Yoga in London
I am 18.5 weeks pregnant now and what a change these last few weeks. 16 weeks and the nausea began to subside but I was still so tired with iron deficiency, not unusual for a vegetarian pregnant lady, but a pest all the same! I wasn't really showing back then, in fact 17 weeks and you probably wouldn't have known, but by 18 weeks, the bean has made his/her presence known to the outside world and is visible now - well the bump, not the bean per se!!
Thankfully the iron supplements seems to be working, perhaps too all the spinach I am eating, let alone the orange juice I am drinking to encourage absorption of the iron (the two work hand in hand you see), although my energy levels are not what they used to be. Still with bump visible, life is not what it used to be, all of sudden the huge realisation that there is indeed a new life growing within me and boy, does my tummy feel like it is being stretched!
Not only that but my sacrum and pelvis have been slightly challenged by all the change, not least the physical change but mental and emotional too, so that the physical body has to adjust to the changing energy flow within the energetic body too. Blows my mind! Not that the headaches, such a shift produces are enjoyable, nor the slightly uneasy sensation of letting go and stepping into the world of the unknown, but still with the energy of the solstice and the super moon adding its weight, I have no doubt that me, you, us all will be feeling lighter and more centred and grounded by the end of this week.
I do find this pregnancy malarkey absolutely fascinating, first time around it is all so new to me. It hadn't crossed my mind previously that you may feel the stomach stretching to accommodate the growing baby, nor that your diet would chop and change from mad cravings back to the usual way you ate before you got pregnant, nor the fact that the bump would really start to affect my ability to move on my mat in the usual way. It is an absolutely amazing experience.
It has been an interesting few days. All good intentions of visiting Hamstead Heath to celebrate the solstice never materialised as we spent much of the solstice stuck in Guernsey airport waiting for the fog to life. Still when we did finally get away, we were able to enjoy a little sunshine from the city, quite literally, it was light so late!! Next year Stonehenge, well that would be nice in any event, I would absolutely love to get my hands literally on those stones and feel all that Pagan energy. I was hearted to read that they are grassing over the A road and re-introducing the original processional road - I just can't help thinking that you don't mess with stuff like that, so hoorah for our awakening and renewed respect of the Pagan landscape.
We were fortunate to be ungraded in our hotel, what a joy, just near St Paul's Cathedral so a relatively quiet spot on the weekends, bar all the tourists that is! Typically I had chosen that spot for its proximity to the northern line, which would take me up to my Yoga course in angel very easily. Only that on Saturday morning when we got to Bank station, we discovered that the northern line was closed for the weekend. I guess it is inevitable that there is always some obstacle on the spiritual path to test your loyalty to the cause, Fortunately we happened to walk past a bus stop that serviced angel, hoorah, albeit that the bus took the convoluted route so that we were virtually running to the studio to get there on time - nothing worse than students being late and disrupting everyone!
The Yoga course was brilliant, Julie Gudmestad, an Iyengar teacher, physiotherapist and Yoga therapist, is inspired. This lady knows all there is to know about Yoga anatomy and physiology and how to teach that to others in a manner that is understandable. There was many a "penny dropping" moment during the weekend as I "got" the reason we may do this or do that in our practice to create this or that result when working with people with and without injuries.
Saturday morning was very much a workshop based event, not taking and practical testing, downward facing dog, plank, all fours, locust pose, preparation for inversions essentially. Saturday afternoon was all about inversions themselves, the wonderful handstand -one of my favourite poses - followed by headstand and shoulderstand. Phew! We did partner work, that was fun, and we took more notes and the time just flew past, 6 hours gone before you knew it!
Needless to say the trek back to the hotel was a little more challenging than intended what with the travel disruption but I am a massive fan of walking in London, enjoying the anonymity and the freedom. Back at the hotel I was able to stretch out with a swim in the pool and a chill out in the bath before meeting E for dinner.
E had been having fun. We are fans of Banksy art work and he had spent much of the day walking around London looking for his graffiti art with some success. In fact there were remnants of the "Tesco bag" piece just near the Yoga studio so I got to go and see it myself on the Sunday morning. It is a bit like looking for the post boxes on Dartmoor, just that this is looking for art work in a city, it gives you a purpose to your wanderings and makes you see things you wouldn't ordinarily notice as you are constantly scanning buildings for signs of his art work (helped by following the Banksy guide of course!).
The workshop on Sunday was a little trickier for me and the bean as it was all about core strength and arm balances. The arm balances, on the whole, were fine, great in fact, the crow pose, firefly, and all sorts of other crazy stuff, not so the abdominal work, not to be encouraged while pregnant, but good to teach all the same!! We worked the thighs too, lots of adductor work, now that isn't so much fun and overall, with it being the Iyengar tradition, I was very aware how easy it is to get so lazy in our practice and allow muscles to take the path of ease, without reworking such lazy patterns that can encourage injury.
It makes so present and I have to say I was buzzing by the end of the Sunday morning, when I left to spend time with E. Together we pottered around angel, I love it up that way, so many vintage shops with Camden Passage and other small establishments. We took the bus down to St Paul's and actually went into the Cathedral, as impressive as expected. We also went to Waterloo to this road under the train station that has been dedicated to graffiti artists. Banksy established it but none of his work exists there anymore, just tons of other stuff and lots of people there spending their Sunday afternoon spraying the walls. I appreciate that it is their creative outlook but I am not so sure I get all that writing, but each to their own!
We got to London Bridge early for our train to Gatwick so we marched off at quite a pace along Tooley Street following a lead for another Banksy piece, only to find that it no longer exists, the wall that is, amazing how much things change. At least we tried, talk about walking, I can barely move my legs today!!
We were back in Guernsey in time for the super moon, how beautiful was that, and how calming now it has passed, phew that was an intense one, encouraging quite some transformation, will be interesting to see how everything lands these next few weeks. I am praying for some sunshine, it is about time!
So bean has experienced the first trip to London, in utero obviously, but all the same no doubt a seed has been sown, especially with all that lovely Yoga energy. What a gift for us both, and what a gift the bean is too. Thank you Mother of the Moon and thank you Julie G for such an inspiring and uplifting weekend helping to shift so many things - divine timing as ever, much gratitude.