Ashtanga Yoga Liverpool Bimonthly Social – Guest Post by Rosey

Helen does something every couple of months that it seems not all yoga teachers do. No, she doesn’t get crazy drunk and then go on a weekend long McDonalds binge. As far as I know. She organises socials, a chance to meet up with others who go to her classes, or for that matter don’t go to her classes.

So every few weeks we meet after her last class of the week, on a Friday night. We have a great place for this – a café called The Egg. This is perfect for a bunch of yogis because it’s all vegetarian, so great for vegans too, but also because you just order your food whenever, so you can drop in for a drink, a bit of cake, or go for a full meal. It’s also unlicensed, so you can bring your own alcohol if you want to but it’s nice to be somewhere on a Friday night where being surrounded by drunk people (or in my case, being led astray to become one of the drunk people . . .) isn’t part of the deal.

Yoga students eating food at the Egg

Ashtanga Yoga Liverpool’s May Social, last week

So some of us will have been to Helen’s last class that day. Or maybe one or two other classes during the week. Or no classes for a week. Or a month. Or ever. One of the nice things is meeting people’s partners, or complete yoga newbies who are coming to meet us all before venturing to class. Some of us know each other well now and have a big catch up. Some – probably most – have never actually spoken before, but having been in the same yoga class a few times, once introduced it’s often ‘Ah, so you’re the S____ who I heard being told to get those toes in during backbends’. There’s usually a bit of chat about yoga, and it’s a good chance for swapping experiences and asking advice more informally than in class, and then there’s usually an awful lot more chat about other stuff.

By the end of the evening, it’s often impossible to tell who knew who before we met up a couple of hours before. More than once I’ve assumed that the group going on for a drink or arranging to meet in the park next day must have been friends for a while, when it turns out that night’s the first time they’ve spoken. This is so important for people who are new to the city, and want to get to know people, but also who want to get to know places and organisations. Between us we have a pretty impressive wealth of knowledge about living well in in Liverpool. It never feels like there’s a ‘clique’, or an ‘in group’, just a bunch of otherwise disparate people who a) live here and b) do yoga. And we’re all nice, honest.

And then next time you’re in class, instead of a polite smile while you arrange your mat, there’s a proper grin, and a ‘how are you?’. And a confession from me that I have, once again, forgotten your name. Sorry about that.

Rosey Stock

Rosey

The next yoga social will be in July. You can keep updated with Ashtanga Yoga Liverpool’s events via the monthly newsletter. This blog post was written by Rosey Stock, you might recognise her from class. If you would like to contribute the blog, please let me know. It’s great to get the student perspective. Thanks Rosey.  Helen

Balancing Yoga Practice With Life, Love and Challenges

As is the tradition in Ashtanga Yoga, I practice yoga six days a week. The only exceptions are illness or injury, but usually that just means I modify what I practice. Practicing this often is great, for me it’s like brushing my teeth; it’s a non-negotiable part of my day that I love. Practicing daily brings the benefits of practice into my daily life but finding the time for it can still sometimes present a challenge.

 

Helen and Marc walking in Wales

Helen and her partner Marc walking in Wales - After yoga

I have just been to Wales to spend the extended weekend with my family and my partner, I had a lovely time. As I was there to spend time with those I love I found myself thinking about how it can sometimes seem such a selfish act to practice daily.  It is a luxury that I am very grateful to be able to experience fully.  My friends and family are very accepting and know it is part of who I am.

 

In this modern world, full of over productive schedules, taking the time for me can seem selfish. This is especially the case if I or my loved ones are going through challenging times in life. There are obviously occasions when not doing yoga may be the most ethical or safest thing to do. If my house was on fire, for example! In most cases, it is possible to practice yoga and do the right thing by the rest of your life. I am reminded now, of practicing on the day of my father’s funeral, it seemed such a strange thing to do but it helped me stay calm when I read a poem at the funeral and it helped me through the challenging day.

 

Experience has taught me that I am more aware of myself and others and better able to keep calm from practicing yoga and I am therefore able to make a better contribution to my world. I think it is important for everyone to make some time each day to connect with themselves, in whatever way they choose even if it is only 5 minutes. It can seem selfish but in the end I hope it helps everyone. I am very grateful for the time I have for myself and the impact that has on the rest of my life.  How have you overcome challenges in practising yoga?