Emma Lovell Yoga

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Yoga at Lowford Clinic, Bursledon, Southampton

I’m pleased to announce that I will starting new yoga classes at Lowford Clinic in Southampton.  Here’s their website:  http://southamptonchiropractor.co.uk/

The chiropractic clinic offers a wide range of treatments such as physiotherapy, acupuncture, and podiatry, and  have recently expanded their service to include Pilates and yoga.

If you are unsure whether the classes will be right for you, I will be holding 30 minute private taster sessions for each new student.

For further information, please contact myself (see my ‘contact’ page) or Lowford Clinic on 02380405335.




Judgement

It’s normal to compare ourselves to others in a yoga class, to become frustrated that you can’t get into the same shape as your neighbour, or to force ourselves into shapes that are not right for our body at that moment.  It’s also normal to feel proud when we’ve got ourselves into a pose we have been unable to do before.  In yoga, we want to avoid this judgement, instead focusing on the journey to the pose rather then the end result.  It’s important to empty the mind of all expectations of what the pose should look or feel like.  Instead of thinking, ‘what does this pose look like?’, think, ‘how does this pose feel for me?’  Don’t force yourself in what you think the pose should look like -let the body guide you and accept the pose the body finds as right for you at that moment.

‘To be proud of our yoga positions is bad taste.  To be able to do the poses “successfully” means nothing, nothing at all.  Yoga should not become a circus.  It must be done as a refuge from life…  [Yoga] should instead help us to purify the body and the mind, bringing us back to that blessed state of receptivity from which we can start to learn.’  Vanda Scaravelli, Awakening the Spine’

Image from here




Nature

‘But perhaps nature needs us like a hostage needs her captors: nature needs us not to annihilate her, not to run her over, not to cover her with cement, not to chop her down.  We can hardly admire ourselves, then, when we stop to accommodate nature’s needs: we are dubious heroes who create a peril and then save its victims, we who rescue the animals and the trees from ourselves.’  Amy Leach, ‘Things That Are’.

Image from here




Biomechanics

I’m currently working my way through ‘Updating Yoga Alignment with Biomechanics’ by Jenni Rawlings Yoga.  This is a great online course for anyone interested in alignment in asana, and also in updating their teaching with  a more biomechanical approach.  For more information on the course please see www.jennirawlings.com

 




The moon

Since we’ve had a full moon this week (and a lunar eclipse), here are some moon related bits.

  Chandra namaskar (moon salutations).  We practiced this moon salutation in one of the classes I attend this week and I was reminded how balancing, opening and calming it is.  Often neglected in favour of the more powerful and heat generating sun salutations, chandra namaskar are more soothing and can be nicer to do later in the day. 

For those interested, this book gives a pretty good historical overview of all things moon related:




Paradigm Shift: Yoga at the Crossroads

This is a really clear and well-written article exploring yoga’s current ‘identity crisis’. A good one for anyone a bit confused about where yoga is going and what it is they’re actually practicing in class:

‘If the yoga tradition is understood to be multi-vocal and ever-changing, then the criteria for authenticity must shift away from an imaginary ideal rooted somewhere long ago and far away, and toward an investigation of what constitutes a meaningful practice right here and now.’

See the full post here.

 




More on stretching

Another interesting read about stretching and muscle length: ‘When you stretch your muscles, you increase your flexibility. But you do not do so through increasing the length of the muscles, you do so by decreasing your brain’s threat response – the brain “releases the brakes” and allows the muscle to stretch further.’

Here’s the article:  http://bretcontreras.com/long-lean-muscles-oh-irony/

This is particularly useful when thinking about this week’s themes: letting go; allowing the body to open; hip openers.  

while sitting, ask yourself

maybe you have been in this position

hundreds of times

but are you really unwinding…

opening the groin

are you giving the knee the possibility to open

without pain, without pressure?

are you giving the ankle the possibility

of rolling open

and the heel to turn?

and the foot to open?

From breath: the essence of yoga