Halifax Yoga classes at St Judes Church & Dean Clough

Adeles Yoga: Reflections on 2023 / 2024 / Today

Adeles Yoga: Reflections on 2023 / 2024 / Today

It feels a good moment to do a little reflecting and sharing. I don’t know about you but I naturally drop into this mind-space in January. It’s cold, dark and wet outside, in fact as I write this blog it’s absolutely pouring down outside and nature is telling me loud and clear to stay in-doors, wrap up in a blanket, make a hot cosy drink and rest/reflect. And so I’ve been given a helpful nudge to listen, react and respond which has led me to this post. As you read about my reflections I wonder if you might like to do the same?
I’ll highlight the benefits in case it resonates for you. It took me around 1-2hrs to do, it requires quiet; pen and paper and presence. I felt wonderful afterwards, like I’d gifted myself with a big boost of clarity and focus. Gold dust! Fancy some of that gold dust? Great, let’s start with some of the benefits of reflection…

Benefits of reflections…

  • One of the benefits I found in doing this was that it forced me to stop; pause and take note of what I am doing rather than rush through life from one thing to the next. My personality type (I’ve always known this about myself but it was doubly confirmed to me on a work team building event where we deep dived into our personality and work types – you probably know the ones?) – is that I am very good at starting many projects and ideas, I’m a natural creative and a natural entrepreneur; and yet (eek) I’m not very good at completing and finishing things. Having this knowledge has been great for me, as I have always tried to counter my imbalances and develop the skill of finishing and completing projects. This doesn’t come easy for me but is very good for me for my growth and development.
    I wonder if this is something you do? Do you ever stop, pause, notice and check in with some of that stepping-back perspective? Where are your imbalances and do you ever help yourself to counter them from time to time?
  • Another benefit of journalling and reflection on 2023 and 2024 is that it has helped me to see where my focus and energy has been, and from that I can see if it aligns with my real passions and heart’s desires. Through this process I can see when I step back from the detail if I’ve been in balance with my time that I’ve dedicated to family and the people / causes in my life that really matter to me. I can also see if I’ve been allocating enough time to my own self development; self-care. This is all the ‘gold dust’ insight I mentioned and you can factor it into 2024.
  • Something HUGE (I think anyhow) is to celebrate yourself. We are all too quick to be focussing on the negative in life, what we didn’t do, what we could have done better etc. How about the importance of celebrating your victories, the small ones that only you may know about, the more obvious ones… they’re all important. A huge benefit of this is to celebrate and honour what you achieved for yourself and others in 2023. I toasted my mini victories with a home-made hot chocolate and whilst drinking it I really focused and smiled deeply inside at what I had done. Please don’t skip this bit, it’s rather essential.
  • Get the insight, it’s always there, it’s complete free, and it’s your gold dust! When you do your reflections piece, you’ll gather insight, it’ll just come naturally. It’s precious it really is, and it can inform your actions today and the way you carve out the path moving forward. As you reflect hone in on these insights, they are gifts for you to use as you would like.

The how-to bit…

  • The how-to bit is pretty straightforward. When I did this I looked back through my phone calendar which is where I record everything and I went through the full year; all the dates of 2023 and I  jotted down in my notebook bullet point style, the key moments, projects, collaborations; campaigns; everything that stands out for me. For me these are predominantly yoga -related but I also include key moments in the year on a personal level too. If you work differently to me, with a written calendar, phone calendar, computer diary – however you move through life use what’s works for you, don’t make extra work for yourself.
  • As you reflect and journal, you’ll receive a few ‘aha moments’ and a few ‘hmmmm’ moments – alerting you to where you’re getting things right and not so right. It’s all great insight that informs your actions for today and your actions for the year ahead too. Notice and pay attention to these.

My 2023 reflections…

This is not my full extensive list but it gives you an idea, and maybe some of you are interested to see the Adeles Yoga highlights from 2023, after all you’ve been an essential ingredient within in, you’re very much a part of what I do in life 🙂 If you’re not interested just skip past these bits.

