July Newsletter & Full Moon Meditation Class

Namaste everyone,
I hope this finds you well.
This month, I would like to talk about creativity which is very closely connected to the events of the last few months. But first, I would like to share a quote with you. I think most of you have heard it in class, but great quotes should be looked at and repeated every day, like a mantra ( repetition of sacred words of wisdom.)
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives; nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin
We have indeed adapted ourselves to a new way of living, albeit by force!
SOME THOUGHTS ON CREATIVITY
We were made to create, not just to consume, and whether baking a cake, telling a story, arranging flowers or seeing shapes in the clouds, everybody has the creative impulse within them, but we need silence to hear it, calmness and clarity to express it.
We are all creative beings, but creativity is something many of us have forgotten how to express. In previous generations, before ready-made food, clothes and furniture were available in shops, people made their own. We were made to create, to use our imagination. We were born with it. If we perform even the smallest task with imagination, our lives feel richer and more varied.
How many time have we all heard that inner voice telling us to buy some dancing shoes and go dancing, to take up pottery, to start a journal, buy some water colours or plant a window-box, learn a foreign language. Don’t miss it. Encourage these impulses The point here isn’t necessarily to be the best that you can be and win a prize, it is to have fun. Start small, and don’t expect perfection. Who knows where it may lead.
Voices and messages are everywhere if we are open to them. Meditation and yogic life practice completely reinforce our creative abilities. After meditation, the ‘think time‘ for a new idea becomes less and less. Clarity prevails and a certainty of which direction to take will come to you. You will learn to trust your instinct.
Whatever your passion, go for it. Give it your love and utter dedication and disciplined focus. Believe in your abilities. Inspiration is not an external force, but a flame that burns within. It makes us feel excited, motivated and limitless.
Ideas are seeds from which our creations evolve and grow. And if we commit ourselves to planting and nurturing them, they will eventually bear fruit. We should be prepared to let some wither and fade too, in the knowledge that others more robust will flower and bloom.
The first impulse is normally quite modest, but bit by bit, new elements will come in. Some ideas will be revised and improved an others, however precious, deleted, until something of true substance arises. It’s a bit like navigating a fantastic maze: there will be dead ends, and sometimes we may even have to go back to the beginning and start again. The secret is to enjoy the journey as much as attaining the goal.
Normal schedule for the month of July – please click here aquariusyoga.co.uk/classes/ There will be a full moon meditation class on Friday 03 July at 8:00 pm – This is the last Capricorn eclipse for several years and it’s a big one. Please click the link for details aquariusyoga.co.uk/full-moon-meditation/
In Gratitude
Sima:)

