Yoga Therapy 1-2-1 Now Available For You!

yoga therapy

I am now able to offer a brand new service –  1-2-1 Yoga Therapy from my freshly decorated therapy room at home here in North Luffenham. Yoga Therapy is a great way to work with ongoing health problems such as insomnia, specific joint pain, stress, symptoms of the menopause, and much more. With Yoga Therapy together we work out a daily yoga practice to suit your specific situation; you take control of your own health and work towards a happier, healthier you.

At each session we have a short consultation about what it is you would like to address and then work on some asana and pranayama – modifying each practice to suit your special situation. This is then documented so that you can work from the instructions at home. We conclude with a deep relaxation to target your problem area which you can record on a device to enable you to use it at home. After 4 – 6 weeks we can meet again to review your progress and adapt the practices accordingly.

Does this sound like something you would be interested in? The cost of a session is £45; however to introduce the service, during November I’m offering a 50% discount to current students (enrolled in one of my weekly classes), 25% to those who are past students and 10% off to new students.  Appointment are available on Monday afternoons and Tuesday mornings please contact me to make a booking.

FREE YOGA TALK AND TRIAL CLASS

 

 

 

Portrait of pretty young woman doing yoga exercise on mat

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 deb@do-yoga.co.uk 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).

Just Breathe…

Just breathe

Strong or soft, wild or serene-

Wherever breath flows there is a song.

Hear in its whisper touching behind the face,

Singing in the throat,

Dancing spirals in the sanctuary of your heart.

 

In this practice of listening,

A moment may come when you just want to lie down.

This is a doorway – surrender.

Fall into the wide-open embrace of life.

You are the instrument breath is playing.

 

All the meditations you have ever loved

Are vibrating in this luxurious hum,

Continuing even in sleep and dreams.

This is your school. Just you and infinity.

The texture of the Self is untamed freedom.

 

Banter verse 32 from the Radiance Sutras translated by Lorin Roche

Is it time to clean your mat?

blue mat

Yoga mats are supposed to help with your practice by providing a little cushioning between your body and the hard floor and also to prevent your feet and hands from slipping when you’re in a pose that may need some grip to support it. After some use though, mats become dirty – simply because you roll them up and they come into contact with the underneath!! Also, the natural oils from our skin (hands and feet) can contaminate the surface of the mat. Bacteria can spread causing smells and the surface will not be as non-slip as it was meant to be.

There are various products available to clean the surface of your mat, however I’ve not been a big fan of these because to get your mat back into peak condition you have to do both sides. My favourite way to wash my mat is simply to put it through the washing machine on a cool cycle. It comes out a bit crumpled, but after I let it air dry over the back of the clothes airer or chair it looks fine and certainly works much better in the non-slip department.

Weekend Yoga Workshop – “The Natural Face Lift”

yoga facial

Do you fancy a facial treat? Forget potions and lotions – yoga has all the ingredients you need to keep you looking radiant at any time of your life.

Why not come along for a wonderful yoga workshop – either Saturday morning 9th May or Sunday afternoon 10th May. Both are perfect opportunities for you to chill out and rejuvenate the body and the face.  Better still, why not come along with a friend?

Yoga tells us that when your exercise is right, your diet is right and your thinking is positive, your face glows naturally and above all your smile illuminates the world!  This lights up the lives of all those around you too.

The Do-yoga! workshop offers a range of exercises for the body to get the circulation flowing – especially to the head with the help of inverted postures.  These body poses will be interspersed with exercises for the face muscles, eyes and neck.  Each participant will leave with a handy guide to follow the exercises at home.

There will be plenty of time set aside for rest, guided relaxation and breathing exercises – all designed to relax and rejuvenate the head, neck and shoulder areas to leave you feeling youthful, calm and radiant.

Classes run Saturday morning, 9th May 10 – 12.30 at Ryhall Village Hall and Sunday afternoon, 2 – 4.30 at Edith Weston Village Hall.  The cost is £15 per person.

Book your space in class or email me here

Where on Earth is your ‘tragus’?

a) On your heel

heel

b) On your elbow

Elbow

c) On your ear

ear

The answer is c) on your ear!!

The Tragus is the flap of cartilage that runs up from your cheek over your ear ‘hole’!  In the practice of Bhramari Pranayama we gently push the tragus with the thumbs to ‘stop up the ears’ and close off outer sounds.  This helps us to focus on the inner sound of the humming and feel the soothing vibrations in the head.

This term, in the general classes, we’ve been practicing Bhramari, using it to quiet the mind before our relaxation.  One of the many benefits of Bhramari is to lift depression; it’s a good practice to learn so that come the moment you need it you can bring it into your practice to alleviate any symptoms of feeling blue or a bit down in the dumps.

There is an excellent article by Dr Timothy McCall here if you are interested in learning more about this practice and it’s therapeutic uses.

https://yogainternational.com/article/view/5-ways-to-practice-bhramari

Perfect Your Posture… Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

bhujangasana

Step by Step Instructions for Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Lie on the front of the body, legs straight and soles of feet upwards and forehead or nose on the mat.

Place the palms of the hands (fingers together) on the mat, keeping the upper arms in contact with the sides of the body and the elbows pointing backwards.

Relax the whole body, particularly focus on relaxing the spine and the buttocks.

