New Classes

£10 per person

Monday: 9:00am-10:00am restorative
Tuesday: 6:30pm-7:30pm open level vinyasa flow
Friday: 3:00pm-4:00pm restorative
Saturday: 3:30pm-4:30pm beginners vinyasa flow
Saturday: 4:45pm-6:00pm intermediate vinyasa flow (some experience needed)

Call 0208 7672266 to book

Rechere’s Health, Education and Well-Being Centre
163-165 Tooting high street SW17 0SY

dancer

Save

How does Yoga support Pregnant Women Energetically?

Unlike other prenatal exercise classes yoga focuses on the whole being of mother and baby, not just the physical side of Pregnancy and Birth.

Yoga empowers women to listen to their own bodies and to make choices based on their inner feelings. Learning how to quiet the mind through meditative practices and listen to the true self is vital when the world suddenly thinks it’s okay to throw advise at you.

Yoga has a focus on union and oneness so it naturally helps mum and baby connect. Mum can let go of expectations and pressures of ego driven behaviour and slow down, stop pushing to achieve and take a gentler approach to just be, as one with the baby.

Learning about how prana moves in and around the body can prenatal-teachinghelp a woman make sense of the changes that are happening both physically and emotionally. Accepting and allowing the ebb and flow of energy to be a guide, connecting with the inner self to choose what she feels is needed without judgement.

Linking with the elements will give mum a feeling of connectedness with mother-nature. Reminding her that we are all made up of these elements, part of nature, alleviating anxiety and a feeling of disconnectedness felt by women as the process of birth had become so medicalised and far removed. Yoga works to balance the elements and nourish the body through prana, working on all 5 koshas to encourage mental, emotional and energetic stability ready to start a new life – to be reborn themselves as a mother.

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

The foundation pose of our practice, the body completely balanced, calm, steady and focused. Yet, it often turns into fidgeting, hair flicking, clothes adjusting and general lack of focus.

For some reason this pose is neglected and almost discounted by many students and sometimes even teachers! So lets give it some love and really get to grips with it.

  • Standing at the front of the mat, feet together, big toe joints touching, heels slightly apart.
  • Spread the toes without gripping the floor, weight evenly distributed through the points of the feet, arches lifted. (yogi toes)
  • There is a feeling of grounding into the floor, whilst growing and extending through the body, as though the crown of the head is attatched to an imaginary string from the ceiling.
  • Firm the thighs without locking the knees (be extra careful if you have hyperextended knees) Gently rotate the upper thighs towards the centre line and lift the kneecaps.
  • Balance the pelvis in a neutral position, as though you have a bowl of water in the pelvis and you don’t want to spill it.
  • Draw the front ribs in, whilst lifting the sternum towards the sky – opening the chest and widening the collarbones.
  • Roll the shoulders down and back to relax them and allow them to sit with ease and avoiding excessive downward motion. Shoulder blades slide down the back.
  • Let the arms hang naturally, with energy throughout, all the way to the fingertips.
  • Keep the neck long and chin parallel to the floor. Drishti can vary depending upon the school but a forward, neutral position with a soft gaze is common.

so…what’s samasthiti? Is it the same as tadasana? If you’ve ever attended an Astanga class you will definately have heard this term. Many student don’t really know the difference and it never seems to be explained! Basically Tadasana is the name of the asana, whereas Samasthiti is more the essence of the asana – the focus. Samasthiti roughly translates as ‘establishing an equal and steady posture’… Personally I believe Tadasana should always be Samathiti. That focus on balance and stability should always be emphasised to keep the medatative quality to the flow. This emphasis would eliminate the tendency for students to unwittingly use it as more of a pit stop – just a little break, where all focus is lost.

yogi-toes

You’ve finished your Yoga Teacher Training…but can you actually teach?

teaching 1It has been nearly a month since I completed my 200hrs Yoga Teacher Training with YogaLondon (highly recommended). The first few days I was on a high – I’d just graduated and felt I was ready to launch myself into teaching. A week later I was full of doubts!

‘You’ve finished your YTT… but can you actually teach real people?’ This was what was going round and round in my head. Friends and family had become fed up of being experimented on relentlessly during my training, so any teaching practice since had involved teaching my imaginary student, using my loud teacher voice, in the living room whilst my cat was either trying to sleep on my mat or join in. I’m pretty sure the neighbours think I’m insane!

I was starting to feel quite panicky about the prospect of teaching my first class. What if I just freeze? What if I can’t remember my sequencing? What if my class is boring and my students don’t want to come back? What if? What if?

So what actually happened? Arriving I felt quite anxious but setting up the room and greeting the students I somehow lost all those fears and doubts. It was amazing, I absolutely loved teaching. I felt prepared, nothing I had predicted happened. The class went well, with a nice flow and all the students worked really hard. It wasn’t a struggle, it just felt so natural. I had managed to offer appropriate modifications and alternative asana for those with injuries,everyone was smiling. The feedback I got at the end of class was really positive, everyone said they enjoyed it and even asked if I taught other classes!I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

5 Things about teaching my first class.

  • When you are not talking, it is very silent – this can be disconcerting, but remember – when you are participating in class the silence is nice. The students like to have a bit of space and time to just be, to explore the asana and how it feels.
  • If you ask a question, it’s likely no-one will say anything at first. This is okay, just carry on, they do start responding once you gain their trust!
  • Don’t be afraid to challenge your students – emphasising the process of exploring where their individual challenges are and working on those. It’s the journey – not the destination.
  • In savasana some people won’t close their eyes. That’s okay…it might make you feel uncomfortable, like you are being watched BUT it’s better the student feels comfortable! This is their time, you don’t want them feeling on edge! Hopefully in time they will learn to feel safe in the space and completely relax.
  • My favourite moment? Bringing them out of savasana – everyone looks so peaceful. Bringing the awareness back to the body, wiggling their toes and fingers, it’s amazing to see these tiny movements as they reconnect.teaching 2

So if you are prone to anxiety, like me, and you have just qualified then really don’t worry. It is completely normal to have some doubts and fears but dont let the what if’s stop you.”Paralysis by over analysis is deadly” Assuming you’ve had good quality training there really is nothing to worry about.

