Weekend workshops with Kathy Cooper
17 – 18 June 2017
Summer Sessions at the Space: Chanting, Gong Baths and workshops …
This is one of those beautiful winter days when the temperature has hardly risen above zero but the skies are bright blue and the light is quite stunning. Days like this remind me not to waste a moment, to go out and make the most of it which is exactly what I did as I downed tools earlier (or rather switched off the computer) and pulled on my wellies to go out and get some fresh air. I never fail to be in awe of this beautiful countryside that we are lucky enough to live in and I am reminded of how little time out it takes to bring me back to the present and shift my perspective. It is all too easy to get caught up in the endless list of jobs to do, especially when you run your own business, but the reality is that there will always be jobs on the ‘to do list’, maybe sometimes more than others, but they usually will all get done and we have a choice as to how we perceive being busy. Being able to be present makes us much more effective, whatever we are doing.
On the subject of ‘to do lists’, I had intended to write a little blog post at the beginning of January to wish everyone a Happy 2015 but January seems to have flown by so far, with so much going on this month at our little yoga space. Likewise, the other important items on the list for this month, such as making marmalade and planting this years garlic and broad beans in the vegetable garden are still to be done, although there is a large box of Seville oranges currently sat on the kitchen table in readiness for this weekends marathon marmalade making session …. life doesn’t get much better!
We started the new year off beautifully with a retreat held by an old friend of ours, Claudia Jones, who runs the Wellness Source. Claudia has recently moved back to the UK after 10 years running retreat centres in Bali and Thailand before that. The day was a perfect mix of gentle Yoga, breathing techniques and discussions about wellness in general, with a particular focus on nutrition. It is so important to look after ourselves properly .. that’s a big part of why I get on a yoga mat each day. But looking after ourselves is about so much more that just that. It is how we take care of our own bodies and emotional well being, but also our relationships, being aware of the food we eat and where is comes from (hence the garlic and broad bean planting on my list) but also beyond that, and most importantly, how we take care of our planet and our community. Like many of us I feel quite passionately about these last two things. We are really lucky to have a large vegetable garden at home in which we can grow our own food but you don’t need lots of space and if we all cared for our planet responsibly it could feed us all adequately. As part of our second retreat day here at the Space, led by the lovely Juliette Oliver of Orckid Yoga, we were treated to an afternoon seashore walk and guided ‘forage’ from ‘Fore/adventure’, who run fantastic courses here in Studland and are as passionate about this local landscape as I am. It was a truly informative and enjoyable few hours , learning how to identify edible wild plants such as wild chives and sea beet, not to mention the numerous varieties of edible seaweed. Juliettes’ retreat day was then finished off perfectly as we all returned from the afternoon’s forage to be treated to a ‘Sound bath’ from the amazing Bhanu. Incredible!
As for looking after our community, this is for me what yoga is really all about. It has been wonderful meeting so many new people over these last few months since we opened our doors and our own little yoga community here has been growing steadily. It is really fantastic seeing how people connect with one another and form friendships that go beyond practicing each day on a yoga mat next to one another. After our weekly yoga for pregnancy classes the mum’s to be often hang out for a bit after the class and chat over tea and cake. These friendships are so important … it is what makes us feel connected, that we ‘belong’ and are supported by our community. These connections extend beyond us and into our wider social network. We were really inspired last October when Eddie Stern came to Dorset to teach a three day workshop here and he spoke at length about the work he has done in New York City with the ‘Urban Yogis’ project over the last few years. It was such positive story that we got talking to him a little more at length afterwards, along with my great friend Scott Johnson of Stillpoint Yoga London, and we decided that Scott and I would get involved in starting an ‘Urban Yogis UK’ project here. We will be starting to work with young people through this project over the coming year and I will be posting up more information about this in the next few weeks.
