Yoga Swansea, A Newsletter from Louise Thorndycraft

This month's newsletter is a little late, as March didn't exactly go according to plan, due to a flu bug and chest infection that knocked me sideways. I know a few people have had the same thing and are making a very slow recovery, so I'm sending love to anyone who's feeling under the weather now, for this or any other reason.

One thing that being ill or injured teaches us is patience. Many of us are caught in the trap of racing back to "normal" after illness, only to find ourselves regretting it later when our recovery drags on and on. Illness and injury can be one of the sternest tests of our capacity for mindful self compassion. If we're able to remain present with the experience of having a body when that body is in pain, listening to the body rather than dictating to it based on societal or personal "shoulds", this is the beginning of true embodiment. We can begin to fully inhabit and befriend our bodies instead of pushing them around like inanimate objects we don't very much like.

Think about it. It's a pretty radical move in a culture that encourages us to constantly dislike and punish our bodies for being too much "this" or not enough "that", all in the name of selling us things we don't need. I'm not saying that it's wrong to have goals to be healthier or stronger, simply that loving and accepting our bodies just as they are is a liberating act of rebellion and an act I would like to see much more of in the world!

With illness, what is generally needed is a period of deep rest - something that's only possible if we allow ourselves the space and time to heal, rather than blundering ahead regardless of our body's cries for help. It's a hard lesson to learn, but age and experience also brings with it the possibility of increased wisdom, if we choose to listen. So, as April blossoms around us, I wish for us all to find our own unique balance of activity and rest. May we all do our best to be kind to ourselves.

One of the gifts I've been relying on whilst recuperating is yoga nidra. For those who've never tried it, yoga nidra is a guided deep relaxation/ meditation which is practiced lying down under a blanket. It's a deeply healing and relaxing practice and I sometimes wonder what I would do without it! People often ask me for recommendations and I can highly recommend Richard Miller's Yoga Nidra CD and book. I've used this guided yoga nidra too many times to remember and it always leaves me feeling deeply rested and revived (even when I'm too tired to stay awake for the whole session!)

I also have my own yoga nidra CD for sale which has received lots of lovely feedback. There are now only 15 copies left and I'm not planning to reprint this one. I'll record a new yoga nidra CD soon, which will incorporate everything I've learned in the 4 years since I recorded the previous one. Given my recent training in trauma sensitive yoga and fascination with some of the latest developments in neuroscience and psychotherapy, there's plenty I can bring to a new recording. I'll let you know when it's likely to manifest!

You can read more from Louise on her website Blue Sky Yoga


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  Just a quick line Chris to say that I’ve just got back from the second lot of skiing this year and that the knees have held up well thanks to your expert advice and the exercise regime you gave me. I wouldn’t have thought it possible to keep on with the skiing – and it probably wouldn’t have been without your intervention. 

Mr N Parkes

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Helen Price

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