Emma Lovell Yoga

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Low back sequence

A sequence for a tired and achy low back.  You will need:

A wall

A strap/belt

A block/cushion

A bolster (optional)

1. Begin in legs up the wall pose.  If you don’t have wall space you can place your calves on the edge of a bed or chair.

2. Then press feet to the wall and bend knees to peel the back of the body off the floor and down again.

 Image result for bridge up wall yoga

3. Reclined pigeon with wall

4. Easeful rest pose then roll knees from side to side keeping feet hip width.

5. Supta padangusthasana- press the ball of the foot up into a belt, then turn your foot away from you and take the leg out to the side, making sure both sides of the pelvis stay level on the floor.

5. Balasana (option with bolster/cushion between legs).  Place a block under the head if the forehead doesn’t reach the floor.


6. Cat and cow

7. Sphinx pose

8. Supported bridge (make sure block is placed under pelvis rather than low back).


9. Reclined twist

10. Savasana


Here’s an article from Todd Hargrove explaining why and how our skeletal structure affects our movement and why an individualised approach is so important in exercise, rather than forcing each body into ‘some Platonic ideal’: ‘Optimal alignment or posture for a certain function is partly a result of having as many joints in neutral as possible at any one time. And the shape of the bones will determine how many of your joints you can keep in neutral at the same time in a particular functional task…we should be very wary about anyone dictating to us what proper form is in regard to a particular activity without considering our individual variations in structure.‘ Full article here

Here are some very clear illustrations of anatomical variations in pelvic and femur structure- a squat for these two individuals will (and should) look very different:Pic 1

pic 2

pic 3

pic 5

Images from here


Better movement

‘Move playfully, experimentally and curiously, with full attention on what you are doing and what you are trying to accomplish.

Focus on movements that are the foundation for your movement health, and have a lot of carryover to many activities, as opposed to movements that are specific and don’t have carryover.

Move as much as you can without injury, pain or excess threat, wait for the body to adapt, and then move more next time.’

Todd Hargrove on how to ‘move better and feel better’ from A Guide to Better Movement.

Summertime News


I’m taking a couple of weeks off on holiday from Monday 31st August- Friday 11th September 2015, so there will be no classes during that period.  Here’s an update on some changes to classes when I get back.

 *Class prices*

The cost to hire halls at All Saints and Isaac Watts is due to increase in September.  In light of this, I’ve decided to make all prices for my own classes the same (this excludes classes held at gyms and fitness clubs).  So that means from September all classes will cost £8 drop-in or £42 for a 6 (consecutive) week course.  Restorative yoga now costs £12 per session.


*Restorative classes*

The next restorative yoga class at All Saints Church, North Baddesley will be Thursday 27th August 2015 7-8.15pm.

My new monthly restorative yoga class at St Thomas’s House in Salisbury will be on Tuesday 25th August 2015 7.15-8.30pm.  Don’t worry if you can’t make this session as depending on who can make it, I’ll be flexible on the day to make it work for most people- just let me know if you can’t make it but would be interested in a different time or day.

Both these classes are limited to 6 people and cost £12.  To reserve a spot on either of the classes please contact me.


*New Salisbury blocks*

The start of the new block for my classes at Neal’s Yard and St Thomas’s House will begin w/c 14th September-19th October.  If you would like to book on the course, please let me know and make payment at least a week in advance of the start to reserve your spot.  Drop-in options are getting a bit limited now as the classes are small, but let me know if you’d prefer to do this and I’ll see if there is space.

Finally, if anyone has any requests for what they’d like to work on for the new term, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do!

Enjoy the rest of the summer and see you in class.

Individual practice

A couple of articles here on the changing approaches to yoga.  First, the brilliant Matthew Remski writing about  ‘extreme practice and injury in asana’ and also touching on the online trend of posting pictures of extreme yoga poses which, for most of us, are completely inaccessible.

‘Pattabhi Jois was fond of the adage, “With enough heat, even iron will bend”. But this new rationalist yoga discourse imposes clearer limits upon the aspirational body, insisting that muscles do not get “longer”, and pain is not an “opening” – except in a pathological sense. The primal dream of bodily transformation through “being worked into a noodle”, as Jois student Annie Pace described it, is being eclipsed by the simpler goal of enhancing a natural range of motion for functional movement.’ See more here.


On a similar note, Jenni Rawlings discusses how our different body proportions affect our practice, stressing the importance of moving away from the ‘one-pose fits all’ approach in yoga, which can force the body into shapes that could cause injury by focusing on the aesthetics of the pose:

In the yoga world, we often conceive of asanas as having one final form that we are all striving to “achieve” or “finish.” But when we learn to appreciate the role that our unique body proportions play in what our specific yoga poses look like (or how hard we might be working in our shapes), we can start to broaden our notion of what it means to “progress” in yoga practice. Ultimately, our top priority in any asana should be for the shape to serve the individual body performing it; how the pose looks will then be a natural byproduct of that goal.’  For the full article see here