The lovely OM Yoga Magazine is well and truly out!
It is simply full of great articles. I particularly like all that has been written in the ‘Yoga For Every Body‘ part of the magazine. I have always been ‘well-built’! Now that means many things to many people but basically I have always been a standard size 14 (British sizing) and over the years I’ve lost the odd pound here and there and gained a few more along the way too. Fortunately, I have never really been a timid person and decided years ago to ‘get fit’ and so I used what was then known as Family Allowance to join a gym. My years in Africa meant money had accumulated and resulted in there being quite sufficient for an annual membership.
It was wonderful to feel my body become stronger and full of energy but something was missing. Yoga filled that space and became massively important to me. Twenty years on and I have a strong, healthy body. At no point in any class or training have I ever been made to feel uncomfortable. So it is great to read in OM other people’s journey into yoga regardless of size, shape, flexibility.
I also thoroughly enjoyed reading the interview with Michele Pernetta who pioneered Bikram Yoga in the UK. She has moved on to develop her own style, Fierce Grace.
There are many rules and regulations in our lives. We are told by experts what and how to do things. We have, by necessity, to work within systems and report to The Boss. That is how it is. But along the way we lose our sense of self and give all our energy to trying to do things in ways that may compromise or disempower us. It’s good to read of the increasing number of people who are striking out on their own in their chosen field and following their hearts as well as their heads! I have never worked well within The System and love developing my own ideas and style in both my massage and yoga. This possibly/almost certainly causes consternation within some schools of yoga. I work from a strong base as taught me by great teachers and then I gently tease what I know into a slightly altered state to suit better the wonderful bodies I have before me.
A meditator since I was 19 years old, I am always interested in reading about this wonderful practice and within this issue there are some great pieces.
‘Kilimanjaro Calling’ delighted me. I saw this incredible mountain often on our safaris round Kenya and it was easily visible every time I flew back into East Africa. Sadly, the Tanzanian border was closed when we lived in Kenya so we did not get to visit. We did have the stunning Mt Kenya though, which was plainly visible from the verandah of our first house. Debbie McIntee who has written the article climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro and I understand totally what she says. I was unable to climb Mt Kenya as I became violently ill every time I tried to go above 11,000ft. However, my husband went twice and came back full of wonder and would have used the word awesome had it not been 1982!
Pop into the recipe section for some easy-to-make vegetarian dishes….we are having the Bengali Split Pea Curry tonight.
And finally I read with interest ‘We’re All In This Together’ by Norman Blair. Supervision and mentoring were once a required part of my job as a counsellor. I counselled people and therefore had to attend regular supervision. It was both one to one with my supervisor and in groups. One day, as Norman writes it may well become a necessity within yoga but for the moment it is voluntary.
I found the experience of supervision absolutely vital to my wellbeing. It gave me a space to really think of how I was within the therapeutic relationship and how that could be used to enhance my work. It was the place I took my despair at a seemingly hopeless and painful situation, which at the end of the day was not mine to change. It was where I took my sadness when someone choose to end their time on this planet. It was also where I could laugh and share some of the more ordinary feelings and goings-on. During my time as a counsellor I worked with three different women, all were truly amazing and all worked in different ways. They helped to gently shape me. They walked alongside me and heard my words. They poked me now again when I got too full of my own piss and importance and they made it safe for me to work. I went on to supervise others and found it so fulfilling.
As Norman says we work alone a lot of the time as yoga teachers and so to receive support in this way can be so enriching….
If you are interested in receiving your own digital copy of OM Yoga magazine simply click on the panel at the side of this post.
And now it’s time to go off and have a really great November…