ANDREA - a full time Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi instructor.

I fell in love with yoga over seven years ago, when I got a Nintendo DS and bought a game called Let's Yoga. From then, I began 'playing' yoga everyday, sometimes twice a day. At first, the practice was more physical for me, but after few months I started to really count on yoga to bring me a sense of calm during especially chaotic days. Soon after, I began recognizing the benefits of a regular asana and meditation practice and continued to incorporate yoga daily - not just during times of chaos. I found myself feeling more energized, more compassionate, happier, and with more awareness. Now, I teach full-time and couldn't be happier to do what I love. What began as a physical practice for strength and flexibility quickly became a lifestyle. I teach my students to take their yoga off the mat and apply the principles learned in the class to their lives outside of the studio. I do not only teach my philosophy, I live it.

nedeľa 29. decembra 2013

Christmas in London 2nd round (there will be another one, I´m afraid)



.. and I found a lost one from Oxford :P


štvrtok 26. decembra 2013

A bit of Yoga in Oxford Yesterday :)


streda 25. decembra 2013

Merry Christmas!




As we move now toward the shortest day and longest night of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere), let's take a deeper look at yoga teachings on light and darkness and explore what they have to say about light within and without, body and mind, the transient and the eternal. Though for us moving toward the Winter Solstice light is now diminishing, yoga philosophy suggests there is a light within that never wanes.
First, let's introduce two ancient Sanskrit words: The ancient yogis saw our being as spiritual creatures made up of (word #1) prakṛti [prak-rit-ee] and (word #2) puruṣa [poo-roo-sha].
Prakṛti is our body (it is also a word used to mean "nature"). It is all that is changing in us, or, in other terms, and this is not always obvious: the body-brain system. It is not always obvious because we identify with something that is changing, thinking that it is something permanent.
Puruṣa is all that is not changing within us, sometimes defined as the soul, or pure awareness, or in some other contexts, "consciousness."
Puruṣa is the light that never wanes.
Now a third and fourth Sanskrit word: Patañjali (#3), who compiled the Yoga Sutra-s sometime around 350 CE, uses the word īśvara (#4) to mean a Higher Power. Iśvara is the source of light, or pure awareness or consciousness; through puruṣa (our individual light as experienced by us), we are connected to this one light, the source of all light, awareness, consciousness.
So, the interesting question arises, if reality and our relation to reality is constructed like this, how is darkness possible? How can depression, wrong action, confusion, illness, a sense of disconnect from light and wholeness, arise? This is an ancient question, and a living one.
Here are some things to ponder from the yoga teachings and their related philosophies. These are suggestions we can more than ponder, but test in our own life and in our yoga practice to discover for ourselves what they might mean.
Sanskrit word #5 is prāṇa, or life force. The ancient yogis saw health as a smooth flow of prāṇa within the body-brain system. Since our body is made of matter, it has limitations or a conditioned nature. We experience that conditioning, yoga suggests, through the guṇas (#6), or tendencies. The guṇas influence matter very strongly. Just as electricity can't pass through wood but it can pass through copper, the body's receptivity to prāṇa will change. According to yoga, the guṇas govern this receptivity.
The guṇas are sattva (#7: balance, order, purity), rajas (#8: change, movement, dynamism) and tamas (#9: lethargy, dullness, slowness).
To bring this full circle and to see the interconnected, holistic view of reality to which yoga is inviting us, the guṇas also qualify the seasons. Sattva is the springtime, with it's creative potential, and all that blossoms with it. Rajas is the summer, it is hot, people move around and travel. Tamas is associated with fall and winter as it gets darker and colder. The seasons are a reflection of the guṇas of the world. When people talk about nature or the environment, we usually understand it to be the external world. However, according to yoga philosophy, the internal environment is just as or even more important than the external.
In the moments when we are feeling less receptive to the light within, it doesn't mean the light is not there. Our receptivity is different in accordance with our state of mind. Yoga suggest that deep inside us there is always light. That is why Patañjali advises us in Yoga Sutra I.36 to meditate on the light within.

