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Things we find and things we share

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/

 

Just Breathe

09/10/2019

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!

Hot Yoga

It allows your body to experience something NEW; you wouldn’t usually give yourself a workout in 35 degrees of heat. Yes, Hot Yoga is a workout before you ask. Your muscles and circulatory system will be responding to this new environment and therefore you will be using more energy. Some styles of yoga emphasize the spiritual aspect, others the breathing element and some the yoga poses them self. Hot Yoga highlights ALL 3 of these allowing your mind to be fully present in the yoga practise.

Below you will find out in more detail about the benefits of Hot Yoga.

Lucy

TOXINS

Sweating allows the body to remove any toxins from the body that are unwanted. Being in a 40-degree heated room means the body will sweat and therefore these negative toxins will be removed from the body.

This leads nicely onto the circulatory system.

CIRCULATION

The stimulation of circulation increases perspiration so helps eliminate toxins through your skin’s pores, helping with acne. This leaves your skin GLOWING!!

Now, this is where the workout really starts!…

In non-heated Yoga our bodies are kept in a “normal” environment and therefore are not put under the pressures of heat. We sweat to keep our bodies cool, to do this we need to use more energy = burning calories.

Yoga is also classed as a cardio-vascular fitness as we are using the heart and lungs to provide oxygen rich blood to the working muscle tissues. The muscles have to then turn this oxygen rich blood into energy for movement.

WEIGHT LOSS

As you have just read, Hot Yoga is a workout and you ARE burning calories. Being in a calorie deficit means weight loss can be achieved so therefore Hot Yoga can help towards weight loss. As well as this Hot Yoga can strengthen your muscles, help with endurance and of course flexibility.

Kiera showing the Forearm Wheel pose

FLEXIBILITY

A hot environment causes the muscles to relax and therefore makes it seem easier to stretch further as those ligaments, joints and muscles have loosened. After time the muscles will begin to get used to the positions that are used in yoga which means your flexibility will increase. As well as this your overall everyday posture will improve.

INJURY

As Hot Yoga can open up your muscle tissues to allow a deeper stretch, this can really help with some injury recovery as you start to use the muscles again. However always ask a doctor for advice for when to start back exercising after an injury.

Alicia

MINDFULNESS

Our minds are one of the most important parts of our body, and the most active. Anything we can do to help relax our mind can help decrease stress levels and also help us to get away from negative thoughts. In Hot Yoga our minds are completely taken away from the outside world as our concentration is solely on the class; each position, movement and breath. At the end of each class the meditation helps stop the spiral of negativity through training your thought pattern and mind to realize when the negativity begins; turning the negative to a positive, not only in the yoga class but in day to day life.

LUNG CAPACITY

One of the most important parts of Hot Yoga is being able to use your breath in the hot environment. Your lung capacity will increase overtime as you learn different Pranayamas (breathing exercises). Prana is your “life force energy” and yamas means “the control of”; therefore, Pranayamas is how you control, cultivate or modify the Prana in the body. There’s three main Pranayamas, deep, fast and quiet. You will explore all three of these in Hot Yoga.

Kombucha is a fermented drink made from sweetened tea and a specific culture known as a scoby. Scoby stands for ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts’. The bacteria and yeasts convert the sugar into ethanol and acetic acid. The acetic acid is what gives kombucha its distinctive sour taste.

Check out Booch&Brew, they supply the studio with three mega flavours of Kombucha!

https://boochandbrew.com/

Did you wake up in a really good mood on Sunday morning, full of motivation and positivity?  It could be because last Sunday the 14th July was the Happiest Day of the Year!  

July 14th is the midpoint of the year, we’re in the midst of sunshine and blue skies, summer holidays and longer evenings.  The extra hours of daylight and more sunshine means were getting that all important Vitamin D, that we miss out on through the cold and dreary months of winter.  We feel more energised and like we have more hours in the day to get things done. We get to slow down and spend more time outdoors, sipping in that fresh air. So no matter how you spent your Sunday, whether you felt the joy of the happiest day of the year, or whether you didn’t even know it was happening, we can use it to reflect and review what brings us happiness and how we can spend our time doing the things that bring us the most joy!

Get Outdoors!

You know how much we love Yoga here at The Studio, so why not grab your mat and reconnect to nature and spend some time flowing outdoors.  Give thanks to the sun above your head with a few rounds of Sun Salutations, and relax and reconnect with the environment around you. What sounds do you hear?  Focus on the feeling of the sun on your skin, the breeze blowing softly against you, the smell of the grass. Focusing on our senses helps us to slow down and enjoy the present moment.  We all wish the year would stop speeding by when it gets to Summer, with the onset of the nights drawing in and the cold months looming. So slow down your mind and time will follow.  

