Yoga & Pilates in Sutton and Cheam – Yoga & Pilates
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Yogira blog

Hello my friends,

There are many blogs that talk about the deeper dimension of Yoga and its spiritual vision, but I decided that in mine I would write about more practical daily issues that really matter and change our life for the better. Maybe I won’t resist and will write about the spiritual vision one day, but not yet ☺

Time to clean your yoga mat!
May 10, 2014

So, what can be more practical than… cleaning your yoga mat!

Take any empty spray bottle (it can be a window & glass spray bottle or any other). Fill about ¾ of a bottle with water, and ¼ of a bottle with white vinegar. Then add into the mixture 10 drops of tea tree essential oil, which has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Unroll your mat and spray around the solution. Give it a minute to set in and wipe down the liquid with damp sponge or cloth. You can do it every time you are back from Yoga class or every few weeks or so.

Well, my mat is clean - what about yours?

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The true ‘pill’ - lifestyle change.
May 15, 2014

OK, lets get a bit deeper, but still - very practical! I am going to talk about people’s daily routine

A bit of background: I use different styles of Yoga in my lessons, which are all based on Hatha Yoga. ‘Hatha’ is the combination of two Sanskrit words - ‘Ha’ meaning sun and ‘Tha’ meaning moon. Hatha represent the balance of opposites like cold and hot, positive and negative, etc. Hatha Yoga works to balance the energies of the mind with those of the body through physical exercises - asanas.

What am I getting to? Well, I’ve learned from this that every aspect of our life should be balanced. If there is no balance even in one sphere (and I’m not exaggerating), our body will be more susceptible to illnesses, stresses, fatigue and we’ll have low energy thus will get moody and will look accordingly. Therefore, we need to learn how to nourish and protect our energy (prana, yin). Take these simple steps to greater wellbeing and increased vitality:

  1. Stress and emotions - Emotions are a key to good health. Try to avoid long periods of dissatisfaction, emotional instability and stress.
  2. Sleeping times - Get enough sleep. However, lack of sleep is just as bad as too much sleep. Know the golden mean.
  3. Exercise - Forget about static lifestyle. Move! But again, remember that lack of exercise can be as bad as too much exercise. What’s the solution then? Exercise moderately. Know your limitations and abilities!
  4. Nutrition - Try to eat as healthy as possible. But, please give yourself a treat from time to time. At the end of the day we are on this planet to enjoy (that’s at least what I feel).
  5. Drink plenty of water! My suggestion is to prepare a bottle of water in the morning and take it with you everywhere and especially put on your desk so you won’t forget to drink.
  6. Overwork and rest - It is now normal for many people to overwork in ways they never did before. Overwork can wear out our energy, so make time for rest and relaxation. Resting may involve cutting down on work, finding ways to relax such as meditation or relaxation exercises.
  7. Sex - Sex should not become a “boring and habitual routine”. Sex is an important way to release tension, tight muscles, free up blocked energy and even cure pain, not to mention - it is something enjoyable! However, as with everything else, lack of sexual activity can be just as damaging to our health as having too much sex.
  8. Breathing - It lowers heart rate, reduces stress and anxiety. Breathing supplies the whole body with extra oxygen. Carbon dioxide is expelled and the blood is purified of toxins. What else could you ask for?

Now, the main thing is to find the right balance between these 8 spheres and we’ll have a long, healthy and happy life. Always remember that we have to take ALL the steps. It is enough to skip or overdo one step (upset the balance) to wear out our energy and damage our health and wellbeing.

For example: If we’re active, watching what we’re eating, having breakfast but don’t know how to breathe correctly or just hold our breath because we are stressed or our body is tensed for some reason, then we will be unwell. Or we can be active, eat properly, drink plenty of water but don’t have enough sleep/rest/relaxation. The result? Yes - being unwell. Or we can take all the steps but do too much sport. This is just another recipe for being unwell.

