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Seamus Casey was born into the conflict and turmoil of Northern Ireland. Having been practising yoga for over 20 years, he now teaches classes at several gyms and bodywork centres across London including Re:Centre, Total Chi and The North London Buddhist Centre. He works as an actor in Radio and TV and as a musician, he plays piano, guitar, drums and loves to sing. He lives in Muswell Hill and the majority of his time is joyously spent with his three sons: Henry-Joy, Corrado and Claude.

When Seamus Casey dropped into the Yogamatters office to discuss equipment for the yoga class he’s setting up in a local school, we were interested to hear about his yoga journey – and when we heard it, we thought you might like to hear it too! Seamus speaks of his life with an honesty that is both inspiring and challenging.

How and when were you first introduced to yoga? What were your first impressions?

I first came to yoga in the early 90’s whilst based out of NYC where I was working as a musician. A dear friend was adamant that yoga was a possible direction I should head in and gently persuaded me to attend a class with them. I got something from the class. I was active as a child. I had been into Ju-Jitsu and Karate and enjoyed stretching; simple hamstring and shoulder stretches with the idea in mind that this would enhance my ability to kick and punch, but yoga was different. Yoga seemed complicated. I was breathless. I was out of sync with what I perceived was going on and I was slightly bemused bordering on confused by it all.

It was a while though before I attended another yoga class. I think I was dismayed by my perception that “I wasn’t good at yoga” and stayed away as a result. There were other reasons too. I loved to party. Self-care wasn’t very high on the agenda in those days. I know today that simply turning up for the class is a great act of gaining knowledge and participating in a yoga practice.

I returned to Ireland in 1996. I actively sought out a yoga teacher in the local area. I phoned a few only to be advised that men didn’t attend the classes. Fortunately, I found a job with a theatre company and was delighted to be invited to participate in the warm up sessions with the dancers and actors. They were encouraging long, deep stretches and taught me basic sun and moon salutations. This was invaluable as I quickly gained some confidence in the sequences.

I am very grateful for the care and attention they gave me. It just takes one person to take a little time with another person and show them how to do something to develop understanding.

Soon after this, I applied to drama school for a three-year course in acting. This was where I developed a real taste for yoga practice. Each day, we began with a vinyasa style yoga class. This loosened us up for other body, voice and breathing work. A lot of modern voice training techniques have a solid grounding in more ancient yoga practice. In the book ‘Basic Guidelines for Teachers of Yoga’ by B.K.S. Iyengar and Geeta S. Iyengar, there is a section titled, ‘The Importance of Voice while teaching and the use of clear language. This was a skill I learned at drama school – how to use my voice effectively, so when I discovered the emphasis Iyengar placed upon it, it was a relief.

From 2000, you studied Iyengar Yoga for four years with the same teacher and started on your teacher training. What changed?

After drama school, I moved to North London and again sought out a yoga class. I found a class at a local gym. For the best part of a year, I was the only student at the class. This was a phenomenal time. I benefited greatly from the one to one tuition.

It was an Iyengar class and though the work was challenging, the reward of the practice far outweighed the physical effort of the asana.

I maintained a regular practice with this teacher for several years and she was instrumental in encouraging me to join a teacher training course which I did in 2006.

I discovered Yogamatters around this time. I loved the shop in Woodgreen. I would drop in and chat with Paul. If there was anything I needed for my yoga practice, he would come to an arrangement. I would help move some shelves or help with a delivery and the equipment was payment. I completed the first year of Iyengar teacher training. In the same year my first son was born. My partner returned to work and I became a stay at home dad during the week and took a part-time job which consumed the weekends. I loved the time with my son and two more children after that, but I took no time for myself. My sleep patterns changed and I allowed my yoga practice to slip away. I also slipped into the habit of beer and wine in the evenings which ruled out any morning yoga practice the following day. Partly, the boom in yoga merchandising around this time fuelled my disenchantment with a practice. One thing I had loved about yoga was that it was a little ‘out there’ on the margins of hippiness and although I believed the world could benefit from a practice, I watched as it moved into the mainstream of the public consciousness.

How, when and why did you return to a yoga practice?

My youngest child started preschool in 2012. I suddenly had time on my hands. I was 130 kgs. I was unfit and not very happy. I returned to a yoga class. It was hard work. I was very conscious of my belly and my inability to twist. A few of the standing postures were still in my body and I knew that I had to get back into shape. I became quite obsessive and pushed myself very hard. Too hard. I ended up in an ambulance on my way to hospital having suffered a heart attack.

I came out of the hospital with a renewed vigour to regain my body and live a healthier life. I met people at the Cardio Recovery clinic who were returning regularly with heart problems.

I took this as a serious message that a complete overhaul of my life was necessary: what I ate, when I slept and how I exercised.

I returned to yoga gently. I took it easy. I researched what is needed for healthy hearts. I researched what maverick physicians are prescribing to heart patients around the world and discounted nothing. I attended lots of yoga classes as a student. I took a job as a receptionist at Total Chi, a yoga studio in Baker Street who were amazing and allowed me to work around my children’s school hours. One of the great things about London is the sheer choice of yoga classes available every day.

My GP tells me I am very healthy and have the resting heart rate of a 25-year-old professional athlete. I like telling people this.

And how is life looking now as a yoga teacher, a dad and an actor?

It was while working at Total Chi that one of the teachers advised me to return to Yoga Teacher Training. I spoke to several teachers who recommended Sampoorna Yoga in Goa. I sold my car and went there for 5 weeks. The training was rigorous and I hope to return there soon. We learn to teach and we teach to learn. It’s been three years. I am in regular contact with teachers from there and have developed great friendships with people I met on the course.

I have been fortunate to have gained classes quite quickly after my return from India. A local gym needed a yoga teacher and I have been there for over two years with a fantastic group of regular students. I feel very honoured that I am asked back to cover for teachers. I also taught acting students at Drama school in London for 2 years.

The benefit of having a sustained teaching practice and getting to see different bodies in asana is invaluable. This month, I am a guest teacher at Re:Centre concluding with a workshop for men on 27th July. These days are the greatest days.

Today, yoga has given me a life I never dreamed was possible.

My children are healthy, happy and adventurous. I have three boys and it is fantastic to keep up with them. Last year, I learned to back flip on a trampoline. A fortnight ago, I started to front flip. I have immense gratitude for everything I have and also for the things I wanted that didn’t come my way.

