In these classes children learn about movement and listening, speaking and all sorts of creativity. We take inspiration from animals and nature.
There is no pressure; fun, process and experimentation are important here. Children love exploring materials and techniques. All art materials are supplied. I believe in giving time and space to develop ideas.
A course of 4 weeks is €80. This includes 5 hours of yoga and art tuition, art materials, the use of glue, glitter, brushes, paper and dry materials, insurance, cleaning and other costs. Classes in 2020 will be 75 minutes in duration. I have found that this works well for the various attention spans.
While having great fun, yoga burns energy, calms the mind and boosts self-esteem. 20 years after I first started working with children and adults as an art tutor, I still love it. To read more about my arts practice, see artanois.weebly.com.
The group will be kept small. As always, I will be putting a lot of effort into encouraging the participation of each and every child to boost their concentration levels and engage them in learning and healthy habits through play.
Hatha is a generic term. In hatha yoga we hold physical poses for longer; it's all about gentle movements with pauses in-between. In the photo below, I am in a stance known as tree pose ( holding a mat up is not usual!) The practice alternates between sitting on the mat for poses and standing up.
Vinyasa has more fire to it. A series of poses are repeated; it's like a flowing, full-body dance that is physically demanding. Expect to get hot and sweaty at times. Vinyasa makes a person physically and mentally stronger. Off the mat, it will help you to develop more concentration and focus. Classical hatha is over 5000 years old. Vinyasa has been around since the 1970s.
If you haven't tried either of these styles before, then you might as well be reading a 'how to play piano' manual right now without an instrument in front it you. The only way for you to know how yoga feels is to experience it for yourself. Go for it; what's the best thing that could happen?
Feeling apprehensive about a new place, situation or activity is completely natural. Before your first yoga class you might be anxious, excited, or a mixture of both. The number one topic that I hear mentioned time and time again by my newcomers is flexibility.
Flexibility is not required. Social media is full of images of people doing acrobatics and calling it yoga. There are also "teachers" who are addicted to posting regular photos of themselves "doing yoga", with the result that some people have been completely put off even trying.
Trust me on this; true yoga is about feeling good, not forcing your body into any shapes. Nor is it about training yourself in a military drill fashion.
Many people turn to yoga to alleviate stiffness. Flexibility can increase as a side-effect, but it is not the aim! I work with people who use yoga to cope with all sorts, from anxiety to arthritis. Some are recovering from illness, others want to enhance sports training or prevent injury. Most love it simply because it feels so good!
I see yoga helping people of all ages to relax, get fit, cope with addiction, insomnia or depression...it's not for me to judge why you want to practice. Yoga is for absolutely everyone; it has served humanity for over 5000 years and is still here for good reason!
Every body moves differently. I simply invite you to connect with your breath, inhaling and exhaling deeply as you move your body with awareness.
There is a whole industry out there that wants you to feel fat, frumpy, ugly or lacking in one way or another. Reality check; 'perfect' does not exist! Our body is not a permanent entity; it is ever-changing.
In your heart you know very well how to be healthier. Yes if you need to slim down a bit for health reasons, then try. But for the love of life, enjoy yourself too! Constantly depriving yourself and counting calories is a boring way to live and not sustainable if the 'rules' are super-rigid.
Being happy is not something for the future when you 'shed the extra pounds'. Finding inner peace is more important than the scales.
Yoga is all about bringing the focus inward to complete self-acceptance. It works on you from the inside out and you do not have to be thin to particpate; that is yet another myth! As a positive side effect, when you feel more stable and content in yourself, emotional eating is less likely to happen.
In Spokane, the 'Fat Girl Yoga Studio' promotes yoga for all body types. A good philosophy.
Whatever size or fitness level, we all need to engage with feel good activities. Variety in life keeps it interesting for me; pottering around with flowers and plants one day, strong vinyasa yoga the next. Or I might go walking energetically in my hiking boots one day, enjoy gentle yoga the next. How about you? What makes you feel good?
Yoga and art for children. Saturdays. Phone 085 2441321 to book.
Sound Bath July 13th with Dee O'Connor in the studio. See the sound healing blog post for information.
Gongs, crystal singing bowls and other instruments (when played by the right person) offer a sound bath that is simply gorgeous. Sound healing is quite an experience and I am delighted to have Dee O'Connor visiting the studio soon.
Lie on a yoga mat (bring a blanket) and let sonic frequencies wash over your body. As your body is enveloped in layers of sound, you might fall asleep, or you might meditate throughout; it's all good!
Sound baths always induce a state of profound relaxation in me. This event is 90 minutes, €15 per person and I am limiting it to 12 places. To book and pay, call into the studio between classes or contact me to arrange payment.
Today is Summer solstice; a day to contemplate light. How do you use your energy, your fire in the world? To balance the element of fire, we need to connect with the element of water.
Hydration is so important! Water is life; your body weight is 60% water, and every cell, organ, and area of body tissue depend on this miracle liquid. H20 regulates body temperature and maintains multiple functions. Water is lost through breathing, sweating and digestion, so we need to re-hydrate by drinking fluids and eating water-rich foods.
Sipping water regularly throughout the day prevents cramps in yoga. The amount that I drink might not be ideal for your body, and vice-versa. We are all different. As in yoga, how much you need is very personal. It depends on how physically active you are. If you have an illness or health issue, your water intake will differ. Our individual drinking needs are also affected by what kind of climate we live in.
All art & photography by Kathryn Crowley.
Water protects the joints.
During asana (yoga postures), my students often hear me talk about how to protect the joints. Did you know that one of the best way to lubricate and cushion the joints is by consuming water regularly?
Water also helps to protect the spinal chord. Body tissue needs water too; otherwise sensitive areas like the eyes, nose and throat can become uncomfortable and dry.
Enzymes in our saliva dissolve minerals and other nutrients in our food. How much we drink has a direct impact on this process. After digestion, urination and solids happen; yes, water is crucial in order to help your body excrete waste.
Constipation can be aggravated by dehydration. The kidneys, liver and intestines also need water to help move food through the digestive tract before flushing out waste. When it comes to urinary tract issues or cystitis, water can alleviate the symptoms greatly.
In the last few years I have been told by medical specialists that most women they come across are dehydrated. I don't know if it is the same for men; what do you think?
Having access to clean water is a real privilege. For all-round health and as a mood-changer, the simple act of taking water into your body throughout the day can work wonders. So drink, be grateful and enjoy.
Thanks to everyone who shared their knowledge to inspire this blog post, including Jen Laskey and Doctor Sinha Shanai.
Did you know that The United Nations General Assembly decreed Summer Solstice (June 21st) as international yoga day in 2014?
It happened when India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the UN assembly and discussed the essence of Yoga.
He said "Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies the unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with you".
On June 21st, come and celebrate life with yoga on Summer solstice. The sun is the life force, your body is a gift; stretch and breathe. Immerse in yoga for an hour and refresh yourself on every level.
This year's theme is yoga for the heart. In yoga the heart chakra is symbolised by 12 petals around a lotus flower, which is whre the 12 Petals Yoga Studiowww.facebook.com/Breatheanois/ got its' name.
Everyone is welcome to 6:30pm yoga with me on Friday. Questions? Phone 085 2441321.
"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have" -Maya Angelou.
Visiting Newcastle West? Call me on 085 2441321 if you have a group interested in seeing our current exhibition.