This is a short yoga sequence focusing on the core. Rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, external and internal obliques serve a very important purpose in all types of movements. Strong core also means healthy spine. So hop on the mat, move with awareness and connect with your breath. Enjoy your practice, enjoy your body ?
‘Yoga is a dance between control and surrender – between pushing and letting go – and when to push and when to let go becomes part of the creative process, part of the open-ended exploration of your being.’Joel Kramer
Do you feel that you’ve tried everything and it’s still not working?
I feel like this in my yoga practice sometimes. I know the technique, I prepare properly but the pose is still not available to me.
And then I say to myself: ok, maybe not yet, maybe my body is not ready. I take the step back and stop pushing.
When I give my body time to digest all the work it’s done in preparation for the pose then my mind is not so fixed on the pose anymore.
Only letting go of expectations allows me to go deeper in my yoga practice. And this works every time I’m stuck.
Pushing and trying creates more tension in the body, frustration and self-doubt in the head. There’s no space, no energy, no subtlety and we’re so exhausted with trying.
If we can let go and our mind is not in charge anymore then things start happening in more natural rhythm and life becomes an enjoyable experience.
In the world where everything needs to be improved to perfection, where we’re expected to be constantly better and achieve more, instead of finding space and freedom we may get ourselves into uncomfortable and tight place where it’s hard to breathe and move with ease.
So think about it for a moment and see where you need to push and where you can let go.
When the time is right whatever you’ve been preparing yourself for, will come.
And if it will not……well….. then apparently it wasn’t meant to be… just let go ?
Since I started discovering yoga I’ve been constantly looking for guidance and some inspiration to keep me motivated and on track.
I’ve noticed certain benefits of yoga after few weeks or months of practice, such as less pain in my lower back, deeper breathing and calmer mind. It was the best motivation to keep going.
But at some point your mind may get bored with your body doing the same over and over again. And you may think your body will never be able to do this or that pose. It may be true, may be not.
Some of the yoga poses will feel easier in your body than others, some of them really challenging and some absolutely out of reach… at least this’s what we may be telling ourselves. For me if the pose required more upper body strength or being upside down I’d do anything to avoid even trying it ?
One side of me was so inspired by hundreds of photos of advanced yoga poses on social media and the other was saying: you’re gonna break your neck if you try this.
Over time I started training my mind to stop criticizing all the time and training my body to be steady, mobile and ready for more advanced poses.
Taking small steps and repeating until you feel your body gets stronger, lighter and ready to go further is the key to go deeper into your yoga practice. Persistence and patience does pay off.
Sometimes I’m recording my own yoga practice, mainly to see what I’m doing, how I’m moving my body. And I put this video together as a reminder that sometimes things don’t look perfect, sometimes we may be disappointed with our body, with what it looks like, with what it can or cannot do. It’s important to remember that sometimes it takes more than one try for things to work. And it takes some determination and patience.
So don’t give up on your body. It’s a wonderful vehicle that should carry you through this life with joy and courage.
Stay with your practice,
Keep consciously moving your body with the breath,
Look for inspirations,
Help your body reach beyond the point your mind thinks is the limit,
And remember you’re good the way you are ?
See you on the mat ?
Tt’s been 18 years last weekend since my first date with my life companion ?
to celebrate this impressive number we spend a long weekend in nature, camping, enjoying the Sun, picturesque mountains, cold rivers… which is what we both love…
I feel privileged to have this long relationship experience, I feel lucky to see us change so much over these years and at the same time being the same us, to see our relationship going through thick and thin, troubles and joys and each single experience making the relationship only richer and stronger,
it made me also think how very often we take things for granted and only on occasions like this we stop and appreciate things we have and experience,
I practise yoga to be grateful for and appreciate every moment of my life, every relationship with other people… yes, even the difficult one ?
because every experience, every relation with the family or friends is a lesson, it’s meant to teach us something…
pay attention when you’re with other people,
really be with them,
enjoy their happiness,
accept their decisions, even if you don’t agree with them,
see that nobody is trying to hurt you, everyone is trying to find their own way to be happy and it’s just that some people may not know how to find peace within themselves,
and enjoy every moment of being together
Flexibility or strength? Which is your main challenge on a yoga mat?
For me it was always the second. I remember my first few months of yoga practice when I couldn’t understand how people were able to come to chaturanga dandasana (four-limbed staff pose) without collapsing on their faces. I wish I’d recorded my whole journey with this pose because I honestly thought at some point that I’d never be able to do it.
It’s an integral part of my everyday practice now and it simply feels good to have a stronger body. I’m using and challenging the muscles that have been neglected for a while and it’s a good feeling to find more strength and feel my upper body really active ?
If this pose is a challenge for your body as well, try this simple exercise….. and enjoy your journey !
Another short video to help you in your home practice.
Let’s think about our spine more often, not only when it hurts. Let’s get into the habit of moving it regularly. Few minutes a day will do, either in the morning to awaken the body or in the evening to stretch the back after the long busy day. It’s easy, no experience is required. Listen to your body, find more space when you start flexing and extending your spine. Allow the breath to guide your movement. Enjoy !
Our Barking classes are taking place @ The Boathouse Studios, The Malthouse, Abbey Road, Barking, IG11 7BT.
