Why does stretching feel so good?!

Having a really good stretch feels amazing doesn’t it? But have you ever wondered why or wondered if there is such a thing as too much stretching? When we stretch our brain releases endorphins, mood boosting hormones that block pain and give us feelings of pleasure. A stretch can also feel like a lovely release, especially if we are holding stress induced tension in the muscles. Both of these things make us feel better, and we all want more of that! Many people love Yoga for this reason, along with its calming effects on the nervous system through awareness and regulation of the breath. Stretching also gives us the opportunity to take the joints through their full range of motion and if we want healthy joints,...

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How often should I practice yoga?

This question comes up a lot and as usual there will be different answers to it depending on your goals and lifestyle . Once a week It’s really great to develop a weekly yoga practice and if you roll out your mat once every 7 days you will definitely start to feel the benefits over time. You will notice that it gives you a break from the busyness of your week, allows you to switch off and relax the mind whilst opening and strengthening the body. Once a week also works well if you take other forms of exercise in the week and you may find it a brilliant form cross training for other sports like running. Weekly is really the minimum you should practice, if you are inconsistent and...

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Don’t think yoga is for you?

  There are loads of misconceptions about yoga that stop people giving it a go and they are all just that, MISCONCEPTIONS! These are not really helped by the world of social media, size 4 models in eye-watering poses that make the average person feel somewhat intimidated and self-conscious. It gets easier once you realise that these are not a representation of real life. It’s advertising! Most people in a yoga class are just normal people, with busy lives, busy minds and bodies that have a whole range of aches and pains. Just like YOU! People also worry about the spiritual side of yoga, the chanting, meditating etc. That might not be your thing! It’s true it is a big part of yoga, in fact the goal of yoga...

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Why do you do yoga and what keeps you going back?

I was asked this question this week on Facebook by my yoga teacher, but it’s such a big question! I couldn’t fit it in a Facebook post and realised there is a longer story here. I first started practicing regularly after I had a serious car crash, I had broken my sternum and had to have an operation to reattach the bones, I had also hurt my left foot and right knee. All this meant I couldn’t stand up straight let alone back bend, couldn’t stand on one leg and couldn’t put any pressure on my arms, so even down dog was out! But it wasn’t just the physical scars, another person was hurt in the crash, it was my car that had skidded on the wet...

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Fear of Change

Fear of Change When I’m planning a class I like to think about what yoga means to me and how I have used its wisdom to make decisions or move forward I my life. I’ve made some big changes recently and with the start of a new year and the desire to change seems to be all around me. I constantly hear resolutions to make changes from my students, friends and loved ones:  lose weight, get fit, be less stressed, be more organised, get a new job! But changes are scary. They often involve letting go of things, perhaps food you love or comfortable habits, unhealthy relationships, in my case a stable income and familiarity. Changes involve inviting in the unknown, opening up to new possibilities and having...

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Yoga – what’s it all about?

  I’ve had a lot of questions recently asking me to define what yoga is and it’s a really difficult thing to do! Yoga has so many historical, religious and spiritual connotations that it would take entire texts for me to explain it in all its glory. What interests me more and more is what yoga is now, in the west, to the majority of modern yogis. Some say that you shouldn’t practice yoga without fully studying and committing to a full yogic lifestyle and there has been a lot of criticism about the new wave of yoga ‘celebs’ wonderfully flexible and strong beautiful people with incredible Instagram images and awesome leggings!! (I have to admit to a weakness for leggings myself!) These fabulously athletic yogis hold poses unachievable for...

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