Using Yoga Twists to Rediscover Your Full Potential for Mobility

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Using Yoga Twists to Rediscover Your Full Potential for Mobility

by Lynne Fugard

As forward-facing animals it’s not surprising that we humans get overly concerned with what’s in front of us. As a consequence, a lot of our daily routines and exercise regimens can become restricted to very linear, one-directional patterns of movement, creating imbalanced and uncomfortable habits of tension and weakness in our bodies.

Days spent hunched over a desk, phone, or steering wheel; carrying heavy bags or children; driving, walking, running or cycling; always going forwards, forwards, forwards… It all has the effect of closing up the front of the body, tightening the muscles of the chest, shoulders, waist and legs, whilst weakening the muscles of the back: those bigger muscles either side of the spine, but also the tiny postural muscles that provide vital support and mobility within the spine itself.

As these patterns and habits become ingrained, it becomes impossible to fully realize the healthy range of mobility that should be available to us. Muscle pairs can become imbalanced – some increasingly tight and tense, whilst others weaken and fail to switch on. These sorts of imbalances can potentially even pull the skeleton itself out of natural alignment. The normal, neutral curvature of the spine becomes exaggerated, resulting in an excessive rounding in the upper back (kyphosis), or over-concaving in the lower back (lordosis). We feel hunched over, tired, stressed and tense, and over time chronic pain in the neck, shoulders or lower back can result.

How Can Yoga Help?

One of the joys of a regular yoga practice is the transformational rediscovery of our deep-seated potential for multifaceted motion. We have a spine that can maneuver 360 degrees through 3 planes of alignment - not only forwards and backwards, but also from side to side, in rotational twists, and then through all sorts of combinations of those movements. The yoga practice flows through all of these planes, exploring a healthy range of mobility in each limb, whilst also working to balance and enhance a strong, supple, interconnected musculature that supports and allows such motion to feel safe and stable.

Which Poses Should I Use?

In particular, the yoga poses that most obviously break with linear, forward-facing patterns are twists, side-bends and back-bends. In my classes, I incorporate these movements to mindfully explore the space above and behind us, encouraging new perspectives and creative ways of moving, strengthening around the spine, enhancing posture and breath-capacity, and all whilst brightening the mood, stimulating the nervous system, and clarifying the mind. Suddenly the body feels more alive, supple and buoyant, you wake up every morning more comfortable and spacious, and you begin to challenge your preconceptions about what is possible and maybe even what is normal! 

Sound good?

Then it’s time to BOOK YOUR SPOT in our Yoga Improvers: Explore From Your Core! workshop this weekend!

We will build through an invigorating sequence in preparation for the body to weave itself into deliciously deep twists, binds, back-bends and beyond. Whilst opening the shoulders, chest, and side body, we will also cultivate a strong and powerful core, the centre, from which and around which we can move, expand and explore our natural range of motion with intention and curiosity. Using props and partner-work there will be time to break down and work towards those more challenging twists, binds and backbends from the yoga asana practice - including standing, seated, balancing and inverted poses - leaving you plenty of ideas to take back to your self-practice, weekly classes and daily life.

BOOK YOUR SPOT NOW!

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New to Yoga?

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New to Yoga?

Thinking of starting but going to a group class fills you with doubt...? It's very common; we are so often bombarded with images of super flexible bodies in impossible yoga postures that our perception of Yoga can unfortunately become a bit distorted…

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A Mindful Cup of Full Leaf Tea

Blog post by Katia, founder of Nauteas who will be leading the Tea & Creativity workshop on Saturday 11th August. Book here.

As far back as the 18th century, when the East India Company began shipping tea from China to the UK, British people fell in love with this magical beverage. Tea was the drink of prestige, big fashion and steered much of the social and political affairs in Europe and beyond.

Fast forward to today and the love affair shows no signs of waning with almost 2,000 cups of tea consumed every second by the British public - that’s over 60 billion cups a year! Quick brew, perhaps a splash of milk, sip and off we go - we don’t always notice this small habit that punctuates our every day.

As a Tea Sommelier and Blender, I am fortunate to experience incredible full leaf teas and their multitudes of flavours, colours and aromas. Miles away from the dusty paper tea bags, there is an incredible world of quality full leaf teas carefully sourced from tea gardens around the world. There’s never been a better time than now to start exploring all the health benefits teas can offer!

tea workshop

 

As many would agree, we have become a nation of autopilot beings with a strong work ethic, and as such, life doesn’t always give us much room for respite. We live in a society where we are chasing the ‘What’s next? What’s happening tomorrow? What am I doing with my life?’ This can leave us feeling a little out of control, and often creeps up on us without us even noticing.

Luckily many of us have become aware that we can’t sustain this rhythm without burning out and have turned our attention to the present moment,  to the practice of ‘mindfulness’, where we learn techniques to focus our full attention on the here and now.

It’s a technique that once learned can help us take back a little control and find moments peace in a frantic world.

Which is where a simple cup of tea comes in...

tea workshop and creativity

Without even realising it, having a cup of tea gives us an opportunity to stop and to fully attend to what's happening, to what you're doing, to the space you find yourself in.

Mindfulness coupled with the process of selecting, brewing, observing and tasting some of the world’s finest teas is a perfect combination. I would love to invite you to join a session where you will have the opportunity to be in the present moment, tasting some of the most aromatic infusions of full leaf tea and learning the stories behind them all.

In addition, we will explore the health benefits; why drinking tea is better to sustain your energy levels than coffee and I will share my sommelier tips for selecting and brewing delicious teas. Most importantly, learn to really be in the moment and pay attention to the amazing experiences different brews of tea will create for you.

tea and creativity workshop

Join our tea and creativity workshop on Saturday 11th August! 

Book here 

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Yoga For Cyclists

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Yoga For Cyclists

Cycling is probably my second greatest love after yoga. Nothing compares to the sense of freedom I get jumping on my bike and dashing around London to teach or meet friends….

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Healthy Posture; Happy Spine!

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Healthy Posture; Happy Spine!

“If your spine is stiff at 30 you are old. If it is flexible at 60, you are young.” - Joseph Pilates. Most of us aren’t aware of our posture but we are certainly aware of any back pain that we might have…

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Flow through the Seasons

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Flow through the Seasons

What does it mean to live in harmony with nature and the cycle of seasons? And how could our yoga practice help? As the seasons change we begin to make changes in our lives…

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Acupuncture & Chronic Pain

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Acupuncture & Chronic Pain

We all feel pain from time to time. When you burn yourself on the stove or pull a muscle exercising, pain is the body’s way of telling you something is wrong and alerting you to a possible injury. Once the injury heals, the pain stops…

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Yoga - Feel It In Your Bones

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Yoga - Feel It In Your Bones

As a yoga teacher and student of yoga I see a variety of students, each student coming to practice yoga with different shapes, sizes and flexibility and with their own history, injuries and stories…

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Yoga For Happy Feet!

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Yoga For Happy Feet!

There are many reasons why yoga can enhance your run training, perhaps most obviously by opening, strengthening and releasing all those muscles that take the brunt of pounding the streets day after day...

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