I attended the IYN (Independent Yoga Network) Annual Gathering/Festival at Gaunt’s House in Dorset at the weekend. It was a beautiful occasion and I have new vigour and inspiration for my yoga classes and yoga-based life. I met such beautiful people and went to lots of different classes, all with something new to offer. Ellen Lee’s class was gentle and wonderful, David Sye’s class was uplifting and full of love. It has now been over a year since I resigned from my full-time position in the world of State education. I can say with certainty that I am SO much happier now. I now understand what it means when people say they don’t count their work as work. I feel that it is nothing less than a privilege to be able to share what I have learnt with others. We are always learning, if we keep all our senses open. There are always possibilities and hope.
Ruth Gilmore – GP
Yoga is unique in that a balanced practice benefits both the body and the mind, whilst guiding each of us on our individual spiritual journey. The mind and body are two sides of the one coin; you cannot change one without changing the other. This is how yoga works. A balanced practice includes a sequence of asanas carried out with sustained awareness. These are designed to take the body through its full pain-free range of movement without stress, but also have either stimulating or calming effects on the mind. Breathing practices, relaxation, visualisation and meditation balance the physical movement of asanas and complete the practice.
Yoga is suitable for all, providing the practice is appropriate with respect to the practitioner’s physical and psychological state. A good teacher should be able to provide a helpful practice for anyone, from the Olympic athlete to the terminally ill – and everyone in between!
Simon Hedley – Osteopath
A regular practice of yoga not only promotes physical health and flexibility but works at a deeper level to focus the mind and relieve stress. As an osteopath and yoga practitioner I recognise the value of regular exercise and the benefits it has for my health and my patient’s health. I regularly recommend yoga to my patients.
Sandy Tubby – Physiotherapist
These days, humans tend to lead sedentary lives- working at the computer, watching television, playing computer games. Our bodies were designed to move. Muscles create movement through the joints. If we spend much of our time being still our joints become stiff and our muscles tight and lazy. Yoga postures allow our bodies to reverse this damage by gently moving the joints and working the correct muscle groups. This combination will gradually help to improve your posture and all of these factors should help to alleviate aches and pains.
Jon Law, PhD – Sports Scientist and Martial Artist
Yoga has value for athletes and martial artists in a number of ways. The flexibility and strength gleaned from regular practice helps protect the body from the extreme physical demands that many sports incur, helping to protect from repetitive injury or recuperate from existing injury.
The balanced postures and movements of Yoga practice help to ease out the muscular stresses caused by often ‘lopsided’ sporting activities. For example, a golfer or cricket batsman adopts either a left or right handed posture when striking the ball. This means that the strains of the sport are experienced differently on each side of the body. Over time, this has the potential to cause injury, which can be avoided through the balanced, gentle exercise of Yoga practice.
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.
Amelia Earhart, 1897-1939, the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
This is a recent article from The Independent newspaper which talks about the power of relaxation techniques used in Yoga.
Do you suffer from shoulder tightness or neck pain?
Tightness in the shoulders is a common problem which can be helped enormously by massage. Indian Head Massage techniques can really help.
Often when your shoulders tighten, so does your neck, causing more pain. Alternatively, you may have a pre-existing structural condition which manifests itself as shoulder tightness. In both of these cases Indian Head Massage is able to relax the tight muscles without the need for deep tissue manipulation.
For anyone with limited movement in the shoulder area a combination approach often offers relief. Massage encourages the muscles to relax while gentle postural corrective techniques encourage the shoulders back to their correct position. These are part of yoga asanas. For example, in bhujangasana (cobra) shoulders are encouraged back and away from the ears and one’s awareness is brought to this position and the accompanying feeling.
Regular treatments combined with an exercise programme can provide permanent improvements.
This are my thoughts from my experiences but I welcome feedback from anyone who has recently had an effective massage related to shoulder or neck pain.
We all have busy lives in our modern world. It has been wonderful this week for me and my husband to take some time out from our normal routine, truly relax and rejuvenate. So that , next week, I will be full of energy again and raring to go with my classes, massages and the first of my workshops coming up in March, which I’m really excited about. Remember to take some time out for yourself.
Today I taught thirty 10 and 11 year olds deep relaxation. Once they had got over the hilarity of their head being next to someone else’s foot and suchlike, they let themselves ‘go with the flow’as I had asked them to do. Several boys said that they had fallen asleep during the relaxation and felt sleepy and floaty afterwards. A girl asked me if I could make a recording of what I had said so that she can play it to help her fall asleep! I am so happy that I was able to share this wonderful part of yoga with these beautiful children.
A big thank you to everyone; yogis, friends and family, who helped me celebrate my birthday. It was a joy to be see you all and share some happy moments together – don’t forget the yogic pass-the-parcel!
Today is an exciting day, as today is the day I spread the word about my website! If you’re reading this and you like the site or want to make any comments on it, please do get in touch with me. A website is a living thing and it is by no means perfect or exactly as I would like it yet. I hope that over this year you will enjoy the developments to it.
Snow at Bannister Green – Felsted
Stay warm in this cold snowy beautiful weather. A few sun salutations will help!
Sometimes the only way for me to find out what I want to do is go ahead and do something. Then the moment I start to act, my feelings become clear.
Hugh Prather, 1938-2010, American writer, minister and counsellor