Q1 Jan-March 2023

  • Completed the Love your Body course (round 2) with 30 Calderdale students (Soooo much insight here for me, which rolls into future plans)
  • Completed my final round of yoga and wellbeing sessions for Calderdale Cares for Us – a scheme supporting key workers in the pandemic and beyond
  • I celebrated my 10 years of Adeles Yoga with you – and wow what a celebration we had!
  • I launched the ‘Keeping it Real’ yoga campaign with my absolutely incredible team – Janine Radcliffe and Matt Radcliffe who between them have so much talent and passion for community projects, incredible campaigns, photography and film (please ask me for their details if you’d like to work with them)
  • I had a wonderful family adventure travelling the miles and playing in natures playground – bliss

Q2 Apr-June 2023

  • The Keeping it Real campaign involved me filming and rolling out lots of mini films with our yoga community and on YouTube, lots of content going out free of charge
  • I responded to your requests and added a Vinyasa Flow (ooh it was hot hot hot!) to our yoga schedule
  • We enjoyed yoga collaborations in classes such as Yoga and the harp
  • We responded to nature, and when the sun came out so did we with Yoga on’t moor
  • More family adventures – essential for my balance

Q3 July-Sept 2023

  • The Keeping it Real campaign continued to build and content continued to go out
  • I went into Copley Primary school to talk about Entrepreneurialism and following your heart when it comes to thinking about a career – inspiring our future generations is really important to me
  • A trip to Lake Garda allowed me to plant the seeds of a future Yoga holiday / retreat – watch this space!
  • You guessed… yet more family adventures

Q4 Oct-Dec 2023

  • The Keeping it Real campaign started to move into ‘Phase 2’ developing links with the local community to create ‘Real Yoga Real Stories’ – lots more filming and campaign work with the wonderful dream team Janine and Matt Radcliffe
  • Set up and implemented a new collaboration with Dean Clough which has resulted in weekly Yoga classes there
  • Set up and implemented a new collaboration with St Augustines and the Valley of Sanctuary Calderdale which has resulted in a full funded 6 week yoga course held at Calderdale College Inspire Centre
  • Set up and implemented a new collaboration with HAOS theatre company which resulted in workshop for their cast and production team on relatable wellbeing techniques
  • Enjoyed new collaborations with Calderdale Pride; Invictus Wellbeing; Happy Days and CFFC for the Real Yoga Real Stories campaign
  • New collaboration established with The Tree, a world leading North Yorkshire Yoga retreat centre, which resulted in me booking the venue for a weekend yoga retreat in August 2024 (fully booked)
  • I still pinch myself with this one – i was a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year category, at the Calderdale Business Awards 2023
  • My first experience of wild swimming up North!
  • More family adventures, can’t get enough of these!
  • Ooh and we can’t forget our fabulous Yoga Christmas night out which wrapped the year up wonderfully!

When I read through my Q4 I realise that I probably did a little too much, that’s my nudge to myself for 2024 to slow down and stay in balance. I read through my whole year of 2023 and it made me feel super proud, because everything completely aligns with my purpose, my passions and with the wonderful Calderdale community we have here. It feels good. Of course there have been challenges, tricky waters to navigate, after all there’s no light without dark – but I can 100% state that the yoga practices which underpin my life have helped me no-end to navigate them. Thank you yoga!!! 
I wonder when you reflect on your 2023 how you feel, there’s no right or wrong here, just insight and the opportunity to let this inform your actions and choices for today and the path ahead.

Looking ahead to 2024…

I feel really good about 2024. The year of 2023 involved lots of seed-planting and I am genuinely excited about those seeds sprouting and blossoming. I wonder what seeds have you planted for yourself? If you haven’t planted any ideas, dreams and hopes for yourself, maybe take the time to do so this January – or in fact any time of the year!
Here are a few of my 2024 seeds/ideas/plans (again skip past if you’re not interested in this bit):

