WORKSHOP: Restorative Yoga for Anxiety

WORKSHOP: Restorative Yoga for Anxiety

Saturday 27th May | 2pm to 4pm | Embody Wellness

Widespread research has shown that relaxation practices such as restorative yoga have numerous benefits including the ability to lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Related to this, restorative yoga also facilitates mindful awareness of the body which plays a part in our resilience to stress.

In this 2-hour workshop we will practice restorative yoga poses with an emphasis on helping to relieve anxiety. If you have anxiety, restorative yoga can be particularly challenging because the mind has less to focus on than with a more active practice and, consequently, any concerns you have been suppressing may start to arise once the body begins to relax. However, this does not mean you should avoid practicing restorative poses. It is precisely during times of feeling highly stressed or anxious that these practices can be of the greatest benefit. We will use props to support the body in ways that have been shown to allow both mind and body to feel safe and grounded.

It is not that one pose or one workshop will ‘cure’ anxiety, but in this workshop we will experience restorative poses that can be used together or separately, along with focused breathing, as part of your own toolkit when you need them. (I will share tips on recreating poses for yourself at home.)

As an experienced Restorative Yoga teacher and an Advanced Relax Renew Trainer, having studied with Judith Hanson Lasater, I have found Restorative Yoga to be an effective tool for addressing my own anxiety.

Advance booking is required. Secure your place by booking via the Embody Wellness website here or call the studio directly on 020 7099 0048

Weighting: Legs Up the Wall – Restorative Yoga for Anxiety

Weighting: Legs Up the Wall – Restorative Yoga for Anxiety

Weighting: Legs Up the Wall

In this short video, filmed at Embody Wellness, I am using a bolster on my feet for weighting. If you have access to sandbags you can use those, but I have also practised this with the aid of blankets and blocks. We practised this version of Legs Up the Wall during my 6pm Friday Flow & Yoga Nidra class at Embody (where I usually incorporate a few restorative poses at the end of the class) a few weeks ago when we had a smaller class and more wall space for everyone present.
Did you know that weighting poses has the capacity to be soothing for people with depression or lethargy, while for those with anxiety it can feel grounding? I first came across this during my first training with Judith Hanson Lasater in in 2012. I have found weighting helpful as a tool for addressing my own anxiety.
I am teaching a RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR ANXIETY WORKSHOP on Saturday 27th May at Embody Wellness. If you are interested in coming along, you can find full details and booking at www.embodywellness.co.uk/workshops
New Year Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra & Gong Bath Workshop

New Year Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra & Gong Bath Workshop

Saturday 7th January 2017 – 6.45-8.45pm at Embody Wellness

Realign with your deepest self in this New Year workshop with Patricia Carlota and I – an evening of deep relaxation for both body and mind.

Yin Yoga is a deep, meditative practice that activates the parasympathetic nervous system (calming the body’s fight/flight response). Physically the focus is on moving deeper into the connective tissues of the body (ligaments, tendons and fascia – the cling-film-like ‘tissue’ which holds our muscles together) in areas such as the hips and spine and typically involves holding poses for three to five minutes.

This will prepare the body for a calming Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) practice – a guided meditation that will bring you to the edge of sleep, quietening the mind, reducing tension and promoting deep relaxation. We will invite the space to set our intentions (Sankalpa) during our Yoga Nidra practice, clarifying what we wish to cultivate in our lives for the year ahead, ready for a blissful Gong Bath.

A Gong Bath is a form of Sound Healing where the Gong and other related instruments are played to induce wellbeing. The term ‘bath’ signifies being bathed in sound waves. Participants are invited to lie down comfortably on a yoga mat, close their eyes, relax and be cocooned in a sonic immersion. The practice provides a space to re-generate, re-nourish, and re-set your whole being – mind, body, emotions, soul, and energy field.

To book your place please visit the Embody Wellness website here or call Embody on 020 7099 0048.

 

Winter Solstice Gong Bath & Yoga Nidra

Winter Solstice Gong Bath & Yoga Nidra

Sunday 18th December 2-4pm at reCentre Health, Balham

Join us for this special Winter Solstice workshop – an afternoon of soothing sounds and complete relaxation for the mind and body

The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year as we transition from Autumn to Winter and is a time for reflection and rebalancing – acknowledging what no longer serves us, making space to welcome in the new.

In this special workshop we will invite the space to set our “solstice resolutions”or intentions (Sankalpa) with our Yoga Nidra practice (with Paula), clarifying what we wish to cultivate in our lives as we move forward.

Yoga Nidra (also known as ‘yogic sleep’) is a guided meditation that  will bring you to the edge of sleep, quietening the mind, reducing tension and promoting deep relaxation.

Following a short tea break, the second part of the workshop will commence with a glorious gong bath with Patricia Carlota.

