New Yoga for Healthy Backs Course with Helen Spencer

Are you suffering with a really bad back?

The Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs course  teaches you how to overcome  pain and discomfort associated with back problems as well as giving you other benefits such as stress relief, better sleep, improved posture, energy and a general health boost! The course is thoroughly researched and really empowers students to take control of their back health.

The next Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs courses will start in January 2020,  finishing before Easter, with a weeks break in March.  It is a very gentle course, and very effective. It strengthens and stabilises your back and as the course progresses you will develop and improve flexibility.  It also teaches you to relax your back muscles (and your mind!) and to know what positions to use if you feel  pain or discomfort. You will find your movement and comfort improve along with your confidence as you progress through the course.  At the end of the course you will have a “toolbox” of postures and techniques to use for long term back health and well-being .

The next courses start in January 2020 at:

Space2Be, Melton Mowbray -Thursdays 7.15-8.30pm starts January 9th

Waltham Village Hall, Waltham on the Wolds -Sundays 5-6.15pm starts January 12th

All Saints Church Hall, Oakham -Mondays 5.00-6.15pm starts January 13th

You can find out more on Helen’s website here

Online Booking Now Open

just one click of your mouse…

The online booking for next term is now open. Simply follow the link for the class that you want to join and click on the PayPal button.

You can use the tabs to the right to click on your venue. Then simply choose the class you want (at Ryhall there are 2 classes – morning and evening).

When you pay your place is secure. Space is limited in each hall and I like to see that everyone is working safely. So I feel that 17 is the absolute maximum I like to teach. The number fluctuates depending on students attendance. Also, please bear in mind that students are able to attend an alternative class if they can’t attend their usual one (just let me know in advance).

Current students are always given priority and invited to join the following term from week 5. They are able to pay in cash or cheque. Online booking is available for current students and new students at the end of each term. By working in this way students can be sure of continuity and are given the very best in teaching with the space required to do so.

I chose to use PayPal as I have found it very secure and it has saved my bacon a couple of times over the years. It is free for you to use, but the downside is that I don’t receive all of what you pay. For the convenience though I feel it is the best offer I can give : )

the FIRE element

the magic of fire…

January 6th 2020 – February 14th 2020 – Yoga and the FIRE element

In our next term of yoga classes we will be working with the Fire Element. This is based in our navel area and powers our capacity for digestion. When you think about it, everything that happens to us has to be ‘digested’. Not just our food but information, thoughts and feelings. They all have to be digested and transformed into something that we can use. Maybe vitamins or further ideas.

When our Fire Element is working well we are motivated, enthusiastic, joyful and compassionate. When this element is not functioning, we feel passive, weak and tired. So we are going to get our MOJO working in January 2020 to ensure that our own personal fire element is in excellent working order. Note that excessive Fire makes us controlling, dominant and constantly on the go… mmm… do you ever feel that you are moving from excessive to depleted Fire energy??? INTERESTING

Our work in class

So, in class we will work with postures, breathing exercises and relaxations to explore and balance our Fire Element. Physically we will practice variations of Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations), Plank pose, Inclined plane, Boat pose and the Bow. These will strengthen the core and give us plenty of warmth. Simple Kapalabhati (Shining Skull breath or breath of fire) will tone the tummy muscles and invigorate our breath and energy. Be prepared to MOVE and be prepared laugh as moving and laughing are fantastic ways to get your fire element going.

All of this may get us a bit excited so we’ll also work with some gentle moving meditations and guided deep relaxations. Hope that you can join us for something MAGICAL.

“Nothing happens until something moves.”
― Albert Einstein

Earth Mudra Meditation

A do yoga! video to re-energise and feel grounded

Here is a helpful video that gives some top tips on sitting comfortably when you do meditation. After which I guide you through a 5 minute meditation with the Earth Mudra.

You will probably need a sturdy cushion, yoga blocks or a rolled up towel to sit for meditation. Every ‘body’ is different so try the different seated postures for yourself. In my experience the majority of people need some kind of ‘lift’ under their bottom to sit in a cross legged position for 5 minutes comfortably.

And comfort is the main thing – if you are not comfortable you will not be able to concentrate and therefore get close to meditation. To be able to focus the mind on one thing for a few moments is very relaxing and creates a calmness of thought, feelings and body.

Gently link the thumb tip and the ring finger of each hand

In this simple meditation we use the Earth Mudra – a hand position or seal to redirect the energy back to specific areas within us. The mind is then brought to a balanced state with smooth breathing and a directed focus of thoughts.

You can try other meditations on my website such as this one on the root chakra Mooladhara or you can try focusing on a particular object that you like. We use a variety of meditation styles in our classes so that students get exposure to a wide range of exercises – not all suit everybody so it’s good to try out different things.

