A Space to Be, Yoga

Sunday 3 July – Yoga and the Environment

When I was asked to teach a workshop on the theme of ‘Yoga and the Environment’ I immediately said ‘yes’.

From ‘Being in the Cycles‘ to ‘Mother Earth Has Got Your Back‘, my yoga practice and teaching has always been infused with imagery from the natural world and is part of a wider relationship with my environment.

Of course after the unhesitant ‘yes’ came a moment of uncertainty – ‘hang on, what do I have to say about yoga and the environment?’

It is of course a huge topic and there are lost of ways to approach it, so here is an outline of my thinking, and what you can expect if you choose to join me at the British Wheel Yoga Festival in North Shields on Sunday 3 July.

Lucy x

Everything in the Cosmos, great and small, lives in the Self

Mundaka Upanishad

Being in the Cycles

How can we be expected to care about something we are not in relationship with? In this session I will suggest that one way to deepen our relationship with the outer environment is by getting better acquainted with our inner environment.

Join me for a ‘work-in’ based on the principles of ahiṃsā and satya from Patanjali’s Yoga Sūtra. If we practice non-harming and truthfulness on our yoga mats, in our inner ecosystem, this will naturally flow outwards more effortlessly into our relationships with others and the planet.

The practice itself will connect us with the circle of breath, and a rhythmic movement sequence that can be performed gently or with vigour.

Rivers of Prāna

Patanjali teaches that to deepen any relationship we must have ethics and boundaries (asteya and brahmacarya). Boundaries enable us to conserve energy, be more efficient and remain accountable. As the climate crisis becomes more real, and more present, there are very many ways in which we are being asked to conserve resources and uphold boundaries for the sake of our environment. But do we even know how to do that for ourselves, in our inner landscape?

In this session we will imagine the three major energy channels, ida, pingala and suṣumnā, as three great rivers within the landscape of the body, and practice to clear and channel those rivers so that our own precious energy and inner resources can be conserved.

The practice will be simple but challenging (with options) and conclude with prāṇāyāma.

Mother Earth Has Got Your Back

Finally, Patanjali teaches that we must practice aparigrahāḥ in all of our relationships. This is usually translated as ‘non-grasping’ but also alludes to a kind of letting go or trusting process in the relationship itself.

I wish to acknowledge the presence of fear and anxiety as we navigate the particular challenges of our generation and share practices which allow us to self soothe and take refuge, to find sanctuary within ourselves.

So, we shall lay down our bones and rest with restorative practices that allow us to feel that Mother Earth herself has indeed ‘got our backs’, but I will also be asking ‘have you got hers?’

Can we fully embody the five Yama to both on and off our yoga mats, for the benefit of people and planet?

The Five Yama

British Wheel of Yoga Northern Festival

Sunday 3 July, 9.00am – 5.00pm

The Linskill Centre, Linskill Terrace, North Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE30 2AY

Further information and booking is on the festival website.

Festival Website