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I’m not a naturally flexible person either!

Whenever someone says to me “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga!” I simply smile, responding “I’m not a naturally flexible person either!”

 

It’s true! When I took my first yoga class some 20 years ago, I became aware of just how much tension and effort I was holding in my limbs. It soon became clear to me that the tension I was holding onto wasn’t just physical, but emotional and mental too.

 

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Be spine aware! A 6 minute practice

Explore your postural tendencies!

 

Join me for a short 6 minute practice designed to help you tune into your postural habits and develop a sensitivity towards the alignment of your spine. Through this gentle inquiry I will offer you some prompts to help you uncover the movement of your spine in ways that can be opening and spacious, steady and calm.

 

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Yoga for times of change and uncertainty – Part 2

Some time ago I was featured in an article for Stylist magazine written by Kerry Law titled “Yoga for unsettled times: how to use postures and breathwork to ground yourself” which included several short practice ideas from practitioners all over the UK and beyond. Whilst researching for this piece I ended up unpacking my own experiences of yoga over the years and while writing found that I had a series of short articles in response to the brief. So, instead of those articles sitting on my desktop I thought I would put them to some use and share them with you here instead.

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15 minute Creative Chair Yoga practice

Creative chair yoga practice; An inner smile resides within

 

Join me for a short 15 minutes of yoga taken with the support of a chair and exploring creative ideas around movement, breath and thought to help you feel invigorated, joyful and supported.

 

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Yoga for times of change and uncertainty – Part 1

I was recently featured in an article for Stylist magazine written by Kerry Law titled “Yoga for unsettled times: how to use postures and breathwork to ground yourself” which included several short practice ideas from practitioners all over the UK and beyond. Whilst researching for this piece I ended up unpacking my own experiences of yoga over the years and while writing found that I had a series of short articles in response to the brief. So, instead of those articles sitting on my desktop I thought I would put them to some use and share them with you here instead.

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15 minute yoga for healthy backs

Free yoga practice series on YouTube

 

I’ve been releasing new video content on my YouTube channel and thought it would be a good idea to add what I’ve been up to here on my blog, as that is what it was originally intended for!  My latest practice is only 15 minutes long and includes some useful ways to incorporate stability and mobility for your spine and hips.

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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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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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Seasonal Yoga – An Autumnal themed practice

 

As the seasons change, so to do we! Through leaf fall to the sprouting of seeds there is an abundance of metaphors upon which we can draw to inspire our practice. The Earth offers us its true sustenance as we engage, observe and learn about ourselves through taste, smell, touch and light. Slowly we are encouraged to find our own rhythm’s, as the cycle of the seasons invite us to pause and to observe, perhaps for the first time what it feels to be alive.READ MORE

Ujjāyī breath, an ancient breathing technique

Ujjāyī Breathing – The victorious breath

“…take a few smooth breaths in ujjāyī, and the mind feels calmer; the effect is very direct. New students can be surprised when they first discover ujjāyī. Taking long, smooth, regulated breaths they often immediately experience a lighter, more spacious feeling.” Ranju Roy and Dave Charlton; Embodying the Yoga Sūtra.

 

Ujjāyī breathing is one of the defining characteristics of yoga, and within my approach as a practitioner and teacher. It is an ancient breathing practice known as the ‘Victorious’ breath. In the West it has adopted names such as the ‘Ocean sounding breath’ or the ‘whispering breath’ because of it’s wave-like, sighing sound and soothing quality.

 

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