There’s got to be a way past the psychological obstruction that prevents one from diving head first into a perfect handstand. When we arrive at the point in our practice where the teacher speaks the words we feel distaste for.
The hand balance inversions
We allow ourselves to believe our mind is stronger than the upper body stength that a hand stand may require. What is stopping us?
What if we fall? What if we freak out? What if we fail?
Lets try and take those “what if’s” and replace them with “so what’s”.
If we fail, we fail. So what? There’s no end to trying again, and again, and again!
Go and check out this blog written by YogaLondon! We think it helps shine a positive light on the seemingly impossble hand balances and offers some cool tips on how to develop them! Enjoy!
We all know what it feels like when the days get so busy they all start rolling into one, it’s one of those non-stop weeks where you go from one job to the next and just can’t find the time to eat, sleep or squeeze in going to your favourite yoga class. As much as we all need to slow down and free up more time for ourselves, sometimes it’s just not possible. Until teleporting is invented, the kids always need to be picked up from school, chores need to be completed, and work (unfortunately) cannot be skipped. So how can we give ourselves the time we deserve so we don’t get burnt out?
Try a Yoga practice at home!
It doesn’t have to be a full hour Vinyasa flow sequence finishing standing on your head, it can be a quick ten minutes while your waiting for the kettle to boil, or a morning meditation when you get out of bed in the morning before the rest of the house wakes up and chaos begins. Pausing in your day to take a couple of mindful breaths goes a long way. Use the time you have, and use the space you have.
Create a Space for YOU
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a big free open space in your house, is there a quiet corner in your living room where you can pop your mat down and light some candles? It’s nice to create a small area in your home that feels cosy and relaxing where you can retreat to practice. You can try adding cushions, candles, incense or an essential oil diffuser to create a relaxed mood and soothing scents. If this is still too much of a fuss for your hectic day, thats the great thing about yoga you can do it anywhere your mat fits! If it’s sunny, why not get out into the fresh air and practice in the garden! Or pop your headphones in whilst your on the school run and listen to an uplifting podcast or meditation.
If your not confident with making up a practice or sequence on your own, and cant remember any you’ve learnt in class, there is an abundance of free tutorials on youtube that you can watch and follow along on. Find an instructor whose class and teachings resonate with you and follow along on their online classes. Or try downloading a free app you can use there’s loads to choose from! Here are my top 3 Yoga and Mindfulness Apps that I recommend for setting up a home practice.
Downdog is a great app for practice at home. You can select what type of session you want to do from a full Vinyasa to a Restorative Yin session. How long you want your session to be, starting from 12 minutes up to an hour and a half. You can select what level class you want suited to your ability, from Beginners all the way through to Advanced. It has full video instruction and a guided voiceover so you can follow along with or without watching. It’s a great one to use at home as you can make it work for you, and every session it gives you includes different postures, music and guidance.
Insight Timer (free)
Insight Timer is an app with thousands of free guided meditations. You can select a theme to meditate on whether it be anxiety, better sleep, boosting self esteem or practicing mindfulness at work. You can do as little as a 5 minute session all the way up to over an hour. So you can relax, bed in and choose what you need.
Calm is one of the most popular meditation apps on the market with beautiful breathing exercises, sleep stories and soundscapes. So even if you are on the go you can pop your headphones in and get a little bit of peace whether your at the office or walking the dog. You can listen to the soothing sounds of ocean waves lapping on the shore, the sound of rainfall falling through forest leaves or gentle music that soothes and calms the soul.
We hope this article inspires you into finding a place and a time in your day to dedicate that little bit of time to yourself no matter when or where it is! Happy Practicing!
Starting your summer feeling a bit sluggish? Struggle with feelings of bloatedness and discomfort? Why not join us this Sunday 16th June for an energising Yoga Detox class led by our amazing teacher Ryan. Designed to get your body moving internally and externally, you will feel cleansed inside and out and leave the class refreshed and rejuvenated ready to face a new week ahead!
Sounds good, but how does yoga cleanse my body?
The class will involve a series of twists and rotations performed in a specific order, designed to detoxify the body by creating movement within the digestive tract to encourage the movement of waste passing through more efficiently. Yoga is a natural and safe way to cleanse the internal body, no crazy diets or doctors’ appointments! Combining the sequence of twisted postures with breathing techniques and other yoga postures you will get everything from your normal yoga practice and more. Ryan is an excellent teacher, and the class is suitable for any level from beginner to advanced yogi, Ryan will provide variations for different abilities, and adjustments and corrections within the postures so everyone will get the maximum benefit from the class.
