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.
This term in the Yoga and Meditation (90 minute classes in Preston and Ryhall) we’ll be continuing our strengthening of the hands and arms with a particular focus on the forearm area. To this end we’ll be playfully challenging ourselves with the forearm plank and the wonderful Dolphin Pose…
Our meditations will be inspired by our asana and we’ll continue our investigations into mudra, exploring some well used mudra and their benefits, connections and meanings.
Classes begin in Preston on 3rd November (Tuesday) and in Ryhall 4th November (Wednesday) and run for 6 weeks – if you haven’t booked in and would like to come along please contact me to see if there is a space.
Ever wanted to find out more about YOGA and have a little go???
Well now is your chance – and what’s more it’s totally free! Next weekend I’ll be putting on a FREE HALF HOUR TALK with some simple demos for you to have a go at plus a FREE TRIAL CLASS especially for people who just want to have a little go to see if it works for them. The talk begins at 10.00 followed by the 1 hour class beginning at 10.30. This will take place at Ryhall Village Hall on Saturday 5th September and at Tinwell Village Hall on Sunday 6th September. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book in either for the Talk or the Trial Class – or why not come for both? (NB you will need your own mat and blanket to take part in the trial class).
If, like me, the start to your year has been an onslaught of decision making, you may enjoy and take solace in the passage below by Eckhart Tolle. In our yoga this term we have been meditating using visualisation and awareness of the breath. Reading passages such as the one below can be used as a focus for meditation – sit comfortably with the spine erect, relax and read the passage through. Gently close the eyes and allow the mind to be still – when thoughts enter, accept them and see them float away as clouds. An alternative, if this doesn’t work for you, is to allow one word from the passage to be silently repeated. Stay with it for a few minutes and then open the eyes and take a couple of deep breaths.
We all like to turn over a new leaf at the beginning of a new year – making vows not to eat/drink so much and committing to take a daily trip to the gym/jog/cycle ride. The yogic approach is to take small daily steps on a much worn path: using exercises that are both physical and mental to release tension in the body and mind – its an holistic approach that appreciates making changes to yourself is rather difficult and anticipates that there will be obstacles for you to overcome.
In a recent tea break, I was reading an article by Nuffield Personal Trainer and Health Mentor, Steven Thompson, who seemed to be advising against the whole ‘go for the burn’ daily gym thing (which usually fizzles out before the end of January anyway). In a nut shell it was to take the yogic approach(!) to your New Year’s training resolutions… I’ve copied it below to share it with you…
Forget forcing yourself to go to the gym every day if you hate it. A small but powerful change can be choosing a form of exercise you love. ‘When you don’t enjoy your workout, your body releases stress hormones such as cortisol, which encourage your body to store fat,’ says Steven. So if your’re not seeing the results you’d expect, this could be part of the reason. No matter if you have 20 minutes or an hour to work out, spend it doing an activity you enjoy for the best, most long-lasting results.
You don’t need to spend hours exercising to see a difference. ‘Interval training involves shorter, more intense bursts of exercise, which can be tailored to suit your own fitness levels,’ explains Steven. ‘Do as much as you can within a small time-frame, before resting and starting again.’
‘Find exercises that include functional training – this mimics everyday movements, such as reaching high, bending down or twisting, to help strengthen the muscles and joints you use the most.’
Ever thought something as easy as unwinding could help you to get fit? ‘Relaxation is an often-overlooked area of fitness,’ says Steven. ‘But it’s vital for encouraging a better night’s sleep, as only then can your body recover and rebuild itself from all your hard work during waking hours. Participating in a relaxing activity also allows your body to moderate the stress hormones in your system.’ Try exploring different options such as yoga and meditation to help you unwind.
Thank you Steven – I couldn’t agree more!! Why not come along to a yoga class or workshop to find out about how this ancient system of exercise can help you with your ‘Little Changes For 2015’?
Why not have a go at making this eye pillow and including it in your yoga bag? The halls I teach in (Preston Village Hall in Rutland and Ryhall Village just outside Stamford, Lincolnshire) offer variable lighting so I always adjust it when we come to relax. However, an eye pillow – particularly with a fragrance – can add another dimension and aid your relaxation even further.
You can recycle an old t-shirt into a this useful item or use some soft fabric you have available – remember to use double thickness. This is ideal for your yoga practice or keep it under your pillow and use as general sleeping aid.
This eye pillow is very simple to make and uses stuff that you are most likely to have around the home.
Using an eye pillow has a very calming effect on the nervous system – just the weight over the eye lids and forehead can work wonders. If you add a soothing aroma such as lavender or chamomile you will also be tapping into the benefits of aromatherapy. Be sure not to use essential oils or other perfume as this may affect your skin and eyes – I used dried lavender flowers from my garden but you can use the leaves from a chamomile tea bag if you don’t have any.
Perhaps you can dry some of your favourite flowers this summer and save them for making a pillow??? You do need to make new eye pillows regularly as they can harbour dirt and grime and the eye area is delicate so never share or use dirty eye pillows.
First find a t-shirt that you no longer want. If it has been washed lots of times, that’s great, it will be nice and soft.
Cut the t-shirt horizontally across just under the sleeves.
Fold the double layers over and measure 9cm up from the fold. Pin a line 20cm parallel to the fold. Sew your oblong shape now, either by hand with small, tight, stitches or by machine. Up one side (9cm) – turn, along the long edge (20cm) – turn and then half way down the other side (about 5cm).
Cut around the oblong stitching leaving a seam of 0.5cm
Turn the oblong inside out through the gap you left down one side.
Prepare your filling – I used some lavender that I dried last year – you just need the flower heads not the stalks. You can buy dried flowers – chamomile might be nice – or you can use the contents of a tea bag. I mixed the lavender with pearl barley otherwise it would have been too strong. You only need to fill it up a bit – it’s not like a stuffed toy – just so that there is some weight over your eyes and forehead which helps to calm the mind.
Now take a rolled up piece of paper to make funnel and insert it into your sewn oblong shape.
When full to your own liking, turn in the seam allowance and sew up by hand with tiny, tight stitches.
Hey presto – a useful item out of stuff you would probably throw away.
The life of an eye pillow is fairly short. I would suggest making a new one every 6 months or so. Your eyes are delicate and the pillow, like it or not, will collect germs and bacteria. It can’t be washed so – do yourself a favour and put it on the compost bin after 6 months and make yourself a fresh one.