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.

štvrtok 30. októbra 2014

Practice 29th Oct 2014







štvrtok 23. októbra 2014

NEW TIMETABLE Thursday 23rd Oct- Sunday 2nd Nov


Thursday 
5pm Power Yoga Storm Gym
7pm Hatha Yoga DLL
8.30 Fitness Yoga HRLC

Friday
9.30am Hatha Yoga DLL
12.10am Pilates cover DLHatfield

Saturday
9.30am Hatha Yoga Hitchin
10.30am Ta Chi Hitchin
12.30pm Power Yoga Dunstable LC
13.30pm Anti Natal Yoga Dunstable LC

Sunday
10am Pilates Bannatyne´s Luton 
11.15pm Yoga Bannatyne's Luton

Monday
11.30am Fitness Yoga Hitchin 
2pm Pilates cover HLStevenage
6pm Pilates Leighton Buzzard
8pm Power Yoga Dunstable

Tuesday
7.30pm Pilates DLL

Wednesday 
12.30 Yoga cover Bannatyne's Luton
6pm Tai Chi 
8pm Yoga Pure gym 

Thursday 
9.30 Pilates cover DLL
5pm Power Yoga Storm Gym
7pm Hatha Yoga DLL
8.30 Fitness Yoga HRLC

Friday
9.30am Hatha Yoga DLL
7pm Yoga cover Bannatyne's Luton 

Saturday
9.30am Hatha Yoga Hitchin
10.30am Ta Chi Hitchin
12.30pm Power Yoga Dunstable LC
13.30pm Anti Natal Yoga Dunstable LC

Sunday
10am Pilates Bannatyne´s Luton 
11.15pm Yoga Bannatyne's Luton 

streda 22. októbra 2014

Using bandha to control energy from the breath

Two poles of a battery between which energy flows – in this way bandhas conduct breath through the body. Working against the force of gravity and achieving lightness. Here you will find the necessary bandha know-how...

Bandha allows energy to flow. This is technically something very subtle. Therefore physical action and muscle contraction are only a small part of bandha. Mula Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha are the two most important valves in Ashtanga Yoga.

Mula Bandha is introduced with the contraction of the pelvic floor muscles. Imagine, that you urgently need the toilet, but there isn’t one around, you’re probably already using Mula Bandha. To strengthen weak pelvic floor muscles, Keigel recommends that you practise stopping the flow of urine when using the toilet. Alternately contracting the muscles to the front and then the rear and then concentrate on achieving a gentle contraction somewhere in the middle, you are now one step closer to Mula Bandha. Activate this Mula Bandha at the end of an inhalation, as the exhalation starts. Draw the pelvic floor in and up.

You achieve Uddiyana Bandha, by gently drawing the stomach inwards. At the end of an exhalation, when the need to inhale begins, imagine a golden thread that is attached two fingers width under the navel, that is pulling in and up. From and anatomical viewpoint, the transverse abdominal muscles will be lightly activated.

Mula Bandha is linked to exhalation, Uddiyana Bandha to inhalation. Both bandhas remain continuously activated throughout the whole practise. To begin with this is very difficult and you will keep noticing that you’ve forgotten the bandhas. See this though as a success as you have reminded yourself. With practise you’ll remind yourself about bandhas time and time again, until it will become a constant companion to your practise.

From and anatomical viewpoint, these two bandhas support breathing. Try it out for yourself (Read the text slowly aloud, with a short pause after each section):

Lie completely relaxed on the floor, on your back. Shut your eyes and breathe calmly in and out through your nose. Lay one hand on your navel. You can feel how your abdomen rises with each inhalation and falls with the exhalation. What you are actually feeling, is the action of your diaphragm, which contracts under the ribcage during inhalation thereby pushing the abdominal organs forward.

With the next exhalation, activate Mula bandha and then Uddhyana Bandha with the following inhalation. Now the stomach can no longer rise up, but the diaphragm is contracting like before. The diaphragm presses against the abdominal organs that are being supported in front by Uddiyana Bandha and from below by Mula Bandha. As a result of this support of the abdominal organs during inhalation, the diaphragm lifts the ribcage.

Notice that during breathing, these two bandhas are inseparably connected. Both are necessary, to firmly support breathing.
Due to the combined effect of the bandhas with the breath, firmness in the torso, length in the spinal column and room for movement are created. Stability in the torso is essential for powerful body movement. Only a stable torso can be raised into almost breathtaking handstands. The length created in the spine minimises pressure on the intervertebral discs during deep forward bends and avoids a possible impact of the spinous processes of the vetebrae during seemingly impossible backbends. The sucked-in belly also achieves space for various Asanas (postures) in which excessive volume in this area would be a disadvantage.

Bandha is frankly a natural reflex for powerful movement of the body. You can observe how bandhas are activated on their own when you lift a heavy object. Gymnasts, acrobats, bungy-jumpers, ballet dancers and other athletes know this power house under various names and use it as an essential aid in their sport.

