Hello Dear One,

How have your holidays been?

I am delighted to greet you after a record 12 hour sleep! Having a few days to sloth around and let myself be has been the best therapy of recent memory. I recently asked in class: ‘How many of you had a rough 2012?’. And many of you raised your hands (like I did). And so 2013 was, for many of you, how it was for me – like being the one-man clean up brigade in New Orleans the day after Mardi Gras.

So, you know, I think I got a bit tired. Spending all that psychic energy on healing, deep inside. Trying to fulfill my commitments with as much heart as I really wanted to, while I was running on, like, 10 percent of normal life force energy, so much was going on in there.

Sometime in my trip to see my family for Thanksgiving, and my time in California with Paul (my new meditation teacher), I cut myself adrift from all of my responsibilities, and just hung out. Shortly thereafter, the broom-wielding-drudgery quality of my inner life softened a bit. And on the last day of the retreat, it happened: I woke up with energy, and in a simply great mood for no reason at all – for the first time in ages.

And so the dawning of new life had begun, in that unassuming and beautiful way that life has of finally turning around – indeed, as some Buddhists I know are fond of pointing out – winter always turns to spring.

And now this Christmas has left me with enough time on my hands to do stuff like sleep without alarm and mooch around my flat catching up on chores and concocting casseroles and new uses for Christmas leftovers.

Today I was brushing up on my study of Anusara’s Universal Principles of Alignment – which I am thrilled to share in the upcoming Practices of Freedom and Wellbeing Immersion. Those principles are so intelligent – I had that feeling that I haven’t had for a while – I want everyone I teach to get this information! After 13 years of bodywork, I have a real sense of how the body can go into imbalance – and I’d be lying if I said I don’t see a lot of it in the yoga room. The alignment principles comprise a wealth of succinct strategies to become healthy and strong with your asana practice in a way that is at once sophisticated and easy to learn. And, in this Immersion, we teach it with a special emphasis on refining the principles to serve your body. It was so inspiring to review, and remember how lucky I am to have such powerful teachings that have been so transformational in my life. And to be able to pass that on: that’s an honour, a blessing, for sure.

And I started taking notes about my New Year’s Day workshop. A few months ago, I was sitting in front of my altar, and I flashed on what I wanted to share for the new year – making 2014 my most loving year yet. What does this mean? This is a big question for me. Most of the wretched clean-up project was in the wake of a baneful and pernicious break-up. For a lot of 2013, it has seemed like the love-stream of my being, which has been so effulgent for so many years, had narrowed down like a clogged artery. My pericardium was so tight, I couple of times I thought my heart was going to actually shrink under pressure. Yet the drive to amplify the condition of love asserted itself nonetheless – and so I have been contemplating. Just today I was writing some of these contemplations for my New Year’s Day workshop at triyoga, where I have chosen to roll out this new year intention – and without giving it all away, I do want to share this:

In contemplating the ways I want to offer more love in my life, several things came up – among them, my desire to hear your story – to hear the people of my life tell me where they have come from, in terms of ancestry and life experience – and where you are heading, in terms of evolution and life expression. You know, I am such a loudmouth, I sometimes take myself for someone who just likes the sound of her own voice. But when contemplating love, I remember that rapt space of attention I get into when someone starts to open up. When I fall in love with people – which I do all the time and intend to do even more – I want to hear all about them.

So, please take that as an invitation. Collar me, write me, and tell me more about you. Give me an opportunity to love you more. And maybe let me know how you love and receive love in your life…

Love asserts herself. The drive to love asserts itself. It just has a way of doing that. As I would usually only say in Shakti Shop – thank fuck for that.

You are welcome to join me in this intention for 2014. There is power in numbers! And I am delighted to support you in whatever your intentions may be. Let me know, eh?

We do have a few places left for The Practices of Freedom and Wellbeing Immersion, which is packed with opportunities to grow and expand your life, and peopled by some rather brilliant individuals, followed by The Practices of Leadership and Empowerment Teacher Training (with Tara Judelle!) for those of you who feel the call to teach. My upcoming Body Rolling workshop(Freeing the Bound-Up Body – a delicious all-rounder) is at The Life Centre Notting Hill on Jan 12; Two new classes in Soho, and a change on Thursday nights in the East End – see below.

With Love,

Leila xx