This week, my (mostly) long hot summer of al fresco classes in Bristol drew to a close. I have been teaching yoga on Queen Square in central Bristol all Summer long. Amongst the personal trainers, pétanque players and runners, I nestled myself on the grass, providing my students and me with a perfect counter to all that was going on around us.
My students were from my ex-employers, Eunomia, an environmental consultancy based on Queen Square. My classes were at lunchtimes, and I loved labelling these classes as a proper lunch ‘break’. I used my classes as an opportunity for my students (here on referred to as Eunomiyogis) to still their bodies and minds, while reflecting upon what they had achieved during the morning and could achieve in the remainder of the day.
On the busiest days in the Square, it was initially quite distracting taking something so personal to me in my yoga practice outside, with what seemed like many onlookers. Occasionally, we had gatecrashers join the class, most notably a labradoodle who hurtled between the mats while we were in downward dog. In case you wondered, his posture was not quite textbook, but his energy and enthusiasm couldn’t be doubted!
What I particularly enjoyed about these classes though was seeing how much my Eunomiyogis developed, not just over the summer, but the past year of teaching. Taking time out of their busy days to join me on the mat meant so much to me. I received so much support and encouragement including constructive feedback on my teaching. This ultimately resulted in me becoming a better teacher and they benefitted as students.
I used the classes to support very worthy causes including the Costa Rica Animal Rescue Centre and most recently, Motor Neurone Disease Scotland. I have a friend (Ruth Williamson) who has the disease and I couldn’t think of a better way of showing support.
I am now taking a well earned break from teaching lunch classes during September. However, I will be back with a BANG in October with classes in a purpose built space. It’s light & airy, there is loads of equipment and it’s in the perfect location just off Queen Square. It will be my sanctuary for the Autumn and Winter seasons, and although feeling slightly weary from the summer season, I simply cannot wait to get started in October.