Have you Lost your Yoga Mojo?

Get your yoga mojo back with Do Yoga!

Have you lost your Yoga Mojo? Well don’t worry, we all ebb and flow with our commitment to practice. The main thing is to get your Yoga Mojo back as soon as you are able. And the Do-Yoga! websites are just the thing to do that. Yoga is most advantageous when you do it little and often – 15 -20 minutes daily is ideal. Life has a habit of getting in the way of yoga especially at this busy time of year. Instead of beating yourself up why not try some of the following tips…

1 Develop a 1 minute mindfulness moment (1MMM)

Each day take just 1 minute to be in the moment – enjoy looking at the wonderful Christmas decorations, really tasting your mince pie or whatever it is that will hold your attention. The key is to be totally absorbed in something for 1 minute – keep your focus and do it every day. You’ll soon be over staying the minute and wanting to do it more often. When you feel ready you could begin longer seated meditation practices like this one on the Earth Mudra.

2 Create an invitation to practice

Put your mat out the night before you go to bed, with your blocks and maybe a candle ready – so that when you get up in the morning your practice is waiting for you! Even 5 minutes just sitting or lying will give you amazing benefits. Odds are, if you do that for a few days you’ll soon be moving into a few postures and up to 15 -20 minutes a day.

3 If you are not practicing in a class, then join one!

People are much more likely to cultivate their own yoga practice if they have some input from a teacher. Practice the elements of the class that you feel you get the most benefit from. In time you’ll mold your practice to the things you need most intuitively – the benefits of joining a group and being with like minded people have always been encouraged by the ancient texts.

You can take a look at my Weekly Class Timetable here to see if there is a convenient time and place for you.

Yoga Retreat – Near Melton Mowbray

Local yoga teacher and friend Helen Spencer is hosting a yoga retreat not too far away near Melton Mowbray in January. Why not have some time out and enjoy a whole day of yoga with like-minded people? I can’t think of a better way to start 2020.

Taking time out of our regular schedule allows space to reflect and put things into perspective. In the words of William Henry Davis – What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare? full poem here Read on for details of Helen’s lovely workshop which not only includes yoga but home made lunch and cake!

Finding the Light

Yoga Retreat- Saturday 18th January 2020

Stonesby Community Centre 10am-3.30pm £35

Sometimes it’s nice to have a day out, just for you.

When you can forget about everything else and indulge in some self-nurture.

Helen runs regular Yoga Retreats at Stonesby Community Centre, near Melton Mowbray where you can do just that.

A whole day of yoga gives an opportunity to practice meditation and touch on some yoga philosophy, which we don’t generally have time for in our regular sessions.

In the depths of winter with the festivities behind us, it can feel constantly dark and cold. We can feel slow, sluggish and low.

On the January Yoga Retreat we will bring light to the dark regions of our body, mind and heart using asana, pranayama and meditation.

Let your inner light shine……..

Price includes lunch and cake at the end of the session.

Suitable for all.

Bookings only

To book contact Helen here

You can see more about the teacher on her website here

Chaturdik Pranam

Practice Chaturdik Pranam every morning to improve your physical and mental well being

Chaturdik Pranam is a simple yoga sequence to open the chest, improve breath capacity and most importantly, encourages an upright posture. Besides all this, the focus on sending out kindness, thanks and good wishes to all 4 corners of the world enhances our mental well being.

I’ve been working with this practice throughout 2019 and consider it a very special gift given by my meditation teacher Swami Pragyamurti. Not only is the sentiment so positive and compassionate, but the actual moves (back bending, opening the chest, raising the arms, moving the wrists and finally forward bending) that seem to bring more life into my body and more love into my heart each time I practice. And it only takes 7 minutes to do!

Boost Your Immunity

As we approach the winter and festive season, it becomes more important for us to build up our physical and mental strength and resilience. In doing so, we develop stronger immune systems which ward off illnesses like colds and ‘flu. In addition, there is the general ‘business’ and over-indulgence that affects us all throughout December. This brings with it the usual fatigue, fears and anxieties. Above all, a positive mental attitude helps us to get through these tough times and is scientifically proven to boost immunity. Further information can be found about this research here.

“How beautiful it would be if more and more people in every town, in every country, by the sea, on hilltops, in schools, prisons and countless homes would start each day by sending out loving greetings to the four corners, thus nurturing themselves, all sentient and insentient beings and all of creation.

This is my dream.”

Hari Om Tat Sat, Swami Pragyamurti

Swami Pragyamurti is the Director of the Satyananda Yoga Centre in London. You can find out more about their classes and courses on their website here.

Mooladhara Chakra Explanation & Meditation

What is Mooladhara Chakra?

