In the last six years, I’ve often been asked by people coming to my yoga classes if I could provide them with a resource for home practice – not a recommendation of books or DVDs from other yoga teachers, but something developed by me, based on the content of the yoga classes they have done with me. I started working on a booklet called ‘Take Five’ about three years ago, working as and when possible since then to develop five varied home practice sequences, trial them, type them up, add drawings, ask a trusty guinea-pig to try them out, make revisions, and try them all again myself. Even the process of getting quotes for printing and binding has been surprisingly time-consuming. It has been an interesting learning experience for me, and I’m delighted I’ve finally managed to complete a the booklet and it will soon be available to folk – some of whom have been waiting patiently for a long time for it!
I wanted the booklet to be A4, with large enough print to read easily from a bit of a distance, and for it to ‘open flat’… because I’ve spent a lot of time trying to use others’ books as a resource, wedging them open with a heavy wooden block or whatever else I could find to hand, or standing in a pose whilst peering unsuccessfully at the small print down by my mat.
50 copies of my ‘Take Five’ booklet have been printed by Nairn printers Piccolo Press, with card covers and spiral binding. ‘Take Five’ will be available for £10 per booklet – a price I’ve chosen to cover printing costs and the time taken to draw the stick yogis and to arrange quotes/printing… This cost doesn’t pay me in any way for the hours spent developing and typing up the sequences. If I wanted to pay myself minimum wage for that, each booklet would cost around £150, which is obviously not viable!
Please note the booklet is specifically intended for people who have regularly come to my classes. As a rough guide, I reckon it should make complete sense to you, if you’ve done 6 months or more of weekly classes with me anytime in the last several years (or the equivalent, i.e. 25 classes+, spread out over a few years). It is NOT suitable to buy as a gift for those who have never done yoga with me, and it is probably not suitable for some who have only done a couple of months’ classes with me. But for some people also in that category, it’d be fine. So if in doubt, please email to ask me, and I’ll be able and happy to advise – I have a very good memory for how often individuals have been to classes with me, and how they got on while there!
I am coming to Skye with copies at the start of October. I’m offering a 2 hour workshop in the Church of Scotland Hall, York Drive, Portree, starting at 10.30am, on Saturday 5th October. In the workshop, we’ll run through the booklet content (approximately – obviously, we won’t be doing the exact routines including five Savasanas in 2hrs!). Those booked in to the workshop will be charged £20 including the booklet, i.e. they will be getting the yoga teaching at the bargainous price of £5 per hr. People who can’t or don’t want to come to the workshop can also pick up their booklet from me at the Isle of Skye Bakery in Portree between 1.30 & 2.30pm on Friday 4th October, or arrange to get it the next time I am in Skye. Payment only when you actually collect the booklet/attend the workshop, please – for ease of administration, there will be NO advance payments/bank transfers this time.
Many of you saw the penultimate draft of ‘Take Five’ at my Skye yoga workshops in June. For those who didn’t, here’s a bit more info about the ‘Take Five’ booklet to help you make up your mind whether it might be useful to you.
The booklet consists of a title page, an introductory page, and a total of 21 pages for the five yoga routines.
From the introductory page:
The five sessions are in no particular order and there is no need to rotate through them in turn. No time lengths are given, because you can do more or fewer repetitions, longer or shorter holds, and add more time to relax or meditate as you wish. Remember there is no ‘One Right Way’ to do yoga – these are simply variations, and cues I use in class which many people seem to find helpful. Make it your own! Listen to your body and your breathing. Feel free to add in extra poses which feel right, or otherwise modify the routines as you get to know them better. I suggest you try all of the sessions a few times through, so you are familiar with them. After that, choose whichever feels most appropriate on any given day, depending on factors such as your energy level, mood, time of day, how warm/cold you or the room you’re in feels, and how much time you have. You’ll probably develop a favourite session or two, and that’s fine. But bear in mind self-study/self-awareness is important in yoga, so if you notice you keep doing the same session, or avoiding a particular session, ask yourself why!
Please note this booklet is designed for those who have regularly attended my classes and as such are familiar with the content, and with additional teaching points I cover during classes. Please do not pass this booklet on to others or allow them to photocopy it.
As I always emphasise: take responsibility for your own yoga practice and wellbeing, ensure you are ‘comfortable and steady’ and breathing easily as you practise…and enjoy yourself!
Two random sample pages of the format/content: