29 October 2011

Quote of the day

Our experiences and feelings are mainly related to our bodies and minds. We know from our daily experiences that mental happiness is beneficial.For instance, through two people may face the same kind of tragedy, one person may face it more easily than the other due to his or her mental attitude. 
Dalai lama

27 October 2011

Yoga weekend in Norfolk 2012

Taking time out to focus on yourself and your yoga practice can really recharge the batteries, and can often take you to another level with your yoga.

Rachel is running a yoga weekend at the beautiful Morley Old Hall in Norfolk in May 2012; all details listed below.

Made me smile to see cake is also available. All about the balance ;-)

Yoga Holiday in Norfolk, May 2012

Come and join us at Morley Old Hall, Wymondham (nr Norwich), Norfolk for 3 days (2 nights) of yoga, relaxation and delicious food!

The weekend will include:
  • 5 yoga sessions + 2-3 meditation sessions
  • One-to-one work during breaks (optional)
  • bed, breakfast, lunch, dinner, all refreshments (dietary requirements catered for) and housekeeping (oh and cake of course!)
  • Pick-ups from and to local station
  • Plenty of chill-out time to read, write, go for walks or anything else you fancy doing
  • For those of us who can't live without it, we'll even have free wi-fi!!
  • All of the yoga sessions are multi-level and the holiday is suitable for beginners as well. 
Date: 25-27 May 2012
Price: £399 per person based on sharing an en-suite room with one other (single supplements available)
Early Bird price of £349 if paid in full before 31 December 2011.
Deposit: £100 to secure your place.

Contact for booking and further details:
T: 01223 479070/07985 779892
E: rachel@massage-movement.co.uk
W: http://massage-movement.co.uk

26 October 2011

Astanga yoga book review-Lino Miele

This book written by Astanga yoga teacher Lino Miele is now in its 8th edition. It was was written by Lino under the guidance and direction of Sri K. Patthabi Jois and records the exact number of vinyasa (breath-movement sequencing) for each posture in both the primary and second series.

I personally have never practised the coming to stand at the end of each vinyasa, but most of the breath counts are very familiar to me. Although I think it would be interesting to see how (and why) some of this has changed over the years.

Perhaps the new directer of the Ashtanga yoga institute (KPJAYI) in Mysore, Sharath Jois, who is continuing the lineage of ashtanga yoga (handed down from his grandfather Patthabi Jois), will revise this count sometime in the future?!

It is a great guide for anyone practising ashtanga yoga and a fantastic reference book for accurate breath in this wonderful system.

25 October 2011

Yoga and stretching both ease chronic back pain

Pilates room-010

By Genevra Pittman

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Weekly yoga classes eased pain and improved functioning in a study of patients with chronic lower back pain; but the yoga sessions weren't any better than regular stretching classes. Participants in both types of classes had better functioning and fewer symptoms after three months than patients in a control group.

"We've known for a while that exercise is good for back pain," said Dr. Timothy Carey, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who wrote a commentary published with the study. Yoga, he told Reuters Health, "seems to be a perfectly good option for people with back pain, but it is not a preferred option."

Finding that yoga and stretching had about equal effects means it was probably the stretching involved in yoga, and not the relaxation or breathing components of the practice, that helped improve functioning and pain symptoms, researchers said today in Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study involved 228 adults with long-lasting back pain, randomly assigned to three groups. The first two groups went to either weekly yoga or stretching classes for 12 weeks and were asked to practice on their own between classes. Both types of classes focused on stretching and strengthening the lower back and legs.

Patients in the third group were given a book with back pain-related exercise and lifestyle advice and information on managing flare-ups.

After the 12-week programme, people in the two intervention groups had significantly lower scores on a questionnaire measuring how much pain interferes with daily activities, compared to those given the book.

The questionnaire rated daily "disability" level on a scale of zero to 23, with 23 being the most severe. The exercise groups dropped from an initial average score of 10 in the yoga group or nine in the stretching group to between four and five in both groups. The control group went from a baseline score of nine to about a seven at 12 weeks.

Sixty percent of people in the yoga group reported improvements in pain, compared to 46% in the stretching classes and just 16% of controls.

Three months after the end of classes, symptom improvements were similar in people who had done either stretching or yoga, and still better than in the third, non-exercise group.

And at both the end of class sessions and three months later, about 40% of the class participants reported cutting back on pain medications, vs 20% in the control group.

"Here is an option that is something worth trying," said Karen Sherman from the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, who led the study.

