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Winter Solstice Yoga Festival

21st December 2021

Winter Solstice Yoga Festival

Tutor: Various

Date: 21st December 2021

Time: 07:30 - 21:00

Location: ONLINE via ZOOM

Type of Event: Festival

Places Available: 48

Winter Solstice Yoga Festival

We are excited to invite you to a day full of yoga centred around the theme of balance and harmony.

This online event (via Zoom) is ideal for people wishing to attend live but will also be available for all those registered to watch the recording for up to one month after the event.

Tickets are on sale from Monday 1 November - Tuesday 14 December (5.00 pm GMT).

Please note that all participants will need a ticket, even if intending to share a screen, in order for the teacher to be fully aware of health considerations.

If you have any queries, please contact Katherine on

We are looking forward to bringing you this online festival to brighten up the darker months.

TIMETABLE - see below for full session details

  • 0730 – 0900: Laura Mitchell
    Waking Up At Home
    A sound-based opening session with gentle movement, breath, sound, waking the heart, finding home.

  • 0930 – 1100: Cathy-Mae Karelse

    This talk on Ayurveda includes a presentation and discussion with some asana, breathwork and meditation.

  • 1130 – 1300: Kay Baxter
    Deepening Our Connection To Ourself – Meditation For Stress And Life Management

    A meditation session which aims to give participants an experience of the practice of meditation, and how this affects their sense of themselves. 

  • 1400 – 1500: Daniel Simpson
    Why Yoga Doesn’t Always Mean Union

    An engaging talk which will bring philosophy to life.

  • 1530 – 1700: Cormac Lennon
    Chandra Namaskara

    A session on a moon salutation looking at postural practice, pranayama and a visualisation

  • 1730 – 1900: Paul Smith
    Balancing Breath, Body And Mind

    Using pranayama, asana and mindfulness meditation to bring about  balance in our busy daily life.

  • 1930 – 2100: Victoria Ayling
    Shining Stars In The Night Sky

    An evening session to close the day with gentle movement and a guided relaxation/Yoga Nidra


£30 for BWY Members (£40 for non-members) and include all sessions. 

Participants will be sent a health questionnaire to fill in (or opt out of) prior to attending.

We are looking forward to bringing you some light in the darker winter months with what promises to be a wonderful event.


Laura Mitchell - Waking Up At Home


About Laura:

Laura is a professional sound weaver who draws upon instruments spanning many ages to reach into the hearts of her audiences, changing lives for the better forever.

About the Session:

This is a gentle and cathartic awakening including some slow and deep movement of the body and breath work, with sound and sound practices being the main feature.

No prior experience of using your voice or sound is needed as you will be guided in these throughout the session.

Laura's aim is to offer you ideas and practices to enjoy and include in your day in addition to your own. The goal and focus are to open the doorway to a gentle and deeply pleasing pathway home.

Using the health questionnaire that will be sent prior to the event, please let Laura know if you have any particular history - physical, mental or spiritual - that she may need to be aware of in order for you to enjoy the session fully.

Please bring: yoga mat, candle and matches, A warm drink, your favourite fruit or snack, bolster, cushions or blankets needed for maximum comfort and warmth.

Cathy-Mae Karelse - 

About Cathy-Mae:

Trained in some of the best schools in the world, and having a lasting international career, she offers her gifts with humour and depth. No soul is left untouched or unloved as she travels the world sharing her unique presence.

Dr Cathy-Mae Karelse is a qualified MHFA England Instructor, Coach, Yoga Teacher Trainer, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Yoga Therapist Trainer, Mindfulness Teacher Trainer and systems change expert. 

She has delivered multiple Yoga Teacher Training, Mindfulness Teacher Training and Yoga Therapist Training courses as well as MHFA England courses. 

As Founder of Clear Mind International, Cathy-Mae embeds justice in all its work and adopts a holistic, systemic approach to personal mastery. She leads on Awesome, a dynamic new project that trains wellness leaders from marginalised communities. 

Cathy completed a cross-disciplinary PhD at SOAS on Mindfulness and Justice and is an MHFA England Instructor.

About the Session:

Winter and Summer solstices: As we traverse the depths of darkness in the global North, the light of the sun shines brightly in the global South. Can we live as Ayurveda teaches with a greater sense of the cosmos, the rhythms of life, and of liberation as an ongoing practice?

Can Ayurveda help us live meaningful lives at this time of global pandemics?

Can we start with the overuse, misuse and underuse of the senses, become more self-aware, and go from there? Can this lead us to living lives that contribute to the sustainable development goals?

What does Ayurveda say about waking up and contributing to community and society? 


Please bring: mats, comfortable blocks, blankets, bolsters, notepad/iPad, a willingness to engage.

Kay Baxter - 
Deepening Our Connection To Ourself: Meditation For Stress And Life Management

About Kay:

Kay holds a BWY Teaching Diploma and has a degree in Psychology. In the early years she worked within a psychotherapeutic community and explored many aspects and areas of therapeutic intervention.