I work as an actor too. My agent and I discussed that I am not available for work that takes me away from my boys for extended periods and I get a few days here and there on film and TV drama as well as voiceover work. I teach yoga nearly every day and this allows me to be back in time for the school pick up. I attend a variety of classes as a student and always come away from a class with a nugget of information I didn’t have before. Sometimes I’m reluctant to practise but when I do, I always feel better. Sometimes I’m in a yoga class and I think, ‘Never again – why am I putting myself through this?’ and by the conclusion of the class, I realise it has been the greatest class ever and I have reached places which last week seemed like a million miles away.

Yoga is not a competition. Everyone attending a yoga class is a winner – by simply turning up.

 

The post Seamus Casey tells how returning to yoga has been the best thing appeared first on Yogamatters Blog.

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Yogamatters Blog by Trisha Champaneri - 1w ago

When you first begin going to yoga classes, it can be difficult to know exactly what is involved in all of the different styles.  In this post, we aim to provide some insight into what you can expect in a typical hatha class.  The short answer is that all movement based yoga involving posture can technically be called hatha yoga, as hatha means effort.  However this doesn’t necessarily help you understand what your average hatha specific class is likely to consist of, so let’s break it down…

Through the practice, we are essentially creating awareness on multiple levels – physical, mental, emotional and energetic.  There are many forces present within each of us and the practice of hatha yoga helps us become aware of our current state, allowing us to create space and balance.  Light and dark, masculine and feminine, hot and cool, effort and relaxation, tension and ease.  This shifting of the many aspects is really helpful when we think about the role of different poses within a class.  Typically speaking, a hatha practice will involve a combination of some or all of the following:

Warm up

The warm up in a Hatha class, this is usually very gentle and rooted with the breath.  When I teach a warm up, my main aim is to create some movement in the spine and also to being releasing tension in the key areas of the body that can get tight – hips, shoulders, hamstrings for instance.

Standing postures

Reminding ourselves of this idea of opposition, the standing poses help us to feel grounded and rooted through the soles of the feet, whilst also creating space and growing towards the sky.  You can think of standing poses like chewing gum, being stretched in either direction, finding space in the spine, arms and legs, lengthening and toning.

Balances

Usually, once we’ve established stability through some standing poses, it’s time to make things interesting and work into balances.  These asanas are fantastic for creating focus, for teaching our body to adapt and to concentrate the strength laid down in the foundations of the standing section.  In balances, we are building the deep core muscles which stabilise and also find stillness – both physically and mentally.

Seated postures

I think of seated postures as the part of the practice which really helps us work internally.  Forward folds and twists help us massage our internal organs, improving blood flow and digestion.  During the seated part of the practice, we also stretch the legs without bearing weight and also bring space and release to the lower back.

Backbends

I love every element of a hatha class, but I have to say that when we get to backbends that’s my favourite part.  Here we create space in the front body, stretching the abdomen and opening the heart space.  Backbends, when performed safely are fantastic for helping to improve posture and alleviate back pain.

Inversions

When beginning a practice, inversions can be quite daunting.  When you understand their role, I think it makes them a bit less scary.  Firstly, inversions can assist the flow of lymph around the body, which helps us cleanse internally.  In a restorative inversion we help calm or balance the nervous system.  In a more active inversion we build strength in the upper body and challenge ourselves to find the correct alignment and centre of gravity.

Savasana

At first it’s easy to underestimate the significance of this pose.  Despite the fact that you’re just lying down, there is an incredible amount happening in savasana.  The physical body is processing the practice, and for that matter so is the nervous system, the subconscious and the subtle body!  Releasing what you need to release and absorbing what you need to absorb, this posture gives your entire being the time it needs to make sense of the practice that you’ve worked so hard on.  Whatever you do, don’t scrimp on this all important pose!

Ultimately I think that trying a few different classes is the best way to go.  Finding a teacher whose style resonates with you and a level of class which suits your ability is the key.

The post What is Hatha Yoga? appeared first on Yogamatters Blog.

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Using a belt and brick in a forearm balance will help to engage the serratus anterior muscles to find stability in the shoulders to hold Pincha Mayurasana. Here are 3 simple steps to get you started.

1. Measure a belt across the width of your shoulders and loop the belt to that width. Test the loop is stable and doesn’t move when pulled at either end.

2. Place the belt into both arms, just above your elbows so that your forearms remain shoulder width apart.

3. Come down onto the knees and place the forearms onto the mat creating a box shape with the arms, place a brick in between the hands and frame the brick with the thumbs in an L shape.

The post Pincha Mayurasana with a Yoga Belt appeared first on Yogamatters Blog.

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Welcome to Wild Yoga, yoga and thought with Theo Wildcroft. As we entered into conversation with Theo, it soon became apparent that she practises an awful lot of both: yoga and thought! This fascinating conversation could have gone on for hours, but it is a pleasure to present here the highlights from that discussion which encompassed authenticity, vulnerability, post-lineage yoga and much, much more!

On your Homepage, you describe yourself as a yoga teacher, a lover of vulnerable people and a doctoral researcher. How did these three things come about and how do they each now fit into a regular week for you?

I think I’ve always been interested in the margins and in people who pick their way towards healing along paths that weren’t built with them in mind, and I think that’s what unites those passions. I trained as a yoga teacher, like most people, because I was really humbled by what the practice was bringing me, and I wanted to understand it better. I’ve worked most of my life in some form of informal education, so I’m used to deepening my understanding of a subject beyond my personal experience by sharing it with others.

And then really quite early on in my yoga teaching journey, I started to ask myself how positive the benefits of the practice could be if they weren’t being adapted to the needs, life experiences and acquired wisdom of the most marginalised people. So rather than seeking to modify a standard practice of yoga for different bodies, I started to ask myself what those bodies needed and already knew how to do.

That put me at odds with the universalised and standardised methods of yoga that I had originally trained in, and for that and other reasons I found myself in alternative communities of yoga teachers and practitioners, coming together at little events and festivals, on the margins of yoga culture itself. And from there, I started to notice that the major cultural stories about yoga only talked about the ‘superficial’ mainstream yoga and the ‘authentic’ traditions they were based on, and it all seemed very simplistic and wasn’t even mentioning this rich diversity of practice that I had discovered. And after ranting about that for a while, a friend said that if I wanted to research it, he’d supervise it, and that’s how I fell into doing a PhD with the Open University, which I completed in March this year.

