Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Zen of Knitting

May 18 2014

Winter in the Maritimes can be dreary and wearying. A long vinyasa of boots, heavy coats, gloves, woolly hats and scarves. This past winter was definitely one of the worst; it seemed never-ending. No sooner had one storm blown out when the next piled more snow on top of what hadn’t even been removed.

To warm up our winter at Blue Lotus Yoga Space we invited students to “cast on with us and cast off stress.”  Our ‘Zen of Knitting’ workshop offered an opportunity to let go of tension - so important in knitting - to share the experience, and laughter, to create a new item for our winter wardrobes and in my case to re-discover a long lost skill. All aspects of a yoga practice too.

It’s acknowledged that knitting is therapeutic and meditative. With its soothing, relaxing rhythm, focus on the moment, on the joy of the process rather than the result, on observing, being willing to start again, it has much in common with how we work in yoga.

One of our yogis, Christiann, who describes herself as “an obsessive knitter”, and enters world-wide knitting events, lead us through the fundamentals of casting on, often a big puzzle.  With two students who knit ‘European’ style this was not just fun, it reflected something else we share in yoga, different routes to the same discovery.
For me, who hadn’t knitted since I was about 16, it was amazing to find how quickly my fingers, and body, remembered, how the flow was still there, just dormant. Another yoga parallel

Posture, or pattern, for the workshop was a simple infinity cowl or scarf, in easy stockinette stitch. The ends could be sewn together to form a circle or knitted as long as wished for a neck-wrapping scarf. Like yoga, adapting, modifying to suit each student.

We practiced some gentle chair yoga, sitting stretches and twists to keep our knitting bodies from getting tangled and knotted, shared herbal teas and snacks and later in the session had a show and tell of our work.

No comments:

Post a Comment