Kay has been involved in intensive study and practice with meditation, mindfulness and the human energy system for many years towards increasing and expanding awareness and consciousness and getting to know oneself better. This work has been informed through contact with various teachers and influences and in particular her involvement with the healer and teacher, Hilmar Schonauer, who she worked with for more than 20 years.

Over the years Kay has come to appreciate more and more the value of meditation and related practices as tremendous tools for personal healing and for enabling an opening towards more spaciousness of being and our true nature. Her own exploration of consciousness and our highest potential is ongoing using and developing the practices she now teaches widely.

About the Session:

This session aims to give you an experience of the practice of meditation and how this affects your sense of yourself. We will look at and work with practices for ‘opening to’, and ‘meeting’ ourselves where we are, for the purpose of responding to whatever is present in any moment and towards restoration

We will look at how getting to know oneself better and increasing awareness of oneself can assist towards managing ones daily life with more sensitivity and towards greater ease and well being.

Please bring: anything to ensure a comfortable seated position.

Daniel Simpson - Why Yoga Doesn’t Always Mean Union

About Daniel:

Daniel Simpson is the author of The Truth of Yoga, an accessible guide to yoga history and philosophy. 

He teaches courses at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, on teacher trainings and his website, 

Daniel holds a master's degree in yoga studies from SOAS – part of the University of London. 

His approach is insightful and fun, combining scholarly knowledge, traditional wisdom and light-hearted humour.

About the Session:

This talk will explore why distinctions matter. It’s often said that yoga means union, but not for Patanjali. The Yoga Sutra says connection causes suffering, so its answer is eternal separation.

It’s therefore important to distinguish this approach – which renounces the world – from contemporary quests to find peace of mind amidst life’s challenges. Nonetheless, a dualistic framework can also be helpful with worldly objectives, from choosing wisely to building relationships.

This engaging talk will bring philosophy to life in accessible ways.  

Please bring: nothing specific required.

Cormac Lennon - Chandra Namaskara

About Cormac:

Cormac has been teaching for over 20 years and now, more and more, finds himself  teaching the simple things but doing them as best as possible.

He finds himself simplifying classes making less more. He digs deeper into postures with focus on the inside, the inner environment and learning how we effect the inner organs and having that more subtle awareness.

About the Session:

A fresh new look at an ancient practice:

Chandra Namaskara practice with mantra and movement followed by relaxation and Pranayama Chandra Bheda Pranayama (the moon piercing breath) and Sheetali (the cooling breath).

Please bring: an open mind and a meditation cushion.

Paul Smith - Balancing Breath, Body And Mind

About Paul:

Paul was first introduced to meditation when he was 12 years old at school and later found his way to yoga through an interest in the Beatles and the beat generation authors and poets.

Working in middle management in Learning and Development in the Civil Service for 15 1/2 years, Paul used yoga to help with the mental and physical demands of an office job that entailed travelling around the country. He took voluntary redundancy and retrained as a yoga teacher and started a wonderful new chapter of his life.

Paul has undertaken a number of Yoga Teacher Training courses including the BWY Diploma, BWY Foundation course tutor training, Gentle Years Yoga, Sports Yoga and Yin Yoga. Most recently he has started training as a Mindfulness Teacher.

Paul's teaching style is a mix of traditional, informed by modern evidence-based practice, delivered in a friendly, accessible way.

About the Session:
We will explore techniques to balance our breath and subtle energies using pranayama, look at physical yoga asana to work on our balance and stability and finish with a Mindfulness-based meditation to bring a sense of calmness and balance to our minds. 

Please bring: block or brick and a strap.

Victoria Ayling - Shining Stars In The Night Sky

About Victoria:

Victoria is an experienced yoga teacher, trainer and mentor. 

Since creating yoga-tastic in West London sixteen years ago she has taught thousands of yoga and relaxation classes; designed and delivered numerous yoga courses; created and taught yoga retreats within the UK and across the world; taught private clients in their homes, online and on private retreat. 

She also delivers the BWY Foundation Course to students who are considering teacher training. 

Victoria has been published on guided relaxation / Yoga Nidra, most recently in Spectrum the British Wheel of Yoga's magazine. During the first year of the pandemic Victoria was interviewed for Om Yoga Magazine offering advice on how to manage anxiety through relaxation and breathing. 

About the Session:

Gentle flowing movement and conscious breathing followed by lunar inspired guided relaxation / Yoga Nidra. 

Please bring: your usual props for movement and for relaxation.




If you are a BWY member please ensure you are logged in. To make a booking for this event please select a ticket type and then click send booking. Certain events are only available to specific member types, for example first aid days for teachers and student teachers so please logon first to see specific tickets.

If you have questions please contact the event organiser or webadmin using the regional contacts page.

Ticket Type Price Tickets
Non Member £40.00
One ticket for the full day's programme. Please note that anyone attending the event will require a ticket, even if you are sharing a screen. This is to ensure that the teacher is aware of any health considerations in advance.