This spacious and quiet studio at the Roding River is a perfect place for our yoga and sound healing sessions.
Only 10 minutes walk from Barking station.
If you’re driving parking is available on weekends and from 18:00 on weekdays. Please contact me to get the code for the parking.
This is how to find us…
Turn to Abbey Road, Abbey Park is behind me.
Pass Galleons Cafe…
Keep walking… We are behind these new blocks of flats on the right.
If you are driving this is the parking gate.
If you are walking or cycling go further up the road and turn right at Nisa shop.
Once you’re at the car park look for The Malthouse on the right and use the stairs shown below, we’re on the first floor, studio 2.
By the request of some of my students here is a gentle 15min morning vinyasa yoga sequence to start your day and get the juices flowing ? This is a gentle yoga practice for all levels, take it easy, tune into your body, into your breath, notice how you feel and let your breath and your body guide you through this practice. Enjoy and have a lovely day!
This is a simple sequence of yoga poses that anyone can do. You don’t have to be experienced, you don’t have to be young, fit or flexible to try it. And you can really benefit from 10-15 min of regular yoga practice. Keep your knees soft if you’re new to the practice, try engaging your belly to protect your lower back, relax your neck and the head. Don’t rush the movement, slowly start tuning into your body, feeling the rhythm of your breath and don’t forget to relax at the end. Enjoy the practice!
One of the things that hits you when you come to live in Western society is that saying ‘I’m busy’ is something people expect you to say if you’re a working professional. It almost raises your social status.
Some of you know my work experience and that I’ve been in a corporate financial world for some time. Just like a lot of others coming to London I wanted to find a good job somewhere, where I can use my experience and skills, learn something new, improve my English and get a decent payment for my work. I can’t actually say I found my first job in the City, because I guess I’ve been always lucky to get a job without looking for it. Opportunities were always coming to me and I was just saying ‘yes’ each time. And so I got the job in Investment Banking sector. I’m old enough to remember reality from the other side of the Iron Curtain so I appreciate the easiness of living in West. With a job like this I felt like a queen ? For a while…..
I remember when I jumped on this crazy train, I thought I could handle everything. I saw how different environment it was to what I was used to, but at the same time I knew that I’m not like most people around me. I wasn’t partying, drinking, socialising, even eating out, as I’ve been always trying to prepare my own meals. Weird, right? I was doing fine being me in this new environment and simply working hard.
The funny thing is that being aware of something doesn’t mean it won’t affect you. It will… maybe not straight away, but little by little, step by step. An example? What strikes you first when you’re in the City in rush hours is the pace people move in. After some time you get used to it and then some time later you start running just like others. It’s not a choice, not happening from one day to another, it’s a process that happens almost somewhere in the background of what you’re busy doing.
So things that were strange to you originally, start slowly sinking in, all the busyness, necessity of being busy, necessity to rush (you don’t want to be a looser and left behind, do you?), the amount of work that’s never ending no matter how many hours you’d spend in the office, omnipresent stress keeping everyone in the rhythm of work and finally after the credit crunch in 2008 the fear of loosing our jobs.
When I encourage my students in the yoga class to try re-connecting with our body, tuning into it and really learning to listen to it, it is because we tend to ignore what our body is telling us. Even the pain is not stopping us, we just take the painkiller and….. continue being busy. I definitely wasn’t fully connected with my body and only medical test results and visits in the hospital made me stop, analyse my situation and realise what was happening. My body was telling me that I wasn’t coping with the situation very well. But most importantly what it was showing me is that the life I had wasn’t making me happy, it was a comfortable life, but at some point lost its taste, colours and intensity. And it wasn’t making me a better person. Two main emotions that took over were fear and anger, skilfully hidden so nothing was showing outside.
I’m not trying to demonize the places I’ve been working at or people I’ve been working with. We are all trying to live a happy life as best as we can, each in our own, very individual way. When I look back now I appreciate my experience because I know that if it wasn’t for this experience, my first yoga classes probably wouldn’t have such a profound effect on me. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I guess I needed to try to realise this is not how I want to live.
So I changed my life. But it didn’t change overnight, at least not in my mind…. it wasn’t the end of the story with being busy. When everyone left early in the morning to go to work, I stayed at home and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was so used to the fast pace, fixed rhythm and ‘doing as much as you can’, that I felt guilty being un-busy! In our modern world it’s almost equal to being unproductive. Luckily I have yoga and time to observe and learn, self-study and tune into myself again. And I’m so grateful for this wisdom. I don’t feel guilty any more, I feel privileged to be able to practise yoga and share my experience and yoga knowledge with other people. We all so, so need to relax and start listening to our inner self, our true self.
Of course you may relate to my experience, you may not. But I think we all get into the dark place at some point in our lives and by simply more conscious breathing and being in our body we can help ourselves. Isn’t it great?
I’m still going through a detox time, but I already feel I can breathe more freely, have more space and strength in my body and most importantly learn everyday how to calm and control my busy mind.
And maybe one day I’ll start dreaming of flying again ?
Don’t let anyone convince you that you have to be busy to be successful in your life. The successful life is a happy life. If you need a break and feel you’re loosing control, stop and allow yourself to relax and let go of anything that’s simply not serving you.