So now I’m busy turning that into a book, and planning the next, and also still teaching, although not as much, and mostly the specialist work, in schools and respite centres a few times a week. That and my last three regular teaching gigs in small community centres keeps me very grounded, and it is in some ways a contrast with the work I’m also doing now training yoga teachers, and talking at conferences, and other interesting things that people invite me to. It’s a tricky balance, and my diary is extremely finely balanced, because I’m doing a lot of work, and it doesn’t quite add up to a proper income yet! But I’m testing my research conclusions with new communities and new audiences and there are a lot of good conversations happening with new friends and allies. Last week I went directly from lecturing to 200 yoga teachers at the first International Yoga Nidra Conference and co-organising an upcoming panel with colleagues on 3 continents, to leading practice for 5 people in a village hall and then dealing with a group of teens with moderate learning difficulties who really were not in the mood for concentrating after a long hot day at college. It’s a good recipe for not allowing success to enlarge the ego!

In terms of your teaching, what word best sums up the key to being a yoga teacher – safety, freedom, accessibility, authenticity, or something else entirely?

All those things are vital, some of them to the practice, some of them to the teaching of the practice. But it’s fascinating to me how often we in yoga culture fail to separate the two in terms of what’s necessary. The skills of teaching are not the same as the skills of practising. But there is a word that links them, and it’s the foundation of both for me: relationship. How are we coming together, as practitioners in our practice, and as teachers and students? What’s needed to get those relationships right?

When it comes to yoga practice and yoga therapy for survivors of trauma, how feasible is it to create a framework of training in how to get this right? How did you come to the yoga practice you offer and the way in which you offer it for ‘vulnerable people’?

Well, firstly, I know there are many that see me as a specialist in trauma, but as a teacher, I’m more of a specialist in accessibility. And interestingly, my research comes to the conclusion that the direction of evolution in yoga teaching can currently be best observed in many ways by watching what’s happening to both accessibility and trauma sensitivity as movements emerging into prominence right now.

In both cases, the dilemma is how to keep people safe whilst celebrating and encouraging the freedom to diversify the practice in ways that can serve a greater population of people. And really, what it takes is a more democratic approach to practice, and that challenges the traditional teacher-student relationship but also the modern therapy-client relationship in many ways.

The fact is that survivors and marginalised people alike are the experts on how their own bodies and minds work. That doesn’t mean we have nothing to help. But it’s about offering tools more for self-awareness and self-knowledge more than prescribing practices as if they were remedies. It’s a change in how we approach teaching, far more than the practices we teach. I’m always asking myself: where is the place where my practice tools, the shared and agreed aim, and the embodied experience of the student meet? That’s a very different way of teaching, and it may look nothing like your average yoga class.

And I keep reminding people of two things. One, survivors have been coming to yoga and quietly finding ways to heal for far longer than trauma-sensitive yoga has been a thing, and two, that in a given yoga class, you might have trauma survivors, people actively dealing with traumatic levels of stress, people who have been harmed within another yoga environment, and a yoga teacher who worked through their own issues with trauma in the practice. So it’s not about starting to heal trauma through yoga as a new adjunct therapy for me. It’s about recognising that survivors are finding both healing and harm in yoga and have been for a long time.

In terms of your PhD, what kind of researcher are you and where is this type of research at, both in the UK and across the world?

I’m an ethnographer, in the discipline of Religious Studies. That means I study what people are actually doing, and why, not what used to happen, or what should happen, or what works. This is one of the best academic subjects to do this kind of research in, because RS is naturally very diverse in method and in subject. So I have colleagues studying everything from evolving attitudes to gender in the Church of England, to how far we can use folklore theory to explain online memes, or conversion narratives to understand communities of conspiracy theorists.

There’s also a tiny and growing field of Yoga Studies specifically that’s becoming more important. We had a major meeting concerning a planned collection of Yoga Studies essays in London recently, and we all stood on the steps of SOAS university building, and honestly, you could have dropped a big rock on us and wiped out 90% of the researchers into yoga, at least outside of India and outside of the sciences.

We’re Sanskritists and historians, cultural theorists and observers, looking at everything from previously untranslated ancient texts to the connection between modern yoga in Russia and the occult. So those of us looking at the contemporary picture are an even smaller subset of that. In that context, my thesis is receiving extremely good feedback, and people are saying that it’s a whole new paradigm for understanding the evolution of practice. Which is nice.

Coming back to authenticity, what does authenticity really mean in the world of yoga?

That’s a great and ever-evolving question. Asking it is a really good way of finding out how a given yoga teacher ticks. Which is why I ask the question a lot and try to listen without my own prejudices getting in the way.

At present, the emerging model of authenticity is moving beyond the ‘my teacher said it so it must be true’ answer that has dominated modern yoga in the last century. It rests, in general, on three sources of authority. The contemporary yoga practitioner-teacher must balance external information from experts (coming from the tradition or new research), with internal validation (testing with the inner sense of what works, based on practice and experience), with relational confirmation (checking in with your peers, online or more authentic still, with your sangha). That’s a model that moves beyond the lineage as the sole source of authenticity, which is why I’m calling it post-lineage yoga. It doesn’t mean throwing out tradition entirely.

And it’s most interesting in how little attention we often give to the last one. People seem to think that if you move away from lineage at all, then it’s ‘anything goes’ and the individual is free to do what they like. In reality, yoga practitioners are endlessly discussing together whether something is authentically yoga or not, and while they may disagree on the individual cases of ‘goat yoga’ or ‘beer yoga’, the overall consensus is surprisingly consistent. The peer network holds us all to account without official interference. I find that fascinating. And as a teacher, I do work in a post-lineage way, otherwise I don’t think I’d ever have known about it to want to research it. But as a researcher, I’m not advocating for post-lineage yoga. As a response to any perceived issues within the lineages, it’s what people with an independent ethical foundation do when they think the direct teachings they received aren’t enough. It’s not a model for structural change on its own, or a banner to march under. I think it is a hashtag already though!

From your own experience and observation, how is the perception of yoga changing in the modern world right now? What are the main trends in the conversation around yoga?

What’s tiring is the often huge gap between public perceptions of yoga, and the reality of the practice. It can mean that teachers are always resisting the pull by financial forces to conform to a superficial, media-created version of the practice, when they themselves have a much deeper relationship to the teachings. If the people who think they’ll like yoga are coming with a very different idea of it than what you’re offering, that can be very depressing. And I think because of this, the longer you teach, sometimes, the less you’re able to provide the kinds of classes that draw lots of people, but the more loyal the students you do have.

