The next session of Yoga Nidra will take place on Sunday 26th February 2017 at the Dance/drama studio at St Peter’s High School, Orrell, Wigan. The session will start at 11am and last for one hour.
Each session is written by myself and has a specific focus: this month the Nidra will focus on compassion and on creating loving and kindness towards ourselves as well as to others. The Nidra will be recorded and uploaded so that you can practice the Nidra over the month as many times as you like.
In order to be completely comfortable during the practice you need to bring as many props with you as possible to provide support to your body, (and this is especially important if you can’t lie flat on your back on the floor). You need to bring with you a minimum of two pillows ( to support the legs), a small cushion (for underneath the head), and a large blanket. You may wish to have a practice at home getting comfortable on your yoga mat and then bring any props with you that you need.
Yoga Nidra is a systematic method of inducing a complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. During the practice I will guide you through a relaxation, which includes a progressive body scan relaxation, breath counting meditation and also a Visualisation. You don’t need to do anything physical during the practice just listen to my instructions and as the practice progresses you feel a sudden release and comfort in the body, During times of injury/ illness, (either mental or physical), pain, or periods of stress &anxiety the sympathetic nervous is in a constant phase of “flight or fight” mode. It is therefore important to focus on stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system to help enter the “rest and digest” mode to promote self healing and relaxation and through using the practice of Yoga Nidra we can achieve this..
If you’re ever visiting London on a weekend away why not take a moment to enjoy the amazing yoga studios there. Some have over 25 classes a day and cover all different genres of yoga, Forrest, Anusara, Jivamukti, Yin, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Acro, Kundalini, Dharma mittra, Dru! the list goes on…. Some also regularly hold workshops and training and the Triyoga centre was also listed as one of the best yoga studios in the world!
So if you have been with the same teacher and done the same style for the last few years it might be time to spread your wings and try something new. A few studios are listed below.
Jivamukti London. http://www.jivamuktiyogalondon.co.uk
Trikonasana translates as triangle pose and there are three triangles which can be found. The first made with our legs and the floor. The second with our top arm and the two feet, and the third with our front leg, the bottom arm and our side body.
Triangle pose is also said to symbolise the three primary Gunas, Sattva, Tamas, and Rajas. These Gunas from hindu philosophy are said to be the three qualities that represent our bodies and mind. They are also used in Ayurvedic medicine in order to establish body compositions. Sattva represents balance and purity, Tamas lethargic, slow or dull, and Rajas active and dynamic. One of the aims in our yoga practice is to bring these Gunas in to balance and aim for a more Sattvic life as possible.
This asana has many benefits, it helps build strength and improve flexibility in the legs including the calves, ankles, groin, hamstrings and hips, it helps to stimulate the abdominal organs and improves digestion, and helps also to establish mental focus and relieve stress, especially if you turn the gaze up towards the top arm, being mindful of neck stiffness or pain.
I have to say that Trikonasana is not one of my favourite poses, mainly because I have a hyper extending knee and so I have to really concentrate not to collapse my weight on that front knee. So lets just say I don’t look forward to this pose. However, when I am comfortably positioned in this asana and my alignment is correct, which takes me a few moments, I feel balanced and strong and feel the benefits of this pose.
If you have been going to your local yoga class for a while.. it’s time to spread your yoga wings..
A lot of yoga teachers offer “workshops” in order to spend a few hours focusing on aspect of your practice or to help you learn something new. I highly recommend attending a workshop as it’s were I had my first “aha” moment and where my practice became even more special to me. In addition, I found that I made lots of new friends and got to know some amazing yoga instructors…
…..so get out there! Soak up and enjoy the workshops and the different teachers available in your area, and you will find that there is a huge yoga network out there waiting to welcome you in….
Here are some of my local workshops coming up…so have a look around, search the web, or ask your own yoga instructor about future workshops.
Yoga in Cheshire
David Sye yoga beats, 6th July
Summer detox, 7th July
Yin and detox flow with Jackie Quayle, 12th July
Strengthen and Align your body with Kirsty Gallagher and Mike McCabe, 28th September
One Yoga Studio in Chorlton, Manchester
Ashtanga primary and secondary series workshops. Various dates
Yoga beats with David Sye, 7th July
Jivamukti workshop with Cat Alip Douglas, 14th July
Triyoga in London
Lots of teachers and workshops to choose from, I have already booked on the Kathryn Budig one, and cant wait!
Here is a lovely video from Meghan Currie, Salt.
Just found this beautiful website offering yoga clothes and equipment. It’s a local business in Manchester set up by yoga teachers offering amazing and good quality yoga clothes. Definately worth a look! Lets support our local yogi shops and businesses!
Just seen this article summarising a study released which investigated the effect of meditation on students grades and their success at university. Quite interesting..
It is usually assumed that the people who meditate are weird hippy types who dance at sunrise and chant naked! However this stereotype is not the case. Meditation has some wonderful benefits and if you take the time to learn the basic techniques then it can be really beneficial. There are actually loads of meditation classes popping up all over the country providing classes and workshops to enable anybody to learn the basic techniques of meditation, and you don’t have to dress like a hippy to do them! You should give it ago, its actually quite calming and relaxing and I always feel focused after my meditation practice. It gives me the time to take stock of my day, look inward and focus on me and my own thoughts and feelings. Through having a consistent daily practice I find that I can take on the days challenges with focus and mental clarity and that I am better equipped to deal with anything that comes my way….
Arm balances are really good at developing upper body and core strength and also hip flexibility. They are also fun to learn!
Here is a good little video, link below, demonstrating two arm balances that I am currently trying to learn.
Eka Pada Galavasana and Parsva Dandasana, Yourbuddhi.com
Even though the final expression of the pose is advanced, the video does include some helpful preparatory poses to work towards the final pose.
These poses should be carried out within a good hip opening practice so the hips and the body are well warmed up.
Well we knew this already but a recent study has proved that yoga can help recovery from depression.
Researchers have found that three sessions of the exercise a week can help fight off depression as it boosts levels of a chemical in the brain which is essential for a sound and relaxed mind. Scientists also found that the levels are much higher in those that carry out yoga than those do the equivalent of a similarly strenuous exercise such as walking.
See link below to article in the Telegraph.
Telegraph Article, Yoga helps Depression
Try this one… Banana and chai smoothie!
Bananas are not only good for relieving cramp due to their high potassium levels, they are also good for the digestive tract. Bananas have been found to kill nasty toxins and bacteria in the tract and stomach and can also ease constipation. In addition they also contain Tryptophan and Vitamin B6 which helps mood levels… keeping you happy!