News Update & Strawberry Full Moon Meditation Class

Dear Yogi/nis,
I thank you all for the emails and participating in the online classes. I am amazed at how we have adjusted to this new way of practicing and interacting. We will continue the online classes for the time being and consider restarting the group classes ( reduced numbers ) in the months ahead. As always, I am guided by you and really appreciate your feedback on this.
I have added a new class this week, on Thursday 04 June 8:15-9:30 pm, to honour the power of the Full moon and Lunar Eclipse. The Full Moon represents the fullness and glowing radiance of our consciousness. Dancing, gazing, chanting, and basking in the full moon at this time can bring forth deep healing and profound stillness of being. We will practice the full mandala of yogic arts ( movement, pranayama, meditation and rest ), to release the accumulated stress of the past month and prepare for the month to come. aquariusyoga.co.uk/full-moon-meditation/
Every month, I would like to share with you a yoga related topic, this month, I have chosen – LIVING IN THE MOMENT…………
If here’s a single skill you should learn in order to guarantee a full, happy, healthy, meaningful life, it is this. Be here, now. Be present and aware. Live in the moment. That’s easy to say, of course, and far harder to do in our everyday lives. We all have memories of being on holiday, watching the sun set over the sea or the mountains, and the sense of awe and wonder we get as the sky lights up in shades of red, pink and gold, that feeling of peace and connectedness. Yet the sun sets every day when we’re at home, too, and we barely notice.
We lead increasingly busy lives, juggling work, family, chores and all the other things on our seemingly endless to-do list, while being bombarded with an ever-growing amount of information and distractions. We have hundreds of TV channels, too many magazines, while shops and supermarkets have such a wide selection of goods that sometimes the choice can be overwhelming. And with the internet, the amount of information, entertainment and goods grow by the day. Nor does it stop when we look away from the screen. Those phone calls, texts and emails keep coming, even when we’re on the move. In many ways, these technologies have made our lives better. But most of us have a nagging feeling that something is missing. And that something is often you.
We forget ourselves all the time because we’re too wrapped up in the stories running through our heads. We find it hard to be in the present because we’re still trapped in the past, re-running old grievances, love affairs, things we wish we’d said or done or regret saying or doing. Either that or we’re running ahead of ourselves into the future. We can’t change the past. We can’t control the future. We can’t control the present either, but we do get to choose how we react to what is going on around us, how we feel about it – and that often affects what happens next.
So how do we change? We do the easiest, most natural thing in the world. We breathe. Stop. Take a deep, cleansing breath. In fact, treat yourself, take a few more. Air is free, yet we’re often shockingly mean with how much we allow ourselves to have. Bringing yourself back into the moment is that simple. What’s difficult is remembering to do it.
In religious communities, bells are often sounded at certain times of day to remind people to pray or meditate, to silence their mental chatter. You can think of more every day things that will remind you to come back to that moment. When you’re queuing in a shop, for instance, you could get into the habit of taking a few deep breaths or when you’re driving, every time you stop at a red light. You won’t take any longer to get where you’re going, but you might arrive a lot less stressed! All those repetitive and random tasks you do at work and home can be used as opportunities, reminders to quieten all that mental chatter and just open yourself up to the here and now.
“Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty – four brand new hours to live. What a precious gift!” THICH NAHT HANH ( b. 1926)
Namaste & Love
Sima:)

New Online Classes

Dear Yogi/ni friends
I hope you are all adjusting well to the change of routine and allowing this change to empower you. You all know deep down that change is the very essence of life and when you surrender to it, it can open the doorway to a deeper understanding of who you really are in a dark room and what you really want – questioning your values and your purpose on earth!
I would like to say how delighted I am with the response to the online classes so far. I realise it is not the same as all of us being in a room together but it’s all we have at the moment and hopefully not for very long!! Please keep your feedback and your ideas coming. They are very much appreciated.
Just to let you know I have added new online classes to give you a little more variety to match your mood. aquariusyoga.co.uk/classes/ <aquariusyoga.co.uk/classes/> I am particularly excited about the Full Moon Kundalini Meditation Class next Thursday 07 May. Join me to honour the healing power of the Scorpio Full Moon to illuminate everything on the inside! Please note: You can pay for this class only if you want to – or if you are able to.
Finally, I am going to share with you a section of a book I’m reading – Yoga For Real Life, by Maya Fiennes. It is about being alone…..! I realise maybe I should have shared this with you a few weeks ago as I see and hear how swiftly our busy lives have returned even in lock down:)))
Being alone…….
Most of us are going to find ourselves alone at some point in our lives, whether by conscious choice or having it forced upon us. In our society it is often assumed that a person alone is to be pitied. Yet in many ways solitude is an empowering and often welcome gift, depending on our particular circumstances.
It can be a chance to explore our own needs and desires away from the pressures of putting others first, and an opportunity to connect to the self.
Many of us look outside ourselves for reassurance – from society, our culture, our peers, but the answer most often lies within.
Time alone gives us the space to reflect and communicate with ourselves. As we learn through solitude to connect to our deeper and higher selves and become more aware, living life more fully and creatively, we find that these gains can enhance our relationships in new vital ways.
Now, clearly, there is a difference between choosing to spend time alone and having it forced upon us – but alone as we feel at these times, we are never really alone…….
“In me I have found only one reality: that I breathe in, and I breathe out. And so anything that breathes in or out is reality. When I found this as a reality in everybody, I found myself in everybody and everybody in myself.” Yogi Bhajan (1929-2004)
With Gratitude
Sima:)

