Tag Archives: Embody Wellness

1-2-1 Yoga

1-2-1 Yoga
1-2-1 Yoga

“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.

Want to Start Yoga in 2015? NEW Beginners Yoga Course

Want to Start Yoga in 2015? NEW Beginners Yoga Course
Want to Start Yoga in 2015? NEW Beginners Yoga Course

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.

NEW CLASS: Sunday Flow

NEW CLASS: Sunday Flow
NEW CLASS: Sunday Flow

Embody Wellness, Vauxhall – Sunday Flow, 6.15-7.30pm

Feel rested, uplifted and ready for your week ahead.

From Sunday 14th December you can regularly join me for Sunday Flow at Embody Wellness in Vauxhall.

In the first half of this class you’ll be guided through a series of dynamic, flowing postures to develop strength and flexibility. For the second half of the class, the pace then slows down with a focus on restorative poses allowing you to release tension in body and mind. I look forward to seeing you there :)

Restorative Yoga Workshop – Relax and Restore

Restorative Yoga Workshop – Relax and Restore

Supported Child's Pose - Paula Hines U Can Yoga

Enjoy a nourishing 2-hours of Restorative Yoga

Delve into the practice of Restorative Yoga in this 2-hour workshop.

Relax & Restore Workshop – Saturday 25th October
3-5pm at Embody Wellness

Join me for a nourishing practice which will introduce to you the principles of Restorative Yoga and show you how to set yourself up comfortably in each pose.

In Restorative Yoga (sometimes referred to as ‘active relaxation’) we consciously manipulate the nervous system to create ease. Props are used to facilitate relaxation by supporting the body in passive postures for extended periods. While the body is supported we can completely relax into each posture. This enables us to relieve the effects of negative day-to-day stress, calming the body’s ‘fight flight’ response to facilitate proper rest.

Highly recommended if you are seeking stress relief or need to unwind.

Please click here to book.

NEW Beginners Yoga Course in SW8 – Starts October

NEW Beginners Yoga Course in SW8 – Starts October

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.

Lower Back Relief (And More!)

Lower Back Relief (And More!)

In this video I show you how to use a yoga block to support your practice in Bridge Pose

VIDEO: Supported Bridge – a great Restorative Yoga Pose for Lower Back Ease and more

In this short video filmed at evolve, I show you how to use a yoga block to support your practice in Supported Bridge Pose. As someone with Spondylolisthesis in my lower back I find this particularly relieving and it helps to ease tightness I find sometimes occurs in this area, though this makes a wonderful restorative yoga pose even if you don’t have back issues.

Resting the weight of the sacrum onto a yoga block provides wonderful support, and allows the entire length of the spine to be stretched. As well as being great for general lower back weakness, this pose also opens up the chest, as well as the front of thighs.

Added benefits include:

– helps relieve stress and low moods
– boosts the parasympathetic nervous system
– helps reduce fatigue
– stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestion
– improves quality of sleep and helps combat insomnia

I’d typically stay this pose for up to 5 minutes.

Here I also show you how to take this pose into an inversion. This can be a nice alternative to Shoulderstand if, like me you have some neck degeneration too and you don’t have access to wall space to practice Legs Up The Wall.

Want to experience more Restorative poses like this? Join me for Relax & Restore Restorative Yoga classes on Fridays at Embody Wellness 6.45-7.45pm.

If you’ve never been to a Restorative Yoga class and would like to know what to expect, you can read a review of my Relax & Restore class from Carly on her brilliant Project HB blog by clicking here.

VIDEO: Supported Bridge – a great Restorative Yoga Pose for Lower Back Ease and more – CLICK HERE TO WATCH

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.

How To Ease Tired Legs, Boost Your Mood & More in Just 5 Minutes!

How To Ease Tired Legs, Boost Your Mood & More in Just 5 Minutes!

I share a simple 5-Minute Yoga boost with you in this short video filmed at Evolve Wellness Centre

5-Mintute Rescue: I share a simple 5-Minute Yoga boost with you in this short video filmed at Evolve Wellness Centre - click picture to watch


VIDEO: I call this pose my ‘5-Minute Rescue’ – click here to watch.

Legs Up The Wall (or Viparita Karani) is one of my favourite Restorative Yoga poses because it has multiple benefits including easing tired legs, reducing stress (helps boost your mood!), fatigue, insomnia and more!

In this short video, filmed recently at evolve, I show you how to do it, including a cheeky way to get into the pose if you have tight hamstrings (for you runners and cyclists out there – this pose is great for your weary legs!). I thank the wonderful Judith Hanson Lasater (who I studied Restorative Yoga with) for showing me this alternative way in to the pose.

