Afiah’s Top 5 for 2016

Afiah Bahtiar Barefoot Birmingham Yoga & Meditation

We’ve had an awesome year and here’s looking ahead to next year. There are lots of things on our wishlist / yoga radar. Don’t take these as promises of what’s to come… although… if you do think any of these sound like something you’d rock up for, let us know and we may be able to turn the wish into a reality! Here’s Afiah’s (yoga teacher and Front Desk fixer) official TOP 5:

1. Acroyoga

If you’ve ever had the secret dream of running away to join the circus, you will definitely have heard of AcroYoga. Quite apart from it looking so very cool, it’s taking the very solo, inward-looking practice of yoga to a broader, 2-(or more!) person context. You’ll take turns being the base or the flyer, and explore the dynamics of postures using gravity and bodyweight to deepen the experience of the postures. Beyond that, it’s been called the yoga of trust, and rightfully so.

You’ll need to surrender to allow both partner’s movements to flow together. You’ll need to practice patience, because some of these moves ain’t easy. And above all, to cultivate compassion and empathy, forging a deeper understanding of the meaning of “union”.

2. Sound healing or ‘gong bath’

Everything is vibrating at one speed or another – everything is made up of atoms, and these atoms are constantly in motion. Sound healing involves bowls or gongs of different materials, shapes and sizes, each representing a certain frequency, being played and allowing the sounds to wash over you. As the sound vibration passes through you, it clears away any blockages of energy. It’s been called a shortcut to daily meditation practice – in a 45-minute session, you could experience the same levels of deep conscious relaxation as someone who practices meditation on a daily basis.

3. Yoga jams

I love my Sunday evening Ashtanga practice, where you move through the postures to nothing but the sound and rhythm of your own breath. I do however think that Dave is a pretty cool dude, and I find myself wondering, what kind of rocking tunes does he have on his playlist? A flow class sequence based entirely around the music that’s on your favourite teacher’s current personal playlist – I personally would love the challenge of bringing together Adele, TLC and Weezer (yes I I’m a 90s kid) together into a coherent class!

4. Local yoga and discovery retreat

I wasn’t able to come along on the fully booked Barefoot in Ibiza tour, so in 2016 I’d love to go on a local yoga and discovery retreat, exploring the outdoors by day and winding down and meditating by night. Lake District, Cheshire, Cotswolds, the Welsh coast? If you know of any nearby locations (with yoga space) you’d like to visit with Barefoot, let us know!

5. Yin yoga – a come back?

Yin yoga is the perfect complement to our very yang-based – energetic, dynamic, strength-based – yoga practice. Working into the less stretchy ligaments, tendons and fascia, this style of yoga involves “yielding” into postures, allowing the muscles to completely release, and holding for longer periods of 3 to even 10 minutes at a time. Turning off the muscles, removing the need to push or exert yourself, and going deep within – this can be harder than even the most athletic Rocket class! I’m hoping you’ll love Suzi’s Yin workshop so much this coming weekend, we’ll just have to make it a regular feature…

Add to the wishlist by commenting below! Happy Christmas everyone. 🙂