It's no secret that 2016 is already being badged as one of the worst years in living memory.
The loss of much-loved icons, unspeakable images of children dying in brutal conflicts, elections and referendums causing deep-lasting separation within communities - all this and more has left us in a spin, not knowing which way is up and how we can bring balance into both our lives and the world around us.
This all seems particularly poignant as we have so many tools that create the potential for enlightenment and yet we find ourselves potentially as divided as we have been in over half a century.
These confusing disparities can be seen in the every day also.
For instance, there's great joy in great food and eating well - but also the curious spectacle of the "Bushtucker Trial" on mainstream TV.
Entrepreneurship and opportunism are applauded, but some people and corporations are greedy, refusing to pay taxes and maybe resorting to dirty tricks to discredit others.
We have more leisure pursuits and more leisure time than ever before, yet people are still bored, and some become lost in addiction.
There's no need for anyone to starve any more, and our streets are, by and large, safer than ever before. But who doesn't suffer from anxiety? Who isn't scared of losing their job and their livelihood? And who doesn't think it's crazy that so much food is thrown away all the time?
Yoga has given us a model for working with all these apparent conflicts in the human psyche. When we direct our practice at chakra centres, we are working directly with our own internal confusions and misunderstandings - the same ones we see written large across human culture.
History's greatest gift is yoga, and this generation more than any other is poised to grow through practice. So what better way to mark the passing of this year by looking forward into the coming 12 month chakra 'schedule'? The below are the chakras I will be working with in my own practice and teaching.
This centre deals with our relationship to pleasure. Many people will eat and drink (and the rest) to excess over Christmas - in fact, the festive season has become the time when going over the top is pretty much sanctioned. So we will work into our own positives and negatives in January, while much of the nation is coming to terms with reality after this period of escapism.
This will be around the Spring Equinox in March, as it is the moment in which the northern hemisphere is poised to unleash the full force of the spring and summer growth. In working with this chakra, we will look at what animates us - we will consider and work with personal energy and dynamism.
Halfway between the gutter and the stars - halfway between the visceral reality of being human and the idealised realms of imagined utopia or heaven - is the compassionate centre. It's from here that we can see both real, physical, animal need. We also can develop our understanding of the greater good and the benefit of sharing and caring for all. This workshop is scheduled for the Summer Solstice - the point midway between summer warm and winter chill.
We notice the end of summer in September. The truth is that it ends in August. The temperatures are still good, but nature starts her turn long before we usually notice it. Vishuddhi deals with our relationship to truth - can we see and say what's really happening for us and those we affect?
Scheduled for the Autumn Equinox in December, we work with ajna when night and day are equal. The traditional icon for ajna would include Shiva and Shakti, male and female. Ajna is the place from which all dimensions can be seen and appreciated - and then released, let go, as all being equally limited.
Giving meaning and structure through the year through yoga practice provides a great deal of strength and connection to the human mind, body and spirit. I wish you all a prosperous 2017 and a greater understanding of yourself and the world around you.Suggest a correction