How To Get The Most From Your Yoga Practice.

Yoga is beautiful in its way of being all encompassing, it effects the body, the breath and the mind, and each time we practice we may notice something new that it brings. For some of us practicing yoga is a way to help sleep better, for others it provides a way to release tension in the body, and sometimes yoga is all of this and much much more! Part of yoga’s beauty is that it can be approached from many different perspectives and intentions, each of us benefiting in our own personal ways.

Yoga for transformation

How then can we maximize on our potential? How can we walk into a yoga class or step on to our mats and know that we will reap the full benefits of the practice. The answer of course is awareness.

The physical practice of yoga can be a powerful tool for transformation, helping us to recognise where changes can be made; where unhealthy patterns, habits and beliefs can be seen and transformed. Even for the health of the body, to improve posture and alignment, to increase strength and flexibility effectively, and to explore our limits safely, awareness is necessary. Injuries and imbalances in alignment often arise in asana because of practicing without awareness.

So how can we cultivate this awareness in our practice?

The most effective way to bring awareness into your yoga practice is through the connection of the body and the breath. Focusing the mind on the breath, and noticing how the body and breath influence each other, is a profound method for developing and maintaining awareness not only in your yoga practice but also in day to day life.

For most of us, learning to breathe with an even and steady breath is one of the most difficult aspects of asana practice. The body already presents its varying challenges to us as we enter into each yoga position, generally creating some kind of restriction of the breath, making it extremely challenging to take full even breaths and even more so to focus the mind there.

However we can challenge ourselves in a whole different way if we make the breath and it’s quality, the focus of the practice. Rather than using ever more complicated asanas, with a fairly simple asana practice we can cultivate great awareness.

How do I make the breath the focus of my asana practice?

My first advice would be to go easy on yourself, breath awareness comes by taking your time and consciously exploring the body and it’s limits. The breath is an indicator and your only job is to observe it. For example, you notice in utthita trikonasana (triangle pose) that your breathing becomes fast and shallow, instead of trying to push through this discomfort and pray that teacher will call the next position, listen to what your breath is telling you and modify your posture until you find a sense of ease and comfort in your body and breath. You can begin this breath awareness one posture at a time, building your way up to maintaining this awareness throughout the whole class, and then we eventually bring this aspect into every moment of our lives.

If you find breathing a great challenge and would like to learn how to take your yoga practice one breath at a time, contact me to schedule a private class where I can give you personalised tips on breathing techniques and identify ways in which you may be restricting your natural breath.

 

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Wanderlust 108 – Barcelona 2017

I am so happy to announce that Happy Lotus is a  studio partner with this exceptional event Wanderlust 108 Barcelona.

Wanderlust 108 is the first ever ‘Mindful Triathalon’ and combines a 5k run, a 90 minute yoga class and a 30 minute meditation. For me personally I believe that combining yoga and meditation with any other form of sport or exercise is an amazing way to bring more awareness to your body and movement and subsequently your life!

Why wait until your yoga class to be mindful of the way our bodies move, or how we are breathing? These are things that we can do in every moment of our lives, and I love how Wanderlust 108 is bringing us all together to participate in this event, and bring more mindfulness into our lives

The event begins with a 5 km run, and it’s entirely up to you how you approach this – sprint, walk, skip or hop; it doesn’t matter how you make it round, so long as you reach the finish line. Next up is a 90-minute group yoga session accompanied by a live DJ. Your journey then winds down with a 30-minute guided meditation to clear your mind and relax your body.

After completing this ‘mindful triathlon’, you then have free time to explore the site, partake in even more activities or indulge in a little retail therapy in the Kula Market or take part in one of the many activities on offer.

 

 

You’ll find Happy Lotus are there not only as a participant in this amazing event, but also in The Uncommons area providing massages to all those that are in need!

Come along and join in this Mindful event, where many like minded people will meet together to enjoy a beautiful day of moving our bodies and celebrating life!

As an extra special bonus I have a 10% dicount code to offer! All you have to do is shoot me a message and the code is all yours!

Introduction to Kundalini – Mini Course

Have you ever been curious about the chakras or mantras? Maybe you have heard about Kundalini yoga but have no idea what it is about. Now is your opportunity to find out!

Together with my good friend Brenda we have put together a four week course for you to discover the fundamentals of Kundalini Yoga.

The course will cover the topics of:

  • Mantra –  chanting its purpose and benefits
  • Kriyas – Learning series of postures for a particular use
  • Meditation – conscious relaxation and meditation
  • Pranayama – breath work, using specific breathing exercises and learning the full yogic breath
  • Chakras – We we will cover each chakra with physical and energetic exercises.

 

Why Practice Kundalini?

Kundalini not only develops strength and flexibility it also works on balancing the glandular system, calming the nervous system and awakening and elevating our consciousness. It is a profound practice of the physical and energetic working together as one.

 

Course Outline

Week 1 October 7th:  Spinal Energiser

  • Learning the full yogic breath
  • Connecting with the body
  • Energising the spine
  • Chanting
  • Meditation

 

Week 2 October 14: Nabhi Kriya

  • Yogic breathing
  • Connecting with the body
  • Nabhi Kriya – explanation and practice of kriya
  • Chanting
  • Meditation

 

Week 3 October 21st: Surya Kriya

  • Yogic breathing
  • Connecting with the body
  • Surya Kriya – explanation and practice of kriya
  • Kirtan Kriya – music
  • Meditation

Week 4 October 28th: Chakra Kriya

  • Yogic breathing
  • Connecting with the body
  • Chakra Kriya – explanation and practice of kriya
  • Chanting
  • Meditation

Price: €50  for all 4 classses

Drop in class will be €15 but it is recommended that all the classes be taken as a course especially if you have no previous experience with Kundalini Yoga.

