The practise of teaching in a cafe

From Ciara Collins Atkins

I had a moment of clarity last week (always unexpected and so precious when this happens), in which I suddenly felt the need to simply write down all that I did not want to forget to share through teaching yoga. This, I realised, was exactly the same as what I have received and what I hope to continue receiving through my own practise. And so, on a napkin in a cafe (because the day I need a notebook is always the day I leave it at home), I write softly in my tiniest writing…

My yoga practise, and so in turn my teaching of yoga is all about:

1. Feeling good in yourself, exactly where you are now. This equals the cultivation of:

forgiveness-acceptance -surrendering-gratitude-love-compassion

(To the self and others; these two I've discovered come as a pair, and at the core are the same thing)

And the acknowledging of and deciding what to do with:

fear-anxiety-anger-judgement-stress-impatience

(Again, if we’re judging someone we’re probably judging ourselves in a pretty similar tone)

2. Breathing deeper, becoming more aware of the breath and it’s power to impact your wellbeing. (The breath is a big part of what makes number one possible).

3. Moving the body, listening to the body and caring for it. Maybe this starts on the yoga mat, but when it seeps into your day to day life that’s when things get interesting.

4. (Which brings me to the next point); having a yoga practise that exists on and off the mat. Essentially a yoga practise in which the poses are embodied, which in turn helps you live an embodied life that you are consciously choosing.

5. Experiencing a state of relaxation. Moving out of ‘alert’ mode to a state of restfulness in which the parasympathetic nervous system is activated. Slowing down. Stopping. Starting again (many times) calmly and nourished.

6. Finding a moment of beauty, be it through the environment, the music, the golden silence, the lighting, an ‘aha’ moment, a particularly lovely shavasana. These moments are precious, they inspire, energise, they help us create our days.

7. Smiling and laughing, inwardly or outwardly as part of a yoga practise that is alive and fun, which is in itself relaxing!

8. Going on your own unique journey with yoga because yes, we may do downward dog in nearly every class but none knows what if feels like for you. It is ALL something to make your own. 

9. Feeling safe, accepted and seen so this unique journey can be delved into and grabbed with both hands.

10. Being part of a community. I love when the private practise of yoga with oneself is held within a community of people, in which we get to share our most true selves through our practise, through our words, over a cup of tea and on a regular basis.

Autor:  Ciara Collins Atkins , Yoga Teacher, Dance Movement Psychotherapist & POP UP YOGA Family

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