Family Yoga 2019

Come and play!

Family yoga sessions at Cromford Community Centre, 9.30-10.30am on Tuesday 6th and Tuesday 27th August

Suitable from age 4 upwards, everyone welcome – no children or previous yoga experience necessary!!

New classes starting September 2019

Starting the week of 16th September, I have new classes at Starkholmes Village Hall…

Mondays

4-4.20 Mini Monday Meditations for kids age 5-8 years

4.30-4.50 Mini Monday Meditations for kids age 9-12

Wednesdays

10-11 Gentle Hatha Yoga

11.30-12.30 Postnatal yoga

No need to book, just drop in. Or get in touch for more information

Relax!

All my classes end with a lovely, deep, luxurious relaxation. It’s so important to take the time – whether in a yoga class or any other time through the day – to properly wind down and let go. Savasana (lying flat on your back) is often said to be the hardest of all the yoga poses. Students laugh at that – how can just lying down be so difficult?? But it’s true – it’s not the lying down itself which is so hard (for most of us anyway) but the letting go. Really letting go. Releasing and surrendering your body, mind and ego to find true peace.

Relaxing at the end of a yoga class allows the body to cool down after the physical activity, but it does so much more besides. When you are lying down, your heart is at the same level as the rest of your body, making the work of the heart easier and allowing your cardiovascular system to rest. Your muscles also no longer have to work to overcome gravity. Proper relaxation allows us to better handle stress too. Yoga teachings also say that by turning away from the physical body and the senses, and directing our attention inwards, we can discover our True Self. When we are not living solely in the mind or the body, letting those things still exist but not giving them our full attention, we can experience a mind-blowing ocean of peace where our True Self, our spirit or whatever you want to call it, resides. Me, I call it “The Knowing” – it is the voice of my intuition, the voice I remember from childhood inside my head, the voice which gets drowned out by thoughts and sensory information. It feels incredible to connect with that inner being and doing so regularly will bring huge benefits to your mental wellbeing.

I always find it so interesting to watch my students at relaxation time. New students struggle to settle; fidgeting and coughing, scratching and wriggling. It’s wonderful to see how, as the weeks progress, they manage to relax more and more, to treasure this opportunity for a bit of self-care. It’s also interesting to observe all the rituals my students have developed for getting themselves into and out of relaxation. Most use blankets of some sort, some use cushions, eye masks, extra socks, jumpers, even duvets – they get really good at making themselves perfectly comfortable and ready to relax and it’s wonderful to see. There is nothing like making a cosy nest and snuggling down.

Since my classes are particularly gentle, they are ideal for those with injuries, illnesses or long term conditions. This means that some of my students are not able to lie flat on their backs at all. So we adapt. We can build a nest just as easily with legs bent, or lying on the side, on the front or even sitting up on a chair. There is no point making someone lie in a position which just isn’t comfortable for them – they can’t possibly relax like that. Similarly when I am teaching children’s yoga, it is so much better if they just find whatever comfortable position works best for them.

So how do we relax? I usually run through a body scan, focussing on and relaxing different parts of the body in turn. We also use different breathing exercises – from just noticing the breath and the tiny movements of the body as you breath in and out, to extending the breath or counting the breath. We also use visualisations aimed at reducing stress and negative energy. I encourage my students to come out of their deep relaxation very, very slowly and at their own pace. There’s nothing worse than being all lovely and relaxed then being snapped out of it too quickly, as I have experienced in some other classes. We then take a few moments to come round, ready to face the day. I really enjoy seeing all those blissful, peaceful faces blinking their eyes and coming round slowly.

I love the relaxation part of the classes so much that if any of my students feels so inclined I invite them to spend the whole 60 or 90 minute class just doing that. We so rarely give ourselves that sort of time in our busy day to just be still and quiet.

If you would like to experience this blissful deep relaxation for yourself, then you are warmly invited to any of my classes or a one-to-one session. Or feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about your relaxation practice and how to relax more.

