Winter 2020 Newsletter

So here we are approaching the end of 2020, and I think it is safe to say that this year has not gone to plan for most of us.  I think you all deserve a huge pat on the back for getting through the past 9 months, and extra gold stars for all that has involved… working from home unexpectedly, caring for loved ones, battling with the constant anxiety, home educating children, working on the frontlines, navigating online activities, and simply getting up and dressed and doing something each day.

So how are you doing?  And don’t respond with ‘fine’!  How are you really?  How are you feeling?  The past months have been tough, and we all acknowledged that for a while, but then something changed.  It seemed as if at some point this autumn many of us just expected to be getting back on with everything as usual, to be achieving more, to be coping with everything more easily.  But it’s not easy, it’s okay to find things tough, and we do not need to beat ourselves up when we struggle.

The word that has been jumping into my mind over the past few weeks is relentless.  This year has hit so many of us with one thing after another after another.  That takes its toll, especially if you are not managing to take the time you need to process the changes.

This time to process is why I get on my mat each morning (well, at least 5 mornings a week).  I have to admit that over the past months there have often been moments when I have simply sat on my mat doing nothing.  There have been times when I have just stopped halfway through my movement practice.  There have been many times when my head is whirling with everything that is happening and I struggle to find any focus.  And yes there have been tears.

But this is why I come back to my practice each day.  It is that bit of time on the mat (whatever happens in that time) that gives me the time and space I need to process my emotions, to try and calm my whirlwind thoughts, and to find a moment of quiet.  Having that safe space, and the continuity of habit and routine keeps me grounded and stable.  My yoga helps me to cope, it keeps me steady through the good times and the bad.

What are your coping mechanisms?  How have you managed to ride the rollercoaster of 2020?

And how are you feeling as we approach the end of this year?  Relief that it is nearly over?  Anticipation of better times ahead?  Fear of the uncertainty?  Or just plain exhausted?

I have to admit that at the moment I am in the exhausted category.

I have added new classes to my timetable and pulled together a few projects over the past couple of months leading to a very busy past couple of weeks.   

It has been wonderful to come back together in person with the mums and little ones in my Yoga Babies classes, and to resume in person kids classes.  Being back on the mats with these little yogis has brought smiles to my face each Monday as we weave yoga postures together to tell stories with the younger children and then explore themes such as balance and flow with the older ones.  My young yogis love a challenge and had me do 6 balancing postures on one leg without putting the foot on the floor a few weeks ago!  I am hoping to keep my kids yoga classes running in the new year, but I do need a few more young yogis to join us if these classes are to continue long term.

I had hoped to be back in person with most of my classes by now, but unfortunately it hasn’t happened.  Still, this means that yogis are able to join me online from far and wide, and I have added a few extra online offerings.  Regular Yin and Restorative classes now take place online on Monday evenings, giving us all a much needed opportunity to slow down and enjoy some relaxation, and I have a small group of dedicated yogis joining me early on Monday mornings for guided ashtanga practice.  Interested in joining us for classes?  Check out my current classes here, and feel free to message me with any questions at all.

The online format has also provided the opportunity for me to pull together a project that was lurking in my thoughts for a long time before it became reality.  I have recorded a series of postnatal yoga videos, which are now available to purchase and access through YouTube.  These videos include a breathing practice, longer yoga sessions, relaxation and some 10 minute practices for when time is short.  A group of wonderful mums tried these out for me and have given me wonderful feedback, commenting on how enjoyable they found the sessions and how they felt like they were tailored specially for them.  Interested?  You can now purchase this course online here.

My other big project has involved setting up a pay it forwards scheme.  This allows people to donate a class or a block of classes anonymously to someone who may be struggling just now.  I’m so excited to get this off the ground, and I need your help.  I firmly believe that yoga has so many benefits to offer, and sharing these benefits is so important.  If you are ever struggling to cover the cost of your yoga classes please reach out to me without hesitation or embarrassment.  And if you know of someone else who might benefit from this scheme please do spread the word.  If you would like to donate a class, you can do so through this page.

Putting these things together, alongside my regular online teaching (so much more challenging physically than in person… I can’t come out of the hard postures to watch you so often when I’m on screen!!) has left me ready for a break.  So I have to admit I am looking forward to the Christmas holidays.

How about you?  I’m guessing that for a lot of us, the festive season will look quite different this year.  I hope you can still come together with some loved ones, celebrate the darker days and the return of the light, stay cosy and share some joy.

As for me, I’m planning to take a slightly longer break this year.  If you’re looking forward to getting back on the mats with me in 2021 keep your eyes on your inbox for new timetable and booking information arriving soon.

In the meantime, I have my Christmas cake sitting in the pantry getting regular feeds of brandy, and my Christmas pudding hiding under the bed.  My mincemeat is ready to be made into pies this weekend and I have discovered M&S now make dairy free chocolate truffles.  I have dug out my sparkly earrings and my Christmas jumpers.  I plan to eat, drink, read, have fun and rest for a few weeks.

I’ll still jump on my mat most days, but maybe the 5am alarm can be paused for a couple of weeks…

Treat yourself kindly over the weeks ahead, acknowledge that this year has been tough (and continues to be so), give yourself chance to process.  Do whatever you need to do to get through, and let’s be hopeful for brighter days ahead.

With much love to you all



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