And that’s fine, it is what it is. What’s more worrying to me is that there are lots of marginalised people who could really benefit from the practice who aren’t because it doesn’t look like yoga is for them. So the answer to both is diversifying the practice, and how we represent it, and the ways in which we offer it, and making sure that when we’re working with those under-served populations, we’re doing so respectfully, and appropriately.

Pivoting between those two questions though, that’s very different to what the trends are in conversations between yoga teachers and serious practitioners. And that has a lot to do with big, often scary questions about accountability, and reconciling with historical abuse in many lineages, and how we make our spaces safer, and whether there will be a place for independent, grassroots yoga teaching when our practices are being extracted and standardised and sold back to us on a million different apps and YouTube channels. Because it won’t matter if we know that’s only a narrow part of what the practice has to offer, if mainstream culture thinks that’s all there is.

In the meantime, the interest in yoga as an adjunct therapy might seem positive, but is likely to involve other tangled issues such as standardisation and replicability and government oversight, and how are we going to resolve that? And all that great new research into yoga brings new understandings of the history and foundations and socio-political context of the practice all the time. So if you’re still reeling from the idea that most modern practices were created or recreated in the 1930s, and far from being the father of yoga, Patanjali’s sutras might have been an obscure and little-known text before that, and you don’t want to have to think about the sexual abuse of practitioners disguised as spiritual assistance by some of the founders of modern yoga, that’s getting harder. Above all, if you want your practice to be an oasis from mundane concerns, that’s going to get more and more difficult. These are in many ways the growing pains of transnational yoga.

You’re fascinated about the significance of symbols and rituals in shaping our world and our world view. What role do symbols and rituals play in a yoga practice/ in your yoga practice?

I think it’s about the ritualisation of everyday life, the magical in the mundane if you like. Coming to a mat (almost) every day, moving through a repertoire of practices that are like embodied memories of core transformational experiences, choosing to check in, to affirm that sacred relationship with the more-than human world that breathes and moves to a different rhythm to the cultural world we spend so much time in.

It’s about weaving into that everything we are, including the domestic disturbances, and the demands of our loved ones, and the crappy days we’ve had. It’s about the things that hold me safe and remind me who I am, from my precious 2m diameter round yoga mat that I redecorate every year, to the battered low Chinese table found in a second-hand shop that I use for an altar. It’s all the tiny murtis I’ve collected over the years. It’s also about the other strands of my religious life – seeing in the dawn at every solstice for well over a decade, with new gods and old, the teachers who taught me to journey, the friends who gifted me a replica sword to represent standing up for the untold stories of the marginalised. It’s about seva and bhakti with the core friends at the heart of my ever-widening sangha.

Robert Orsi talks of the work of Religious Studies scholars almost as an act of justice. That if we do not tell the stories of the marginalised, of the everyday signs and symbols that they pick up to make sense of their world and their suffering and their hope, then all we have left are the legends of the powerful. So even in teaching, I use metaphors and symbols of the small and the miraculously ordinary, the dandelions and the hedgehogs and the spider’s webs. You can learn a lot about what someone values from listening to the symbols they identify with.

As a final question, what is it that you currently love most about yoga and where is it that you are heading?

I think transnational yoga culture and I are both balancing the very real need to listen to where the practice isn’t serving us, with the very real stories of hope from when it does. I’m looking forward to getting my first book finished, and to hanging out with the Accessible Yoga and Yoga Nidra Network sanghas in the months ahead. I’m looking forward to getting back into the fields and festivals where my research started. And there are other milestones ahead, including some truly unprecedented conversations around historical abuse and contemporary safety, about appropriation and access that I’m very glad to be part of, but they’re a lot more bruising. So I’m looking forward to the day when I can meet up with some of my favourite yoga activists and just move and breathe and laugh and eat ice-cream.

The post In conversation with Theo Wildcroft: authenticity, vulnerability and post-lineage yoga appeared first on Yogamatters Blog.

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As we approach Pride here in the UK, we get to experience another sense of connection and unity as we celebrate our similarities and differences, ultimately allowing the lines of ‘I, me, my’ to blur, and accepting each person’s true self. The word yoga can be translated as ‘to connect’, ‘to harness’, ‘join’ and ‘unite’. From the root yuj, this simple four letter phrase has come to represent a transformational, life-affirming and life changing practice. Everyone’s subjective experience of yoga is different, yet the deeper and more profound realisations are often shared by everyone who starts to practice. From a separate island of ‘I, me, my’, a yoga practice often helps expand each person’s awareness, and bring about a sense of connection not only to themselves, but to the people around them.

We Are One

As we wobble and breathe through a yoga class, witness the chattering mind through meditation, and lose ourselves in a mantra practice, we’re able to notice that we are so not alone in this thing called life; your worries and anxieties are felt similarly to the person next to you, you face difficulties and stresses and so do the people around you. You also experience peace at fleeting moments though, a sense of being ‘ok’ even for a moment, a glimpse at life when the boundaries between ‘us’ and ‘them’ are blurred, and we’re just ‘one’. This oneness is the place where magic happens, where compassion is born, where we’re able to communicate far more powerfully, and experience love in its original form.

The many strands of ancient yoga come together to form what we know today, and much of this is influenced by Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – a text containing what are basically guidelines and principles on living a yogic life. One of the primary aspects of this text, and woven throughout almost all yogic teachings, is that of ahimsa, meaning ‘non harming’ and ‘kindness’. All other teachings on the path of yoga are said to derive from the practice of ahimsa. Any action, whether it be physical, mental, emotional or energetic, is encouraged to come from a place of kindness and complete non-harming. On the level of everyday life, we can all think of times we’ve strayed from the path, whilst thinking harmful thoughts, experiencing negative self-talk or speaking harmfully to another. By including ahimsa in our yoga practice both on and off the mat, we start noticing how powerful our thoughts and actions really are. If a thought, word or action can result in harm, then it can also result in love and unity. The difference is in how we think, act and speak….

Standing On The Same Earth

The practice of tantric yoga, which is somewhat different to Patanjali’s system, recognises that a sense of unity and oneness are already inherent in all of us, and that the practice of yoga is really about remembering this. Just as we all experience worries, woes and wonderful moments, the path of tantric yoga expands to say that not only are humans innately connected, but everything around us is too. The life that flows through trees, plants and animals is the same prana or ‘life force’ that runs through us. As we maintain our own spiritual health and wellbeing on a deeper level, we maintain that of our surroundings too. We may not look exactly like those trees and plants outside, but we breathe the same air and stand on the same earth.

