Tag Archives: Relaxation

NEW WORKSHOP: Summer Solstice Yin Yoga

NEW WORKSHOP: Summer Solstice Yin Yoga

Saturday 18th June 2016 1.45-3.45pm at Embody Wellness, Vauxhall
The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year and also marks the first day of (astronomical) Summer, the Fire season. The heat and energy of fire can energise, encouraging us to live life to the full, but it can also consume, bringing out our fiery temperament or leaving us drained – so it is important to keep this energy in balance. Consequently, this season can be a good time to reduce the intensity and heat of our yoga practice with slower practices such as yin. By being in the yin yoga poses for 3-5 minutes at a time we open the meridian lines (energy channels) and allow our Qi (energy) to travel more freely through the body.

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Summer is connected with the Heart and Small Intestine meridians. In this workshop we will practice a sequence targeting these meridians (with a particular emphasis on the upper body) to encourage balance in both body and mind.

Open to all levels except pregnant students.

To book your place please click here.

NEW Class – Slow Flow in SW17

NEW Class – Slow Flow in SW17

Slow Flow Yoga – Mondays 6.30-7.30pm at reCentre Health from 6th June

Join me for Slow Flow Yoga - Monday evenings here at the reCentre studio

Join me for Slow Flow Yoga – Monday evenings here at the reCentre studio

I’m excited to be teaching this Monday night class at reCentre Health in Balham every week from 6th June.

This class weaves the asanas (postures) together, orchestrated by the breath to build strength, stamina and flexibility. It will release tension from the body, improve your posture and leave you feeling stronger, more energised and happy.

With a good dose of relaxation to top things off, this class will leave you rested, refreshed and ready for the week ahead.

Open to all levels except complete beginners.

You can find more details at the reCentre website here.

2016 Yoga Retreat Calendar

2016 Yoga Retreat Calendar

Relax and Restore Retreats at Florence House

Join Sally Parkes & I on our Relax & Restore retreats at Florence House

Join Sally Parkes & I on our Relax & Restore retreats at Florence House

(Re)Treat Yourself in 2016!

I’m looking forward to teaching on three more weekend retreats with Sally Parkes Yoga this year at the stunning Florence House.

Our first Relax and Restore weekend retreat of 2016 is 18th-20th March.

This retreat at Florence House in Seaford in East Sussex is a wonderful blend of Dynamic, Hatha and Restorative Yoga and Pilates.

Classes are suitable for all abilities as well as beginners. There will also be a delicious, healthy menu and plenty of time to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and stunning Sussex coastline.

There are also a range of treatments available including:

Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage
Holistic and Dermalogica Facials
Indian Head Massage
Pedicures and Manicures

For full details of this retreat and to book your place please visit Sally’s website here. You will also find the complete retreat calendar for 2016.

Read a review of our Florence House retreats by Miss Wheezy here.

Banishing the Blues with Backbends

Banishing the Blues with Backbends
Here I'm using a bolster to practice Supported Bridge Pose

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.

Instant Relaxation

Instant Relaxation

Legs on a Chair Pose

“Legs on a Chair?? Really?” you may ask.

It does not look like much but this pose is so relaxing and so simple that almost anyone can do it. I often take Savasana like this at home. I find it incredibly helpful for easing lower back discomfort and it’s wonderful if you’ve been on your feet all day or travelling. It’s also an ideal pose if you need a mini-break in the office.

In this short video, filmed at evolve, I show you how to set yourself up in this pose. If you would like to do this pose with some additional props, then an eye pillow over the eyes or on the forehead and placing some weight on your abdominal area (e.g. a folded blanket, or a sandbag, if you have access to one, resting across your lower ribs and stomach) can be incredibly calming too.

You can watch the video here.

I hope you enjoy practising this pose whenever you need to take some time out!

(Thanks to Urban Lucy for the comfy Beyond Yoga outfit I’m wearing in this video.)