Urban Yogamonkey draws on an innovative, contemporary method of Yoga called Yogamonks. Its a method that has a strong basis in one finding the best form of functional movement possible. The only effort is in keeping the mind interested in what the body is saying as it moves. Rather than instructing, structured self enquiry offers a very real tangible experience of our our bodily connections. As we slow the mind down enough to feel the the body, we can discover the root of any tension we may be carrying and consequently release it! As life begins to move through our connected selves more fluidly, we relax a state yoga asana as well as the vital force within vinyasa flow.
Urban Yoga Monkey classes are my own personal expression of the Yogamonks method. My classes have been described as meditative, dynamic, challanging, full bodied and awakening. I use the method to stimulate the muscle of awareness. In flexing this muscle one begins to discover the inter relatedness within. There is huge empahsis on relationship-paying attention to how our thoughts affect our physicality, how the top of the spine relates to our lower spine, and how we relate to ourselves to others. It is only in realtionship to a body part, subject or person that our unconscious/inflexible parts are revealed. Once revealed, we can see what connections are healthy/useful and what ones are restrictive/over tight and rigid. It is this sensitivity to distinguish between the times we are acting in a way that is effort-full and effort less. When we move in way that is expansive ( on all levels not merely muscular) we move towards the possibility of experiencing a state of yoga; a tangible state of union. Within these moments of union we can experience the inter relatedness of the many aspects of our lives, see places were we create tension, hold rigid mind sets and store unexpressed emotions. For me, a good yoga class should set up this scenario up seemlessly, inviting the little ‘I’ to meet the bigger ‘I’s i.e the limited individual consciousness to acknowledge the greater universal consciousness.
Explicit and distinct features of an Urbanyogamonks class
-Playfulness, humour and a willingness to let go of rigid patterns (mental or physical)
-Awareness; Is the state or ability to perceive, to feel or sense an event, an object or sensory. Awareness is the the space between a thought an an action. When we slow down enough to watch our thoughts we becomes the space in which relaxation is simply a natural by product. As we no longer feel ‘consumed’ by an emotion or thought, we can choose to indulge in its restrictions or simply let it pass. With Awareness we can feel the relationship between 2 objects, and it is in the space inbetween, we can tune into a deep sense of interconnectedness that can also reveal any disconnections, conflicts and self imposed restictions. We then have the opportunity to see the blockage, use compassion to soften its hard edges and allow energy, life force to move through it. We can then move with fluidity and require less effort to simply be.
-Courage to let go of structures ( mental and physical) that have stopped serving you! In trying a new approach, there is the potential to see a new way of being. Courage is required when facing the possibility that you may be/have been making things much harder than they need be. It takes courage to let go of mind-sets that we may have become attached to and defined ourselves by for many years. This method is a sword that cuts through false walls. There is no ‘can’t’ but simply ‘am choosing not to and using the excuse that ‘I can’t’.
-An interest in real change/transformation/Evolution; There is an extremely intricate structure to the class with every single movement relating to breath, mind state and supporting anatomical efficiency. This means the method connects the individual to the life force that runs through them offering a real potency and opportunity for change on every level should the individual be ready or wish to access.
Classes are delivered with a conversational, playful and explorative tone to engage with our bodies in a new way. For me, its is essencial that the individual discovers within themselves their own connectivity, tangibly, viscerally through a real and practical experience. This type of learning penetrates every cell of our being and this is what is required in order to come into a state of yoga, a state of union. Yoga occurs when in a state of focused self enquiry of the present moment.
For me, a good yoga class cultivates a student that can express what is happening within them at any given time, move in any way they desire and remain relaxed yet interested as they explore.