It’s that time of year where the majority of us tend to over indulge! Let’s face it, the temptation lies within eating plenty, drinking plenty, and we’re less tempted by the thought of exercise.
What if we could offer you something to overindulge in without the all the guilt? Well, we can!
If you’re up for the challenge then join us at The Studio throughout the whole of November to take on the Ten Class Challenge! The classes you choose are entirely your choice! If you manage to hit ten, then you’ll bag yourself a Studio T-Shirt normally worth £30!
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt…
Use November to kickstart your December! Then you won’t feel so guilty about those extra few mince pies!
Breathing is important, of course it is. In other words, it’s what keeps us alive. But how often do we take time out to focus on our breathing? Probably not a lot unless you have been instructed to do so by your yoga teacher! We are all great at breathing none the less, and how clever of our bodies to take care of this without us even thinking about it. Pranayama is our life force, our breath. One of the eight limbs of Yoga, it is an important part of practice we can bipass thinking about as we focus on nailing the different asanas.
But, there are plenty of techniques you will be interested in adding into your practice;
Channel Cleaning Breath
Single Nostril Breath
Skull Shining Breath
Sama Vritti Pranayama
Our very own Jane says:- Bhastrik Pranayama is her favourite breathing technique to use in her classes and describes it as the ‘sniffing dog’. Bhastrika is a small short breaths performed fast. A common position to do this in is a forward facing plank.
You may of come across some of these techniques in your classes already and wondered what the benefits are. If the breath is quick and shallow, this can trigger a panic response within the body as it thinks its under stress or in danger. For example, the body can switch into fight or flight mode, and bring forward feelings of stress and anxiety, even if we aren’t actually in a dangerous situation. However, focusing on slowing the breath, taking longer and slower inhales and exhales, actually calms the nervous system, creates awareness and focus on the present moment, and is a form of meditation. Mindful breathing is the simplest way to lower stress levels, and it can be done anytime, anywhere.
The most common breathing techniques you probably come across in class are;
Sama Vritti Pranayama (Equal Part Breath)
Becoming aware of the breath we start to increase the length of each inhale and exhale to a count of 4 (this number can increase throughout practice). We inhale for four, pause for four, and slowly exhale for 4. Keeping all parts of the breath even.
Ujjayi (Ocean Breath)
Known for its soft soothing oceanic sound, breathing through the nose creating a ‘HAA’ on the exhale. The sound of Ujjayi is created by gently constricting the opening of the throat to create some resistance to the passage of air. It is an energising and relaxing breath to help guide you through your practice.
So what movements benefit what breath?
When we are forward folding or twisting, this is on the exhale as as the lungs empty, it creates more space. The muscles also relax more on the exhale, sinking down. Therefore you can stretch, reach or twist slightly further.
When we are lifting or opening in a posture, this is when we should inhale. Inhalation is energising the body as its taking the oxygen inwards. As the lungs expand the heart can project forward more.
Breathing techniques can be practiced anywhere, on the go, in class or at home. Anytime you feel yourself getting overwhelmed or stressed, turn your attention inwards and focus on the breath.
Join us for a day of pampering and yoga bliss on Sunday 10 November, 14:00-18:00, at The Studio Cheshire. Book Your Spot
During the day the focus will be to create and integrate an afternoon of yoga practices that nourish your mind, body and soul on every level.
The Reset Yoga Workshop combines together the 8 limbs of yoga in the stunning setting of the Cheshire countryside. First we start with a mindfulness and pranayama practice, calming and relaxing the mind. But then we kickstart the second practice with a dynamic yoga practice to detoxify our systems.
After that we’ll relax and cleanse mind and body with a soothing gong bath meditation, followed by a peaceful and restorative yin practice. This will help to align our bodies and open up the connective tissue. Most importantly, to finish the day we will venture into Alderley Edge for a healthy evening meal at The Botanist.
