Shining sun for Yoga "class on the grass"

Well my prayers were answered, by 10am on Sunday morning the sun was certainly shining brightly in the sky.  In fact it as shining so brightly that I managed to get a little sun burned teaching the Yoga "class on the grass".

What a wonderful turn out this year, thank you so much to all who made the effort to attend, it was lovely to feel so supported and to see you all practicing in nature like that.  And how brilliant to have such a range of ages from Joe at 6, up to Val who turned 70 this year - for both of them it was their first ever Yoga class, quite an inspiration to others present.

So after lying on our mats and connecting with nature - the feel of the earth beneath us, the sound of the birds and the sensation of the heat from the sun and the breeze in the breeze in the air, we connected with our breath before coming into a more physical part to the practice.

Being grounding in nature, the emphasis was on the connection with the earth, so after a few sun salutations to give thanks to the sun, the provider of life, we practiced a few grounding and strengthening standing poses - virabhadrasana 2 and utthita parsvakonasana before opening our hearts to the world in utthita trikonasana, triangle pose, before seeing the world from an entirely different perspective in prasrita padottanasana, with our heads hanging lower than our hearts - before embracing a balancing sequence. 

I was impressed.  Often it can be challenging to balance outside, what with the breeze and a shift in one's sense of space after practicing for many sessions in a Yoga classroom, but everyone did really well.  There was ardha chandrasana, rather appropriate as a half moon was later visible in the sky, through to vrksanasa, the tree pose, virabhadrasana 3, the warrior pose, through to utthita hasta padagusthasana. 

We crouched on the earth and those who felt it appropriate were able to practice bakasana, the crow pose, safe in the knowledge that if they over balanced they would have a soft landing on the grass ahead of them!  There was the opportunity for some to practice their headstand, which is always a little more challenging outdoors, and through a back bending sequence so that the heart could truly open to the world.

So there was salambasana, the locust pose, rather appropriate for the garden, and dhanurasana, nice and softly with the grass under belly and hip bones!  After a respite in pose of a child, we practiced setu bandha, the bridge pose and for some on into urdhva dhanurasana.  Wow. 

There was the option for some forward bending, the sun shining brightly on people's backs and also a shoulderstand so once again the head was lower than the heart and another change in perspective.  We twisted too, both seated in ardha matsyendrasana and then lying in jathara parivartanasana.  We lay back and lengthened the backs of the legs in supta padagusthasana and we even toned the tummy in navasana, the boat pose and balanced in ubhaya padagusthasana with legs lengthening to the sky.

Quite a session which ended with a much deserved relaxation, lying on our backs, the sun warming our skin, the sound of the sea in the distance and the birds providing a soothing and grounding background experience, softening down onto the earth, surrendering and letting go of any stress, and being totally present in the moment of relaxation.

The class managed to raise an incredible £412, with more to follow from other Yogs students who were unable to attend the class.  Wow.  We are incredibly thankful to all of you who donated so generously, really incredible and so much appreciated.  All the proceeds will be going directly to the Lihou Charitable Trust, which Ewan and I are supporting by undertaking the Three Peaks challenge.

Essentially, this challenge involves climbing the highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland within 24 hours, on 16 July, to help raise money to assist funding the re-roofing of the Lihou Trust.  All of the proceeds from our fundraising efforts go directly to the Trust - we pay for all our expenses ourselves.

Lihou is a very special place to us.  We were fortunate to stay there when the snowy owl had first taken up residence and while we were marooned on the Island on our own with the owl, there were many bird watchers standing on the banks at L'Eree with their enormous telescopes trying to catch a glimpse of this bird.  Little did anyone know back then that the snowy owl would stay for many months feasting on the gull eggs and baby sea gulls that were hatched that year.  On our many walks around the Island we were lucky to come within metres of the snowy owl and found the whole experience incredibly special.

Since then we have stayed a few more times with various family and friends, enjoying the solitude of the Island, the opportunity to simply sit and watch the bird life, it is quite magical.   In fact there is nothing more wonderful than the tide rising and all of a sudden you have the island all to yourselves, no tv, no radio, no Internet, no traffic and no distraction from simply immersing yourself in nature.

 Life slows down again and by the end of the 24 hour stay, you feel so much more connected to the natural rhythm of nature, which helps one to feel so much more peaceful and calm inside, incredibly healing too.  I have always felt that spending time in nature makes us feel so much better.  It cleanses our energy and brings us back to earth, grounds us, centers us and slows us down.  you can't put a price on that sort of treatment - the ultimate healing experience!

So this is the reason we have been so keen to support the re-roofing project.  So many local children benefit from the opportunity to stay in the house on Lihou as part of school trips - for many it may be their first experience of having any sense of connection with nature and all the wildlife that Lihou provides.  Then of course there are all the adults who benefit too.  It would be very sad to think that this facility was no longer available for so many to enjoy. 

So it was rather appropriate that we should raise the funds for the re-roofing project by spending time enjoying ourselves in nature.  I suspect that most of those who attended yesterday morning felt as uplifted by the experience as I did - there were certainly many smiles by the end of the practice, and it was lovely that so many stayed to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a bun, sitting in the sun chatting and taking a look around the greenhouse.

Thank you all again, we truly appreciate all your support.  With lover and much gratitude.  xx

After everyone had left E and I managed a swim in the sea at Vazon, Val paddling in the shallows.  I do love the fact that summer seems to have arrived, what with the sunshine and people going to the beach and the smell of bbqs in the air, plus the fact you can swim in the sea without hyperventilating.

After a few hours resting in the garden and chatting to Claire and her 18 month old daughter, Taya, I helped Mum and Dad lay piping for our outdoor watering system around the plants on the raised beds.  Gosh it was hot!  I watered the greenhouse too, the asparagus are still coming through and it won't be long - finally - until some of the Logan berries are ready for picking. All the berries are so late this year.  This hopefully means that once we have taken enough to make our year's supply of jam, we will be able to sell the excess at Yoga classes.  Fingers crossed in any event.  Nothing quite like eating organic berries the same day they are picked from the plant.

E and I cycled down to the GM for a swim in the pool at tea time, wow it was like a sauna in there, before cycling to my folks for our first bbq of the year, outside too, with the sun dropping in the west.  I do love being down on the west coast, you feel as if you are getting away from it all somehow.  We managed to cycle home before sun set and got to witness the sky turning this incredible red colour.  Wow. 

What an incredibly blessed day.  Thank  you Universe, ma the sun continue to shine on us all - although we will need a spot of rain for all the plants in the next few days or so!!

Ross DespresComment