Emma Lovell Yoga

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Monthly Archives May 2015


Posted on by Emma

‘Everything is in motion.  Everything flows.  Everything is vibrating.’ William Hazlitt

From “Fruits and Flowers”, c. 1920s.

‘Movement is present in every aspect of life and stability is nowhere…In every ‘thing’ there is a centre, a point of optimal balance, where performance and opportunity for the ‘thing’ in question is maximised and optimised.  There is also an allowance, a distraction from centre that is deemed as normal.  Since centre is a stable point, it is impossible to maintain it, and so the body has an awareness of either side of centre that allows for comfort and wellbeing and the ebb and flow of life.’  Gary Ward, What the Foot


Move Me

Posted on by Emma

Take part in this really interesting and exciting project created by Rachel Johnston. It will make you really think about how and why you move the way you do…

Here are the details:

**** ABOUT MOVE ME ****

Move Me is an ever evolving survey designed to prompt people to think more deeply about their bodies in terms of movement choices, habits and patterns.Created, curated and edited by Rachel Johnston, a yoga teacher and artist living and working in London, the project is about commonality; The one thing we all have in common is that we have to move to live.

Our most basic movement choices can mould us, literally. It is through choices of movement and the cellular loads created that our bodies become our autobiography. These choices and imperatives also demonstrate the connection between our appearance and our habits of mind, express our values and our politics, bond us with friends/family and function as our armor or disguise.

Human beings are not built to float. They need an earthly anchor of meaning and care so they don’t get lost in confusion. This survey, with your help, is my contribution to that anchor of meaning. The information gathered is being used on an ongoing blog and as part of an art project, both aim to express a riot of opinion and give a snapshot of the complexity of modern movement decisions with cultural influences: an ethnography of individual emotion; a portrait of the human body today revealing impulses that influence our daily ritual of being.

Anyone who has a body is invited to take part!

THANK YOU for taking the time to have a look. If you would like to be a part of the project then head over to the survey page or contact Rachel directly.

Posted on by Emma

‘There’s a simple movement that we’ve all been doing since the beginning of time. It is nature’s way of restoring full muscle function and length to a muscle and it is much more effective than stretching. It is called PANDICULATION. One could say that pandiculation is like a “software update” for your brain: it “re-boots” the brain’s sensation and control of the muscles every time you do it.

If you have ever watched a cat or dog as it gets up from rest you know that it arches its back, then drops its belly and curves downward lengthening its legs, back, and belly in a full body “yawn.” Animals aren’t stretching. They’re pandiculating. After it does this simple maneuver, it jumps off the couch and goes running off to play. Do you remember when you used to do that? You’d wake up, gently tighten your arms and legs inward, feel a yawn coming on, and then reach your arms above your head, then reach one leg down and then the other. You would first contract your muscles, then lengthen them, then completely relax.

There are three elements to a pandiculation:

  • A voluntary contraction into the muscles…
  • Followed by a slow lengthening…
  • And a complete relaxation.

This action, much like a pleasant yawn, re-sets both muscle length and function at the brain level; it “reminds” our muscles that they don’t have to stay stuck in a contracted state.  Pandiculation “turns on a light” in the sensory motor system and improves proprioception, which helps you sense your own body more accurately. When you contract a muscle tighter than its present contraction rate, the brain (the command center of the muscles) receives strong sensory feedback, which allows it to “refresh” its sensation of the muscles. By slowly lengthening from that initial contraction, the brain can then lengthen the muscle past the point of its former, tighter length and into a new, fuller range. The result is a more relaxed muscle and greater voluntary muscle control and coordination.’ From here


Emotions, back pain, yoga

We’ve been looking at the low back this week in class, exploring how limited mobility in certain areas of the body can affect other areas of hyper-mobility, especially with regards to the low back: ‘the body’s natural tendency is to continually move in the places where motion is already easy’.  Here’s a great article by Jenni Rawlings explaining this, with a few helpful tips when back bending.

Another interesting watch is this video from Leslie Kaminoff looking at the relationship between emotions, back pain and yoga: ‘Emotional suppression does not occur in a physical vacuum, you do it with your body, and your body is where you’re feeling the pain.’

Found here

More on stretching…

Another interesting article to add to the ‘stretching’ debates:

‘Even the stretched out yogi who can put their hands on the floor can have areas of the hamstrings that are painful and held very tight.  Everything around that tight spot is so loose and limber to allow the movement in the joint, but the careful ‘combing through’ the tissue I do as a bodyworker reveals these islands of supreme tension within the ocean of availability.’

Full article here


Posted on by Emma

‘Unfortunately, the extensive moralizing within the ecological movement has given the public the false impression that they are being asked to make a sacrifice- to show more responsibility, more concern, and a nicer moral standard.  But all that would flow naturally and easily if the self were widened and deepened so that the protection of nature was felt and perceived as protection of our very selves.’  Arne Naess


Summer Wellness Day Retreat

Posted on by Emma

I will be teaching yoga in July on the Summer Wellness Day Retreat at Rhinefield House, Brockenhurst.  Here are the details:

Summer Wellness Event

Rhinefield House, Brockenhurst

Sunday 12th July 2015

Our great itinerary includes: 

  • Introductory workshop; the innovative Foundation Programme

  • Pure Pilates
  • Restorative Yoga for all levels with Emma Lovell Yoga
  • Optional forest walk
  • Optional Nordic walking lesson
  • Deep relaxation
  • A tasty summer barbecue, refreshing cordials & tea/coffee with home baked biscuits
  • Mini Spa- Fabulous therapies and massage with Hannah from Bridge Beauty available to book on the day at fantastic rates

    We welcome everyone for a relaxing day retreat of mind/body fitness,fun and relaxation

£83 per person. Early bird offer £75 when booked and paid by 21st May.

 For further information or to book a spot, please contact Kate at enquiries@fitskool.com or see www.fitskool.com/holistic-retreats/


Posted on by Emma

‘The environmental crisis has deep attitudinal roots.  To restore our environment we need to heal our relationship with it, and that means healing the split in the psyche that cuts us off from the material world.  It means revisioning the relation of mind and matter.  The bulldozing of nature and the abuse of our own bodies reveal the depth of this separation, the fear it engenders, and the need to control… Matter itself, if we attend to it mindfully and gracefully, can help liberate us from delusion; for it is mind, not matter, that is in bondage.’  Joanna Macy, World as Lover, World as Self