I hope as you read this you and your loved ones are well. It’s been a long time since I wrote any kind of blog piece and its not because nothing has been coming into my head, its just been musings which I haven’t been able to commit to paper. We went into lockdown in March and I remember leading my last face to face practice whilst watching all the debate online at the time from teachers and studio owners about how they could keep going. And then the decision was taken out of our hands. So, we all stopped. Overnight. Just like that. And there was a pause as we all took stock of the situation with our jaws on the floor because who would have believed that this could happen, and the wheels would stop turning at a moment’s notice?
And then there was a flurry of activity and people started putting everything online…. recorded practices… live practices…. vlogs…blogs….and anything that was feasible to keep a presence alive. For many teachers this was their only source of income, so everyone had to start thinking very differently. I debated about whether to go online but there were two mitigating factors stopping me;
1. I live in an area where the broadband speed is, quite frankly, abysmal, and,
2. I still had an income from my full-time job coming in, so it was only fair I pushed people towards online offerings of other teachers.
And there is a 3. I teach yoga because I believe passionately in its values and it connects me to people and that’s what I enjoy – face to face contact. I spend all day in front of a screen so doing even more laptop time in the evening made my heart sink….
But I had 16 pregnant mammas with me when we closed the doors and I felt connected to keep them supported, so I did offer an online group, and although technology wasn’t always our friend it was lovely to offer them support and see them one by one having their beautiful babies in the most challenging of situations.
I had planned to travel out to India and maybe volunteer at Dr Sharma’s Ayurvedic clinic this year but that, of course, wasn’t going to happen. He offers teachings only twice a year and the spring cohort had to quickly go online needless to say but I was pleased to be asked to offer support to the online student community along with fellow alumni colleagues from the USA and another in Spain. It is interesting even just sharing COVID lockdown perspectives from other countries but is also so nourishing to be able to connect to Dr Sharma’s knowledge again and be given the opportunity to access his online teachings. We are still receiving weekly lectures and webinars even now. This has fuelled my desire to dive even deeper into Ayurveda than before. More of that later.
But to be honest, I enjoyed lockdown. I didn’t like not seeing my loved ones (other than on a screen) of course, but I had family at home, live in a beautiful rural area where I could exercise freely without meeting a soul, working from home wasn’t a challenge for me and I had a roof over my head and food on my table. It also made me just hit the pause button and make me realise I was going too fast. I felt almost a sense of relief that I didn’t have to be so busy all the time!
Then we went into a place where restrictions started to ease up a bit over the summer and I was able to re-connect to friends and family. We were able to travel a bit more, so our campervan got dusted off and we started to get out and about. I had a lovely summer exploring new places, seeing family, getting up some hills and into the sea. Then studios started to open, and teachers started to offer face to face classes once again. But not under the same free and easy way we had before. Online booking…..risk assessments…no lending of equipment…..deep cleans after every class….temperature checks….track and trace….face masks and one-way systems in and out of buildings…windows open…..9m square per person restricting numbers…..and on and on it goes. This is the new world we live in and I can’t see it changing any time soon. I have talked to the venues where I hold my practices – I have been using Jane’s Pilates studio for 9 years since I started teaching and she has been wonderful to work with and she has made huge efforts to make the studio safe, but it is clear that in Annan at least, where there are children using the space during the day, that it would create even more layers of complexity on top of an already burdensome regime for Bryan and his team to bring a group of adults in once a week. So much to think about to keep everyone safe it makes my head spin.
And as we near the end of September and flu season is upon us it looks like things are going to clamp down again for many of us. So, I have taken the decision, with a very heavy heart, to suspend my practices for the foreseeable future until we see how things settle. I am not saying I will never be back to teaching yoga face to face, absolutely not, but right now does not feel like the right time. For once I am letting my head lead my heart. It truly has been a difficult decision.
This year we have been afforded a unique time of reflection, and through my re-reading of the Vedic philosophies that strip everything right back to our inherent nature, I am reminded that we humans are just a little microcosm in the vast macrocosm of the universe. We are made of up the same 5 elements of every other living being and inanimate object on this wee planet of ours, We have made a bit of a mess of things for everyone and everything else by assuming we are superior and own Earth’s natural resources but it’s payback time and we realise now that we are slowly killing ourselves and our planet. Those with poor health (obesity, diabetes, heart disease etc etc) are more likely to suffer from viruses like COVID our medics are telling us. And we have woken up to the inordinate strain we have put on our incredibly valuable health services by being the creators of our own disease through poor diet and lifestyle choices, leaving little time for those who really need help through no fault of their own. And we expect someone else to fix us. But often the resolution offered is a one-size-fits-all or does not look at the whole person – just the bit needing fixed at that point in time. I believe that now is the time for us to look back in order to look forward. To the ancient sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga as a way of supporting the individual to maintain health and combat disease and take the strain off our already pressurised services. Take responsibility for our own health and wellbeing in a natural and holistic way.
So that is my intention moving forward. I will look to continue to support the expectant mammas of our region as I believe passionately that yoga and Ayurveda can help create a beautiful pregnancy and support labour, birth and beyond. And I will look to offer Ayurveda and Yoga to support the individual’s needs through 1-2-1 consultations, treatments and bespoke practices. But group practices will stop…..for a while….How I do all this still needs careful consideration but I am convinced that the universe has sent us a signal that its time to look differently at our health, our values and our connections to those we love. And when the world settles, and we can meet freely in groups again I will look to come back to the mat.
I hope you will follow me on this voyage of discovery, and that I can support you, even in a small way, to make positive changes to your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. I have been blessed to meet so many amazing people on my own journey and through the practices I have led that have brought me to this point, and for that I will be eternally grateful. But this is not the end, this is simply the flick of a switch at the railway junction that is taking me down a different track to the one I was on back in March. The end of one chapter and the start of the next. So, if you can, join my mailing list to be sure to get news of online events, articles, yoga practices and recipes to interest and inspire you. You can sign up on my website www.yogawithmoira.co.uk. If you are on Facebook our Sangha (community) page is Yoga With Moira and I’m occasionally (and very infrequently but promise to do better!) on Instagram (yogawithmoira). My first offering will be a group Ayurvedic cleanse for Autumn to reset our taste buds and our digestion for the new season. I hope you can join me.
Thank you for all the support, and love and joy you have brought to me through our shared yoga practice. Love and blessings x

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