Strange Times

Hello everyone, how are you? I do hope you are safe and well, and looking after yourselves and others. I thought I’d just let you know what is happening with Bek Smith Yoga and Yoga Tots now and for the next couple of months.

Because of my health status, my whole family and I are currently shielding. This means that none of us can leave the house at all, until at least 30th June. So as restrictions start to ease, unfortunately that will have no effect at all for us. Even if yoga classes are allowed to start back up before then, I won’t be able to teach for another couple of months yet, at least. The same goes for all of my therapies and other offerings, I’m afraid. 

Lots of yoga teachers are offering online classes via Zoom or Facebook Live. This is not something that felt right for me, or for my regular students so it is not something I am offering. If you would like to join some online yoga classes, let me know and I will be delighted to suggest some wonderful teachers and classes for you. 

However, although I am not teaching at the moment, I continue to try and live in a yogic way, remembering always that Asana is just one of the eight ‘Limbs of Yoga’. I am also sharing pose guides, mantras, meditations etc through my two WhatsApp Groups (one for Bek Smith Yoga and one for Yoga Tots) and you would be most welcome to join in with those. I’m always open to requests so if there is anything in particular you would like help with, or that might comfort or support you in these uncertain and challenging times, then please me know. I would be very happy to be of service in whatever way would help you.

So, my friends, I don’t know when we will meet again in person. Until that time, I send you blessings of love, health and gentleness. Om shanti, shanti, shanti

Why I love my job 😊

Despite all appearances to the contrary, I am actually quite organised when it comes to my teaching 😂 I plan themes etc months in advance so that my classes follow an overall structure. Today’s Gentle Hatha Class was meant to be all about ankles. However, one of my students has injured her Achilles’ tendon so I thought I’d better not do that today! I hurriedly put together a new lesson plan, abandoning the one I had already written, trying to think of postures which would help rather than harm this student (and all my other students, with their various issues and injuries). I’m pleased to say the class went well, and at the end of the class my student with the Achilles problem came up to me to say what a wonderful class it had been and how she felt it had really helped her. I know I shouldn’t let that affect me (ego loves a compliment!) but it is moments like that that remind my why I love my job so much 💚

Change in booking procedures – please read

It is increasingly becoming a problem that people say they will come to a class then don’t turn up. I have always had a very relaxed approach to my classes, allowing people to drop in rather than needing to book. That has meant that I never know how many people will be at any given class – 12? 8? 2? Or even just the 1? On a couple of occasions it has even meant that no one has turned up at all, even though people had said that they would be there 😕 Obviously this is completely unsustainable for me – I still have to put in the work to plan the lesson, and I still have to pay for the room.

Unfortunately, I can’t continue like this. So from today PLEASE PLEASE book a place in a class if you intend to come – all it takes is a quick text, post on the FB Page or message in the WhatsApp group. And if you have said you are coming to a class then can’t make it PLEASE PLEASE let me know at least 24 hours in advance.

I will try this new system until the end of the year and hopefully it will make things easier. If this doesn’t work, then I will either have to ask people to formally book and pay upfront, or I will have to stop teaching ☹️

Hoping that you understand. Any questions or comments do get in touch.

Om shanti 🙏🏻 xx

Family Yoga 2019

Come and play!

Family yoga sessions at Cromford Community Centre, 9.30-10.30am on Tuesday 6th and Tuesday 27th August

Suitable from age 4 upwards, everyone welcome – no children or previous yoga experience necessary!!

New classes starting September 2019

Starting the week of 16th September, I have new classes at Starkholmes Village Hall…

Mondays

4-4.20 Mini Monday Meditations for kids age 5-8 years

4.30-4.50 Mini Monday Meditations for kids age 9-12

Wednesdays

10-11 Gentle Hatha Yoga

11.30-12.30 Postnatal yoga

No need to book, just drop in. Or get in touch for more information

Relax!

All my classes end with a lovely, deep, luxurious relaxation. It’s so important to take the time – whether in a yoga class or any other time through the day – to properly wind down and let go. Savasana (lying flat on your back) is often said to be the hardest of all the yoga poses. Students laugh at that – how can just lying down be so difficult?? But it’s true – it’s not the lying down itself which is so hard (for most of us anyway) but the letting go. Really letting go. Releasing and surrendering your body, mind and ego to find true peace.

