2013 Event Reviews

Domus Mariae Weekend - November 2013
Domus Mariae Remedial Residential - November 2013

Domus Mariae CPD weekend on Ageing - February 2013

Domus Mariae Weekend, November 2013

This year the November yoga weekend at Domus Mariae, Chigwell was of the same high standard as ever. I was only able to attend on the Saturday but what a great way to spend a wet, cold November day.

Each morning starts with an early morning stretch session. This was too early for me; I arrived in time for a cup of coffee and a chat before the first main session of the morning.

The morning session, held by Trish Monro, was a dynamic yet relaxing session of basic postures and sequences. The background music was particularly soothing, so much so that the relaxation which closed the session over ran. It was a quick coffee break and then back for the mid-day meditation session.

The topic for the first of the afternoon session was hand mudras. Just right to give you time to digest a large lunch. Jane Young who led the session brought with her an extensive picture library of the hand gestures used in Hindu and Buddhist iconography. This session ended with practical exercises combining mudras with breathing. In the second afternoon session lead, again by Jane, the practice was at a slower pace incorporating some of the classic yoga postures but this time frequently working in pairs. At my local class we often work in pairs but for some participants this was a new departure and although slightly nervous to start with soon gained confidence.

I had to leave before dinner and I left everyone looking forward to the circle dancing planned for the evening and another full morning of yoga practice on Sunday.

Hope to see you there next November.

Teresa Miller

Domus Mariae Remedial Residential, November 2013

The day before setting out I wondered why I was subjecting myself to quite a long journey, whether I’d fall off a train (I did manage to do that when I was young and fit), whether my reserved seats would be next to someone coughing and sneezing, whether my passenger assistants would materialise etc.etc! But once safely inside Domus Mariae I remembered why I had come - a warm welcome, yoga sessions guided in an expert and kindly way, new and useful ideas and information and lots of healthy, tasty food, so I'd like to thank June and everyone involved most sincerely.

I appreciated the good company of our small group and the infectious laughter of June and Jen (Bill and Ben). I arrived home relaxed and with more energy so much so that the first morning back I enjoyed the eight fine treasures standing and manage the eight bounces on my heels first time. Usually I only managed two or three bounces first time and have to work up to the eight.

The friends who collected mean said how well I looked (they don't usually say that) so this course obviously did me good. It is a pity more people couldn't have benefited from it.

Anna Russell

Domus Mariae CPD weekend on Ageing, February 2013

Where to start? This was an excellent weekend, packed full of information and fun. Our tutor, Carol Smith, produced a well-balanced programme of instruction, discussion, activity and fun, with hand-outs galore!

The Saturday started with an early morning yoga practice that incorporated a number of warm-ups, invigorating asanas and pranayama practices to raise energy – Carol was obviously preparing us for what was to come! The day was packed full of information about the process of ageing, the effects of free-radicals on the body, fats/lipids as opposed to essential fatty acids and the way in which we can use adaptogens and anti-oxidants to counter the harmful effects of free-radicals to slow down the rate of ageing and revitalise and restore our systems.

Subsequent sessions focussed on how to counter-act these effects by means of Right Diet, Right Exercise and finally, Right Thinking. We discussed how negative emotions and thought patterns contribute to disease and Carol introduced the concept of the 9 Rasas – the essences of our emotions and how invoking a Relaxation Response and Mindfulness can aid us to counteract the negative and instill more positive responses.

These sessions were interspersed with asana sessions focussing on practices to balance the 3 doshas – Kapha, Pitta and Vata – it was interesting to see how you can do the same practice but with a different emphasis depending on the dosha you wish to bring into balance.

Saturday evening was ‘fun’ time, with team games to aid mobility and memory. The only problem was I was so enlivened by the evening’s activities I wasn’t ready to sleep until quite late!

Sunday morning found us being introduced to the concept of YOFIT – a mixture of yoga and keep fit which was fun to do, with a mixture of aerobic activities, some chair based and some standing, with stretching and breathing practices suitable for all ages, but especially those who might find it hard to get down on the floor in later years. The remainder of Sunday morning was spent looking at various diseases and age-related illnesses and the skills required to cope with them, ways to improve and possibly even reverse them.

As usual the food was plentiful and very satisfying – we talked at the weekend about the benefits of Intermittent Fasting – needless to say no-one volunteered to put it into practice during the weekend – just too many temptations on offer, but I for one will be doing so in the future.

In conclusion, this was a well-thought out training weekend – it was not to be missed and I am sure I am not alone in giving thanks to Carol Smith for her hard work in producing this training weekend.

Lynn Glover

Domus Mariae CPD weekend on Ageing February 2013

I have not been on a residential CPD weekend since the closing of Ickwell Bury. Although I have attended CPD day courses and workshops in London, (which were mostly very overcrowded and expensive. The last one I attended cost £60 more for two non-residential days than I paid for the whole YHET Domus Mariae CPD residential weekend, and it also had 48 participants) I had read and reflected on the articles and reports about the CPD weekend last year, so as soon as it was advertised for this year on the website it was booked.

I looked up the journey route, downloaded the travel instructions and drove after work on Friday. The journey was a lot easier than I had anticipated.

On arrival and indeed through out the weekend the convent staff could not have been more helpful. The room was bright, clean and warm, the bed comfortable, the food amazing with lots of choice.

The whole atmosphere on this YHET CPD weekend which was created by Carol Smith Sannyasi Mahamani (our excellent tutor), and also by June Skeggs and Paul Blissett (YHET hardworking trustees) who had also put in many hours organising the course reminded me of the happy weekends I had spent at the Bury, that is to say that everyone involved was welcoming, inclusive, caring and obviously glad to be there.

“Live Long and Die Young” course content covered many different aspects regarding general health in ageing including, healthy diet vitamins and minerals, necessary nutrients for older adults, the nervous system, the right exercise routines including exercise facts, types and benefits. It also covered various ailments in detail, incorporated was a session on ayurveda uses including diet herbs asanas/body work, pranayamas, breathing and mediation.

The course was delivered to the 20 participants in a very useful, informative format. Carol had prepared a detailed handbook for us to take away, so although we took certain notes we were not scribbling away the whole time as found on some courses.

I came away from the course refreshed, with new ideas and lots of information, and I had met some lovely new people.

I can not recommend the CPD provided by YHET highly enough to all yoga teachers. I am going to book on the next one as soon as it is announced!

Many thanks to Carol, June and Paul.

Jackie Robinson



YUJ IT Informatics