With either stretching or yoga classes, she told Reuters Health, practice is a must for patients. "There is absolutely no treatment that works for everybody... (but) if they're willing to practice, they should go ahead and give it a try."

Dr. Carey said the findings suggest that the best type of exercise for people with back pain depends on their preferences and what's convenient.

"It's important that people do exercise they enjoy," he said. "That way, they're more likely to stick with it."

The study was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

While it didn't include people with severe back pain - therefore the findings don't necessarily apply to them - Dr. Carey said that "almost anyone with back pain can benefit from stretching exercises."

Tom Lowes, osteopath at The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy

21 October 2011

David Swenson Triyoga London 2011

The wonderful ashtanga yoga teacher David Swenson will be in London from the 18th - 27th November 2011. As mentioned in previous posts, David was my first yoga teacher many years ago. I was able to catch up with him again at a Triyoga workshop last year. Despite a 16 year gap, he was just the same; funny, generous and with a mountain of knowledge to share. It was in this workshop that I came to a standing position from a backbend for the first (and last) time, well almost...

I would recommend getting along to one of the many workshops on offer. They range from led classes to teacher training, so choose wisely.

Many of my students feel slightly intimidated by practising with someone like David, but there really is no need to be.

Triyoga soho London: 2nd floor, Kingly Court, Soho, London W1B 5PW.
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and Piccadilly Circus

18 October 2011

And then there were three...

family pix-011

So my son has gone off to university, leaving a bit of a gap in our household.

Gone are the football boots strewn around the floor, the smoke alarm blaring when he cooks any food, late night worrying “is he home?”, the random chanting that he sometimes does, drum and base music blaring from the top of the house... This has been replaced with discussions on the telephone about his course, student life and the never changing topic “can I have some money?”

He did a marvellous job on Skype recently showing me his ribs and telling me all about his lack of nutritious food. So a quick online payment into his bank account settled this and - judging by his facebook status - this nutrition came via a Manchester night club. Little darling!

Looking forward to having his smiley home for a few days soon. (Oops, maybe we look a bit too happy in the photograph?!)

16 October 2011

Mum and baby beauty morning at Melvita Putney

"Who hasn’t been to the lovely Mum & Baby Beauty Morning at Melvita in The Exchange Centre yet? It’s every Tuesday from 9.30 am where Craig and his team will welcome you with refreshments as well as delightful organic pampering treatments! Also don’t miss out on their current offer on their hypoallergenic and paediatrician approved baby range: Free Full Size Nappy Change Milk when you buy 2 Mum or Baby products (excluding soap)*. What’s not to love?

Not only does Melvita have the most gorgeous range of organic products- they are fully active in community life in Putney-Pop along for a treat and to meet other mums and babies.

Melvita Putney – Unit 22 The Exchange Shopping Centre Putney High Street London SW15 1TW – Tel: 020 8704 1670

13 October 2011

Yoga Retreat Wiltshire

I just spent a wonderful weekend facilitating a yoga retreat at Littleton Mill in Wiltshire. Littleton Mill is an Eco house and everything about it has been sourced this way. It is a working mill and the house is powered by the mill, so it feels almost like the house has a heartbeat when you lie on your mat in Savasana.

The food is all home made on-site and was fabulous; organic vegetarian food and plenty of it.
There were 10 of us on the retreat weekend and the group dynamics worked perfectly. 9 busy women taking some time out to practice yoga and "just be" or, as I like to think of it, a bit of "spiritual banking". During our Sunday morning yoga practice, two swans with their 5 babies swam up to the window to look at us. Everyone carried on with their practice, but it was with big smiles that they did so. Feel a spring retreat might be in the air.

Retreat wiltshire

Retreat wiltshire

Retreat wiltshire

06 October 2011

Quote of the day

The first condition of humanness is a little humility and a little diffidence about the correctness of ones conduct and a little receptiveness.
Mahatma Ghandi

Polka dot yoga bag by DevonRed

I am trying out my beautiful Polka dot yoga mat bag from DevonRed. DevonRed is a small independent business based in Exeter, making handmade yoga bags and products.

The yoga bag is bright and sunny and has enough room inside it for me to place my keys and lipstick should I need to. I am loving my bag and eye pillow.

Devon Red 008

Devon Red 001

Mat Bag - Apples Breathe Eye Pillows - Class Pack Mat Bag - Sky

To view all products go to www.devonred.com or to follow DevonRed on Twitter