Yoga stretches your muscles yes! Many people practice yoga for the physical benefits but most stay for the emotional and mental benefits it brings. At least that’s what got me hooked! Yoga helps to build strength and flexibility in both your body and you mind. It encourages relaxation which helps calm the mind and balance emotions but also reduces the effects of hormones like cortisol in your body. Below is a list of some of the many benefits of yoga! This list is my no means exhaustive but it will give you an idea of why I love yoga so much, why I left my corporate career to share these wonderful teachings with as many people as possible and why you can start benefitting from yoga right now. 1. Improve flexibility and mobility 2. Increase strength 3. Improve 4. Reduce stress 5. Clear the mind chatter 6. Aid sleep 7. Protect joints and cartilage 8. Strengthen your spine 9. Increase lung capacity and help you to breath better 10. Support the connective tissue 11. Improve posture 12. Cultivate presence 13. Build community of like minded people 14. Encourage self care 15. Ignite your body’s innate healing abilities 1 6. Increase self esteem 17. Boosts your immune system 18. Regulates digestive system helping conditions like IBS. 1 9. Learn to look within and discover your dharma, you mission 20. Begin to live your very best life! What are you waiting for? Join us for tranformations yoga magic this week! Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self. –The Bhagavad Gita
Hatha Yoga seems to be a rather confusing term for many poeple. What does it really mean? I had a poster up last year for my hatha yoga classes and had many people ask me, “but what kind of yoga is hatha yoga?” I studied traditional hatha yoga in India and was taught that hatha is an overarching term used for any yoga that includes physical postures, or asanas. So really anyone who does any kind of yoga class nowadays is generally practicing hatha yoga. Ashtanga, vinyasa, bikram, yin, Iyengar, kundalini; these are all different styles of hatha yoga! Even Wizard yoga is hatha yoga ;) But what does hatha yoga really mean? Ha-tha can translate to sun and moon, while yoga translates to union in many cases. But the Sanskrit language is a complex one! I recently read a wonderful book called Original Yoga by Richard Rosen which goes into depth about the many translations of hatha yoga. Richard begins with a translation of the word yoga. He finds “union” to be an unsatisfactory translation and says that in order to get the whole history “we have to go back a few thousand years when, once upon a time, in a galaxy halfway around the world, the Sanskrit word yoga referred in general to the yoking of animals to a cart, particularly warhorses to a chariot.” In Sanskrit dictionaries the following definition can be found. Yoga: 1. The act of yoking, joining, attaching, harnessing, putting to (of horses) 2. A means, expedient, device, way, manner, method. As for the definition of hatha we find something even more bizarre in my opinion. Hatha: Violence, force; obstinacy, pertinacity; absolute or inevitable necessity (as the cause of all existence and activity.) Rather different than the flowery “union of sun and moon” that I initially learned was the meaning of hatha yoga! But “the force” I can work with! (Star Wars Yoga anyone?) I don’t know about you but I love learning the intricacies of words and their etymologies. I actually studied languages for my undergraduate degree and after all I am a big nerd so I lap this stuff up! If I didn’t like Rosen enough already he goes on to answer my thoughts about the “force”, as if by magic. “The force here isn’t what Luke Skywalker put to good use in Star Wars; it is the mysterious kundalini or as in the title of the classic study by John Woodroffe, the “serpent power”.
oga has been a wonderful creative outlet for me over the last few years. Being able to merge some my favourite books and TV shows with yoga to bring fun nerdy classes to a wider audience of people who wouldn’t normally do yoga has been so much fun! Whether it’s the extremely popular Wizard Yoga, or Game of Thrones themed mayhem, mermaid yoga or vampire yoga, Jedi Mindfulness class and more, I love bringing my favourite fantasies onto the mat! Here are a few fun poses to get you into a magical and nerdy yoga mood! Broom pose Why do chair pose when you could be a witch flying on a broom? Reach the arms forward to fly faster, reach them up to fly even higher in the sky and change directions by adding a twist and bringing your arms to either side as you rocket through the sky on your broom pose! Dragon pose Embrace your inner Targaryen or imagine you are Smaug himself talking in riddles with a Hobbit by getting into this wonderful yin yoga posture! And if you’re really hardcore you can hold it for five to ten minutes on each side like we do in Yin Class! Just long enough for Bilbo to figure out your riddle! Warrior Pose or Duelling Wizard Pose Get out your magic wands and hold them in hand as you go through a warrior sequence! Each pose allows you the time to cast a different spell as you duel with your fellow wizard yogis! Can I get an Expelliarmus everyone?! Mermaid pose This pose becomes even more magical when it’s done wearing mermaid leggings! However it can be a tricky one to do so make sure you are with a qualified teacher who can show you how to best protect your knees in this pose, because remember mermaids don’t actually have knees so we need to adjust! Savasana - Corpse Pose Everyone’s favourite yoga pose! Perfect for vampire yogis and of course it wouldn’t be a Game of Thrones class without dead body pose! Lie back relax and allow the relaxation to take over! Wizard Meditation Be sure to include with the Wizard standing meditation which involves standing still with the eyes closed, placing your wizard staff firmly on the ground in front of you as you get ready to face all those negative thoughts, any of that self doubt or anxiety that may be popping up. Then tell them calmly, and
Yoga is wonderful for stretching the body and calming the mind but did you know that a regular yoga practice for you personally or for your employees can significantly improve productivity! Here are some of the ways it helps! Relieve stress Stress is huge reason behind lack of productivity. It freezes us and stops us getting to tasks that feel too overwhelming. Stress is pandemic nowadays and I’ve found a regular yoga practice to be the number one way to reduce stress and overwhelm in my daily life. Stress contributes to reduced productivity as well as absenteeism, employee turnover, accidents and medical fees leading to huge losses for company’s as well as to the obvious stress of individuals as well. Increase energy One of the most obvious ways to increase productivity is just to increase the energy we have for our daily tasks and work! Many people rely on coffee for this but it’s not sustainable and often causes us to crash later. Some simple yoga poses, even just standing up from our desks and walking around can improve circulation and boost energy. A desk yoga workshop (maybe put a link here to the corporate yoga page) can be an excellent way for your whole office to learn some basic yoga poses that can be done at the desk so no one person feels weird doing it! Adding a bit of movement at intervals into a long day sitting at a desk helps to avoid fatigue and helps you get more done with the time you have! Improve concentration and focus It is very easy for us to get distracted, especially nowadays when the internet and social media has trained us to always be looking for the next thing to grab our attention. This can really hinder us when we need to put some dedicated time into a given project. Yoga is full of breathing and meditation practices that help us to rebuild our concentration and focus, helping us to silence the noise, meet those deadlines and get sh*t done! “Done is better than perfect” Whether you’re self employed or want to excel in your career, it is likely that procrastination is getting in your way in some shape or form! I know for me, working for myself has come with many challenges but the biggest among them has had to have been procrastination. Procrastination comes in many shapes and forms but for me it usually stems from perfectionism. Nothing was ever good