New Workshop – Winter Glow – Warming your body and mind

NEW WORKSHOP AT DOWNDOG+CROW
WINTER GLOW – WARMING YOUR BODY AND YOUR MIND
Saturday, 01.12.18 2.00pm-4.00pm, DOWNDOG+CROW (The Old Tannery, Hensington Road, Woodstock, OX20 1JH, M: 07980 623 925)

Book Here

IMG_2218.JPGJoin me in this stunning new location of Downdog+Crow in Woodstock, for a lovely 2 hours yoga workshop in which we will focus on yoga sequences that warm the body and brighten our spirit in the dark winter months for greater feeling of joy and happiness.

In this workshop, through mindful sequencing we will warm the body through joyful practice, learn about adapting our diet and routine to winter months as well as re-grounding techniques for those moments before Christmas when we might feel like losing the plot.
Following this fiery practice, guided meditation, healing mantra and a deep relaxationyou will leave glowing, feeling joyful, restored and more spacious in your body.

Vegan Snacks & Water will be provided
£35 per person

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Spaces are limited so please book as soon as you can to reserve your space!

New Workshop – Spread Your Wings

NEW WORKSHOP AT DOWNDOG+CROW
SPREAD YOUR WINGS AND OPEN YOUR HEART
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** SPREAD YOUR WINGS AND OPEN YOUR HEART ** – Yoga workshop for Healthy Shoulders and Spine

Saturday, 18.08.18 2.00pm-4.00pm, DOWNDOG+CROW (The Old Tannery, Hensington Road, Woodstock, OX20 1JH, M: 07980 623 925)

Book Here

 

Join me in this stunning new location of Downdog+Crow in Woodstock, for a lovely 2 hours yoga workshop in which we will focus on reopening the shoulders and upper back for greater feeling of freedom and openness to love and joy and other experiences that may come our way.

Our shoulders can become rounded and the chest closed in for many reasons – mainly from lack of either muscular strength and/or body awareness to maintain a healthy posture, but often as an effort to protect against all the threats and unpleasant things happening to us in the daily life. We round our shoulders and stoop forward to protect our heart as we carry our emotional, psychological and/or spiritual wounds. As our nervous system is a feedback system this means that by adopting this very posture our brain receives messages that we are less confident, our minds and hearts are closed and we are less likely to be happy.
This negatively impacts posture, length of muscles, shoulder mobility, respiratory health, and over all openness to love and joy. It is important to keep our heart open not just to receive love and light but to let the light and love that dwells in our hearts shine forth.

In this workshop, through mindful sequencing we will warm the body, explore shapes to balance the spine, open shoulders and chest, increase breath capacity and heart openness.
Following this flowing practice, guided meditation, healing mantra and a deep relaxationyou will leave standing taller, feeling receptive, restored and more spacious in your body.

Vegan Snacks & Water will be provided
£35 per person

🌟🌟🌟

Spaces are limited so please book as soon as you can to reserve your space!

YOGI ASSIGNEMENT – Kino MacGregor

Article by Kino MacGregor
Yogi Assignment
SATYA, TRUTHFULNESS
Satya, truthfulness, is the second of the yamas, the moral and ethical guidelines for yogic living. While the basic principles of truth, honesty and candor are easy to agree upon in an abstract sense, the reality is that adhering to a high standard of truthfulness is not easy for anyone. Nearly 100% of human beings admit to outright lying. Many more lie or at least withhold or deny the truth when they are triggered or feel defensive and fragile. Whether big or small we all tell a series of lies, half truths or omissions throughout the day. We lie to ourselves about things we would rather not face. We lie to others about how we’re feeling, how our business is doing or any other number of things. We lie publicly to save face rather than admit our mistakes and just sit with the discomfort.

The whole promise of yoga rests on the notion that yoga is a path that diverges from the average. It isn’t easy, but all the hard work that is spent on the mat in challenging asanas only begins to mean something when it translates into substantive life change. The commitment of satya is one example that sets the bar for the yogi quite high. Being established in satya means speaking the truth and being impeccable with your word. The commitment not to lie brings the stated boon of having all your words fulfill their intent.

Think about how many times you’ve written out a list of intentions only to have the opposite happen. Well, according to yoga philosophy once you are established in the practice of truthfulness then your word will never return void. Instead, your word will act as a covenant that will accomplish what it sets out to. That’s pretty powerful, if only we can learn to adhere to satya in all situations.

But, truth does not exist in a vacuum and there are many levels of moral relativity that often cloud our judgement about it. For example, we can speak the truth without love or kindness. In doing so, we weaponize the truth for personal vindication instead of maximizing the impact of truth as liberation. Sometimes when people say that they are going to “share their truth” what is really happening is that they are going on a personal emotional rant without boundaries. Sharing the “truth” may in fact be quite different than just vomiting up your emotions at all times. Sometimes truth requires genuine self-reflection and time to pause, feel and process both the inner and the outer reality in any situation. The truth can be often be hidden or at least not easily recognized, so sometimes ample research must be done before truth-telling happens in earnest.

Satya – Truthfulness and authenticity

Satya, the second Yama is intimately connected with Ahimsa, because it builds on the premise that dishonesty is a form of harm. Satya teaches us not to lie – to others or to ourselves. We know instinctively that lying doesn’t lead to anything good – it destroys relationships, trust, makes us anxious and uncomfortable. And yet we turn to lies because of the pressure we often believe we’re under – to be perceived more successful, to appear better, to pretend we have more. Part of Satya is about letting go of those expectations and finding acceptance in your heart towards where you are now. Accepting the things we like about ourselves and those we don’t. The beautiful truths and those not so pretty. Yoga teaches us that we need to accept where we are even when we’re trying to change.

