Sponsored Salute to the Sun – at one with nature!

The do-yoga! sponsored Salute to the Sun over Rutland Water was a great success.  It was a clear morning which was bright but very cold!  Our poor toes were absolutely freezing!

The venue was calm and the epitome of tranquillity – with just the odd bird gliding past for a look at the proceedings and an occasional fish jumping out of the water.  We were definitely at one with nature.

We did just over half an hour of yoga postures and then contemplated a short passage from the Isha Upanishad before tucking into a well deserved Full English Breakfast at the Normanton Park Hotel (we couldn’t resist!)

It was well worth the frozen toes as we raised over £500 in sponsorship money for Epilepsy Action!

See more photos here

Deborah King runs yoga classes for beginners and experienced yogis in Rutland and Stamford – see her website for timetable and sign up for her newsletter to keep up to date with other yoga events.

If you are interested in finding out about the benefits and history of yoga, Deb will be at New College Stamford running an Introduction to Yoga 5 week course for FREE beginning Thursday 8th November.  Places are limited – call the college to book on 01780 484300

Autumn Beauty

I rehearsed the schedule for our Sponsored Salute to the Sunrise this morning.

It was very a beautiful autumn morning – rather chilly mind you!  But I soon warmed up and, thanks to my wonderful son Barny, have some lovely photos to use for publicity and to encourage sponsors…

If you would like to help me raise money for Epilepsy Action please join me next Sunday at 7 00 for 45 minutes of yoga including Sun Salutations (contact me) or donate directly here.

Boat Pose

This is a bit challenging at first.  It is great to strengthen the tummy and back muscles and we will be ‘investigating’ it in my classes next half term (from Nov 5th).

As with all home practice, please listen to your body and practice safely.

This pose is not suitable for those with heart problem, insomnia, headache, asthma, diarrhoea, low blood pressure, pregnancy or menstruation.

First sit on the floor and take dandasana (legs out straight in front with the ribcage lifted, spine nice and straight and the hands pressing down on the floor fingers pointing towards the toes).

Take a breath in and lean back slightly, bend the knees and lift the feet off the floor.  Raise the arms in front of you, parallel to the ground and each other.

If you can lift the feet so the calves are parallel to the floor.  Stay here for 5 breaths and then relax gently down to dandasana.

In the full boat pose the legs are straightened but take care to move into the final position after you have perfected the bent knee version.  There should be no strain in the abdomen or thighs and wobbly legs are really not attractive.

Take your time and enjoy the journey towards the full pose.  Smile.  Paripurna Navasana – I love the boat pose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga for tight hamstrings

Tight hamstrings (muscles at the backs of your thighs) can cause lower back pain.  As the hamstrings contract they tug on the lower back area, causing strain and making it much easier to pull back muscles.

To ease out the hamstrings try peddling the feet in downward facing dog –

Bending and straightening each knee in turn will ease out the backs of the legs.  When comfortable with the full posture hold for 5 slow breaths.  Try not to sag in the shoulder area.  Push the palms and heels down and sacrum towards the ceiling.

Remember – when practising yoga at home always listen to your body, never strain and keep a smile on your face.

 

Let’s Explore… VAJRASANA

vajrasana

Sit in a kneeling position with the heals rolling outwards and your bottom in the hollow of your feet.

Place the hands on the knees, soften the gaze and breath gently through the nose.

Vajrasana is useful to stretch out the tops of the feet. There are many benefits gained in the pelvis and pelvic floor region to spending 5 minutes or so in this posture. It also engages the muscles of the core and back so that they become used to supporting an upright posture. In time this becomes an effortless position to sit in.

This is a great  posture for meditation because the spine is naturally straight. It is also increases the efficiency of digestion as the contents of the abdomen sit in an upright position allowing gravity to help.

Smile and repeat to yourself

“I am fully present in my body, in the light of consciousness”.

 

Often people find that the feet become cramped and the legs are tight when they first try Vajrasna. Sit for a few minutes to start with – don’t over do it – use a block under your bottom. Practice, practice, practice.  Be patient with yourself and over time you will become used to the posture. There are many benefits to achieving a comfortable Vajrasana and several other postures begin in Vajrasana so it’s a good thing to get used to it.

New Yoga for Beginners Class Open in Ryhall, Stamford

Due to over-subscription I have opened up a brand new beginners yoga class in Ryhall Village Hall.

This will run on Wednesdays at 6.00

Suitable for all levels of fitness with little or no experience of yoga. I will be starting at the very beginning and running through the basics at a slow pace with plenty of time and encouragement for questions and personal attention.

We will be doing some group and partner work – why not come along with a friend to try it out?

Please contact me for more details.  Places will be limited and offered on a first come – first served basis.

MINI MEDITATION FOR THE BUSY BODY + FRANTIC MIND

This week has been frantic.  The new term has started and it’s all go, go, go!  Complete Mind Fudge, as my teenagers would say.

At these times our heads are jam packed with to-do lists and we tend to hold the breath.  Just when we need to relax and allow our minds to settle and sort the jumble of actions into a manageable chunks we find – YOGA? HOW CAN I FIND THE TIME?

But this is when we need it most – simply take a moment out for this mini-meditation-

Sit in any comfortable position…….

Breathe in and open up in the heart space, sit tall and beautiful.

Expand from the inside out, become more spacious  – open up to the breath.

Gently close the eyes and feel your skin; feel the clothes touching your skin, feel the hair on your head, feel the eyelashes on your cheeks.

Feel beyond the skin to the Vijnanamaya Kosha – the astral or wisdom body – our aura that surrounds us.

Lean back a little and feel the support of the cosmos that surrounds you.

Breathe in and draw from the abundant well of air that we live in and lives in us.

Take heart that you are not some isolated thing battling single handedly against the world.

You are the world – and what will be will be.

Invite your breath to become smooth as silk and quiet as a whisper.

While here in this place now, feel gratitude to the earth for the sunshine and air we breathe.

Drink in each breath and be grateful for all that you have.

Be grateful for your challenges for they allow you to interact with the world and demonstrate your passions.

With this gratitude in your heart take your current experience and think of how they might be in the future.

Plant a seed for your future.

Invite the pace of your life to flow smoothly and easily, see yourself as you would like to be.

Breathe in peace, breath out love.

Yoga for Stress Management

One of the pleasures of teaching yoga is seeing the weight lifted from people as they leave your class – in some cases looking 10 years younger.  This term I will be focusing on ‘Yoga for Stress Management’ building a tool kit for my students of short posture routines and relaxation exercises that they can learn to use for themselves at home whenever they feel the need.