For many years, I have had great results with yoga by candlelight. Here are 5 benefits of evening yoga:
1 . Sleep.
Gentle movement and focused breathing induces a better sleep. Evening yoga calms all body functions. Restorative sleep is so important; as we rest and replenish, inflammation is reduced in the body. A good nights' sleep helps us to function better on every level.
2. Muscles and nerves
In the evening, we are more hydrated (or can be, if we sip enough water all day), which means more elasticity for evening practice. Stretching deeply into the muscles soothes our nerves and allows us to really feel what is going on in our bodies.
Taking some time and space to focus on your breath and gentle movement is a good way to let go of any tension or stress that built up during the day.
4. Mind medicine
Evening practice can work wonders for mental health. To enjoy the gentle twists and forward folds in full comfort and safety, do not eat in the 2 hours leading up to practice. 3 if possible.
Yoga improves circulation and increases levels of oxygen throughout the body. If I had to choose one word to describe evening practice, I would say 'soothing'.
"I absolutely love this class. with candles, calming music and Kathryn's guided meditations, it's exactly what I need after a stressful day at work. Kathryn's classes are fantastic because she calmly talks you through every movement, ensuring you don't push yourself too far. I'd highly recommend this class if you are looking for something to help you unwind, relax and centre yourself again".
- Catherine Hughes, Limerick.
"I went to private yoga lessons with Kathryn to improve my flexibility and to be able to relax. Yoga has helped me to become more aware of my body. Kathryn is a gentle, kind and patient teacher. I'm so glad to have met her"
"I felt more connected to my body and breath and was able to carry that same sense of awareness through my mornings"
"I absolutely love this class. with candles, calming music and Kathryn's guided meditations, it's exactly what I need after a stressful day at work. Kathryn's classes are fantastic because she calmly talks you through every movement, ensuring you don't push yourself too far. I'd highly recommend this if you are looking for something to help you unwind, relax and centre
- Catherine Hughes.
"The classes helped me re-connect with yoga practice again. Kathryn is a sincere teacher"
It's fun to try new things. If you've never experienced a yoga class before, here are some tips......
Lessons in legs
It's cold as I write this, and Ireland right now is more about barometers and blankets than bikinis! Physical movement will get your circulation going, but at the end of yoga class your body temperature will drop. So, what to wear?
1. Put on your chosen yoga outfit and lie down on the ground. Extend your arms, stretch this way and that, then roll around for a little while.
2. Lie on your back, then flip over onto your belly. Wriggle about.
3. Put on some music and have a dance to test your 'boob support'.
How you feel is more important than how you look, so remember that function is priority, not fashion. Go go forth in yoga and in comfort! Enjoy.
My 2016 elephant painting was under a stack of books to flatten it. Coming across it this morning brought my attention once more to how elephants can remind us about important things. Here are 3 of my thoughts.
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Some African plant life only exists because of the elephant. At least 3 types of seeds must go through their digestive system before germination is possible. No shit! What do we digest and pass on; what is useful and sustainable?
🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘
Some people devote their bodies to a developing baby for 9 months. As mothers, this journey sees us evolve from being self-serving to the ultimate state of giving and sharing. I was impatient for the final 2 months of my pregnancy, excited to meet my son. Elephants remain pregnant for 2 years! Yes, two whole years. How do we develop patience?
🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘 🐘
In India, the elephant eats at least 112 different plant species, and diets vary according to the season. They only eat what they need. Specific foods are selected to increase their fibre or protein. We can learn from this. As humans, we do not need to ‘detox’ in January when it's cold. Personally, I am always chubbier at this time of year, and that’s fine. Ignore food fads. Can you simply trust your body’s wisdom (and the weather) to decide on what is sensible, healthy eating for you?
Art and design: Kathryn Crowley.
There are at least another 50 benefits to yoga, but let me share a little with you about why these 5 are so important...
1. For positive mental health, I believe in fresh air, yoga and a balanced diet. When it comes to getting physical, the back is where it's at! Working the spine to increase mobility can soothe anxiety, tension and stress.
2. Stronger muscle helps to reduce back pain and acts as protection from arthritis.
3. Attention to asana (physical postures) can improve a person's alignment, then reduce neck, back and joint problems.
4. Yoga tones the body while training the mind. Discipline and self-control help us to generally make healthier food choices.
5. Improving your health through yoga is a natural mood booster that can increase overall confidence.
I'll be at www.freefringefest.com/ this month, so if you are going there too, let's enjoy some yoga together at 11am on Saturday and Sunday. This is for a small group, so book your place on 085 2441321.
Workshops are gatherings that combine yoga with art-making, music and meditation. I am happy to design one for small groups, and always happy to consider larger team projects with other teachers.
My background is in community arts, so think freestyle, not Frida Kahlo! In other words, amazing art skills are not required. The idea is to focus on connecting deeply with your body and inner creativity without any stress or strain.
I am happy to travel, and open to collaborations. When you have a venue, an estimate of the number of participants expected and possible dates, contact me to start a conversation about how we might work together.
Phone 085 2441321. www.instagram.com/12petalsyoga/ E-mail email@example.com
Detail from a Frida Kahlo painting, reproduced in Aesthetica magazine.