The Pride celebrations we see today may seem modern and liberal, but really it all comes back to the practice of yoga, connection, unity, love and oneness. Now that’s something we can definitely all share.

The post Pride 2019: How Yoga Unites Us appeared first on Yogamatters Blog.

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“In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power”; Yuval Noah Harari got it so right when he wrote those words in his powerfully revealing book Sapiens (a highly recommended read). Indeed, information is everywhere, and the answers to almost all questions are just a Google search away. However, with so much noise and so many avenues demanding our attention, it has never been more important to be clear about what we actually want to take in through our senses. Our July Intentions are therefore to take a step back and press pause on all of the inputs; to cultivate clarity.

Monthly Mantra: “Clarity Is Power. I Choose What I Take In & What I Give Out”

The World According To You

We each see the world according to our own perceptions and our own minds. Now it seems we see the world according to our social media feeds too. The very fact that a stream of wholly irrelevant information and other people’s lives is ‘fed’ to us has come to mean that we’re very much in the habit of craving information. We crave it like we might crave sugar, whether it’s relevant and needed or not. Each piece of information we receive through our eyes and ears provides a dopamine hit, a rush of feeling fed ‘something’. But is that something we receive emotionally, mentally or figuratively nutritious?

Do we really need to know what our friends had for dinner yesterday? Or that someone halfway across the world just arrived back from a luxury holiday? Do we really need to consume the latest celebrity news, gossip headlines, junk mail, promotions and online arguments? Statistics are ever more pointing to the answer, ‘no’.

Multiple studies conducted throughout the UK and the US over the past few years have found a correlation between heavy use of social media and mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. A fear of missing out (FOMO) is just one symptom of social media use. After all, if you had no idea what everyone else was up to, would it affect you? If social media didn’t exist, where would you direct your energy? What would you do with all that time? When our energy is intensely focussed upon other people’s lives, we lose sight of what is really important to us. When we allow the noise of nonsense to fill our minds, we lose the clarity that allows for creative thinking, self-exploration, informed decision making, and a greater sense of fulfilment and purpose each day.

Pressing Pause

Pausing, resting, stopping. These aren’t actions many of us practice on a daily basis. But what if you knew the results would provide something incredibly beneficial and possibly even life altering? A busy mind is not always a productive mind. We might feel ‘busy’, but take a step back and what you’re possibly feeling is more likely sensations of being unfocussed, scattered and a little bit worried, yet unable to put a firm finger on what the worrying is all about. If this sounds familiar, you’re in no way alone. Never before have we had such easy access to so much stuff. Whether it’s material possessions, food, information, education or entertainment, there’s no end to what we could do to prevent boredom from occurring. Never before have we been able to ignore our minds and ourselves so easily.

The thing is, clarity isn’t achieved by maintaining an overwhelmingly packed schedule, an endless to do list and a lost sense of purpose. To find clarity, it’s important to pull apart the metaphorical veil of distraction and irrelevance. When we for our July intentions decide to press pause on the noise – by practicing an hour or day of digital detox, switching on your ‘out of office’ email notification for the weekend, deleting your social media apps, going on a retreat, taking part in a brand new activity, travelling or starting a meditation practice – we’re able to refocus our senses towards what really matters.

By regularly pausing and cultivating clarity we can become more discerning about what we actually choose to interact with. After a while, maybe the attraction of irrelevant information and unnecessary busyness wears off. We might make a more deliberate choice about what we choose to consume through our senses. By making a decision about what we consume, we make a decision about what comes into our minds and out of our mouths. When we choose to press pause on the noise and cultivate clarity, every action becomes more meaningful, purposeful and fulfilling.

The post July Intentions: Cultivating Clarity & Pressing Pause appeared first on Yogamatters Blog.

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Through the lens of Ayurveda, we’re able to see the world around us in terms of qualities and energy, realising that every season and type of weather affects us differently. Everything we interact with on a daily basis becomes a part of us: the food we eat becomes our physical body, our thoughts and wonders fill our minds, our actions and reactions become our experiences, and our experiences make up the story of our lives. Our lives are therefore affected by different energies and qualities – whether heavy and cold, fast and light, hot and intense or balanced and calm. Do you experience any of these qualities more than others?

Summer is a time when the qualities of heat, intensity, movement and fieriness can be felt the most. These qualities are associated with Pitta, the ayurvedic dosha governed by fire and water. I think of the pitta energy a little like hot oil in a pan – it’s intense, it’s liquid and hot, it’s ready to get to work, and sometimes it needs to be approached with caution…

Pitta Energy

We all have a certain amount of pitta energy within us, and anyone deemed a ‘pitta-type’ person has a dominant amount. It follows therefore, that a pitta type person who interacts with the qualities of pitta will increase their quantity of pitta energy. When there’s an excessive amount of pitta energy in the body and mind, we’re said to become ‘imbalanced’. Excess pitta can present itself as inflammation, anger, irritability, internal heat, acid reflux and skin irritations like eczema. For reference, a pitta ‘type’ person is usually quite dominant, focussed, likes to ‘get things done’, enjoys exercise and intensity, but can be easily irritated and angry too. In other words; they’re ‘fiery’. Know anyone like this?

The warmest time of the year, midsummer is peak pitta season. The heat of the sun is strong and there’s more humidity in the air. Often our energy is higher and more intense. Pitta season is a wonderful time to move with this energy and make the most of the extra energy, determination and fieriness you may be feeling, but it’s also a time to be aware of when it’s necessary to cool things down….

