On Yoga!

Published on 1 November 2023 at 21:01

I recently had the opportunity to attend a yoga retreat – which is definitely a new experience for me. I’ve dabbled in yoga practice over the years, but never really been ‘into’ it. But, I decided I wanted to experience something new and also try out another form of mindfulness – and self-care. Something I strongly advocate in my work with clients.

So, feeling apprehensive, and not particularly flexible – and wondering what the day would bring, I arrived at Namaste Barn in Ideford ready for a day of yoga practice, a nature walk and meditation.

The morning was spent in a yoga practice, which I have to say - I enjoyed far more than I anticipated that I would. There is something incredibly mindful about yoga. It encourages slowness – rather than the constant speed and busy-ness that I’m sure lots of us are familiar with.

I can see also, why experts in the field of Counselling, Psychotherapy and Neuroscience encourage yoga for those effected with PTSD or disassociation. Bessel Van Der Kolk writes about the therapeutic benefits of yoga in his book The Body Keeps the Score. Without getting into the science of it all, and writing purely anecdotally – my experience was that yoga helped me get in touch with my own body and helped me be really aware of myself, my sense of myself and my physical being. It didn’t feel at all important about being able to achieve particular poses or even a degree of flexibility – but more was about recognising what my body felt able to accomplish for itself and what felt good (or not). It’s safe to say, I’m a yoga convert and very much hope to be able to incorporate yoga practice into my regular activities.

After lunch and the brief nature walk around the grounds of Namaste barn, we ended our day with mediation and Yoga Nidra – which I can only describe as horizontal yoga! It was absolutely heavenly. This portion of the day involved moving into relaxing, stretching poses, being physically supported by blocks, bolsters and lots of blankets. There were many of us in the room that got a little too relaxed and fell asleep. I included!

Since the retreat, I’ve downloaded a wonderful app (free) called Insight Timer, which has a number of free mediation playlists, including many for sleep and based around Yoga Nidra.

I’ve also included some links below which may be of some use for those wishing to give Yoga a try!

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