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Earth inspired Yoga

The Spring brings with it an opportunity to honour and offer gratitude towards the Earth. Earth Day occurs towards the end of April (22nd April 2022) and provides a moment for us to reflect upon all of what we can experience in our relationship to the Earth. We’re invited to pause and notice the warmth, colour and fragrance of the Earth and its never-ending source of nourishment on so many levels.

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Creative ways to practice the Warrior poses

During the Autumn of 2021 I was preparing to teach my first 1 day yoga and nature immersion at our new studio space situated at my parents family home in Llanberis, North Wales. I had been thinking of ways to explore the landscape through yoga and found myself drawn to the mountains more and more. The yoga practices that came from this time found their way into my weekly classes in my home town of Marple.

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Previously recorded live and creative yoga practices, January 2022

“We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience. ”

Gautama Buddha

 

I was recently invited by @f22aop an all female photographic group, to offer some mindful yoga practices for their audience through instagram videos. These sessions were targeted towards photographers and those working within the creative sector, but I see them as being accessible general practices that would benefit you too!

 

Enjoy them as an opportunity for you to experience what it means to sense movement that is invigorating and uplifting, experience breath-work as a means towards cultivating greater focus and clarity, and experience the amazing benefits of relaxation to assist in the release and softening of deeply held tensions.

 

To gain further insight into my thoughts around these practices read on. If you’d like to jump straight in and practice, head to the videos below. Each practice is around 30 minutes and is designed take you on an experiential journey exploring postures, creativity, focus and rest.

 

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A fully seated chair yoga practice

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

Arthur Ashe

 

When I approach a yoga class as a teacher I invite people to connect to their breath and notice what their starting point it “Start where you are.” Then I will ask people to notice how they feel, to connect to their body in a mindful, creative way “Use what you have.” And then I will offer ideas around what may be possible from there…there is no expectation to do what I ask, rather I ask “Do what you can.” Quotations by Arthur Ashe.

 

In this article I offer a short insight into chair yoga and what I love about taking support in our practice with this versatile prop. My hope is, should you wish to take it along with me, that you are able to notice more fully the above prompts in an accessible, comfortable and enjoyable way.

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Yoga for the lower back

 

“Our posture can be a reflection of our current state of mind as well as our past experiences.”

Jivana Heyman

 

Yoga for the lower back – a short yoga practice

 

When I invite people to practice yoga with me, it is an invitation to explore shapes, movements and pauses that can provide a sense of opening and softening, structure and support.

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Bamboo bottoms clothing review 2021

“Clothes could have more meaning and longevity if we think less about owning the latest or cheapest thing and develop more of a relationship with the things we wear”

Elizabeth L. Cline

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Yoga to Inspire your Inner Spring

I am continually evolving.

“Each day is filled with lessons and new experiences. Each day we have the opportunity to connect with those lessons and experiences in ways that will further our growth.”

 

Manifest; Kelley Carboni-Woods

 

This practice was inspired by the coming of Spring and an enriching conversation with Kezra of Conversations Worth Having whereby we delved deep into yoga, movement, stillness and our capacity to work with nature as medicine, and as a tool towards reconnecting us with our ability to be and think creatively.

 

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Yoga for the shoulders

“Go where it feels best, where your energy flows best. Exercise your ability to sense this.”

 

Erich Schiffmann

 

Yoga for the shoulders – a short yoga practice

 

When I invite you to practice yoga with me, I’m inviting you to explore shapes, movements and pauses that can provide you with openings and softenings, structure and support.

 

Learn about yourself and the in-built mechanisms you have in place to connect to your breath, movement and your ability to slow-down. This is where the real learning happens.

 

Know what it is you need for your shoulders, and then for your whole body as you re-integrate what you discover for yourself during the practice.

 

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Yoga for the hips

“Perfection is having the greatest range possible of comfort.”

 

Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen

 

Yoga for the hips – a short yoga practice

 

When I invite you to practice yoga with me, I’m inviting you to explore shapes, movements and pauses that are as Bonnie so simply puts it within the “greatest range possible of comfort” to yourself. So when you take this mini series of practices with me, please do honour yourselves fully and listen to your unique experience of the practice.

 

Learn about yourself and the in-built mechanisms you have in place to connect to your breath, movement and your ability to slow-down. This is where the real learning happens.

 

Know what it is you need for your hips, and then for your whole body as you re-integrate what you discover for yourself during the practice.

 

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Yoga for the ankles and knees

“It’s more than just a shape, it’s how your breathing in that shape…What is your intention whilst you’re in that shape? What is the quality of presence whilst you’re in this shape…?”

 

Theo Wildcroft in conversation with Jivana He-man Episode 32 Accessible Yoga Podcast

 

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Yoga for the feet

“Carry your body, but please do not let your body carry you!

 

We must walk well, as animals do!

 

Lift one foot and move it forward, allowing the heel to make initial contact with the ground. Feel the weight of gravity in that foot. Let it spread towards your toes. Your other leg should remain open and extended at the back of the knee. When you move the second foot forward, transfer the weight of gravity from your first foot to your second. 

This way of walking will help you re-establish order…”

 

Vanda Scaravelli on walking; Awakening the SpineREAD MORE

3 frequently asked ‘Yoga for Beginners’ questions

Where to begin?

 

If you are new to Yoga it’s natural that you will have some questions? More often than not we are recommended by friends or peers to practice yoga with a certain teacher, have been recommended to take up yoga by a GP to help with certain conditions such as back pain, anxiety or breathlessness and sometimes we may stumble across a local advert for a class near to where we live and want to find out more. I have questions for you, but you will also likely have some for your practitioner which is why I’ve decided to home in on some of the most frequently asked one’s in this article.

 

There are only 3, so I hope this is enough to start with? If not and you find yourself asking more questions along the way, do send your questions over to me, and if I can’t answer them for you, I will point you in the right direction so you can do a little further research for yourselves. After-all yoga is a path of self-inquiry, self-learning and so start with some questions before you begin to ensure this is something you are wishing to explore further for yourself.

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Mindful Monday Meditation practice; 5 minutes

It’s a new year, and with a new year comes possibility, potential.

 

Although it’s easy for us to get carried away. For us to feel a sudden surge of newness and run before we can walk. Taking it slowly and mindfully provides us with a more sustainable approach to our new intentions or goals.

 

My aim here is to offer you a short meditation practice which will take about 5 minutes and provide you with the headspace to think a little more clearly about which steps you may wish to take next on your goal setting journey.

 

I often feel clearer and more focussed even after 5 minutes of paying attention to my breathing.READ MORE

Pause for Winter Well-being; a winter solstice practice

Pause for Winter Well-being

 

Pause for winter well-being has been the theme for my winter yoga class schedule this season. It’s impossible to ignore the change in seasons and the shift nature makes at this time of year towards a state of hibernation, bringing with it a sense of closure for the year that has passed. The leaves let go from the trees and are washed away with the winter rains. The frost is icy and refreshing on the ground and reminds us of the cleansing properties coolness can offer. There is a freshness in the air and the scent can be full of alpines and spices as we move into the festive season.

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Yoga for inner calm; a 25 minute practice

that path is you
that is why it will never tire of waiting
whether it is covered with red dust,
autumn leaves,
or icy snow,
come back to the path.
You will be like the tree of life
your leaves, trunk, branches,
and the blossoms of your soul
will be fresh and beautiful,
once you enter the practice of Earth Touching

 

Thich Nhat Hanh

 

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