This month has flown! November has been a whirlwind of exciting new projects and opportunities at Northern Karma which we're incredibly grateful for, with special thanks to everyone who has come to join us at a workshop, retreat or community class this month!
At the very beginning of November we ran a Yoga for Pole workshop in conjunction with the University of Leicester Pole Fitness and Dance Society. I've never tried pole but, with plenty of help from the society's superstar chairperson Iris, we were able to put together a specifically engineered workshop to help
provide attendees with the tools needed work on awareness of the body in space (proprioception), increase range of movement and flexibility without injury, improve core strength and build shoulder stability. Everyone left feeling chilled, connected with their body and confident to take their practice to the next level. Iris informs me that the society will be incorporating yoga into their weekly training which is very exciting! 15% of all takings were donated to Jasmine House, a Leicester-based charity that offer free, confidential therapeutic services for women and girls who have experienced rape, sexual abuse or sexual violence recently or in the past. More info available here.
This month I started teaching GCSE PE Yoga at Horizon Community College in Barnsley. I'll be posting a more detailed account of our classes together next week, but suffice to say that the girls have been absolutely incredible! I love working with schools and youth groups, it provides an amazing opportunity for me to combine my passion as a youth worker with my love of yoga - thank you so much to Horizon CC (and their wonderful year 11 girls!) for inviting me!
I've also had the absolute pleasure of working with the lovely ladies of the Smithies Wesleyan Reform Church, who asked me to develop a few Chair Yoga classes for them. This is swiftly becoming one of my favourite evenings of the week as upon arrival I get a full update of all that has transpired since the previous session and we only stop giggling long enough to do one or two exercises at a time. The women who attend this group are inspirational, all comfortably into their Golden Years, they are a lifeline to one another and others in the community; they're currently collecting toiletries to donate to Barnsley central YMCA to support them in providing hot showers for the homeless.
Of course a round-up of this month would not be complete without mentioning our Off The Mat Yoga Retreat Day! We could not have hoped for a more supportive, energetic and open-minded group, we felt utterly blessed to share a lovely day with such wonderful women! Not even storm Abigail could dampen our spirits, and fortified with a bowl of cinnamon-poached pears and overnight-oats, we set out to brave the elements.
From the shelter of Langsett woods we watched the branches sway as the reservoir got whipped up like the sea - it was exhilarating! As we got to the mid-point of the walk, the more adventurous amongst us clambered down the hill to get a close-up look at the new waterfalls coursing off of the moors, thundering into the river threatening to break its banks. By this point we'd certainly earned our raw flapjack energy ball!
Returning to our safe haven of the beautifully atmospheric 400 year old Langsett Barn, vegan master-chef Ma Hoyland was waiting to greet us with hot spiced-apple juice and raw carrot cake bites.
After a brief repose we were ready to begin a slow, focussed yoga session where we delved a little deeper into our exploration of mindful movement and self-care. After a luxurious, deep savasana the ladies were treated to a shoulder rub as we set up for the finale and undisputed show-stealer of the day: an autumnal vegan feast. Shepherdess pie, stuffed peppers, slow-roast seasonal veg, spiralized autumn slaw... the spread was phenomenal. My personal favourite was the chia chocolate pud topped with blueberries and coconut cream. I'm going to be having daydreams about that for weeks.
All in all, it's been an amazing month at Northern Karma HQ. I'm still reeling at how all this seems to have suddenly come together, and I'm humbled by the kindness and support not only of my family-team but of everyone we've had the privilege of working with. Thank you so so much, in the truest meaning of the word: Namaste.
There are only 9 more community classes before Christmas! We're still offering 6 classes for £20, redeemable at either the Monday or Wednesday class. Remember that 10% of all takings in Oct/Nov is going to The Real Junk Food Project Sheffield, and news about December's charity will be announced next week. Also stay tuned for your Yogic Advent Calendar: the December Yoga Challenge! A pose a day until Christmas eve.... who's in? Take care lovely yogis, and I'll see you on the mat very soon.