Expect some treats!
Also provided within the class will be an Activated Charcoal
drink. Charcoal has a porous texture
which causes it to attract toxins and gases and trap them. It helps aid and maintain good kidney function
through absorbing the undigested toxins from the gut and removing them, preventing
them from being absorbed into the bloodstream and transported around the body. Finally, a shot that’s good for us, now that’s
something to celebrate!
We will also be providing a fiery Lemon and Ginger shot to detoxify the organs, boost metabolism and immunity and promote anti-inflammatory properties in the body. Lemon and Ginger help aid with healthy circulation throughout the body key for anyone who struggles with poor circulation. It will definitely kick start your taste buds!
Okay I’m coming! How
can I book?
The class will be held at The Studio, this Sunday 16th June from 10 – 11:30am.
Blogs have quotes right? The serious ones… ‘Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to look at the world upside down in order to see things right.’ Or ‘When life turns you upside down, simply just adjust your view to a different perspective, or some slightly silly(er) ones… ‘MOM is WOW turned upside down’ or one I’m quite familiar with ‘turn that frown upside down’ – not that I don’t smile because I definitely do, some would say a resting female dog face is more accurate.
Once somebody said to me that ‘you never come down from a hand stand unhappy because being upside down makes you happy’. I agree, being an avid hand stander myself, I don’t recall a time when a handstand made me unhappy, apart from the fact I fail to hold one for longer than a few seconds but anyway… There’s a reason for this euphoric feeling and it’s not because it’s simply unusual and exciting to be upside down seeing things from a different perspective, but because the increased blood flow to your brain has both an energising and calming effect. And not to mention the wonders it can do for our backs. Everything on this planet fights a constant battle with gravity, which is often lost because let’s face it gravity is a BEAST. Inverting, whether it be a handstand, headstand, or hanging off the end of your bed allows the spine to decompress and the spinal fluid to circulate which elongates the spine improving the health and flexibility of the vertebral column. Interesting right? Now imagine allowing yourself to hang upside down but not have to put in the gruelling effort of balancing on your head, hands, or worry about falling asleep whilst draped off of your comfy bed… You don’t have to imagine, at The Studio we have exactly that! And it’s called Trapeze Yoga!
The fabulous Nina Jones is teaching Trapeze yoga every Saturday until the 13th July! The first one got off to a flying start with double numbers turning up to ready, steady, fly! You’re probably wondering why this blog bangs on about being upside down so much but that’s all you guys really talked about, commenting on how you were reluctant to go upside down at first but after that there was no stopping you. And another staying behind after class to practice the sequence into a version of ‘Inverted Star’ mainly to get that golden insta pic, but hey nobody is judging. However, it’s not all just fun and games, ok it mostly is… others expressed how their first trapeze class delivered the perfect mixture of things from a fabulous core and upper body workout with pain lingering in days to follow, I think they mean the good pain though, we promise… to a soothing swinging relaxation to finish.
So, if we’ve learnt anything in the last minute, the key to winning the fight against gravity and a happier life is to live it upside down.
We had a fantastic class on Sunday lead by Natalia. Rachel Lugo and Christine McGuinness from the Real Houseweives of Cheshire and Jess Cunningham from the Apprentice, joined us for a 90 minute Yin Yang fusion class.
Take a look at what the MEN wrote about the upcoming series of The Real Housewives of Cheshire and how much they love coming to hot yoga at The Studio
Through over twenty five years of regular practice (clearly I was an embryo when I began??!) I now know that Yoga is not a practice to improve myself but a practice in being myself. Consider what ‘HOME’ means to you……comfort, security, warmth, safety, joy? On the flip side, ‘HOME’ to you may resonate with less comfortable emotions, family feuds, judgement, expectations, sadness. Beyond the physical benefits (more on this in a minute…) Yoga gives me the skills to process difficult emotions, to maintain a sense of balance and to know when to accept and surrender to situations beyond my control. And it is a PRACTICE……not a miracle quick fix cure though not necessarily time consuming (simple pranayama… breathing exercises can take 5 minutes a day.)
