Pip & Silvie showing great form in Padottanasana

This wide legged standing forward bend and its many modified versions is great for strengthening and stretching the back, the inner and back of the legs. Tones abdominal organs, relieves back tension and has a calming affect on the mind.

Pip and Silvie are both long has time practitioners of yoga and collectively have decades of experience.  Pip has been practicing with me for over 10 years and Silvie for 2 years. These ladies are inspirational and the investment they’ve made to their own wellness is to be commended. At 75 years (plus) they’re in great physical and mental shape. Age is no barrier to yoga!

Yoga and the Art of the Peaceful Warrior (sthira and sukha)

By Kelly Glendinning.

The Sanskrit meaning of stira and sukka is strength and stability versus softness and ease. In our asanas, we are aiming for the perfect mixture of these two qualities. I often think of the warrior postures with these two terms and they are also a fantastic metaphor for life. The warrior postures are strong, they are there to ground you and help you develop strength in the arms and legs. They help you develop focus i.e. your eye gaze or drishti is fixed. Warrior postures cultivate the qualities of endurance and determination. This is the stira – the active masculine. It is the part of our being that stands tall and proud, ready for a challenge and meeting it head on. The warrior. Let’s face it life is challenging, many of us must take charge and be that warrior in life standing tall to meet those challenges and placing armour on if necessary. Life requires strength from us.

Sukka. After we have embraced the strength of our asana and the posture is at its full extension and embodiment (which will be different for everyone in each new moment) one may begin to soften the muscles, let tension melt, sink deeper and feel lighter all at the same time as maintaining strength. The peaceful warrior. This is surrender, this is acceptance, equanimity, letting go, withdrawing within and seeing what is beyond the surface. This is grace. The feminine.

There is a beautiful phrase in the serenity prayer “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (grace), the courage to change the things I can (strength) and the wisdom to know the difference (higher consciousness.)

In stira it is all about our will in sukka we are learning to embrace divine will. We let go, we let god. We begin through our higher consciousness to hand over all that we have been unable to manage. It is the subtle meeting point when the two qualities of stira and sukka meet that allow us to come to a place of divine union (Yoga.)

Yoga during a Heat Wave

How hot is it? There’s not many people out and about today, seems like people are staying inside making the most of air conditioning or just staying out of the sun. I’m hearing a lot of media warnings about keeping hydrated, staying out of the sun, a lot of child and pet heat safety tips are being broadcast. Some very practical advise is being offered.
You can continue with your yoga practice during the heat wave but a few things need to be considered mainly around the type of sequence you do, where you practice and the expertise of the teacher.
Yoga asana or any form of movement or exercise generates internal heat, for a mechanical movement to take place a subsequent chemical reaction takes place and heat is generated. Thats why you feel warm when you exercise. If the room your practicing in hasn’t been cooled or has been deliberately heated and has poor ventilation an external heat is created. This potential heat on heat response, the combination of the bodies internal heat and external or environmental heat that is potentially dangerous because your body cant cool itself sufficiently.
The sequence of poses you practice has a huge impact on the build up of internal heat, the sequence you practice in July should be completely different to the one you practice in the hight of summer. Sequencing is seasonal and poses should be offered with various modified versions to suit individual attributes. If your practicing the same sequence all year round your going to develop dosha imbalances.
In addition to providing a suitable practice space and a seasonally appropriate sequence your teacher should be able to offer cooling pranayama techniques to help lower internal heat.
During the heat wave I’ll be teaching sitali pranayama as a cooling technique. Our studio is air conditioned and filtered water is provided to help keep you hydrated.

Mums and Bubs yoga classes with Amanda Reynolds

Mums and Bubs return for 2017 at 10 am on Tuesday the 14th of February!!!

Classes are baby friendly and designed for new mums and their bubs, 6 weeks old to 12 months. This class focuses on yoga postures to help your body regain strength and tone safely in the post natal months, with the aim to reduce fatigue and increase relaxation.

Yoga postures are aimed to help release tension in the shoulders, neck and arms. Improve circulation, posture and strengthen the pelvic floor, abdomen, legs and back.