I hope you are enjoying a summer break even if its just been a bit more time spent with your feet up watching London 2012. I am taking a break from teaching during August and my first open class upon my return to London is on Thursday August 30th at 12.30pm Kensington Leisure Centre and my termly yoga courses in Notting Hill, Fulham and Shepherds Bush recommence the week beginning on Monday September 3rd. See below for details of all my yoga courses.
YOGA TIPS AND SUMMER GOOD HEALTH
Here are some summer yoga tips and some health and nutritional advice to keep healthy throughout the remainder of the summer.
Summer is the most active time of year, with flowers blooming, vegetables ripening and holidays and outdoor activities. It is a time of expansion, growth, joy, activity and creativity. In the summer heat, our body undergoes vigorous metabolic processes.
The season is filled with abundant energy, long days and (hopefully) sunshine, so it can lead some of us to over do it. We can sometimes get exhausted with so many social events and summer activities along with life’s normal workload. To prevent summer ills and remain in harmony with the season wake up earlier, go to bed later, if possible take a cat nap in the day and eat in moderation.
In summer a lighter diet feels better, and it’s the perfect time for cool fresh locally produced food. Fresh British fruits and vegetables are all good choices. Living in London we feel very lucky to have an allotment although the never ending deluge has put paid to the usual glut of soft fruits and courgettes this year!
Food with cool/cold properties can clear heat, reduce toxins, and generate body fluids. Cooling foods tend to be green and some of the coolest are lettuce, cucumbers and watercress. Fish and seafood are also cooling and are particularly good on the barbecue (most meats are warming)., while spicy foods, alcohol, or caffeine that all heat the system so should be reduced. Instead drink lots of clean, pure water or add lemon and cucumber and chill in the fridge. Steer away from dairy, heavy, greasy and fried foods.
Take plenty of outdoor exercise – it’s a lovely time to practice yoga on the grass in the open air. Our bodies are also much more flexible in the heat but it is possible to over stretch. Enjoy your body and hanging out with yourself on your yoga mat at this time of the year. On hot days practice yoga slowly with lots of soothing deep forward bends, Yin and restorative yoga sessions are the perfect antidote to hot muggy days as those of you who come to my restorative and yoga gently classes will already know.
Try to spend time with your legs up the wall (viparita karani,) and supported shoulderstand (salamba sarvangasana) or “hammock pose’ (supporting the back of the kead and the feet with a buckled strap while elevating the head neck shoulders and legs). All are cooling inversions especially at the end of the day and are instantly reviving and refreshing.
Other restoratives you might like to try are reclining bound angle pose, (supta baddha konasana) or corpse pose (savasana). Enhance the cooling effect of these poses by soaking a cloth in water diluted with grapefruit or mint essential oil. Cool the cloth in the fridge for 20 minutes and place along the neck or on the forehead.
Shitali pranayama, or “cooling breath“, is also an excellent way to bring cool breath into the body, lowering our overall temperature and a natural way of helping to reduce fevers.
For shitali breath, drop the chin towards chest, roll the tongue into a tube and stick the tip of the tongue out of the mouth). Breathe in through the mouth, through the tongue and as the cool air enters raise the head to its natural alignment, withdraw the tongue and swallow the breath then exhale the breath out through the nose lowering the chin back to the chest again. (If you are unable to roll the tongue in this way place the tip of the tongue behind the two front teeth on the lower palette and breathe through the mouth letting the air be similarly cooled by the tongue). Repeat 5 to 10 times and then sit quietly breathing through nostrils again and reflect on the cooling sensation within the mouth and how your body and mind now feel.
YOGA FOR TRAVEL
Traveling often necessitates sitting in one place for extended periods which can cause the circulation to become blocked. Also some of us may become anxious when confined in a small space unable to move around freely. In such cases breathing from your diaphragm acts as a natural sedative to your nervous system. The deeper you breathe the calmer your mind will become. During any stressful travel situation try to remember to lengthen your breath until breathing deeply comes naturally.
When sitting in an airline or train seat or taking a break from driving, while sitting upright take your left hand around the back of your neck and open out your elbow. Inhale and twist your neck and head to the right bringing your elbow down on to your chest to increase the stretch. Exhale and return to position one and repeat two or three times. Return to position one and take your right hand to hold your elbow behind your head and stretch both of your elbows back. Breathe and repeat on the opposite site. Then stretch both elbows back behind your ears simultaneously and hold for several deep breaths. Raise arms above your head and interlace fingers, release shoulder blades into your back ribs and stretch palms upwards then gently twist from one side to the other moving with the breath. Take your palms on to the elbows again and as you exhale relax forward placing your forehead on your knees or the steering wheel. Relax deeply and breathe into your back as you feel the stress leave your spine.
Regularly rotate your wrists and ankles, fingers and toes and point and flex the feet.
AUTUMN TERM YOGA COURSES
Suitable for beginners and those with experience of yoga, my term time classes start back the week of September 3rd. If you are interested in signing up for any of my yoga courses in St Peters Hall Notting Hill, Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush or The Apothecary in Fulham please click on the class links above to visit my website for further details of dates, times and term fees and contact me by email. These are all small friendly classes that I have been running now for many years. While priority for booking is always given to the existing participants there are in the some of the classes spaces and if this is the case newcomers are welcome to come along throughout the term and try out their first class as a drop in.
NOW BOOKING FOR 2013 YOGA IN GOA Saturday 16th – 23rd FEBRUARY 2013 click here for contact details! YOGA IN GOA
“Escape the British winter and join me for a week of yoga, rest and relaxation on the sunny Goan coast.’
For February 2013 I am planning a return visit to this fantastic region of Northern Goa. We have found a quiet beachside location that provides beautiful garden cabins, with air-conditioning and delicious food. These pretty Goan beach ‘huts’ are beside the sea where we will be able to enjoy yoga at sunrise and sunset on the tranquil shores of the Arabian sea or in the purpose built yoga shala. If you are looking for a boutique, barefoot and relaxed yoga holiday with everything you need catered for then this is definitely the answer you’ve been looking for.
£490 per person sharing £690 single occupancy (price excludes local luxury tax, flights, transfer and insurance cover)
AUTUMN BREAK IN TURKEY
My Autumn holiday this year at the stunning Kabak Cove on the beautiful Turkish Coast is completely booked up but I am planning to return next year and have already opened a waiting list for the first week in October 2013!
ONE DAY RURAL YOGA RETREAT
I am planning another popular one day rural yoga retreat in the Chiltern Hills just a 50 minute journey out of London in South Bucks on Saturday October 20th at Latimer Park Farm. These days have been hugely enjoyable to organise and from the feed back we get the participants have a lovely time too! So why not join us this autumn for a relaxing day of yoga, lunch and a hike in the countryside. Here’s the link! One Day Rural Retreat. Please don’t be put off if you don’t drive by its location outside London – Transport for non-drivers is usually possible to arrange and there are regular trains from Baker Street and Marylebone Stations to Chalfont and Latimer station nearby.
So there you have it. If I don’t see you on a mat somewhere before I take a break, enjoy the remainder of the summer and I look forward to practicing yoga again with you soon. Please feel free to contact me 07885933037 or email email@example.com
“Go outside, breathe in silence, witness nature revealing its wonders that are also in you!”