Life, yoga and other adventures

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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

There was a message waiting for me from Google when I came to my blog this morning:

'European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent. As a courtesy, we have added a notice on your blog to explain Google's use of certain Blogger and Google cookies, including use of Google Analytics and AdSense cookies. You are responsible for confirming that this notice actually works for your blog and that it is displayed.'

I mention this because you might have seen a  message at the top of this post asking you to consent to the use of cookies. Rest assured that I am not following your every move behind the scenes. I have no idea how to embed tracking software into my words - wouldn't do it even if I could.

Nice use of the phrase 'as a courtesy', don't you think? Thanks, Google.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Recharging my batteries

I love teaching, but it takes a lot of energy and for the last week I've felt as though I was running on empty. Time, then, for some restorative action.

With this in mind, I spent most of yesterday in my garden, potting and pottering, planting and moving, and generally tidying up - though not too tidy, because I want to encourage bugs and critters wherever I can. My little pond is teeming with life at the moment, and there are bees and other flying friends everywhere. I got very hot and grubby and had a splendid time.

Then I rolled out my mat and did an instinctive practice under the lilac tree, followed by a spot of meditation. I rounded things off  with a yoga nidra from the CD of my friend and fellow teacher Jeanette, from Phoenix Wellbeing: lovely stuff.

I also caught up on some yoga reading (still outside), including the summer issue of Spectrum, the members' journal from the British Wheel of Yoga. I particularly enjoyed the philosophy feature on 'Green Yoga' by Mandy Brinkley, in which she writes about the connection between yoga and living in an environmentally aware, responsible and sustainable way. She has introduced me to a quote from the Athavara Veda: 'Whatever I dig from the Earth, may it have quick growth again.' Most appropriate for my day.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

You wear it well

Age is a funny business. When we’re children, we want to be taken for older than we are. Remember those milestones: double figures and then, finally, those longed-for teenage years? We flushed with pride when someone said, ‘You look so grown-up.’

At some point, perhaps as the laughter lines start gathering at the corners of the eyes, we start to deny the passage of time. We want people to think that we are younger than we are – or, failing that, to be told we look good for our age. The thing is, of course, that most of us are wearing well, especially we yogis.

I don’t know if it is improvements in lifestyle or simply changing expectations, but if you look at photos from the Edwardian era, everyone seemed like a pensioner. It’s as though there were no degrees of adulthood. Once you were married and had fulfilled your role by ensuring the family line continued for another generation, that was it. You put your hair in a bun, wrapped a rug around your knees and waited for it all to end.

Somewhere along the way, we switch from focusing on youth to wearing our age like a trophy.  I’m sure we all know people who say proudly, ‘I’m 85, you know!’ not in a way that implies we are meant to make allowances for them, just the opposite: we are expected to respond with incredulity.

The young and the old are allowed to speak as they find. In my last post, I said that children don’t hold back when it comes to verbalising their observations. I had a similar experience when teaching in a care home, where one of the elderly residents was less than impressed. After about five minutes she’d had enough. ‘I’m going back to my room,’ she declared. ‘This is just getting on my nerves.’ Bless her for her honesty.

One of the joys of yoga is that you can’t be too young or too old. Let’s not get hung up on the numbers, but instead let’s celebrate what we can do, whatever it says on the calendar.