Danger in Dandasana
The yoga flyers compete for space with enticements to try other worthy persuits -karate, zumba, bee keeping - are just a few of the many on offer.
So how do we encourage others to experience the joys and fullfilment that yoga offers? It appears that one of the main ways to market yoga is to stress 'safety' with an emphasis on qualifications and safe practise...
So, is yoga dangerous? Or any more dangerous than the other activities on offer which promise fun, fitness and new skills?
Where is the evidence that yoga needs to come with a warning? I have never had a claim ( or heard of anyone else having one - BWY and YA please let me know...).
Do we encourage people to take risks or go beyond their abilities? Yes, there is sometimes a twinge or niggle from a body staining to do more than it should, but this is rarely damaging. Of course, chosing the right class is crucial - Ashtanga may not initially be the best choice for the less fit of advanced age!
An emphasis on health and safety was the main reason for ceasing local authority classes, with the emphasis on checking equipment and assessment. The main danger became the risk of slipping on the paperwork on the students mat and the rising stress levels of the teacher!
Good teachers and responsible students do not take risks that either perceive as damaging. So why do we need to emphasis the negative? Training, practise, insurance and dedication ensure that students safety is maintained.
Let's tell everyone about the wonder of yoga and offer a caring, confident enviroment that ensures students feel safe without the negativity of suggesting that there is danger in Dandasana!
Little things here have a big effect; the tempting, 'shot' of expresso after a pleasant late evening meal shoots adrenaline through a body and mind that is no longer able to surrender to the call of sleep.
Thoughts and memories tumble through the mind as the body settles before lurching fitfully into another equally temporary position. A day of heat that steers itself reluctantly towards an evening of stars, stillness and less intense warmth, ensuring that the little 'shot' has the perfect conditions to fight and win the battle against sleep.
The image is of St Francis, high in the hills above Sansapolcro - worth the steep climb, hair pin bends and threat of buses sharing the single track road. Deep peace amidst the chants from the trees and lingering prayers from the pilgrims that have passed this way leaving their supplications in the wind and earth for all that follow to absorb.
It is the early hours of the morning. The shutters are closed and the soft, mesmerising sound of the stream beneath my window should be soothing me to sleep...
A long day including a wonderful glimpse of the splendours of Gubbio and experiencing my hosts charm, tact and infinite patience as she negotiates - not only the complexities of the Italian highway - but persues her mission to put in order her property title.
The heat in the room is mild compared to the furnace that has forced an early harvest and is revealing the baked earth in many of the rivers.
So all is well?
Peace, stillness and admiration for mankinds ability to adapt to the challenges of nature is destroyed by the tiny almost undetected tickle of the flesh, which within seconds results in burning, throbbing and itching. This adds to and stimulates the other, older mounds and islands that are increasing in number across my legs and feet.
Various potions - t tree and lavender oil, natural and not so natural aromas have been applied, but I remain defeated. Antidotes are rubbed in at appropriate intervals causing an initial reaction that magnifies the ouch into an eek, followed by some relief, but little sustained improvement.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to challenge the subtle, but nevertheless successful campaign of attack of the Italian mosquito?