There’s just a few things I really wanted to do when I came to Oz, and yoga at White Lotus is one of them.
White Lotus Yoga is run by two former yogis of the London Sivananda Centre, where I began my yogic journey, one of whom was my first ever yoga teacher! And since it was her love for, skill in, and enthusiasm about yoga that helped me realise it was the thing for me, I was looking forward to seeing her again (since you could quite concievably say that all this quitting work and leaving London to train as a yoga teacher and travel the world was in no small part down to her).
White Lotus Yoga is just down the road from Byron Bay where we were staying, but, true to form, we got there just as the lesson started and barely had enough time to change and get into sivasana before we were up again and sitting cross legged ready to begin.
The class was led by Madhava, whom I recognised from the London Centre but hadn’t had much interaction with before he left. I had had a class with him before though, in London, so I knew he was a good teacher, and I’m glad to say nothing much has changed in that respect. 🙂
The class was a mix of absolute beginners, intermediates, and yoga teachers, so the teaching was skilfully given on several levels so that everyone could practice to their own abilities.
I have to say, for all the self practice I’ve been doing, and the other classes I’ve been to in Australia, it was really nice to go to a proper full length Sivananda class again. I really managed to get a good work out from it, with some good stretches and some proper relaxation in between. By the time we’d finished I felt the same joyful invigoration that I always felt coming out of Putney on a Wednesday night.
And there was that special moment too, when you get a good bit of correction and finally find some comfort in a posture you’re not quite happy with. For me it was in the Half Spinal Twist. With just a few adjustments, and a little physical ‘encouragement’, I was able to go much deeper and further into the posture that I have ever done before.
When class ended Lena and I got to have a good chat with Madhava and Shyamala (his partner, and my former teacher). It was great to catch up, to have a look round their new centre, and to discuss what plans they have for the future. Madhava might be going to the new Melbourne Sivananda Centre where I did my karma yoga in February to help out for a while. They’ve finally got their permit through, so it’s all hands on deck to get the place up and running. (NB: That was the reason I had to hide my first Melbourne post, because they were worried it might give the impression that the centre was operating without a permit, and they didn’t want to mess up their chances with any misunderstandings.)
All in all it was a great night and, as I’ve said already, it really reinvigorated my joy of yoga. It is amazing what a difference a kind, attentive, skilful teacher makes. All I can say is the folks of Lennox Head and Byron Bay are blessed to have not one but two right on their doorstep! 🙂