The importance of massage…

The Benefits of Thai Yoga Massage. Foot massage

Our lives have become so stressful; children, work and now the endless screen obsession of ipads, computers and tvs, people are now finding it increasingly hard to wind down and relax, thus creating more stress on the body and mind.
 
Massages are a great way to release tension and stress and promote relaxation. Receiving a massage also provides measurable, therapeutic benefit to the immune system as well. Studies have shown that those who receive regular massage have lower cortisol levels in their system. Cortisol is the “stress” hormone, and it is linked to a lower immune function.

The more obvious benefits of massage are its excellent ability to temporarily reduce and manage pain. It can be used to relieve muscle pain, pain associated with nerve damage, and even joint pain. The manipulation of the soft tissues helps increase circulation, which may aid in healing as well.

Enhanced circulation also leads to better skin tone and healthier soft tissue. This enhanced circulation and manual pressure also helps to deliver oxygen and vital nutrients to the cells.

I now offer Thai Yoga Massage, which seamlessly weaves Eastern tradition with Western knowledge and understanding. It combines the best techniques from Traditional Thai Massage with neuromuscular, myofascial and craniosacral influences to create a flowing, dynamic and meditative form of bodywork. This is not the painful and bruising work that many people have experienced as Traditional Thai Massage.

Thai Yoga Massage is received on a mat on the floor. You can remain lightly clothed as no oil is used. The massage unfolds like a continuous and effortless dance involving deep tissue release, joint mobilisations and applied Hatha yoga asanas.

Book a massage today with me

Lazy Sundays…

Its so very easy to skip a class or home practice on a Sunday. Because of the night before, or perhaps because you just think it should be a “day off”, but how about rethinking that and saying to yourself that Sundays should be a day for trying something different? Most people have an extra few hours or even just a few minutes to themselves. Whether its while you’re being made breakfast in bed or just because you’re lucky enough to have a full day of nothing. Take a moment to try something you’ve never done before or perfect something that’s been bugging you during your normal practice…

My favourite 3…

Mountain Pose. (Tadasana) Its so simple I hear you saying but its not. A lot of people think that this is the easiest standing pose because it doesn’t seem very active but its in fact one of the hardest to perfect. Standing still and centred can be hard on your body that is so used to leaning to one side or against something. Find your centre and be still.

Half Moon Pose. (Ardha Chandrasana) Use this one alone in your bedroom when you wake up.. Stretch those sides of your body. I sometimes just sit on the side of my bed and stretch from side to side to release the tension that may have built up overnight…Its like breathing life into your body.

Plank Pose. (Kumbhakasana) Great for the core muscles and stamina and of course those arms, but wonderful for the mind to focus and wake up.

Do it. Make your Sunday make sense to your practice. x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pregnancy Yoga…

So there’s a lot of pregnancy yoga classes out there. Ranging from breathing techniques, stretching, inversions to no inversions at all. Lots of swaying and certainly the odd cat/cow posture. 

But how do you know which to choose and how effective each class is? I had an experience with my first pregnancy of thinking that I would be able to carry on regardless of the “bump” and wanted to stay really active and move a lot but every pregnancy class I attended was just not cutting the mustard for me. So I ended up going to a normal class and modifying for myself. As I mentioned before, lots of swaying and breathing (all good) but no “action”. Were the teachers being extra cautious?

Now as a teacher myself, finally, I now know that its absolutely OK to be active during the pregnancy as far as yoga goes. Yes of course you have to modify, but if you’re already a yogi and have been practicing for a while, then modify, but keep moving. That’s what I say (After your 12 week thumbs up).

I have created a pregnancy class that starts in September  in Brighton at the Aloka Studio which combines the very important use of breath during pregnancy and labour and keeps you moving too….

“Breathe for Two” classes -Pranayama for Pregnancy

My “Breathe for two”  classes concentrate on the use of breathwork during pregnancy and labour. I combine the Sun Power Yoga style with your breath, as its important to remember that when you are pregnant you are no longer just breathing for yourself but also for your baby. The exercises in these classes focus on the use of  Prana, and help you to learn a new way of breathing to use throughout your pregnancy and teach you fantastic techniques to help you through your birth.

For more information see my schedule and book up now!

Maintain a home Yoga practice…

I struggle sometimes, being a mum and having a busy life with home practice. Sometimes its just a down dog, then off I go. Other times I spend about 30 minutes in  Baddha Konasana with bolsters just to feel my hips opening..Mostly I think a lot about the practice and struggle to find the time… Here’s a quick little guide to help you build your home yoga practice. Do them all, do just a few.. Whatever you can manage. Just give yourself something every day…. 

1. Get Centred. Find a comfortable seat and take a few moments to breathe and meditate- clear your mind and trust the breath.

2. Warm it up. Cat and Cow, Downward facing Dog and Uttasana are great warm-ups to stretch out the spine and centre your breath with movement.

3. Get some Sunshine. Move through a few vigorous Sun Salutations maintaining your Ujayi breath per movement.

4. Stand strong. Some of your favorites like Warrior I, Warrior II and Triangle. Then add some balancing poses like Warrior III, Tree or Eagle.

5. Inversion! If you are exploring inversions in your home yoga practice, practice your head stand or shoulder stand. Keep it steady!

6. Open the heart. Ease into some simple back bends like Bridge Pose before exploring deeper back bends like Bow, Camel or Full Wheel.

7. Hips, hips,hips. Pigeon Pose, or Baddha Konasana are great options.

8. Twist. Take a few gentle twists with variations on Ardha Matsyendrasana, Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) or Marichyasana III.

9. And fold. Seated forward folds like Janu Sirsasana and Pachimottasana will help you cool down.

10. On the floor. Find a comfortable seated position or Supta Baddha Konasana for a few moments of silent meditation.

11. Aaaand Relax. Enjoy the ultimate yoga treat of Savasana. Bolsters, cushions, blanket….Breathe.

To sign up for my courses and classes please see the Schedule page and contact me for further details  x


Breathe…..

Why all this fuss about using your breath? Its automatic isnt it?  In fact it is hard to emphasise enough the importance of breathing in yoga.  We breathe to stay alive, but the breath also responds to our state of mind; when we are calm, we have a steady, calm breath, when we are anxious or stressed the breath usually becomes erratic and we lose control of it. So the breath doesn’t only deliver oxygen to the lungs and carry CO2 out, but also responds to our state of mind. It works the other way as well – if you find yourself in a stressful situation, gaining control of the breath can help you to gain control of your state of mind. By bringing the awareness to the breath during your yoga practice you will stay focused and more observant of what is happening in the body in different poses.  

During your yoga practice, you inhale while expanding and exhale when folding forward or moving towards the ground. Always pay attention to the breath. If the breath becomes uneasy it is quite likely that you are struggling in the pose. Move out of the pose, then following the breath, move back into it, maintaining an easy uninterrupted breath.  If you find your mind wandering during practice you can always bring the focus to the breath….