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Mindfulness versus clowns

And just like that, the first month of the year disappeared!

 

The weeks are moving in a blur, like the movies I watch when I fly. I often have no idea what I watched afterwards or why people spent months making them.


As part of my New Year's resolution, I am working on being mindful. I want the world to slow down - except when watching bizarre things like Apocalypse Clown - so I can enjoy the time on earth with my son and wife. The book I am reading - Leading Mindfully - and our mindful yoga teacher, Paula, tell me that the best place to start is the breath.

 

A movie poster for Apocalypse Clown

In the words of Plum Village's Thích Nhất Hạnh: "Breathing to take hold of mind". As we all know, wisdom delivered in broken English is the best wisdom. We respect them for their thinking, not their grammar skills. 

Once we can control our minds, the world becomes clearer. It slows down. We take in more detail and are no longer overwhelmed by our thoughts - often unnecessary negative thoughts.

 

So, I must first control my breathing to stop my mind from circling questions that plague me after watching Clowns kill each other as the world ends.


In vinyasa, we start our sessions with pranayama - various techniques to regulate breathing. I aim to use it daily to practice awareness of my breathing. I have also asked our local mindfulness teacher to guide my practice.

 

Our teachers lead your movements during vinyasa with "inhale" and "exhale". It's not there to fill gaps of silence. These instructions are part of vinyasa - the pairing of pranayama breathing with your movement. Ujayi breath - a thin, audible stream of air - helps create attention and invigorates us while we move through more demanding sequences. The goal is to help centre our awareness. Thus, to be mindful while we practice. After all, modern yoga is part exercise and part mindful meditation.

 

I plan to be more mindful. It is a lifelong skill that fosters self-awareness and confidence, which lasts through periods of challenge or during emotionally charged discussions. May it help make me a better servant to our teachers and guests. A better husband and father. May you find similar benefits this year. Hopefully, your practice with us will encourage mindfulness and calm. May we no longer dwell on the relationship between art and clowns.

 

Best wishes,

Charl and the teachers at Air Yoga


February updates


Mindful Living

Our mindful living service header showing a woman knitting a brain

With my focus on mindfulness, teacher Paula recommended we make the sessions open to everyone. To be clear, these are not esoteric nonsense sessions. It is scientifically researched and supported by neuroscience. There are many places you can go for the other kind of practice.

 

From the 7th, we will practise Mindful Living in the studio every Wednesday at 11:00.

 

You are all welcome to explore the topic with me. If not, I will be there with Paula to receive her full, mindful attention. No pressure, Paula!




Minor schedule updates

We are making minor changes to the schedule. In Dubai, people's weekly rhythms change without apparent explanation. We noticed a shift on Wednesdays and adjust accordingly. On Thursdays, we allow our Aerial Ladies to relax in a split class and give more flexibility in evening timing.

 

You can download the new schedule using the link below. We have made it especially for you to highlight changes with a red border.

 

The changes will take effect from the 10th of February.

2024-02 Change Highlighted Schedule
.pdf
Download PDF • 86KB


Inside Flow

Our newly launched Inside Flow sessions are picking up in the mornings.

 

It is a new experience and can be challenging the first time, but I always hear people laughing and congratulating themselves by the end of the class. It creates some of the most beautiful movements in our studio.

 

In January, the theme of the class was "contagious". In February, the new sequence is "Higher I will go".

Each month has a new sequence to practice, but we will finish the class by practising all the sequences for those who know them.

 

Imagine December, when we can do 40 minutes of pure flowing movement!


I imagine it looks like this: 

a shutterstock image of two women laughing after doing exercise

As a husband, I know my wife would enjoy more dancing. If you also want more dance in your life, join us for an Inside flow session.

 

Especially our evening guests. Come try it out and return home with a smile!




Yoga teacher training

Our next yoga teacher training (YTT-200) starts on the 15th of February.

 

The course is practically focused. It ensures you give vinyasa yoga sessions safely while expressing your personality through your sequencing.

 

We also run workshops that use the YTT-200 training, which is open to everyone. The workshops focus on meditation, alignment, adjustments (a teaching skill) and inversions.

 

If interested, stroll through our Academy site and consider downloading our curriculum summary document.




Inside Flow

As we are often inspired by what we are studying or reading, it would be fun to share what we are reading.

With - when it is in stock - a link to buy it if you want to read it yourself. 



book cover for the places that scare you by pema chodron
The places that scare you

Pema Chodron


Who is reading it: Paula

Why: It teaches me to be more compassionate. My chosen quote from the book: "May this person, who annoys me so much, be free from suffering and from the root of suffering."




book cover for the book leading mindfully by amanda sinclair
Leading Mindfully

Amanda Sinclair


Who is reading it: Charl

Why: Mentioned in my university course on leadership. Fits with my current focus, so it went to the top of my reading list for the year.



the book cover for nole me tangere by rose rizal
Noli Me Tángere

Jose Rizal


Who is reading it: Rosiel

Why: Part of our school curriculum, but my younger self did not fully understand or appreciate it. Now, as an adult, it gives a new perspective to my understanding of his commentary on Philippine culture.


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