So, you practise yoga and you love the feeling of stretching out and releasing tightness from your body.
You’re noticing that you can bend and move more easily than you used to; you’ve re-established a connection with your breath to enable you to relax; and you’re enjoying the quiet sense of resilience and peacefulness which a yoga practice can bring.
Maybe you’ve noticed shifts in the perception of your emotions, energy levels and thoughts as and after you’ve practised yoga on the mat. Maybe you’ve felt elated; other times jittery and a bit unsettled; other times blissfully tranquil.
But just how and why do these stretches, twists, balances, breathing and relaxation have such a deep effect? Read more…
It’s the end of another busy day and your back is in two. You’ve been tethered to your desk all day. You’ve eaten lunch at your desk instead of getting out for some fresh air and to stretch your legs …. again!
And now you’ve got that all-too-familiar nagging ache in your lower back. Tension spreads up to your shoulders and your neck feels stiff.
*Sigh*… The familiar effects of sitting all day! Read more…
I have something to share with you. Something I feel almost guilty to admit it. Something I feel shouldn’t happen to me, because I’m a yoga teacher.
I’ve hurt my back.
Not sure how it happened, or precisely what happened, but since Monday evening something odd has been going on in my lower thoracic spine.
It tends to start off as a bit of a niggly ache in the morning and gets worse through the day. Sometimes as I move the muscles in the middle of my back spasm – leading to much catching of breath and grimacing
I can’t pin point when it started and can’t link it to anything specific I’ve done. But it’s there, and it’s getting on my nerves… Read more…
What’s the number one myth about yoga? I’d say it’s “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible!”.
Quickly followed by “I can’t do yoga, I’ve got a dodgy hip / knee / back”.
And, frequently, it’s people who are not as young as they once were, shall we say, whose bodies have started to display the familiar aches, pains and niggles which can start to appear as we get older, who think they can’t do yoga.
But this is exactly the group of people that a gentler, restorative style of yoga can help. Read more…
In my yoga relaxation class the past couple of weeks my students have commented on their experience of how the body and mind are connected.
For example, when your mind is feeling anxious and stressed, your body reflects that with tension which, over time, can affect mobility.
It’s not always easy to notice this as we go through life. But with presence and mindfulness we can begin to notice, learn about and understand this connection. And ultimately take conscious steps and practices to effect change. Read more…
So what are the basics of yoga? Philosophy? Breath work? Connection to the divine? The list could go on, as could the debate.
Well, for me, it’s the body.
In my experience most people start yoga because they want to move their body. Maybe they feel tense. They’ve got a bad back. They want to tone up. They want to increase their flexibility.
All this starts with the body. Moving it. Noticing how it feels. Feeling when and where it’s stiff or more flexible in different postures. Observing how your mood or energy levels affect your body. Becoming aware, week on week, how the body feels and how these sensations change and how your movement capability develops over time. Read more…