A-Z of Holly’s Harmony Yoga
A – Aerial Yoga
I instantly fell in love with aerial yoga from my very first class and I have noticed many of my lovely aerial yoga attendees find the same. It is the stability and support in poses that the silks offer you. The ability to find stretches that floor based yoga is unable to give. The comforting cocooning cuddle that the silks give in Savasana is magical and so nurturing. I initially tried aerial yoga when my feet were causing my lots of pain and I wanted a form of exercise that was low impact but exciting and nurturing at the same time.
B – Breathwork
Each and every yoga class I offer has some breathwork in it. Yoga in itself is connecting movement to the breath to help unite the mind, body and soul. Bringing the focus on the breath and manipulating the breath can help strengthen the lungs and reduce stress levels by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Just try this now… breathe in, 2, 3, 4, pause, 2, 3, breathe out, 2, 3, 4, 5.
C – Chair Yoga
Lots of props are used in yoga, and one of the cheapest and most accessible for all is a chair. Teaching chair yoga means that I can bring yoga to more people who may not be able to stand or do not have the space at home or in the office to practice a full yoga session, but they can practice small stretches in a chair. It is by no means easier as my regulars will tell you, it helps you to find alignment without focusing on balancing.
D – Downward Dog
Now it wouldn’t be an A-Z without Downward Dog. It is another one of those marmite poses, you either love it or hate it. If you aren’t too keen there are many different ways it can be adapted for example into dolphin pose, or maybe it will grow on you over time as the body actually needs it. There are many other variations with 3 legged dog and peeing dog!!! Downward dog help boost blood supply to your head and can aid hair growth, it can ward off colds and flu by oxygenating the whole body and bringing about more energy. It builds bone density especially good for warding off osteoporosis and supporting the menopause. Just go careful how long you are here for if you have high or low blood pressure.
E – Exercise
People may say hang on a minute, yoga isn’t exercise as it is really gentle and you don’t sweat. Just ask some of my lovelies after a few rounds of Sun Salutation A and B!!! It may not be vigerous exercise but it has certainly helped me to strengthen, stretch and tone my whole body as well as aiding weight loss and stabilising my mental health. It is perfect to pair up to stretch after other forms of exercise too as it complements them so well.
E – Everyone!!!
Yoga is for everyone!!! I have people in my classes from 15-80. Even my 5 children at home from 3-13 enjoy practicing yoga with me. I teach people of differing shapes, sizes, movement ranges, backgrounds, beliefs and conditions. You do not need to be flexible before you start yoga, but week on week you will become a little bit more flexible. The journey isn’t linear, you may have some weeks where you can barely reach your knees and that is ok. It is your own yoga journey and I am here to support you on it!
F – Friendship
Where my class sizes are so small and it runs in blocks, it means that each class builds up its own little community. The weekly classes have a beautiful supportive feel with me and others there to chat to and support you through your practice. We have a WhatsApp group for each class where you can ask questions and have a general chit chat as well as me putting up links to different things you found helpful in the class. I really feel like we have all become friends and look out for each other.
G – Guided Meditation
A lot of us will find it almost impossible to clear the mind when someone tells you to empty your mind. This is why in the yoga classes I offer guided meditation and meditation techniques to help focus the mind. Just practice this by counting your breath. Inhale 1, Exhale 2, Inhale 3, and continue up to 10. Once you reach 10, start again at 1. If the mind strays do not worry, just bring your focus back to 1.