Weekly Yoga Classes – September 2018

This year our yoga classes will revolve around the theme of OPPOSITES. This concept was used widely in yogic literature to help us understand ourselves and the world in which we live. Our first pair of opposites will be BIG and small. As always with Hatha yoga we begin with the physical body and using the body to explore ways of being big – like an Oak Tree or a Mountain and also being small – like a child, a bird or a seed. Moving from one to the other challenges our balance, and strengthens and stretches our muscles.

We’ll work with the breath, expanding the lungs with physical moves and breathing exercises – discussing the benefits of large breaths vs small breaths and taking time to feel what this experience is like for us. Throughout our work during the year there will be many ‘companion’ opposites – loud and quiet, easy and strained may well be other pairs as we develop our work with the breath.

There will be time spent on thoughtful reflection too – looking back at BIG life events and forward to BIG life goals. And then considering the smaller things in life too –

Sometimes,” said Poo, “the smallest things take up the most space in your heart.”

(from Winnie the Poo by AA Milne)

I’m very much looking forward to exploring this concept and other OPPOSITES with you as the new year of yoga unfolds. Namaste xx

Stretch & Relax – September 2018

In this year’s Stretch & Relax classes we’ll be taking a tour around the body seeing how each part feels for us on a personal level and also how improvements with one area can often alleviate issues in others… We will begin with our FEET which form the foundation o f our standing postures and which we rely on for our mobility and independence as we get older.

Feet are actually quite fascinating once you get over the look of them. They consist of lots of tiny bones, with lots of tiny joints in between. When the joints in the feet aren’t as flexible as they could be the result is that the feet can’t operate as the ‘suspension’ mechanism of the body – so even walking (let alone running and jumping) can become problematic to joints further up the body (knees, hips and spine) as the foot is not taking the impact of the weight of the body as it steps/plods around. We will use a variety of means – movement, massage with a small ball and massage with our hands to help to get our feet more flexible. And do you know… that because of all the nerve endings in the souls of the feet working with the feet can be extremely relaxing and calming. A traditional yogic remedy for insomnia is self foot massage. We’ll spend some time working on proper alignment of the feet as this can help prevent and heal foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, and shin splints not to mention a variety of mis-alignments further up the body. Keeping the feet flexible and relaxed also helps circulation of fluids to this area which over time helps to keep the skin on the feet healthy. Poor skin health is what leads to the build up of bacteria, smells, verrucas, athletes’ foot etc

So before we pack our tootsies into the boots for winter let’s give them some TLC and – who knows you may notice that the pain in your neck goes as well 🙂

 

No Classes 27th & 28th February 2018 Due to Severe Weather Conditions

Due to the severe weather conditions and the forecast of more snow, I’ve decided to cancel the classes today at Preston and tomorrow at Ryhall (27th and 28th February 2018).

Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause or perhaps it’s a relief to you???  Let me know!

Keep warm, be patient and stay safe!  (We all know that our roads and transport systems only need an inch of snow or a few leaves for hold ups to occur.) You may find that one of our deep breathing practices or a mantra may help if you find yourself in a stressful situation.

BACK TO NORMAL NEXT WEEK – LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THEN

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.

New Timetable for Autumn 2017

My new timetable will begin on September 4th – get yourself sorted and book your place now!

From September I will be making a few alterations to the timetable…. The number of classes I teach will be reduced from 7 to 6 as I would like to offer more workshops for students and explore alternative styles of yoga, meditation and nutritional therapy for myself.

There will be more of the 90 minute classes on offer as this is the norm for traditional yoga. Historically yoga has been taught in 90 minute sessions to allow sufficient time for posture work, (strengthen the body), breathwork (calms and purifies the body and mind) and relaxation or meditation (for optimum relaxation and healing). 90 minutes works with the body’s natural time cycles often called the Ultradian rhythm. Ultradian rhythms are actually quite fascinating – by learning more about your own rhythm you can optimise your efficiency and enjoyment of your days, see this website for more information.

Please have a look at the new timetable and class descriptions here and book in asap for September. Current class members will have priority until Friday 21st July, after which I will be taking bookings from new students. Please do let me know, even if you are carrying on with your old class, as space is limited and I wouldn’t want to disappoint anyone.

Yoga Fit – June 17

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

Yoga and Meditation 9th Jan – 17th Feb 2017

shakti-serie

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.

yamas

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.

Yoga Fit October 2016

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.

warrior-lll

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.

 

Beginners Yoga October 2016

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.

Yoga and Meditation October 2016

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

You can see the definition in Wikipedia here

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.