when outer things were chaotic.
I have now decided to give myself a gift for my 40th birthday: no emails on two days of the week and additionally be more mindful not to check my emails twenty or thirty times a day, but to decide when I'm in a good enough space and have the time to actually answer them. I feel that this a very important, even though seemingly small, step to arriving more fully in myself.
Walk in beauty!
I have written about the experience of overwhelm in the last blog, but I've been very compelled to write some more about it, because it is something that is so prevalent in myself and also in the people I work with.
Last week the first half of the Forrest Yoga Teacher Training finished and one of the things I always tell trainees at the end is to leave enough space to digest the content and the experiences of the programme. Often, the tendency is to get back home and into a routine as quickly as possible. There is no downtime or in body psychotherapy terms there is no "downswing". The nervous is continually fired up without chance for the body to actually absorb what has been learned and experienced. There is not enough space to absorb fully and get nourished. Creating space and keeping that space is something I continually have to pay attention to. It is not something that comes natural to me.
As one of the people I work with very aptly said:
"My heart's desire is for lightness, simply "being" and joy."
It's about leaning back more into oneself and resting in order to live life to its full.
Rest in beauty!
One of the things that fascinates me the most is an emerging pattern in myself that is mirrored back to me by the people I work with. At the moment, I can see a lot of overwhelm - in myself and in my clients.
Last week I took some time off and noticed that on day two and three I started to get edgy and restless. Even though I was on holiday with my family I started to think ahead and go through a mental list of a million tasks that I needed to do when I got back. And I feel that is very much how overwhelm gets created: thinking ahead, feeling the gravity of what is to come with no opportunity to do anything about it in that moment in time. For me, it's not when I do things that I feel overwhelmed, it's when I start overthinking, overanalysing and thinking ahead, which creates a sense of paralysis and/or anxiety in my body. Often a perceived lack of time, resources or skill for all that needs to be done is a deciding factor, too. There is a dose of feeling helpless sprinkled in there as well. When I was on holiday, I kept reminding myself: Right now, I'm on holiday and that is what I'm focusing on. When I'm back at work, that's when I work.
One of the most important tools to stay out of overwhelm is to focus on what is moving through the body in this very moment. The question of "What is happening right now?" is very useful in feeling one's body and anchoring oneself in the present. In Forrest yoga the basic moves of activating the feet and Ujjayi breath are great ways to sense into the body, too. Moving the body, like in the sun salutations, can also be a good method to move out of freeze or anxiety.
When we are present there are limitless possibilities and we have the opportunity to create new approaches to old issues (Dan Siegel, The Mindful Therapist). Being mindful is "avoiding premature closure of possibilities".
We really don't know what's coming next, so let's lean into what is happening now and trusting that we have the resilience and skills to deal with what is to come and by doing so, we will stay out of overwhelm.
Walk in beauty and with presence
I have mentioned several times in the previous blogs that last year was a year of a lot change for myself, but also for my clients. Often, I felt that I was resisting the change and thoughts like "it should not be that way" or "I should not have to deal with this" came up. There was a tightening around the changes that were out of my control.
A sense of entitlement or righteousness also crept in. I felt that I had put so much work into things and I was not reaping the benefits or received the gratitude I was owed. This in turn left me with resentment and exhaustion. My therapist has been suggesting for the last couple of years to give life situations a big internal yes. I never quite understood fully what she meant by that. At the beginning of the year, I had this massive realisation in my body what it really means to internally say "yes" to what is happening. When I deeply say "yes", my heart opens up, there is a lightness around my buttocks and sacrum and a softening around the neck and jaw.
This year I have made a decision to truly accept what is coming my way and to embrace what life is giving me. The transformation has been incredibly profound and I feel there is a lot more flow and energy, as well as joy, in what I'm doing. I'm trusting life and the process even more and have been experiencing a lot more support in my work, but also in my life in general. It has opened up possibilities that go beyond what I could have wished for or could have ever imagined.
I encourage you to stay present with what is and to embrace what is coming your way and to give life a big internal "yes".
Walk in beauty
Yoga, well-being and mindfulness... always walk in beauty.