Easy Yoga

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Once you do a great thing, like run a marathon (in my case a half), or you commit to a yoga practise and complete that, there is an element inside of you that thinks that you have done it so you don’t need to try again. Well I have done a set of 40 day Kriyas in the past, but I do need to refresh and do them again. So I am showing you on my blog what I do.

Every time I do one of these sets of yoga practises or set myself a goal, I change, and with this I will set to change again. I am setting my task this year to practise 40 days of Kriyas for 7 Chakras to transform my body and reset my mind and brain.

Kundalini yoga is easy to do, find a comfortable place to sit and wear some loose clothing.

I am going to begin at the base of the spine, with the Muladhara Chakra or base chakra. Working on the base chakra is a great way to get yourself grounded. This is located at the bottom of the spine around the Coccyx.

The base chakra represents the source of our existence, how we survive on this planet. Our survival chakra is how we eat, how we sleep, how we rest. Our needs to exist on this earth are our home, to have food, to have shelter and enough money for these things. When these are not addressed, we cannot help others or even share what we have with others. So everyone needs to have these things in place. The base chakra in full working order is a basic pre-requisite for everyone.

On a physical level, these exercises will allow the spine to work with greater ease.

If you feel dizzy whilst you do these exercises then take a break, and breathe. Always consult your physician before you undertake exercise and always know that you follow these instructions at your own risk to your own health. This is what I do and I am only showing you. I do not claim to heal, but these exercises have helped me. Do this for 40 days and it is said to make some really great changes to your mind and body!:)

So…At Home with Sophie – Easy Yoga

Go see how you feel:)

Golden Milk

This is seriously yummy! Golden Milk! Made of turmeric, milk, choose almond or basic cow, black pepper, cinnamon, ground or grated ginger and a touch of agave…heat it all up and it’s heaven in a cup! #heaven #love #goodforyourbones #yummyCEAC6331-D386-427A-96CA-3B8214C09D67

Be the Best You Can Be

If you’ve visited our Hornbeam studio in Harrogate you will have noticed this beautiful quote from the Dalai Lama on the wall. The quote goes on to say:

…I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.

Never has there been a better time to wake up each day and be thankful that we are alive. We can embrace each moment and do the best with the life we have been given. In a time of understandable fear and uncertainty, it is a great gift to live a life that is open to opportunity and hopeful for the future.

Go Studios

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Do you have a million things to think about? Maybe work is crazy, the kids are sitting exams, the dog is poorly and your parents are moving house. The more demands you have on your time, the more important it is to carve out some moments just for you. If you’re doing well, everyone who relies on you will do well too.

To help with the logistics of getting that little bit of me-time, we’ve created the Go Studios page. It’s a one-stop portal for all things Go Yoga and Go Revolution – our sister company that looks after your cardio, muscle building and fat burning requirements and gives you lots of fun along the way.

Go Studios gives you quick access to our apps, social & web, so you will always know when the next class is and what we’ve got planned. Use it to keep your life simple and let us help to take care of you.

Harrogate’s Yoga Girl

When you think Harrogate you don’t naturally think Yoga. It’s a long way from the simple lifestyle of ancient India or the blue skies and free thinking of California. You would be forgiven for thinking that this Yorkshire town is not the most natural place to start a dedicated yoga studio but that’s just what Sophie did.

sophieBrought up in Harrogate, Sophie Bickerdike was influenced by the teaching of Jiddu Krishnamurti from an early age, a philosopher followed by her Grandmother. His holistic outlook, free from all prejudice, had a major impact on Sophie’s thinking. As she went on to pursue a career in acting, she followed the Meisner acting technique of learning to live in the moment. She soon discovered the key to this mindfulness was yoga and began practicing regularly at London yoga studios alongside other actors. Sophie became fascinated by transferring this connection with the moment in to our everyday lives and so began her journey as a yoga teacher.

Back in Harrogate, Sophie taught at various venues around the town but was always aware that there is so much more to yoga than simply attending a class. Go Yoga was born out of this – creating a community that teachers could feel part of and extend to others who wanted to practice yoga with them; a welcoming, nurturing and clean environment to learn and belong.

