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I just wanted to say a big thank you, Gillian, for last night. It was enriching on so many levels.Firstly, I haven’t done that slower yoga before ( if you know what I mean) but I discovered that you don’t have to be faster and repetitive to get a good workout for the body. Secondly, the way you described things was beautiful. I loved the metaphor and how you followed this through to the end. (I especially liked the wording at the beginning where you said it wasn’t about the final outcome but the process of opening up to the experience. These weren’t you words, you said it much better. If you can remember them can you please send them, thanks)Thirdly, although there were others there, you showed you cared for each person, which is a gift and it felt like one-on one training. And finally, I slept so well last night and woke this morning with lots of inspiration.....so perhaps the class has already helped me to rebalance.
I can honestly say that at the end of the class, when you did the breathing exercises, it was the first time in my life that I have ever experienced what it feels like to be calm.
This was my first real experience with yoga and I have to admit I used to have some reservations about it - whether it would be too demanding for me physically, as I am not very stretchy and have poor balance, and also whether it would be overly spiritual or mystical, as I tend to be a bit on the cynical side and don’t relate well to that kind of stuff. So I was really happy when I came to your class and discovered that yoga does not have to be weird or intimidating at all :) it was also great that the class had an accessible price and that mats and other equipment were already available. This definitely made it easier for me to make the decision to get started.I thought you managed to create a very friendly atmosphere in the classes and even though most people seemed to know each other and I didn’t know anyone, I always felt welcome. It was also convenient for me as a beginner that the exercises were slow and gradual and that you paid attention to everybody’s individual pace. I could feel an improvement in the way I was doing the postures over the semester and I am sure the adjustments and corrections in every class contributed to it the most. I think the way you conceived the class is excellent, at least it was a good fit for me - it was a really good feeling to slowly build up to a result along with the rest of the group. The classes were always well balanced in terms of the intensity of the exercises and the time for resting and relaxing, and I especially appreciated how sensitive you were to the group’s needs and ready to adapt or change the exercises if it was necessary. So, I was absolutely satisfied with the physical aspect of the classes and I felt they contributed a bit to my overall strength and flexibility, as well as being a healthy addition to the weekly routine.However, even more than the physical benefits I felt that the class really improved my psychological well-being. I don’t know if it was the friendly atmosphere, the combination of physical exercise and mindfulness aspects or the calming breathing practice (or all of it together), but the classes provided a real relief at times and helped me get through some moments of serious anxiety and tension. I found myself looking forward to each Wednesday and on many weeks it was my favorite day. I feel very grateful to discover this aspect of yoga and I try to practice the breathing technique on my own, although I am sure the whole soothing effect also had a lot to do with the way the class was conducted. So I would like to thank you for this bit especially.
"Rest in the spaciousness of a soft and free breath." Anna Ashby 03/09/2017