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Monthly Archives: April 2016

We are Six – and it’s brilliant!

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Take your mind back for a moment and try to recapture how it was to be six years old. Do you remember  doing  cartwheels and handstands against the wall with your best friend? Can you recall the way in which a normal day could be transformed into one of magic, secret tunnels and other worlds?

As Peacock Tree Yoga turns six, we are reminded to reconnect with our child selves. Young minds are so clean, so unpolluted – free of the ideas society has about the way we should look or behave. When we are six, the veil has not yet been drawn over our pure awareness of being, of living in the moment. As six year olds, we’re more curious about, and impressed with, the world around us – things many of us strive for as adults.

Peacock Tree Yoga friends

Peacock Tree friends enjoying a post-workshop natter and munch!

Playful Peacocks

At Peacock Tree Yoga, we’re proud to encourage these ‘childlike’ qualities, with our fun and inspiring classes. Enjoying the feeling of being back in our body again. We aim to ensure that every student feels connected and appreciated, and is able to escape the grown up world of demands and expectations.

Visit our Facebook page to see more photos of us in action!

The best part is, our students play along – and this is what makes our school so special, a fact noted by a visiting  teacher at last weekend’s powerful Yin Yang workshop, Jude Claybourne. Our yoga community mightily impressed Jude, who told me afterwards that she’s never encountered one like ours, where people who have become true friends share stories about their practice and development in a loving, gentle, kind and happy atmosphere. We all hang out after workshops drinking herbal tea and fabulous cakes and raw food treats.

This is the stuff of a six-year old yoga school’s dreams, and we can’t thank our students enough for the part they play in making it such a success. Here’s to the next twenty six years of growing and playing together!

Happy 6th birthday, everyone!

Peacock Tree Yoga in York - Scorpion pose

Connecting with nature

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A natural communion

One of my favourite things to do is to go walking with friends and a few days off teaching over Easter afforded me the opportunity to do just that. Friends are so important, each providing in their individual ways, a combination of support, company, advice and fun – as well as a reflection of certain aspects of our own personality. And we, of course, reciprocate with our own offerings.

Friends do the same job as nature: they confirm who we are – which is a very reassuring and enjoyable thing!

Tulsi enjoying communion with her friend, Harvey (before wihpping off her clothes and enjoying her connection with nature!

Tulsi enjoying communion with her friend, Harvey (before whipping off her clothes and enjoying her connection with nature!)

But whilst we tend to learn about our ego selves through our relationships with others, nature gets right down to the core of the matter: it shows us our true self – it shows us that we are One. And as my companion and I strode along the beach in Scarborough, our young children within sight, revelling in their surroundings, this fact was wonderfully apparent.

We are all made of stars* (and water, fire and space)

That day, I observed how each wave leaves a mark on the shore, and how I, too, find myself being changed by nature – by the longer days and the freshness of Spring. I felt the space opening up in my heart and mind, mirroring the vast sky above my head. The sandy earth beneath my feet gave me the feeling of being grounded and confident – great solace in a world of permanent change.

Nature gently put its hands on my shoulders, looked me in the eye and confirmed what many of us know, but often forget to notice: everything is connected. You, me and the elements – everything in and on this planet. My daughter, Tulsi, is undoubtedly tuned into this fact; as is so often the case, she was the only naked child on the beach – for that girl, a beach signals ‘bare bottom’…whatever the temperature!

Connecting with nature through yoga

I thank yoga for the ability to see how everything is connected. Our practice gives us time to connect to our deepest selves – that essential aspect of ourselves that’s so often buried under our thoughts, learnt behaviours, frantic day-to-day lives and dramas. Yoga shines a light on the light within, so that when we give ourselves time amongst nature, we’re able to see how we’re not all that different to the elements; indeed, we ARE the elements!

“Yoga shines a light on the light within”

Connecting with nature is a wonderfully enlightening experience and I strongly recommend taking the time to do it. Whether it’s an afternoon in the garden or allotment, a trip to the park, a roam around the Bar Walls, or a grand escapade in God’s own county, along the coast or across the dales and moors – plan it, write it on the calendar, make it happen!

It’s elementary, dear yogis…

Take the time, too, to experience this sense of oneness with the elements during your yoga asana practice. Pay attention to:

  • the earthy weight of your skeleton
  • the wind of your breath moving in, out, and through you
  • the warm fire of your digestive organs
  • the moisture in your mouth and eyes
  • and finally, when you become quiet enough, the vastness of space within and around you

*We really are, read this!