World Mental Health Day 10th October 2017

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


Here is a link to the full article;

Yoga and the Brain – Dr Mercola article

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.




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!


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

Yoga Health Wirral

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

Paul & Steve


Tips for your first yoga class

This may be your first yoga class or you may be returning to yoga? That’s great news and we’re excited to have you join our friendly class! We love yoga and the benefits (both physical and mental) that come with practicing yoga and we are excited to share this with you.

However you may be uncertain as to what to expect from the class which is natural of course when trying anything new!

So here is some useful information for your first class that will hopefully put your mind at ease:

What do I wear?

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing. A t-shirt or vest and joggers or shorts are typical clothes worn during class.
  • When doing the poses you will have to take your socks off. This is for safety reasons (socks on yoga mats can be slippy!) but it also allows us to feel more grounded during the practice by having our feet in contact with the mat.

What do I bring to class?

  • All you need to bring is yourself! If you have a yoga mat then bring that along too, but if you need a mat we will have some available.
  • For comfort you might want to bring something warm to wear and/or a blanket for the relaxation part of the practice if you want but these aren’t essential. Although the room will be comfortably warm you may find that you feel cool as you relax as the breathing and heart rate become slower. Also, you might want to bring a cushion to sit on for the breathing practice but again this isn’t essential. (Tip: a rolled up blanket is also perfect for kneeling to protect the knees)
  • Bring a bottle of water if you’d like in case you get thirsty at any point.

Can I eat before class?

  • It’s okay to have a small snack 15-20 minutes before class but it isn’t recommended to eat a large meal up to 2 hours before doing yoga (so no three course meals or Chinese banquets before class! What you do after class is entirely up to you though!)

What do I do during a yoga class?

  • Our typical class will incorporate a short period of breathing practice to settle the mind and prepare our mind, body and breath for the physical posture work.
  • We will then move onto warming and mobilisation postures before moving onto stronger postures. Everyone will be included because we explain and demonstrate how each posture can be modified to benefit any student regardless of ability, experience, shape or size. A modified version of a posture has exactly the same benefits as full expressions of the postures.
  • Often there will be a theme to the class, and/or or one or two peak postures which we work towards during the class.
  • The physical posture work will be followed by a guided relaxation. There are many different relaxation techniques that can be used. Guided relaxation is an excellent method of helping us manage stress and calm the body and mind.

If you have any more questions about what to expect from your first class please let us know! Further information is provided in the student resources section of our website under ‘Info for new clients’.

We look forward to welcoming you all to class!