So Harrogate’s first yoga studio was born. Four years on it is now a multi-site studio offering a full range of yoga classes, retreats and also pilates, barre, HIIT and mindfulness. Yoga is enjoyed, practiced and taught by hundreds of people each week at Go Yoga and thanks to Sophie’s vision and perseverance, Harrogate has found a place on the yoga map of the world.

How we hot yoga at GO!

31094424_3feead49d4_oThere are many styles of hot yoga, Bikram is the first word that springs to mind when we use the words together… hot and yoga.

At Go Yoga we began with the Bikram style but it then evolved. Now after four years of practise our practise is pretty far removed from 26 basic yoga postures in a heated room. We work on different levels, you come to a beginner’s class and get used to the terms and postures and then you step into an open Hot Yoga or Vinyasa class.

Many of our classes are flow, many are with music, some are slower than others, some are funnier than others. They all have one thing in common, they are all different, inspiring and we never teach the same class twice. There is no repeated script, there is no monotony and yet you are still practising yoga and going into the moment.

So you get all the benefits of hot yoga, you get to stretch, detoxify, relieve stress, tone, and heal chronic pain such as arthritis, joint aches, knee injuries, back problems, and more. You get the benefit of warming your bones and relaxing the mind and body.

Our floors are soft, our mats are plenty.

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The heat -If you feel dizzy, sit down and focus on trying to override the discomfort by using your breath -Trust that you can recover in less than one minute by simply closing your mouth and breathing through your nose.”

Water – You can drink in class, but aim to keep hydrated before and after and drink 2 litres of water minimum a day. Don’t eat too much before class either, you are advised to not eat anything up to two hours beforehand.

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Arrive – 15 minutes beforehand to sign your medical form, get your spot and prepare.

Wear – Light comfortable clothing, nothing too thick, vest tops are a really good idea.

Pain – Watch your body, there is a big difference between discomfort and pain..”

Be ready – be open and come and join the yoga tribe!

 

PLAN YOUR RETURN – the second class is always SOOO much easier!
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“You won’t believe it but the second class is always great!” says Sophie, one of our senior teachers. ” I see such a difference from the first to the second class, it’s often quite unbelievable!”

So, what you waiting for, come find us, book into a Beginner’s Class and join the party!  

Or if you aren’t local to Harrogate, Yorkshire, come online with us!

Running and Mantra

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It is often said that yoga clears the mind and can be considered a moving meditation. It is for many an addiction. There are many parallels between yoga and running. Some yogis report not being able to “go without their yoga class”, runners feel the same.

So to combine the two becomes even more powerful. Adding cardio to your routine alongside yoga is an amazing way to stay fit in mind and body. Plus if you add mantra you can get even more benefits into your run. So here are some of the benefits of mantra and the significance of the amount of times you repeat the mantra.

Mantras have a positive effect on the brain. They can reset neural pathways in your mind and jump start you past your negative beliefs and into a more positive way of thinking and being.

Simple mantras like:”om shanti”, are good ways to start a pattern of calming the mind.

“Om shanti” simply means “peace”.  If you repeat this 108 times whilst running, you will feel calmer and be more ‘at peace’.

Repeating a mantra 108 times is said to have spiritual importance. Traditionally malas, or garlands or prayers beads come as a string of 108 beads plus one for the guru bead. You count the beads as you repeat your mantra like a Catholic rosary.

Mathematicians in the Vedic culture viewed 108 as a number of the wholeness of existence. It is viewed to connect the sun, moon and earth. The distance between the Earth and Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Sun. The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth. The distance between the Earth and Moon is 108 times the diameter of the Moon.

108 is everywhere -There are apparently 108 pittas or sacred sites thoroughout India. There are 108 Upanishads and 108 Marma points or sacred places in the body. The Buddhism tradition talks about the 108 earthly desires in mortals, 108 lies humans tell and 108 human delusions. The list of 108 significant facts is endless and you can easily google and discover a myriad of reasons to use the number 108.

