This month we welcome guest blogger Eleanor Crossland from Shoreline Pilates with her review of Yoga on the Lawn.
If you haven’t visited Doddington Hall near Lincoln, then this summer definitely is the time to do it. Every Friday throughout July and August, there is a special series of yoga classes on the lawn, led by the beautiful and very kind Yoga May.
I had the absolute pleasure of going along to the first session, which took place on the warm and sunny 5 July on Doddington’s East Lawn, protected by the ancient brick walls.
The session began with a simple breathing exercise, helping us to shift our attention from everyday worries and thoughts and focus our minds on the practice ahead. Guided by May, we then moved in to a gentle warm up, activating muscles in our legs, core and backs.
There followed a series of chaturangas and yoga flows, each getting progressively more challenging. However, there was never any pressure to push more than we were comfortable or able to; May encouraged us to do our own, personal practice. So, if a particular pose felt good, we were welcome to stay in that pose, or move however we desired.
Practising outdoors, with the sounds of the birds and the church bell chiming, was such a peaceful experience, as was the sight of the beautiful Elizabethan Hall, as if it was watching over us and guarding us throughout the yoga flow.
Later on, after being challenged with wheel, chair pose, warrior and more back extensions, we were invited to sit for a short meditation. May asked us to focus on one sound, and gently draw our minds back to that particular sound whenever they started to be ‘monkey minds’ and waver in attention. I have no idea how long we sat for, but for me the experience was one of calm, poise and peace. We then lay down for savasana, wrapping up warm as despite the warm sun, it was easy to get chill after a period of yoga flow. I really wished the savasana could go on and on; after an early start it was beautiful to lie and be still.
– Eleanor Crossland, Shoreline Pilates
If you’d like to take part in one of the Doddington yoga sessions, they take place every Friday throughout June, July and August 2022 at 8am. The hour’s class costs £7.50 and you can book here. For a real Friday treat you can head straight in to the Doddington Coffee Shop for a nourishing breakfast, smoothie or coffee, too.