It's nearly the Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival. In just one week (the new year officially starts Feb 8), the surefooted and steadier year of the sheep will give way to the clever, curious, confident, charismatic and creative ways of the monkey. In Chinese astrology, monkeys are considered excellent problem solvers, fun to be around, considerate and skillful. Their intelligence, inventiveness and quick-witted qualities make them good leaders and successful people who like to win. Being smart and clever, however, can make the monkey a bit quick-tempered, conceited and impatient. Indeed, the tricky monkey can often set his conscience aside if it means he'll succeed. Carefree and unfettered, the monkey often acts without inhibitions or guilt. So... don't be too trusting of the cheeky monkey!
As a fire monkey year, 2016 is predicted to be fast and furious. With an extra kick of monkey cleverness and guile, it's a good idea to try new things, be creative and even a bit rebellious. It's the perfect year for risky business! But as the monkey loves to swing around from branch to branch (his "monkey mind" is famous in meditation as what our minds tend to do when left alone!), make sure to include practices that steady your attention and foster a clear, open attitude. If you can stay flexible and curious, the predictions say that you're sure to succeed.
There are some great visiting teachers coming to London the first half of this year. I've highlighted some here, as well as a few courses and workshops I have coming up.
- Matthew Cohen – he's teaching at triyoga from March 9 - 13, and I highly recommend working with him. He was my first inspiration to blend yoga and qigong, and he also trained most of the early teachers at Yoga Yard, my studio in Beijing.
- Max Strom – starting April 23, Max will be teaching a 200 hour teacher training through triyoga. I assisted his training, and his was the first 200 hour training we led at Yoga Yard as well. He taught me so many valuable gifts as a teacher about communication and ethics -- things that are in many ways far more critical then postures and technique for teachers and human beings to learn.
- Cultivating Mindfulness Meditation: A Six-Week Introductory Training. Saturdays, April 16 – May 28, 2016 (no class May 7). Time: 3:00 – 4:30 pm. At triyoga, Chelsea (spaces limited to 20).
- Working with the Heart: A Yoga, Qigong and Mindfulness Meditation Summer (Fire) Immersion. Sunday, May 8, triyoga, Camden. This is a daylong, seasonally-themed programme; like a daylong, urban retreat!
- Vinyasa Flow: An Immersion. June 3 - 5 and 10 - 12, 2016. This is my fourth year teaching this vinyasa flow training -- for teachers and teachers in training, or anyone with at least two years of yoga practice interested in learning more about some of the hows and whys of practising mindful vinyasa.
- Paella and Practice: Andalucia, Spain Yoga and Meditation Retreat: June 18 - 24, with the amazing Margi Young and myself -- last few spaces left.