Traffic Lights and Group Agreements

Photo by Davis Sanchez on Pexels.com

As we enter into the vaccine pass and traffic light system I have been wrestling with the fact that yoga means union for all and also liberation from all mental constructs. How do I marry my core belief that all are welcome when the law says otherwise? The good news is that we can find a happy balance and keep all safe according to the law and use commonsense and group agreements. Read below to find out how this can happen. Please note that if you attend my class at Love and Core or other studios then we must abide by their guidelines.

Under the new traffic light system my home classes do not have spacing or capacity limits though these will be discussed by the regular attendees as to what feels comfortable for us and bookings adjusted accordingly.

I am not required to use a vaccine pass system though I will happily tick your status on my database so that is registered. (Legally I can offer private or small classes to unvaccinated people – with cleaning before other classes.) Don’t forget that I offer plenty of zoom classes so all are welcome to attend those. Also if your class is fully booked then remember I can also offer hybrid zoom/in person classes as I do already for my Mon and Fri classes. You are always welcome to be in the Snug for my other 7am and 9am zoom classes as long as you book in. During these warmer summer months I can also offer outdoor classes in our garden that are open to all.

Once we have established our group agreements for each class then all new people wishing to attend that time slot will need to accept the agreements of that particular group or find out which class matches them best.

Since we are gathering in our home then I would like to disclose that I am fully vaccinated. Please respect our home with these guidelines above and also the following:

  • Please no do come to class if feeling unwell, awaiting test results, been in a location of interest etc and also please cancel your booking so that someone else can take your place
  • Please book in for classes via email or txt in advance
  • Please inform me immediately if you discover that you are a close contact and have been in a recent class
  • Please BYO mat and blanket and any other props you require
  • Please sign in the register so that you are easily contact traceable
  • Please do not ask others in the class what their vaccination status is – that is my job! I will make sure everyone is in the best class for them

I am also proposing that our classes become a covid-free sanctuary! Please no discussion of cases/numbers/theories etc during class time or in our practice space. Let’s give ourselves a breather from all the chaos, fear and news bombardment. You are however welcome to express your feelings and ask for support from our group. For example “I am feeling scared, anxious and lonely” , “I miss my grandchildren”, ” I am angry and frustrated”.

I hope this all makes sense ( I recommend reading the Ministry of Health and also Business guidelines if you are having trouble sleeping!) All this will be subject to change or course in the light of any local outbreaks or variants. Looking forward to seeing you all soon in one way or another.

Remember we all have to live with one another when we get through this so may we be filled with loving kindness as we fumble our way along…

Sap Rise – Connection with your Plant Friends

Rosa Cottage Maid

Most of our healing comes from a place of connection. This might mean feeling connected to your body and your feelings so that you experience a sense of wellness. Or it might mean that you sense a lack and you seek help with a health practitioner, a friend or an activity that helps you to feel that connection again. Sometimes the connection is literal and a medicine may connect missing functions so that you can renew your “factory setting”. Healing connection can also be simply a sense of belonging, maybe within your family, your friends, home or the land beneath your feet.

So when we do need medicine we often reach for a herb, a remedy or a prescribed drug with an expectation that it will deliver. We may not pay much attention to where it came from, how it was made or even what it was made from. We may feel gratitude if it works or even betrayal if it doesn’t.

In our first medicine making practicum of Pussy Power Lady Garden Academy we cultivate healing connection by developing a healing partnership with our Plant Friends. Just as nobody really cherishes those needy friends that you only hear from when they are having a crisis, our plant allies would prefer a healthier kinship. This relationship might be nurtured over time as you grow and tend your plants, or it may simply come from asking permission as you forage with a healing intention. Yes even the plant world appreciates consent!

In this practicum we learn how to befriend and communicate with plants and how to make a simple flower essence remedy for ourselves. This can be a bit of a paradigm shift for anyone who has not really contemplated this before! I consider plants, animals, rocks, mountains, lakes, oceans and rivers to be “People” and that we have ways of communicating that are beyond words in any tongue. We can learn to connect using all our senses, observing and listening on all levels. Come with an open mind, a sense of wonder and learn to make medicine in a holistic way. Details are here and bookings are here.

Seven Planets

Actually 5 planets and a star and a satellite

Seven planets and your life cycle – an intersection between Kabbalah and Kundalini Yoga

Do you ever wish you had a road map or an instruction manual for understanding what the heck is going on in life? This teensy 8 week course is to help shed some light on the life you have lived so far and possibly help to reframe your life ahead. The main framework for this is understanding that we are part of a cyclical universe and just as the planets above have their own speedy or slow cycles then so do us mere mortals on earth. As above so below!

Over my life I have been influenced by those who follow cyclical wisdom – my grandmother with the lunar cycles, Rabbis who dabbled in Kabbalah at Vic Uni, Steiner who shaped my understanding of biodynamic agriculture by the movement of the planets, ancient herbalists and also homeopath Ian Watson who incorporated planetary influences in my practitioner prescribing. My own body also provided abundant self knowledge through my menstrual cycle. All these strands have helped to weave a story of life that speaks more to my poetic than rational mind. It will possibly all make more sense in hindsight at the end of life but I rather enjoy it now in the manner of sitting down with a cryptic crossword and a cup of tea to nut it all out.

The course consists of one introductory class to explain the theory and how to have a hot date with a calendar, a timeline and a trip down memory lane. The following 7 classes are all Kundalini yoga kriyas and meditations to integrate each life phase. You are then equipped to apply the tools whenever you wish and be prepared for your future life cycles.

The classes run on Thursdays 9-10am from October 28th until Dec 16th. For class info and to book in hop over here

Honouring the weeds

Herbal remedy by Odette Rowe Wairarapa Yoga teacher

A few years ago it dawned on me that I was spending more time weeding my driveway and garden paths than my actual garden. I had been a keen forager for years but never really thought about the weeds that were right under my nose. Julia Sich’s wonderful book about making green smoothies changed my whole garden attitude towards path weeding and even garden bed weeding. Most of these weeds actually had more nutrition than the the “proper plants” I was putting in their place. Suddenly I felt truly abundant and like a very successful farmer with a vast acreage of potential food. Sadly now my main “problem” weeds are still bindweed and buttercups which are not edible for humans but the rest are largely fabulous for me, the chooks and the ducks. Weeds are also important as ground cover, indicators of soil health and bring minerals from deep down to the surface to be accessible.

There is something magical about eating weeds – they are the wild edge, the untamed, the maligned and hated. I feel deliciously witchy sitting under a tree snacking on chickweed. During lockdown when the only place we could buy food was at supermarkets, weed eating felt like freedom from the social rules and the queues. This recent level 4 was a brilliant time for chickweed, cleavers and corn salad and I had many a happy hour foraging for our meals while clearing space to plant spring crops.

I really recommend the following titles to learn more about the uses of weeds both in your kitchen and in your garden. Julia’s guide to edible weeds and wild green smoothies available here , Working with Weeds by Kate Wall ( available from Almo’s bookshop) and The Forager’s treasury by Joanna Knox (updated edition available at Almo’s bookshop.)

The Pussy Power Lady Garden Academy has a practicum this Wednesday “Honouring the Weeds”. Come along if you wish to learn to forage, blend smoothies and weave Kundalini Yoga and New Moon Nidra into the mix. Details are here

Spring Equinox Initiation

Dandy Lion

Most of us consider medicine to be found in bottles and packets in our bathroom cabinets or perhaps in our pantries and spice racks. If we want to find out more about these medicines we consult Google God, look up books or ask our health practitioner. We rely upon the realm of the intellect to gather information. Most of us would also expect that we had to ingest our medicine for us to receive any benefit.

However in Pussy Power Lady Garden Academy we are adding another approach to learning about our plant friends. Yes we learn with our heads but we shall also learn with our hearts, and throughout this year we shall be gathering to take part in plant initiations. In this space we realise that our medicine is all around us, very possibly right under feet and that we can learn to access this medicine through intuition and intellect. We may also discover that simply to “be” with our ally is all the medicine we need, there is no need to “take”.

A plant initiation is like going back into that childlike space of wonder. (Adults simply name a plant and rattle through how it might potentially be useful to them.) In our space of wonderment we sit with the plant, explore the shapes, smells and tastes if edible and acknowledge the change of appearance through it’s life cycle. We notice where it likes to grow and who it likes to grow alongside with and how it feels to hang out with this plant. During the initiation we practice yoga nidra to deeply relax and awaken out heart space to feel more open to listening on an intuitive level. We imbibe an elixir of the plant several times throughout the ceremony and reflect on how we feel physically, emotionally and spiritually. We are dating our new plant friend and listening to our intuition! Some like to draw/paint, write songs, dance, embroider or create recipes. Others simply like to lie still, be dreamy and allow their awareness to open.

The initiation lasts beyond the actual gathering. For weeks afterwards you start to notice your plant ally is all around you, whether in nature, your garden or simply in images. Slowly a relationship builds and you might gain insight into how this plant would like to help YOU or others in your circle. Each participant takes a wee bottle of plant essence home to continue their journey.

We start this Spring Equinox with the most humble and tenacious of all plant allies – the Dandelion. She can pop up in between cracks in concrete landscapes, resurrect like a zombie despite round-up poisonings and blow her seeds all across the world. She is a generous giver and is here to shine her golden light, bedazzling your eyes so you can appreciate that medicine can be found simply everywhere.

Come join us on Wednesday September 22nd 7-8.30pm for an evening of wonder, fun and dreaming. Please bring any tools that are your creative allies such as favourite pencils, musical instruments, embroidery threads etc. There will be paper, pencils and crayons for everyone to share. Details are here and booking is here