Before Bed Ritual
Like many, at the moment, I am doing Zoom classes at home when I can. So, this free event seemed the perfect opportunity to indulge in some guided relaxation before bed.
A little part of me wasn’t completely sure if I was going to get caught up in a bit of a parody. But rest assured, it is not. I credited my concerns to last minute nerves knowing I was about to be engaged in a very interactive event. But hey, it’s fine to join with a blank screen so there is no reason to abstain. In fact, I think, on Tuesday the majority of punters watched from behind a blank screen but I chose to honour the presenter by being present.
This gentle relaxing yoga class is offered with the utmost sincerity and generosity by yoga teacher Iliana Contos. Her driving ethic for bringing her skills to The Fringe is to reignite friendship and connection. Ms Contos guides us through the session with a lovely well-modulated and grounded voice.
One is encouraged to bring props including a blanket, bolster and blocks - these are used sensitively to support participants in a number of the postures.
Contos’s overall massage is the integration of ‘Anam Cara’ - a phrase that refers to the Celtic concept of “soul friend” in spirituality. She quotes the author John O’Donohue. Not surprisingly in this era of Covid, Contos is proactive in encouraging friendship, bringing friends to you and consolidating relationships. She is offering her audience/participants the opportunity of doing this through engaging in her classes and bringing a friend. The yearning we all have for connection that has been highlighted by Covid is being addressed in this work.
As with most yoga, the emphasis is on the breath. And as with most new yoga experiences, I learned a new exercise; a lovely humming into the hands practice covering the face with the thumbs in the ears. It’s a keeper.
So worth attending and available again this Thursday 14 October.
Photographer: Nina Golfi