So, you are curious about attending a Yoga class? Inspired by Instagram images, Celebrity ravings, the girl you work with who seems to float? Perhaps your Doctor, friends, loved ones have suggested Yoga as a way to manage stress? And when I tell people I am a Yoga Teacher, I am often met with a similar response…..
‘Oh, I’ve always wanted to try Yoga but I’m……………………………………….. (not bendy, too stressed, intimidated, too thin, too fat, ‘too weak, too muscly, too old, too young etc) and the reality is that I have not met anybody who would not benefit from some form of Yoga practice.
THE HISTORY BIT…
The practices we understand as Yoga were first developed in India around 5000 years ago (pre ‘Sweaty Betty’ and ‘Lululemon’!) The wise men of the time, Rishis (Seers) aimed to develop a methodology that used the breath and body to quieten the mind. We often blame modern life choices for feelings of stress, anxiety and monkey mind (and there’s no denying that the modern world has heightened these feelings) and look outside of ourselves for solutions. The Rishis identified that as humans we already possess the ability to heal ourselves.
‘Yoga is the resolution of the agitations of the mind’
(Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra…….aka the Bible of yoga)
WHAT TO EXPECT?
Yoga is a Sanskrit (An Ancient Indian language) word that roughly means ‘to unite’.
In my yoga practice, and in my teaching, I aim to create a united balance of a physical practical of yoga asana (yoga poses), pranayama (breathing practices) and meditation (the quietening of the mind…….and trust me, mine can be VERY loud!).
In a group class, your practice will be led by a teacher who will combine demonstration with oral instruction. Teachers are trained to offer adjustments (if you are comfortable with this) to support your alignment or help you to move deeper into a pose.
You will be guided to use your breath when moving through the poses.
You will practice on a mat with bare feet and in clothes that allow you to move freely whilst allowing your teacher to see the outlines of you body…….this helps her to check the alignment of your poses to keep you safe from injury.
Despite some teachings to the contrary, this is not a spectator sport…..you should aim to practice in a way that feels comfortable physically and emotionally. Too often, I have seen students pushing themselves beyond their physical limitations on that day with the aim of achieving an extreme version of a pose…..this usually will result in you feeling disheartened, or injured. When aiming to deepen a practice your teacher should guide you step by step and should advise when you are ready for the next steps or not.
Hatha Yoga is really an umbrella term to describe the physical practice of yoga. Therefore when going to a yoga class in the Western World, you will be expecting a physical yoga practice. There are many branches of asana yoga practice (Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga Iyengar, Anusara…..) and it is worth trying a few to see which resonates with your needs. In an ideal world, it may even be worth combining more than one style …………… (more on this in a future blog!)
HOW TO PREPARE……
WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHING THAT ALLOWS YOU TO MOVE
WEAR LAYERS TO ALLOW YOU TO KEEP YOUR BODY AT AN OPTIMAL TEMPERATURE
AVOID EATING ANYTHING SUBSTABTIAL FOR AN HOUR BEFORE YOUR CLASS
ARRIVE A FEW MINUTES EARLY TO GIVE TIME TO SETTLE
TURN OFF YOUR PHONE
BREATHE, STRETCH, SWEAT (a little) AND RELAX!
AFTER…….TO MAXIMISE YOUR PRACTICE
TRY NOT TO RUSH…..ENJOY THE FEELING OF CALM AND GROUNDING YOU HAVE CREATED
ENJOY A LONG SOAK IN A WARM BATH WITH EPSOM SALTS
ALSO, DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS
WELCOME HOME………..And I look forward to meeting you on a mat soon!
Join April, for a slow flowing, conscious yoga practice to help you become more centered and connected to the life developing within you. Classes include breathing and relaxation techniques as well as postures that promote muscle toning and strengthening, balance and circulation. For the final section of the class we enter into a deep state of relaxation using HypnoBirthing techniques. Pregnancy yoga blended with Hypnobirthing techniques is such a powerful tool to get you feeling calm and confident about your upcoming birth. Ending with nourishing chocolate & essential oils to nourish you and baby.
The Studio had such a great day at the James Milner Foundation event at the end of last month! We had an entire afternoon of back to back fitness classes, including Insanity, body attack, body combat, and a yoga class to top it off. Phew. Thank god this was combined by DELICIOUS healthy cocktail drinks provided by Dovetail drink (You need to check these guys out!). The perfect pick me up. Not to mention the amazing goody-bags from our partners: I SAW IT FIRST, Cowherd’s juicer, The Alchemist, James Milner Foundation and Rosso restaurant. We were very spoilt! Totally worth the work-out.