Special Family Yoga Class

87BB8544-DD4A-408A-9FC7-C50CEBF205A5I’m so excited to announce that on Tuesday 24th July our 9.30 class will be a special Family Yoga class 😀 It’s open to everyone from age 4 upwards, no yoga experience necessary. It is at our usual venue – Cromford Community Centre – and costs £6 per adult and £4 per child (no need to pre-book). There will be lots of games and giggles.

If that just isn’t your thing, however, our 11 o’clock class that day will be as usual – gentle and relaxing. You are more than welcome to come to both if you like 😊

Good morning!

Yay! More sunshine! It makes me so happy and gives me lots of energy for the day 😀Super excited about teaching at 9.30 this morning at Cromford Community Centre. We have a very special Sun Salutation today, to greet this fabulous day 😀 First class is free, and it doesn’t matter if you have never even stepped on a yoga mat before 🌻☀️💛🧘🏻‍♀️

Candlelit Heart Meditation

I am hosting the monthly Candlelit Heart Meditation this Friday (25th May) as Vishwam is away. This is a beautiful guided meditation with some very gentle movement beforehand and some tea and cake afterwards. Everyone most welcome. 7.30pm, Starkholmes Village Hall. No set cost, but donations welcome for the Heart of Living Yoga Foundation charity.A4D08E56-A486-4E8C-AF06-87C45C2FBF86

What is a Mantra? And what is it for?

Sometimes in class we will use a mantra when we meditate, or as the focus for our practice. But just what is a mantra?

Mantras are sacred words or sounds which are repeated to help with meditation (‘japa meditation’). Through meditation and the use of mantras we are aiming to achieve freedom from the ego, and from the illusion of daily life. Mantras must always be recited in the original Sanskrit, not translated, as the Sanskrit sounds themselves have the necessary vibrations for connecting with the universal power.

There are 3 basic types of mantra. The first type is a ‘seed mantra’ (Bija mantra) and is just one syllable or sound, like for example the classic Om. Secondly, saguna mantras are sometimes called deity mantras as they often focus on some aspect of the divine. An example of a Saguna mantra might be Om Namo Narayanaya (salutations to lord Narayana). For a saguna mantra, the meditator will usually select her own personal mantra based on feeling a connection with it. Students who study at an Ashram are often initiated into their mantra, ensuring that they pronounce it correctly and properly understand its meaning. Once the student has a personal mantra, she can then use it as she feels appropriate – in meditation, pranayama or asana practice.

The third type of mantra is a nirguna. This type of mantra is made up of sounds from the Sanskrit alphabet and does not appeal to a particular deity. A familiar example might be so ham (I am that I am).

Some of you will have seen that I sometimes wear my mala beads, a string of 108 beads with an extra, more ornamental bead called the meru. As you chant your mantra, you count off the beads by moving them between your index finger and your thumb with each repetition, stopping when you reach the meru, rotating the beads then continuing as before.

Although the sounds may not be familiar when you first hear them, mantras are nothing to be scared of! Repeating these magical sounds as you meditate will lead you through a variety of mental stages and eventually, we hope, to enlightenment!

Mind blown!

I spent last Sunday afternoon at a workshop about Ayurveda. I had heard of Ayurveda before but I HAD NO IDEA!!! It has completely blown my mind! Our wonderful teacher, Angie, not only helped us to identify our own Dosha (one of the 3 body types) but we got to try special food, oils, massage and drinks too. She explained obesity, illnesses, even occupations all through Ayurveda. It made so much SENSE! It has definitely whetted my appetite to learn more, and it will hopefully make me a better yoga teacher. Now I can see what my students’ Doshas are, I can understand why they like certain poses, and in some cases why those poses are the exact opposite of what they need. It was heartening to learn that our old favourite, the Sun Salutation, is excellent from an Ayurveda point of view as well as covering all our chakras, as we know. If anyone would like to know more, do ask…. I can’t shut up about it all, I’m so excited!