Blog

Workshops with Zoe Knott

26th and 27th Jan 2019. Another great couple of days of instruction from the lovely Zoe Knott here in Edinburgh. Lots of arm and shoulder strengthening towards handstand, but sadly still don’t quite have the confidence or shoulder strength to get up there………………………….. but soon I think. Her strength is formidable and always emanates such calm. What a role model.

Zoe Knott

Saturday 13th Jan I attended another fantastic full day workshop with this lady. What an inspiration she is. The focus was on how we build strength as well as flexibility with yoga. Unfortunately Zoe doesn’t have much of an online presence. Like me it’s not really what she’s into.

Vipassana

I completed Vipassana meditation training in Chennai, India in February 2018. What a great opportunity to break from the everyday! For those who don’t know this is a particular style of meditation where the mind is trained to stay in the present. This is initially aided by focusing initially on the breath going in and out through the nostrils and the sensations felt around the nostrils and above the top lip (Anapurna). After a few days of practicing this for 10 hours a day we are then taught the full Vipassana technique which is a kind of repetitive body scanning that can give you some very strange experiences and can release all sorts of buried emotions and sensations. This technique and the training centres where you can learn it have been revived by Mr S N Goenka, who says the original technique was discovered by Buddha and was/is considered the most effective form of meditation to lead to full enlightenment! I had slightly less lofty aims and will I think need to keep practicing!

The minimum 10 day training is offered for free but is no easy ride as it involved living in monastic conditions, no talking or eye contact with your fellow meditators, rising at 4am every morning and meditating for 10 hours daily. One of the toughest things for me was no yoga!!! as this might disturb your focus. Friends and family were doubtful I could manage to not speak for 10 days as I have a reputation as a bit of a chatterbox but I actually loved this part of it.

If you’re interested in this kind of experience you can find Dhamma Centres all over the world. Be sure and do a bit of research to ensure it’s for you as it’s very hard work and not for the faint hearted but here’s a link  https://www.dhamma.org/

Some books and websites I’d like to share with anyone who wants to take their yoga journey next step.

Of course BKS Iyengar Light on Yoga was my go to book in the early years. I still have that first copy from @1988 and it still works well as reference guide.

Currently reading Robert Wright Why Buddhism is True. He describes his own process in developing a meditation practice and shares the answers he finds from teachers of meditation and evolutionary psychology research about why it makes sense to him that humankind will be better off if we follow Buddha’s advice.