Get Active

The summer months are a great time to get active as you feel the extra energy the sun provides.  So why not try out a new hobby? A morning run, a round of badminton in your local park, swimming in an outdoor pool or lake, or yoga on the beach.  As the daylight hours are longer, some of us find it more natural to wake up earlier as our rooms are pouring with morning sunlight from about 5am. Instead of hitting the snooze button, jump out of bed when the sun is up and use those extra hours for something you enjoy before starting your working day.  

Spend time doing the things you LOVE!

Whether its picnics with the kids, reading quietly on a sun lounger outside, walking the dog on your lunch break or jetting off to your favourite holiday destination. By making time to prioritse these things into your day, you can makesure the happiest day of the year is all year round! By keeping a positive mindset we can learn to flow with change and enjoy each day as it comes, whatever it brings.

Happy Summer!

Donna

So you’ve taken the plunge and decided to sign up for your first heated yoga class.  You’ve heard how good it is for you, but you have questions, so many questions! Here is our guide on everything you need to know before your first Hot Yoga class, so you know what to expect and can feel confident when you arrive.  Remember everyone has to start somewhere and we were all beginners once. Yoga is a journey.

Why is Hot Yoga better than Non Heated Yoga?

As much as the yoga practice is about the physical postures and movement, it is as much about the mind.  The heat provides another distraction to try and pull the brain away from the peace you are searching for in a yoga class.  You might find your mind telling you ‘it’s too hot’, or ‘it’s too hard’. These are the thoughts we let pass, as heat is just another sensation, we don’t need to focus in on it.  The extra benefits the heat provides include increasing flexibility, as the extra warmth makes it easier for the muscles to lengthen and stretch. The body has to work harder to pump blood around the body to reach the surface of the skin to keep you cool, increasing heart rate and providing more of a cardio workout than a regular yoga class.  Increased heart rate also means more calories are being burned if you are interested in yoga as a healthy way to lose weight. Producing more sweat from the body will also help the body to cleanse itself of toxins as you sweat them out through your pores of your skin.

How hot is hot?

Our studio is set to heat up to a lovely and toasty 35.5 degrees by our boiler system and that heat is maintained throughout class, so if it feels like its getting hotter, it’s not but your body is!

What happens if I get too hot or just need to rest for a minute?

If you aren’t used to a heated yoga practice it can take a couple of sessions for your body to get used to the heat.  This is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Yoga is about feeling connected with your breath, so if you lose control of your breathing you have lost control of your practice.  If you need to take a moment during class you can drop onto your knees into a restorative Child’s Pose at any time. Drop your knees to the edge of the mat with your toes together, stretch your arms forward above your head and rest your forehead onto the ground.  This will give you chance to reconnect and slow the breath and heart rate down, you can join back in with the practice whenever you are ready.

What do I need to bring with me?

We recommend bringing a bottle of water with you to keep you hydrated throughout the class, our mats are non slip but feel free to bring a towel to pop on top of the mat or to wipe yourself down.  Wear comfy clothing that you can move freely in such as leggings and sports bras or shorts and t-shirts. Other than that, all you need is yourself and a smile! We have lots of things available at The Studio if there’s anything you forget.  We stock a range of waters, juices, smoothies, teas and coffees for sit in or to grab and go after you’ve finished your class. We have towels to rent if you forget yours, and showers with shampoo, conditioner, body wash and even a hairdryer if you need to shoot off somewhere straight from class.  We provide mats, blocks and straps in the studio so you don’t need to bring any of your own equipment unless you want to!

I’ve never done Yoga before will i be okay?

YES!  All our lovely instructors are trained to teach different levels of abilities within the class, they will be on hand to demonstrate postures for you to copy, provide adjustments to make sure you are in the correct position, and offer variations if a posture is too easy or too difficult.  Always take the variation that suits you and your body, and what feels best for you in that moment, dont push yourself into a harder posture if it compromises what the move is trying to promote, eg. an open heart.

Anything else I need to know?

Yoga is FUN!  Above all else you should enjoy yourself!  No judgement, take each practice as it comes and allow it to be a journey, no expectancies of yourself or others.

Donna

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. 

You can book HERE

Drop us an email at info@thestudiocheshire.com

Hurry and book your place its filling up fast!