Happy Earth Day

Dear Yogi/ni friends,
Today is Earth Day. A day when we can make a conscious effort to save our planet and keep it green and healthy.
The idea of a day dedicated to environmental consciousness was first proposed in 1969 after a massive oil spill in California. The notion was boosted by an anti-war movement taking place at the same time in the USA and together they gained momentum to bring public awareness about air and water pollution, later, on April 22nd, 1970, millions of people took the streets demanding measures to stop the deterioration of the environment. They wanted a more sustainable structure to save our planet and keep it green and healthy.
That was the first seed planted for the international celebration of Earth day.
Yoga and the wellbeing of our planet have always gone hand-in-hand. The relation comes naturally; It is the place that we live in, and as yogis, we are aware of our union with all living beings on it, we are not separate. Our bodies are made of the elements; we eat, drink and breathe from what the earth provides. So, we should honour it every day – but especially on Earth Day.
Today take your yoga practice outdoors, barefooted on the grass. Feel the earth beneath your feet while you pull healing energy from it. As it’s another beautiful day with plenty of sun shine, why not perform surya namaskar ( sun salutation ) to greet the sun the way it deserves to be greeted or meditate to attract the energies of all the elements, the sun, the moon and the infinite spirit to bring deep healing.
Today we can restore some of the damage we’ve caused to our beloved planet.
Namaste & much love

There Is Nothing Permanent Except Change

Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher said that change is our one reality in nature, and of course, to say that we live in uncertain times feels like stating the obvious right now. Our world of mind, feeling and emotion are in flux too, and of course our external circumstances will never be the same. But this has always been so.
If we think about hatha yoga practice, cultivating presence in the moment, yoga poses teach us how to work with change, by staying mindful. When we enter a pose, we begin to notice the physical edge of sensation. We consider whether to push past using effort or pull away from it, but actually, we choose to rest right on that edge of the sensation. We hold the pose, we breathe and stay present and in response, the body relaxes naturally and at its own pace.
The same thing happens in our minds. The mind begins to scroll through limiting beliefs. Perhaps they sound something like “this hurts” or “I can’t do this”. But we let the thoughts go and we stay in pose without believing them. As we become aware of our minds and let them relax, as we stay aware of the moment, of our breath, and of sensations, purification just happens.
This is how transformation can happen; through presence in the moment, awareness and acceptance of what is happening, the body-mind flexes itself and opens up to more possibility with grace.
Here are a few guiding words to help us approach these times (and yoga) in what can feel like desperate times:
Everything passes It may help to remember that all good things will come to an end: there will be cloudy days and that these days might be just that. Loss like that can make us wonder “will this ever end?” but this too shall pass.
Show up! Now is time to put your procrastination projects to one side; roll out your mat. Come As You Are.
Turn off your phone Put it on flight mode, or silent, in another room. Certainly reducing the amount of time we spend on the news can help us all.
Lower your expectations Let us try to let go of the idea that there must be a certain outcome at the end of your practice; even if we wish to relax and ground ourselves, we might not always achieve this; leave room for spontaneity, surprise and grace.
Let go of perfectionism It will help if we all recognise that it is not possible to have our lives 100% sorted, 100% of the time. The same is also true for your yoga practice!
Be kind to what you need right now and trust your body You might want to start your practice by lying down and doing a body scan. Rest a hand on your belly. Notice what you need. How can you be kind to yourself? Follow your breath; all the way in, and all the way out. Trust that this Body-Mind-Spirit entity (that is you) knows what it needs to come back to its centre.
Sending you love and light in tough times:)

Classes now online!

Dear Yogi friends,
I hope you are remaining calm and centred amidst the current anxieties.
To help us all remain connected, I have launched the live streaming of classes. Please check the timetable here aquariusyoga.co.uk/classes/ <aquariusyoga.co.uk/classes/>
These online classes can be booked and paid for via the website on a drop in basis £10 per class – class card holders can not book via the website unfortunately and should contact me directly to book their place. Once booked via the website or through me, I will email you the link to zoom.
For yogis who are experiencing personal or financial hardship, I would like to offer the classes on a complimentary basis. Please don’t hesitate to make yourself known to me by contacting me directly sima@aquariusyoga.co.uk <mailto:sima@aquariusyoga.co.uk> – this is a time like no other time when we need to practice love, compassion and self care.
Please note – If I don’t have a minimum of 2 yogis booked 2 hours before the class, I will email you to say class won’t go ahead. Maximum number in each class will be 4
Please bear with me during this time as teaching remotely is new to me and there may be issues with interaction, I.e. choosing the right angle for your device so that I can see you – ensuring there’s little noise in the room where you practice so that you can hear me clearly.
I have also added 2 new evening meditation classes for a deep relaxation. Like computers, our brains can fry out. People suffer from anxiety, depression and all kinds of mental conditions during a crisis, because we have too much information and don’t know how to handle it. Meditation helps us to turn inward, to watch and listen within. That five to ten minutes when you just sit in silence with nothing else going on in your head makes such a difference. The new classes will start with a gentle warm up to prepare you for the stillness of meditation.
I look forward to ( virtually) seeing you on your mats.
Namaste & love

Suspending in-person classes

Dear Yogi friends,
I am writing to you with some heart breaking news. I have decided to suspend all public classes from tomorrow Thursday 19 March.