  • Something that I spent many months, maybe even years considering is who I would do my next teacher training with. My dear heart teacher Marilyn is currently unable to offer more guidance to me with her being in her 80s now, although she guides me each and every single day in many ways. I am always on the lookout for who I might truly learn from, and that aligns with me. Sure enough I found someone – an internationally acclaimed yoga teacher based in Brighton called Peter Blackaby who teaches ‘Intelligent Yoga’. He’s completely aligned with my ethos and where I’m heading to in the future and so from January I embark on teacher training with him which will take me into the middle of 2024. Rest assured, everything I learn is passed on in my teachings to you.
  • Continue to do more yoga within the community with St Augustines; Valley of Sanctuary; HAOS; CFFC; Happy Days, Invictus – and I’m always listening to which other groups would benefit from a collaboration 
  • Keeping it Real ‘phase 2’ which is the Real Yoga Real Stories will go live on my website; social media and YouTube between Jan-April 2024
  • Later in the year the wonderful Janine Radcliffe will be helping me create a yoga campaign with MEN at the very heart of it, watch this space
  • August 2014 will be the month of my first weekend yoga retreat at The Tree (fully booked) – very excited about this and I’m hoping it’ll be the first of many retreat at The Tree
  • Still on ‘retreats’ I am heading back out to Lake Garda later this year to find the right retreat location for us, this retreat will be happening in 2025 so this year is for planning and finalising
  • I’m still very much committed to writing my books which will be based entirely on the very successful Love your Body course. I’ve also been asked to take the course into the community which is likely to come to fruition.
  • I have another exciting project ‘up my sleeve’ but for now i’m keeping it under wraps whilst i do my research and put the work in to make it happen
  • Continue to offer all-year-round high quality yoga classes; workshops, reiki healing and private yoga tuition in Halifax, alongside an online offering for those who can’t get to a class or prefer to practice from home
  • Sprinkled throughout the above will be lots of family adventures, lots of time outside, lots of space for spontaneity and the opportunity to go with the flow of what arises – staying open and listening to what’s going on around me

Planning and actions are not for everyone, some like to flow through life day to day and that suits them just fine. There’s no right or wrong way with this, but just consider your 2024 and see if you would benefit from reflections and considerations or what you might like to create for yourself. The flip-side which is equally wonderful is to consider what you don’t want for 2024 – this might be a certain trait you’re regularly portraying out to the world that you’d like to change; it might be a friendship or relationship that’s no longer serving you that you’d like to release; it might be that you’re ready to make some changes with your career/work life balance or take some small steps towards that. Just see and let whatever comes from your heart be acknowledged in some way.

The here and now…

The here and now, today, is all that really is. If you practice yoga with me you’ll have heard me encouraging you to not think of what’s been in the past; not think ahead about your plans and things in your future, because they have either happened already and cannot be truly lived/experienced again only reflected upon, or they haven’t happened yet and so are not real. Only the here and now, this moment is real. In the global yoga spheres we are always urged by the greats to live our lives in the present moment:

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” said the Buddha.

“Happiness lies not in finding what is missing, but in finding what is present”, says Tara Brach.

“Realise deeply the present moment is all you’ll ever have”, says Eckhart Tolle.

As I always state yoga is about balance, and balance is key here too with your reflections piece – let it guide you to continually come back to this moment here, right here and now. One of the main ways to be present is by practising mindfulness, again this is something we do throughout the yoga class we do together, and the invitation is to practice mindfulness off the mat too. The simplest definition of mindfulness I’ve found is from Dipa Ma, an Indian meditation teacher and Buddhist master in Asia. She said: “Whatever you are doing, be aware of it.” I particularly like this quote as it reminds you to be aware in every aspect of life – even the mundane such as chores like washing up the dishes, can be transformed with a mindfulness practice!

We cannot be aware of something that we’re doing (or feeling or seeing or experiencing) unless we are right there, in that moment. In essence, mindfulness could be described as the gateway to presence. Very cool indeed!

And so with my 2023, 2024 and present day blog (which I am aware has been pretty epic in length and depth), I hope that 1 or 2 points/ideas/invitations have resonated with you. Just see.

Expect nothing and receive everything!

Wrapping up this post, bringing it all together…

I read a nice quote on Yoga International that talked about our Yoga commitment to ourselves which said:
“Create a commitment to free yourself from the bonds of your negative past karma, to generate more positive thoughts and actions in the present, and to create a better, more spiritually enlivened future for yourself and those around you”
I really like this statement and it very eloquently and succinctly brings together all the points covered in this blog.

With love and warmest wishes from my heart to yours, Adele x

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