Homemade Mat Cleaner Recipe

Whether you practice every day or once a week, keeping your yoga mat clean is an important part of your practice. Although there are commercial mat cleaners available, I love to make my own as it can be personalized with any combination of essential oils so the mats smell super yummy in childs pose. I particularly love oils from Mountain Rose Herbs

Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle (preferably glass as essential oils can degrade plastic over time) and spray on your mat after each practice, leave for a few minutes then wipe down with a clean cloth. Let your mat dry naturally before rolling and storing.

2 cups distilled water

1/2 cup of witch hazel (no alcohol) or white vinegar

Essential oils: Add a few drops of one or more different essential oils. Remember they are super concentrated so only add a few at a time until you get to the desired strength. Here are some of my favorites and the reasons why I like to include them. Feel free to experiment to find your favorite combination!

 

Peppermint: Antimicrobial & Energizing

Lemongrass: Antimicrobial & Stress Relieving

Tea Tree: Antimicrobial & Uplifting

Eucalyptus: Antibacterial & Decongestant

Lavender: Antibacterial & Calming

 

 

 

Before you run to gather up your essential oils, it's important to note that there are two types of mat in the yoga world: absorbent ones (think Lululemon, Liforme, Mandukas) and non absorbent ones. If you're not sure what type yours is, get a glass of water and put a few drops onto your mat; if it sinks into the mat, it's made to absorb sweat during your asana practice. I can't speak for every yoga matcompany, but in my experience, the ones that are designed to absorb sweat and stay super sticky in a hot practice do not recommend using essential oils while cleaning as the oils get into the 'pores' of the mat and make it less effective over time (this includes YogaRat Pro mats).

To wash these mats simply put a drop of antibacterial washing liquid in a bowl of warm water and sponge down your mat, giving it a good soaking then let it dry naturally. (If you're unsure double check the manufacturers cleaning recommendations.)

If your mat isn't the absorbent type, happy mixing and please share your favorite essential oil combination with us on our Facebook page

Namasté

 

The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali

Yoga Sutras

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a compilation of classical yoga teachings that were passed down orally before Patanjali (also known as the 'father of yoga') recorded them.

Believed to be over 4000 years old, there are 196 sutras (literally meaning 'thread') that describe what yoga is, why it is important, how to practice it and what might come as a result of regular practice. It's teachings include ethics, meditation, physical postures and directions for dealing with obstacles and every day life.

The text is a lot to contemplate in one go! It is intended to be referred to again and again; at different times in your life and yogi journey, different sutras will speak to you.

These eight steps basically act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. What Patanjali has described as the completion of the yogic path is what, deep down, all human beings aspire to: peace.

New Fall Schedule!

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Our 2015 fall schedule begins on 1st September!

 

Tuesdays 8.30-9.30am

Energizing Flow

An energizing flow class designed to get us moving and ready for the day ahead.

 

Wednesdays 5.30-6.30pm

Stretch & Strengthen

An evening flow class with a focus on building strength, flexibility and balance.

 

Thursdays 8.30-9.30am

Morning Motivation

Jump start your day, wake up your body and get your energy flowing!

 

Saturdays 9.30-10.30am

Go With The Flow

A perfect way to start your weekend! Some gentle stretching opens the way to a practice of poses to build strength, flexibility and balance.

 

All classes are suitable for beginner and regular yogis. The sequence of postures will differ from class to class. During each class you will be guided through a variety of yoga poses to build strength, stamina, balance, and flexibility while linking the movements to your breath for a dynamic, flowing practice.

Mats are available to rent if you do not have your own.

What is Yoga Nidra?

How often do you go to bed exhausted but then wake up feeling lethargic and tired? When we climb into bed and just fall asleep, the body shuts down but it is not necessarily relaxed and therefore not really recharging. Yoga Nidra is the practice of bringing awareness to your relaxation so that every part of your body and mind fully relax. It is believed that just thirty minutes to one hour of Yoga Nidra is equivalent to 4 hours of deep sleep. 

Yoga Nidra, though it may just look like yogis going to class to nap, is an ancient practice of mental, physical and emotional relaxation, also known as yogic sleep or sleep with awareness. The intention is to experience a sleep-like state and the deepest possible relaxation while still in a deep meditative state of consciousness.

At a time when most of us are living at a fast pace with technology overload and lots of stress, the practice of Yoga Nidra can help transfer you to a state of harmony and encourage an overall feeling of well-being. Yoga Nidra can be a wonderful addition to your yoga practice or can be used by anyone to help with stress and sleep. It can also be the pick-me-up you need during the day; a kind of supernap to get you going again (though I wouldn't recommend practicing Yoga Nidra immediately after a meal or it's likely you'll just be practicing nidra (i.e sleep) without the yoga bit)!

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There are many benefits that can be experienced from practicing Yoga Nidra. Among these are:

  • improved quality of your sleep and amount of sleep 
  • less chronic pain 
  • reduced anxiety
  • enhanced mental focus and attention span
  • improved creativity and whole brain functioning
  • more ease and peace of mind in daily life
  • helps create new neural pathways in your brain leading to healthy habits & routines

 

One of the best things about Yoga Nidra is that you don't need to have been practicing it for 30 years to feel the benefits, you don't need to sit for long periods of time, and you don't need any previous experience or skills. All you need to do is find a comfortable place to lay undisturbed for the duration of the audio. During a class (or audio guidance) the teacher will use techniques such as guided imagery and body scanning to alleviate muscular tension as well as mental and emotional stress. 

The following link is to a 30 minute Yoga Nidra audio that I find is a good introduction to the practice as is especially designed for new students 

Yoga Nidra - Beginners instructed by Swami Niranjananda Saraswati . 

Finally, Yoga Nidra is super relaxing. There's a fine line between the meditative state of conscious relaxation, and being asleep. The relaxing nature of this practice may encourage you to fall asleep before it finishes, especially if you're practicing at night, and that's fine! Don't feel guilty! Just enjoy the super deep sleep you'll slip into.

 

Namasté

Shona