When:   Oct 7th , Oct 14th, Oct 21st Oct 28th 10:30-12:30

Where:  Passeig de Lluís Companys 13, 3A

 

 

 

How Yoga Changed My Body

This is a sentence that you hear A LOT when people are talking about yoga. It’s almost like the golden question that everyone wishes to know: How it will happen? When it will happen? and what kind of yoga made it happen? Well I want to share with you my story and what I believe many of us are saying when we claim that ‘Yoga changed my body’.

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Total Disconnection

Cut back to 8 years ago before my yoga practice began and to the say the very least, I still had youth on my side, so back pain or discomfort, headaches and such things didn’t really register on my scale as important. I knew they were there but they were so far down on my list of priorities that they were not worth thinking about.

I was in fact very disconnected from my own body. I suffered every year with sinus infections and then a very persistent annoying cough, had a lot of difficulty breathing in general, I regularly had headaches, and back pain had been a part of my life since as long as I could remember.

Sweating Balls & Mental Torture

Then yoga happened! One day my friend Lauren called me and said I’m going to Bikram Yoga come with me! I jumped at the opportunity, not really having any idea about what it entailed. Lauren’s only advice to me was ‘Be prepared to sweat balls’

That first yoga class was, in that moment, the worst and the best thing I had ever done! In my mind I hated every second of it but my body was loving it! I left there feeling mentally like I had been tortured, but physically like I was walking on clouds.

The Light Goes On

This was the moment that the light inside turned on. It became apparent to me the level of disconnection I had with my own body. I had no idea that breathing could be so difficult, I also was completely unaware of the things my body was capable of!

This  new awareness of my body came with mixed feelings. As the light turned on inside I could finally see all of the things that were hidden away in the dark, some of them positive and some of them a little self destructive.

I realised I had been neglecting my body in a big way, I didn’t give it the attention or care that it deserved, I was walking around believing that my body would support me no matter how I treat it.

With this light now shining inside of me, despite how regularly (or not regularly) I was practicing yoga, I could not go back to that level of disconnection with my body. In fact with every breath and every step I took, my consciousness of the importance of the body only grew.

The Body Unlocks It’s Secrets

This is when my body began to change, when I decided to explore the limits of my body and breath in every yoga class, when I took my attention so deep inside that I could identify the muscles inside my body. When I began to be present and aware of my actions while practicing, I was giving my body my full undivided attention every time I stepped on the mat, and in return my body was showing me, little by little, the scale of its potential.

I am sure you are curious to know which were the main changes I found with practice, which don’t include being able to do a handstand or having a six pack!

  • Back pain gone!
  • Increased hand eye coordination
  • Breathing easier ( bye bye sinus infections)
  • Strength in the arms and wrists
  • Better balance
  • No more headaches

This really was just the beginning of the multitude of ways that yoga has changed my body. And subsequently I have also been able to tone my body, build muscle and increase my flexibility.

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Give Yourself What You Need

Really what all of this translates to for me is that I live at ease within my body, I have a greater understanding of what it needs, and how to take care of myself physically and emotionally. I still get headaches occasionally and every now and then experience back pain, but through all of this I know how to alleviate my symptoms, I know the triggers that caused it and how to feel better, and most importantly, I then give myself what I need.

How Yoga can change our body!

  • Be present inside your body when practicing yoga
  • Respect your limits (don’t push too hard)
  • Pay attention to your breathing (it can change your life)
  • Be kind to yourself!

So really we can say that yoga changed my body by opening my mind and by allowing me to have a greater connection to myself.

Introduction to Thai Massage

lashalaThis workshop has been designed to introduce you to the basics of Thai Massage. Everyone should have the basic skills and techniques to give a partner/friend/child a simple and effective massage, to help ease common aches and pains and to lovingly connect through touch. No previous experience is necessary.

Together we will learn a complete full body routine that will increase your own personal confidence, awareness & intuition while massaging. The techniques taught will target all the major muscle groups, and are designed to effectively release tension and ease pain.

Through massaging others you’ll become aware of your own breath, and learn about the relationship between giving and receiving.

Suitable for:

*Individuals or couples wanting to learn to give their loved ones or friends a wonderful treat.

*Yoga teachers, pilates teachers or personal trainers interested in learning new skills to apply within their work

*Practitioners of other therapies who may want to add another skill

How to particiate:

For tickets, reservations & questions contact me

Or sign up through the event page on Facebook

Price: €25 1 person / €40 for two people

When: 10th July 11:00-13:00

Where: Club Ich Bin, Calle Girona 46 Principal, Barcelona 08013

What to bring: Comfortable clothes & your openness to learn

 

 

Sunrise Yoga

imageYogiis the time has come again to enjoy these beautiful mornings with yoga & meditation at sunrise!

Let us welcome the day with our sun salutations, and a short practice of standing postures, to energize us for the rest of the day. We will then come together for a short guided meditation to centre and ground our energies.
All of this just in time to watch the sun rise out the sea ❤
All levels of yogis welcome, please invite your friends!
Price: €6
When: 6th May 06:00
Where: The beach in front of the W hotel
Essential items: Yoga mat and some warmer clothes for meditation, smiles 🙂
or contact me
Namaste