Showing posts with label Restorative yoga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Restorative yoga. Show all posts

10 August 2017

Restorative yoga for fertility.


To rest, relax and restore is essential in today’s society where stress levels are rising. To rest deeply is to experience absolute relaxation, where there is effortless stillness, quietness and peace. Restorative Yoga provides bespoke restorative postures, specific yoga based sequences, breath awareness practices and relaxation. 

Open to both men and women these yoga sessions are suitable for couples trying to conceive naturally or through IVF (providing you have been referred by your IVF consultant). 

The physical focus of the postures is to create space and ease and to optimize the blood flow to the muscles and connective tissues in the lower pelvis. 

On an emotional level, the benefits of restorative yoga and the haven of a safe, nurturing environment, can help both men and women cope with the stress associated with trying to conceive and to increase the ability to self nurture, deeply relax and accept where they are in the process. 

Our restorative fertility yoga sessions are in conjunction with fertility experts at Concept fertility. www.conceptfertility.co.uk

We offer1-2-1 or couples sessions check our website for details
 Yoga Mama Wellness

or call 0208 789 3881 for more details

18 September 2015

Restorative yoga: Is it time to slow down your hot yoga moves?


There was an interesting article by Peta Bee in The Times this week about the growing number of people who are turning to a restorative yoga practice.

It’s time to slow down your hot yoga moves 

by Peta Bee

Somewhere along its path to finding inner peace, yoga seems to have lost its way. For the past decade and more we have embraced the ancient practice in our droves. We have rushed from our high-pressured jobs and snatched time to keep up and it has progressed to being a gym-class staple with lightening pace. Getting ashtanga arms and a Bikram butt became our obsession as we pushed ourselves into postures more frenetically than its original devotees would have ever done.

Yoga is now suggestive of competitive stretching by lithe, super-bendy bodies and an emphasis on sweat. Yet just as we got used to the ever more dynamic downward dog, there is an opposing trend emerging among those who are trying to slow it back down.

Fed up with being wedged into a room packed to capacity (and beyond) where a hotshot instructor barks orders, the new breed of yogi is switching to forms in which movement is often barely perceptible — in some classes you are required to stay in the same posture for half an hour. It’s an era of post-mindfulness and those in the know are whispering about restorative and yin yoga in a way that affirms they are the next big thing in fitness.

In Los Angeles, New York and London, studios are reporting a sharp rise in demand for slow-mo classes as more regulars find themselves off the pace. The most popular is yin yoga, for years the awkward cousin of more fashionable varieties. It seemed insane to assume a posture and hold it when fast shifts between the moves were heralded as the route to a hot yoga-bod.

A decade ago, there were, at most, a handful of yin yoga classes in London. Now the number runs into the hundreds with many boutique studios claiming it is becoming the most popular approach with its focus on seated postures and loading the connective tissue and ligaments around a joint.

With restorative yoga, in which your body is completely supported by props from bolsters to eye pillows and blocks to belts, the emphasis is even less on flexibility and more on therapeutic relaxation. You can spend much of your time cocooned in a blanket.

They are yin to the yang of high-intensity interval training and running, the antithesis of competitive yoga, the kind in which A-type personalities strive to out-do the person on the next mat and men attack each class in the way they might a CrossFit workout of the day.

Yet Anna Ashby, who teaches restorative yoga at Triyoga, says that the increase in popularity this year has been enormous. “Since January I’ve noticed this huge tide change and I’m suddenly getting 30 or 40 people wanting to take part in every session,” she says. “People had been consuming yoga in all its latest forms and had got caught up with this hunger for the next pose, the next trend, the next teacher, but they’ve gradually begun to realise they are not switching off and that’s what they really need.”

Nahid de Belgeonne is the founder of the Good Vibes studio in Covent Garden, London, where the most popular sessions now include the snail-paced bliss yoga by candlelight and glow yin. She says: “There’s a growing acknowledgement that mass-appeal yoga doesn’t complement a stressful job and lifestyle. Most of our classes are becoming more gentle now.”

Inevitably, it’s a movement fuelled by a celebrity following, even though it has a more subtle effect on muscle-toning than the more gung-ho approaches. Mandy Ingber, the go-to yogi for Jennifer Aniston, Kate Beckinsale and Brooke Shields, is among those trying to combat the Hollywood stereotype of yoga by urging her clients to check their pace. “Remaining in a pose for a long time forces me to breathe and takes all of my presence,” she says. “ ‘Out of my head and into my legs’ is what I like to say.”

Khlo√© Kardashian is a fan as is Salma Hayek, the Latino actress whose body looks a few decades younger than her chronological 49 years. Hayek says she works with a yoga teacher who helps her tease her body gently into shape. “She taught me to tone [my muscles] without clenching them,” Hayek says. “You relax them and focus on the parts that need to be used, but never with tension.”