A Gong Bath is a form of Sound Healing where the Gong and other related instruments are played to induce wellbeing. The term ‘bath’ signifies being bathed in sound waves. Participants are invited to lie down comfortably on a yoga mat, close their eyes, relax and be cocooned in a sonic immersion. The practice provides a space to re-generate, re-nourish, and re-set your whole being – mind, body, emotions, soul, and energy field.

Booking is essential as places are limited. Book your place here or call reCentre on 020 8672 4455.

Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra & Gong Bath Evening

Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra & Gong Bath Evening

NEW WORKSHOP at Embody Wellness – Saturday 19th November 6.30-8.30pm

Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra & Gong Bath Workshop

Join Gong Practitioner Patricia Carlota and I for an evening of deep relaxation for both body and mind.

Yin Yoga is a deep, meditative practice that activates the parasympathetic nervous system (calming the body’s fight/flight response). Physically the focus is on moving deeper into the connective tissues of the body (ligaments, tendons and fascia – the cling-film-like ’tissue’ which holds our muscles together) in areas such as the hips and spine and typically involves holding poses for three to five minutes. This will prepare the body for a calming Yoga Nidra (‘yogic sleep’) practice – a guided meditation that will bring you to the edge of sleep, quieting the mind, reducing tension and promoting deep relaxation – ready for a blissful Gong Bath.

A Gong Bath is a form of Sound Healing where the Gong and other related instruments are played to induce wellbeing. The term ‘bath’ signifies being bathed in sound waves. Participants are invited to lie down comfortably on a yoga mat, close their eyes, relax and be cocooned in a sonic immersion. The practice provides a space to re-generate, re-nourish and re-set your whole being – mind, body, emotions, soul and energy field.

For full details and booking, please visit the Embody Wellness website here.

Yoga Nidra – Dreaming of Yogic Sleep

Yoga Nidra – Dreaming of Yogic Sleep

“Yoga Nidra can be understood as a total practice of yoga itself… a state of ‘awakened sleep’ … in this state (we encounter) auto-suggestive experience of the power of the unconscious mind and its linkage with the soul.” – Sri Ram Sharam Acharya.

What is Yoga Nidra?

The word ‘nidra’ translates as ‘sleep’, hence the term ‘yogic sleep’. Put simply, Yoga Nidra can be described as a form of meditation, though it is not so much a practice or technique as a state of being. It can be seen as an altered state of consciousness – neither being asleep or awake, but a state in-between. Sometimes, Yoga Nidra is referred to as ‘conscious sleep’ as the physical body is resting, but the mind remains awake and aware. Yoga Nidra brings about total physical, emotional and mental relaxation. Just a few of the reported benefits include reduced stress, improved sleep and a greater sense of wellbeing but Yoga Nidra can also be used as a means to help heal emotional and physiological wounds. For instance, the work of Richard Miller with US Army veterans with PTSD has produced impressive results. As one US Marine veteran comments on Richard Miller’s iRest (‘integrative-Restoration’ Yoga Nidra) website,

I truly believe that iRest helps to save my life every day. It has given me the hope and strength I needed to reconnect myself to the world again.” 

For my own personal experience of Yoga Nidra, it has helped (and continues to help) me find self-acceptance. As Rod Stryker (teacher, founder of ParaYoga and author of The Four Desires) describes, Yoga Nidra,  “…opens a doorway to a place where we can see ourselves and our lives in the most positive light.”

As a student I have experienced Yoga Nidras across a range of traditions – Himalayan, Satyananda and iRest (Richard Miller) – and experienced different benefits from all of them, and so when I wanted to deepen my studies in this area in order to share Yoga Nidra with more people, I trained with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, Nirlipta Tuil and Ben Woolf in Total Yoga Nidra. Total Yoga Nidra delves into all these different lineages and shows us that there is no one ‘right way’.

How do I ‘do’ Yoga Nidra?

One of the great beauties of this is that you don’t have to do yoga or meditate in order to experience Yoga Nidra, making it accessible to almost anyone. As a practitioner, all that is required of you is to lie down (or sit) in a comfortable position, listen and be willing to become effortless, or in other words, enter an effortless state of being. Restorative Yoga poses such as a Basic Relaxation Pose (Supported Savasana) or Supported Reclining Pose are ideal positions for Yoga Nidra as the body is completely supported and comfortable, thus creating the conditions for both body and mind to let go more easily. If you have classes available in your area then it can be wonderful to experience live ‘in person’ Yoga Nidra, but you can also listen to recordings meaning that you can access Yoga Nidra whenever you need it at the times which work best for you.

I have recorded short 10-15 minute practices which are available through my website here. I will be regularly adding more Yoga Nidra and meditation recordings to this page. I have been asked by many people over the past couple of years for recordings, so I hope you will enjoy them.

If you are based in London I teach a weekly Friday Flow & Restore class at Embody Wellness Vauxhall. This class concludes with a 15 minute yoga nidra. 

And don’t forget, if you sign up to my mailing list through www.ucanyoga.co.uk you will receive a complimentary 15 minute Yoga Nidra too.