New York New York!!

Being in New York,…….

Don’t you just love the view!

I was in New York for about a week, but am now in Chicago preparing for a weekend workshop. Anyhow you maybe interested in know what I got up to in New York, after getting over my mild jet lag and general over excited anxious hysteria in actually being here.

Firstly, stayed with a friend who happened to be out of town, but very conveniently lives on the 17th floor of big corporate looking building in the Financial District.

Guess what we landed gold, with a view to die for… looking out onto Brooklyn Bridge.

Anyways, I managed to check in with a couple of yoga studios in New York, which there are plenty to choose from. I did an Anusara master class at Vira Yoga, Vinyasa Flow at Kula Yoga Project and Flight School with Raghunath – oh my God! handstand vinyasas you have to check this guy out!  He does not have a lot on YouTube but I found this.  Any how I had so much fun in his class as I really got to work on my handstands in a dynamic and fluid way.  I am so checking him out when I get back to New York in a week’s time.

New York sky line with a sparkle

As for our weekend ʻNo Nonsense (aka Nonsense) Acrobatics Intensive, both Tobias and I were so humbled to have taught at Om Factory one of the homes and long established AcroYoga communities in the United States and to be supported by the New York teachers was true honor.

You Can’t Beat a Bit of Bath

A combination of two GPS systems, two printed map routes, one full size map book, four pairs of eyes, words of encouragement to Jaqui’s car and maybe a few too many u-turns got us to the Bath country house for our Bodacious Bonfire Yoga weekend.

The journey from London was fuelled by celery sticks, carrots and peppers (expertly prepared by Roxy’s other half) and yummy cake (thank you Noras) and a lot of girlish excitement.  We were met with warm chai and cake on arrival which left us  suitably refreshed for a gentle evening practice.  But cake was not the order of the evening, but of the weekend! This was a yoga weekend that was defined by good food and a lot of eating.

It was great to stretch out the cramps and aches from the car journey, and get acquainted with the yoga studio – but we only had time for a quick hour and a little bit of flying before getting ready for supper.  After showering and settling in we ate pumpkin soup and freshly baked bread, and ended the evening feeling very content!

Saturday commenced with meditation at 9:00 followed by class at 9.30, a very reasonable start time indeed.  The yoga throughout the day was great; a fast paced start to get warmed up that was later capitalised by by inversions and Acroyoga.  Headstands, handstands and forearm balances were all worked on, as well as inversions balancing on people’s backs and in between their knees!  It sounds strange, but looks great!  And some more flying which I really enjoyed.

We also focused on standing balances and arm balances: for example practicing going from bakasana into tripod headstand.  As usual – it’s all about the core!  Ooouch!

Between morning and afternoon classes we ate (a lot!), dozed (only a little!) and cuddled up with the very fluffy cat Flicker, and enjoyed saunas.  Those who like it hot (Vaclav!) were very happy to be in charge of the water bucket and we soon warmed up our winter bodies for the afternoon session.

Saturday evening was a really nice night – we had intended to go to a Fireworks display,  but it was cold and dark; we were in the middle of nowhere and quite happy to be just there, after all we were full, sleepy and spent. So with little enthusiasm for fireworks we decided to play board games!  We settled on Cranium – a team game involving trivia and word / spelling questions as well as drawing, charades, singing / humming and modelling things in clay.  This is what Saturday nights are made for. Seeing fellow yogis jump around like Michael Flatly (Chris), trying to mime a parrot (Stefane) and humming ABBA’s Dancing Queen or Sister Sledge’s We Are Family (Shahana) caused me to laugh to the point of exhaustion. Without a doubt our evening Craniun frolics warmed us more than a Bonfire ever could.

Sunday started with a massage for me, great relief for a stretched shoulder I had been nursing all week.  I love massages and to have one so easily and as part of the weekend was very welcome!

The rest of the day was spent doing lots of yoga puncutated with eating and sauna.  A bit of crazy impromptu dancing to the Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling warmed us up for the penultimate yoga session before we unwound with partner massage, our final workshop. We finished the weekend with another big delicious feast. It was hard to leave; the weekend went so quickly, but felt like were there for days and days, and the thought of returning to work on the Monday was hard to deal with.  The best thing about leaving was looking forward to the returning.

By Natalie Smith

Darling Yoga Buds of May

The invitation came from a fellow classmate to join the spring yoga retreat near Udine, Italy. I had no hesitations in going after following Jacqui’s weekly class for over two years. The chance to experience five days of immersive practice under her guidance in an idyllic location away from the noise and bright lights of London could not be overlooked.

Relationships developed quickly in such an atmosphere as we were absorbed in yoga and Italian lifestyle; gelato, sunshine, meals on the veranda, yoga by the lake – what a wonderful setting! Over five hours of yoga per day gave me a chance to experience new postures and also try out Jaqui’s speciality; Acroyoga.

My body may have ached after the first day, but was re-energised by the fourth nearly feeling renewed and ready to tackle my London life style. I think everyone could do with these experiences in life.

By Roxanne Degarie

Welcome!

YogiForm1

Although I am freshly squeezed from my yoga weekender in Bath and en route to Germany, thanks to the wonders of technology I’ve just redirected my web site and experimenting with the joys of WordPress. And 10 November 2009 heralds the start of this trial and a blog. In this new beta site over the forthcoming months I’ll be revisiting and recounting the summer’s adventures: stories of Acrobatics, Italian getaways and thrilling European workshops. Plus, I’ll be consolidating all my online media so it is accessible all in one place. To get you started, please enjoy this courtesy of the legend in the making Vaclav Elias (and if you like where all this is going, please make use of the RSS feed.)

Also, it just would not be right kicking this off without giving thanks to all the people: friends, family, students, teachers and colleagues that have made 2009 memorable for all the right reasons. Thank you!

By Jaqui Wan

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