Energetically, the bandhas create two opposing forces like the poles of a battery, between which energy can flow. Mula Bandha draws energy towards the lower end of the spine, into the Muladhara Chakra; It stands for the element Earth. Mula Bandha connects you with this earthed energy, giving you firmness and stability. Uddiyana Bandha literally means „flying up“. Uddiyana Bandha draws Prana (energy) out of it’s foundation, the Muladhara Chakra, up through the spinal column. Uddiyana Bandha connects you with the element air, the energy of the Anahata Chakra in the middle of the ribcage. Uddiyana Bandha gives lightness, helping you to overcome the force of gravity.

In the beginning there was nothing and out of the nothingness there came sound. This original sound is called Spanda. The vibration of this first sound divided the nothingness into two opposing forces. Like plus and minus, which together again give nothing. The whole universe exists in the field created by these opposing forces, in the vibration of this original sound. If the sound fades into silence, then the universe will disintegrate again into nothingness. As it is described in the Tantra. The whole cosmos is a temporary dance between the two opposing forces, ascending energy (Prana) and descending energy (Apana), inhalation and exhalation, male und female, light and dark, hard and soft, positive and negative, sun and moon, destroying and procreating – Uddiyana Bandha and Mula Bandha.

The practise of Ashtanga Yoga symbolises the dance of opposites, that the world make up. With each inhalation you strive to move upward, to expand, with each exhalation you root yourself firmly in the ground, becoming small and compact. With each inhalation, Uddhyana Bandha conducts energy upwards, allowing you to become light, connecting you with the air. With each exhalation Mula Bandha conducts energy downwards, letting you become heavy, connecting you with the earth. If the forces of opposition in you are in balance, then you will find yourself in internal harmony and bodily health.

Jalandhara Bandha is the third energetic valve that you can use in Ashtanga Yoga. You can achieve Jalandhara Bandha, when you lower the chin a little. Roll your tongue back and up against the palate and smile slightly. Jalandhara Bandha redirects the ascending energy in the spinal column in a spiral motion forwards. Jalandhara Bandha connects you with the ether element, with the Ajna Chakra in the middle of the head. The chin is not lowered in all positions. Nevertheless the energetic quality of Jalandhara Bandha persists.

Drishti - Focus Points

Drishti literally means “perception”. Drishti is the specific point at which to look or focus the gaze when practicing yoga. Looking at the Drishti focuses the mind and brings the concentration inwards.

“When we meditate we lock our optical nerve. When we lock the optical nerve the whole head is locked, your mind stops varying. The Drishtis that lock the optical nerve are: brow point, tip of the nose, chin. The eyes close while looking at the chin and then the eyes are 9/10 closed looking to the tip of the nose; this is the safest of all. When this happens, mind, body and soul are in line. Through physical control, the subconscious mind releases all kind of thoughts. When you have a negative thought it goes horizontal, and when you chant a mantra it goes up, changing negative into positive. That’s how you consume your subconscious mind, and when the subconscious mind is empty, the conscious mind is clear and you don’t have nightmares.”  -- Yogi Bhajan

Our goal when practicing Yoga is to look inside of ourselves, to  listen to the bodily functions, and disengage from the outside world.

Guruji has written that the Drishti is interconnected with the breath and the number of Vinyasa. Odd numbers of Vinyasa or inhalations, where the head moves upward, are linked to the third eye; even numbers of Vinyasa, or exhalations, where the head moves down, are linked to the tip of the nose.

Looking up toward the body (anything overhead including the third eye) has an expansive effect on the body. Looking downward (particularly the nose or navel) keeps the attention inwards and stable.

The most common Drishti is the nose, nasagrai drishti, and it is connected to the root lock, or Mula Bhanda.

The nine traditional points are:

Nose or nasagrai drishti
Upwards or urdhva drishti
Third eye or ajna chakra drishti
Hand or hastagrai drishti
Thumbs or angustha madyai drishti
Right side or parsva drishti
Navel or nabi drishti
Foot or padayoragrai drishti

TIPS

There is no Drishti given when moving between asanas. Instead, the gaze should be kept low and focused internally.
During practice, it is not advisable to look around.
In downward facing dog the drishti is the navel, but if this makes the spine hunch look to the nose instead.
In most of the forward bends the drishti is the foot, but if this creates too much tension in the neck look to the nose instead.
If looking at the nose makes you cross-eyed or gives you a headache, maintain the gaze in the same direction. This will keep your concentration.

utorok 21. októbra 2014

Yoga for Children

This is my second lesson of this course, but I am so impressed with all the information I am learning, I feel like I can have a baby and I will be able to deal with him :)

All the poses and exercises you can do with kids, it's amazing! 

