I got the pleasure to be invited to teach Yoga at the Christmas Event of the Yoga Durham group (led by Jacqueline Stevenson and Noel Sharpe) for which I am very grateful for! As I prepared for this workshop, I thought of many intentions/themes for the class, but with the right feedback from Jacqueline and Noel, one theme stood out: Grounding and Centering.
Modern life can demand a lot of us, not only physically but also emotionally. Our current society is moving fast and at times we feel like we have to catch up, finding ourselves in a swirl that can swallow us in, bringing us out of balance. By modern life I mean the need to balance work/family needs, financial commitments, time pressure, etc.. leaving us prone to feel stress, fatigue, worry and anxiety.. Although Christmas is a fabulous time, it can also bring extra concerns, buying Christmas gifts, feeling the effect of being targeted by endless marketing campaigns from retailers inviting us to buy more, to acquire more, to give more… activities that can be distracting us from what Christmas is all about: Enjoying time with family and friends. So, in order to enjoy the festive season in the best possible way, we will let Yoga do the magic, so for 75 min, the Yoga Durham group practice will be about finding a still and quiet place inside all the noisy jingle bells, feeling grounded and centered, making space for us to be in balance, to feel good, to be focused and happy with where we are.
Like Erick Shiffman explains: Yoga is a way of learning to be centered in action, so that you always have the clearest perspective on what is happening and are therefore able to respond most appropriately” (Yoga – The Spirit and Practice of Moving into stillness)
So what is grounding?
To be ungrounded is to feel un-connected, feel spacey, think too much or feel too much anxiety. Therefore to be grounded is to re-connect ourselves to the earth, feel rooted to the ground, to be in our power, to become aware of the tension and consciously let it go, as a result, we feel “present here and now” in everything we do.
The yoga practice will create awareness of the breath, to be grounded is to stay alert, calm and relaxed even in the midst of chaos, so we will use the breath awareness that we have created in our yoga practice to anchor us in, you are invited to bring this practice out of the yoga mat to your daily life, and what best time than using the festive season to start!, creating the space within to bring ourselves to the present moment, no matter on how much advertisement to buy we see! Or how stressful is to cook the Christmas meal!
The class will of course touch base in the feet, our foundation. Grounding is establishing and re-affirming foundation, giving balance and strength to the rest of the body, please see this past blog (stand on your feet… stand on your power (http://www.innerpoweryogauk.com/blog/grounding-and-centering-stand-on-your-feet-stand-on-your-power) to read about Tadasana, and how a good foundation in the feet will open a stable base of the knees/hips/spine/neck and head to fall in, centered and strong.. in your power!.
Teaching this workshop is important for me, as it also reminds me of how Yoga should impact my life beyond the mat, if my yoga practice enables me to be in the present moment, enjoying the festive season as my family visits me from Mexico, extracting every second of it with joy and happiness, and most importantly, stress free, then Yoga has indeed transformed my life.
Namaste & a very grounded and Happy Christmas fellow Yogis!
The Yoga Durham workshop will happen on Dec 13th 2014, and will consist of a morning session led by me, and a later session led by friend/fellow Yoga teacher trainee Vicky Batsioudi.
Yoga teacher & Senior Scientist working full time with a major Multinational.