Posts In: Creating space to grow

In this series we find and talk things that help you create the space you need to grow in-between the busy life of the go getters throughout the community. Creating inspiration and actions for people to use in the pursuit of growth.

Yoga is amazing! I think we can all agree on that one. And we know if you yogis could, you’d spend 25 hours a day, 8 days a week practicing! But like anything, too much of one thing is good for nothing. There’s more to life, a lot more! Doing the same thing day in day out is tiring, boring, and easily done!  We’re comfortable with this though, this is our safe place, a place where we feel in control. And this safe, controlled place is called our comfort zone. Sometimes it’s good to switch things up a little, try something new, meet new people, have new experiences.

So, besides yoga what else can we spend our time doing? We’ve thrown together 5 hobbies you can take up locally!

1. Walking


Fitness First! Maybe this one’s up for debate as to whether it’s classed as a hobby or not. But we have some avid walkers here at The Studio, so we’re going for yes, it is most definitely a hobby! And we’re not just talking about a trip to the shops, we’re talking about the long, beautiful, scenic walks that sometimes last for hours!

Not only is walking good for the physical body, it works wonders for the mind too! There’s nothing like a long walk over the tops or through the woodland feeling that fresh air on your face and the breeze through your hair, if you’ve got hair that is… Rain or shine, pop some boots on it’s walking time!

Walking in a group is a great way to get this healthy hobby started and it’ll help you stay motivated too! Check out the local walking groups and the walks they’re planning to go on! Maybe you can join the next one!

https://www.cheshirewalkers.org.uk

2. Reading

Anytime, anywhere…
Reading makes for a great hobby because not only does it enrich your mind with knowledge, it reduces stress, helps you relax, and you can literally do it anywhere! The Studio team have GAME when it comes to reading. Check out 5 books we’re currently engrossed in! Give them a go and tell us what you think! And if you have any favourites please tell!



1. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

2. You are a Badass – Jen Sincero

3. The Untethered Soul – Michael A. Singer 

4. Me – Elton John 5. The Secret – Rhonda Byrne

5. The Secret – Rhonda Byrne

3. Climbing 

If a thrill is what you’re after, has climbing ever entered your mind? Believe it or not there’s a whole community of climbers out there that seek out all the sweet spots for climbing. There’s even a fair few climbs locally in Alderley Edge! So if you want to feel on top of the worl…edge, then have a look to see if you’ve stumbled across some climbs without even realising, maybe you can try them next time.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=3102#overview

We wouldn’t recommend running for the rocks straight away if you’re new to this hobby. Maybe give bouldering a go first to see how you get on with the luxury of crash mats… The closest one is Substation in Macclesfield! Recommended by Donna who’s partial to a little climb every now and again!

Find out how to book below!

Substation – Indoor Bouldering in Macclesfield, Cheshire

4. Arts & Crafts

Fancy yourself as the creative kind? Then you’ll want to join the Sketchbookers! They’re calling you!

It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but there’s more to arts and crafts than just enjoyment. It promotes focus, concentration and readies the brain for learning!

The Sketchbookers (Manchester)

Manchester, GB
1,498 Sketchbookers

Calling all amateur, professional and curious wannabe artists, this might be the perfect group for you! Drawing is action. I have had a passion for the arts since childhood.’…

Next Meetup

Let’s sketch

Saturday, Mar 7, 2020, 11:00 AM
20 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

5. All Rounder

You’re probably wondering what an all rounder is? Well we’re definitely not speaking about cricket, that’s for sure. Although, that would make a great hobby. We are talking about Wim Hoff and his method to becoming a happier, healthier, stronger you! Because why wouldn’t you want to try something that helps you achieve all those things in life. This has been a talking point in The Studio of recent and we’re interested to see who’s giving it a go? We’d love to know!

If you fancy a challenge, don’t mind the cold, and you’re feeling committed then this could be the perfect thing to try. Here’s everything you need to know about the Wim Hof Method and how to incorporate this method into your daily life! 

https://www.wimhofmethod.com/practice-the-method

HAPPY HOBBY FINDING

PEACE & LOVE

FOOD IS THE WAY TO A HAPPY SOUL!

Weekend Brunch / Acai Bowls @ The Garden, Hale

One of our favourite acts of self care is treating ourselves to dining out every now and then. Is there anything better than a Sunday morning brunch? We believe food is a major part of our overall health and wellbeing, afterall we are what we eat, so they say!

There is a lot of speculation about following certain diets to benefit our health and our planet, and we can all afford to be a little more educated and conscious when making decisions about what we eat. Afterall the food we put into our bodies is our fuel, our energy, it can effect our mood, our skin, and our health. So we want to makesure we are filling ourselves with the best possible options to support our daily life right?

