Saturday, 31 October 2015

Regular yoga classes resume

Just to let you all know that regular yoga classes resume as of Monday :-)

We're back to 8 classes per week...find one that suits you here

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Yoga classes over half term

Many years ago, before I had established a yoga practise at home, it used to drive me potty when my yoga teacher cancelled every class over half term holidays. I still wanted to do yoga - half term or not! As such, I have tried to keep a few classes going over half term (wk beg. 26-10-15):

Monday Standon 10 - 11.30am     -     CANCELLED

Tuesday Bishop's Park 6 - 7.30pm     -     RUNNING AS NORMAL

Tuesday Bishop's Park 7.30 - 9pm     -     RUNNING AS NORMAL

Wednesday Manuden 9.30 - 11am     -     CANCELLED

Thursday Dunmow 10 - 11.30am     -     RUNNING AS NORMAL

Thursday Dunmow 8 - 9.30pm     -     RUNNING AS NORMAL

Friday Stansted 9.30 - 11am    -    CANCELLED

Friday Pregnancy 11 - 12.30    -    CANCELLED

All classes will be back to normal as of 2nd November.

Hope to see you at class soon,


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Children's Yoga starts after October half term

Our children are growing up in a time when advances in technology are happening at lightning speed & have massive implications for daily life.

From a very early age people have a natural thirst for knowledge, for exploring, for pushing boundaries. It is how the human race has developed and evolved to the extraordinary level that we find ourselves today.

The way children are being taught at school is changing, due to the fact children demand more interactivity and (some would say) they have shorter attention spans as a result of their hi-tech toys and computer games.

Children want more. Faster. Brighter. More challenging. Higher scores. They are used to 'completing' levels. Reaching goals. 'Finishing' a game saga.

So what does all of this have to do with yoga for children?

Yoga is pretty much the antithesis of all of that.

It is the yin to technologies yang.

In yoga there is no goal. No levels. No stickers or badges. Crucially, no one is better than anyone else.

Children enjoy yoga because they enjoy using their bodies.

They run because it feels exhilarating.

They climb because they have a natural sense of adventure.

They hang off monkey bars because it feels good to use their body!

Yoga gives children a chance to explore what their bodies can do. They can balance, twist, arch, flex, be strong, and be steady.

A children's yoga class is quite distinct from an adult one. They play games and explore yoga poses through tales of exotic animals from far off lands. They become the tiger stalking his prey. They are the cobra that prepares to strike! They freeze like a rabbit, alerted to danger. These stories draw the children in, and the children participate, using their bodies (and voices!) as much or as little as they choose.

Children adore the mystique of foreign lands. They dive headfirst into stories of adventure and undiscovered territory.

After a few sessions the children learn to be aware of their breathing. They learn to be still and quiet.

In addition to being brilliant fun, confidence-boosting and a feeling of togetherness - the physical benefits are numerous.

Weak bladders can be strengthened, posture can be improved and flexibility can help reduce the risk of injury. Children as young as six can't touch their toes (with straight legs). Many children are not taught to stretch at the end of a PE lesson (or football training session) which, over time, results in tight muscles and potential injury.

Children need to move! They need to balance, twist, arch, flex, be strong, and be steady.

And they need to do all of that in a safe environment where they feel empowered and are having great fun!

I am CRB-checked by the police. I am a qualified primary school teacher. And if you ask anyone who knows me - I am a bundle of energy who loves storytelling and children!

Children's yoga class starting after the October half term.

Please contact me to register your interest and discuss class options.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Yoga beats the exercise plateau

Sitting is the new smoking

Slumping on the sofa in the same position for hours every night not only creates a you-shaped dent in the sofa, it can weaken your core and back muscles. Add to that sitting at your desk for 8 hours, holding a phone to your ear all day...repeated over days, weeks, months, these positions can create stiffness and weakness in your body. 

Recent press has hailed sitting as the new smoking. A tad dramatic...?

Our sedentary tendencies are not necessarily our fault - thousands of years of evolution have formed our human nature to conserve energy. Just as we are 'programmed' to hold on to fat, be greedy and fight/flight. Think cavemen.

However, blaming our lazy tendencies on evolution doesn't really solve the problem of not moving our bodies enough. Although we may not necessarily relish the thought of getting off our backside, it is rather important.

Headaches, neck and backache are a few of the more common symptoms of inactivity.

But I do exercise!

When you first start an exercise program/activity your body changes and you often notice muscle tone and weight loss. 

Fast forward 6 months and you may notice the benefits have halted. If you do the same exercise over and over again, whether that be at the gym, in a studio or on a pitch, your body becomes used to the activity and, often, the physical benefits plateau. Indeed the exercise plateau is a well-documented and researched phenomenon. But what to do about it?

Shake up your routine. Mix up your moves.

There are hundreds of yoga poses. As you progress from a beginner, you begin to learn (and practise) more and more poses - challenging your body in new ways through a variety of sequences. 

These new challenges keep your body on it's toes (excuse the pun!) and help your mind to remain elastic.


It's not only inactivity that can cause problems.

I often have a lot of golfers and racquet sports people come to me with pain on one side of their body. This is often due to over-working one side. 

Yoga can restore balance and harmony to your body. It shines a light on (and in) your body, opening your eyes and increasing your awareness and sensitivity regarding your own body alignment. It provides a way of working which can undo, heal, repair, rebuild, straighten, strengthen, stretch and open.

30 million

Recent estimates (BBC) suggest 30 million people practise yoga worldwide. 

It's got to be worth a try. 

Your first class is FREE...get moving! 

Click here for class timetables and venues

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Worrying stress levels in our children...and how yoga can help

Last week’s Sunday Times documented the rise in stress levels of our children, due to unprecedented workloads and pressure at many of the UK's top schools and colleges.
Many schools across Europe have an enrichment programme, where children can unwind, let off steam and explore a non-academic environment.
The aim is to provide something different to the normal classroom experience and enable students to:
  • Learn skills they could not acquire in a classroom 
  • Have opportunities for leadership 
  • Develop new interests 
  • Serve the wider community 
  • Learn to cope with new challenges

Perhaps we should be introducing more of these programmes in our schools and teaching our children in such a way as to allow them to questions, grow, develop and learn whilst reducing their stress levels...

I am passionate about the diverse and numerous benefits of yoga within the realm of education. There are many articles documenting these benefits, below is just one of them:

Children face different levels of stress in the classroom environment. These difficulties, problems, conflicts, distractions and dissipation of their energies affect their learning and well-being.

Within Europe, many schools have a psychologist who monitors the performance, behaviour and aptitude of the children. Children practising yoga display a marked improvement in their responses, creativity, receptivity, memory, willpower and behaviour. The children were more relaxed, focused, and tranquil than their counterparts who were not practising yoga (these children were more destructive, restless, violent and distracted).

And yoga is not just for the children...Our society is too stressful, violent and fast-paced for many of us. How can stressed, overworked teachers ever hope to meet National Curriculum demands and achieve their learning objectives when their pupils are equally stressed, agitated, aggressive, overly emotional, and mentally exhausted? 

Yoga has an impressive array of methods for managing the energies of pupils and teachers alike, and for preventing the kind of stress that is becoming increasingly synonymous with the teaching profession in this country.

If you would like yoga in your child's school (through weekly yoga classes as a part of their PE curriculum, part of their enrichment program, an after-school activity, etc.) please tell your Headteacher.