Gardening Yoga and Slowwwga

Victoria and Yoga

I have been practicing yoga for twenty five years (although not always religiously) and in that time I have learned from some truly amazing and insightful teachers (as well as a few quite dodgy ones). I finally trained as a teacher in 2008, at the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, with the delightful and hugely gifted Ganga White who is definitely one of the best yoga teachers ever, as well as being one of the funniest.

Slowwwga Starting 7th October- what is it?

slowwwga

…as the name implies this is slow yoga. Yoga for pleasure! Yoga for relaxation. Yoga for bliss. Yoga for people who just want a nice lie down, people who just need to chill, people who would quite like a gin and tonic or a foot rub or a tub of Haagen Daz in front of the telly. Yoga for people who don’t feel like jumping into Chattaranga today thank you very much. (Maybe for people who hate chattaranga, maybe for people who don’t even care to know what that is) Yoga for people who would really like to just feel more flexible, to feel that every joint is moving easily but who don’t want to sweat and strain and who know damn well that they can’t take part in a class without wondering if other people are doing it better and who do care to not look stupid and really don’t have the energy to try and bend themselves into the shape the teacher is making and just want to enjoy themselves, feel lovely and move all their moving parts in a way that leaves them feeling refreshed and comforted and at ease with the world…

 

What happens in a class?

Review from Keith Michael Gregg

This Wednesday, I had the chance to try out slowwwga, in INIT Yoga studios, in Ringsend. Slowwwga is a type of yoga devised by Victoria Mary Clarke. Victoria says herself, that she finds meditation and relaxation hard sometimes, because she may think of random things, like shopping or eating cake. She is not unique in this assessment, as the majority of participants in the class also were of this opinion. Slowwwga is relaxing, and unlike other types of yoga, you end up getting all the yogic benefits of the stretches (sans the ashtangi body), without going through major pain – Victoria insists that you only go to where you are comfortable, and find which way is right for you. Slowwwga is really beneficial to anyone who sits at a desk, or over a computer all day, which most of us do nowadays.

The Class

We begin in my (favourite) position – lying down on the mat. Victoria instructs us to get comfortable, and breathe into ourselves, and to feel the breath. This was really lovely, as we often do forget to breathe, and we really do forget the power breath has. I have to admit, lying down felt weird – my back did not want to connect to the mat – it did not want to connect. However, with several deep, connected breaths, I began to melt into the floor, and my body began to relax. I began to connect with myself, for possibly the first time today.

We then proceeded to go through a number of poses on the floor, each time loosening our joints and muscles and feeling really deep, connected and joyful stretches. Poses I normally find excruciating, were for the first time a joy to sit into – literally. As someone with tight hamstrings, a lot of the poses the ladies were more able to do, I was not. Despite this, Victoria made sure that I could partake in a more suitable pose to my form. Each twist, each stretch felt lovely, but also releasing and refreshing, unlike the constrictive movements I have felt in other types of yoga, like Bikram or indeed Ashtanga.

We spent the class on the mat, each pose flowed, almost vinyasa style, from one to the next. The hour flew by, with each pose, I enjoyed myself more, and relaxed more. When we got to corpse pose, I felt deep relaxation, and did not want to get up. We worked mostly on the back this week, but in future weeks, Victoria assured us that we would be working other areas of our bodies, and stretching other areas. I loved the slow, gentle nature of the slowwwga, and the fact that there was no wrong way to do it. It made me more mindful, as I concentrated and connected with myself through each stress. I certainly wasn’t thinking about shopping, or cake, or wine. I was thinking about how much I was enjoying the class, and how much I did not want it to end.

Is slowwwga for me?

What’s my assessment? I have to say, doing slowwwga is like having your cake, eating it, and finding you have way more cake. It is win-win! I will definitely be doing it again, and I will definitely be raving about it to all my friends!

What you need to do!

  • What to wear?
    • loose comfortable clothes
    • You can bring your own mat, or rent one if you need to!
  • Where is it?
  • When is it?
    • Wednesday evenings at 7pm – arrive a bit early 10 to 15 mins would be great!
  • How much is it?
    • 15 euro cash only

You can reserve a place here:


What is Gardening Yoga?

Here is a quick taster of my wonderful Gardening Yoga DVD, available now

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