H – Hatha
Hatha yoga is the original form of yoga that I trained in. It is the most common form of yoga in the West as it has been adapted and created for Westernised society. It has a range of poses with their English and Sanskrit names. A Hatha practice of yoga includes yoga poses (Asanas), breathwork (Pranayama) and meditation (Dhyana).
I – Indus Valley Civilisation
The first evidence of yoga was found in the Indus Valley in the form of a Yogic Seal. The Indus Valley Civilisation was about 3000BC. They have found these yogic seals with yoga postures on as the first evidence of yoga existing. It has come a very long way since then with it moving from the Indus Valley, now Pakistan to the West to become the Westernised form of yoga we see and practice today.
J – Janu Sirsasana
Head-to-knee pose, this is one of my favourite cool down poses. I usually team it up with a wild thing to make a gorgeous cool down flow. In my classes I ask everyone to listen to their own body and work to their own range of movement. For me I will never get my head to my knee as I have too much other stuff in the way!
K – Kali Mudra
In a lot of our yoga classes we use mudras, hand symbols or gestures which channel our energies or prana as it is known in the yoga world. Same as Chi in Chinese medicine. The Kali mudra I feel looks a bit like the Charlie’s Angels hands. Kali is the Hindu goddess of destruction. Especially the destruction of evil. She is usually pictured with sharp teeth and a blood red tongue with a belt made of human arms and a necklace of severed heads. She is strong and powerful when facing evil forces.
L – Lotus Mudra
I love the Lotus Mudra and often use a Lotus mudra flow as a gentle warm up for my classes. The lotus flower grows up through the deep dark murky waters and arrives on the surface to emerge as this beautiful, pure flower. The lotus flower then retreats again each night to emerge pure the next morning. I feel this symbolises our lives. We may move through pretty muddy and rough times but we always come out beautiful. Life is not linear, it is a rollercoaster and I am here alongside you at each step.
M – Moon Yoga
I offer Moon Yoga around the open fire at Butser Ancient Farm. This helps us connect with the moon’s energies and focus on its cyclical nature. At the new moon we set our intentions for the moon cycle ahead and then at the full moon we practice forgiveness in order to come back to our intentions with a clear heart.
N – Nature
I feel that our lives are very cyclical in nature, and we have moved so far away from our connection to nature that it is leading to burnout and poor health. In many of my classes I refer back to the seasons, moon cycles, day and night and the tides to help us connect with the world around us to help nurture that side of ourselves we often neglect. I do this through offering outdoor yoga, goat yoga and nature based guided relaxations.