We are not here to preach about what you should and shouldn’t eat, everything in moderation, and balancing the good with the not so good is okay every now and then. So whichever type of lifestyle you choose to follow whether you eat meat, vegetarian, flexitarian, vegan or gluten free, find the foods which make you feel GOOD and support your wellbeing. THATS what we are about.

We have compiled a list of a few of our favourite healthy food eateries in the area. Tried, tested and loved by us and our Studio community!

Aldeli, Alderley Edge

Wraps to go/ Aldeli

Looking for healthy food to grab and go? This place is one of our go to places for our lunch breaks at The Studio. Super local, just down the road from us. Its perfect if your in a rush for lunch, you can call up and pre order your food and collect it when you are ready. Freshly prepared, healthy and tasty! They have a great selection of vegan/vegetarian options, as well as low fat meat options such as turkey and salmon. We love the falafel and the chicken wraps, super filling and nutritious, they are a studio favourite. You can also sit in and enjoy the American diner style feel to the round glass restaurant.

Wild and Wild Cafe, Congleton

Fresh juice and berry toast/ Wild&Wild

Wild and Wild is a completely plant based cafe located on the main high street in Congleton. If you want to try going vegan but dont know where to start, Wild and Wild has a great menu of foods not too far from your familiar favourites. Think you cant trade in your classic hamburger, then think again! Try their Beyond Burger and then get back to us, you might just get converted!

They also offer great alternatives to just your average coffee with a great selection of hot elixir drinks bursting with health benefits. As well as a selection of fresh smoothies and juices. (I recommend the Adaptogenic hot chocolate for a sweet treat!) And don’t forget to check out their amazing selection of cakes, you can get them made to order too if you have any special events coming up that is missing a plant based party cake!

Its family friendly complete with a kids play area, outdoor seating and its dog friendly so you can take your fury companions with you, or just appreciate the cuteness. Plus they have sustainable, eco friendly products and clothing for sale. We love everything this place stands for!

The Garden, Hale

A little further out but this beautiful eatery is worth travelling out to. Like us The Garden embodies GROWTH, (check out their beautiful GROW wall design just on the right as you walk in!) The perfect spot to go and meet with friends, work from your laptop or try one of the delicious food options. A health food café and juicery, with a largely plant based menu, created around seasonal produce and monthly specials. They have the BEST selection of fresh juices and smoothies, perfect if your looking for a health boost. My favourite is the Green Peace smoothie, containing apple, spinach, kale, parsley, cucumber, avocado, spirulina and wheatgrass. All that green goodness and it tastes amazing!

Smoke, Wilmslow

Looking for brunch? Build your own! Start from scratch and build your brunch the way you want it with great vegan and non vegan options! But that’s not all, this great place in Wilmslow will see you through from morning till evening with a great dinner menu, and of course a bar! They also have local music acts on every Thursday from 8pm onwards, a great way to spend an evening and support some local talent! A great lively atmosphere, our Studio front of house team went to enjoy a catch up over brunch here. We recommend the Posh Beans as part of your breakfast, vegan and gluten free and definitely a step up from your average Heinz baked beans. You’ll see what we mean..

King Street Kitchen, Knutsford

Have you had chance to go and check out this new place that’s opened in the heart of Knutsford town centre? We think its just what Knutsford needs, open all day with a choice of breakfast, lunch and dinner perfect for any time of day. And they have a seperate menu for all you plant based lovers out there. Plus you might spot our lovely instructor Alicia there, make sure to grab one of her freshly made juices for sale there! Located super close to Tatton Park too, so why not take a walk afterwards and get those legs working.

Foodwell, Manchester

And of course if you are in the city and visiting our NEW Manchester Studio, then makesure you check out Foodwell after your yoga class. Beautiful LA inspired wellness restaraunt offering all day dining, a variety of food, juices and amazing cocktails! We love this light, bright space and the friendly positive atmosphere it exudes. And we can’t wait to spend our summer evenings hanging out there thats for sure! Super healthy, fresh food options that are worthy of an instagram post. We are thrilled to be partnered with Foodwell and are throwing a Brunch event to celebrate! Join us on Saturday 22nd February from 11am onwards, for an hour yoga class followed by food and drinks!

Drop us an email at info@thestudiocheshire.com to reserve your spot!

Dont forget you can grab one of our fresh and fruity Cowherds juices, a Kombucha for that gut health, a healthy smoothie or an Alkaline water here at The Studio too!

Foodies let us know what you think and if we’ve missed any of your favourites off this list!

Eat well, live well, love well!

Mindful meditation for everyone

Top 5 Best Meditation Apps

If we are sure about anything in January it’s how manic it can be after all those festive shenanigans! We are all trying hard to stick to our resolutions and be our fittest, healthiest, best self. More often than not this becomes exhausting and results in us giving up.

