Classes in Tooting Friday evenings

As some of you know I have relocated from The Sound Lounge on Monday evenings. Unfortunately I was unable to get another venue nearby for Monday evenings so I am now running classes on Fridays!

These classes will take place at Tooting Methodist Church Hall, entrance in Longmead Road. New students the first class is FREE! after that its £11 drop in or £50 for a 5 class pass or £90 for a 10 class pass. If there are financial difficulties please contact me directly as we may be able to come to an arrangement that is more manageable.

Please bring your own mat!

6:00pm-7:15pm will be Pregnancy Yoga and 7:30-8:30pm Vinyasa Flow

Pregnancy yoga is suitable for mums and bumps from 12weeks, after your 12 week check. Its a great way to meet other mums to be and share your journey, offering support and companionship, whilst building confiedance.prenatal-teaching

So what happens at pregnancy yoga? After setting up your mat we go around the room to introduce ourselves, say how many weeks pregnant you are and let everyone know how you are feeling and if there are any issues e.g.pelvic girdle pain or low lying placenta. (don’t worry if there is anything you think I should be aware of but don’t want to tell the group just let me know at the beginning before we start.) This is usually a nice way to share experiences and anything that you have tried that helps with making things easier.

We will then go through some gentle flowing movements and yoga postures to get the body moving and also learn some techniques to ease common discomforts e.g. lower back pain or tense shoulders. Movements will also give you some ideas on active birth positions and breathing techniques to keep you calm and relaxed during birth. Other techniques including sonic massage for your baby will also be utilised. We will also have a section on Pelvic floor exercises and learn to gain more control over this area.

All this will be followed by a relaxing meditation, if you are taking hypnobirthing classes feel free to bring in a copy of any of the scripts you are finding particularly helpful. This section of the class gives you time just for yourself and your baby, without any distractions or things you need to be doing… bliss!

Vinyasa Flow is a mixed ability class, from complete beginners to advanced 015b78bedbeb279256b0f5c13ec28063a88a37ff57practitioners, a basic level of fitness is required as this style of yoga is a continual flow where each movement moves into the next, a bit like a dance. There is a focus on strength, stamina and improving flexibility, but also a sense of fun and playfulness. We incorporate, Physical movements (Asana), breath work (Pranayama), relaxation and meditation for a well rounded class. Be prepared to get a bit hot and sweaty! As always in yoga you can take it at your own pace and rest as much as needed. I will offer modifications and adjustments throughout so you can tailor the class to your own needs.

Hope to see some of you there! Any questions or for more info contact me Here

Love and Light

Harri

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Update! A year ago I was mid-yoga teacher training…so what’s happening now?

Hi everyone,

It has been a long time since I’ve given you guys an update, so figured it was time to take stock and review what I have achieved over the past year.

This time last year I was midway through my yoga teacher training with YogaLondon. I yogi-toeswas super nervous, didn’t think I’d be able to pass the exams and thought it was highly unlikely I’d be able to actually lead a class. I cannot quite believe how far I have come in such a short amount of time!

There have been ups and downs, moments where I have doubted myself and my teaching, a few negative experiences too, but all in all becoming a yoga teacher has been the best decision I ever made. My confidence has grown, I’m finding my own voice, learning so much and meeting the most amazing people along the way.

My classes are growing, I am teaching in multiple venues, and formats which is amazing and it just gets better and better, the more I learn, the more I realise I have to learn. Each and every new yogi or yogini who attends my classes has something to teach me, and help improve my teaching. I am excited to be just at the very beginning of my career. teaching 1You finish your teacher training and that is the starting point, the real learning happens on the job. Initially you are learning the art of teaching and beginning to find a unique teaching style but once you feel confident to deliver a safe asana class, that’s when the real teaching of yoga starts, when you can allow your students the time and space for their own discoveries and begin to bring in deeper elements to give them the tools to progress.