Well, I think you got my point… By the way, you probably noticed that when we are overactive we are more vulnerable to catching colds or infections and it’s because we lose our energy. Usually it takes time to get unwell. It can take weeks, months and even years to weaken our energy and damage the health. Our task is to prevent it by making sure we are finding the right balance between ALL the steps and not only few of them. Do you want to start changing your lifestyle? Then, first take a deep breath, smile and feel an easy joy in simply being alive, because our natural state is to be healthy and happy!

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Effective ways to strengthen the immune system in winter
November 29, 2014

  • Practice yoga 3 times a week - combination of pranayamas, stretches and asanas is the best.
  • Take vitamin C and Zinc when you feel like you are getting ill.
  • Eat a teaspoon of raw honey every day. My favourite is the linden (lime) honey.
  • Warming teas. I love licorice, hibiscus, rosehip, lime and Ayurvedic tea (the classic spicy yoga tea - cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, cardamom, hawthorn petals).
  • Eat veggies and fruits everyday and make green shakes from time to time with berries, frozen or fresh exotic fruits (mango, pineapple, kiwi), spinach, kale, etc.
  • Use essential oils: If you are getting ill, add 1 drop of lavender oil, ravintsara oil, tea tree oil or any other essential oil you love to 5 ml of any basic oil (almond, grapeseed, olive, etc.) and massage your feet, toes, and calves, then put your socks on and go to sleep. You will feel much better in the morning - trust me ☺
  • Add a pinch of turmeric and grated ginger to your tea or a glass of water. It will help you with inflammation or any cold/flu you have.
  • Cut down on sugar and wheat rather than on fat, which is very essential for our body.
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    Yama and Niyama
    May 25, 2015

    Foundation of Yoga

    Since I’ve been teaching yoga, I’ve never mentioned Yama and Niyama in my classes, because I didn’t want my students to associate yoga with religion as yoga is not a religion but a way of living a good life by following eight limbs of yoga. As you already know two limbs of yoga : asana and pranayama, today I will mention two more which are Yama and Niyama and next time I will explain the following four limbs.

    Our practice should begin with Yama and Niyama and then extend into asana (physical exercises), pranayamas (breathing exercises) and meditation. Many people come to yoga initially as a physical exercise and only later begin to understand the profound spiritual effect it has on their lives. First we need to establish the precepts of social discipline ‘Yama’ (ethical behavior or ‘right living’).

    The five Yamas of Patanjali’s yoga system are personal obligations to live well and they affect the yogi’s relations with others. The five Yamas are:

    1. Ahimsa - Non - violence, not harming other people, oneself, the environment.
    2. Satya – Truthfulness. Not intending to deceive others even in our thoughts as well as our words and actions.
    3. Asteya – Non stealing.
    4. Brahmacharya – Sexual responsibility, non-cheating on one’s partner.
    5. Aparigraha – Being free from avarice. The material wealth has absolutely no significance for Shiva.

    The Niyamas are precepts of individual discipline. How we interact with ourselves, our internal world. The five Niyamas are:

    1. Shaucha – Cleanliness, purification.
    2. Samtasha – Contentment. The yogis tell us that when we’re perfectly content with all that life gives us, then we attain true joy and happiness. It frees us from the unnecessary suffering of always wanting things to be different.
    3. Tapas – is a yogic practice of intense self-discipline and attainment of will power. To do the things we don’t always want to but are good for us. Deep commitment to our yoga practice.
    4. Svadhyaya – study of the sacred scriptures and of one’s self. Our flaws give us the opportunity to grow and our mistakes allow us to learn.
    5. Dana – Giving. The perfection of generosity. Like all good deeds, an act of giving will bring us happiness in the future.

    If asanas are done without extending intelligence to every body part and surface, without paying attention to our breath or if it is devoid of a spiritual aspect, it is not Yoga. Yoga is not so much about what is done but how it is done and what the effect of doing is.

    Do yoga… commit… explore… breathe deeply… focus… don’t give in and don’t give up…enjoy the happy…


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