Relaxing at the end of a yoga class allows the body to cool down after the physical activity, but it does so much more besides. When you are lying down, your heart is at the same level as the rest of your body, making the work of the heart easier and allowing your cardiovascular system to rest. Your muscles also no longer have to work to overcome gravity. Proper relaxation allows us to better handle stress too. Yoga teachings also say that by turning away from the physical body and the senses, and directing our attention inwards, we can discover our True Self. When we are not living solely in the mind or the body, letting those things still exist but not giving them our full attention, we can experience a mind-blowing ocean of peace where our True Self, our spirit or whatever you want to call it, resides. Me, I call it “The Knowing” – it is the voice of my intuition, the voice I remember from childhood inside my head, the voice which gets drowned out by thoughts and sensory information. It feels incredible to connect with that inner being and doing so regularly will bring huge benefits to your mental wellbeing.

I always find it so interesting to watch my students at relaxation time. New students struggle to settle; fidgeting and coughing, scratching and wriggling. It’s wonderful to see how, as the weeks progress, they manage to relax more and more, to treasure this opportunity for a bit of self-care. It’s also interesting to observe all the rituals my students have developed for getting themselves into and out of relaxation. Most use blankets of some sort, some use cushions, eye masks, extra socks, jumpers, even duvets – they get really good at making themselves perfectly comfortable and ready to relax and it’s wonderful to see. There is nothing like making a cosy nest and snuggling down.

Since my classes are particularly gentle, they are ideal for those with injuries, illnesses or long term conditions. This means that some of my students are not able to lie flat on their backs at all. So we adapt. We can build a nest just as easily with legs bent, or lying on the side, on the front or even sitting up on a chair. There is no point making someone lie in a position which just isn’t comfortable for them – they can’t possibly relax like that. Similarly when I am teaching children’s yoga, it is so much better if they just find whatever comfortable position works best for them.

So how do we relax? I usually run through a body scan, focussing on and relaxing different parts of the body in turn. We also use different breathing exercises – from just noticing the breath and the tiny movements of the body as you breath in and out, to extending the breath or counting the breath. We also use visualisations aimed at reducing stress and negative energy. I encourage my students to come out of their deep relaxation very, very slowly and at their own pace. There’s nothing worse than being all lovely and relaxed then being snapped out of it too quickly, as I have experienced in some other classes. We then take a few moments to come round, ready to face the day. I really enjoy seeing all those blissful, peaceful faces blinking their eyes and coming round slowly.

I love the relaxation part of the classes so much that if any of my students feels so inclined I invite them to spend the whole 60 or 90 minute class just doing that. We so rarely give ourselves that sort of time in our busy day to just be still and quiet.

If you would like to experience this blissful deep relaxation for yourself, then you are warmly invited to any of my classes or a one-to-one session. Or feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about your relaxation practice and how to relax more.

Special Family Yoga Class

87BB8544-DD4A-408A-9FC7-C50CEBF205A5I’m so excited to announce that on Tuesday 24th July our 9.30 class will be a special Family Yoga class 😀 It’s open to everyone from age 4 upwards, no yoga experience necessary. It is at our usual venue – Cromford Community Centre – and costs £6 per adult and £4 per child (no need to pre-book). There will be lots of games and giggles.

If that just isn’t your thing, however, our 11 o’clock class that day will be as usual – gentle and relaxing. You are more than welcome to come to both if you like 😊

New!

3E20DA22-81EF-41FF-9EFA-E501CB23D612Thrilled to announce that my new Reiki flyers are now ready and will be heading out and about soon.  Do let me know if you are interested in finding out more.

Good morning!

Yay! More sunshine! It makes me so happy and gives me lots of energy for the day 😀Super excited about teaching at 9.30 this morning at Cromford Community Centre. We have a very special Sun Salutation today, to greet this fabulous day 😀 First class is free, and it doesn’t matter if you have never even stepped on a yoga mat before 🌻☀️💛🧘🏻‍♀️