This year our yoga classes will revolve around the theme of OPPOSITES. This concept was used widely in yogic literature to help us understand ourselves and the world in which we live. Our first pair of opposites will be BIG and small. As always with Hatha yoga we begin with the physical body and using the body to explore ways of being big – like an Oak Tree or a Mountain and also being small – like a child, a bird or a seed. Moving from one to the other challenges our balance, and strengthens and stretches our muscles.
We’ll work with the breath, expanding the lungs with physical moves and breathing exercises – discussing the benefits of large breaths vs small breaths and taking time to feel what this experience is like for us. Throughout our work during the year there will be many ‘companion’ opposites – loud and quiet, easy and strained may well be other pairs as we develop our work with the breath.
There will be time spent on thoughtful reflection too – looking back at BIG life events and forward to BIG life goals. And then considering the smaller things in life too –
“Sometimes,” said Poo, “the smallest things take up the most space in your heart.”
(from Winnie the Poo by AA Milne)
I’m very much looking forward to exploring this concept and other OPPOSITES with you as the new year of yoga unfolds. Namaste xx
Throughout this year we have been seeking to open our hearts – both from a physical and emotional point of view. In our work over the next 6 weeks we will be looking to release anger and fear which can often block our opportunities to show kindness and compassion. We’ll use some sideways bending to stretch the chest area and make the spine more flexible – and where the spine goes the mind tends to follow. (This is also a great workout for the inner thighs and hips – areas associated with holding deep emotions). Eventually making our way towards a suitable Pigeon pose which brings openness to the hips and, depending on the variation, openness to the chest. We’ll use some of the postures to relax deeply into, bringing a calming and relaxing quality towards the end asana work.
The technique of our breathing will be enhanced with a return to some of the basics of Pranayama and, for those who wish it, to develop their Sama Vritti Pranayama. Our relaxations will include some visualisations and story telling.
The aim is for an uplifting practice to warm the heart and bring joy.
On Saturday 14th April there will be a poppy making workshop at Tinwell Village Hall to make ceramic poppies as part of the Rutland Poppy Project. You can drop in at any time between 10 and 12 to make a poppy. The poppies will then be used to create a sweeping sea of handcrafted poppies to commemorate the centenary of the end of The Great War. The installation will be staged at Oakham Castle during October and November.
The idea is to bring together people from the community – young and old – all tuition will be given. Its good fun & refreshments will be available!
The Monday classes will begin again on 22nd February. There are 2 classes to chose from ‘YOGA FIT’ – a physically active class of mostly posture work or ‘STRETCH & RELAX’ – a combination of posture work with a deep relaxation to end with. Both classes are 1 hour long and are suitable for beginners or those with some experience of yoga. These classes will take place at the freshly decorated Tinwell Village Hall, just outside Stamford on the Tinwell Road (turn left at Tinwell Forge). There is a large car park and the hall has soft lighting for relaxation and a wooden floor. Read on for a sneak peak of what we will be doing during the term…
YOGA FIT – we will study the postures of the classical ‘Sun Salutation’ with an emphasis on alignment and correct posture throughout the flow. Where there are limitations in flexibility to perform the ‘true’ postures we will look at modifications and other useful postures to develop the necessary dexterity in the body to be able to perform a modified version that is safe to work with. There are many benefits to practicing the Sun Salutation including reduction of weight around the middle of the body and balancing the hormones.
STRETCH & RELAX – in these classes our focus will be on the hands – give us a wave! We’ll work on routines to ward off and give relief to arthritis and carpel tunnel syndrome. There will be some balancing on the hands and feet (Downward Facing Dog, Elephant Twists) and we’ll work through the whole body with simple Elephant Salutes to keep the circulation flowing out to the full extremities of the fingers. Continuing our year-long theme of ‘Freedom’ we will be considering what it might be like to live with restricted use of the hands and how we can use our hands in the service of others. Gratitude will form an important element of our relaxations. We will also have an introduction to the use of Mudras which are ‘seals of energy’ often using different positions of the hands.
Fees are paid at the first class for the term – this term runs from 22nd Feb to 21st March (5 weeks) and costs £30 which works out at £6 per class. You will need to bring your own mat and blanket. These classes are not suitable for people under 18 years old or those who are pregnant. For examples of the kind of work we do in class you can have a go at home by following along to the free yoga videos and audio relaxations here. Please let me know if you would like to book in by emailing me here or if you know someone who may like to join us please pass on this email.
‘Fit Feet’ will be the theme of the Yoga Fit classes this half term. Using postures that involve working and balancing on the balls of the feet. The flow will be a simplification of the ‘Dance of Isis’ which is a series of postures that help to strengthen the legs, help the feet to be more flexible and develop our sense of balance. Also this range of postures improves the circulation in the legs and feet – so no cold feet for us over the winter! Don’t worry if you’re a bit wibbly wobbly – modifications will be available to help all students achieve their best version of the postures and fully benefit from the class.
Variations of the Utkatasana on tip toes will be featuring in our range of postures!
If you would like to come along, these classes are one hour long and held at Tinwell Village Hall on Mondays at 6.00. Booking is essential – use the contact us or book on line page. The term begins on 9th November and runs for 6 weeks.
This term our theme of ‘FREEDOM’ will shift from the hips up to the spine. We’ll be working with a number of asana (postures) to free up the different areas of the spine and learning/feeling the difference this can make to how we feel and live our lives.
One of our main postures will be the bridge – which is often cited as the yoga answer to a back massage!
So – if you have a particularly stiff spine or have always wanted to be able to give yourself a back massage, why not sign up for a place and come along???
Classes are one hour long and held at Tinwell Village Hall on Mondays (7.15), Preston Village Hall on Tuesdays (8.00) and Ryhall Village Hall on Wednesdays (6.00).
Ever wanted to find out more about YOGA and have a little go???
Well now is your chance – and what’s more it’s totally free! Next weekend I’ll be putting on a FREE HALF HOUR TALK with some simple demos for you to have a go at plus a FREE TRIAL CLASS especially for people who just want to have a little go to see if it works for them. The talk begins at 10.00 followed by the 1 hour class beginning at 10.30. This will take place at Ryhall Village Hall on Saturday 5th September and at Tinwell Village Hall on Sunday 6th September. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book in either for the Talk or the Trial Class – or why not come for both? (NB you will need your own mat and blanket to take part in the trial class).