Posts In: healthyliving

Its crazy that in this life, only one thing is guaranteed.  That nothing can stay the same.  Everything natural is created to grow, evolve and to move.  Yet change can still be one of the most overwhelming things we as humans can go through, even though its a part of us.  As soon as we enter the world change is the first thing we experience, the move from inside to the outside world.  As we grow up we see change in our environment, change in seasons, change in our skills, interests, personality, change in the people that surround us.  We are taught that we change our clothes for each occasion, change our hairstyle, change our minds .  As we are growing into ourselves we live for change, always looking for new ways we can reinvent ourselves and what else we can discover through changing our daily routines.  We crave the excitement and new experiences.

Yet when we get older, its like it gets harder to leave your comfort zone and change becomes more of a hindrance than an excitement.  The longer you are in a routine for, the harder it is to get out of.  Our brain has learnt that change is inevitable and that it must constantly learn to adjust and carry on, but yet we still mourn for the life we could of had.  When a situation doesn’t go our way, how we wanted it to all turn out, part of us still resists.  We dig our heels in to the ground, begging for life to pause for a moment so we can bury our heads in the memories of what we just lost.  The moments that we cant get back, and the people that were only meant to pass through our story for a brief period of time. The scariest thing is never knowing whether you have already experienced the best of something that you can never get back. Our fears will try to tell us that without what we have lost, we are less than what we were. Even when we know that it is all connected as part of a bigger picture, when you cant see the end result its hard to appreciate all the trials, heartbreaks, false hopes and things that didn’t work out as part of your journey.

“Change is painful, but nothing is as painful as being stuck somewhere you don’t belong.”

If only it was easy to recognise that we have created new space to move forward, without clinging on to what we have to move past.  Everyday we are presented with more choices, opportunities and feelings.  Our brain decides which it wants to take, and most of the time our heart is left to suffer.  We flow through each part of life recognising that every different level requires us to level up ourselves, we’ve seen it so many times, we’ve felt the hurt, and we’ve celebrated making it out the other side, only for the process to start all over again.

So why is change still so hard for us to grasp as inevitable. Why can we accept it and acknowledge it, but when we experience it every fibre in our body tells us to stop, while only a tiny part of us tells us to go?  Why is it so hard to tell if we are running away from something or running towards something? Imagine it to be so simple as to just flow freely through life with open arms, letting go of the past with ease and welcoming the future with an open heart.  As easy as inhaling and exhaling.  We are more connected with the past than we are with our hope for the future.  We are obsessed with being in control, like the way we try to take control of the planet when really the planet is in control of us.  To relinquish our control we feel is to relinquish our power.  We hold on to anything that brought us comfort as so if we never feel it again, we can always remember the moments where we felt content, before our lives were upturned once more.

What is the true meaning behind yoga?
Yoga means unity or union. The ultimate goal of yoga is to establish a relationship with the self, the soul. Manifesting our highest and truest self and living as that person everyday. In the West we mostly focus on the physical side of yoga. We use it to help us lose weight or to tone up or to help improve our flexibility. But there are so many other parts to our yoga practice that we are missing out on. By practicing all aspects of yoga in our daily life and routine, we can live more fulfilling and wholesome lives.

What we can achieve through Yoga.

  1. Change the habits of the mind
  2. Learn to travel within the mind
  3. Remove evils already existing in the mind

In this modern world we are living in, mental health is no joke. Our minds have become our enemies, and we are their slaves. Whatever the mind says, goes, whether its detrimental to our wellbeing or not. Through the practice of yoga we can learn to control our thoughts and our mind, only after this can we see the true nature of everything.

The nature of the human mind

  1. The mind is unstable. It cannot stay focused in one place.
  2. Mind is invisible, we cannot see our own mind
  3. The mind is very fast
  4. The mind always runs after the things it likes, and runs away from the things it dislikes
  5. Mind cannot distinguish between whats real and whats not.

Yoga Science provides us with The Eight Limbs of Yoga to help control our fluctuating minds. Something we can live by and incorporate into our daily routines. If we practice each of the first seven limbs we hope we can reach the last limb, Samadhi and live in the ultimate state of bliss. But what does it take to get there?

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

Yama – Social Discipline
There are five social disciplines we should follow through the practice of yoga. These are; Non violence, reacting to any situation with non violence is our weapon. It helps in purifying the heart and mind. Truthfulness, our true nature is within truth, lies are adopted qualities that are not our own. Non stealing, stealing is witholding something that doesnt belong to you. The nature of the human mind is to desire what others have. Within the process of stealing there is a fight between divine consciousness and our mind consciousness. Sexual Continence, this means to be in control of our desires and not let our desires rule over us. And non posessiveness, this means to only keep and live with the things that add importance or value to our lives. Incorporating these ways of living into our lives even a little can help us on the way to becoming our higher self.

