Even the Women’s Institute can’t stop the happiness of yoga

“Contentment comes from mental well-being that moves us to consider the positive in all beings and situations.”

This was the reading on which I decided to base this morning’s gentle yoga class in Wheathampstead. And how apt it proved to be.

I arrived early to the little Mead Hall in Wheathampstead village to find a hive of activity. Normally it’s silent but there were people inside arranging tables and making tea. I peered through the door, dragging in my bags of mats and props only to be told that it was a WI (Women’s Institute) meeting and they’d had the booking in the diary for months.

“Bugger!” I thought. Of course, it was only a matter of minutes before regulars started arriving for the class. I explained the situation and we stood in the car park debating the options. The park was ruled out as they didn’t want to be watched by dogwalkers… living rooms weren’t big enough… what to do?

My yogi mum volunteered her back garden and so it was decided. Directions were given and five minutes later we were at Amwell Lane and people were marvelling at the beautiful flowers and the lush green lawn.

“Oooh I daren’t walk on the grass, it’s so immaculate!” said Liz. The joys of having a dad who’s a landscape gardener. I’ve been saying for ages that they should open it to the public.

We progressed through the class. When we did our sun salutations, we really did stretch our fingers towards the sun, and when we ended our savasana, we brought our awareness to the sensation of every blade of grass touching our fingers and the backs of our hands.

It was a lovely class and here’s the full reading:

“Contentment comes from mental well-being that moves us to consider the positive in all beings and situations. Often our frustrations come from regrets, agitation, suffering or comparing ourselves with others. Focusing on what others have – or don’t have for that matter – instead of nourishing gratitude leads to everlasting discontent.

Contentment is a dynamic and constructive attitude that brings us to look at things in a new way. It calms the mind, bringing a flowering of subtle joy and inner serenity that are independent of all outside influences and perishable things.

It is very difficult however to sustain contentment. Though it may be easier to be happy when we are successful, only an exceptional soul remains positive in the midst of adverse currents. Contentment means looking at every event with a smile. It helps to have a sense of humour too.”

Bernard Bouchard defining 2.42 in the Yoga Sutras (Santosha)

We sat on the swing seat afterwards drinking herbal tea saying how special the class had been. People loved feeling the breeze and hearing bees buzzing around them.

And so I’d like to say a hearty thank you to the ladies of the WI. If they want to book the Mead Hall again on a Monday morning, please feel free. But just make sure it’s on a day when the sun is shining…

Yoga in the garden
The newest yoga venue in Wheathampstead