Every week, 1 in 6 adults will experience a common mental
health problem: whether that be anxiety or depression, we can’t ignore it. Yoga
has been proven to help with mental health and especially improve sleep patterns;
disrupted sleep is one of the biggest side effects of mental health along with mood
changes, feeling depressed and a lack of ability to concentrate. There are many
ways we can help each other and boost moral to improve our community’s mental health.
Here, at The Studio, we have created some Sanity Stickers.
The idea is to remind yourself to look after YOU. Use them with
a positive outlook and share with those around you to increase self-esteem, inspire
each other, and boost confidence.
Everyone should take the time in a day for themselves to
pause, take a few deep breaths and remember how good you truly are.
Come on into The Studio and pick up your Sanity Sticker.
Now the question is, where will you put yours?
Keep smiling, keep growing and share the positivity!
We all envy those people who easily slide out of bed at 6:00am every morning, eat a nutritious breakfast, get in a gym session, walk the dog and start their working day all before we’ve even brushed our teeth. How do they do it?
They say something becomes a habit if you stick to it for atleast 30 days. Commiting to starting your morning in a consistent way will help to turn struggle into ease. Stop hitting the snooze button and start getting out of bed with purpose and passion.
Building a morning yoga class into your routine will help you to feel energised in the morning and help regulate a normal sleep pattern, waking up earlier equals going to bed earlier! Plus getting exercise in in the morning boxes it off so the rest of the day is yours. It can be harder to commit to evening exercise because we are more likely to cancel. We may feel too tired after a long day at work, dinner plans might present themselves or we may struggle to find childcare.
Still need persuading to leave your bed in a morning? Here are some of the benefits of starting your day off with a yoga class.
1. The body needs to move
When we sleep our body is in rest mode, besides the occasional twitch, our bodies are still for around eight hours a night. While the muscles arent moving, layers of connective tissue build up between them. Our instinct in the morning when we wake up is often to do a full body stretch before we get out of bed. This is our bodies way of telling us we need to release those layers. If we don’t move and stretch throughout the morning these layers can continue to thicken and build throughout the day causing stiffness, aches and pains. So if you work seated at a desk or driving for most of the day, your body will thank you for getting up and moving early on!
2. Calm the nervous system
When our alarm jolts us out of sleep its easy to feel stressed before the day has even started. Getting kids ready for school, making breakfasts and rush hour traffic can all leave us feeling a little anxious. Fitting a yoga practice into your morning routine allows you to take some time out for you. Helping to calm the mind reducing stress and making you better equipped to handle stressful situations throughout the day. In yoga we focus on the movement flowing with the breath. We slow the breath down to calm the mind. When we breathe quickly our body goes into fight or flight mode, this can cause panic or anxiety. By slowing the breath we reduce stress hormones.
3. Heightens productivity and alertness
Starting your morning in a good frame of mind sets you up for continuing your day in the same way. Focusing early in the morning helps to stay focused for the rest of the day, and increase our productivity. Something ourselves or our bosses can appreciate during the working hours.
4. Who needs caffeine?
A morning coffee might be the first thing you reach for when you wake up, its not the best for us but we rely on it to give us that buzz we need to get going with our day. Doing exercise in the morning works the same way. An active yoga session is stimulating and energising, waking up the body, getting the heart rate up, blood pumping and releasing those endorphins that help lift our mood. Some good examples of dynamic movements that do this are sun salutations, backbends and twists.
5. Sweat is good
Did you know the average person has 2.6 million sweat glands? We may look at sweating as a bad thing, an inconvenience. But it actually works in our favour! Sweat fights germs, the glands excrete a natural antiobiotic called ‘dermciden’, helping to keep our skin and bodies clean and healthy. Its no doubt in a heated yoga class you will work up a sweat, but this will help your body to get rid of any toxins from the skin, helping you to start your day right. Follow with a shower and feel refreshed and re-energised from the inside out!