I possess a natural empathy and a desire to help people; whether that is to help ease the pain of chronic tension, to soothe the muscles following over-exertion or simply to relax and take away anxiety. I treat people holistically and as individuals

Amy Phillips - 07800 636266

Dekker Road, Dulwich Village. London. SE21 7DJ

thedulwichtouch@me.com

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 Wellbeing

Yoga

”The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind & the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar

The true meaning of yoga has been a little lost in translation in the Western world, Yoga, literally means "union" (in its most common translation): of the individual consciousness or soul with the Universal Consciousness or Spirit. Though many people think of yoga only as physical exercises — the asanas or postures that have gained widespread popularity in recent decades — these are actually only the most superficial aspect of this profound science of unfolding the infinite potentials of the human mind and soul.
There are many varieties of yoga, but the form I’m going to talk about in this post, and the one we most know and love! Is all based on Hatha Yoga. Hatha yoga refers to a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body—especially the main channel, the spine—so that energy can flow freely.
Hatha is also translated as ha meaning "sun" and tha meaning "moon." This refers to the balance of masculine aspects—active, hot, sun—and feminine aspects—receptive, cool, moon—within all of us. Hatha yoga is a path toward creating balance and uniting opposites. In our physical bodies we develop a balance of strength and flexibility. We also learn to balance our effort and surrender in each pose.
Hatha yoga is a powerful tool for self-transformation. It asks us to bring our attention to our breath, which helps us to still the fluctuations of the mind and be more present in the unfolding of each moment. It can be both calming and invigorating simultaneously as we combine physical exertion with focus and stretching, all whilst maintaining a steady breath.

I have been doing Yoga for over 15 years and though I often find it challenging, I never have that ‘can’t be bothered’ feeling towards it. Even just 20 minutes a day can help to calm my mind, lift my mood and develop focus, and that’s without all the amazing physical benefits! It stretches tight muscles, strengthens the weak ones and helps our bodies to work in the way they were always meant to.
The variety of forms of Hatha yoga seems endless, and it is important to find out before you attend a class what it will be like. Some classes such as: Hatha (confusing as Hatha is all movement based yoga, but it is the name of a common type of class too!), Iyengar and Viniyoga are gentler and better suited to beginners and the less flexible. Other classes such as: Vinyasa flow, Ashtanga and Bikram are for more advanced practitioners and are far more athletic than the other forms.

Find a class that is right for you, preferably a small class, so that the teacher will be able to give everyone enough attention, ensuring that your postures are correct and you don’t risk injuring yourself. If you can, try and get some one-to-one sessions, as you will learn so much from having individual attention.

A word of caution: I have often had people come to me with severe neck pain after attempting to do a head-stand in a yoga class! Head-stands require an enormous amount of strength and should only be attempted by someone who is sure of their ability and who has been practicing yoga for many years- preferably even then under supervision.

Finding the balance between pushing yourself and damaging yourself can be hard- but as you learn to know your body through your practice, you will learn your own limits. If it hurts, don’t do it- go back a step and eventually you will be able to progress, yoga isn’t a competition, it is just about you, your mind and your body.

Local yoga classes I highly recommend:
Yoga Point (between Brixton and Herne Hill) http://www.yogapoint.co.uk

Janet Evans- East Dulwich (Also does one-to-one classes) http://www.yogajanam.com
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