Written and offered by Emma Strong, a graduate of Yogafurie Academy Teacher Training.
Question: what connects trees, yoga, svadhya, santosha, hygge, Jolibokaflod and guarantees health, happiness and wellbeing? Answer: reading!
Do you love reading? Do you love yoga? Do you love reading about yoga, well-being and mindful living? Are you keen to explore and deepen your svadhya, self-study off the mat? Do you love talking about yoga and all the wonderful things you have read about connected to yoga? Perhaps you have completed a Yoga Teacher Training in Bristol at Yogafurie or somewhere else and you’d like a focus for continued study. Or maybe you’re thinking about starting a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training and would like to dip your toes in the water first before committing to a course. If you answered yes to any of the above and think the chance to get together with similar yoga nerds sounds fun, then join in with Yogafurie’s first book club, on Wednesday 27th January 2021, at 7.30pm.
Trees are hugely important to Yogafurie. For the love of trees and the planet, Yogafurie is committed to reforesting an area the size of mainland Britain by 2050. So, for the first book club we thought it would be great to look at Shinrin-Yoku: The Art and Science of Forest Bathing by Dr Qing Li. To explore the ways in which we can take our mindful living and yogi elves into the woods and forests, around our gardens, even in amongst our house plants, for better health and happiness.
Anything that deepens our connection to the natural world and trees is a good thing, so exploring the beautiful Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku seems a really good way to launch the Yogafurie book club. All being well, in the not too distant New Year, we’ll be able to take the theory and the practice out and about amongst actual trees and enjoy forest bathing!
If the first book club goes well, there will a monthly book club, with a new book discussed each month, exploring all aspects of Yoga from classic philosophy, to contemporary mindfulness and Yoga teachings, to nutrition, to the latest scientific theories related to movement, breathing and meditation and anything else you can think of … whatever you feel would be a good book to study together can be suggested and agreed at the first session.
Suggested dates are the last week of each month, as follows:
1. Wednesday 27th January 2021, 7.30 pm
2. Wednesday 24th February 2021, 7.30pm
3. Wednesday 31st March 2021, 7.30pm
4. Wednesday 28th April 2021, 7.30pm
5. Wednesday 26th May 2021, 7.30pm
6. Wednesday 30th June 2021, 7.30pm
To keep us all Covid-safe, we anticipate the initial book clubs will be held via Zoom. Hopefully, not too far into 2021, we’ll be able to get together at Yogafurie Yoga Studio in Bristol, or a local café, where we can Yoga nerd natter over a tea or coffee.
Would you like to book your space at our next Yogafurie Book Club? Simply head to our Hot Yoga in Bristol timetable, skip ahead only calendar until the dates you would like to book, and make your reservation for free. It doesn’t cost anything to attend this club. We will send you a zoom link on the day of the book club. Don’t worry – Yogafurie book club will only ever be room temperature!
Nourishing our svadhya is one wonderful reason to read. As is reading for the sake of reading. The act of reading is one of the best hygge-hugs we can give ourselves and we all need those right now. Anyone who enjoys nothing more than snugging into an armchair with a good book knows this.
But did you also know, reading is hugely beneficial for health and wellbeing? Reading for just six minutes a day rejuvenates our grey matter, which slows down cognitive decline and decreases our risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Reading is often described as a form of escaping, into the worlds and knowledge revealed within the pages of good books. Whereas, as we read, we explore worlds and minds beyond our immediate experience, which broadens our awareness and understanding of the world, the universe and everything living within it. We increase our empathy and find ourselves ever more able to lean into and nurture meaningful relationships. Far from escaping, we enhance our connectivity.
In concentrating to read, we drop into a calm, focused state, or what we might call flow state. In the same way our parasympathetic nervous system is activated with our pranayama and mindful breathing on the mat, the act of reading settles us into a beautiful state of calm, which reduces our stress levels and improves our memory and ability to concentrate and enables us to sleep better.
In such activity we cannot help but find the sthira and sukham, steadiness and ease, of our santosha, our inner contentment.
If all the above appeals, with Christmas just a couple of weeks away, why not put your bookish hinty hints out there for a copy of Shinrin-Yoku: The Art and Science of Forest Bathing by Dr Qing Li. Or, gift yourself! Embrace the Icelandic tradition of Jolibokaflod and exchange book gifts on Christmas Eve, so you can spend the long, fuzzy, festive evening reading. Pour a super indulgent hot chocolate, nab that perfect reading nook and cosy-hygge-cosy yourself in amongst some great pages. It’s not just for Christmas Eve of course. Read as often as you can. Holiday health and happiness guaranteed.
See you in 2021 to chat all about it.
Yogafurie Book Share
Question: Are there yoga books you have read that you would now love to share with others? Are there yoga texts that you would love to read but can’t find a copy, or afford to buy?
Answer: Yogafurie Book Share. We realise there are oodles of wonderful Yoga texts out there to be read, studied and loved. Yet none of us could ever buy all the oodles. But it would be wonderful to read as many as possible, right? So, we thought, maybe lovely yogis would welcome the idea of a sharing shelf at the studio. If you have a book you’ve finished with, that you are happy to share on to others, simply leave it on the shelf. If you see a title on the shelf you would love to read, simply pick it up and enjoy it. When you have finished with it, return it to the shelf ready for someone else to enjoy. And so on. It’s good to read and it’s good to share.