I personally feel really blessed to belong to such an amazing community of people sharing yoga, not just the lovely teachers that we are lucky enough to have here at the Space but throughout Dorset and the UK. My fellow practitioners and teachers that I’ve known for some years now since we all trained with John Scott and Lucy Crawford, feel like a big family and it is fantastic when we get to see each other at events or workshops such as at the beginning of January when Stillpoint Yoga London hosted their annual fundraising event in memory of their founder and our beautiful friend Ozge. It was such a special day, with two led classes from John Scott, Joey Miles and Scott Johnson and so many people from the yoga community there to support them. It was also a real pleasure last week to spend five days with a group of our local teachers when Brian Cooper came to Dorset to teach a workshop. The group worked so hard as they explored different adjustment techniques and thai massage, much of which involved working in groups and sharing information. It was a lovely reminder that we are all students first and foremost and there is always so much to learn.
Now, where did I put those marmalade jars …
7 – 11 August 2017
24 – 28 July 2017
Our class schedule is updated regularly. You can see class information and book a space for a particular class or workshop by clicking on this link. There are detailed descriptions of each class in the ‘Class Descriptions’ drop down menu above. Alternatively, by hovering over the class or teacher’s descriptions in the class schedule you will open up a pop up window with more information. The (Mysore) Assisted self-practice classes are run for 2 – 3 hours and you can arrive and finish your practice whenever you want, as long as you have finished by the end of the class time. They are suitable for all levels but ideally we would recommend attending one of our Foundation / Beginners courses first if you are completely new to the practice. If you are a beginner, please let us know in advance and allow for approximately one hour’s practice for your first visit. We look forward to seeing you.
A very Happy New Year from all of us here at the Space. We hope that you managed to to catch up with friends and family, take a break from routine and get to walk out in the fresh air in our beautiful Dorset countryside over the festive period. We are really looking forward to the year ahead and have lots of things planned in addition to our regular class schedule. And we promise to have the wood burner lit and the underfloor heating on so that it is warm and cosy for practice, especially on these winter mornings. We look forward to seeing you on a mat soon. Helen and the team at the Space x
The lovely Juliette Oliver, from Orckid Yoga, is holding two special workshops on Tuesday 30 December at The Space. The children’s class is a 1-hour session (10-11am) for 5 to 9 year olds. Meanwhile, yoga for teens blends music with dynamic movement and the experience of stillness and silence. Teen yoga starts at 11.30-12.30pm and is suitable for 11 to 17 year olds.
Please join Helen and Natalie for our annual Christmas Charity Class which will be held at in the lovely Studland Village Hall around the corner. This will replace the scheduled Led Primary series class on Sunday morning and will be open to all levels of practitioner … just come and do what you can do and help us raise as much money as we can for this amazing charity. All proceeds will go towards Kids Company.
This will be a Donation only event and there will be time to get together afterwards for tea and cake. We look forward to seeing as many of you as we can and if you can come and join us please sign up for the class online via our class schedule so that we will have an idea of numbers attending. Thank you for your support.
We are really looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow for our Christmas gathering. We have had a huge interest in the morning taster classes and so some of these are now fully booked so please contact us or check online before coming to any of these so as not to be disappointed. We still have lots of space for the closing mediation with Juliette and plenty of cake and lovely things to drink for those of you coming along to the afternoon ‘Open House’ between 1pm and 4 pm, where you can come and look around, meet us, find out about next year’s events and enjoy some cake, hot chocolate and mulled wine. We will also have Gift vouchers for sale to use for classes or workshops next year and discounts on blocks of classes and monthly passes bought on the day.
Here is the schedule for the day, including the morning taster sessions with our lovely teachers .. these are all 20 mins long and free to join but spaces will be limited so drop us a line or book on line via our class schedule if you’d like to come along
11.00 – 11.20 Gentle yoga and Breath Awareness (Helen)
11.30 – 11.50 Intro to Ashtanga yoga (Araxy)
12.00 – 12.20 Yoga Nidra (Nat)
12.30 – 12.50 Vinyasa flow (Tracy)
1.00 – 16.00 ‘Open House’ … pop in and say hello, have a drink and chat to the teachers about all the lovely things we have going on here … oh and did I mention that there will be cake too!
16.00 – 16.20 Closing Meditation (Juliette) … all welcome!
What an amazing last few weeks we have had here! It has been wonderful to welcome so many new faces to our little practice space and growing yoga community here in Studland, from the regular students in our early morning Mysore self practice classes, the new students coming along to the various evening classes here and everyone who came to join Eddie Stern’s 3 day workshop a couple of week ago. It really was an amazing 3 days and we felt so blessed that Eddie agreed to come and share his immense knowledge and experience of yoga here with us, all with his wonderful compassion and humour. The lovely village hall was packed, as was most of Studland village, over the weekend as people came not just from our local community but also from across the South of England and Dorset. We were even blessed with some more Autumn sunshine! There were many highlights over the course of the workshop but for me personally it was listening to his talk about the work with the Urban Yogis project in NYC, which was pretty inspirational … so much so that we have been inspired to start working on a similar project over here … but more of that later … It was also really wonderful to hear so many people chanting together in the afternoon sessions in our Space. I had always thought that the accoustics here are pretty good and we certainly got to really try them out. The sounds during the beautiful Puja blessing ceremony on the Saturday evening which Eddie led were amazing. I felt so lucky to have been a part in creating this practice space and and overwhelming sense of how much our community can do here as we move forward into next year and beyond. Thank you to everyone who came along to join us and a big thank you also to my wonderful support team of Rebecca Reeves, Scott Johnson, Sophie and Ella who made the whole workshop run smoothly!
In other news, we have been busy organising some exciting events and workshops for 2015 and beyond. These will be updated to our website and booking schedule as the details are confirmed and we will let everyone know about things first via our monthly news letters which you can subscribe to if you would like to be kept up to date. We have also just completed another Ashtanga Foundation course here which was great. It is always fun to be able to work with these small groups to introduce the fundamental elements of this practice and have the time to explore different things with the Students. Dates for the next course, which will be early in 2015, will be posted up soon and we have also added a new ‘Introduction to the Primary series Level 1′ class to the timetable on a Wednesday eve. This technique class is designed as a follow on for those that have completed a Beginners / Foundation course or students who have practiced yoga before but are new to the Ashtanga vinyasa method. The earlier level 2 class will then take students a little further, with the emphasis on developing a self practice.
There will be more classes coming to the timetable over the next few weeks including, by popular request, a new Yoga for Pregnancy class on Wednesday mornings at 10.30 starting later this month and a gentle all level led Ashtanga class on Thursday mornings. We always welcome feedback too so do let us know if there is a particular class or time that you would like to see on our schedule and we will see what we can do ….
After the most amazing Summer, it will soon be time to dig out the Winter woollies and light the wood-burning stove here at The Space. I’ve always loved this time of year, especially as we are lucky enough to live in the beautiful Dorset countryside.
From the stunning display of Autumn leaves to the produce from the garden, there is a definite sense of the change in seasons, and with it also a sense of looking inwards and nurturing ourselves ready for Winter.
This change in seasons is also a time to take stock, to look at our own lives, having gratitude for everything and letting go of anything we need to. Clearing out the old to make way for the new.
It’s very much a time to be in the present, enjoying every precious moment – be it drinking a cup of fresh coffee or stepping on crunchy leaves…
Stepping on your mat each day to practise yoga is precisely about all of these things. From being intimately connected to our breath, keeping us focused on the present, to allowing the fluctuations of the mind to settle and ‘let go’.
On a personal level, I am really looking forward to getting back to sharing yoga with you all. After a few weeks away, learning to be patient, I want to extend my own gratitude for the many ‘get well soon’ messages and general loveliness.
I especially want to say thank you to the amazing group of teachers at The Space who have looked after everyone so beautifully. I feel very lucky to be part of such a kind and thoughtful community.
Enjoy your practice, everyone, and looking forward to seeing you on a mat sometime soon.