Five Ways To Make The Most Of Pitta Energy

Use your increased fieriness positively

  1. Finally tick off those things that have been at the back of your mind and bottom of your to-do list for a while.
  2. Speak your mind, even if it means being assertive and strong
  3. Get rid of clothes you know you really don’t need any more. The increase in pitta energy will help you be more ruthless when it comes to donating or recycling that shirt you haven’t worn for years!
  4. Challenge yourself to take part in a stronger yoga class or gym class you haven’t tried before. Especially if intense workouts aren’t your usual choice.
  5. Be decisive and confident about your actions. Try doing what you know is right and what you feel like doing, rather than worrying what others think.
Five Ways To Cool and Balance Pitta Energy

Be aware when things get a little too heated

  1. Don’t react. Pitta types are prone to exploding when something irritates them, so try breathing and pausing before you open your mouth.
  2. Spend more time doing gentle activities like walking or swimming. Spending more time near water is a particularly effective way to promote calmness and coolness.
  3. Consume watery, cool foods like cucumber, watermelon, lettuce, apples and pears. Herbs like coriander, basil, mint and marshmallow root can also help reduce excessive pitta energy and internal heat.
  4. Let someone else take the reins. This can be very challenging if you’re dealing with an increase in pitta energy. But it will ultimately encourage huge personal growth. If you feel you need to be in charge and don’t often listen to other people’s opinions, set an intention to practice listening, letting others help, and cultivating more softness and serenity.
  5. Surround yourself with cooling, calming colours like blue, pale green and pastel colours. If you know people that are cooling and calming too, spend a little more time with them. Be open to learning from them.

The post Ayurvedic Advice: Summer Season & Pitta Power appeared first on Yogamatters Blog.

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Whatever has happened in class today, whatever has happened in your day so far,

It is done. Lay it aside without judgement.

You have arrived here in this place, in this moment.

This moment is yours to enjoy.

To your mind, take this opportunity to say ‘Stop!’

Stop racing ahead to the next thing.

Put down the mental to do list.

Find rest and contentment in the silence.

I sit with all that I am. I am enough.

I sit with all that I have. I have everything I need.

Utter contentment is mine.

That’s where the bliss is to be found.

To your body, take this opportunity to say ‘Stop!’

Stop beating yourself up for all that you have not done.

Rather, accept with gratitude what your body has been able to achieve in this day.

Find rest and contentment in the stillness.

I sit with all that I am. I am enough.

I sit with all that I have. I have everything I need.

Utter contentment is mine.

That’s where the bliss is to be found.

To your spirit, take this opportunity to say ‘Stop!’

Stop striving and grasping and reaching for more.

Lay aside your restlessness and dissatisfaction.

Find rest and contentment in the surrender.

I sit with all that I am. I am enough.

I sit with all that I have. I have everything I need.

Utter contentment is mine.

That’s where the bliss is to be found.

I do not need to have it all. All is well.

I don’t have everything I want but I do have all I need. All is well.

When you love what you have, you have everything you need. All is well.

I do not seek a happy life but a contented life. All is well.

The post Savasana Poem: Utter Contentment appeared first on Yogamatters Blog.

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(Sophie, Chloe, Candice, Tanya and Emma at the Yogamatters Festival Day. Just missing Sarah!)

At Yogamatters, we’re fortunate to have 6 yoga teachers working at the Head Office in London! These individuals work on everything from product development to customer service, and play a huge role in ensuring that everything we do and all of our products work for teachers and students in the real world. At Yogamatters, yoga is not just about our products, but something that runs through every aspect of the business.

Meet the Yogamatters’ yoga teachers here:

Chloe Chivers, Marketing:

Tell us a little bit about your personal yoga journey?

I went to my first yoga class with a friend at a gym to find some much needed stress relief whilst writing my dissertation at uni. It’s embarrassing to say but I laughed so much. Looking back, I think it was just so strange for me to be in a place of silence and it was probably my way of dealing with the discomfort of that – it was the kind of laughter where you know you shouldn’t be laughing so it makes it worse! After graduating, I went to a yoga class at my local gym every week and used to leave before Savasana! I didn’t understand the practice and clearly thought I had better places to be than laying in Savasana…eventually I saw the spiritual side of the practice and loved it! I started practising at home with online channels and started to visit a studio where I found Jess (one of our models!) who I loved to practise with. From then, it just all unravelled: a job at Yogamatters came up and I joined the marketing team at YMHQ in 2015. Living and breathing yoga took my love for the practice to another level and eventually I found myself on a teacher training in 2018!

What made you want to become a yoga teacher?

I never wanted to become a yoga teacher actually. I started the training to develop my understanding of the practice and to learn more because it felt right and I loved it! It wasn’t until I started the training that I just wanted to share everything I learnt and give to others the beautiful gift of yoga. It all just fell into place from there.

What word best describes your yoga classes and way of teaching?

Fun, fluid and relaxed!

How has teaching yoga made an impact on your own practice and your life?

I have been teaching a year now and it has changed my life so much. My practice isn’t all about asana as I see yoga everywhere in my life: in how I treat others, my perspective and outlook. I have already evolved so much during my first year of teaching and I am starting to see what is true to me, to take everything I learnt during my training and make it my own. It is a life-long journey and I never want to stop learning and evolving.

What do you love about working in the YM office? 

As soon as I joined the team, it was a dream! It is acceptable to wear leggings to work, to sit on a bouncy ball instead of a chair, to light candles, incense and use room spray and to just be yourself. The office feels like home: to be part of a group of people who have all come together with a shared interest just feels great.

Where can we find your classes?

I live in Hertfordshire and teach at a few studios in Ware, Hertford, and Bishops Stortford, as well as a community centre once a week.

Tanya Ashfaq, Customer Service:

Tell us a little bit about your personal yoga journey?

I found the comfort of yoga in 2014 when I made my New Years bucket list!

I nourished the stillness and calming benefits it began to have on my London life. I did my 200 hour Vinyasa and Ashtanga teacher training in 2018 and recently completed a course in Mindfulness.

What made you want to become a yoga teacher?

To bring a deep sense of wellbeing that can translate into modern day life.

What word best describes your yoga classes and way of teaching?

Mindful.

How has teaching yoga made an impact on your own practice and your life?

I don’t get shaken too much. A lot of stressful things can be going on, but I’m always smiling! Yoga has become more than the physical poses, it’s now a lifestyle. Although I still am working on the vegan thing!

What do you love about working in the YM office?

I have only recently started and everyone has been so helpful. It’s a really collaborative team. And the office dogs yes…. they’re amazing!

Where can we find your classes?

I post my weekly schedule on Instagram and my website.

Emma Jefelt, Marketing:

Tell us a little bit about your personal yoga journey?

I tried yoga for the first time as a “cultural experience” when I was living in Nepal in the beginning of 2014. It was supposed to be a one time thing, but I got hooked and ended up going every day for the 3 months I lived in Kathmandu! After a couple of years, I decided to do my teacher training, so I could dive deeper into the practice I had fallen in love with. I travelled to Rishikesh in India to do my 200 hours course in October 2016, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself!

