The annual Yoga "class on the grass" in aid of the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation
Sunday morning and I must admit I was awake at 4am checking out the weather through the window and was fairly appalled to see a misty start to the day. A short while later and there was thunder and lightening and the dreaded rain too. Ahhh, no back up plan for the annual Yoga "class on the grass", in its sixth year now (I think!).
Still it all came good in the end and by 10am the sun was shining and the grass was drying! I must admit I was not expecting quite so many people to come along and support, so this was incredibly touching. Joe at 7 to Val at 71, a complete range of ages and abilities and yet Yoga brought us all together for an hour of fun in the sun while raising an incredibly generous £502 for the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation.
There is something rather special about practicing outside in the sunshine, we spent a few minutes allowing the body to soften quite literally onto the earth, muscles relaxing, spine lengthening, energy flowing, grounding, before bringing awareness to the breath, the gentle movement of prana in and out, further energising, calming and of course centring.
The practice attempted to cater for all the abilities and ages attending the class, we started gently, Apanasana the wind relieving pose and then up to hands and knees for the cat pose to encourage more connection with the breath and the movement of the spine, and from there a little more actively into dog pose and through plank, cobra and back to dog pose again. Up to stand and time to really ground, I was incredibly impressed actually, despite us being a day away from the full moon, we had a whole class of trees swaying gently in the breeze!
We moved through Trikonasana and half moon pose, always a challenge looking up to the sky with the clouds moving overhead! From there Warrior 2 and Utthita Parsvakonasana to lengthen the side body and further ground those feet to the earth. Balancing a little more we did well, Natarajasana, the cosmic dancer filled with grace as we create and destroy here on our mats, before Garudasana, that wonderful mystical Tibetan bird that never lands, not that you feel always feel so light when practicing this pose and of course Warrior 3, the superman, capital "T" shaped position that really helps to strengthen the legs and buttocks!!
Hoorah for the soft grass, a chance to practice the crow pose without the fear of head butting the hard studio floor, so too Bhujapidasana, which gets us thinking how we can possibly bring our hands underneath our feet and then cross our ankles and lift them off the earth? Well it is possible as a few clearly demonstrated! The joyful boat pose to take us to the very core of our being, so too Ubhaya Padagusthasana, as we attempted to balance on the sitting bones while also extending the feet to the sky, hoorah for soft grass again!
For many it was their first attempt at Yoga and I just loved the way one little girl described it to her Mum - it was a little like Twister, having to figure out where to put your right hand, your right foot, your left hand and your left foot, all the while trying to stay balanced on your mat - which admittedly is not quite so easy when the mat is on soft grass - brilliant, such truth in those so young.
We rested and enjoyed the sensation of the warm sun, the light breeze and the sounds of the birds and the rustling of the leaves, allowing the body to integrate the effects of the practice, the mind to calm and the spirit to resonate with the energy of nature. Wonderful! The pose of humility and a final chant, brought the class to a close, "may all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness".
There was brunch on offer for those who chose to stay, yummy food prepared by my lovely parents, teas and coffees and juices, breads with homemade jam, croissants, fresh fruit salad, and a choice of banana, walnut and sultana loaf and the very popular carrot and sultana cake, which I admit I had helped to make the night before and was looking forward to the left overs - only there weren't any! Recipe to follow!!!
So thank you to everyone who supported. The money we have raised will help enormously to support a premature baby and his or her family. With much gratitude, om shanti xx