YS I.36 viśokā vā jyotiṣmatī

"We can be free of suffering by paying attention to the light within."

Viśokā (#10) literally means "no despondency." When grief is sustained it becomes despondency. Everyone has bad experiences in their lives, but when we identify with those past experiences we negate our reception of light. According to yoga philosophy there is always an inward resource.

Jyoti (#11) is our inner light, and jyotiṣmatī (#12!) means "to focus on the light within." Despondency may transform when we pay attention to the light inside.
In times where we feel darkness or depressed, we don't need to search outside, the yoga teachings suggest, we can be inspired by the source of light inside. The next time you are in a state that feels disconnected, try your yoga practice. Did that feeling turn out to be reality, or does it change when your body-breath-mind state changes?
The teachings of yoga seem to be suggesting something further as well, beyond helping us return to equilibrium. Here seems to be a key point: both suffering and joy are only possible in something that changes. When you begin to become sensitive to the transient, changeable nature of prakṛti, you might ask, what is it that lies beyond all the changes, what is the source of both light and dark? What is there that never changes?
That may be the most eternal quest.

utorok 17. decembra 2013

16-22 Dec Timetable:

Monday
9:30 private class
1pm Pilates HRLC
8pm Power Yoga Dunstable LC

Tuesday
9.30 Body Conditioning Class HRLC
10.45 Fitness Yoga HRLC
8pm Pilates HRLC

Wednesday
10:50 Fitness Yoga Dunstable LC
7pm private class
8pm private class

Thursday

10:50 Hatha Yoga DLC
12:00 Anti Natal Yoga DLC
1.30 private class
8.30pm Fitness Yoga Houghton Regis LC

Friday
9.30 Yoga David Lloyd Luton*
11am Pilates HRLC

Saturday
*9am private class

*you have to be a member to attend these classes, otherwise book in advance to get a place, especially in HRLC the spaces are limited and usually fully booked

pondelok 16. decembra 2013

Winter Wonderland :)

For the first time in my life I went to see the Winter Wonderland in London - it was great, I even had langos :) :) :) 

And here is a picture.. ;) 


utorok 10. decembra 2013

Timetable Update 9.Dec-15.Dec 2013

Monday
1pm Pilates HRLC
8pm Power Yoga Dunstable LC
Tuesday
10am private class
11:30 Active Life HRLC
8pm Pilates HRLC
Wednesday
9:30 Fitness Yoga Houghton Regis LC
10:50 Fitness Yoga Dunstable LC
Thursday
10:50 Hatha Yoga Dunstable LC
12:00 Dunstable LC
1.30 private class
7pm Yoga David Lloyd Luton*
8.30pm Fitness Yoga Houghton Regis LC
Friday
9.30 Yoga David Lloyd Luton*
11am Pilates HRLC
7pm Yoga Banatynes*
Sunday
11:15 Banatynes*

*you have to be a member to attend these classes, otherwise book in advance to get a place, especially in HRLC the spaces are limited and usually fully booked

štvrtok 5. decembra 2013

Archer Pose II (Var.)

Archer Pose II (Var.) / Akarna  Dhanurasana II
(ack-are-NAH don-your-AHS-anna)
Akarna= Near the ear
Dhanu= Bow

1. Begin by sitting in Dandasana, legs extended out straight in front of you. Take your right leg with both your hands and place it over your right shoulder.

2. Take your left arm and grab onto the outside edge of your right foot. Straighten your right arm and place it on the ground palm facing down a few inches forward of your hip.

3. Exhale and begin to straighten the right leg completely. Keep both legs engaged and use the pressure against your right shoulder to help you lift and keep your chest rotated open. Once your leg is straight, drop it down a couple of inches so that it is approximately at a 45 degree angle with the ground.

4. When you feel stable in the pose, drop your left arm beside you and rest it on the ground.

5. Keep your gaze forwards. Maintain the pose for up to 30 seconds . Exhale, come down slowly and practice the other leg.

