Next term – 19th February to 30th March 2018 – Yoga Classes In Tinwell, Preston & Ryhall

In keeping with our theme of the heart we will work opening the heart space with the Bow pose (Dhanurasana). This is an excellent posture for improving the digestion and so we’ll also be thinking about food – our love of food. There will be some time spent considering our relationship with food, how we eat our food and we will start with the benefits of detoxifying and purifying our bodies – which one of the first steps on the path of yoga.

Yoga for a Healthy Back

On Saturday 24th February I’ll be running a Workshop from 10 – 1 to help people look after their backs. The spine is one of the main focuses of yoga – it is said that you are as old as your spine is flexible…

With this in mind I’ll be concentrating on gentle exercises that students can learn at the workshop to do at home on a daily or as-and-when basic to ease low back pain, strengthen the back muscles and increase flexibility.  Yoga is now proven to help people with back ache more than the traditional remedies (painkillers, hot/cold packs).

In a recent trail led by the University of York and funded by Arthritis Research UK of over 300 people, those offered a 12 week yoga course experienced a 30% greater improvement in back function than those offered GP care alone.

Back pain affects 80% of adults in their lifetime.  It’s the top reason for a visit to the GP and costs the UK over £5 billion a year as 4.9 million working days each year are lost due to back pain.

Half of the test group were given the yoga option received a book and CD as well as 12 weekly yoga classes. The participants were encouraged to practice at home in between classes and continue regularly once the classes had finished. The other half were treated in the typical GP way with a combination of painkillers, manipulation, hot/cold packs and exercise.

 

If you, or someone you know, suffers with backache, why not come along and see if yoga can help you. The Workshop will be supported by handouts of a variety of exercises for students to work on at home. Please contact me to book your place.

NEW YOGA CLASSES WITH SARAH ROGERS

Yoga for All – St Gilbert’s Primary School, Stamford. PE9 2PP

Thursday 6.45-8.00pm

Yoga for All – Barn Hill Methodist Church, Stamford. PE9 2PP

Friday 9.30-11.00am

sarahyoga@talktalk.net

07751 884534

I have been teaching Yoga since 1997 and qualified as a British Wheel of Yoga teacher in 2001.  I have been lucky to study with a number of different teachers over the years and have had experience of a variety of Yoga Schools.  My style of teaching is mainly influenced by the Viniyoga and Mantra Yoga traditions.  I aim to deliver interesting and structured lessons that allow students to develop, grow and improve. Classes include:  asanas (postures), pranayama (breath work), concentration, relaxation, and philosophy.

Shakti Bandha Asanas

In the Stretch and Relax classes we are having a go at the Shakti Bandha Asana (energy block postures). These are exercises that help to improve the flow of energy within the body. They are useful for breaking down neuro-muscular knots especially in the pelvic region where energy tends to stagnate. The postures are very helpful for people with reduced vitality and/or a stiff back. They are useful to develop pelvic and core strength for all levels of fitness. They also improve the condition of the lungs, heart and endocrine system. It is not necessary to ‘force’ these movements, they can be done very gently to good effect – even sitting on a chair. So what every your age or level of fitness you can give your energy a boost by getting rid of any blocks with this sequence.

When the going gets tough, the tough team up…

Without a doubt the easiest part of keeping fit is the decision to do it.  Beyond that some begin enthusiastically, some mean to but never get round to it and others find a friend to help motivate them.

Teamwork strengthens resolve and builds momentum by pooling struggles and raising spirits when it feels as if you’re not getting to where you want to be.  There are plenty of life coaches and wellness experts to testify a simple fact: there’s no better route to well-being than friendship. That’s beside the practical benefits of lift sharing, reminding each other and having a good old laugh!

Be kind to yourself and your friend – well-ness is the most liberating gift you can give to yourself and your mate but it’s easy to be critical.  In the first stages of unpicking the bad habits and knitting together the good, it’s likely that there will be a few wobbles.  That’s the time when, as a friend, you can be vital in aiding them gently back to the path and support her towards their goals.

Stuck for something to give a friend this Christmas? Why not give the most wonderful thing you can – HEALTH – ask them to join you coming to your yoga class!

Yes, You Can Start Yoga In Your 70’s!

I first took up yoga when I was 73!!

I found the stretch and relax class at Preston Village Hall (Tuesdays 7 – 8) perfect for me – not too much strenuous exercise.

The breathing and gentle exercises helped with my sleeping and relaxation at the same time as strengthening my muscles and bones.

My aching fingers and wrists have vanished!!! I can’t believe it!!!

Margaret, Uppingham

Growing Younger with Yoga

This book by Louise Wiggins is a very accessible book for anyone to pick up and use – in fact it would make a great gift for someone who was thinking about yoga but wasn’t convinced that the practice was for them.

It is such a wise book that I can’t help returning to it for inspiriation again and again…

“Yoga Teaches… We are as young as the spine is flexible. Old age begins when we allow the spine to stiffen.”

Besides many pages of postures and routines for arthritis, relaxation and bouncing back from illness, Louise includes plenty of testimonials from people 70- 80+ about how yoga really has given them a new lease of life. There are very compelling reasons for practicing a daily routine of yoga plus recipes and tips on healthy diet too.

“Biologists agree that our biological age potential is about 130! That means when we reach the age of 65, we are really only middle aged!

If we expect to remain active and strong as we age, we will. If we succumb to the belief that we grow frail and weak as we age, we will.  Our thoughts and beliefs hold great power over our biology and our growth.”

