Dear Yogis,

Zoom yoga 12.30 today.  Studio yoga 5.30 today (one vacancy –  please contact me if you would like to join us  

Although we have a foot in the zoom schedule and a foot in the studio schedule, neither of these are less valuable than they were a month ago.  In fact they are more valuable as we move into a new normal.  This is the time to set regimes in place – or continue with the schedule you set up during The Covid Pause.  As yogis,  the advantage that we have in life is that we are “reflective”.  We think about the things that other people may think are habit.

Some students tell me that they haven’t got time for yoga things or meditation, but on looking back into their time of lock down they had lots on their to-do list but did none of it (or hardly any).  Now is the time to change that.  Last night in our sutra class we re-visited the concept  of “THE BOOK OF SIXES”  (stopping at least twice a day to review and write into our little notebooks about how we are dealing with the blockages in our life, emotional, financial, physical – whatever).  We cover that briefly in our teacher training, but it should take up a whole class and various reminders given – it is so important if you really do want to control what is happening in your life.  It doesn’t mean that everything in your life will suddenly look sunny, but it does mean that you will be calm about what is happening, and know that you have handled it the best way you can, with as few karmic repercussions as possible in this moment.

THEN once you have mastered this, you could try “A GARDEN CIRCLE”.  We could have achieved this more easily in covid lockdown, but we can do it now.  It involves taking ONE REGULAR DAY OFF and using that day to contemplate where you are and where you are going.    A day of total quiet, (the same day every week or month)  away from TV, BOOKS, FRIENDS DROPPING IN or THE PHONE and TECHNOLOGY OF ANY KIND.  Just you and the garden or studio or where-ever.  

To achieve this you will have to schedule it – it must be regular.  I must say that during covid lock down, my Thursdays (I have Thursdays off every week and have done this for many years) disappeared, and I will have to work at re-instating it. I call it a Garden Circle because I spend an extended time in the garden when I can on these days – hard, physical gardening.   If you can’t manage a weekly time then a monthly day of contemplation would be good.  This is not a holiday, it is a serious attempt to know yourself better, and re-connect with  the spiritual in your life.  We are addicted to what we do, and the way we do it.  Every addiction takes work to deal with.

The schedule for my day goes something like this.  An hour of complete silence alternated with an hour of spiritual study, an hour of quiet walking or other exercise and an hour in the middle of the day for a light meal eaten mindfully.  All this interspersed with catching up with the entries in your Book of Sixes which you may be able to do every two hours as the Tibetans do.   The day goes very quickly if you schedule it – which in itself is a good discipline.  It is important that after this day you trust the decisions, ideas and resolutions which come to you whilst you are on this “PAUSE”.

At some time during the day make a conscious decision to HELP someone. There is nothing that will give you more power in your personal and business life.  The point of this day is to get away from concentrating on ourselves.  Don’t let your friends or family hijack this time.  They think you are just taking a day off.

At the end of the day, review your Book of Sixes.  Try not to think about what you have to do the next day.  Let the silence and the peace you have experienced remain with you during your sleeping hours so you wake up refreshed, creative and inspired to start your week (until your next Garden Circle).

I know that when you get back to the frantic speed of your life and the catch up after your day away, you may not trust the insights you received, and perhaps label them as “unrealistic”. Don’t you believe it!  This is just your monkey mind trying to reassert itself.  To change will require a little risk and a whole lot of courage.  I have to say that the few days before your day off, do try to resolve any easy issues, be especially nice to those around you, get into a good position in the every-day and you will start your PAUSE with the right imprints in your mind.  You won’t have to deal with immediate troubles…

It is important that your family and friends understand that this is not just an opportunity to laze and bunk-off.  This is an important day which will help you to become a better worker, get more done, and be generally easier to get along with (if this is an issue for you).  It is not a luxury.  You may have to get your family alongside and get their permission for this day – this is important too.  It may take some time before they understand that this is to get you out of a rut and a mind set.  If you achieve this, then they will be the winners too.

We yogis are all in the business of “MENTAL GARDENING”.