Good Luck – Harri x

What are the 8 Limbs of Yoga?

Here I am going to give a general overview of the 8 fold path set out by Patanjali in ‘The Yoga Sutras’ (Ashtanga – 8 limb…. not to be confused with Ashtanga Vinyasa which is the set of sequences devised in Mysore by Patabi Jois)

‘The Yoga Sutras’ aims to explain; what yoga is, the aim of yoga, how to achieve this, what might get in your way, how to overcome these obstacles and what the result could be. It is non-dogmatic and each sutra (thread) is open to interpretation. The 8 limbs are almost like an action plan!

  1. Yamas – Ethical considerations
  2. Niyamas – Self observations
  3. Asana – Physical postures
  4. Pranayama – Breath control
  5. Pratyahara – Withdrawal of senses
  6. Dharana – Concentration
  7. Dhyana – Meditation
  8. Samadhi – Freedom/Enlightenment

Firstly we need to consider our ethics, through understanding the 5 Yamas: Continue reading

Confused by the many styles of yoga?

Looking at the timetable of a yoga studio can be quite intimidating for a new student. There are so many styles to choose from, Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Restorative, Vinyasa Flow, Yin… I could go on!

So let’s take a look at some of these to help you make a decision about which style suits your needs best. Of course it’s great to try out as many styles and teachers as you want, to find your fit.

Hatha – often seen as a gentle, slower practice but hatha is actually the umbrella name for a physical yoga practice. Realistically these classes could be anything but most often, on studio timetables, there will be a more classical approach incorporating basic pranayama (breath control) and asana (postures)

Iyengar – Be prepared for lots of props. Precise alignment is the aim and dependent upon your body type, this could make it incredibly difficult. This practice is suitable for beginners to advanced and all fitness levels.

Ashtanga – The class is a set sequence which you learn in one of two ways. The majority of led classes will be the primary maybe sometimes a secondary series, but there are actually 6! Each series leads on to the next becoming progressively more difficult, so mastery of one is essential before moving to the next. Breath anIMG_0778d Movement are in unison throughout the sequence, it’s a moving meditation, with all postures linked together by vinyasa. Mysore – A way of teaching in the traditional way, where the teacher works individually to teach the student the sequence, one asana at a time. Each person is doing their own practice within the class and will go up to where they are in the sequence and stop. Once you master a pose your teacher will give you the next. Continue reading

So… what is yoga?

IMG_0854Someone approaches you with a leaflet for a new yoga class. If you are not already a convert what comes to mind? I asked some people with no experience of yoga at all and here are the results!

  • Shiny happy American ladies with perfect make up and perfect hair, tying themselves in knots and standing on their hands in front of amazing landscapes?
  • Tiny Indian men living in caves with long beards sitting for hours in uncomfortable looking positions?
  • Young, thin, active people who appear to have no bones in their bodies?
  • New age hippy types wafting around with candles and incense?
  • Something Madonna does?

 

There are so many stereotypes out there and there may be some truth in all of them. What became apparent to me was the answers I was getting were more focused on WHO practices yoga, rather than WHAT yoga is. Just from these answers we can see that a huge variety of people practice yoga but what is it that draws them in? Continue reading

What is this Blog all about?

Firstly, welcome. I’m Harri, a 29-year-old newly qualified yoga teacher! I’m super excited about sharing my yoga life with you.

You can see my journey from having just left teacher training, (with YogaLondon who I highly recommend) to full-time yoga teacher! This could take years or never happen at all but my blog will show how I get on.

I’ll be sharing bits and bobs about my own practice and how I develop as a yoga teacher. I want to keep things real I’m not going to make everything all fluffy. There is this odd stereotype of yoga teachers being these happy, floaty people who just meditate their problems away – and whilst there might be some like that – I’ve never met one! When things get tough or when things are amazing I’ll always be true to myself and let you into a little glimpse of what it’s really like.

I will be giving useful pointers and teaching cues as guides for key asana (postures) as well as ways to incorporate yoga into everyday modern life, using some yoga philosophy and trying to explain some of the concepts which are more alien to people from traditional western backgrounds. Maybe I will throw in a bit of anatomy here and there…don’t worry, nothing too tricky.

I have found mindfulness and compassionate mind training invaluable in my personal fight against post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety and depression. These concepts can be used by anyone to help with …well pretty much anything! As they fit in so nicely with yogic principles and meditation, I think it would be good to give some ideas about how to use these techniques.

The importance of wellbeing in both body and mind is close to my heart. As I become more confident with blogging I might share some of my story and how yoga has changed my life as I’m sure it could help others to see that things can get better, as long as you have the right tools. We will see how it goes.

On a lighter note! I will also share some of my yummy vegetarian recipes which are healthy, balanced and nutritious…but might throw in a few naughty ones too.

Love and Light

Harri xx