Here I’m using a bolster in Supported Bridge Pose
Help to Banish the Blues with Supported Bridge Pose
Here in the UK the nights are drawing-in and the temperature is dropping. With this shift into Autumn/Winter low moods and low energy can be more prevalent for some of us. Back-bending poses are known for their energising qualities.
What I like about Supported Bridge Pose is that it is accessible for most of us. The sacrum (directly below the lumbar spine) is supported by a bolster or yoga brick (or you can use cushions if you don’t have access to either of these). Here I am using a bolster (pictured).
Just a few of the benefits of Supported Bridge Pose include:
– Helps to relieve stress and low moods
– Helps to calm the nervous system (activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is in charge of
the body’s ‘rest and digest’ activities)
– Can help to reduce fatigue
– Stretches the spine from the shoulders all the way to the tailbone
– Can help to relieve lower back pain
– Stretches and opens the chest
– Can help to improve digestion
You can watch a video (filmed at Evolve) where I show you how to get into this pose using a yoga block by clicking here. You can move into and out of the pose in the same way if you are using cushions instead of a block.
If you are using a bolster as I am here (pictured above), start by sitting on the bolster, with knees bent and soles of both feet on the floor. Place your hands on the floor behind you, lift your hips and slide them forward so that you can rest your sacrum (the flat bony place just below your lower back curve) onto the bolster. Then using your hands ease yourself back onto the floor so that you are in a supported bridge position. Allow your arms and hands to rest where they feel most comfortable – you may wish to rest arms by your side, or rest hands on your lower abdomen or reach arms back to the floor behind you.
Rest here for five minutes or for as long as you feel comfortable.
#getyouromback 31 Day Yoga Challenge from Sweaty Betty.
Sweaty Betty’s 31 Day Instagram Challenge
Here I’m showing some Cat / Cow Pose variations for #getyouromback
involves practising one pose each day (a different post for each day of July). I think this is a great way to start building a home yoga practice!
My philosophy behind U Can Yoga from day one has been and remains that you can find your own expression of yoga, that yoga is for anyone who wants to give it a try and experience its many benefits.
I am taking part and will be posting some pose variations and instructions on Instagram with the intention of sharing a few ideas to make these poses a bit more accessible along the way – e.g. some standing and seated versions for those of us who find getting onto the floor a challenge.
Find out how to get involved by visiting the Get Your Om Back page at Sweaty Betty’s website here. And find me on Instagram @ucanyoga1.
Sundays from 22nd March-26th April 2015 2.30-3.45pm
Embody’s yoga foundation courses are an excellent way to learn the basic principles of yoga and gain an appreciation of its many benefits. Running on Sunday afternoons for 6 consecutive weeks, this beginners course is a great way to introduce yourself to the practice of Yoga. Over the duration of the course I will be guiding you through the fundamental yoga postures with an emphasis on correct alignment and proper breathing techniques.
For full details and to book, please click here to visit the Embody Wellness website.
6-Week Yoga Basics Course – From Thursday 12th February 6.15-7.15pm at evolve, South Kensington
NEW Yoga Basics Course at evolve, South Kensington starts 12th February
Would you like to experience and appreciate some of the many benefits yoga has to offer but feel nervous about joining a drop-in class? Join me on this 6-week course at evolve which is aimed at complete yoga beginners, but those with some yoga experience who would like to go back to basics are also welcome.
There are a maximum of 6 places available on this course to ensure that everyone receives individual guidance and tuition.
Over the duration of the course you will be guided through the fundamental yoga postures and practices in a warm, friendly environment. There will be an emphasis on breathing techniques and safe alignment along the way as we explore standing poses, forward and backward-bending, twists, seated and balancing poses and inversions. You will become aware of how your body feels and moves in each pose and learn how and where to modify to suit your body if or where necessary.
By the end of the course you should feel confident to attend open level classes or even practice at home, further exploring yoga at your own pace.
To register please click here or call evolve on 020 7581 4090.
“I have one-to-one classes with Paula and I thoroughly enjoy them. Highly recommended!” – C. Dunning
1-2-1 Yoga in London – Hatha, Flow, Pregnancy & Restorative
Is one of your goals to begin a yoga practice in 2015? Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced practitioner you can benefit from private one-to-one yoga sessions. If you’ve never done yoga before this can be a great way to explore whether it is for you or to gain some confidence in your practice before joining a class.
