Category Archives: Classes

NEW class, NEW Studio – BodyAlign Opens 1st September!

NEW class, NEW Studio – BodyAlign Opens 1st September!

BodyAlign – Hatha & Gentle Flow Yoga, Wednesdays 20.15-21.15pm – starts 3rd September. Flow, Relax & Unwind from your day.

Brand new wellbeing centre, BodyAlign opens on Monday 1st September at The Artworks, an exciting creative enterprise community on the corner of Elephant and Walworth Road close to Central London.

Offering Pilates, yoga and functional classes, BodyAlign is a small-sized studio offering more personal, specialised sessions with no more than 10 people per class.

I’m really looking forward to teaching Hatha & Gentle Flow Yoga here on Wednesday evenings – ideal for a some mid-week restoration. Be lovely to see you there!

NB – Sign up here by 31st August for a FREE class or to take advantage of the offer of Unlimited Classes for the Month of September for £55.

Visit the BodyAlign website here for further details and see all the classes on offer on the timetable here.

Restorative Yoga – A Perfect Summer Practice

Restorative Yoga – A Perfect Summer Practice

Supported Child's Pose - Paula Hines U Can Yoga

Here I'm demonstrating Supported Child's Pose

If you usually go for a dynamic yoga practice or tough training regime do you ever find that during the summer months you can come away feeling not as energised as you might at other times of year? If so, restorative yoga may be just the thing to add to your routine.

Summer, (though our British weather may sometimes call it in to question!), in Ayurveda is the Pitta (fire) season. One way of creating balance through Ayurveda is to live in harmony with the seasons. If you find that the summer brings about discomfort and agitation then, as a cooling and slow practice, restorative yoga has the capacity to help bring you back into balance.

One of the best things about restorative yoga is that it can benefit just about everyone whether you’re a seasoned yogi, a Crossfitter, a mum-to-be or someone with no yoga experience whatsoever. If you happen to be somebody who has a Pitta dosha (which can be further irritated by excess heat) you may find this practice especially beneficial.

Supported by props such as bolsters, blankets and blocks, restorative poses are held for several minutes at a time (typically anything from 5 to 20 minutes). Consequently, this activates the parasympathetic nervous system (the part of the autonomic nervous system in charge of our rest and digest activities). The idea of using props is that the support they provide makes it easier for your body to relax into each pose, allowing the mind to hopefully follow.

One of my personal favourites is Supported Child’s Pose (as I’m demonstrating in the above picture). Like all restorative poses it calms the nervous system and in addition, this particular pose gently stretches the lower back and hips as well as aiding digestion. I’d typically hold this pose for five minutes. It’s a good idea to turn your head halfway through to get an even stretch down both sides of your neck too. Also, if you have delicate knees be sure to pad with blankets as much as needed, and for extra comfort you can pop a rolled up blanket under your thighs as I’ve done here. Comfort is of the utmost importance in every restorative pose.

If you’ve never tried restorative yoga before then come along to a Relax & Restore class on Friday evenings 6.45-7.45pm at Embody Wellness. In each class you’ll experience a handful of supported poses to help you beat the summer heat and ease away the stresses of your week too.

Yoga for Early Birds Tuesdays + Thursdays

Yoga for Early Birds Tuesdays + Thursdays

Yoga Flow at Evolve - Tuesdays & Thursdays 7.30-8.30am

Yoga Flow at Evolve - Tuesdays & Thursdays 7.30-8.30am

Feel rejuvenated, energised and ready for your day!

After month of teaching Thursday morning Yoga Flow at Evolve in South Kensington, I’m very happy to announce that I will now be teaching on Tuesday mornings too! Both Yoga Flow classes are from 7.30-8.30am.

These classes will release tension in the body and mind while developing focus, mobility, stamina and flexibility. With a mix of energetic flowing sequences focussing on big movements to wake-up and all the major joints, alongside longer-held postures, you can expect an emphasis on alignment and breath awareness.

If you’ve yet to visit the beautiful Evolve centre then I’d highly recommend it! Based in Kendrick Mews you’ll find yoga and Pilates classes, holistic treatments, innovative workshops, courses and special events all under one roof. New clients can also take advantage of the 3 classes for £10 offer. To find out more you can click here to visit the Evolve website.

