Summer Yoga Day 2019

“YOGA FOR A HAPPY HEART”

I hope you can join me for a wonderful day of yoga on Saturday the 22nd June – to celebrate World Yoga Day. Places will be limited, so please book by email as soon as possible.

22nd June 2019 – Exton Village Hall – 10am to 4pm – Cost £35

Programme

10.00  Welcome and introduction to the day

10.15 Meditation on the Heart

10.30 Yoga Postures – Opening the Heart-space

11.45 Coffee Break

12.00 Mudra and Pranayama for a Healthy Heart

12.30 Shared Vegetarian Lunch (Please bring a plate of food to share)

1.30 Relaxation – Yoga Nidra with focus at Anahata Chakra

2.00 Circle Yoga Postures

3.00 …When you don’t feel like being kind…

3.30 Joyful Chanting

3.50 Questions, further practice and close

 

IKIGAI – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

ikigai

 

This is a beautiful little book that I got for Christmas. The authors spent time interviewing people (mostly over 100 years old and still leading active lives) to find out what keeps them going. It seems that having a purpose in life is one of the most common themes in these long livers. Finding what makes you happy and throwing yourself at it wholeheartedly! Doesn’t sound like a bad idea does it?

I’m quoting an excerpt here to give you an idea – but totally recommend reading the whole book – it doesn’t take long 🙂

“The ten rules of Ikigai

1 Stay Active; don’t retire. Those who gave up the things they love doing and do well lose their purpose in life. That’s why it’s so important to keep doing things of value, making progress, bringing beauty or utility to others, helping out, and shaping the world around you, even after your “official” professional activity has ended.

2 Take it slow. Being in a hurry is inversely proportional to quality of life. As the old saying goes, “Walk slowly and you’ll go far.” When we leave urgency behind, life and time take on new meaning.

3 Don’t fill your stomach. Less is more when it comes to eating for long life, too. According to the 80per cent rule, in order to stay healthier longer, we should eat a little less than our hunger demands instead of stuffing ourselves.

4 Surround yourself with good friends. Friends are the best medicine, there for confiding worries over a good chat, sharing stories that brighten your day, getting advice, having fun, dreaming… in other words, living.

5 Get in shape for your next birthday. Water moves; it is at its best when it flows fresh and doesn’t stagnate. The body you move through life in needs a bit of daily maintenance to keep it running for a long time. Plus, exercise releases hormones that make us feel happy.”

For the remaining 5 rules you’ll have to get the book and read them yourself!!

Time to relax with a good book

fireside

As the days get shorter and the outdoors less inviting, a cosy seat near the fire or radiator seems much more appealing. Curling up with a good book is a fantastic way to relax and unwind – why not chose some poetry???  Here are a couple of lovely wintery poems… or you could get creative and write a poem of your own???

 
Winter-Time

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding-cake.

Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850 – 1894

 
Winter’s Embrace
Shimmering lakes of silvery ice
welcomes skaters’ scarring slice.
Hills adorned in lacy white
watch children sleigh into the night.
In the brilliant pristine light,
snow birds in tall trees take flight.
Evergreens draped in capes of snow,
their heavy branches hanging low,
blanket earth as north winds blow
Winter’s dance is quite a show,
an ice-kissed, dazzling, magical place,
transformed by winter’s cold embrace!

© Patricia L. Cisco
Published: December 28, 2017

 

 

 

Yoga Stocking Fillers

Here are a few gift ideas for your yogic friends, for your own Christmas list – or of course, for you to treat yourself ; )

A year of Yoga – a new pose or practice for each day of 2019

A year of yoga £11.99
Mudra tea light holder

mudra tea light holder £15.10
Yoga dice – to inspire a home practice

yoga-dice £12.99

Immune Boosting Yoga

Immune-System-600

New research published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine (Feb 2018) suggests that yoga can be a helpful way to boost your immune system and decrease inflammation in the body.
Psychological stress can impact many systems in the body, including weakening the immune system and increasing chronic inflammation. Inflammation is natural part of the immune response and in the short term can be helpful to heal wounds, injuries, and infections, but chronic inflammation can do more harm than good.
Researchers collectively reviewed 15 randomized controlled trials that examined whether the regular practice of yoga postures could strengthen the immune system and reduce chronic inflammation. The average sample size of the trials was 70, and sample sizes ranged from 11 to as many as 140 participants. The majority of studies used Hatha yoga, a general term that indicates a style that includes postures.
Scientists in these yoga trials examined the immune system response by measuring blood or saliva levels of circulating pro-inflammatory markers such as cytokines, a protein called C-reactive protein (CRP), as well as immune cell counts, antibodies, and markers of gene expression in immune cells.
Researchers found an overall pattern that yoga reduces pro-inflammatory markers, with the strongest evidence for the reduction of a cytokine called IL-1beta. There are mixed but promising results regarding other types of pro-inflammatory markers. One study found that yoga increased levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10. Another trial found that yoga could mediate inflammation at the genomic level, changing levels of proteins that control the DNA transcription of proinflammatory cytokine genes.
Overall, the collection of research trials indicate yoga has a promising anti-inflammatory effect in the body.
How often and how long do you need to practice yoga to get this effect? So far researchers do not have a conclusive answer, but most of these research studies implemented yoga programs that lasted from 8 to 12 weeks with a frequency between once weekly to daily. Yoga classes in the research studies range from 30 to 90 minutes. As with most mind-body practices, regular consistent practice yields the most promise.

Originally posted by Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D.

