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Class themes for 2024: The Dance between Joy and Pain

Did you know that I use themes to plan Body and Soul classes? Until this year, I have been using a diary called "Every Day Matters" by Jess Sharp (a different edition each year). Every month had a quality and a relevant affirmation (positive statement) and every week there was a quotation and a task for those who chose to accept it. I shared the affirmations etc during savasana on Sundays and in the passholders' area of my website.

And, like many other yoga teachers, I also follow seasons and moon cycles in my lesson planning. Students may not be aware or care about these themes but, for those that do, it makes for a deeper experience and one that takes them layer by layer through the koshas (subtle bodies) that are an important aspect of the Dru yoga tradition.

Having used this diary for a number of years I decided to take a new approach for 2024. The membership is starting to grow and I wanted to offer a truly transformational approach for those looking to change ingrained patterns and ways of thinking to a more positive one. That's where the Dru publication "The Dance between Joy and Pain" came in. I've used this wonderful little book in my teaching for many years but now I'm working systematically through the chapters.

So if you'd like to join me on a transformational journey hop on now and enjoy the ride! I'm going to explain here how the themes will develop through the year. You don't need to buy the book itself as I will be taking you through it over the coming 12 months and providing resources with the techniques and tools for you to use in your personal home practice. Most of the techniques are part of Dru yoga anyway but the book focuses on a specific pair of emotions and offers ways to bring about change with yoga practice.

The 12 chapters are:

Transforming -

January: Fear to courage

February: Jealousy to inner security

March: Depression to self-empowerment

April: Anger to creativity and dynamism

May: Grief to renewal

June: Hatred to forgiveness and love

July: Rejection to self love

August: Judgement to compassion

September: Guilt to freedom

October: Loneliness to belonging

November: Crisis to transformation

December: Dance with joy

We've nearly reached the end of our first transformation from fear to courage. I'll be adding a resource to the Passholders' Area of the website. Passholders can download it and use the techniques and affirmations in their daily personal practice.

I've been focusing on the root chakra/mooladhara with grounding sequences: Earth/Prithvi Namaskar, Salutation to the 1 Direction, Sufi circles and visualisations of the deep red lotus with four petals. Eagle/Garudasana and Fearless Flight stepping into our full power and getting ready to fly.

Let me know if you've been affected by January's theme. Are you held back by fear? What strategies and techniques to you use to overcome fear and journey towards courage? Let's take this journey together, share our thoughts and feelings, move towards the life we want to live.

The Dance between Joy and Pain by Mansukh Patel et al is available from Dru Publications for £14.99.

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