I have trained as a pregnancy teacher, begun my 500hrs training, my ‘yoga bookshelf’ is overflowing. I have taught my first workshop, taught at my first class at a festival, and been to some exciting venues doing cover work. I completed my Reiki Level 1 a couple of weeks back with a friend and student. (this was amazing and I will be writing about this in the near future… keep a look out!)

IMG_2910Business wise it has been a baptism of fire! I had no clue at all what I was doing when I first qualified… ok I still have no idea what I’m doing but I feel more confident in finding the right people to help me and I’m getting by with less terror and panic. We will see how long this lasts when I attempt to do my tax return!

So what’s next?

I plan to complete my 500hr training by this time next year. I have several workshops planned to deliver for late summer/early autumn. I am beginning to investigate doing more corporate classes. I have just hired a new venue to replace one which wasn’t working too well for me. Two new classes are starting on the 26th May – Prenatal yoga 6:00pm -7:15pm and a vinyasa flow class 7:30pm -8:30pm both held in Tooting at Tooting Methodist Church Hall in Longmead Road, every Friday. See classes page for more details. There is so much I want to do and so little time! So I’m aiming to take each day as it comes and really live in the moment, focusing on the positives and aiming to be kind and compassionate to myself as well as everyone else.012491df7cc5c9a45db9b04bf17d77b9f56ab1c5a7

What are my teaching values?


I recently listened to a talk by Judith Hanson Lasater, where she spoke about effectively teaching beginners. In this talk one of her points was that as a teacher we should have our teaching values clear in our minds, to be able to utilise them in the class setting. This got me thinking! What are my teaching values?

I believe that teaching values are always evolving. When you first finish your yoga teacher training the main focus is on being able to safely deliver a class that is interesting and your students enjoy. As the skill of delivering a class develops and becomes more natural, I have been thinking more about how I am teaching, what are my intentions, how can I keep my teaching moving forward, whilst remaining true to my own values?

Judith Hanson Lasater encourages us to come up with 5-7 teaching values, so here are mine!! (In no particular order)

  • Always aim to encourage students to challenge themselves and build confidence. 
  • Teach individually, within a group, creating inclusion, integration and connection.
  • Always be mindful and teach with kindness and compassion. 
  • Teach authentically, allowing my individuality as a teacher to shine through. 
  • Keep a beginners mind! We are all learning together (I just happen to be leading the sequence – I learn as much from my students as I do in my own practice)
  • Allow students to make their own discoveries, explorations and connections. 
  • Keep it fun!! 


Downward Facing Dog aka Adho Mukha Svanasana

 

Downward dog is one of the most synonymous yoga poses. It appears in practically every yoga class, all over the world. So what is it that this pose is actually doing, how does it benefit us, what is its purpose and how do we do it!

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Believe it or not, Downward Facing Dog aka Adho Mukha Svanasana is a resting pose. It gives us time to check in with own body during the yoga practice. Here we have a chance to notice what our minds are doing, are we focused on the breath? Have we lost all focus and started planning what we are having for dinner? Now we can re-find our focus and ensure the breath in steady and that we are breathing fully and effectively. We can allow the heart rate to come back to a calm pace during a dynamic vinyasa class.

It may be a resting pose but there is still a lot to think about (before we can take that pause) to make sure what we are doing is safe and sustainable for the body in the long term.

  • Do we have secure foundations? The feet and hands should be grounding into the floor. Don’t worry if the heels are not touching the floor just yet, direct the energy down and out into the ground. The hands spread out and knuckles pressing into the floor.
  • Keep the front of the legs engaged as you press the back of the legs back. (Engage the quadriceps to release the hamstrings.)
  • Hips pressing up and back, sitz bones pointing up to the sky. For those anatomists out there anteriorly tilt the pelvis.
  • Spine is long and neutral, supported by the use of your bandhas.
  • Protract the shoulder blades – basically think of the shoulder blades wrapping around the ribs, moving away from each other.
  • Shoulders relaxed and away from the ears.
  • Arms forming an energetic spiral as the upper arm rotates outward (away from you), the lower arm rotates inwards and the hand planting down into the floor with a feeling of resistance, as though you are opening jam jars! *it’s really common at this point to rotate from the wrist but keep the fingers pointing forwards.
  • No strain in the neck, look towards the feet or the navel, depending on which school of yoga you are practicing.

