Pondering My Ability to Supersede a Zombie Orangutan, Coffee over Sleep and The Anatomy of Caress: What I Have Been Up To This Week

I need help! You see, in my house, Halloween is kind of a big deal. Me and my children LOVE it. We have boxes full of decorations that have been collected over the years that we eagerly count down the days to unpacking, we ALWAYS have a special Halloween themed breakfast that usually involves me carving a creepy shape in to a watermelon and, for me in particular, the opportunity to dress up is PARAMOUNT to the fun of the day. But I am out of ideas right now.

Dressing up for Halloween is something I put far too much thought in to for a ‘normal’ person. And, if you know me at all, it may not be surprising to learn that I am not a ‘sexy cat’ or ‘zombie nurse’ type of human.

Last year I was inspired by the plight of the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan population and dressed as zombie orangutan complete with blood soaked banana. Previously I have been everything from Cousin Itt from The Addams Family to a giant pumpkin (this particular costume involved having a battery operated pump attached to me that continually pumped air in to the outfit. I broke a lot of ornaments at various parities I attended that day).

This year, nothing is coming to me that lights me up. I need some divine inspiration. If you have any, do let me know.

Some of my favourite previous costumes.

Yoga is my saviour, always (apart from when I forget!)

It has really struck me this week just how much my yoga practise, and attending classes, has carried me through 2020. It seems common sense, with me being a yoga teacher and all. But as a client on the mat too.

This week I attended several classes with Carolyn Cowan, including her very excellent ‘Better Sleep’ workshop. Of course this 2.5 hour lecture and yoga session was absolutely brilliant and so valuable. Expertly delivered, fascinating, fun, practical and left me feeling incredibly relaxed as well as hopeful for achieving better sleep. But it also made me pause to reflect on those times where I don’t reach inside my own toolkit to help myself in times I most need to. I am so much better than I used to be, to notice when I need to breathe, to stretch, to regulate. And yet, only this week I found myself unable to get back to sleep one night when I woke up in a somewhat existential mindset at 2am. I did ‘try’ (laying there with anxious thoughts going at 1000 miles an hour in my head, all of which is obsessed over) but, after an hour or so, I just gave in to my thoughts… I got up and made myself a strong coffee (yes at 3am!) and then sat and did some work.

This is nothing short of insanity.

I am making a change to my sleep, inspired (as always) by Carolyn. Sleep hygiene is going to be ramped up to 100 this week and beyond. And I am making a commitment to practise what I preach. Even at 3am when the dark night, and caffeine, calls. Stretch! Breathe. Soothe the mind. No coffee. Never. Go back to sleep.

Behind the scenes and classes this week and beyond.

Something that many of you seem to like, when I film stories on my Instagram account or write on this blog, is when I take you on a little journey behind this scenes in my life.

This week I had a bit of a clear out in my yoga room, I’m taking a break from teaching all but one of my classes this week because my children are off school for half term and so it felt like a good time for a good old cleanse of the space.

When you join me online it’s interesting to me that you only get to see the space I set for you from one perspective. Generally this is a very good thing because I am not at all ‘good yogi’ like in my attachment to being surrounded by a lot of STUFF and the other half of my room is generally, how can I put this? Very BUSY.

But after having a little sort out I thought I would show you, today, exactly what it is that I SEE when I am teaching via zoom. A little peep behind the curtain so to speak.

Chaotic, but less so than usually!

As I say, this week I only have one class on – Wednesday morning at 10am. From the following week my new class times will be:

Tuesday Morning at Bantock House Museum and Gardens @ 10:15am
Wednesday Morning Online, Via Zoom @ 10:00am
Thursday Evening Online, Via Zoom @ 7:00pm
Friday Mornings Online, Via Zoom @10:00am.

My website is getting something of an upgrade this week to reflect the new class times with, hopefully, a new booking system. So keep an eye out for an announcement about that. And, as always if you have any questions or would like to book for Wendesday and have questions do get in touch.

The Anatomy of Caress and The Sense That Makes US Human: What I Have Been Reading This Week

This week I read a very fascinating book from David J. Linden called ‘Touch: The Science of Sense That Makes Us Human’.

I have an interesting relationship to touch, that I won’t go in to now (we’d be here for years) but I am really fascinated with the science of the brain and this book appealed for that reason and more.

It was very refreshing to read a book with a scientific focus that is full of so much personality. I loved the ‘voice’ and the tone of this book that teaches you not only about the science of touch in a general sense but also explores sexual touch, touch illusions, pain and pleasure.

This may not be for everyone but my favourite part was the entire chapter dedicated to itching and scratching. Science still doesn’t fully understand the itch. Not for the squeamish, the chapter includes a photo (although not too graphic in the paperback which is printed in black and white) of a woman who had such an INTENSE itch at the top of her forehead that she scratched through the skin and skull to expose the surface of her brain! Crazy. Love it. (I mean, I am sorry that happened to her but soooo interesting!)

Recommend. Loved it. Magic.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Let me know what you think I should dress up as for Halloween and I hope to see some of you in class on Wednesday morning.

With love, spooky skeletons and appropriate touch in abundance,

Sara-Jayne xxx

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