In yoga, especially at the times of the Equinox, 108 Sun Salutations in yoga practice is often used to honour change. At a time of tragedy it is used to bring peace, respect, and understanding. If one can be so calm in meditation practicing pranayama to have only 108 breaths a day it is said that enlightenment will come.

So given that 108 is such a significant number, let’s practise mantra 108 times and see what happens. It is said that if you repeat a mantra 108 times for 40 days it permanently changes you. If you repeat “peace” for 40 days, that is what you receive. If you repeat “om shree mahlakshmiyai namaha“, you receive abundance, wealth and riches. What a great way to combine your exercise with life enhancing coaching! You can practise it sitting still or whilst you run.

Mantra has long held powerful results. Try repeating Ek Ong Kar for 40 days and see what happens. It may make you permanently happy! (If that’s what you want that is!)

Bring about some serious mind body cardio!

Check out one of our yoga for runners workshop: next one is Sunday 25th September  7.30pm £15 – or mail us info@goyogaharrogate.com for further details.

 

 

 

What is yoga really?

In this age of instagram and ever more difficult yoga poses being shown online, I feel compelled to write about my own take on yoga. When faced with feats that appeared impossible to me on yoga teacher training, I thought I could never teach. I did not understand at that point, that giving a show in yoga poses was not being a yoga teacher. Nor would it be my yoga journey.  I can do a few poses, but I can’t do everything and guess what?….. that doesn’t matter.

Yes it is possible to go into the splits and feel splendid, but does that mean all olympic gymnasts are enlightened?

Yoga itself, isn’t a pose or a move. A move without the mind means the focus is simply a move, a gymnastics move, which is all well and good, but align a move, a stance with the mind and the breath, release all thought, enter that zone and you have…. yoga.

Getting a new mat brings your practise to a more comfortable place and allows you to practise with deeper intention, but the intention is always there with or even without a mat. Learning a new pose, challenging the body, the mind and the breath is everything. When you set your mind to something you can achieve anything and once you can achieve a pose, you can also maybe achieve much more. One step at a time.

Some people come to class unable to touch their knees let alone their toes, so an achievement is touching their shins to them, the outcome isn’t necessarily the end pose.

Yoga is a smile! A kind thought, a mention, it’s looking at the good not the bad in people. It’s discovering your own happy inner voice and being thankful for everything you have, you are alive, you are on this planet, you are a survivor. Yoga is the energy that fills you with life and the flow it sends you on. It’s not a scary thought or fear, mistrust or worry. In the Sutras is says:- “rejoice in the lovely, be compassionate with the sad, ignore the wicked.”

The “wicked” is the anxious part of yourself, the little voice that can easily just get too much attention. Discovering your own happy voice, your own Sat Nam, your inner truth is the journey. Bi-passing the wicked discovering the beautiful loving part of yourself, this is the message yoga brings. That part of you that hates…. some call it ‘it’, that voice in your head which can put you and others down, ignore it, send it home…..

Find your space. Bring that space to your practise.

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And then take that space away with you, out of the door and into the world, with a clear mind and a kind resolve, at your work desk, at your home. You can add it to your daily list.

To do:-

  1. live
  2. work
  3. breathe

In those moments, where there is space, inbetween our breath. Those little spaces we experience throughout the day, inside of the daily continuous stream of trivia, media, advertising, questions, to-do lists, news items, newspapers, jobs – in those moments of space – there comes clarity and this is where we can find our selves hidden.

And that self is the one thing you can take with you anywhere. Whatever situation you are in, you always have well yourself,  you always have what is. Change a room, a house, a country a job, yourself will always be present throughout it all.

That saying:- “It is what it is,” is so powerful and yet so simple. And by simply discovering what is, inside of yourself you become infinite and present. Many things are promised in ancient texts to those who find their “spiritual selves”, let’s not dwell on whether we are going to fly here or even be able to control all our bodily functions! The very basic thing we can all achieve with this is peace of mind, calmness in stressful situations and clarity of thought, that’s enough for me!