See you on the mat! :)

There’s no such thing as a perfect yoga pose

There’s no such thing as a perfect yoga pose

Each month I write for OM Yoga Magazine - here is my column from November 2012

Since 2012 I’ve written a monthly column and the odd feature for OM Yoga Magazine. This column was originally published in the November 2012 issue:

A mild thoracic curve means my chaturanga can look slightly lopsided. However, I only noticed this after observation in a mirror and working one-to-one with a teacher. X-rays and scans confirmed mild scoliosis
as well as spondylolisthesis, so the wonky chaturanga then made sense. Not long ago I had the experience of being in a workshop where an advanced teacher tried to (literally) wrench my shoulder up and back in chaturanga to straighten me out, despite my explanation of my physical imbalances. Instead of listening, he stared at me blankly and said, “You’re not doing it right”.

These experiences greatly inform how I approach teaching. They also remind me what an honour and privilege and responsibility it is. If I were less confident, that experience with the advanced teacher would have upset me. (Let’s save the ‘what is advanced?’ discussion for another time!) I like to remember the words of Judith Lasater who I studied with earlier this year. During training, one of the many things she said that stuck with me in regard to yoga asana is that there is no right or wrong – there is only safe. It’s important that we do our best to be safe in our postures.

I enjoy one-to-one yoga sessions a lot. Each person I guide through practice teaches me something. Every body is different. There is no perfect yoga pose. One of the things I love about working one-to-one is being able to guide someone to finding the expression of a posture that works best for them. Together we can take more time to get back to basics, break down poses and tailor their practice. My hope is that within this the yogi comes to experience that the practice they are developing is about more than touching their toes. When a client told me she had practised a couple of poses on her own at home because she liked how they made her feel afterwards I was delighted. Delighted that she felt confident enough to do some asana practice on her own and that she was finding her own unique experience of yoga that went beyond where to place her feet in trikonasana. Even better that this was for her self-care and not to please the teacher.

Paula Hines is a London-based yoga teacher (www.ucanyoga.co.uk) – if you are in London and interested in 1-2-1 or Small Group Private Yoga, please click here for details.

If you’d like to read a selection of my past OM Yoga Magazine columns and a FREE 24 page preview of the latest issue at my U Can Yoga website, please click here.

*NEW* Gentle Flow Yoga Class at Embody Wellness

*NEW* Gentle Flow Yoga Class at Embody Wellness

NEW CLASS - Gentle Flow with Paula at Embody Wellness, Vauxhall

Join me for Gentle Flow, Fridays 5.45-6.45pm – starts 2nd May.

Transition from your work week in this new slow flow class harmonising your body and mind through the practice of gentle yoga postures and breathing techniques which will leave you feeling centred and rebalanced. Great for beginners as well as more experienced students wanting a more gentle practice.

To further de-stress from your week, stay on for my Relax & Restore restorative yoga class which is straight after from 6.45-7.45pm. I often joke that it’s ‘adult nap time’, but for good reason. Whether you’re an endurance athlete looking to aid recovery, stressed and over-worked, a mum-to-be or simply in need of some me-time, everyone can benefit from restorative yoga as the poses facilitate rest and recovery by activating the parasympathetic nervous system – the part of our autonomic nervous system that is in charge of our ‘rest and digest’ activities in the body. Learn more about restorative yoga and what to expect at a Relax & Restore class by clicking here. And find further details and booking for both classes here.

*NEW CLASS* – Yoga Flow at Evolve, South Kensington

*NEW CLASS* – Yoga Flow at Evolve, South Kensington

Evolve Wellness, 10 Kendrick Mews, SW7

Evolve Wellness, 10 Kendrick Mews, SW7

NEW Yoga Flow, Thursdays 7.30-8.30am.

I’ve been a fan of this beautiful oasis of calm in South Kensington for some time and was even inspired to write about my experience of their bi-weekly gong baths in OM Yoga Magazine back in October 2012. So, I’m excited to announce that from Thursday 10th April I will be teaching a new early morning Yoga Flow class at Evolve. Join me each week for an energising start to your Thursday. I look forward to seeing you there! For the class timetable and booking details please click here to visit the Evolve website. Evolve