One week on and the landscape continues to shift as our social existence becomes more confined. These are extraordinary times we’re experiencing, I do hope you’re all coping with the ongoing situation.  

I’ve put off writing anything before now as I really needed time to settle after closing the Shala last Monday. Also coming to terms with the fact that I might lose the studio that I’ve invested 10 years into. With the financial help the government are now promising, it looks more promising for the future of Stonemonkey, but we wait to see. My heart goes out to everyone who is dealing with whatever difficulties this situation has presented.

I would like to thank everyone who contacted me after the closure, the response was incredible and full of love. Some people even offering to pay for their usual classes without taking them! and so many other forms of support! I’ve found it all really moving and it’s reminded me yet again what a wonderful community I am part of. So thank you all for making Stonemonkey what it is.

 I’m missing teaching and seeing everyone in the room, I do hope you’re all managing to keep up practice in some form. Do remember it really doesn’t have to be a full practice, much better to develop daily consistency. So a couple of sun salutations with breath awareness and a few moments sitting in stillness daily will bring great benefits and as Hamish Hendry often says ‘the only bad practice is no practice!’

There’s a well known Pattabhi Jois quote “Practice all is coming” which has been interpreted in many different ways by both students and teachers. When Dena Kinsberg was asked for her understanding of the quote she rephrased it ‘practice (because) all is coming’, I love this take on it. This IS why we practice, not to create a perfect ‘performance’, but to develop resilience that will serve us off the mat in difficult times, just like this moment right now! 

This is what I find so wonderful about the Ashtanga practice, we begin by learning simply to breathe and move, we then develop techniques, understanding and awareness along the way. These in turn equip us with practical tools that can help us keep a balance physically, mentally and emotionally in our daily lives. So when the ‘shit hits the fan’ (like now) we just might be better equipped to meet the challenges. 

With all the shala’s around the world having to close their doors most teachers have moved their teaching online. I’ve been considering doing the same (words I never thought I would say)!! Maddy and I have already experimented with the technology, which is neither of our strong point!! Maddy’s already up and running and taught a couple of classes to her own students (with much laughter)
 So let me know if this would be of interest to any of you? If we did go ahead I would use the zoom.us app. You would need to download it to join the class. 

One last thing, all Yoga practice should be rooted in Ahimsa (non harming), Maitri (loving kindness)  and Karuna (compassion).
The simple act of isolating, not buying more than you need, checking on the vulnerable and staying connected with people are deeply rooted in these aspects, be Karma Yoga in action.

Stay safe & Big love, 

Bye for now,

Digby

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