Farewell and thank you – nga mihi nu

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“Self care . . .” she prompted gently.

“What does self-care look like for you?,” my work-place consellor asked.

“Umm . . . family, friends, good food, exercise, sleep, sunshine,” I gulped.

I would have added wine to that list, but it was our first meeting so best make a good impression.

Coming out of eight weeks of lockdown and reeling from being told my job was being disestablished, I desperately needed some time out to take my mind off my situation and to try to do something for myself  – self-care indeed.

With this in mind, I contacted the lovely Aaron Kyle from Blissful Souls, and asked if I could come along and check out her Women’s Wellness Yoga class, held just down the road in my neighbourhood.

She warmly welcomed me to come and join in with other women, all there to help support their own health, physically and mentally.

To start the class off, we all shared some stories of lockdown and what the really positive outcomes were.

For most of us, this was about having the chance to slow down and really connect with our families.

We then started moving into some gentle yoga poses; cat’s pose, mountain, bridge, warrior, tree pose wonderful to set my racing mind to focus on something else than panicking about how to pay the mortgage and the kids schooling.

Being able to connect with others and focus on your energy and body was a calming exercise and exactly what I needed right then.

As the class proceeded, we moved gently in and out of various poses, complete with a lovely gentle relaxation to finish the class. Blissful? Absolutely!

Blissful Souls offer a range of yoga classes – fun classes for kids, for teens, for families, for beginners, and classes specifically for women.

All of Aaron’s classes incorporate pranayama (breathing), asana (poses), and kriya (meditation/relaxation). Each class has a planned theme.

Aaron is a wonderful warm and gentle teacher, making you feel at ease, included, and above all, safe.

This is my last “Active Living” column in The Star.

I have been contributing since 2016 and have thoroughly enjoyed my time bringing a range of active options, written from my experience, to the Dunedin community.

We are fortunate to have so many wonderful community activities available and I’ve been privileged to be part of them, to try them out and then write about them.

Thank you to all the many readers who have followed the column and told me they’ve been inspired to try something new as a result.

Nga mihi nui!