One-to-one yoga lessons can take place at Embody Wellness in SW8 or evolve in SW7, with easy access to Central London, or another convenient venue at times to fit your schedule.
For more details and to get in touch about 1-2-1 Yoga please click here.
NEW Beginners Yoga Course at Embody Wellness starts 4th January
Great Christmas Gift for Yourself or a Family Member or Friend
Sundays 2-3pm from 4th January-8th February 2015
Do you or someone you know want to start a yoga practice in 2015? Embody’s yoga foundation courses are an excellent way to learn the basic principles of yoga and gain an appreciation of its many benefits. Running on Sunday afternoons for 6 consecutive weeks, this beginners course is a great way to introduce yourself to the practice of Yoga. Over the duration of the course I will be guiding you through the fundamental yoga postures with an emphasis on correct alignment and proper breathing techniques.
For full details and to book, please click here to visit the Embody Wellness website.
Do you want to start yoga or know someone who does? Embody’s beginners yoga foundation course is an excellent way to learn the basic principles of yoga and gain an appreciation of its many benefits. Join me for the next 6-week Beginners Yoga Course at Embody Wellness starting on Sunday 5th October.
Over the duration of the course I will be guiding you through the fundamental yoga postures with an emphasis on correct alignment and proper breathing techniques.
Once you’ve become more familiar with the basics you’ll be ready to attend open level classes with more confidence and explore a variety of yoga styles at your own pace.
To book your place please click here.
Sun Salutation infographic - via Health Perch, Aldo Baker
In my home-town of London it feels like the sun has officially come out of hibernation and that Spring is here at last! With a mix of my own home practice and recently teaching sunrise yoga in the beautiful New York loft-style, light-filled studio at Victor’s Lab
on Mondays, I’ve been making the most of the brighter mornings by taking the opportunity to salute the sun for real!
I was recently introduced to this great Sun Salutation infographic by Aldo Baker via Health Perch and it’s a really handy guide to refer to if you’re new to sun salutes and want to practice outside of class. I’ve attached a jpeg alongside this post, but you can see the guide in full at the Health Perch website by clicking here.
On another note, I am always surprised by how time flies! It doesn’t seem long ago that we were just starting the very first south London-based Stretching the City Yoga Beginners course in Pimlico in January – now it’s already the halfway point in the second 6-week Course in Pimlico.
So far we’ve been working on standing poses, forward bends and twists. Week 3 is where we introduce backbends and we’ve also been introducing sun salutations into our practice.
If you’re new to yoga (or know someone who wants to start) and would like to learn in a relaxed group setting, then why not join the next 6-week Pimlico course? It starts on Tues 15th April 7.30-8.30pm. As well the sun salutation mentioned above you’ll get a good overall grounding in yoga basics. I also like to suggest different options to encourage you to safely adapt and modify poses to suit you. By the end of the six weeks you should feel confident enough to attend drop-in yoga classes, practice at home and attend yoga retreats.
You can find further info on Stretching the City’s courses and sign up by clicking here.
In the meantime, take care and I hope the sun is shining where you are
“You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.”
NEW for 2014 - Beginners Yoga Courses in Pimlico with Stretching the City
– Barbara Sher
Is one of your goals for 2014 to start a yoga practice or do you know someone who would like to take up yoga? Or maybe you’d like to go back to basics in your own practice. On Tuesday evenings from January 14th onwards I’m thrilled to be teaching Stretching the City‘s popular 6-week beginners yoga course in Pimlico, SW1 at The Men’s Club, St Gabriel’s Halls – their first South London venue.
From the Stretching the City website:
“Committing to a course of yoga classes will bring focus and frequency to your practice. So, whether you’re a brand new beginner just stepping on the mat, or a head-standing old hat looking to get back to basics, Stretching the City’s 6 week beginners course aims to teach you the basic postures, practices and philosophies of yoga. By the end of the course you should feel confident enough to come to drop-in classes, on yoga retreats, or even to practice at home.”
You can click here for further course info and to book please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you’re just after a quick refresher instead of a complete course, then you can click here and scroll down for details of the ‘Back to Basics’ Beginners Workshop coming up next month.
See you on the mat!