Niyama – Self Discipline
There are five self disciplines we should try to live by. These are purity, we often focus on purification of the outer body, but forget about the inside. We can make our mind pure through meditation. Contentment, yoga teaches us to live in society and how to live alone. Being happy with what you have now. Contentment is the control of desires. Endurance, our selfless service doing good for others without any expectation in return. Self study, this is purity of the mind and the softening of the heart. There are two types of self study, going deeper within yourself and outside learning. Complete faith in God, this doesnt mean faith or religion, this is our faith in the divine consciousness.

Asana – Physical Posture
Asana originally meant to be in a seated position which is firm but relaxed or steady and comfortable. A posture which we could work on to become used to staying seated through long periods of meditation, this was the goal. Only later did it become a more physical practice based around more dynamic moving postures and stretches. In the West this is the main part of yoga we focus on above all others.

Pranayama – Control of Breath
Pranayama is the movement of Prana or energy throughout the body. Prana is our life force, it moves in and out of our body with each inhale and exhale. Only with the breath can we learn to control the mind. We do the various asana postures so that our prana can flow with ease into all areas of our body. Breathing techniques can be added into your practice or meditation, to bring a moment of calm into your day.

Pratayahara – Control of Senses
Pratayahara is our withdrawal from the senses. You might of come across the term in your yoga class when the teacher tells you to close down your eyes. This is to take your attention from observing outside distractions and to return the focus within. Our senses are our minds best friend, as the mind is fed by the senses. Where the senses go the mind will follow. The more we try to withdraw from our senses the more we can learn to trust ourselves and our instincts.

Dharna – Concentration
These last three limbs are the foundation from which yoga science is built. Concentration means the engaging of the mind on a particular area or point. This is something we must practice to improve at. As we practice more we train the mind to become more concentrated. The concentration becomes fixed, the mind is not moving. This improves our inner and outer focus, allowing us to become more in tune. This is then meditation, which leads us into the next limb.

Dhyana – Meditation
Meditation is the continuous and unbroken flow of intense concentration of the mind. We meditate to learn how to make our mind obey us instead of us obeying our mind. Meditation is an important stage in calming and controlling the mind.

Samadhi – Realization
Samadhi is the ultimate realization, the complete concentration of the mind into bliss. Becoming the highest version of ourself through the practice of yoga.

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

JANUARY OFFERS

07/01/2020

It’s January and we want you to smash your goals this year just as much as you do!
So if yoga is how you plan to do it then here’s a few offers to kickstart that motivation and get the goals smashing!

6:30AM COFFEE CLUB

Come along to any 6:30am class throughout January and your morning coffee is on us!
(Tea too if that’s a bit of you)

* One hot drink per yogi

JAN SUPER SHRED



If you want to take your yoga to the next level, challenge yourself to complete 15 classes within 30 days! Sign up in January to take on the challenge!

– £100 for 15 classes
– Suitable for existing members
– Any unused classes will discontinue after 30 days

YOU CAN DO THIS!




JANUARY INTRO OFFER

Sign up in January for 2 months unlimited yoga!

– £120 for 2 months, usually £130!
– Available for new members only

SET YOUR INTENTIONS

As valued members of our community, we want to support your growth as much as possible, and in every way we can. Everything we do at The Studio is to inspire actions, so we’ve put a little pledge system together to help you reach your full potential!

Decide what your 2020 intentions are and share them with us through this link! https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VMWRBRZ

Following your entry, we will continually support you smashing your goals and intentions through rewards to keep you motivated throughout the year!

You’re probably wondering where the offer is, our support and guidance of course. Oh and there’s a coffee or smoothie on us for anybody that sets their intentions with us! Just pop in and see us!

Reset Day Retreat

15/10/2019

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.

Check out The Botanist website here;

https://thebotanist.uk.com/locations/alderley-edge

This workshop is ideal for strengthening, lengthening, and opening our bodies and minds. Working to create new habits that are the foundation for a healthy yoga-based lifestyle.

Cost for workshop and evening meal is £99 per person. Book Your Spot

Also check out our event this weekend at The Alchemist, Manchester. Still a few places left!

Book Your Spot

 

With the ongoing success of our events and our increasing love for brunch, we’ve decided to host another event!

Join us at The Alchemist for an hour Yoga flow with Lucy Watson to work up an appetite, and then refuel with a delicious brunch, and share a drink and a chat with us.

Check out the menu below! What takes your fancy?

Places will fill up fast so makesure you book your space!
Email us at info@thestudiocheshire.com OR
Book online at https://www.thestudiocheshire.com/

We can’t wait to see you there!

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.

The Studio is coming to Manchester!

Check out our next Yoga and Brunch Over at Victors Alderley Edge

Catch us for an afternoon of Yoga and Brunch at the beautiful Health and Wellness space, Foodwell. Join The Studio Team for a one hour dynamic yoga flow to work up an appetite and then hang out and chat with us over Brunch!

When: Saturday 21st September
Time: 11:30am
12:30 (Yoga Class)
12:30 onwards – (Brunch)

To book on click here!

For a selection of food options available on the day, check out the menu below!

See you there!