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Register Now for June/July Yoga Classes in Rugby

Ready to de-stress, gain flexibility, and feel stronger? Join my yoga classes in Rugby, starting w/c 10th June! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, there’s a class for you.

Register now for the June/July block and secure your spot! Space is limited.

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New Yoga Newsletter Delivers Bite-Sized Wisdom to Your Inbox

I’m super excited about this new offering for YOU. Bite-sized wisdom delivered straight to your inbox.

Each month, you’ll receive:

1 x Inspiring Quotation: Wise words to guide your practice.

1 x Sanskrit Pose & Tip: Learning the language of yoga and top insight.

1 x Gratitude Prompt: Cultivate appreciation and mindfulness in your life.

1 x Yogic Reflection: Timeless teachings for on and off the mat.

Yoga Class & Events News: Stay in the loop about upcoming sessions.

Short on time? Big on yoga? This newsletter is your on-the-go companion, offering yogic inspiration in just a few minutes.

Launches Next Week!

Sign up and start your journey to a mindful and fulfilling yoga experience.

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What is a Drishti? Delve into the Yoga Gaze

Drishti, a Sanskrit word meaning “gaze,” is more than just looking in a certain direction during your yoga practice. It’s a powerful tool that harnesses the power of intention to enhance your experience on the mat.

Drishti with Intention, Not Tension

Forget staring rigidly at a single point. Drishti is about directing your gaze with awareness and focus. Different postures have designated drishti points to guide you. Remember to keep your gaze soft and relaxed – no need to strain or clench your eyes.

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Don’t Forget Your Hands: Hasta Bandha for a Stronger, Safer Practice

Last week, we delved into Padha Bandha, focusing on the connection and engagement of the feet. Building on that exploration, this week in our yoga classes in Rugby, we have shifted our attention to Hasta Bandha, the art of hand lock. Just as Padha Bandha grounded us through our feet, Hasta Bandha empowers us through our hands, offering an opportunity to refine our practice and deepen our connection to each pose.

Hasta Bandha: Beyond Wrist Protection

Our hands facilitate our connection with the world in myriad ways, and on the mat, they serve as tools for stability, balance, and power.

Hasta Bandha, translating to “hand lock” in Sanskrit, isn’t merely about safeguarding your wrists. It’s a subtle yet engagement of the hands that fosters stability and protects your joints. Good application of Hasta Bandha distributes weight evenly across your palms, leveraging the natural arch of your hand for support. This not only alleviates strain on the wrists, particularly in weight-bearing poses like Downward-Facing Dog but also lays the foundation for a number of benefits:

  • Strength and Stability: Activating Hasta Bandha establishes a sturdy foundation, empowering you to hold poses with greater ease and control. Envision your hands firmly rooted into the mat, anchoring you in each posture and fostering a sense of confidence and power.
  • Heightened Proprioception: By consciously engaging your hands in Hasta Bandha, you enhance your body’s spatial awareness, refining alignment throughout your practice. This heightened proprioception not only reduces the risk of injury but also deepens your connection to the nuances of each pose.
  • Precision in Movement: Hasta Bandha encourages mindful use of the hands, transcending mere gripping to focus on spreading the fingers and activating specific points of contact. This precision fosters intentional movement, enabling you to flow gracefully from one posture to the next with heightened awareness and control.
  • Potential Energy Flow: In certain yoga traditions, Hasta Bandha is believed to channel subtle energy (prana) up the arms and into the body’s central channel. While the scientific basis of this concept is still evolving, many practitioners attest to experiencing heightened energy and concentration when incorporating Hasta Bandha into their practice.

Incorporating Hasta Bandha into Your Practice:

Eager to explore Hasta Bandha? Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

  1. Establish Your Foundation: Begin in any pose that relies on hand support, such as Downward-Facing Dog or Plank. Ensure your wrists are aligned directly under your shoulders to optimise stability.
  2. Spread and Ground: Extend your fingers wide, pressing the fleshy pads of your palms firmly into the mat. Visualise creating an “L” shape with your thumb and index finger, creating a broad base of support.
  3. Lift and Engage: While maintaining alignment, gently lift and broaden your palms as if pushing against an unseen force. Lengthen your fingers through the fingertips, activating the muscles of your forearms and hands for enhanced stability.

Tips:

  • Avoid Over-Gripping: Aim for a firm yet gentle engagement. Excessive tension in your forearms can hinder your practice.
  • Stay Breath-Aware: Maintain a steady breath throughout, using it as a guide to stay present and release any unnecessary tension.
  • Listen to Your Body: Honour your body’s signals. If you encounter discomfort, adjust your technique or transition to a modification that better suits your needs.
  • Embrace Variation: As you become more proficient in Hasta Bandha, feel free to explore subtle adjustments in hand placement to optimise your experience in different poses.

Have a question about something yoga-related? Feel free to drop me a message! I’d love to hear from you.

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Discover the Tranquility of Yin Yoga

In the modern whirlwind of life, where every day can feel like a race against time, discovering pockets of tranquility becomes an invaluable pursuit.

This is where Yin Yoga enters the scene, offering a serene haven amidst the chaos. This article explores the essence of Yin Yoga—what defines it, the myriad ways it benefits the body, and what you’ll need to embark on this transformative journey.

Understanding Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga, a gentle and introspective yoga form, directs its focus to the body’s connective tissues—ligaments, tendons, and fascia—along with the joints. Unlike its dynamic counterpart, Yang Yoga, which engages muscles and movement, Yin Yoga emphasises prolonged passive postures. Typically practised on the floor, these poses allow gravity to gently guide practitioners into deeper stretches.

