I couldn’t believe my luck when I drove past and saw the fresh green and blue sign, the windows draped in soft white voile with tiny mirrors catching the sunlight. It was early 2015 and whilst I was preparing to move into my new home nearby, Thaxted Yoga opened. It didn’t take long for me to join a class. Each time I stepped into the little studio, I felt enveloped in a calm, gentle energy, topped up with the warmth of a big Casey hug. I discovered a different part of myself in each class I took, the ‘Be Mindful’ artwork on the mantelpiece reminding me of my intention. It quickly became my happy place.
Casey’s yoga classes had humble beginnings at the top of the Guildhall in Thaxted, before moving to the central studio I came to know and love. I wasn’t the only one. As the lease on the studio ran out, it became clear Casey would need a bigger space. Her sparkling enthusiasm was infectious as she shared her studio dreams with me. She set out to create a space that would continue with the Thaxted Yoga ethos of a personal approach, whilst accommodating more mats and the opportunity to take classes in a range of styles with different teachers. She has achieved that and more.
I had a sneak peek at the studio ahead of taking my first class there. I’m sure I had a big smile on my face as I stepped through the door. The calm, gentle energy of the old studio was already there. Perhaps it was less to do with the space and more to do with the people? It was instantly recognisable as Thaxted Yoga; clean white walls, beautiful greenery, piles of purple bolsters and rolled up mats, a ceiling draped in soft white voile with lights reminiscent of the windmill in Thaxted, a diffuser softly releasing aromatherapy oils, and of course, the ‘Be Mindful’ artwork. I found it the most peaceful space, and that was before practising any yoga.
I took the new ‘Gentle Yoga’ class with Casey. I arrived to find the mats set up with a very inviting selection of props. The pace was relaxed, allowing us to deepen our awareness and fully experience each pose. Small adjustments had profound effects. Using blocks helped to personalise the poses whilst grounding our bodies. Every so often, I noticed my attention lost in the expansive views of the Essex countryside; watching a horse flick its tail or the sunlight shining on the freshly harvested field. Each time, I returned my awareness to my body feeling even more relaxed and refreshed. We ended the class in Savasana. This is typically done lying flat on the mat, but we continued to use props. I found myself lying along an inclined bolster, a second bolster under my knees, blocks under my arms, a soft blanket draped over me and a lavender eye mask soothing away any remaining tension. As Casey guided us through Savasana, a gentle breeze blew in from across the fields. By the end of our well-being chant, I felt truly settled. Om, shanti, shanti, shanti. Peace, peace, peace.
You can find out more about Thaxted Yoga and the classes on offer here.