I thoroughly recommend it for you and for you to give as a gift to someone you love.

Let’s Explore…. PARTNER YOGA

There’s no doubt about it partner yoga has a definite Marmite effect in class – people either really love it or loathe it. No matter, there are very positive gains to working with someone when studying a posture. I like to do it in several ways in class –

  • Observation
  • Encouragement
  • Adjustment/Awareness
  • Working Together for Support

Observation and Encouragement are ways to see what a posture looks like from the outside rather than the inside. When working with a fellow student you are able to see just how the posture goes together and to see the challenges that they are facing. By verbal encouragement we really are giving important feedback which they simply cannot get any other way.

Adjustment/Awareness is brought about by getting involved a little more closely – using your hands or feet to bring awareness and develop the posture to a deeper level.

Finally, working together for support is really where we are taking the role of a prop – an intelligent one mind you!

If you are someone who likes partner work I have suggested 4 exercises below to work with AT HOME – maybe with your partner/husband/wife or a friend. Be very careful if they do not practice yoga already! Yoga can be helpful in bringing people together it certainly helps us to appreciate the challenge of postures and that we are not alone in our endeavours!

Back to Back Breathing

Sit back to back with your partner, legs straight out in front (or bent at the knee if that’s more do-able). Close the eyes and begin to breathe more deeply, the base of the spine and shoulders should be touching. Be here for some time (5 minutes +), both observing how your breath is and how your partners is. Feel the warmth and support of this seated position – two hearts beating together. After a while you may notice that your breathing synchronises.

Partner Assisted Back/Forward Bend

When you feel sufficiently warm, you can try this out – don’t expect to get too far. The back bender will bend their knees on inhalation and then, as you both exhale gently lean back into the support of the forward bender. Relax and enjoy the sensations. Stay for 5 – 10 breaths. Agree when to come up, and in unison, breath in and return to the upright position. Swap roles so that you both get a chance to do a forward and backward bend. You may like to do it again 🙂

Partner Assisted Seated Twist

If it’s going well, why not have a go at another posture? One of my favourites actually. Change position so that you are sitting facing each other and cross your legs so that the knees touch. (If this is out of the question, you could try to work in a wide legged seated posture – or maybe standing up.) Both stretch out the right hand to the partners right side waste.  Using the left hands both reach around the back to hold the partners right hand. This will entail some twisting motion but you can deepen the twist by leaning outward as you exhale. Go gently!!! Take 5 – 10 breaths and then untwist back to the upright forward facing position. Repeat stretching out the left hand to the partners left side waste etc.

Double Boat

Well you have got this far, so why not try the double boat?  Looks rather fancy doesn’t it? You will need to back off a little from each other – hold hands and scootch back a bit until your arms are straight. Now, bend the knees and place the soles of the feet together (it does help if hubby takes his shoes off – but if he won’t it still works). Breath in and then as you exhale begin to straighten your legs. Smile and breathe (or giggle and collapse). Great work – how do you feel now???

Nada Yoga – The Yoga of Sound

Last Saturday I was at an ‘In Service Training’ day with the British Wheel of Yoga. The topic was Nada Yoga – which translates loosely to the yoga of sound. It was taught by Rajesh David, yogi and musician – you will have heard his melodies if you have been to one of our classes.

Nada yoga is concerned with the essence of sound – the vibrations – and is studied and developed by singing and chanting. The idea very, very basically put is that you ‘tune in’ to yourself and the world around you. Yoga means to ‘yoke’or join together and all things have a vibrational quality when you get down to the atom/molecule level. Simply put, when everything vibrates at the same rate this creates harmony and balance. The principle is akin to lullabying a baby – we try to sooth ourselves and attune to the rhythm of vibrations around us.

You can have a listen to Rajesh and some of the work we did at his website here

Om is very important in this field – our chanting at the beginning and end of each session is a way for us all to be in harmony. How does chanting Om affect you? Consider how you feel next time in class – is there a sense of being soothed – all the cells of your body vibrating at the same rate?

If you are interested in working a little more on this do let me know. I am considering it as a topic for a workshop next year 😉

Opening Your Heart

Our work in the yoga classes this year will be based upon looking after our hearts.  The work this term involves physical postures to open the chest and strengthen the back – by doing this we are creating more space for the heart to do its’ job.  Often, as a result of sitting for prolonged periods, the back weakens and shoulders become rounded forward, this has the knock on effect of closing in and ‘crushing’ the space of the heart. A strong upright posture also has psychological effect on our being – a feeling of being uplifted, confident and joyful. When the heart is able to perform as nature intended the blood vessels run freely and blood is distributed to all the parts of our body. This gives us the essential energy that we need both to sustain and heal ourselves and to help others. It stands to reason that if the blood supply is restricted or even slightly subdued, gradually over time our energy feels zapped and we give off negative vibes, grumbling and complaining about our aches and pains…

Establishing Non Violence

“Around one who is solidly established in nonviolence, hostility disappears.”

‘Ahimsa’ is the Sanskrit word for non-violence and above is the translation of verse 35, chapter 2 of Patanjali’s Sutras. When hostility disappears it leaves space for kindness and compassion. Although we see these often as emotional, touchy feely things, when the body is deprived of energy none of us feel that we have enough energy to be kind and considerate. But… when we have a ‘spring in our step’ or some ‘joi de vivre’ and feel ALIVE then we are smiley and kind hearted to all around us. So let’s hear it for the chest openers and back bends and practice as often as we can (don’t overdo it mind you)!