This amazing day was all in aid of a brilliant cause – The James Milner Foundation. This incredible charity raises money to promote healthy recreation for the benefit of young people in the United Kingdom by the development, improvement and provision of opportunities in sports such as football, rugby, cricket…and of course, yoga!
Most importantly none of this would have been possible without the awesome contribution from all the fantastic, powerful and beautiful ladies involved. We want to say a massive thank you for all coming along and making the day possible!
As many of you know, our yoga studio is a space that holds a variety of hot yoga and fitness classes. But our vision is to utilize the studio for events exactly like this one! The studio is a space where we can open up the doors, turn the heat up and get the music blaring! The Studio are here to create an environment where our community can get together, learn something new, and most of all have fun!
So keep your eyes peeled on our Instagram and Facebook page @thestudiocheshire to be the first to find out about our up and coming events.
‘They don’t know they’re born’, ‘Best years of your life’, ‘You don’t know what stress is’ are just some of the clichés about teenagers we hear regularly. As both a School and Yoga teacher I have witnessed an alarming decline in the mental health of our young people and can assure you that none of these statements ring true!
The teen years have been well documented as a time of heightened emotion, exploration and boundary pushing… ’The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole & ¾’?? It is not accurate to believe that all teenagers are self-absorbed narcissists oblivious to the turmoil’s of our modern world, most of the young people I have had the privilege to teach care deeply about others and the World around them but can feel overwhelmed by the life choices they are making from subject choices and friendships in school, political views, future careers… to what to wear for the party of the year on Saturday night. The struggles between parents and teens can feel relentless (for all involved) but are merely the tip of the iceberg when compared to the daily internal battles being fought by our teens.
The search to belong… aka finding a tribe
The apparent oxymoron of the teen state of mind is the desire to become an individual whilst also finding a place to be accepted and belong in a tribe of likeminded friends… And then there’s socialmedia… primarily a tool for growing communities and building connections, perfect for an unsure teen to connect with friends quickly and easily at any time and from any place. Social media can be a wonderful source of inspiration and community but increasingly the constant bombardment of perfected images of ‘perfect’ people with ‘perfect’ lives, are seriously damaging the mental health of our young (and not so young) people, we need to guide our teens to develop life skills that allow them to build positive relationships with themselves, each other and the wider world.
Yoga practice… not perfect
I’m not advocating a ban on social media, we have to be able to live well as part of our modern world, I suggest some simple approaches to support your teen as she navigates her constantly changing world…
Develop MINDFUL use of electronic devices
Talk to your teen to establish some ground rules for her use of devices… try a day free of technology, daily time limit or no devices in bedrooms after a set time.
A quick chat or journalling in the morning can help your teen to set a mindset for the day, this could be something she needs to tick off her to do list or maybe about her emotional approach to the day.
Pit & Peak
This is one of my favourites and for us usually happens at the dinner table or in the quiet half an hour before bed. So simple… each family member describes their pit (low point) and peak (high point) of the day… a negative event may have overwhelmed her feelings and it’s nice to find the positive from the day.
Regular, nutritious meals are essential… water and greens… teaching her to prepare some simple meals will empower her to cook for herself and understand her bodies needs.
School, homework, exams, goals, dreams, ambitions, friendships, relationships, socialising, hobbies… our teens have so many wonderful opportunities and can feel pulled in many directions. Set time aside to organise her commitments together… be sure to build in down time.
A regular Yoga practice can help to give your teen a safe place ( on the mat) to breathe and feel grounded…..we can’t take away the external challenges but we can offer practices that can build the foundations for a healthy and emotionally resilient life.
We are delighted to offer our ‘YogaTeens’ monthly practice for your teenagers… A safe space of yoga, meditation, relaxation, and more
Don’t just take our word for it… here’s what our teens said after we launched our YogaTeens practice in May 2019
‘Before I arrived I was very nervous and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to do it, but I quickly relaxed and began to find the poses easier to do’
‘It helped me to let go of things that I had been holding onto’
‘It was a very tranquil environment’
‘Helen is so kind and doesn’t push you too far out of your comfort zone’
‘The snacks were delicious & I liked how they were homemade?’
‘I expected it to be really relaxing….and it was!’