What made you want to become a yoga teacher?

I’d been practising for a couple of years and loved it, I lived in Australia and often took my mat outside, to the beach or the park, and a few times, people would come up to me and ask if I taught yoga anywhere. I’d never considered it, but definitely knew I wouldn’t want to teach anyone else before I’d done my training, and that was that!

What word best describes your yoga classes and way of teaching?

Informal. In my classes, it’s all right to laugh if the pose looks or feels ridiculous and to have fun with your practice; there’s time to both tune inwards and focus AND to have a giggle!

How has teaching yoga made an impact on your own practice and your life?

It has given me a lot of confidence and helped me tune in to a side of myself that I had no idea existed. In the beginning, it was hard to trust that I had something to offer others but with time, I’ve learned to love sharing my practice. And there’s no better feeling than when someone comes up to me after a class to let me know how the practice made them feel! Although I’m still a student as well as a teacher, I feel much more content and confident with giving to others now.

Teaching has changed the way I am – it’s made me more patient, humble and resilient in all areas of my life.

What do you love about working in the YM office?

So many things!! I love that, teacher or not, we all share a passion for yoga and a healthy and balanced lifestyle. I love that we balance the chocolate in the kitchen with our lunchtime runs, and the hot chips on Fridays with endless amounts of herbal tea. And I love that I get to bring my puppy to work of course!

Where can we find your classes?

I moved to London from Denmark in December and I haven’t taught since. I don’t know how long my little hiatus will last, but as much as I love teaching, it’s been a nice change of pace and right now I’m enjoying focusing on my own practice.

Sophie Safrazyan, Key Accounts:

Tell us a little bit about your personal yoga journey?

My yoga journey started around 10 years ago at The Yoga Rooms in Chorlton, which is a lovely little studio. I started yoga because I wanted to find a way to get out of my head and into my body. I also had a strong desire to learn more about yogic philosophy and spiritual teachings, so I could apply this to my life.

What made you want to become a yoga teacher?

Yoga has helped me to see things more clearly, to connect to my true self and to live my life in a much healthier and spiritual way. I have always wanted to create a positive impact in the world and help others. As my practice developed, I started to want to share the benefits with others, so I took the plunge, left my job at the time and travelled to India in October 2016 to do my training!

What word best describes your yoga classes and way of teaching?

Calm and supportive. I want everyone to feel comfortable and relaxed. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a level of challenge, but everything flows slowly.

How has teaching yoga made an impact on your own practice and your life?

Teaching opened a whole world of incredible knowledge to me and I am an eternal student. Teaching helps me to remain focused on and off the mat and have an even greater appreciation for this wonderful practice.

What do you love about working in the YM office?

The fact that my whole world revolves around yoga! And also my team. I work with a fantastic bunch of people who all support each other every day.

Where can we find your classes?

Currently I’m not teaching any public classes. However, if anyone has any opportunities in north London, you can contact me at sophie@sophiesafrazyan.yoga

Candice Roberts, Product Developement:

Tell us a little bit about your personal yoga journey?

I started my yoga journey in earnest about 6 years ago – however there is photographic evidence of me doing Simhasana (Lion’s Breath) topless when I was about 8 years old!

I came to yoga like so many others – at a time in my life when I was feeling very stressed at work. I was running on empty and working in a job where I had a lot of responsibility but little control; an anxiety-inducing state! So I started to attend regular yoga classes and I couldn’t believe the effect the practice had on my mental state: I would arrive to class anxious from the day’s events and then leave feeling in control and OK. I was hooked and from there, started to attend more classes and then retreats until I decided that I wanted to complete my teacher training.

As the ebb and flow of life would have it, a few days after I had signed up to my teacher training I developed pain in my shoulder – which turned out to be osteoarthritis.  After months of hoping and praying that I would get better, I eventually had to take the decision to forego the training. I was devastated.  So, instead of travelling to Goa for my teacher training, I went to an Ayurvedic hospital in Kerala. This turned out to be an experience in itself!

It wasn’t until 2017, when I came across an authentic yoga school in Northern Thailand (Wise Living Yoga Academy), that I decided to give teacher training another go. I went to visit the founders and was so drawn to their energy that I basically signed up on the spot. Best decision I’ve ever made!

What made you want to become a yoga teacher?

I wanted to become a yoga teacher because of how practising yoga made me feel. I’d come out of a class totally calm and centred and I wanted to learn how to do that for myself and how to help people achieve that state too!

What word best describes your yoga classes and way of teaching?

The breath is the queen in all of my classes, so there’s a lot of focus on that. In terms of movement, I teach half flow-based asanas plus half static (still/longer holds) classes. I try to teach in a way that my students learn the tools to practise at home on their own. That’s my goal in teaching – helping people find yoga for themselves in their own time.

How has teaching yoga made an impact on your own practice and your life?

Teaching yoga has helped in making me more disciplined in my own self practice. I can’t teach authentically if I don’t teach from experience and in order to do that, I need to be dedicated and devoted to my sadhana.

I gain tremendous satisfaction from being able to share the little I know about yoga with others. People arrive to class stressed and tired from a day at work and an hour of yoga later, they’re floating and completely relaxed. It’s so simple but it’s magical.

What do you love about working in the YM office?

That I get to talk about yoga all day every day with a group of people who are equally passionate about spreading the practice of yoga to every inch of the planet!

Where can we find your classes?

The Jago, Dalston (440 Kingsland Road, E8, 4AA)

Every Tuesday;

6.30pm: Slow & Gentle Yoga

7.45pm: Yoga

Sarah Dean, Marketing:

Tell us a little bit about your personal yoga journey?

I found yoga more consistently in my mid twenties, having danced a lot when I was younger, I had been recommended to try vinyasa classes. When life and work was feeling quite busy and stressful, I noticed that exercise really helped me to clear my mind and nothing could beat the feeling of complete relaxation and release that I felt in Savasana at the end of my yoga classes. At that point I realised it was something to start taking far more seriously, I’d found a way to naturally help me wind down from work and sleep better at night. After many more years of working in an office job in a pretty stressful environment, I decided I wanted to explore yoga in more depth and enrolled on a 200 hour ashtanga vinyasa teacher training course in London. Since then I have continued my journey studying towards my 500 hours in London, travelling to India to explore where it all began and also qualifying to teach yin.

What made you want to become a yoga teacher?

