Happy New Year, my yoga friends.
The last day of the year is auspicious for me because it is about the time that I began writing posts on this blog, ‘Yoga Suits Her’. The date was New Year’s Eve 2009. This was the year of leaving Sydney for the green pastures of Mitchells Island, my hew home. As well, I left long-established classes and old yoga friends and students. I wondered whether I would meet up with new yogis in the Manning Valley. And of course I did.
In those early days, I wasn’t much of a long-form blogger, as you can see in this 31/1/09 post. I didn’t even know what direction I wanted to take; there were so many ways I could go in writing about yoga. Who would I be aiming to reach and with what message? Eventually I began describing the ways that yoga weaves in and around my life and my life weaves around yoga. This approach worked well to keep me in touch with the here-and-now of my yoga practise and teaching.
In 2011, I was able to transplant an annual ritual from my Sydney yoga school, which we called the January Intensive, to my studio on Mitchells Island. It’s a program that presents various yoga practices over 5 days at an early hour and offers an opportunity for students to kick off the new year in the healthiest of ways.
There were hurdles. One year we had 17 students booked into the Yoga Shed…talk about us having to run a tight ship! It became obvious that the next year we would have to move to the spacious Mitchells Island Hall. Last year COVID rules impacted our Intensive in that we had to mark out the hall to honour social distancing. But we were still able to go ahead and even to be mask-free.
My workshop partner of the last several years, Michael Hollingworth, has other obligations to attend to this year. But Julie Spicer, a veteran participant in every single one of our courses, is partnering me, to my great delight.
Some of those who have booked in for this year’s course will want to get over the excesses and stress of the holidays. And that’s a very good thing. But even better, many want the Intensive to create a momentum for doing home practice. I’ve seen over and over that students’ commitment to regular practice is elicited simply because of having the experience of doing yoga daily.
As a 50+ practitioner of yoga, and 40+ teacher, I can tell you, there are not too many more things that will make me happy than knowing yoga has been accepted by students as a companion for life.