Is it really that long?
As we compile the September 2015 newsletter, we are also reflecting on how Yogawest has changed since we took over at the reins four years ago.
Like watching a baby turn into a toddler (and yes, it does feel like parenting sometimes!), we think that Yogawest is showing it’s fully formed character nowadays and is less the individuals behind it, more it’s own true independent self.
It’s only three years since we completely replaced the terrible old polystyrene-tiled ceiling with the gorgeously-curved insulated wood installation we all love now. It seems a long time ago that students had to share the room with a whistling North wind chilling their bones, and sometimes a bucket under the leaks! People still tell us how lovely it is to lie in Savasana and enjoy contemplating the ceiling above.
Of course the building itself tells a much longer story. It has housed an Iyengar yoga centre since the early 80s and before then had a variety of uses including a British Legion club. We had a visitor called Martin a few weeks ago who used to sit on the very same stage when he was a little boy in the early 60s when it was a Plymouth Brethren church! He was quite amazed to see it was all still intact, although he wondered where the balcony had gone… balcony? Wouldn’t it be great to see some photos from back then? (I’ve asked Martin to see if he can get hold of any for us).
We are so lucky to have undoubtedly the best team of yoga teachers in Bristol, nay the South West, actually probably the UK. From the core of teachers who were already here, we’ve been joined over the years by newly qualified youngsters (ok, younger than us!), and long term experienced teachers alike. Because the heart of Yogawest is Iyengar yoga, most of our teachers come from the same training background, and although we are all very different as human beings, our common uniter is our love of Iyengar yoga and the strong and thorough training it gives us.
That is why we were granted the name ‘The Bristol Iyengar Yoga Centre’ by Guruji.
And of course the nature of Yogawest has changed since we’ve grown our support staff (and stopped Diana trying to do everything herself). Andy’s efficient presence and understated manner is very popular (particularly with the Thursday morning ladies!), and Eula is the nurturing mother greeting and guiding us when we arrive: Eula is also responsible for all the beautiful flower arrangements. Jon steers it all from his captain’s ship upstairs, and for a non-yogi, seems to have got the hang of it all very nicely (and he can be spotted in the family class sometimes!). And of course Lovely Lou (who has her own webpage) is still in charge of keeping things clean and tidy: we like to call her our Facilities Manager, but she’s a dab hand at reception too! A veritable team of National Treasures: thank you to all of you.
And while we are thanking people, we’d like to offer a huge thank you to you, our students and friends, who continue to support Yogawest and make it all possible. We often comment on how delightful the people are who come to Yogawest: friendly, happy, loyal and passionate about Iyengar yoga… we salute you!
And there’s still plenty to do…
Yogawest is an old building and there’s always something that needs replacing or changing. We’d also like to add some more ropes in the studios, and cover the radiators, and to get a tressler, to name but a couple of things on our list.
We will continue to add classes and courses: now that the studios are well-heated and receptionists are in place, we want to make more use of the building during the quieter afternoon slots.
Some of our best ideas have come from you: let us know what you like us to put on our wish list.
And next September will be our 5th… (I feel a party coming on)
The Yogawest Team