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Yoga in a time of isolation… in British Columbia

From…

  • Jayne Lloyd-Jones, Salt Spring Island
  • Shirley Daventry French, Victoria

 

 

JAYNE LLOYD-JONES, Salt Spring Island BC – We live in the small community of Ganges, on Salt Spring Island, BC, one of the Southern Gulf Islands with a population of 10,000. Our yoga studio, Yoga In Salt Spring, has a loyal following of Iyengar yoga students, and we are often joined by guests staying at our B&B, Hedgerow House.

During this period of isolation, I have committed to posting a class each week on the Yoga in Salt Spring channel on YouTube. I wanted to make it accessible to everyone, and have simply asked for donations to your local Food Bank in return. This seems the right thing to do in these difficult times.

Wishing everyone good health and the rare opportunity to go deeper in both practice and reflection during these unusual times.

 

 

SHIRLEY DAVENTRY FRENCH, Victoria BC – A Perfect TimePersonal health, public health, our bodies, our breath, our behaviour, how we live our life from moment to moment is at the forefront of our minds for much of the day.

These minds are focused on ourselves, our loved ones, our immediate environment, our personal space, the choices we make from the moment we awaken to the time we lay down in bed at night. And, if you are like me, our dreams too!

A focused mind is one of the prime goals of yoga. From the very first class you will be encouraged to develop awareness of mind and self through the spiritual tool of the body. Words used by your teacher may not say this directly, but for instance: as you stand there in Tadasana becoming aware of your body you begin to tune into your relationship with the earth and its gravitational pull. You learn that it takes a lot of practice to stand still and then, just when you’re mastering this discipline, you are asked to stand on your head!

A good teacher to guide you on this yogic journey is invaluable. The closure of classes may disturb your learning process and the length of this closure is unknown. Your learning may be impeded in some ways but can develop in others. Not only can your practice continue but may deepen to meet your personal needs as you become more familiar with the role played by mind and emotions in disturbing your equilibrium.

If you haven’t established a personal practice this is a good time to do so. By sending out regular bulletins, the PD Committee and staff of the Iyengar Yoga Centre of Victoria will endeavour to help you establish, build or refine your personal practice. There are already several practices posted on our website along with other promotional literature.

We don’t want to catch Covid-19. We may or we may not. That decision is not entirely in our own well-scrubbed hands. What is within reach is to start practising yoga regularly in whatever private space you have available. The props we have at the Centre are helpful, but your living space is full of props from windowsills, chairs, tables and, best of all, a clean floor!

Stand in Tadasana. Lie in Supta Baddhakonasana. If you have learned inversions, turn yourself upside down. Above all, tune into your breath taking slow smooth inhalations and exhalations — lying, sitting, squatting, standing and moving. I have the luxury of a designated yoga room at home, full of props, wall ropes, pelvic swings. Most of all I have the luxury of fifty years of yoga practice to draw on. That practice began at a very challenging time living in what was still a foreign country with a busy physician husband, three young children and a dog. It served its purpose then and continues to do so to this day. If you are not in the habit of practising on your own, now is a perfect time to begin. If your knowledge is very limited now is a perfect time to remedy this. How can we help you until classes resume? Email us at iyoga@telus.net. And when classes do resume, you will benefit far more from them because of the personal practice you have established.

B.K.S. Iyengar never neglected his practice so let’s leave the last words to him: Health is the state when the soul is given The key of the body to roam at will.

 

 

Tell us your yoga stories as we find ourselves in these surreal times… empty grocery store shelves, closed schools, working from home, sometimes futile quests for face masks and hand sanitisers (and toiler paper!), cancelled classes, life in a whole different way… In circumstances which few of us have experienced, how do we cope? How do we continue with yoga? How do we support each other and our students? Send your yoga stories to us (to m.c.carpentier@sympatico.ca) and we’ll include them here.

 

 

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