Just a quick note to let you know that we are holding our next Pop-up yoga session on Friday 13th July at 8:15pm at Red Rocks, Stanley Road, Hoylake. This will be a lovely yoga session, timed so that we can practice yoga with the setting sun and enjoy the final moments of the sun after our guided relaxation.
The weather forecast looks good and we have checked the tide times!!
We will meet at the end of Stanley Road, Hoylake at the gate which leads on to the beach at 8pm for an 8:15pm start down on the beach.
Please bring a yoga mat if you have one, some water, and a blanket / jumper for relaxation as it will get cooler as the sun goes down. Some yoga mats will be available on the day if you need to borrow one.
We will be teaching a traditional Hatha Yoga class with a breathing exercise, postures and a nice guided relaxation to finish. The cost for the class is £5 for adults and £3 for under 18’s. Under 18’s bus the accompanied by an adult and you must bring consent forms which can be found on our website here;
We have been delighted to have been able to introduce yoga to a group of young women completing the Duke of Edinburgh award via our weekly yoga classes.
Faith, Katie and Maisie have been regular attendees at our weekly classes to fulfil the requirements of the Duke of Edinburgh for physical activity / sport.
They have been and continue to be regular attendees along with their friend Esme. We have been very pleased with their commitment to their yoga practice and their progression within yoga. It was with great pleasure that we were able to sign off part of their Duke of Edinburgh award as assessors and wish them good luck in completing the rest of their award.
If you are completing the Duke of Edinburgh award why not consider attending yoga classes to satisfy the Sports / physical activity requirements!
As they are all under 16 they attend with a parent / guardian and we are pleased to have 2 of their parents as regular attendees to our classes now as well! If you are interested in attending our yoga classes with somebody under the age of 16 please see the student resources tab on our website for details of consent forms that need to be completed.
Paul & Steve
Please see below for information about the Duke of Edinburgh award, taken from their website;
Since its creation in 1956 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, the DofE has gone from strength to strength. Guided by the same set of principles and by young people themselves, it’s as relevant today as it was then. The DofE Award was based on Kurt Hahn’s Moray Badge, run by him while Headmaster at Gordonstoun School.
A flexible programme that helps to develop young people for life and work, the numbers speak for themselves: 93% of participants feel that DofE has helped them to work in a team and 84% feel that they have become a more responsible person. From 1,000 DofE Awards achieved in year one to 142,961 last year, we have both a rich history and a bright future. Why not let our timeline and our young people tell you more?
The DofE has a positive impact on young people’s lives, in terms of their personal development and employability, and on wider society, from charities gaining active and engaged volunteers to businesses hiring work-ready recruits.
Demand remains high. With increasing numbers of young people wanting to take part in the world’s leading youth achievement award, it’s our ambition to give another one million 14 to 24-year-olds in the UK this life-changing opportunity by 2021.
Thanks to our fantastic team of employees and volunteers and the generous donations made by our supporters, we look forward to doing just that.
One of our regular Monday Yoga class members, Mollie, is currently in Africa doing some charity work. She kindly agreed to do a guest blog for us so we could see what she is up to. Its great to see her showing the children some yoga postures!
Here is her guest blog;
Hi I’m Mollie!
I have come out to Africa to do some charity work in a local school and hospital. I have been doing this for 4 years now, helping teach basic hygiene and also some English language and drama.
I got into doing this with my grandma as she found the hospital and school and wanted to make a difference and wanted to help improve their lives.
Today was the first day visiting the gorgeous children of Bright Star School. 416 children to be exact!!
We played games, sang songs, played musical instruments and even got time to practice some yoga.
It can be so overwhelming at times when you have 20+ children all wanting to hold your hands. But at the same time they inspire me so much as they are so keen to learn something new and love trying something different. They’re all beautifully mannered and an absolute pleasure to be working with for the week.
Tia and Ben, two of our regular yoga students at our weekly Hoylake Yoga class kindly invited us to attend the West Kirby Light Opera Society Stars in their Eyes night.
It was held in Westbourne Hall and was a fantastic night out. Steve and I took my mum to see it and we all had a great time.
All of the performers were wonderful. There was Johnny Cash, Kate Bush, The Supremes, Michael Buble, Dean Martin, K D Lang, George Michael, Roy Orbison, Shirley Bassey, Taylor Swift, Bewitched, Tina Turner, Cindy Lauper, Nancy Sinatra, Grace Jones and more! The Winner was the very fierce Grace Jones. She had everyone on the edge of their seats wondering if they were going to be picked on from a very in character temperamental Grace Jones!
We were overwhelmed by Tia who performed as Shirley Bassey, Kate Bush and Diana Ross and the Supremes. Our personal favourite was her turn as Kate Bush performing Wuthering Heights complete with the famous dance!
The Yoga has got to help with a dance routine like this;
Ben too was in fine voice as the man in black Johnny Cash performing Ring of Fire, complete with a Tijuana Brass man in the background!