Want to experience more Restorative poses like this? Join me for Relax & Restore Restorative Yoga classes on Fridays at Embody Wellness 6.45-7.45pm.

If you’ve never been to a Restorative Yoga class and would like to know what to expect, you can read a review of my Relax & Restore class from Carly on her brilliant Project HB blog by clicking here.

VIDEO: I call this my 5-Minute Rescue – CLICK HERE TO WATCH

*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.

Tis the season to be…stressed?

Tis the season to be…stressed?
Tis the season to be…stressed?

Originally published on the Urban Blog at Urban Lucy.

There’s something about the run up to Christmas that can send even the most easy going person’s stress levels soaring.

If I suggested that you put your lengthy to-do list to one side and lie down for twenty minutes right now, what would your response be? (I think I can hear you shouting that you’re too busy from here!) Maybe it would feel lazy or indulgent when you have so much to do? But I invite you to look at your life and ask what you hold most dear. Of course, we all have responsibilities and obligations we must meet. But busyness and meaning are not the same thing. It comes back to balance and being able to tune in to what your body needs.

I’m a qualified restorative yoga teacher and for me, one of the joys of a restorative practice is that it gives us the permission to do less for our own benefit. I love practising and teaching dynamic yoga too, and there are those days when there’s nothing like going for a run to clear your head. But sometimes, what our bodies need is to be still.

It is known that restorative yoga can activate the parasympathetic nervous system (the part of our autonomic nervous system responsible for our ‘rest and digest’ activities). Regular yoga asana practise can do that too, but in this instance, restorative yoga works on a deeper level. So, it can be especially beneficial when we are feeling fatigued, stressed or in a state of feeling ‘tired all the time’. Restorative yoga can also be helpful while working though ailments or injuries. (Many of the restorative poses we know have been developed by BKS Iyengar or inspired by his therapeutic work.)

What is Restorative Yoga?
Sometimes referred to as ‘active relaxation’, in this style of yoga, props including (but not limited to) bolsters, blankets, blocks, and eye pillows, are used to facilitate relaxation by supporting the body. While the body is supported there is no need to ‘hold’ a posture, so we are able to completely let go, giving the body the opportunity to rest.

In order to relax fully it is very important to feel comfortable in each pose, re-arranging your props as much as you need to before settling.

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to make it to a restorative yoga class in your area or have a teacher come to you, then that’s brilliant, but if not you can still reap the benefits at home. A good place to start is with this Supported Savasana. If I’ve been rushed off my feet and feel frazzled, I’ve found that doing this before bedtime makes a real difference to the quality of my sleep and calms my busy mind.

In lieu of the yoga props you would find at a studio you can improvise with what you have to hand – pillows, blankets, cushions, the throw from your sofa….

(NB – I’m suggesting a version here that I find works very well, but what’s most important is that you feel comfortable, so adjust your props as much as you need to before you settle.)

Have a timer to hand that you can easily set to twenty minutes once you are settled into position.

– Create a comfortable space to lie down – if you have a yoga mat, place a blanket on top covering the
surface of the mat for extra cushioning. If you don’t have a mat use extra blankets to create a thicker
base;

– Before you lie down, place a cushion or folded blanket for your head and neck to rest on;

– Carefully, lie down on your back and place a thick rolled up blanket (or pillows / cushions under your
knees). Allow your legs to relax and roll outwards;

– If you find that your heels do not touch the floor, take a rolled up bath towel (rolled onto a long
‘sausage’ shape) or cushions and place underneath your ankles for support;

– Cover your eyes with an eye pillow or scarf;

– Extend your arms out by your sides, palms facing up. Relax your hands – you will notice that your
fingers will curl towards your palms.

From here, allow your body to be supported by the props and the ground beneath you. With each out breath visualise any remaining tension melting away. Just be here. See what happens. Notice if any resistance comes up to staying there.

If you find twenty minutes feels like it whizzes by then try thirty minutes, but if twenty minutes is way too challenging to begin with, then gradually work your way up. I’d suggest seeing if you can do this Savasana once a day for five to seven consecutive days. Judith Hanson Lasater, who I trained with, jokes that restorative poses are magic, the magic being that they only work if you use them!

The main thing is to give it a try and to be kind to yourself along the way.

If you’re interested in learning more then Judith’s book Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times – one of my previous Books of the Month – is a wonderful place to start.

NB – If you are in London over the Christmas and New Year period and would like to be guided through a full restorative practice then my regular Relax & Restore classes at Embody Wellness in Vauxhall will still be taking place 7-8.15pm on Fridays 20th and 27th December, and 3rd January. I will also be covering the Basic Yoga class at Embody directly before from 6-7pm on these dates.

Here’s to less stress in December!