I haven't been so lucky to practice with any baby, so far, so here are just few pics from net to show you what can you do then you have a little baby at home :) 







utorok 14. októbra 2014

Timetable 15.-22nd Oct 2014

Ok, I have planned the classes for the next week, starting tomorrow, let´s see the schedule then 

Wednesday
9.30 Yoga cover DLL
6pm Tai Chi Hitchin
8pm Yoga Pure Gym

Thursday
5pm Yoga Storm Gym
7pm Hatha Yoga DLL
8.30pm Fitness Yoga HRLC

Friday
9.30am Hatha Yoga DLL
11am Pilates cover HRLC

Saturday
9.30am Hatha Yoga Hitchin
10.30am Ta Chi Hitchin
12.30pm Power Yoga Dunstable LC
13.30pm Anti Natal Yoga Dunstable LC

Sunday
10am Pilates Bannatyne´s Luton 
11.15pm Yoga Bannatyne's Luton

Monday
11.30am Fitness Yoga Hitchin 
6pm Pilates Leighton Buzzard
8pm Power Yoga Dunstable

Tuesday
6pm Pilates cover Bannatyne´s Luton
7.30pm Pilates DLL

Wednesday 
6pm Tai Chi - check with the Reception about this class, I will be away
8pm Yoga Pure gym _ the class will start at 8.15 and our lovely Jane will be taking this class


VIBRO Yoga

***NEW***

Ladies and gentlemen, 
I would like to announce a new way how to do yoga effectively 
- by using a Vibro Plate for our asanas. 

Vibro Plate is one of the most efficient training devices in the world, based on technology developed by the Russian space program and backed by 40 years of clinical research.  Through vibration, instability is created in the body producing a workout that's 4X more efficient than a typical workout.  Holding a 30 second plank is equivalent to 2 minutes - a 15 minute workout equals 1 hour at the gym!

pondelok 13. októbra 2014

Lovely people in my classes :)

Archers Gym Hitchin

Dunstable Leisure Centre Monday's class

Houghton Regis L C 
Dunstable L C Saturday's class

piatok 10. októbra 2014

Is Vinyasa Yoga for You?

Vinyasa yoga, in which movement is synchronized to the breath, is a term that covers a broad range of yoga classes. This style is sometimes also called flow yoga, because of the smooth way that the poses run together and become like a dance. The breath becomes an important component because the teacher will instruct you to move from one pose to the next on an inhale or an exhale. Vinyasa is literally translated from Sanskrit as meaning "connection,". In terms of yoga asana, we can interpret this as a connection between movement and breath.

A cat-cow stretch is an example of a very simple vinyasa, because the spine is arched on an inhale and rounded on an exhale. A sun salutation sequence is an example of a more complex vinyasa. Each movement in the series is done on an inhalation or an exhalation.

This style allows for a lot of variety, but will almost certainly include sun salutations. Expect movement, not just stretching. Whether the class is fast or slow, includes chanting, or is very alignment-oriented will depend on the individual teacher. Some very popular yoga styles, such as Ashtanga and Power Yoga, make use of the vinyasa method, but they are most often called by their individual names for the sake of clarity.

When vinyasa is used as a noun, it describes a series of three poses that are done as part of a sun salutation sequence. When the teacher says, "go through the vinyasa at your own pace," she means do plank, chaturanga, and upward facing dog.

Is Vinyasa Yoga for You?
Vinyasa’s strength is in its diversity. There is no single philosophy, rulebook, or sequence that teachers must follow, so there is a lot of room for individual personalities and quirks to come through. This makes it essential that you find a teacher you enjoy and can relate to. If your first flow class doesn’t rock your world, keep trying different teachers. If you like having things a little loose and unpredictable and like to keep moving, this style is definitely worth a try.


štvrtok 2. októbra 2014

British Yoga Festival 2014

Oooooh yes! I found on FB that there is a British Yoga Festival 5-7th Dec and guess what? I can go on Friday!!! :) :) I am sooooo happy! I've already booked my Friday ticket with 2 workshops :)

Anna Karides
15.00 – 16.00
Ticket Price: £12
AcroYoga blends the wisdom of yoga, the dynamic power of acrobatics, and the loving kindness of healing arts. These three lineages form the foundation of a practice that cultivates trust, playfulness, and community; enabling the participants to explore the body and it’s unlimited potential. Open to ALL! No previous experience required, no partner needed.

David Sye
17:00 – 18:30
Ticket Price: £13
(Workshop 2)
Tequila is known as “the nectar of the gods” and for good reason … The nectar from the Agave plant has been used for centuries as a ritual beverage and a ceremonial offering to the Gods and all Holy beings, it is believed that those who drink from the Agave will live happily ever after. Couple this with the huge benefits that yogabeats sessions already offer and you are looking at a yoga experience that will undoubtedly rock your very core! Bringing you to an exquisite place of existence where, thinking ceases, rules are broken and risks are taken, the risk to be wild, spontaneous, happy and free!! Come join the fun … you won’t be disappointed

streda 1. októbra 2014

Release What No Longer Serves You




As we breathe through our asana practice, 
we are reminded to release tension; 
to let go of tension in the body, as well as tension in the mind. 
As we live our lives off of our yoga mats, very often we cling. 
We cling to our habits, relationships, and attachments even if they no longer serve us.


Learning to release what no longer serves may be our greatest challenge, but one that will reveal a reservoir of self-love with depths we have never imagined