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Restore natural movement

"If what we practice supports human function then it is useful, if it doesn't we have to question why we are doing it."
Peter Blackaby, Intelligent yoga

Yoga

My focus at present is about mindfully restoring functionality to the body. My approach centers on

Biomechanically safe poses,( exercises scientifically proven to be beneficial and safe)

Mindfulness

Encouraging two wings of awareness; one wing the noticing, recognising what is happening in a curious, enquiring way and the other wing of bringing a kindly accepting, compassionate awareness to this experience/body of ours.

Four movements of the spine

The spine and its flexibility in these 4 ways is key to health and mobility of the body. In every session I incorporate the 4 movements of the spine. Over time we clarify these movements and sense which parts of our spine moves happily in these ways and which parts are stuck. We are hoping to extend our repertoire of movement, along the whole spine, not just the already flexible parts. We are re-establishing choice, rather than our narrow habitual ways of moving.

A reflective practise

Unlike keep fit it isn't a mechanical exercise, its reflective. I was tempted to call my website natural movement but then the mindfulness aspect wouldn't be being conveyed. Yoga means union, union of the body and mind....the body and the earth......the body and spirit.

We are not learning what is the "right position" to be in as such; more sensing where we are in space, what our spines are doing, can we find the support of the bones and the earth. How is our breathing?, is it restricted? Through this exploration natural alignment will be the result.

Practice becomes about "your own state of being with yourself"

To this end I scatter mindfulness techniques throughout the session. Helping you to "be with yourself"

Breathing

Today's world is fast paced and stress filled which means that few of us breathe in a free, natural and harmonious way. We mostly have fast, constricted breathing which undermines our physical and emotional health.

I incorporate breathing practices that are designed to undo the tension built up in the diaphragm.

Finding and releasing tension

One aim is to notice the difference between effort and tension. There is a certain amount of effort we need to use to get into a pose but because of our habits we use muscles we don't need (tension). If we are incorporating tension in our practice then we are actually practicing being stressed. Not generally what most people are after! It's really helpful to notice our habits of holding tension because if we do them on the mat we most likely do them in our every day life..... which eventually leads to discomfort. Poses become more advanced in that there is more possibility to loose our stability and become more tense. The challenge is to move into them in a grounded, non tense way, using only the muscles we need. Or we can push on, ignore our bodies and become more tense and stressed. It's not as easy a choice as it sounds! lots of encouragement from our society to compete and keep up!. This is why the poses are called "advanced."

"Tension is who you think you should be, relaxation is who you are."

Chinese Proverb

Vanda Scaravelli

The style of practice I follow is Scaravelli inspired; based on the teachings of Vanda Scaravelli. Gentleness, grounding, undoing, are all words that embody her method. Her style encourages you to become your own teacher and so unlike other yoga traditions Scaravelli inspired teachers vary wildly in their approach. See below the teachers that have shaped my practice.

To unwind, release unnecessary tension and begin to simply be.

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