The core of Yin Yoga involves holding poses for extended durations, often ranging from 3 to 5 minutes, or even longer. This sustained stillness fosters relaxation and facilitates the gradual release of tension within the body. Yin Yoga isn’t about chasing flexibility or pushing physical boundaries; instead, it’s a practice rooted in surrender and embracing the present moment—a practice that nurtures mindfulness.

Benefits for the Body

  1. Improved Flexibility and Range of Motion: The extended holds gently elongate the body’s connective tissues over time, leading to increased flexibility and enhanced joint mobility.
  2. Stress Relief and Relaxation: Yin Yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, prompting the body’s relaxation response. This helps mitigate stress and anxiety, ushering in a state of calm and tranquility.
  3. Enhanced Energy Flow: Yin Yoga engages the body’s meridians—energy pathways. This practice encourages balanced energy flow and contributes to overall well-being.
  4. Joint Health: Prolonged poses support joint health by nourishing the tissues surrounding the joints, warding off stiffness, and promoting joint longevity.
  5. Mindfulness and Meditation: Rooted in meditation, Yin Yoga cultivates introspection and mindfulness, guiding practitioners to explore their inner landscape and fostering a sense of self-awareness and serenity.

The Perfect Complement to Other Movements and Vinyasa Yoga

Yin Yoga isn’t only a stand-alone practice—it harmonises beautifully with other movement modalities. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, or dedicated yogi, Yin Yoga offers a complementary dimension to your routines. It’s a gentle, therapeutic counterbalance to high-impact activities, helping prevent injuries, enhancing recovery, and encouraging a profound mind-body connection.

For those engaged in Flow or Vinyasa Yoga, Yin Yoga provides a valuable contrast. While Vinyasa focuses on building heat, strength, and stamina, Yin Yoga offers an opportunity to deeply stretch and release tension in the body’s often-overlooked areas. This synergy creates a holistic approach to wellness that embraces both dynamism and stillness.

What You Need for a Yin Yoga Class

  1. Comfortable Clothing: Opt for comfortable, loose-fitting attire that allows unrestricted movement and stretching.
  2. Yoga Mat and Props: A non-slip yoga mat forms the foundation of your practice. Consider bringing props—like bolsters, blankets, and bricks —to enhance comfort and support during poses.
  3. Open Mindset: Yin Yoga underscores the importance of mental engagement. Approach your practice with an open heart and a willingness to embrace stillness.
  4. Patience: The essence of Yin Yoga lies in patience and surrender. Honor your body’s pace and avoid the temptation to rush or force stretches.
  5. Breath Awareness: Focus on your breath during poses. Deep, rhythmic breaths facilitate the release of tension and anchor you in the present moment.

Deep Stretch Yin classes take place monthly at the Barn in Houlton, Rugby. Book now. No previous yoga experience needed!

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It’s Foot Awareness Week! Show Your Feet Some Love

This week, while we celebrate Foot Awareness Week, let’s turn our attention in yoga to those amazing, and sometimes neglected, parts of our body that keep us grounded and balanced throughout our practice.

The Power of Pada Bandha

One powerful way to honor our feet in yoga is through Pada Bandha, which translates to “foot lock” in Sanskrit. It’s a subtle but essential practice that involves engaging the muscles in your feet, spreading your toes, and grounding your heels. This creates a strong foundation for your entire body and improves balance in all yoga poses.

Why Our Feet Matter

Our feet are complex structures with a surprising amount of complexity! They boast 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They play a crucial role in stability, balance, and proprioception (our sense of body awareness).

Here are some ways to show your feet some love this week, and beyond:

  • Give yourself a foot massage! Rolling a tennis ball under your foot is a great way to release tension and improve circulation.
  • Practise yoga! There are so many great yoga poses that target the feet and ankles, improving flexibility and strength.
  • Choose supportive footwear. Opt for shoes that provide good arch support and a wide toe box to give your feet the space they need.
  • Pay attention to your feet. Notice any pain, discomfort, or changes in appearance. Early detection can help prevent bigger problems down the road.

By taking care of our feet, we’re investing in our overall health and well-being. So let’s give these amazing structures the attention they deserve, both on and off the yoga mat!

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Build Strength and Flexibility! Yoga in Rugby Starts 16 April

My yoga classes in Rugby focus on developing strength and comfort in the body, flowing through postures while staying connected to your breath. Classes are about feeling good, honouring your body, and exploring your yoga practice.

I like to infuse ancient yogic wisdom with modern day influences to help you cultivate inner peace, balance, and strength amidst the demands of today’s fast-paced world.

Whether you’re looking to deepen your yoga practice, reduce stress, or find greater clarity and focus, classes provide a supportive environment where you can explore and grow. Come on in and join me for some feel-good vibes and a few wobbles!

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Yoga Pose Focus: Lizard (Utthan Pristhasana)

Lizard Pose, also known as Utthan Pristhasana targets those tight hips, glutes, and hamstrings. This intermediate-level pose isn’t just great for flexibility, it also helps strengthen your core, shoulders, and spine, leaving you feeling energised and receptive.

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Focus on: Low Lunge Twist (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)

Low lunge twist primarily targets the upper body and spine, offering a gentle twist that engages the core while promoting flexibility and alignment. Let’s explore this pose and its benefits for our practice.

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How Yoga Helped Me Navigate a Crisis

Life can take unexpected turns, and last Thursday, mine took a sharp one. My husband, alone at home, suffered a seizure. Initially diagnosed as a heart attack and later as a blood clot, it was ultimately revealed as a fractured thoracic spine (T3 and T6).