Yoga news, thoughts and practice from Bijam
We are currently inundated with information about what is being described as the almost wartime challenge presented to us by Coronavirus and I'm not about to add to it. Initially there was no requirement or suggestion to cancel small gatherings such as a yoga class but the advice has now changed.
As a result, with regret but unhesitatingly in the circumstances, I have suspended all my classes and seminars and the home meditation group from 17th March 2020. I hope to resume when it is safe to do so. I will send out by email suggested practice plans to the various student groups. And perhaps (only perhaps) I'll be able to overcome my technophobia and find ways of teaching online.
Stay well everyone; remember yoga practice begins with kindness to ourselves and generates outwards from there.
Here's a copy of the great healing mantra the Mahamitrunjaya - maybe you'd like to chant or say it...
Another year almost over, as we approach the Winter Solstice on Sunday 22 December; of course Christmas on Wednesday 25th and the beginning not just of a new year the following week but a new decade. And not forgetting that 2020 is a Leap Year so we have an extra day to fill!
Weekly classes have finished for now but will start again week beginning 6th January 2020.
For me, as most of you know, it's been quite a momentous year from a health point of view. Apart from a break after the brain surgery in May I have been able to continue teaching, albeit having to reduce the number of weekly classes. I was lucky (and grateful) to have most of my weekly classes covered by colleagues until I could start teaching again in July. I'm sure much of my progress was due to a very simple and gentle home...
Yoga seminars in the Dechmont Memorial Hall began some 15 years ago, instituted and taught by Yoga Jayanti (Jane Russell) until 2017, when she went to live in Portugal. Since then Yoga Jayanti's regular attenders have by consensus kept the seminars going as often as possible. Essentially we are a group of Yoga Jayanti's friends and students who just want to carry on meeting regularly, enjoying one another's company, devotion to yoga, and practices including asanas, pranayama, yoga nidra (especially yoga nidra!) and meditation.
For the autumn of 2019 the theme will be Pranayama and neuroscience, four linked sessions in September, October, November and December.
There is almost certainly a connection between the (hopefully successful) surgery I had in May 2019 for the removal of a meningioma, a tumour involving the meningeal covering of the brain. Naturally I have been revising my knowledge of the brain and nervous system and finding yoga...
The third Edinburgh Yoga Festival is happening in May. It raises money for Edinburgh Community Yoga because teachers donate their time and their venues. It begins with a full weekend of events mostly at the wonderfully named Serenity Cafe, then over the week to May 20th various yoga teachers around Edinburgh are donating the money from a session or two. You can see the whole programme on the website www.edyogafest.co.uk
My contribution is called
Celebrating the vital layer of our being - Sunday May 13th 2018, 1.30 - 3 pm at the Serenity Cafe Edinburgh.
The pranamaya kosha or energy sheath is the “energy department” of our system, the link between body, mind/emotions and spirit. Prana is life; and pranayama is the control and expansion of prana. Following the two popular 4-seminar programmes “Progressive Pranayama” I facilitated in 2017, in this 90-minute session we will begin to look at how we...
It already seems the the festive season is well behind us and we're all back at our regular classes and home practice, New Year resolutions to the fore (perhaps a better name for yoga practitioners is the Sankalpa). It’s a great idea to have a goal for our practice, whether the starting point be primarily physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual, from which will flow an intention to practice to help us reach that goal. Whatever your goal, the yoga tool-kit of practices has so much to offer. But perhaps in this new year, we can start to realise that our practice isn’t confined to the yoga mat or the time of formal practice; it can and does include all aspects of life. All spiritual traditions share this, of course.
My svadhyaya (self-study/ study of texts) for this year is the fabulous Tantric text that says precisely that. Tantra and Yoga are considered to be...
Hari Om all
I hope you've all enjoyed the summer and are now looking out your yoga mats and yoga clothes! This is a summary of the classes I'll be teaching, starting back in September.
Hari OM all
"Therapeutic yoga" may well be a bit of a misnomer - surely all yoga has healing properties, in the sense of bringing together body, mind and spirit. There is certainly an amazing amount of scientific evidence building up, confirming what the ancient Rishis have always taught.
Drawing towards the end of my teaching year, I've been reflecting on the role yoga has played and continues to play in my own life. If events get in the way of my morning practice, so that I have to shorten it or (aargh) miss it out, the day doesn't feel right. it's not only or even primarily because I need a daily practice to be able to teach. Yoga - including the daily mantras, asanas, pranayama and meditation - is what I call my life-support system for body, mind and spirit. Recently I read in a blog post from the ever-interesting...
This summary is derived from the class themes from last term, when we looked at and discussed how to practice Sri Patanjali's five Niyamas - guidelines for personal discipline, to help create a tranquil mind prepared for meditation. The Niyamas are, of course, associated with the five Yamas, self-restraints or rules of conduct that help produce fertile ground for meditation practice by regulating our behaviour and emotions.
The word means purity. Saucha is purification on all levels. It involves personal cleanliness, maintaining a tidy and orderly home, eating healthy food and drinking pure water. It is the cleanliness in mind and speech that comes from refraining from emotionally and physically charged obsessions. It is finding the balance in life. The heart and mind are purified of attachments.
“When the body is cleansed, the mind purified and the senses controlled, joyful awareness needed to realise...
Last term, in the weekly classes, we continued studying the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali looking at the Niyamas, the five observances or rules of personal discipline to create tranquillity in the mind in preparation for meditation. I was in the middle of preparing a summary when I pressed the wrong button after 2 hours' work and deleted the lot. A great opportunity to practice one of them, santosha (contentment).
So I'll just send a brief newsletter about the classes beginning after Easter and go back to the Niyamas when I've recovered! Rather than send it out as another newsletter, I've added it as a blog post on my website www.yogawithbijam.co.uk
Gate 55 - the class resumes on Monday 24th April.
Currie Community High School - I hope Term 3 will start on Tuesday April 18th but that depends on numbers. At present...
Hari OM everyone
My final newsletter of 2016 comes with good wishes for a very peaceful and joyful festive period to all my students and their loved ones. This time last year I sent out a newsletter decorated with little trees and starry snowflakes, but I don't know how to do that with this new format. So you'll have to do the "advanced practice"...visualize them!
All my classes are now on a break until w/b January 9th 2017.
One of the philosophical themes in the autumn term was Living an ethical life off the mat.
We looked each week at one of the Yamas, the succinct guides to our behaviour towards others recommended by Sage Patanjali in Chapter 2 of his Yoga Sutras. We've had some great discussions, so here's a reminder of some of what we covered:
The purpose behind practising the 5 Yamas is to calm the mind and prepare it...
We are currently inundated with information about what is being described as the almost wartime challenge presented to us by...Read more
Another year almost over, as we approach the Winter Solstice on Sunday 22 December; of course Christmas on Wednesday 25th...Read more
Yoga seminars in the Dechmont Memorial Hall began some 15 years ago, instituted and taught by Yoga Jayanti (Jane Russell) until...Read more