Benefits
- Stretches the hamstrings, groin and hip flexors
- Stretches open the chest and shoulders
- Strengthens the arm and legs

Cautions
- Shoulder Injury
- Ankle injury
- Asthma

streda 4. decembra 2013

Upward Half Lotus Forward Bend

Upward Half Lotus Forward Bend / Urdhva Ardha Padma Paschimottanasana 

(OORD-vah ARE-dah PAD-ma Posh-ee-moh-tan-AHS-anna) 
urdhva= upward
ardha= half
padma= lotus
paschima= back of body, west side
uttana=stretched
1. Sit down with your legs extended out in front of you. Lift your tail bone up and expand open your chest. Pull your belly button back towards your spine. Place your hands palms facing down at either side of your hips. Take your right foot and place it high up in your left hip crease as in half lotus. Forward fold bending from the hips and grab on to the foot with both hands. Try grabbing on to the left wrist. Only when you are comfortable in this pose, continue to step 2.

2. Sitting up tall with your legs extended, place your right foot into half lotus as in step 1. Bend your left leg and grab on to the foot with both hands. Variation: Alternately take your half lotus to your knee in this pose.

3. Begin to straighten your left leg completely up to the sky. As you lift, engage your core and keep your belly pulled in. Keep your chest expanded and shoulders down. Pull your self in as close as you can so that your nose touches your shin.

4.Take your left hand and grab on to the wrist of your right arm across the bottom of your foot. Variation: You may make the ‘Om’ symbol with your right hand, or to decrease intensity, keep holding your foot at the outside edges. Gaze at the big toes in the sky. Maintain the pose for at least 10 seconds and gradually increase the length of the pose as you develop greater core strength.

Benefits
- Strengthens and tones the core, abdominals and spine
- Helps to improve digestion
- Improves balance
- Increases stamina
- Stretches hamstrings, shoulders and wrists

Cautions
- Low blood pressure
- Pregnancy
- Asthma
Upward Half Lotus Forward Bend / Urdhva Ardha Padma Paschimottanasana
(OORD-vah ARE-dah PAD-ma Posh-ee-moh-tan-AHS-anna)
urdhva= upward
ardha= half
padma= lotus
paschima= back of body, west side
uttana=stretched

1. Sit down with your legs extended out in front of you. Lift your tail bone up and expand open your chest. Pull your belly button back towards your spine. Place your hands palms facing down at either side of your hips. Take your right foot and place it high up in your left hip crease as in half lotus. Forward fold bending from the hips and grab on to the foot with both hands. Try grabbing on to the left wrist. Only when you are comfortable in this pose, continue to step 2.
2. Sitting up tall with your legs extended, place your right foot into half lotus as in step 1. Bend your left leg and grab on to the foot with both hands. Variation: Alternately take your half lotus to your knee in this pose.
3. Begin to straighten your left leg completely up to the sky. As you lift, engage your core and keep your belly pulled in. Keep your chest expanded and shoulders down. Pull your self in as close as you can so that your nose touches your shin.
4.Take your left hand and grab on to the wrist of your right arm across the bottom of your foot. Variation: You may make the ‘Om’ symbol with your right hand, or to decrease intensity, keep holding your foot at the outside edges. Gaze at the big toes in the sky. Maintain the pose for at least 10 seconds and gradually increase the length of the pose as you develop greater core strength.
Benefits
- Strengthens and tones the core, abdominals and spine
- Helps to improve digestion
- Improves balance
- Increases stamina
- Stretches hamstrings, shoulders and wrists

Cautions
- Low blood pressure
- Pregnancy
- Asthma

- See more at: http://www.mryoga.com/seated/#sthash.WqOR3h2L.dpuf

utorok 3. decembra 2013

My Favourite :)

Sit in Half Lotus - place your left foot across your right leg - twist to the left, right hand on your left knee and left hand on the mat

