'What if in this moment your body was perfect...'
On Saturday I made a day trip to London for a yoga class. A 300 yogi strong yoga class! Rachel Brathen was in London town promoting her book - which if you haven't read yet I strongly urge you to pick up a copy - and also put on a class. When I saw the tickets go on sale about a month ago I immediately purchased a ticket, no hesitation what so ever, and I was glad I did because the class sold out pretty fast.
So I hopped on the 9am train from Bristol and made my way over to Bethnel Green. You have to remember I am not a city girl so for me just catching the right tube and not getting lost is a celebration by itself! I arrived at the venue super early, over two hours early, I think there was only two other people there at the time. Front of the queue - oh yes! I met some lovely girls in the queue and also got to catch up with my two friends Michelle and SA so the time waiting actually flew by. I even managed to top up my tan - well as much as my Latvian skin tans that is.
Once the doors opened we made our way into the largest space I have ever done a yoga class in. I felt the good vibes as soon as I stepped inside, I knew we were about to experience a magical class. After popping my mat down and making a last minute dash to the bathroom I settled down to wait for the appearance of Rachel.
She emerged from behind the curtains with a glow and the biggest smile on her face. After a few introductions and a little chatting with the class to find out where people had travelled from we settled down, closed our eyes and began. Rachel started the class by drawing an angel card - Opportunity to Forgive - 'This situation brings you the opportunity to heal, grow, and release negative patterns. Hold the intention of seeing the other person's inner Divine light and goodness. We will help you to release unforgiving thoughts, feelings, and energies, and lift you to a higher place of peace and compassion.' Setting a very powerful intention for the class - to release, to forgive - others, yourself - to let go. Be free.
The class started on our backs, slowly building up to a very sweaty vinyasa flow. The class itself was perfectly sequenced for all levels and very much led with the heart. Just kinda going with the flow and seeing where things led. We were encouraged to embrace our community, to connect with one another and ourselves. To laugh, to love, to fall over and to get right back up. Just like life. The time ran by super fast, Rachel had a couple of other teachers and her husband Dennis giving beautiful adjustments to the class. Rachel also walked around, adjusting and connecting to people. As the class started to slow down we found ourselves in supta baddha konasana (reclined bound angle pose) listening to Rachel's voice, eyes closed, covered in sweat and listening to the beating of our own hearts. It was truly magical. I felt connected to every single beautiful person in the room. I felt ALIVE.
After the class there was a Q&A section with Rachel followed by a book signing and HUGS! Yes! I loved that Rachel made it a selfie free zone in the class because as she said, once the phones come out there is less of a connection. Yoga is about the connection. The union of everyone in the room as one. That's what is beautiful. So I got lots of hugs, my book signed and left feeling truly, truly blessed. I got to tell Rachel that she is the reason why I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, took my teacher training and then took that huge leap to teaching yoga as my job. Something I still have to pinch myself every single day about. Yoga. Is. My. Job. Rachel - I cannot wait to connect with you again soon! I am going to save every penny I can to make it to Rachel's retreat so I can further my practice.
Photos 2, 3 and 4 taken by Dennis Schoneveld - see Yoga Girl blog.