For this whole year we have been concentrating on our ‘core’ – the muscles of the centre of our body which act like a corset at the front, sides and back. This is a large collection of muscles on the surface and deep inside the body. They help us to keep mobile and have a well aligned posture. Our aim is not to have “6 pack abs” but to gently strengthen this part of our body, get to know it and to love it. This type of appreciation is at the centre of yoga – to make the most of ourselves and get our body to work as nature intended.
Over this next 6 weeks we’ll be revisiting the Plank posture, refining and improving using the balancing cat as we go.
For those who wish, we’ll be integrating the Plank into our Sun Salutation which we have been learning – an excellent routine to keep the core healthy, ideally practiced on a daily basis.
We’ll also be working with some sideways postures – the Gate and Half Moon (shown above) to develop strength in the obliques (sides of the waist) and our adductors (inner thighs). These postures help to pull in the waist and keep the thighs trim – just the job for the summer.
Why not join us? Whilst the year is developing an overall theme, beginners are most welcome and brought up to speed with individual help and guidance throughout the class. To book in simply email me here
Following our theme Bringing About Balance we will be working with Mantra to still the mind and relaxations to calm the nervous system – all good for us after the busy period of Christmas and New Year. Our asana will focus on improving energy flow in the body with the Shakti Bandha series. We will also be revisiting, chanting and reflecting on the Yamas to see how they may influence balance in our lives.
This class is suitable for people with experience of yoga. There is no need to be super fit but an understanding of the holistic approach that yoga takes means that you would gain the most from time spent in this class.
Please contact me here if you would like further information about joining one of these groups.
This term in yogafit we’ll be exploring Bhujangasana – the cobra pose. Following exercises to warm up the whole body, we’ll be working with several other postures to put together a flow. This will incorporate the cobra in a safe and effective way to continue to develop core strength – the goal of our practice for this year.
This class is suitable for all levels of fitness with no need for experience of yoga – it’s a great place to begin. You will need your own mat and a blanket or 2 for the breathing sessions at the end.
Our focus for this term will be on the digestive system and how yoga can help us to maintain a healthy ‘flow’ through the body. A wide range of postures to aid the gut, open the hips and increase the strength of the core muscles will be followed by relaxation exercises to sooth the body and help the digestive system to work optimally.
This class is suitable for all levels of fitness with no need for experience of yoga – it’s a great place to begin. You will need your own mat and a blanket or 2 for the relaxation sessions.
Stuck for what to give to a loved one this Christmas? Think they might like to begin yoga???
For a limited period, I’m offering Gift Vouchers at 50% face value, (cost £18 – value £36) to be redeemed in January 2017 at my Beginners Yoga class. If you are interested – contact me here to find out more!
The discounted vouchers will be sent by email for you to print out. They will be available until 10th December 2016 and will be redeemable by bookings taken in advance from new students to Do Yoga classes.
Our mission in Yoga Fit this year is to get a strong core!!
Last term we worked with the plank and this term we’ll be moving on to a standing balance ‘Warrior lll’ which needs all the core strength we can muster.
In our usual lively approach we’ll work through all the parts of the body firstly warming up and then with strengthening and stretching postures. Using some jumping techniques which use a surprising amount of tummy strength we will keep ourselves on the go for pretty much the whole session, winding down in the last 10 minutes with a few restorative postures.
Continuing with our theme this year of Systems of the Body, we are working this term with a focus on the musuclar system. We’ll look at how the muscles work with the bones of the body to give us our shape and movement.
I recommend THE MUSCLE BOOK by Paul Blakey which gives you a useful self-help guide to your own body with some pressure/massage points for when we get the inevitable aches and pains.
We’ll be working with the Downward Facing Dog and the Holy Fig Tree amongst other postures to focus on the largest muscle of the body (Gluteus Maximus). Seeing and feeling how this muscle works, what it does to hold us upright and how yoga helps to get and keep this muscle fit.
Our relaxation exercises will give the opportunity to see how effective relaxation is at the muscular level and we’ll also be thinking how our mind works to help the muscles and sometimes override the impulsive nature of our muscles.
Throughout this year our work will be focused upon finding Balance in our lives. This term we’ll revisit the concept of the Pancha Koshas or 5 Sheaths, reminding ourselves that as ‘human beings’ we are not just made up of a body and a mind – often at odds with each other. The yogic view is that we exist on 5 plains – even more scope to be out of kilter I’m afraid. Once the principle is understood, we will have time to reflect about how these Koshas are working within ourselves. Are we out of balance in a particular one?
The Pancha Koshas are
the anna-maya-atma or the “Self (atma) made of Food”
the prana-maya-atma or “the Self made of Vital Breath (prana)”
the mana-maya-atma or “the Self made of Mind (manas)”
the vijnana-maya-atma or “the Self made of Consciousness or intellect (vijnana)”
the ananda-maya-atma or “the Self made of Bliss (ananda)”, where one attains to Brahman
Our asana will be varied and demanding (if you wish), with movement and static posture work included. The Pranayama will consist of Nadi Shodhana, implementing the counted breathing from last term to the practice of balancing the left and right nostril breathing.
As and when you get your mala beads bring them into class and we can begin to learn the technique in preparation for our mantra work after Christmas.
Our YOGA & MEDITATION classes this half term will have focus on releasing tension from the shoulders. We’ll be learning the safe practice of Salamba Sarvangasana (supported shoulder stand) and some variations to enable all to participate in the benefits that this wonderful posture can offer. These include –
soothing the nervous system and the mind, helping to relieve stress and mild depression
stimulating the thyroid
stretching the shoulders and neck
reducing fatigue and insomnia
This posture is best avoided if you have an injury to the neck or shoulder area. Please follow the modified versions.
To perform the full posture you will need to bring 2 woollen blankets or bath towels to make a thick pad of fabric 2″ deep. I will explain more in class but be on the look out for these props as without them it is not safe for your neck to practice this posture.
We’ll be learning about Samskaras – types of ‘memory scars’ laid down into the fibres of our being/body from emotions that we have experienced. You can read more about this in an interesting article by Freddie Wyndham here
Our pranayama practice will be developing Brahmari – the humming bee breath. This is a practice that develops a sweet voice and is said to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Some great practices that you will find beneficial for this time of year – beating the winter blues.
In the STRETCH & RELAX classes this term our focus will be on the hands. 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 to seal and direct the prana (energy) to specific parts of the body.