What is "real yoga" anyway??

I’m very excited to have launched my new website today and with a whole lot of other new things happening in the next few months I just wanted to keep you in the loop on my ideas! I want your yoga experience to be a real life one, a genuine interaction with others and an integrative practice that you can take into your lives.

My plans to increase class options, settle us into a permanent studio, expand online opportunities and offer you a wide variety of workshops and activities is all in an effort to develop community. I want people to interact, I want you to have yoga-friends, I want you to want to hang out after class. I’m so excited for the potential this new space is going to have and I hope I can continue to create beautiful events and classes for you.

As part of my online program I’m going to start having some chats with friends, colleagues and people of interest on their take on having a “real life” and what that means to them. I hope you’ll all be interested in tuning in and building on the conversation as we dive into the next evolution of Life Yoga!

Have a beautiful week!

Mel x

IMG_1579.jpeg

What Beginners need to know about Down Dog!

One of the most popular poses that you’ll practice in yoga class is Downward Facing Dog, it's a link in so many sequences and from it we jump to so many other postures and variations! Although it might look easy, as a beginner there are plenty of adjustments we can make so your pose feels and performs well.

When I first started practicing yoga regularly, I developed a lot of wrist pain, some of this I credit to my skinny little wrists but I soon realised it was because I had too much weight in my upper body during my down dog. This is often due to the backs of the legs being super tight.

Once you learn how to get into the pose properly, it can actually become extremely relaxing, a great place to take a few breaths in between a challenging sequence. Just like most inversions, Downward Dog is good for circulation, activates the lymphatic system, and can have a positive impact on mental functioning by increasing the flow of blood to the brain. Overall, it’s a great pose to practice, even if you have to start with a few simple modifications.

Here are 5 tips to help you make Downward Dog a little easier:

1. Start with wrists shoulder distance apart (or wider) and step your feet as wide as the mat. Send the weight into the legs by pressing into the base of each finger, especially the thumb and forefinger. Straighten the arms and hug the outer upper arms (triceps) in towards each other.

2. If your heels don’t touch the floor, don’t worry. To warm up the hamstrings and calves, bend the knees and alternate pressing one heel towards the floor at a time. Remember to breathe.

3. To avoid hunching in the back, lift yourself up onto both toes and bend both knees, sending the weight back into the legs. This is also a great modification if you get lower back pain.

4. Eventually step the feet hip distance apart, begin to straighten the legs and engage the quads. Again, if your heels don’t touch the floor it’s perfectly okay. Keep sending the weight up and out of the upper body and into the legs.

5. Breathe here. Relax your neck and head. And if you ever need a break, lower your knees, untuck your toes and take child’s pose.

Keep practicing. Like anything, with patience and perseverance you will see improvement.

IMG_1139.jpeg