Yoga-HITT!

This week I am focussing on a yoga-hitt style chakra for the body:) It’s all about the abs. These are sets which just pack in lots of repetitions of breath and challenging positions.

The MANIPURA chakra is the chakra about the stomach and all that surrounds it. This chakra is where the body meets the mind. A lot of stress and anxiety is stored in the stomach so the last meditation I do in my set is all about lowering cortisol in the body with special hand positions.

The colour of the manipura chakra is yellow, the colour of sunshine and sunbeams and smiles. Excellent to do this one in the autumn when there is very little sun or the sun is disappearing…. Check it out here…

This chakra is bound to make you stronger and smilier! Check it out!0079 Yoga Positions © GJ.jpg

Feelings of Change – three things to fill that space…

Some of my bestest friends in the world are in pain and I can’t do anything to help them.

They are all a bit out of sorts. We’ve had colds, illnesses, sickness and we’ve had an awful lot of heartaches.

They think they have something. They think they are losing the plot. In a world where you serve and love your kids, the idea of them leaving home is completely out of the zone.

“So”I say, “what have you been up to?”

One’s spent the entire weekend with her girls seeing them off to university. Another’s been clearing out books and creating goodie bags for people with younger children. One is just sick.

When our children go away for a period many of us experience that guilty, but serene quiet. For some, it attacks like a pit in the stomach, a hollow calling. Others just manage to take advantage and go all out:)

Where are we in all this?

How can we nurture ourselves as we do our children?

  1. Celebrate the marvellous parent you are.

If you feel rotten, it’s ok – it will pass, everything passes. Treat this as a Magic Moment and celebrate. This is the time to feel even more love and connection up your children by celebrating their independence given by you. Breathe, aim to separate yourself from thoughts of sadness.

After all breath is something you can control… so let’s do that now! Go breathe!

2. Think less, do more. Learn to breathe and allow your mind’s chatter to diminish. Let that busy brain take a break and then you will see things more clearly. You will start doing far more than you imagined!

3. Go Ahimsa. The state of “Ahimsa” in yoga is part of the Yamas, one of the 8 limbs of yoga which lead you to ‘enlightenment’ and being genuinely awesome.

The book the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali’s eight-fold path offers guidelines for a meaningful and purposeful life.

‘Ahimsa’ means ‘nonviolence’.

To be in ‘ahimsa’ is not only a state of nonviolence to others, it is also a state of non-violence to yourself. Being gentle with yourself, telling yourself off a little less, giving yourself a break is the state of ‘ahimsa’. Many of use can be really hard on ourselves and this leads to being tough with others.

Ask yourself, “am I nice to myself?” Now it’s time to look at yourself and connect to your own centre.  Let’s hope you can say ‘yes I am nice to me’.
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“Allow your personal time to connect with yourself to appreciate yourself to give some time to yourself so once you have given to yourself you can share it with the others. Give to yourself first and look after your own health first, share it with your family and make it the most important yoga, the yoga of connection to connect with others with the world and to know we are connected with one universe in love. I think this is the most important yoga.” Simon Borg-Olivier

Set yourself some time to breathe and find space…. here’s a quick idea…

Chill-Out that Heart Stretch

When you just want to flop, grab some cushions and set them up underneath your spine, propping up your back and opening your heart, cross your legs or bring the soles of your feet together…find some nice tunes and even a blanket….. allow yourselves MINIMUM 10 minutes. Go enjoy…

Namaste

 

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Warning

Yoga has been known to cause health and happiness

5 Simple Poses

  1. Utkatasana – Chair Posture

From standing pose, let the arms separate to shoulder width and reach up to the sky. Inhale, squeeze in your pelvic floor and then exhale and sit back into chair posture.

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You don’e have to go too far back to start off. Press the bottoms of your feet into the floor to ease pressure on your back.

If you find it awkward to balance take two chairs and hold onto the backs of them at either side. Hold this for five breaths and then use your pelvic floor to push up to standing. Well done!

So here are the marvellous benefits of this!

Benefits

Relieves back pain and regenerates discs in the spine.

Takes pressure off the lower spine.

Strengthens bones and staves off bone degeneration.