So you’ve managed to get your alignment sorted out and you’ve refocused on the breath, you’re taking a pause to reset, but what are the benefits of doing this at all?!prenatal-teaching

As it is considered an inversion it has all the benefits of being fully upsidedown. see Why go upside down?!

It is a foundation pose which prepares you for many asana, both in terms of alignment, flexibility and strengthening.

There is a benefit to digestion as the internal organs are stimulated. Other health benefits include relief for back pain and sciatica (in some cases) As a stable weight bearing pose it is a great option to include if you are aiming to improve bone health. It can help to reset the spine, especially after any complicated twists or arm balancing.

For mental health, it calms the system and can be both stress relieving and help to lift mood. Somewhat confusingly it can be energising and help with fatigue or can be soothing to help you sleep.

Basically it’s the cure-all of yoga poses!

 

 

**ANNOUNCEMENT**

I am sorry to announce that the Saturday 3:30pm class will no longer run due to unforeseen circumstances.

I am hoping to be able to re-start in the near future so stay tuned for more info.IMG_1502

Yoga for fertility?

Fertility problems are much more common than most people realise. There are many causes but the majority of people can conceive under the right circumstances. A minority will have a specific medical reason whereby conception is not possible and those people should listen to the advise of their medical team to discover what options are available.

Yoga has many benefits that can help with conception, by getting the body into an optimum state to allow for success in natural conception. If you are undergoing IVF treatment, yoga is still very helpful but avoid any positions with a downward energy such as deep squats like mulasana. Make sure you tell your yoga teacher or any pregnancy yoga teacher if you are undergoing any kind of fertility treatment to get the best advise.

Remember once you do conceive, it is best to stop yoga for the first trimester and think about joining a pregnancy yoga class for the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

How can yoga help?fertility-sequence-screen-grab

  • One major cause of fertility issues is stress. Yoga can help to calm the mind and relax, releasing tension in body and mind to de-stress.
  • Yoga helps to increase blood flow to the whole body, most usefully to the reproductive system.
  • Yoga poses (asana) can help to boost immunity. Staying well gives you the best chances.
  • Poses support the reproductive system and stimulate the endocrine system, helping to balance out the hormones.
  • Yoga helps with strength and flexibility of both body and mind.
  • Yoga promotes a healthy lifestyle – there is an element of self care, cleanliness and non-harming towards the body. Eating healthily will give the body the nutrients you need and can stabilise mood.
    • Avoid anything too high in sugar, opt for slow release, complex carbohydrates like wholegrains. Eat healthy fats and lots of vegetables and lean protein.
    • Basically avoid anything that will create erratic blood sugar levels as regulating insulin levels helps keep hormones in check.
    • Reduce caffeine and alcohol when trying for a baby as it is best not to risk the adverse effects of these on an undetected fetus – remember it could be several weeks before you realise you are pregnant.
    • Lastly stop smoking – not only are you poisoning your body, it also dramatically reduces fertility.

Here is a short class, safe to practice at home.

(if you are undergoing IVF avoid the squat and just sit on the floor with the spine long.)

Fertility sequence

Most of all, have fun, relax and look after yourself. Fingers crossed the wait wont be too long!

Harri x

 

*announcement*

Good news and bad news! Let’s go for bad first. 

Price increase – classes will now be £11 per class- this is to cover increasing costs….

However, you can now book and pay online for the classes I run myself!