Mooladhara Chakra is the lowest of a series of 7 energy centres that run vertically through the human body down the spinal chord. In Yoga and traditional Indian medicine the body is believed to have channels of energy which, if blocked, will cause illness and disease. These channels are called Nadis, and according to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika there are 172,000 Nadis running around our bodies. The purpose of Yoga postures and breathing practices is to unblock the channels so that our energy flows freely.

Similar energy channels or pathway structures can be found in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Accupunture and reflexology.

The most important of these pathways is Sushumna which runs down the spinal chord. When other channels cross over Sushumna there is an increase in energetic activity and this creates a wheel or Chakra (the Sanskrit term).

The physical position of Mooladhara Chakra is thought to be in the centre of the pelvic floor, although this differs depending on yogic tradition, and could potentially differ from person to person. One great exercise for connecting to Mooladhara (sometimes called the Root Chakra) is Moolabanda, where you draw up the pelvic floor (you can read more about how to practice Moolabanda here).

The element that relates to this Chakra is the Earth. If this energy within us is out of balance then we can feel unsettled and insecure. This is the Chakra that need the basics to be covered – shelter, food, warmth, rest – and when they are in short supply this energy is depleted.

It’s important to have the basics covered, to feel secure and that you have somewhere to relax and be yourself; in this way you’ll be able to keep Mooladhara balanced and happy.

Mooladhara Chakra

A Meditation on Mooladhara

Sit comfortably, relax the legs and feel your connection to the floor.

Be still, feel the weight of the body sinking down.

Feel the pelvic floor and imagine that there is a glowing red ball of light there.

Stay with this for some time.

Now move your awareness to the ground you are sitting on and imagine you are sitting upon a yellow square.

Stay with this for some time

Leave the yellow square and think of all the things that the Earth gives to you for free – fresh air, lakes, mountains, home grown vegetables, trees, grass, hedgerow plants and berries. Give thanks for all these things and pledge to visit one today.

For more work on Mooladhara Chakra you can visit this site

How to strengthen your pelvic floor with Moolabandha

Yoga Teacher Deborah King in a meditation posture

Strengthen your pelvic floor with Moolabandha – pelvic floor exercises that you can do anywhere once you get the hang of them. But to learn them, sit on the floor – ideally in a cross legged position. You can learn more about sitting comfortably in this post

First of all get comfy and relax. Let your body and mind know that you are doing something a bit new and different but that it will be good for you!

Now focus on your breathing. Let it be soft and gentle, in and out through the nose.

Next, take your awareness down to your pelvic floor and, as you breath in, draw up the pelvic floor. Then as you breathe out, relax and let go. Keep going like this. This is the basic pelvic floor exercise or Moolabandha as we say in Yoga.

As with all Yoga, start simple and don’t strain. Build up gradually, adding more repetitions or doing say 3 sets per day. When you strengthen your pelvic floor it will help with a number of common ailments such as stress incontinence.

You can develop the pelvic floor exercises in a few different ways.

Equal inhale and exhale

First of all equalise the breath – count the same number for the inhale and the exhale.

Then begin to work the Moolabandha/pelvic floor area in unison with the breath.

Holding the contraction

Watching the breath first and becoming relaxed.

Drawing up the pelvic floor and holding the contraction for 3 to 5 breaths then releasing.

You can learn about Mooladhara Chakra on this website

How to do the Tree Pose

Do yoga! How to do the Tree Pose
Take your time and focus the gaze on a spot ahead.

The Tree Pose looks simple but takes strength in the supporting leg and flexibility in the bent leg/hip. (That’s not to mention the concentration).

Try first off, balancing next to a wall so that you can place one hand on the wall for support – follow all the same directions for the Tree Pose but you will have one hand on the wall to steady you.

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Start off in Tadasana with the feet parallel and about 20cm apart. Our lady in the picture (fig. 1) has them a bit close together for my liking. If you have your feet too close together you can feel off balance before you even begin!

Warm up your feet and ankles by alternately peddling the feet 5 or 6 times.

Next take the weight down through one foot and then turn out the other knee pivoting on the big toe. You can keep the big toe on the floor and bring the foot to rest against the standing ankle, I recommend this if you haven’t done Tree Pose before. As you progress, pick up the foot and press it into the calf muscle and eventually coming in to the full posture that our lady is doing in fig. 2 with the sole pressing into the thigh.

Don’t and I repeat DON’T push your foot against your knee joint or this could cause an injury.

Focus the gaze on a spot ahead of you. Hold the hands in either of the positions in fig. 3 or fig. 4.

Try to hold the pose for 3 breaths at first – then change over and do the other side. Work up to holding for 6 breaths. Take your time and breathe deeply.

For the best benefit work 3 times on each side – you could work through all 3 foot positions, progressing to the full position.

For information about the benefits of this pose see