When I began my teacher training, my intention was to learn more about it rather than become a teacher, but by the end of the course I couldn’t resist the feeling that I wanted to help others discover something which has helped me so much. I realised I wanted to achieve more balance with my working life and also find a way to help others.

What word best describes your yoga classes and way of teaching?

Definitely accessible to all. I take a lot of care to everyone in my class feels included and catered for. It’s really important to me that my students learn to be kind to themselves and just do what feels right for them and their body on that particular day.

How has teaching yoga made an impact on your own practice and your life?

I always say my yoga teacher training was like 6 months of therapy, it helped me that much! I have observed huge benefits to my mental and physical well-being through yoga and will continue to use it as a tool for the rest of my life. Going out into the world and teaching is a great confidence builder and allows you to meet and connect with so many other wonderful, like-minded people.

What do you love about working in the YM office?

The offices are lovely! Full of friendly people and their gorgeous pet dogs, which makes for a really nice working environment.

Where can we find your classes?

I am currently pregnant and not teaching for the short term future. I hope to be back teaching at the Market Yoga classes I started in Tooting, southwest London, early next year. Tooting has some really cool indoor markets and my classes take place in the market when it is closed, surrounded by really creative street art and under the fairy lights.

The post Meet the Yogamatters Yoga Teachers appeared first on Yogamatters Blog.

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At Yogamatters, we believe that yoga is for everyone. Just as we promote diversity on the mat, we believe in celebrating diversity in the whole of life. Throughout the UK and across the world this summer, Pride parades, festivals, fun runs and other events will be taking place to raise awareness of and show support for the global LGBT+ community. To celebrate Pride 2019, we are introducing Yogamatters Organic Cotton Pride Socks, £2 from each pair of socks sold will be donated to the LGBT+ charity Just Like Us. We started our Pride celebrations early with a photoshoot with some incredible people a couple of months ago! Get to know them better here:

Le Fil:

What do you personally love about PRIDE and what does it mean to you?

Every year, Pride gets bigger and bigger with more and more allies each celebration, which I love! Pride is about the LGBTQ+ community being visible and I think anyone who can help normalise that needs to join in with the community. It’s not just about preaching to the converted, it’s about reaching all the people who are still ignorant to the plights of our community. With all the increased level of homophobia, transphobia and racism, even in the recent weeks, it shows there’s still so much to go before we have equal rights. Until we reach the same level as our heterosexual counterparts, where a simple union of love can be legal in all countries, we still have much to fight for.

How has yoga helped you grow or overcome challenges in life?

Yoga really helped me be confident in my body. It allowed me to move into positions with care and love for my body. In doing so, it made me more comfortable to try new movements, new things with my body and to be proud to show it off in my work.

Where do you see the link between celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and living yoga off the mat?

Both are about self-love which is different from arrogance. It’s about being able to love and respect your own presence and body, and in doing so gives you a sense of happiness and fulfilment in being you.

Do you feel encouraged and supported by the yoga community?

Yes! There’s spaces for everyone to explore the type of yoga that’s right for them. I’ve even tried naked yoga and love it!! So there’s lots of different places, especially in London, where you can do things like that and at different levels. And if you’re in a town where there isn’t many choices, luckily there’s an online community now where you can talk to people and maybe you can help set up something informal. Either way, there’s a lot of Yoga community out there. Everyone should try yoga at least once because you’re always going to be going back to it, I swear I am!

How do you think the yoga community could do more to support inclusion?

I think we all have a part to play in being more kind, loving and accepting. In doing that, it also means we each have a part to play in picking up on any discrimination, racism, homophobia etc and making sure that everyone feels actively welcome, not just passively supported. We’ve got to keep on going until these reactions become instinctive, rather than just intellectual.

Matt:

What do you personally love about PRIDE and what does it mean to you?

Daytime drinking, dancing in the street. But mostly the ability to live life without fear of retribution, due to those we fall in love with.

How has yoga helped you grow or overcome challenges in life?

Yoga has allowed me to understand my body in both strength and movement that I never knew or believed I had. Coming from a background with obesity and body dysmorphia, it’s been exceptional in helping me to deal with a lot of stuff.

Where do you see the link between celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and living yoga off the mat?

Treat others with the respect with which you wish to treat yourself.

Do you feel encouraged and supported by the yoga community?

As someone that bucks the trend as a suspiciously large yoga instructor, it’s been great to have people both surprised and supportive to find a teacher so different from their expectations.

How do you think the yoga community could do more to support inclusion?

There are still gaps in the understanding of different body types and also the creation of different ‘styles’ of yoga to pander to current trends and gimmicks. Yoga by design is inclusive and should perhaps be left to do its thing on the students without too much input from external forces.
Craig

What do you personally love about PRIDE and what does it mean to you?

I love the fact that everyone comes together, it’s all about integration so what’s not to be proud about?

How has yoga helped you grow or overcome challenges in life?

Yoga has helped me stop rushing. In a city like London, it can be difficult to not get wrapped up in the ‘rat race’. I suffered from anxiety at one point and it really helped me take control of that, the Asana side of yoga is an effective moving meditation for me that really homes in my focus, and reminds me that I am a small part of something so much bigger. Feeling gnarly and inflexible in a posture may be more than just tight hamstrings; it could be some old feelings holding you back. Unexpressed emotions become stored and held in the body and, over time, create physical tightness, stress, tension, and sometimes pain. It’s not just a work out, but also a ‘work in’.

Where do you see the link between celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and living yoga off the mat?

It’s about unification. Just like for Pride, we encourage integration and acceptance. Yoga is that for your body. The more you practise, the more self love you develop. We then stop pushing our bodies too hard and respect our boundaries.

Do you feel encouraged and supported by the yoga community?

Yes I do. My teaching qualification is recognised by the Yoga Alliance and I have access to a unique portal full of useful information worldwide. In particular, I’ve had some great opportunities through Instagram, working with some cool brands such as Sternitz based in Madrid and then Yogamatters in London, which has helped me find students and keep me up to date with the Yoga world.

How do you think the yoga community could do more to support inclusion?

I think we could do more events, like a huge Yoga Pride event in Hyde Park, Royal Park permissions pending of course!  Maybe create a special tag encouraging everyone to hit their mats and with that, donate to Pride, make it trend for a day helping spread the message, with over 1 billion users, I’m sure we’d get a pretty decent engagement rate!

The post Meet the Yogamatters Pride Tribe appeared first on Yogamatters Blog.

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