RainbowBiz Mind Body Spirit and Yoga Festival – Theatre Clwyd – Mold

We had a lovely morning at the free RainbowBiz Mind Body Spirit and Yoga Festival at the beautiful Theatre Clwyd in Mold, North Wales. The view from the room where the yoga was taking place was fantastic, across the valley and on to Moel Famau.

Our friend Netty Hodson was teaching the yoga sessions and it was great to see her again and take part in her class. We started with a nice mindfulness meditation then moved on to a flowing yoga practice and finished with a story relaxation.

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There was a little surprise towards the end of the Yoga flow practice when Netty got us up at the front to teach Double Tree aka Yogasmithsasana!

We even experimented before class with a triple tree pose with Netty!

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The Mind Body Soul and Yoga Festival was organised by RainbowBiz Limited which is a Social Enterprise working in the community to support organisations and individuals. They are passionate about supporting diversity and celebrating difference in their community For more information about them www.facebook.com/RainbowBiz #RainbowBiz Visit www.rainbowbiz.org.uk or email info@rainbowbiz.org.uk

Thanks to Ali Jones for the photos!

 

Guys do Yoga too!

Yoga was originally an exclusively male activity prior to it being brought over to the West. Often these days yoga class attendance is predominantly and often exclusively female. Men in general appear to have drifted away from yoga and some are often put off by the thought of being the only guy in the class.

This week in West Kirby we had our highest turn out of men in attendance at our class. Out of 20 people we had 7 men in the class. This was also on a week when one of our regular male members was unable to come.

Steve and I are pleased that through our weekly classes we are able to share yoga with both men and women. Initially we had just a couple of men in the class and they often sat towards the rear, over the weeks they slowly moved forward and this week most of the front row was male.

So if there are any guys out there that fancy trying yoga you will be welcome at our friendly yoga class and can join or burgeoning group of male yogis! We teach an inclusive class suitable for all abilities. There is no such thing as being not flexible enough for yoga! That is the perfect reason for doing Yoga!

And of course not forgetting our lovely dedicated female yogini’s that come to our class every week!

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course (MBSR) completed!

Hello!

I thought I would share with you that I have just completed a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course with Rita Bennet and Pauline Johnson at Hoylake Parade Community Centre. I love learning and am always looking at ways to continue our professional development as Yoga Teachers.

The MBSR course was very enjoyable and gave me some useful personal insights. The way Rita and Pauline teach the course and the structure of the course ensure that mindfulness is looked at from many different angles. This empowers you to realise how mindfulness can be woven into every aspect of life.

Prior to attending the course I had a good knowledge of mindfulness and regularly practice mindfulness both as a meditation practice and also in activities in life. However, this course really helped me to make progress on my mindfulness journey and I would highly recommend it.

Rita and Pauline also provide a weekly handout to take home with you to assist your practice along with CD’s of guided mindfulness meditations / relaxations. The course includes a silent day of mindfulness which at first sounded rather daunting but was great and actually I wanted to remain silent when we were told that we could begin talking again!

Mindfulness meditation has been proven to create new neural pathways in the brain, in essence hard wiring us to access relaxation more easily. At the same time we create new brain cells thus increasing the size of our brains!

We enjoy teaching a mindful approach in our yoga classes and we have woven many of the things I learnt on the MBSR course into our classes so that our students can benefit from mindfulness.

Rita and Pauline have a website where they list their courses, here is the link to it, check it out!

B Mindful website

Happy International Yoga Day 2017!

Today is the third International Yoga Day, 21 June 2017!

The idea of international Day of Yoga was the first proposed by the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi during his speech at the UNGA, on 27 September 2014. 

He beautifully described Yoga in his speech as follows;

Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.

— Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly

So wherever you are, do some Yoga today! Honouring our practice of Yoga and all of the teachers that brought it to us and continue to.

Remember that your Yoga practice is personal to you and can be anything from taking a few deep Yogic breaths during your day to completing the full Ashtanga Primary Series. We have our Hoylake Yoga class this evening from 6:45pm at Hoylake Parade Community Centre, so please come along and practice with us and celebrate International Yoga Day 2017.

Let us all spend a moment for ourselves today, on International Yoga Day. Connect with our breath, anchor ourselves in the moment through our breath and allow ourselves to witness and experience the union (Yoke) of breath, body and mind.

Be mindful, be Yoga.

Namaste

Paul & Steve

West Kirby Pop-up Beach Yoga – Thank you!

We want to say a big thank you to all of the lovely people who came this morning to our Yogasmiths pop-up beach yoga session!

We had a great group and it was a pleasure to be able to lead them through a yoga practice overlooking the beautiful Dee Estuary on a perfect sunny summers day.

We had a fun nautical theme to the class and the postures that we practiced.

A small forest of perfect palm trees;

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We had surfing beach warriors;

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Channeling our inner Kate Winslet’s and Leonardo DiCaprio’s in Titanic Warrior pose aka King of the World pose;

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Here is rowing the boat / rowing Navasana;

Building up to our own individual expression of full boat pose, Navasana;

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And finishing our sunny morning practice with a guided relaxation on the beach, a perfect end to the session!

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Thank you to all who attended and stayed tuned to our Facebook page for further pop-up yoga sessions. Namaste Paul & Steve x

Yogasmiths Facebook Page

Wirral Summer Solstice Yoga Festival Sunday 25th June 2017 @ Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa

Hi Everyone,

We are really pleased to announce that we have been added to the Wirral Summer Solstice Yoga Festival taking place on Sunday 25th June 2017 at Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa.

