A Gentle Yoga Flow With Our Favourite Local Studio, Yoga On The Lane
During this time at home, our daily routines have become much more sedentary than they were before which can have a big impact on not only our physical, but also our mental, health. To keep our bodies and our minds healthy and active, movement is something that is non negotiable for us. A simple yoga flow can help us all bring some calm and normality into our days. In this editorial, we ask our friend Naomi from our local yoga studio, Yoga On The Lane to share her slow flow with emphasis on creating space, the breath and moving mindfully. This is a mixed level class.
‘As a species we’re capable of remarkable acts of compassion and forgiveness. Extending kind-heartedness to strangers, going the extra mile for those we love. Too often though we don’t extend this empathy to ourselves, acting always as our own worst critics and forgetting to attend to ourselves. In order to start turning this compassion inwards, we need to make space for self-care, making sure we are able to check-in, relax, breathe.
We live in world obsessed with goals and measurable outcomes. It’s like we’ve been hoodwinked into this never-ending competition. With other people, but mostly with ourselves.
Too often, modern yoga gets caught up in this and is taught as if it’s a work out, just another way to chase the illusion of the perfect self. But the whole point of the practice is that it’s not exercise, it’s a celebration of who you are, as you are.
The Slow Food movement changed how we eat. The Slow Yoga movement can change how we move. It can change how we live, guiding us always back into the present. Because moving slowly isn’t easier than moving fast, it’s harder. It requires greater concentration, total focus.
Imagine how it might feel to practice if you were on the moon? Imagine the attention you’d pay to everything; the skilful placing of your foot and the focused smile, the conscious effort to embrace new possibilities, new ways of being.
Don’t be put off by this, embrace it. Notice how your mind will initially resist this kind of studied deliberation but smile at the thought with recognition and respect and then come back to your breath and notice how it very slowly guides your body into the next shape.
When you move slowly, you get away with nothing; your body reveals itself to you as it is. And this basis of an honest conversation with yourself, the only kind worth having.’
An extract from Naomi’s book.
Naomi has been teaching yoga full time since 2002. Over this time she has developed a deeply compassionate style of teaching that emphasises the therapeutic benefits of yoga and also its potential to uplift and inspire. In 2012, she set up Yoga on the Lane with the intention of creating a dynamic community of teachers and students united by their commitment to practicing mindful, breath-led, vinyasa yoga. And then, in 2015, she designed the 200hr Yoga on the Lane Teacher Training Programme, which has set more than fifty brilliant new teachers off on their own paths. In October 2019 her first book, Yoga: A Manual for Life was published by Bloomsbury, and is currently being translated into six languages. Find it here.
Find Yoga On The Lane’s live classes here.
Imagery by Laura Edwards