Satya is also about finding your truth – your goal, your purpose in life, your calling, whatever you want to call it, it is that thing that makes you you, that drives you forwards, that leaves the mark in the world.

So much in yoga is about listening to that inner voice, connecting with that internal wisdom. We work towards quietening our minds to hear that voice and open up to its guidance. If your mind is busy chattering, it’s as if you were in a room full of people speaking loudly – it is impossible to distinguish one voice form another, let alone hear the soft, subtle whisper of your internal truth. The more you go out of the thinking and focus inwards, the more sensitive you will become to that guiding voice, to its advice that comes from the place of love and oneness.

As in our asana practice, the practice of Satya may initially feel uncomfortable, difficult and even unachievable. But yoga gives us tools. We have our breath, we have the focus. Living your truth can be extremely liberating, but getting to that point is rarely easy. And as in asana, sometimes we may fall, but it doesn’t mean we don’t try again. And again. And again, until it feels comfortable and easy and light. Full of space and joy. And then you know it was worth it.

Because once you have experienced that truth, that oneness, that connections to the source, everything changes. The priorities shift. You have seen the light. It cannot be unseen.

You become aware of your true calling, of your purpose in life, whatever it may be. And you know you can safely let go of the past. You’ve connected to your truth and now it’s time to start living it.

Namaste

Ahimsa – Yogic way of living

This month I have dedicated most of my classes to exploring Ahimsa – Non Violence.

In Yoga Sutras by Patanjali he guides us through different elements or ways to live a yogic life – he called it 8 Limbs Of Yoga, and surprisingly for some, the physical asana practice doesn’t come first on that list.

Patanjali started with Yamas and Niyamas – a yogic code of conduct, ethical and moral guidelines on how we should live our lives to achieve the true yogic strength, power, and transformation, on and off the mat.

Ahimsa – the first of 5 yamas (and the most important one) is often translated as non-violence or non-harm.

Do no harm. It is in fact the most important practice of yoga and everything else stems from it.

It guides our attention to more mindful choices in our life – looking at our actions, words and thoughts – from our ways of interacting with others, the way we speak to ourselves internally, the way we treat our environment etc. And while we don’t tend to think of ourselves as violent, causing harm doesn’t end at physical offences…

Do you remember the last time you were stuck in traffic? Or driving behind someone who most likely got their licence by pure luck? Or when you were trying some clothes on and they didn’t fit properly – what words did you use in your thought looking at your own reflection in the mirror? Think about all those choices and how easy it is to fall into negative behaviour patterns.

And while we cannot eliminate all harm from the world (life is rarely black and white, sometimes we need to chose between two evils), Ahimsa teaches us to consider the impact of our actions, words and thoughts and chose the way that is causing the least amount of harm and suffering.

This month I encourage my students to be kinder to themselves and others. To cause less harm and create more compassion. To practice Ahimsa as they would a yoga pose or a transition. It may not work out every time you try, but it doesn’t stop you to try it again.

 

Namaste

My favourite yoga pants

Some of my students have asked me to write about my favourite yoga leggings brands here.

With well over 100 pairs (I know, I know… really bad!) I actually don’t have one favourite brand. Instead there are a few brands that I am loyal to – they have never failed me. I’m always on the lookout for new brands too.

The most important features for me of best yoga pants are:

  • Not see through – so many times you try the most amazing looking yoga pants, you bend forward, look in the mirror between your legs and see your underwear. So disappointing.
  • Comfortable – 4-ways stretch, limited stitching (and if there is stitching it needs to stretch well too)
  • High waist – being a fan of inversions, I like to keep the tummy covered, also when upside down! 🙂
  • Breathable & fast drying
  • Being able to stand the test of time without stretching or going see through.

Here are my top 5 brands:

  • Dharma Bums
    • First of all this brand is all about being ethical – Dharma Bums insists on an ethical code of conduct from the companies that make the product. Each Dharma Bum garment is made onshore in Australia and has the stamp of approval from Ethical Australia.
    • They have several lengths available, but I always go for full length (27 inches inside leg, long enough for the tallest of yogis).
    • Most beautiful prints ever 🙂
    • They are made from a thin (great for a sweaty class), high performance fabric that  feels really soft and nice against the skin.
    • They have a four way stretch which means pants move with the body.
    • The seams have a flat lock detailing for extra durability and comfort.
    • They are moisture wicking, breathable and quick drying.
    • High  waistband for extra support.
  • Yoga Leggs
    • UK based brand – you buy from lovely ladies – Amanda and Bekki 🙂
    • Those pants are made of high quality and very soft, supportive fabric (bit thicker than DB)
    • Breathable, moisture-wicking and antibacterial fabric
    • Yogaleggs are lightweight, silky soft and super comfortable.
    • Made of stretch fabric which is drying super quick.
    • Only£45 and for a 20% off use code thanks20 at the checkout
  • Fabletics
    • I love their Salar pants – the fabric is quite thick, so may not be best for your super sweaty practice.
    • Offer great support and quite strong comression
    • Little hidden pocket but no zips (common in running pants, but for yoga best avoided)
    • 4 way stretch – move with you through asanas!
    • Great for wearing outside of the yoga studio 🙂

Enjoy the shopping 🙂

Image result for dharma bums yoga orchidDharma Bums

Image result for yogaleggs butterflyYogaleggs, Buterfly

Image result for fabletics salar

Fabletics,Salar Pant