This will be a great event and an opportunity to try out different types of Yoga and different teachers.

We will be teaching Gentle Yoga and meditation in the afternoon from 13:35 – 15:00 and there will be tea / coffee and cake available directly after we finish the session, sounds pretty good to us!

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I’ve included the link to the event on Facebook below where you can find further details.

Facebook Event link for Wirral Summer Solstice Yoga Festival

Tickets can be purchased at www.yogahealthwirral.com.

Yoga Health Wirral

Hope to see you there for a day of pampering and Yoga!


Paul & Steve

Yogasmiths

Thank You – Charity Yoga Class for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund

Thank you to all those who attended our Charity Yoga Class this morning in Ashton Park, West Kirby, Wirral from 11:00 till 12:30. We had a great turnout, thank you for all of your support. It was wonderful to see both familiar faces from our weekly classes and to also welcome new friends to practice with us.

We took our practice into the Secret Garden part of Ashton Park where we were able to practice in nature. We were privileged to be surrounded by beautiful bird song all morning as well as a few cheeky little dogs checking out what we were up to!

We started our practice with a breath visualisation exercise and a dedication to all of those affected by the recent events in Manchester.

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Moving through mobilisation and core work we launched into some strong Warrior poses and our peak pose was Vrksasana (Tree Pose). The secret garden had plenty of additional strong trees this morning! We closed our practice with a guided relaxation and Namaste.

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Attendance was by donation to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund. We counted up the money when we returned home and are extremely pleased to announce that together we all raised £215 to send to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund! Thank you so much to everyone for their very kind generosity.

We have sent the money to the British Red Cross We Love Manchester Emergency Fund via their Just Giving campaign page. We’ve set up our own Yogasmiths part of this campaign to allow anyone who could not attend to contribute, the link is below;

Just Giving Manchester Emergency Fund Yogasmiths page

Again thank you all for attending, it was a joy to practice in nature in the park and to start our Sunday in such a beautiful way. We were overwhelmed by your generosity and support.

Namaste

Paul & Steve Yogasmiths

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Charity Yoga Class for the Manchester Emergency Fund – Sunday 28th May – West Kirby @ 11am – Ashton Park (upper park)

Hi Everyone

We’d love for you to be able to join us this Sunday morning (28th May 2017) at 11am for a charity outdoor yoga class to raise money for the families of the victims of the Manchester attack. Donations, however great or small, are welcome and all money we raise together will be donated to the families of the victims of the Manchester attack.

Meet us in the Upper Park in Ashton Park, West Kirby in the grass area between the tennis courts (near the rose beds)

We will have plenty of mats but if you do have a mat please bring it along. Also bring some water and perhaps a blanket for the guided relaxation.

The class will be suitable for all abilities and will incorporate a breathing exercise, mobilisation, postures and a guided relaxation to finish. We will dedicate our practice and send thoughts of love and support to the people affected by the recent events in Manchester.

We look forward to welcoming you to this special event.

Yoga means union. Union of the breath with movement. Union with each other. We stand together with Manchester. ❤️

The link below is to the event on Facebook for further details;

Charity Yoga Class for Manchester Emergency Fund

The class will run from 11am to 12:30pm. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch at enquiries@yogasmiths.org

Namaste

Paul & Steve

One to one Yoga Sessions – Spotlight on Catherine

I have just got back from teaching a one to one Yoga session to our lovely yoga student Catherine in the sunshine in Ashton Park, West Kirby. What a perfect way to spend the afternoon!

Catherine was completely new to Yoga when I started teaching her in January this year. She has made fantastic progress in her practice with each session and has established a home practice from the handouts and guidance that we provide.

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Catherine allowed me to take a picture of her (above) in Halasana (plough pose) this afternoon. This posture shows the progress she has made and demonstrates perfect form with strength, stability and ease. Catherine has noticed her strength and flexibility improve and has found the breathing techniques and relaxations beneficial in dealing with life in general!

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The second picture above is how we end our practice, with a guided relaxation. Today we had the pleasure of being able to relax in the warmth of the afternoon sunshine in the beautiful natural surroundings of Ashton Park. We had a curious little blackbird wandering around whilst we practiced!

In addition to our weekly group classes we provide private one to one yoga sessions. For more information please check out One to One Yoga

Hoisin Tofu, Cucumber, Leek, Tomato and Lettuce Sandwich – Vegan

One of the eight limbs of Yoga, Yamas, includes Ahimsa – Compassion. Many Yoga practitioners choose a vegetarian or vegan diet as a way of living a more Ahimsa lifestyle. Compassion for all living beings and compassion for one’s self by eating healthy food.

It can sometimes be difficult to come up with tasty vegan sandwich ideas, here is one I came up with and really enjoyed.

Hoisin Tofu, Cucumber, Leek, Tomato and Lettuce Sandwich (Serves 2)

Ingredients;

1 block of tofu

4 Romaine Lettuce leaves

1 Beef tomato

1/3 of Cucumber

1/2 of a Leek

A bottle of hoisin sauce

Bread of your choice

Method;

Slice the block of tofu into 4 and place under a high grill until browned

Finely slice the leek and cucumber. Cut four slices off the beef tomato.

Divide the leek and cucumber between two of the slices.

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Place two slices of the grilled tofu on each sandwich. Put as much hoisin sauce on as you like!

Then place the sliced tomato and lettuce on top and finish off with the other slice of bread and enjoy!

I use Tofoo brand of tofu. It is very tasty and is made in the traditional way using seaweed rather than chemicals. Our local Tesco stock it.