10 Essential Oils

1.Lavender
My grandmother used Lavender everywhere, I didn’t know why, I just thought it smelt lovely. Now I grow it everywhere in my garden and it’s properties are just addictive! It can be used to soothe a burn, heal a cut and just make you feel relaxed. It is an antihistamine and fights insomnia, stress and anxiety. If you suffer from insomnia, try adding a few drops to the base of the feet, to get a good night’s sleep!

2.Peppermint

1 drop of peppermint oil can be the equivalent of 28 cups of peppermint herbal tea. A couple of drops on the tongue can counteract nausea. Once diffused into the air it can increase alertness and focus increasing oxygen absorption. Because it fuels oxygen absorption, it stimulates breathing and can help clear blocked sinuses.

3.Lemon
Refreshing, cleansing and purifying, not only that it can also un-stick the sticky goo your kids leave behind with stickers and gum! In case you leave your laundry sitting in the washer too long, just add a few drop of lemon oil and your clothes won’t get that nasty smell.

4.Geranium
Uses of Geranium date back to ancient Egypt when Egyptians used Geranium oil to beautify skin. In the Victorian era, fresh geranium leaves were placed at formal dining tables as decorative pieces and to be consumed as a fresh sprig if desired; in fact, the edible leaves and flowers of the plant are often used in desserts, cakes, jellies, and teas. As an essential oil, Geranium has been used to promote clear skin and healthy hair– making it ideal for skin and hair care products. It also helps calm nerves and lessen stress. This oil is excellent for reducing the appearance of, this is because it facilitates blood circulation just below the surface of skin and also helps promote a uniform distribution of melanin. Diffuse it into the air (three of four drops) to relax and relieve anxiety.

5.Melaleuca (Tea Tree)

Add to shampoo for a healthy scalp. Apply to the skin for acne and other skin ailments. This is a great cold sore remedy. It is also good to combat athlete’s foot and other fungus.

6.On Guard Blend by Do terra
This a special blend made by Doterra, if you want to protect your kids from infections, coughs and colds, this is the one to use. Do terra believes so much in this blend they have put it into toothpaste, into household cleaning products and into capsule form to take daily. A simple blend of oils including orange and clove to curb a sore throat, viruses, and a weak immune system!

7.Clary Sage
Clary Sage is a classic oil that is used by midwives and to induce labour. When mixed with Geranium and Lavender, it can be used to bring a mother into labour. Doula, Patricia Grube, writes a blog about her use of aromatherapy with her beautiful parents to be. We also recommend it in class.

8.Frankincense
The oil which Jesus was given. The most expensive oil in the world. So what do we use for it in our family? We use it for mood swings. We rub it into the soles of the feet! But this oil is expensive for a reason, when applied topically (to the surface of the skin) it goes straight into the body. Some reports show it to be even…
Renowned as one of the most prized and precious essential oils, Frankincense has extraordinary internal and external health benefits. When inhaled or diffused, Frankincense induces feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction, and overall wellness.

So:-
Rub Frankincense on your hands after a long day of gardening/carrying children/washing up or working to promote a normal inflammatory response.
It can help promote youthful, radiant-looking skin and slow the signs of aging by reducing the appearance of skin imperfections.

9.Breathe
Breathe is a Do terra blend, which can be applied topically (on the skin) to the chest, avoiding the eyes. It can help clear lungs and sinuses. Often a diffuser is a good idea to use at bedtime for a more restful sleep.

10.Oregano
This is a very strong oil, high in anti-oxidants, due to its high phenol content, only one or two drops are needed. (It can even kill warts and skin tags as well as yeast infections.) When diluted it can be applied to the feet as a natural defence. Using an empty gelatine capsule (one drop in) it can be taken internally for intestinal support (please check below for contra-indications). If you have had heaps of antibiotics and need to fire up their immune system and return it to normal this is a great boost you can add even a few drops to your pizza and bolognaise sauce.