Holy Fig Tree Posture

holy fig tree

This is a fabulous all round posture – it’s a balance which improves concentration and co-ordination, back bend which improves posture and breathing and when done dynamically with the breath is energising, warming, clearing the respiratory system and improving circulation. Start with 5 each side increasing to 10 gradually.

Find a space where you can practice – warm, clean and free from furniture/low ceilings.

First take your arms out to the sides and up overhead 3 times slowly.  Then place your hands onto your hips and alternate taking the legs back without leaning the body forward 3 or 4 times on each side slowly. This warms up the muscles and IMPORTANTLY ensures that you have enough space around you to work.

To practice Holy Fig Tree dynamically –

Stand tall in Tadasana

Place your weight into your right foot.

Lift your left foot to the back, left arm out to the side and right arm up to the ceiling as you inhale

Return to Tadasna as you exhale.

Repeat x 5, rest for 5 breaths then do 5 on the Left side.

ALWAYS PRACTICE WITHIN YOUR CAPABILITY – IF YOU GET TIRED OR DIZZY THEN STOP

Some Book Suggestions…

As it’s coming up to Christmas I thought I’d give you some recommendations for a little present for your Christmas list or for you to give to a friend. Reading about yoga is a great way to supplement your own practice – it’s another way to learn, just looking at the poses helps you to understand the shape the body is supposed to be in!! And you don’t even have to get up off the sofa! And giving the gift of yoga to someone else is the best gift you can give…

slim calm sexy

SLIM CAM SEXY YOGA – Tara Styles

This a great guide to yoga postures – geared towards the younger, (more bendy!), however the photographs, words and sequences are well put together (even though some are a little ambitious).

Tara Styles helps you to discover your own home practice… in just 15 minutes a day yoga can help you…

sculpt your body
control diet-busting cravings
banish stress
get smooth glowing skin
sleep better
improve mood and energy

51ZSNP78APL._SX361_BO1,204,203,200_

YOGA FOR LONG LIFE – Stella Weller

By contrast, his book offers gentle, effective exercise for the mature person. It’s more of a practical workbook offering strengthening and stretching yoga exercises for anyone wishing to preserve the quality of their mobility and life.

With lots of drawn illustrations, this book offers chapters on breathing exercises, mental exercises, eating for longevity and help for common disorders such as arthritis, eye problems and osteoporosis.

LOTS OF MONEY RAISED AT OUR YOGA PARTY : )

A HUGE BIG SMILEY THANK YOU to everyone who cooked, donated, photographed and joined in the ‘community’ yoga for our Yoga Party. We raised a whopping £492 for the Leicester based charity Hope Against Cancer.

For those that couldn’t attend, here’s a flavour of the evening…

Firstly, we did about an hour of yoga – mostly with chairs and then worked with a standing balance ‘Vrksasana’ (tree pose) both individually and as a group…

While we waited for the food to heat up Prof. Raghu Raghavan (Trustee of Hope Against Cancer) told us about the work of the charity – how it helps buy equipment, sponsors the work of PhD students and collaborates with other charities to do larger projects.

Then we ate a lovely feast of lasagne and salad (there was a choice of 4 different types and all were delicious)…

Afterwards we had a selection of homemade/grown desserts (of course I had to try them all)…

Finally we all kept our fingers crossed as the raffle was drawn… prizes included a photo shoot and print by Daniel McClean, vouchers for Cook, lots of wine, chocolates and candles. Everyone went home with a treat!

We all had such a good time that plans are already in motion to have another Yoga-Social in September…  a picnic at Rutland water. Keep an eye out in the newsletter for further information.

 

Yoga Party – 23rd June 2018 – in aid of Hope Against Cancer

YOGA PARTY IN AID OF HOPE AGAINST CANCER

Come along for a fun evening of gentle yoga, a meal and a raffle. This is a fabulous opportunity to meet properly the people who you practice yoga with. And you can bring your husband/wife/friends too! Everyone is welcome! We all have been touched by cancer – friends, relatives and fellow students…. so why not raise the roof and raise some funds at the same time with this summer evening event in Preston.

Hope Against Cancer is a local charity with a focus on clinical trials in Leicestershire and Rutland. Prof. Raghu Raghaven (Preston 6.00 class) is involved directly with this charity and will give us a bit more information about their work and how the money raised will be used. You can look at their website here.

SATURDAY 23rd JUNE 7 – 10pm at  PRESTON VILLAGE HALL

1 hour class of simple no-mat yoga including postures, breath work and moving meditation.

followed by lasagne and salad, then a sumptuous pudding table

raffle – tickets sold and prize draw on the night

 

How can you help?

Make a lasagne/salad/pudding. Grow some salad leaves;) Donate a raffle prize.

Come along and bring your friends!

You can pledge a contribution on the clipboard at registration or email me deb@do-yoga.co.uk

 

TICKETS £20 – LIMITED DUE TO NUMBER OF CHAIRS!

Available from classes 21st May onward

My Tirth Yatra Experience

Leicester has one of the largest concentrations of Hindu temples or mandirs outside India and on 25 March I joined the annual pilgrimage, Tirth Yatra, and walked some ten miles visiting many of these temples. I made lots of friends along the way and enjoyed the festival atmosphere as the Yatra coincided with Ram Navami, Lord Rama’s birthday. The mandirs are all very interesting and distinctive, some grand and other quite humble, but, on this auspicious day, all were a riot of colour, music and people jostling for a chance to rock the baby Rama’s cradle.

I would urge you to join me on next year’s Yatra or just drop in on one of the many mandirs at any time when you will be made to feel most welcome.

Tony, Preston class 6 – 7.30