Merry Christmas Yogis!

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I'm excited to be offering a full range of classes throughout the Christmas period. Join me in the studio to feel energized and focused (or perhaps to enjoy some peace and quiet!). 

Saturday 21st December
8-9am Gentle Yoga
9.30-10.45am Flow Yoga

Monday 23rd December
5.30-6.30pm Yoga Sculpt

Christmas Eve (Tuesday)
8.30-9.45am Flow Yoga
10-11am Chair Yoga
{5.30pm flow cancelled}

Thursday 26th December
8.30-9.45am Flow Yoga
10-11am Chair Yoga
5.30-6.45pm Yoga for Flexibility

Saturday 28th December
8-9am Gentle Yoga
9.30-10.45am Flow Yoga

Monday 30th December
5.30-6.30pm Yoga Sculpt

New Years Eve (Tuesday)
8.30-9.45am Flow Yoga
10-11am Chair Yoga
{5.30pm flow cancelled}

Full schedule resumes Thursday 2nd January. Check out the schedule tab for more details.

Virya: Right effort in Yoga

I have been curious this week in my practice about the yogic principle of virya. The sanskrit word virya is often translated as 'effort' but can also be translated as 'energy', 'diligence' or 'enthusiasm'. 

While it seems a simple concept that we of course should apply some effort in our practice, I found it interesting when I really started to look at the idea of 'right effort'.

Do we really apply as much effort as we could or should in some areas of our practice? Or perhaps do we sometimes apply too much effort?

In asana (the physical practice of yoga), applying too much effort to a pose or sequence can result in wasted energy, excess tension, and frustration. More is not always more! Too much effort can go hand in hand with a desire to 'succeed' at a pose which can result in striving and forcing. Too much effort can couple with the internal expectation to always practice most intense or difficult version of every pose, even if it's in conflict with energy levels or physical ability.
At the other end of the scale, too little effort applied to a yoga practice can mean one does not reach their full potential. Someone applying too little effort may not receive some of the physical or mental benefits of a practice. Too little effort may result in no practice at all, or staying away from the internal or external work required to build mental and physical strength and focus.

'Right effort' is in between too much, and too little. It can look like modifications for some, and facing challenges for others. It may also vary from task to task - I know there are poses in my yoga practice where I tend to apply too much effort, and others where I do not apply enough. This is true both on and off the mat, though we often err towards one more habitually than the other.

There is no prescribed amount of effort that is required to find balance and it will vary day to day, task to task, and change depending on the situation you're in.
I invite you to invite the practice of virya to be your guide when you next step on your yoga mat, when you're in the gym, running, meditating or singing.

Journal: The External Practice Of Saucha

Saucha JournalThis week as we explore the external practice of Saucha/cleanliness our journal reflections encourage you to explore how the state of the space around you affects your inner state. Make a cup of tea (or something similarly delicious) and take some time to journal and contemplate the following questions:

How do you feel when your space is cluttered and/or unclean?
(How does it affect your ability to relax? To create? To work? To think? To rest? To enjoy unexpected company?)
How do you feel when your work/home space is clean and tidy?
(How does it affect your ability to relax/create/work/think/rest or enjoy unexpected company?)

Is there one place in your home that makes you feel particularly calm or happy when it's clean and clear?

What simple habits or routines would help you to keep that space clear?

Saucha: How to Clean Your Yoga Mat

In our saucha practice I'm not going to tell you how to clean your house or how to take a shower, however it's not always clear how to care for our yoga mats!

Jade mats banner

If you bought your mat from the studio in the last 6-12 months, it's a Jade yoga mat. These are amazing grippy mats, but some yoga mat cleaners could do more harm than good if they contain essential oils. Essential oils clog up Jade mat's 'pores' which over time will make it slippery and ineffective. Cleaners that contain alcohol and petroleum based solvents can also damage the mat and break it down. Remember to keep your mat out of direct sunlight when storing or drying as these eco-friendly mats will start to break down in sunlight.

Thankfully keeping your Jade mat clean is super easy!

For regular maintenance and routine cleaning, wipe down your mat with a damp cloth after your practice. Allow your mat to dry before rolling up and storing. For a regular practice this can be weekly, but if you have a vigorous practice you may prefer to do this after every use.

For a deeper clean, mix up a solution of 3 parts water: 1 part white vinegar. (We always have a bottle of this mixture available in the studio). Spray your mat all over then rinse with hot water or wash off with a cloth to get rid of any vinegar-y smell. Hang or lay flat to dry before storing.