How did you spend your May Bank Holiday? I got to spend mine doing some of my favourite things – yoga, walking at the beach, and listening to music at a festival!

The Roots Festival, Bridgend

I attended the Roots Festival in Bridgend last year with Marcus, and we loved it. This year, Marcus wasn’t with me that weekend, so I wanted to be a bit more involved. I contacted the organisers and asked if I could teach some Yoga as part of the festival programme. They happily agreed, so on Sunday, I went to Bridgend for some festival Yoga.

The weather was, unfortunately, working against me, and it was pretty cold. I set up my mats outside the post office, open for business so to speak. Sadly, no one wanted to join me. I can’t say I blame them. The mats were blowing around everywhere, and it was very cold and windy. I took the opportunity to practice myself though, and, for the first time in my life, did some Surya Namaskar practice in the very public setting of right in front of the post office’. It was fun, and I am very glad I was there even if no one wanted to take part. Gavin, one of the organisers, told me they have another festival planned for the summer, I am sure that it will be more yoga friendly then, so I fully intend to be there.

It was lovely to wander around the festival, looking at the stalls, getting my hair braided and listening to the music. I was delighted to see my friends Andrew and Dawn from the amazing ‘Between The Trees’ Festival. I taught some gorgeous classes there last year. I am so pleased that I have been invited back again this year for some more Yoga Between The Trees. Dawn and Andrew were encouraging people to appreciate bees, with a wonderful interactive stall complete with microscope and the most astonishingly beautiful book, Pollen: The Hidden Sexuality of Flowers.

To the beach!

After enjoying the festival for a little while, I headed off to my favourite place in South Wales, Southerdown and Dunraven Bay.

As I had my tripod with me, I decided to make my visit a little more productive than it usually is.

esther nagle in meru asana by a tree at Dunraven bay, southerndownThere are two trees here that I adore completely. I find them such glorious metaphors for resilience, growth and recovery. One has been completely reshaped by the wind that blows in from the sea, the other has been badly damaged by lightning. Both have been damaged, and their path in life changed by forces outside of them. And yet they still keep going. They are, it would seem, both healthy and strong, and are beautiful in this new shape life has forced them into.

These trees invite Yoga Asanas to my way of thinking. So with no regard for the people around me (once you’ve performed 3 rounds of Surya Namaskar alone in the middle of a busy town centre, you are immune to the stares of others!) I set up my tripod and performed some postures.

esther nagle veera asana at dunraven bay, southerndownAt the top of the hill, at the former entrance to Dunraven Castle, I attempted to be the warrior guarding the castle, with two variations of Veera Asana, the Warrior posture. Unfortunately, the weather was still against me, and my tripod fell over during the second posture. It was quite funny, but I got the message and gave up!

 

You can see the practices I did throughout the day, and the glorious trees I love so much, in this video I put together.

I find this place so peaceful and love to come here as much as I can. There is something about the drama of the landscape, the noise the pebbles make when the tide washes over them, and the sense of time and history that pervades the whole place. It always soothes and excites me whenever I come.

On this day, however, there was a stark reminder that this place I love so much is, in fact, fraught with danger. When I arrived there were several coastguard and police vehicles there. The whole time I was there, there was significant activity going on. I don’t know what happened, but my thoughts are with all concerned.

I returned home happy and at peace following my day. I spent an hour editing my video footage. I then had a long soak in the bath while watching ‘I am Maris’. This is a beautiful documentary about a young American woman who found recovery from severe anorexia through Yoga. I know from my own experience that Yoga is profoundly healing. It was good to see someone else’s story told so beautifully. After all that Yoga and sea air, I slept well that night after a wonderful Bank Holiday.

I hope you had a great May bank holiday too. What did you do?