Strengthen ankles, knees and thighs.

 

– treat yourself with compassion and no judgement…

 

2. Tree Vrkasana

From standing, bring all your body weight onto your left foot. Lift up the toes and spread them wide, pressing down into all four corners of the feet. Pull up on the calf, knee and thigh, engaging the entire standing leg. Your core, pelvic floor and stomach muscles are all engaged. Reach right up to the ceiling.

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Lift the right foot up into the place where the hip meets the thigh. If you can’t reach that high then place the foot at knee height or lower.

If this is stretch too far for you today, then place at the ankle or calf or the standing leg.

Keep the gaze on any fixed point. The body is upright. Hold for 5-20 breaths.

Bring the hands to prayer at the chest and breathe.

 

This is what it’s supposed to do! (supposed!)

Benefits

Very good for memory. Balances the left and right sides of the brain.

Ideally do this every day, for example when brushing your teeth.

Alleviates knee pain.

Strengthens the hips and thighs.

Held leg posture

 

Dhanurasana – Bow Pulling Posture

3. So this looks a tough posture and to get to this takes a lot of practise! Use a strap or belt to start with this and then only hold for one or two breaths…..Build up to 20 breaths.

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0089 Yoga Positions © GJ.jpgLying on the belly, bend the knees and hold the feet with the hands. Reach back and take hold of the ankles, or if you can’t take the ankles bring the hands to the outside of the thighs or knees, the arms and hands are outside of the feet and the wrists are inline with the arms. The shoulders are moving down the body not drawing up. Lift up the head and look up to the space between the eyebrows. Breathe for five deep breaths…

Complete with the next posture swan pose with the arms outstretched….. to stretch out the back.

And here are the benefits!

Benefits

Massages the abdominal and digestive organs, strengthening the legs.

Creates flexibility and strengthen in the lower back.

Opens the chest and the shoulders.

Creates a powerful massage and opening for the glandular system.

 

4. Balasana – Child’s Pose

From swan then bring them arms behind you and tuck the toes flat… bring the big toes together and then bring the knees apart. Take an inhale and bring the arms up to the ceiling and then reach forward with the arms, bringing the hands down to the mat and start walking the hands in front of you. See how far your hands can reach. And then relax into the posture. Let your lower back lengthen and your tailbone relax towards the floor. Lift the base or your skull away from the back of the neck. Turn the palms up to the ceiling, backs of the hands to the mat, then release back towards the mat.

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Wonderful benefits for this one…

Benefits

Beautiful spine stretch, healthy spine, healthy body.

Calms the brain and removes stress and fatigue.

Can alleviate back and neck pain.

 

Modifications

If you have difficulty sitting on your heels, you could place a thickly folded blanket between your back thighs and calves.

6. Savasana – Corpse Pose

Lie down with arms out to the sides of the body, palms facing up to the ceiling. Tuck the chin in slightly and lengthen the back of the neck. The most important posture of all, try and take at least five minutes lying here, watching the breath, extending the space between the inhale and the exhale. Allowing the mind to enter meditation.

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Benefits

Total chill out of the whole body!

So there are your five, go try them!

Namaste!

A Chakra to Rest those bloomin’ hormones

A Svadhistana Kriya is a set of exercises which balances the hips, works on the reproductive organs and re-balances your whole hip centre.

Expect to feel just a little bit more aligned by this one, working on your sexuality, how you connect with your own beauty and sexuality, (boy or girl!).

Follow these simple exercises slowly and give yourself a bit of time to really see a difference.

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Children, tablets and sleep

So many of my friends have been talking about this this week, that I thought I would do a little research.

We recently started back at school and found that both our children in the days running up to school were turning into little night owls. In fact they were almost trying to avoid sleep altogether as if it were an unnecessary part of their important television, tablet and ‘on the go’ routine.

On a recent night out, my husband sheepishly mentioned that one of his children didn’t sleep. Rather than feel like an outcast, he discovered that one out of two of his other mate’s children also did not sleep. We were not alone!

Our specifically bad non-sleeper is a second child, is it a symptom of second-child syndrome. Are exhausted parents on their second, third or even fourth child simply too exhausted to care? Do you have a child who just doesn’t sleep?