On inhalation, slowly raise the shoulders, neck and head, using the back muscles to lift. Gently continue to lift pressing the hands down and using the arm muscles.

Be aware that you are using the back muscles more than the arms.

On exhalation, gently lower – again using first the arms and pressure through the hands and then use the back muscles to come down to the ground, to the start position.

Develop the posture with the breath to begin with.  When the back is comfortable with the bend try to hold – developing the length of time in the position.

In the final position, the hips and pubic bone remain in contact with the mat and the navel is lifted to a maximum of 3cm. The arms remain soft so that there is no danger of locking the elbows and sinking down in between the shoulder blades.

Regarding the head, opinion is split. I favour feeling length in the back of the neck, but you can and it feels good to you, tilt the chin upwards to curve the cervical spine.

The arch of the spine should feel balanced and smooth, certainly with no ‘tweeks’ or feelings of compression. If this is happening to you, then you need to reduce the arch somewhat and you may need to consider building up strength in your back muscles and flexibility in the vertebral joints with other asana before tackling this posture. If you speak to me in class I can advise what is best for you.

 

Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga – Sutras II:28 & II:29

Eight Limbs of Yoga - flower

Patanjali is known affectionately as the father of yoga. He wrote the first comprehensive manual about how to practice yoga in around 300 BC. The teachings included in his ‘Yoga Sutras’ had been passed on by word of mouth via chanting for many years before.  Artefacts and scriptures from the Indus Valley have been carbon dated and suggest that they could be up to 3000 years old.

In his book of ‘sutras’ or threads, Patanjali provides short but profound sentences about how to develop a yoga practice and what the benefits of that can be.  A simple overview of yoga can be seen in the ‘8 fold path’ or 8 limbs as is the direct translation.

The sutras were written in Sanskrit and the word  for 8 limbs is ‘ashtanga’ – ‘ashta’ means 8 and ‘anga’ means limb.  These 8 limbs or steps act as guidelines showing how to live a meaningful of live full of purpose and joy.

This process is best adopted gradually as and when one feels ready to commit. My view is to develop awareness of the controls of one’s mind and body through the practice of asana, pranayama, meditation and relaxation – just like we do in class. I think this is what Patanjali intended.

‘Eliminating impurity through continued practice of the eight limbs of yoga brings discernment and clear perception.’ Chaper 2, verse 28

‘The 8 limbs of yoga are:

Yama – respect toward others

Niyama – self restraint

Asana – posture practice

Pranayama – breath control

Pratyahara – detaching at will from the senses

Dharana – concentration

Dhyana – meditation

Samadhi – contemplation and absorption Chapter 2, verse 29

If you would like more information about this, or would like me to recommend further reading, please feel free to email me.

Time to Get Back On the Mat…

elbow plank

Get back into the swing of things with a great elongated session of yoga this weekend – 10th & 11th January 2015.

On Saturday morning (10 – 12.30, Ryhall Village Hall) and Sunday afternoon (2 -4.30, Preston Village Hall) I’ll be running 2 Core Strength workshops which will include suitable exercises for all levels of fitness and yoga experience.

If you are a complete beginner we will start with finding your core muscles, plenty of images and fun ‘explorations’ to actually locate where your core is, what it does and why it is important to keep it healthy.

For those more experienced in yoga and familiar with our class work, I will be teaching a breathing technique called Kapalbhati Pranayama. This practice is a great cleansing exercise and is fantastic for activating and strengthening the core muscles.

This is an active workshop – we will be moving our bodies about for approximately 1 and a half hours working through a range of postures including the Balancing Cat and the Plank. The rest of the time will be spent on  breathing exercises, meditation and relaxation.  The session is well paced with plenty of options for rest and interspersed with fun visuals, anatomy and philosophy talks.

We’ll be relaxing as usual at the end of our workshop with a longer deep relaxation so bring plenty of blankets and cushions to help you get the maximum from this practice.

If you would like to find out more see the Workshops Page or email me here.

Ujjayi Breath

yoga + sea

Ujjayi Breath is a great practice for relaxation – calming for the mind and soothing for the body.  It is also great treatment for anxiety and insomnia. Please be patient with yourself when learning this practice as it’s not the easiest practice to do.

Sit in a comfortable position, the spine erect and the eyes softly closed.  Allow the breath to become steady, calm and relaxed; breathing through the nostrils and encouraging the breath to be full.  Don’t force breath in or out, let it come naturally and feel the ‘ends’ of each inhale and exhale.

Bring the awareness to the throat and gently contract the glottis and continue to inhale and exhale with awareness at the throat.  (If you are new to this practice, try exhaling through the mouth making a ‘haaaa’ sound.  This will enable you to discover the contraction of the glottis. Tilting the chin down slightly can also help.)

Allow the breath to smooth, deep and slow – it will sound like baby snoring or waves breaking on the sand.  Explore the gentleness of this breath – don’t feel as though you are gripping at the throat.

When established with the practice, with each inhale and exhale take your awareness to the abdomen, chest and throat in turn as they expand and contract to encourage full yogic breathing.

Ujjayi is a wonderfully calming breath and can help to relieve insomnia.  Simply practice in bed in shavasana when sleep is being illusive.

Practice for 5 – 10 minutes each day – great for calming the body and mind before asana practice, meditation or relaxation.