As an alternative I will be live web streaming my classes for those of you who would like to continue practicing. I am in the early stages of gauging interest, so please let me know if this is something you would like to participate in.

My priority must always be the safety and wellbeing of our community – and I feel strongly that we must do everything we can to help contain the spread of the virus.

I am writing this email with sadness but also hope and optimism for the future.

We will return to mat as soon as it is safe to do so.

Much Love & Namaste

Yoga Hygiene

Dear yogi/nis,

I hope this email finds you well and healthy during this unsettling time.

I have decided to add the following extra steps to our yoga hygiene for your safety and peace of mind.

1) Please ensure there’s at least 2 meters between you and your fellow yogi.

2) If you prefer not to pay by cash, please contact me directly before class and we can organise bank transfer.

3) upon arrival to the studio, instead of signing the register, please make yourself known to me and I will register for you.

As I’m sure you are all aware hand sanitiser is a rare commodity at the moment so please feel free to bring your own.

Warmest Namaste:-)

Hygiene On The Mat

Dear yogis,

In the light of the recent events surrounding Coronavirus, please help me to maintain a clean and healthy space for us to practice in by paying attention to these simple steps;

1) If you have flu like symptoms or if you have returned from any of the specific areas detailed on the government website since February 19th, please do not come to class instead take the time to rest and look after yourself.

2) wash your hands in the kitchen or toilet when you arrive. limited hand sanitiser is available but bring your own if you have any.

3) please dispose of any used tissues in the bins.

4) Bring your mat, props, blanket where possible. Anti-bacterial spray and towels are provided for yogis who don’t have mats.

5) For your safety and peace of mind I’m taking a hands-off approach to manual assistance.

Warmest Namaste:)

Chakras

Dear yogi/nis,

I wanted to take the time to explain a bit more about chakras this month.

There are seven major chakras, and they pinpoint places in the body where energy joins together along the spinal column:
1. Root – (Muladhara) – base of the spine
2. Sacral (Svadhisthana) – lower abdomen
3. Solar plexus (Manipura) – upper abdomen
4. Heart (Anahata) – centre of the chest
5. Throat (Vishuddha) – throat area
6. Third eye (Ajna) – forehead, between the eyebrows
7. Crown (Sahasrara) – the very top of the head

I’ll try to take time to talk about each of the chakras throughout the year; this month the focus is on the root chakra which is situated at the base of the spine.

In Sanskrit it is called Muladhara; Mula means root and adhara means support or base. The root chakra is at the very base of the spine, at the pelvic floor and perineum, in the centre point of our body.

Muladhara’s ‘element’ is Earth. This root chakra is linked to the earth element inside us all; all that is sound and solid. Our physical structure. It is connected to your family and ancestral roots, your parents, your upbringing and your background. It reflects how we interact with the physical world.
Within the physical body, the Muladhara chakra relates to our lower back, our legs, feet and our processes of elimination. Within the emotional body, the Muladhara chakra is linked to whether we are feeling secure and stable in the world, in our own skin.
Within our mental body it influences how we take care of ourselves, whether we belong amongst our community. Once you’ve cleared this energy point, you’ll start to grow in confidence. You’ll begin to accept and love yourself exactly the way you are. And then you’ll accept that everything is as it is – and that it is perfect, at that moment. So first you accept yourself, and then you accept the way life is, and you don’t fight it: instead you go with it, flow with it.

All our habits and addictions come from this area too, and you need to do quite aggressive and physical positions to clear it, working on the legs because you need to be grounded. Some of the poses you are all familiar with that are associated with stimulating this energy point are; warrior poses, Bridge pose, standing forward fold, sun salutation A,B & C, yogic squat, child pose, seated poses and relaxation.

OM Shanti:)

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