Raise your left arm up

Lean to the right - stay here for few breaths and repeat to the other side

pondelok 2. decembra 2013

news - news - news - news

*next week's I'm doing a Party Make Up course
 
*week after that I'm doing my Indoor Cycling course (with Rep's points, too )
 
*in a few weeks I will finish my T'ai Chi Chuan course
 
*couple of weeks after that I will finish my Pilates course
 
*I will teach at least one class a week in DLL from January
 
*maybe I will have one more evening class of Power Yoga in DLC - I asked today
 
*there is a posibolity I will have a permanent class in HRLC

Have a nice evening, see some of you in the evening
Namaste!

nedeľa 1. decembra 2013

A Year of Teaching...

Today is a veeeery special day for me...

It's been already a year since I began to teach yoga - and I love it!

I also broke my ribs a year ago - I will be more careful today...

And in this year I met so many new people! (I have to admit that I'm not a very sociable person - or at least - I wasn't. But I got used to meeting and getting to know people...) And I'm so happy for everyone I know, all of you tought me something new, even if you don't realise that

Have a very nice Sunday!
Namaste!


sobota 30. novembra 2013

Yoga Poses for Cramps!

Got cramps? You're not alone. Many women suffer from severe menstrual pain (known as dysmenorrhea) with sharp, throbbing, burning, or nauseating cramps in their lower abdomen and back. The cramps may come right before you get your period or during, but thankfully they go away when your period is over. 

These crippling, can't-get-through-your-normal-day kind of cramps are caused by uterine contractions and can be aggravated by emotional stress. They tend to cause headaches and a really heavy flow — twice the fun. Some women take pain meds to deal, but you may want to give these yoga poses a try, since getting your body moving (and out of fetal position on the couch) can really help with cramps.

And, while exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing when you're on your period, studies have also proven that physical activity can lessen pain and cramping; it's worth getting yourself to yoga class.
According to studies, relieving menstrual pain is all about loosening the pelvis, which means a) resting during the first few days of menstruation and b) minimizing stress, both of which can be helped a long way by regular yoga practice. It is recommended to back off of a full yoga practice during your period to give yourself a rest and incorporating the following combination of relaxing, pelvis opening moves four to five times per week before or during your period:


Butterfly Pose
This is a great preventive pose for menstruation issues. It opens up the groin and allows the lumbar to rest, the areas that usually hurt during menstruation pains.


Supta Virasana
If you have problems with digestion during menstruation, this pose can help; it also improves blood circulation and helps energize the legs, which tend to feel heavy during your period.

Virasana/Child's Pose
You've probably done this pose in every yoga class you've ever taken, but this restorative pose is great for lengthening the lower spine and releasing tension.

Half Bound Squat
Hip pain can be part of the whole cramp scene, so stretching them out feels really good.

Arching Pigeon
Pigeon opens your hips, but sometimes it feels better to work one side at a time. This variation will also stretch out the lower belly.

One-Armed Camel
Stretching out your abs and the front of the hips can also relieve cramps. 

Embrio Pose
If you feel cramps in your lower back, then this pose is sure to offer relaxation and relief.

Eagle Twist
Here's a relaxing way to increase side-to-side spinal flexibility, which can also help relieve pain in the lower belly and lower back.


Sun Salutation with a Warrior I.

Inhale - Raise your arms up
Lift your chest, drop your shoulders
Exhale - Lean forward
Inhale - Straighten your back
Exhale - Step your right leg back
Inhale - Drop the heel down, raise the arms up, square your hips and shoulders, lift your chest and drop the shoulders
Exhale - Place the hands on the mat and step back with your left leg into Downward Facing Dog
Inhale - Slowly come forward into the Plank Pose
Exhale - Lower yourself down into Chaturanga Dandasana
Inhale - Arch your back - Upward Facing Dog
Exhale - Lift your tailbone up - Downward Facing Dog
Inhale - Lift your right leg up
Exhale - Step the right foot forward
Inhale - Raise the arms up
Exhale - Forward Fold
Inhale - arms up
Exhale - Mountain Pose