On the face of it, yin looks easy. You sit or lie down. There are no core poses, no warriors or planks and no speedy sun salutations. How difficult can it be? Belgeonne says it’s surprising how it moves you “out of your comfort zone”. In a typical ashtanga class, you might hold a posture for five breaths; in a yin session it can be anything from two to twenty minutes, an endurance feat for body and mind.

These longer holds apply the right kind of pressure to the fascia, the dense, fibrous connective tissue around the body that encompasses all muscles and bones. Small amounts of fascia are good news, but it builds up through poor posture and hardcore workouts to impinge daily movement.

“Yin works on the fascia and connective tissue as well as allowing the mind to rest,” Belgeonne says. Restorative yoga is not about stretching at all. In fact, movement is minimal. “Poses can be held for 30 minutes,” says Sarah Scharf, who teaches it at the Life Centre in Notting Hill, London. “And the emphasis is on comfort. If you’re not comfortable, it’s impossible to rest deeply, let alone stay still for that long.”

It’s the passivity of slow yoga that newcomers find most challenging. Ashby says that last week she spotted two participants in her restorative yoga classes furtively sending texts and emails as they lay with their bodies draped on a series of blocks. “We have become so used to living with constant mental stimulation from phones and the internet that people find it really hard to switch off,” she says. “Our minds are constantly cracking the whip and we don’t realise that we are putting ourselves through this chronic low-grade stress all the time.”

With mellow yoga come mellow instructors, which can also require a period of adjustment. “There are a lot of big egos in yoga,” Ashby says. “I peer through the doors of other classes and see teachers firing poses at people. You have to question what it’s become. What people really need is time out; a rest.” Slow yoga offers the permission to take it, she says: “People tell me after a class it’s the only time in their lives they ever just sit and breathe.”
Originally published in The Times on Tuesday 15 September


RESTORATIVE YOGA AT YOGA MAMA


Yoga Mama offers restorative yoga classes on Wednesday evenings. For more information, visit the Yoga Mama website. Class bookings can be made via the  Yoga Mama online class booking system. Alternatively, you can book by calling us on 020 8789 3881 or by sending an email to info@putneyclinic.co.uk.


23 April 2015

Restorative Yoga

 

RESTORATIVE YOGA


WEDNESDAY EVENINGS, 8-9PM

Unwind at the end of your day with a class that starts with gentle, yet strengthening yoga stretches and breath work, before moving toward restorative yoga, using props (bolsters, blankets, blocks, straps, eye bags) to support the body, create comfort and minimize muscular tension, which in turn helps to relax the nervous system, rest the adrenal glands, fostering a deep sense of well-being.

This class is suitable for all levels of experience and flexibility. It is also suitable for people returning to yoga practice after a spell away, or any one working with injuries or health conditions. Above all, it's an hour where individuals can switch off from the pace of London life and tune into themselves.

BOOKINGS


This 8-week restorative yoga course costs £112. To book your place, call 020 8789 3881 or send an email to info@putneyclinic.co.uk.


12 February 2010

Different types of yoga

I am often asked what is the difference between the various styles of yoga. Now that could take a long time to describe and, indeed, I might not be the most qualified person for the job, as it is a vast subject. Generally speaking any yoga where you practice Asana (poses) and Pranayama (yogic breathing) is Hatha yoga.

This is the most common form of yoga practised in the West and has many forms. Here is a brief outline of some of them:

Ashtanga (vinyasa) yoga:
Ashtanga yoga originated in Mysore and is a dynamic flowing form of yoga. Synchronizing breath and movement. Heating the body from the inside out, purifying the blood and removing toxins

Iyengar yoga:
Many poses in the BKS Iyengar system are similar to those of Ashtanga. The focus in this practice is on alignment and poses are sometimes held for long periods of time. The use of props is encouraged in this type of yoga.

Yin yoga:
Yin yoga focuses on opening the deep connective tissues and joints. It is a slow practice but works really deeply. It is thought that Yin yoga is one of the earliest forms of yoga. Sages would use this form to strengthen the body, so they could sit for long periods in meditation.

Jivamuckti:
Jivamuckti yoga classes offer dynamic yoga, alongside chanting and spiritual readings from the Sutras of Pattanjali and The Upanishads. The founder of this style of yoga are David Life and Sharon Gannon.

Kundalini yoga:
Kundalini yoga was brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan in 1969 and is a safe, comprehensive technology that can be practiced by everyone. It combines breathing, movement, stretching and sound (Naad), giving an experience of deep inner calm, self confidence and awareness.

Vinyasa Flow yoga:
A dynamic form of yoga derived from Ashtanga, which synchronizes breathing with an asana (posture) sequence very precisely.

Restorative yoga:
Blankets and bolsters are often used in restorative yoga. Poses are often held for several minutes; allowing the body to release, open and expand. Deeply nourishing and soothing the body and nervous system. Leaving the practitioner refreshed.