If you have had a great Summer this holidays and are finding it tricky to get your children back into a routine, you may be questioning your parenting skills, wondering what you may or may not being doing wrong? Maybe you aren’t doing anything wrong?

According to the NHS website a 7 year old requires… wait for it…10 hours and 30 minutes of sleep.  On further research (amongst our parenting tribe), we discovered that many of our little ones are simply not getting nearly that!

What do we do?

Compromise? Is this the right thing to do or should we be looking for answers, camomile tea and endless head stroking to get our little ones to sleep, or is in fact it the world gone mad, is life simply just too exciting to sleep?

I remember as a child being put to bed and then simply staring at the wall for hours? Is that what our children are doing anyway? Nightmares were a particularly fun time being chased around by a giant Bungle from the programme Rainbow was a frequent occurrence. I just didn’t like sleep, maybe that’s what our children don’t like too? Do your children like to sleep? How many hours do they get, please post your answers to me, I would love to find out more about this nocturnal world!

Anyhow, what have I found out? Music helps! Try a chant or a solfeggio frequency with your children and they just pop off to sleep! Here’s a nice 528mhz this is designed to relax the area around the heart…. zzzzzz0129 GoYoga © GJP

me n’ cycling

IMG_3468Our little town of Harrogate, possibly over the past three years has been besieged by cycling. It’s everywhere, the fastest men in lycra racing around town on Giant bikes, women donning Nova vests, kids learning from the best cycling teachers in the world and we have the wonderful Yorkshire Dales packed with caravans and families out cycling off-road and on! And I have joined this merry band getting my cycling fix!

So when it gets a bit chilly. We have tonnes of men and women wanting to get away for an hour, when the Dales weather won’t let them! People need somewhere to prepare themselves for the visiting Tour de Yorkshire, France or Weeton. FullSizeRender

The men in lycra are needing a place to train, the women are needing to fit something into their busy day, they come to go fast with us. They come to go revolution. A sanctuary for cycling and fitness.

I cycle with Rev to get my fix of endorphins, there’s nothing better than doing a massively fast class to Take That, then dropping a bottle of Kombucha afterwards. (Seriously weird health drink that tastes a bit like yoghurt but looks like ginger beer!) So when the rain hits this week and I don’t want to get out on my bike, you know where I’ll be, tucked away in a cosy studio listening to banging tunes and getting my little fix of cycling!

 

Muladhara

Our training is not just on the days we meet. Our trainees are now on 40 days of practise.

Working on our karma, our deeds, our thoughts, everything we say, everything we do creates a change an effect. We begin with working on the First Chakra.

So now I have set on my own 40 days of practise I invite you to join me and go to this link to start.

Time to practise every day, go through Muladhara Kriya, connect and ground. If you have done your training before with us, then you can even repeat and re-connect with us:)0111 Yoga Positions © GJ.jpgMuladhara Warm Up and then carry on to Kriya 1, Kriya 2 and Wahe Guru. Cut and paste what you can fit it into your life, comment here with me if you want.

Come join me on my path!

Sophie:))

A Break

Any instructor, whether they be a primary teacher a PT instructor or like me a yoga teacher will tell you that there comes a point in the year when they need a break. Their body and brain gets tired and that’s what I end up having to do.

When I take my six-week sabatacle from yoga every year. It does one of two things. My body scrunches up, my mind starts to play tricks, but when I come back to it after six weeks – I suddenly get the benefits, just like a beginner. A total clean sheet and every year it’s new and every year it changes me somehow.

So having had 6 weeks clear. Today is the day I go back to practise.

“A rainy day calls for an indoor picnic with 5 types of cheese.” Pam Grout

So this is what I bring back to the table. When it’s raining, when it’s cold, when it’s going to feel like the world is going mad, I’m going to look for the silver lining in everything.

Today I will practise Vinyasa with my class and then…

Here’s a slice of what we did…

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Tomorrow I begin my 40 day Kundalini Yoga Set!

Come practise with me, let’s see what evolves from it, see how we feel, see what boundaries we break through…

Start Here! 

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:)