Tia is heavily involved in putting the night together and is also a key member of the West Kirby Light Opera society. The night was a great success and we will be sure to return next year!
Check out the website for the West Kirby Light Opera Society and their up coming events here;
It is World Mental Health day today, Tuesday 10th October 2017. Most people suffer at some point during their life with a mental health problem.
This can range from a period of work related stress and anxiety to a more complex mental health condition. Sometimes these challenges can come right out of the blue and hit us.
Yoga is an excellent way of helping to build our resilience to mental health challenges and is also a wonderful recuperative practice.
Both Steve and I have used yoga to help us at various times in our lives. We first ventured to a yoga class when Steve was living with depression and we thought we would see if it would help. Steve found that the yoga really helped him and was a step towards recovery. I also found that the yoga helped me in many ways and I hadn’t realised that I needed it! That was the start of our regular yoga practice that has lead us to becoming yoga teachers!
I have also used yoga and breathing techniques to deal with periods of work related anxiety when I was working in middle management. Yoga techniques can provide you with the space that is all so important when the mind feels so busy and full.
There is an excellent article written by Dr Mercola titled Yoga Benefits Your Brain Function and Mental Health.
The following is an extract from it and there is a link to the full article below;
Why Yoga Is so Beneficial for Your Brain
Over the years, a number of studies have honed in on the brain benefits of yoga. For example, studies have found that:
• Twenty minutes of Hatha yoga improves your brain function (speed and accuracy of mental processing) to a greater degree than 20 minutes of aerobic exercise (jogging).5,6 Potential mechanisms include enhanced self-awareness and reduced stress.
• Yoga helps improve mental health, including psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety, attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia.7,8,9,10
Some of the studies suggest yoga can have a similar effect to antidepressants and psychotherapy.
• Yoga helps improve teenagers’ emotional resilience and ability to manage anger. As noted by yoga educator and writer Iona Smith:11
“During adolescence, the frontal lobes of the brain (the seat of language and reason) are still being formed, leaving teens to overly rely on their amygdala (the seat of emotions) …
The brain’s malleability during adolescence marks a crucial stage in both cognitive and emotional development.
Luckily, researchers are now able to paint a clearer picture of some of the factors that allow students to thrive throughout high school and into adulthood, such as self-awareness, managing distressing emotions, empathy, and navigating relationships smoothly.
When students hone these skills, they are not only happier and healthier emotionally, but are also better able to focus on academics.”
• By improving stress-related imbalances in your nervous system, yoga can help relieve a range of symptoms found in common mental health disorders.
Researchers also believe yoga can be helpful for conditions like epilepsy, chronic pain, depression, anxiety and PTSD by increasing brain chemicals like gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA).12
We always ensure in our Traditional Hatha Yoga classes that we teach our students a range of different breathing exercises and different guided relaxation so that everyone can find one to suit themselves that they can use in their day to day lives.
We just wanted to let people know that we are going to have a table at Wirral Earth Festival at St Bridget’s Church and fields on Saturday 9th September 11am – 5pm. We will be in the holistic healing / therapy area and are happy to talk to people about yoga and our classes.
Further details for Wirral Earth Festival can be found here; Link to Earth Fest 2017. Its a great day out with lots of interesting stalls and live music.
We will have some information and literature with us about the Gentle Years Yoga programme that we will be starting to teach soon in the local area. This is a yoga programme / class for people with age related health conditions or for those who are advancing in years and would benefit from a gentle class. This does not mean that it is exclusively for older people though! People can begin to experience age related health issues at any age. However, age itself can be a limiting factor for physical activity as we progress into old age and the Gentle Years Yoga classes will be suitable for those who are perhaps just “feeling their age.”
The Gentle Years Yoga programme was put together by the British Wheel of Yoga and a study carried out by the Arthritis society. We will have some information about this with us at Earth Fest.
We will have an expression of interest list where people can leave their name, number and / or email address to be contacted when we start the Gentle Years Yoga classes. If you have any relatives with age related health conditions that may be interested in this gentle form of yoga please let them know.
We will also have information about our current Yoga classes and details of our new Monday class starting in Pensby. People will be able to sign up for these classes or leave contact information.
Finally! FREE PRIZE DRAW!
We will be giving away three prizes;
A brand new Yoga mat
A copy of the excellent book Yoga Quest by Paul Fox (Chair of the British Wheel of Yoga)
A voucher for a free yoga class with Yogasmiths for you and a friend
In order to enter all you need to do is leave us your name, email address and / or phone number, and if you have Facebook, like and share our page on Facebook. The winners will be drawn at random at the end of the day and notified.
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.
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.
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;
As promised we carried out a prize draw including all those who attended last weeks classes with the chance to win a free yoga mat. We carried out the draw earlier today under the watchful eye of our independent adjudicator Archie. Check out the video on Youtube below.