Hello lovely humans
Over the coming few weeks, as we get to the final two classes in the series of The Art of Changing Your Mind (you can still book on to these classes and access the final two live, recordings of the first 3 and all of the goodies that come with booking) I have some extra classes that you can join me in too.
I have my regular free classes, at 8am on Saturdays and Sundays. And, for the next two weeks, I am covering the Tuesday morning and Thursday morning, 10am, Kundalini Global classes for Carolyn Cowan.
Tuesdays: June 22nd and June 29th. 10am-11:15am. Via zoom. This is a 75 minute Kundalini Global class, that follows the same format as my own classes.
Thursdays: June 24th and July 1st. 10am-11:15am. Via zoom. A Core Abdominals and Pranayama class. This class, as an attendee, is my favourite class of the week. I plan to make it an excellent and fun experience for all who come along. It’s a little different to my usual offer, we will be doing breath practise, a series of core abdominal exercises, and a short yoga series. All in 75 minutes.
To book these classes you can go straight to Ribbon, who manage the bookings for Carolyn’s classes. Pick the class you would like to join and take it from there. If you have any questions about accessing these classes, or anything else, send me an email.
Book Classes On Ribbon (I am covering the next 4, between June 22nd – July 1st)
Can I stop time?
Do you ever consciously choose to move slower in one aspect of your life only to unconsciously speed things up in another?
I take on less work, I do more and more exercise, I let go of needing a tidy house, I decide I ‘need’ to start a new social enterprise, read 27 books at once that hurt my brain and learn to play a new musical instrument.
Right now I too often choose action over rest. There is so much cool stuff to be getting on with. But even when our action’ turns toward service, we still need rest. All of us. And lots of it.
And it is a choice. To choose to listen to our bodies. And I know that.
It is incredibly important to recognise when our entire being is in hyperdrive. If we find ourselves spinning 75 different styles of dinner plate sets, on a variety of distinctly unstable poles and for extended periods of time, not only does it put our physical being under huge amounts of stress (circus manipulation art is a sport in itself) but it also means, or very likely means, we’re missing out on the bliss of presence.
Sometimes the reason we won’t slow down is because we can’t bear what we find when we do. We’ve all been through an incredibly challenging time of late and it can be really tough to sit in stillness and just …notice.
Notice how we really feel.
What we really need.
To just be.
I believe yoga practise comes in here like a fairly godmother. To make your pause present. I have a good idea of where I would be, mentally, physically, without my yoga practise right now. And it is not a nice thought. . .
After every morning practise I spend time in child’s pose. There, I feel utterly safe. Utterly still. Grounded. It is so so lovely. ‘I need this’. Is all my mind says. And, when I move to uncurl as the first item on the never ending todo list creeps in to my thoughts, in a whisper, the voice adds, ‘I need more!’
It’s something I’ve never been that good at… take my approach to running over the years…
You may or may not know how much I adore running. I truly do. It’s my ultimate way to move anything that needs to move … be that my legs, a headache or some crippling self-doubt. And, whilst I love the run itself, what it is that I really cannot get enough of is the endorphins that come at the end.
It is only in the past 12 months that I have come to appreciate and relish the endorphins. Training to teach Kundalini Global gave me so much invaluable information on changing hormonal flow in the body… and this unlocked a whole new experience of my post run euphoria.
Yesterday I ran about 7km from my house. I had not been for a run for over a month owing to a minor surgery I had on my leg. With the stitches gone I pulled on my trainers, made my way to an abandoned railway track, and I ran. I was SO thrilled to be running. I ran entirely in a straight line.
Having not fully anticipated the (rather depressing) decrease in my level of anaerobic fitness, when I found myself quite qucikly 7km from home and somewhere in South Staffordshire, surrounded by fields, it occurred to me that, with no running juice left, the slow journey home may take some time. I stopped. I laughed. I lay back on some grass for five minutes. It started to rain. A bunny rabbit came and ran over my feet. No joke! The idea of a slow, long walk home, basking in the endorphins, in no rush at all, made me happy. Immeasurably happy. There was a time that would not have been so.
Endorphins reduce pain and boost pleasure by eating our stress hormones. They are released in response to effort.
Endorphins are important because they give us a feeling of well-being which can really aid us in being present and in feeling safe and allowing ourselves stillness.
Endorphins were, on reflection, a large part of what kept me coming back to Kundalini Yoga classes when I first started them. Retrospectively, I can see that the pauses between endorphin releasing postures were what allowed me a new experience of them… of the endorphins. And also, from that, a new experience of myself.
Postures that release Endorphins include:
Gas pose with BofF (one of my faves!)
All of these postures, and many more in Kundalini, especially when held for 1-3 minutes, release a huge amount of endorphins.
What is special about Kundalini Global is that we always allow ourselves the experience of the endorphins flooding through the body at the end of an endorphin producing posture.
This is something I did not get from my running. I never paused. I ran and ran – straight back to my front door, jumped in the shower… then moved right on with my day.
To pause after releasing endorphins is absolutely vital. Our chance of stillness. Our change to experience, maybe for the first time, safety. The pause is also when the endorphins get to work in eating all the stress hormones. As my mentor and teacher Carolyn Cowan says – if we do not take the rest, the pauses – it is like rolling a joint and then not smoking it!
Other Minds, The Making of Biblical Womanhood and Seven Brief Lessons on Physics – What I Have Been Reading
My bibliophilia is at what may well be its peak. I have read so much over the past few months. Often up to 3 books a week. (Make of this what you will relative to how I opened this blog post with a need to slow down!)
Much of this has been for research for projects I am working on, but I work to one a week being entirely for pleasure.
3 such books that I have enjoyed hugely over the past month (I will not write reviews or even much of a description here, you can check them out and see if they sound like they are for you) are:
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli.
When I was at school I was pretty excellent at physics. But I did not fall in love with it. I wish I had, because my interest now is unyielding, but the foundations of my knowledge are shaky and uncertain. Books like this, that explain scientific theories in clear and compelling ways, are pure joy to me. I cannot believe that such a short book can teach so much. Truly recommend. As one review says ‘the entire universe in 79 pages’.
The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr.
‘How The Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth’. Women in/and the church has become something that I am compelled to delve more and more into. This is not owing, particularly, to anything specific to my own religious or spiritual belief systems, about which I do not write or share, but owing to the broader implications the way the church has thought of, treated, and influenced the lives of, women is something that was entirely unknown to me until the past few years. Knowing the little I do so far, it is a topic that I feel is of huge importance to all people attempting to navigate life, and shape change, in our patriarchal society. This book ties the ‘Biblical woman’ to clearly definable historical moments. It is an utterly fascinating book and topic.
Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith
‘The Octopus and The Evolution of Intelligent Life’. The octopus appears to be having something of a moment in the popular imagination. Good. I love them. Adore them. I went to a bookshop to search for a gift for a friend and came across this book. Straight in to my basket it went. Reading about evolution – amazing. Reading about cephalopods? Even better. It has a chapter called ‘Mischief and Craft’. Two of my favourite things and words. It’s a really interesting read. And if any creature can be drawn upon to investigate the origin and nature of consciousness then the octopus seems by far superior to us humans to fit the bill.
I get to the end of these posts with roughly 45.682 things I have thought of as I sit and write that I want to share. But I will stop here. And only say… thank you so much for reading.
I hope you have a truly lovely day/weekend/week…
I send you loads of love and hope to see you in a class very soon