I’m starting a new class in September at South Luffenham Village Hall on Tuesday evenings 6.30 – 8.00. The hall has been refurbished with a new heating system, lighting and toilets. It’s sparkling clean and participants are able to use the pub car park opposite. I can’t wait to get going!
My classes are suitable for beginners and experienced students. Please see details of the classes I offer – on the Weekly Classes page. All class members get free access to online classes too, enabling students to practice as many times as they wish to throughout the week. You can book your place online here
Relax and unwind with this soothing relaxation. Just lie back in Shavasana and close the eyes – ensure that you won’t be disturbed for 10 minutes or so and allow the wonderful colours of summer to heal and revive your whole being.
If you find that your thighs are a bit ‘jangly’ and wobbly, why not do a couple of yoga postures to help strengthen and tone them up? This is a very short practice using 2 yoga poses. Take care of your joints – ankles, knees and hips – don’t over work them or push into a pose that makes them hurt. Doing just 10 minutes a day of gentle work will help to make the muscles strong and keep the joints in good alignment.
A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind. Thus by Nature’s own decree, the soft and gentle are triumphant.
The pelvic floor is a ‘hammock’ of muscles that run from your pubic bone at the front to the sacrum at the rear. Everyone has them, men and women. Gravity pushes everything downward towards the earth – this includes our ‘insides’ (heart, lungs, bowels, stomach etc) – which are pushing on the pelvic floor whenever we sit or stand upright. Jumping, running and trampolining all add to that pressure. So, keeping your pelvic floor toned is an important aspect of our overall health – the alternative will be to buy incontinence pants or pads – which is not only environmentally costly but has a mental impact on ‘loosing control’ over ones life. A well toned pelvic floor will also keep your ‘prana’ or energy from leaking out and keep your sex life alive.
Most women who have give birth naturally will know about Kegel exercises which are squeezing the pelvic floor upward in the centre. This is a version of a yogic exercise call Moolabandha. In our sequence we will do a variety of these ‘squeezes’. You can do these anywhere at any time – aim for at least one set of 20 every single day.
The poses included in the video are –
Horse Pose (wide legged squatting)
Wide legged forward bend seated
Vajrasana (kneeling) with Moolabandha
Shashankasana (Childs pose) with stepped Moolabandha
Look after your feet and they will look after you!
We rely on our feet for all movement. Keep them clean – use a pumice to get rid of dead skin and dry well after washing. Fungus and bacteria can build up in the feet causing unpleasant odours and irritating conditions such as athletes’ foot, verruca’s, and toenail fungus. These can take a long time to get rid of once they take hold. It’s good to keep your feet healthy – love them or hate them!
Yoga is great for your feet – generally we work with bare feet on a sticky mat. This gives your feet a good airing! For these exercises you will need a small ball like a golf ball or one of those spikey balls that you get for the tumble dryer. I think you can probably buy proper massage balls too – but improvise and use what you have around.
Let’s begin moving the feet now – use the video above as a guide.
Tadasana – use ball to massage sole, stand on outsides, insides, heels & balls
Tadasana with breath
Utkatasana raising up on ballsof the feet
Vajrasana – use props under hips if uncomfortable, raised sitting up on balls of feet
These exercises will develop strength in your feet. General exercise like yoga will keep your circulation moving that can help if you get cold feet (and hands). Lastly, be mindful of your footwear, it’s best to vary your footwear, including heal hight and try to walk bare foot if you can.
Here’s a lovely relaxation for you. Why not take 10 minutes out of your day for a little ‘me’ time? We all know that when we feel happy and at peace it sends out good vibes to those around you. So you are doing yourself and your peeps a favour by taking a rest!
In this relaxation we imagine we are lying in a meadow beneath the branches of a lovely cherry blossom tree. As you look up you can see the branches full of soft pink, delicate blossoms and in between you can see the sky mostly blue with a few clouds here and there. Absorb your awareness in the colours – pink blossom, brown branches, blue sky, white clouds.
There’s a bit of a breeze and you watch a particular branch as it bounces and sways, dancing almost with the breeze in a carefree manner. The branch is firmly attached to the tree trunk so it can move in all directions- however the wind takes it. One moment the branch is still and just a little wobbly and the next a gust comes along and blows it about wildly. Some of the petals flutter down and brush your cheek gently.
Soak up the qualities of your branch. It’s dependence on the trunk for stability and the wind for its movement. It gives way freely to the movement, with grace and beauty. No will or want to determine its direction. Imagine yourself as a branch on the tree of humanity. Surrender to the outside world for a moment or two. Feel the connection to nature and the rest of humanity – rather than controlling everything, living interdependently, in harmony.
At night when I lie down to rest
Considering the day – triumph or mess
I tell myself not to stress
Just do your best, and leave the rest
When we accept the fact that we cannot control all parts of our life it is liberating and can help us to dance our way through life in a more carefree and fun way. Enjoy!
The trick is to be truthful to yourself and not to judge. This develops our minds to be detached and is something we strive for in yoga (it’s very hard to do). But remember we are not our behaviours. Treat yourself with the kindness you deserve – just try to observe yourself and learn.
Are you itching to get back to an in-person class? Feel the need for connection and motivation from group practice? IT’S COMING SOON.
The key date for our return to in-person classes is indicated as 17th May. This is when people will be able to mix indoors with social distancing (eg pubs & restaurants). From 21st June the Government hope all limitations will be dropped.
I think it’s best to put a plan in place so that we all have something to work to, look forward to and acclimatise to. Remember it will have been over a year since the yoga classes had to stop and it will take some time to get ‘back to normal’. You may feel that you want to begin with a gentle class if you have not been able to participate in the online yoga. I will do all I can to accommodate students as we return to in-person classes.
The ‘Road Map’ for do-yoga! classes will be something like this –
August 2nd – 27th Summer School “SANGHA” IN-PERSON Monday Morning & Wednesday Evening (Sangha is a Sanskrit word used in many Indian languages, Saṅgha) meaning “association”, “assembly”, “company” or “community”)
Sept 13th – Oct 22nd FINGERS CROSSED – PRE COVID TIMETABLE IN-PERSON + ONLINE
Please join the mailing list and keep an eye on your email as that’s where I’ll advertise when booking opens.
Sit comfortably and lay soft hands, upturned, upon your thighs. Visualise flowers in your hands – see the details of their colourful petals, imagine the scent wafting up to your nostrils. Now turn your focus to the breath, allow it to settle into smooth, long inhales and exhales. If you are used to Ujjayi, allow this to develop. After some time, begin to feel as though you are breathing in through the flowers in your hands. Each breath bringing with it the wonderful colours, light and scent of the flowers. Let yourself be filled with the energy of the flowers, feel them as rays of love from the cosmos. Draw this abundant energy inwards, filling up the heart space.