Sometimes all we need to take a moment to relax, take a deep breath and ground ourselves. Giving ourselves the space to breath and create a clear and focused mind to make the most of each day. Meditation is a simple exercise to intergrate into your routine with huge benefits. Studies suggest using this practice on average 5-10 minutes a day can reduce stress, improve your emotional health and enhance self-awareness. Therefore, below we have included some of The Studio favorites and the worlds best meditation apps ready to help prepare you for the new year ahead.

Apps

Calm

Price: Download for free with optional in-app purchases

Google Rating: 5*

This app is perfect for those who are new to the world of meditation, offering a seven day beginners program with simple calming exercises to help focus on your breathing techniques whilst clearing your mind. They also provide a ‘calm Kids’ section for those aged between 3-17 years old so your children can feel relaxed too. Furthermore, they include a library for ‘sleep stories’ so you can fall asleep feeling content.

Headspace

Price: 14 day free trial (optional subscription after)

Google Rating: 5*

This app creates personalized plans based on information you provide focusing on balancing your life with their mindfulness techniques for daytime use, focusing on training your mind and body to fulfil a happier lifestyle. To make full use of this app they also provide sleep music tracks and nature soundtracks to help give you a blissful night sleep

Aura

Price: 7 days free trial (optional subscriptions after)

Google Rating: 5*

This app provides you with a personalized plan based on questions asked at the beginning of your experience. Aura presents you with a daily meditation practice based on your answers. This app is also compatible with the ‘Apple watch’ and aims to reduce stress and increase positivity.

Insight Timer

Price: 7 days free trial (optional subscriptions after)

Google Rating: 5*

This app gives you the most hands-on experience when it comes to practicing meditation compared to all other apps. It also includes discussion groups and community features, known as “a social network for mediators”. Including ambient music and soundtracks to calm the mind.

10% Happier

Price: 7 days free trial (optional subscriptions after)

Google Rating: 5*

This app was created to motivate those who might lose sight along the way due to their busy lifestyles with weekly updates, so it never feels like a chore. Daily videos and guided meditations teach you what to do in the simplest way possible, including a range of content showing ways to manage stressors such as anxiety

For further tips & tricks check out our ‘Studio Blogs’ which covers further insight into the world of the Studio, Yoga, health, and a happier lifestyle!

The Studio Team x

Pranayama

25/10/2019

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;

Breathing Techniques

  • Breath Retention
  • Channel Cleaning Breath
  • Ujjayi
  • Conqueror Breath
  • Dear Seal
  • Lion Pose
  • Root Bond
  • 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.

https://www.thestudiocheshire.com/

 

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!

If you want to read more check out our blog post on the Benefits of Hot Yoga

The muscles in our body are used all the time and are the reason why we can move. It is so important that we look after them; especially after physical training. Physical training alters the appearance of muscles as well as their performance. When muscles grow, the cells them-self change in size, no new cells are made. This is why we feel pain after exercising. If we don’t look after our muscles, stretching them after using them, it can result in overuse injuries such as stress fractures or joint/ tendon inflammation.

In the 2-3 hours after exercising our muscles are most fatigued – they need feeding!! Protein helps to recover and grow muscles.

If you can imagine the enzymes that help the process of recovery as a collection of little eager construction workers ready to build – if they turn up to work and lack their materials, their talent cannot be put to use, BUT, if you provide them with the correct raw materials, they can perform work to the highest standards.

As well as muscles being fatigued after exercise, your tissues and organs are too. When exercising, everything is put to its limits. Restorative breathing is therefore also something that helps recovery as it slows the heart back down and also normalises the lungs again.

How can stretching help muscle recovery?

There are many benefits that stretching gives to help the recovery of the body after exercising.

  1. Increased flexibility of different muscles groups

Stretching helps release constricted and contracted muscles back to their comfortable state. This also helps increasing flexibility itself and injury prevention.

For example, doing leg stretches after a long run increases muscular power and endurance.

  • Improved blood circulation

Stretching helps the body to cool down, therefore returning the heart rate back to resting. Once the blood circulation and heart rate are back to normal, this allows the muscles to relax so recovery can begin.

  • Eliminates lactic acid

Working your muscles produces lactic acid which makes the muscles fatigued and sore. Stretching eliminates the lactic acid build up so helps to relax the muscles in order to recover and repair.

  • Pain Prevention

If muscles remain tight after exercising, it can increase your risk of an injury. Stretching helps loosen the muscles which minimises the risk of injury.

To show an Upward Dog technique
Upward Dog by Ryan
  • Improved range of motion

Muscles that are not stretched usually remain constricted which prevents them being used to their full potential. Therefore, if we keep stretching them after exercising, the muscles performance when exercising will increase.