You can do this via Yogaclassnearyou just search SW17 and click on Yoga life with Harri, you can see the class schedule and choose to pay per class (£11) or buy a 5 class pass (£50) which is valid for two months from date of purchase. 
Of course you can still pay in person with cash but booking online ensures your place and helps give me an idea of numbers 😊

Harri

Trouble Sleeping?

Does sleep seem illusive? Are you lying awake watching the time go by, getting closer and closer to the time you need to get up? Well you’re not alone! I personally struggle with sleep problems but it’s something I am working on. Increasingly friends and students are asking me how to cope with insomnia.

3 main issues seem to be:IMG_3775

  • Falling asleep
  • Frequent waking or nightmares
  • Having slept but waking up exhausted

Sleep is becoming more and more challenging for many of us as our lives become busier and more stressful and our lifestyles more sedentary. Technology increasingly invades every aspect of our lives. There is less and less time to stop, unwind and process our day as we are constantly bombarded with emails, texts, photos, games, social media… need I go on?

We should all know the general guidelines for healthy sleep;

  • Avoid using technology or anything with a blue light for 1hr before bed
  • Make sure the environment is calm and clutter free
  • Take a warm bath
  • Sleep t regular times / create routine
  • Cut down on caffeine and smoking
  • Write a to do list for the next day to feel prepared and reduce anxiety

However even if we get all these things right, sleep can be hard to come by.

So…. Can yoga help?img_7943

Practicing yoga techniques before bed can be very helpful. Here are some options you can choose from. Or better yet try them all! One of the most important aspects is making sure you create a regular routine, 5 mins everyday is better than 1hr every now and then.

  1. Do some gentle asana practice followed by yoga nidra (video coming soon)
  2. Meditation or mindfulness practices.
    • Benefits include, stress reduction,self awareness, acceptance and calming the nervous system.
    • Sit or lie in a comfortable position and begin to focus on the breath. Notice any thoughts that come into the mind and let them go. Accept you having this thought – no judgements – no critisisms – just allow it to pass without getting caught up in it and refocus on the breath. The idea is to practice noticing when you get distracted and returning to the concentration.
    • Start with a short amount of time and work up, even just a minute if you have never practiced mindfulness before.
  3. Another technique (which is not really yoga) is to write 3 pages in a journal – it doesn’t matter what it is that you write, just get everything out – don’t over think it, its a stream of consciousness. I first started doing this as ‘Morning pages’ as described here Morning Pages However I have found that doing this just before bed is IMG_0216really helpful to ’empty’ the head. I have found it interesting to do the practice before bed and in the morning as it can be amazing to see the shift in perspective after sleep.

Do you have any other strategies that help you?

Harri

 

Happy New Year!! Update

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Hello, it’s been a while since I last posted here!

I’ve been slacking with my blog writing, well actually I’ve been writing them just not typing them up.

Any way I hope you’ve all had a lovely break over the holidays and are ready to begin a new year with some positive yogi vibes. Classes have restarted and its great to see all my returning students and fingers crossed I’ll be meeting a whole bunch of new people to share the yoga

journey with.

img_0181The past 5 months have been a bit of a whirlwind, I sometimes get caught up in the whole, I’m not a good enough teacher, I’ll never be able to make this work, cycle… but then I realise its been only a matter of months since I qualified! I have set up 3 of my own classes, (which are growing via work of mouth), a regular studio slot, 2 online classes, cover classes and I can be hired for private or duo classes… In reality it is an amazing achievement! Not forgetting I have also completed my prenatal and mum and baby training and will be starting the first module of my 500hrs qualification in February (Anatomy)

My next steps? I am currently looking into venues for more classes and am contactingimg_0820 some interesting people about possible collaborative projects… watch this space. I am also trying to organise my time better so that I can bring you regular content and some resources to use at home.

I’ll end here by asking you to think about intentions rather than resolutions this year. I resolution can be rigid and difficult to stick to as they usually don’t come about natural

ly. Allow yourself to work on intentions which arise naturally when you listen to your body and reduce the chatter in the mind.

Namaste

Harri xx