  • Increased muscular coordination

For strength trainers, it is even more important to stretch post exercising. When you stretch tired muscles, you give them better functional mobility and allow them to synchronise properly.

  • Posture

When your muscles are constricted and tight it often causes peoples posture to change, such as rounding the back. If we loosen up and stretch the muscles, you will see a better posture develop.

  • Improved nerve signals

Stretching allows a constant flow of nerve signals between the brain and muscles which will increase performance.

  • Mindfulness

During exercise your whole body is pushed to its limits. Breathing to create mind and body connections, help relax the body; when the body is relaxed the muscles are able to relax too.

Muscle Growth

Stretching promotes muscle growth; it elongates the fascia which helps the muscle to grow.

Have you ever been in a yoga class and wondered what the teacher is talking about? Have you been confused by postures that have two names, or forgot which is your Downdog and which is your Updog?

Our Studio Yoga Dictionary is here to help!

Sanskrit is an ancient language from India, each yoga posture has its original Sanskrit name but mostly we are more familiar with the English translation as these are much easier to remember, however teachers frequently use the Sanskrit term so its good to familiarise yourself. The more you practice the more you will associate the asana names with the movement.

Sanskrit words and phrases and what they mean

Asana – Means posture, you will notice most of the Sanskrit terms end in Asana.

Namaste – We say this at the end of most of our practices, most commonly with hands pressed into a prayer position against the heart centre and head lowered. It translates as I bow to you, a greeting and sign of respect after finishing a practice, we honour the light within our teacher and they honour the light within us.

Prana – This is our Life force, our energy our breath.

Drishti – Is the focus point of your gaze. When holding a posture it helps to focus on one still point as this focuses your energy against distraction, and helps to develop awareness and concentration. A focus point can help you also to keep correct allignment. There are nine drishtis you might be told to focus on during a posture, these are;
1. The tip of the nose
2. The thumbs
3. The third eye
4. The navel
5. Toward the sky
6. The hands
7. The toes
8&9. Over the shoulder towards the left or right side


Mula Bandha – Mula means root or base, and Bandha means lock, translating as your root locks. The bandhas are a means of controlling and directing energy. We are encouraged to activate these muscles such as pelvic floor to create more stability and core strength within the body.


Mantra – This is a word/phrase or sound repeated often during meditation. The word mantra comes from two Sanskrit words, manas (mind) and tra (tool). So mantra literally means “a tool for the mind,” and was designed to help practitioners access a higher power and their true natures.


Mudra – Derived from the Sanskrit word for seal, Mudras are a symbolic sign or gesture meant to direct life force to various parts of the body so the energies can be harnessed within.

Anjali Mudra – Probably the mudra you are most familiar with during your practice, hands pressed together against the heart centre, the position we often take at the end of class to say Namaste. In India it is used to greet, thank and express respect. It also reminds us to come back to our centre.

Pranayama – Control of breath, the breath is our life force and energises and sustains us throughout our yoga practice. It increases vitality, mental focus and expands consciousness of the mind.

Om – The sound of the universe.

Heres a few of the common yoga postures and their Sanskrit names you might hear whilst your in class;

Bhujangasana – Cobra
Tadasana – Mountain Pose
Savasana – Corpse pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward facing Dog
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward facing dog
Chaturanga Dandasana – Four limbed staff pose (you will be very familiar with this move during a sun salutation sequence.)
Uttanasana – Standing forward fold
Ashtanga Namaskara – Knees chest chin a build up to Chaturanga
Surya Namaskar A or B – Sun Salutation A or B
Vrksasana – Tree Pose
Utkatasana – Chair Pose
Utthita Balasana – Extended child pose

https://www.thestudiocheshire.com/

 

TRAPEZE WITH NINA

15/07/2019

Everything you need to know.

Have you managed to catch one of our Trapeze Yoga classes at The Studio yet? Well good news, Nina is back with her weekly class 11:00-12:00 every Wednesday!

We’ve had such a great time seeing everyone progressing, trying something new and most importantly having the most FUN! Whether you come alone or bring a friend, Trapeze yoga is sure to get you flying & giggling in no time. Trapeze is suitable for all levels including beginners and is led by our fantastic teacher Nina who will get you feeling confident hanging upside down and building strength through the different postures.

Why Trapeze?

Trapeze has many benefits including:


– Increased Flexibility and Mobility
– Improved Blood Pressure
– Pain release for Scoliosis and Back Pain
– Building overall body strength

So if you fancy joining us for a class you can book on by:
Emailing us at info@thestudiocheshire.com
DM us on Instagram at @thestudiocheshire
Online at www.thestudiocheshire.com
Call us on 01625 861179
Or by downloading The Studio Cheshire App

We hope to see you in the air soon!