Birth Preparation Workshop

5 Benefits of Pregnancy Yoga

5 Benefits of Pregnancy Yoga

by Sian Grayson

 Sian Grayson will be teaching our NEW Pregnancy Yoga Class starting on Thursday 4th September at 8pm

Sian Grayson Pregnancy Yoga1. Relax and take care of yourself
Pregnancy yoga offers mamas some time to distress, relax and do some gentle exercise to help care for your changing body and prepare for your labour. Even if you come to class and all you do is sleep it's totally worth it!

2. Birth Preparation
Yoga teaches us awesome breathing exercises to help you through your labour, to distress, bond with baby, to get to sleep and even to give your lovely unborn baby a sonic massage in the womb, nothing is more important than the breath!

3. The Pelvic Floor
Learning the anatomy of the pelvic floor and how to use the muscles is so important sometimes its all mamas focus on. Known as 'the three sisters' yoga teaches us to exercise the 3 different areas of the pelvic floor in order to strengthen them but also to learn how to release them to help baby come into the world more easily.

4. Keep joints healthy
Your body goes though so many changes during pregnancy you need to exercise to help keep the joints healthy. In pregnancy yoga we teach simple exercises to strengthen the pelvis, reduce hip pain and to improve your posture which changes as your baby grows. When you are pregnant your body releases a hormone called Relaxin which loosens your joints and increases your flexibility so it's important knot to push yourself too far.

5. Bonding with your baby
Classes are focussed on you and your baby and keeping you both healthy until you meet each other and beyond into motherhood. Use this time at class to bond with baby, communicate with baby and enjoy this stage of your journey together.


Hot Yoga Standing Posture Workshop

Hot Yoga Standing Posture Workshop

with Helena Byles

Sunday 14th September
10am - 12pm
£17.50 drop in or £15 pre-book
BOOK THIS WORKSHOP

Hot Yoga Standing Posture WorkshopCome and explore the standing postures of the hot yoga sequence to deepen your practice.
Learn about and apply correct alignment to your practice, to support your body.
Suitable for beginners and more regular students, we can all learn a lot by going back to the foundations of alignment and strength, whether to start a practice or deepen one.

About Helena

Helena BylesHelena discovered a passion for yoga back in 2010 after following a friend’s advice to try a Bikram class. Being a lover of intensive and endurance sports like long distance running and cycling yoga had never seemed like something that would be enjoyable – what a mistake! From the first class she was hooked.

From the start Helena was certain she wanted to teach, to share her love of hot yoga with other gym bunnies, athletes and people who think yoga is not for them. As a Sports and Clinical massage therapist she found she was forever referring people to yoga classes, so in October 2012 she travelled to Thailand to train at the Absolute Hot Yoga centre and here she is now as part of the Yoga Kula team.

Helena’s intention is to make yoga accessible to all – it is never too late to start your yoga journey! Helena is Yoga Kula’s resident Hot Yoga expert and sports and fitness lover – she teaches all of the hot yoga sessions.


Angela Sykes

Yoga Kula Leeds Summer Closure

Yoga Kula Leeds Summer Closure

 

Angela SykesWe will be closed this year for our Summer Holiday from 18th August and reopening on 1st September.

Keep up your yoga practise with a few videos we will be posting during this time.

You will all get a 2 week class pass extension because of the studio closure.

See you on the Mat really soon, we will miss you all!!

Thanks

Angela & Yoga Kula Team! xx


Yoga and Cycling

Yoga and Cycling

tour de france

Here at Yoga Kula in Leeds we're all excited about the Tour de France so we asked one of our students Andrew  Smith about his experiences with Yoga and Cycling.

How long have you be practising Yoga?
I started Yoga approximately 15 months ago alongside my cycling and triathlon training in order to improve flexibility and also look for a way to relax and de-stress after a hard day at work.

Which yoga style(s) do you practice and how often?
I started with the Yoga Kula Beginner’s course, which was a great introduction and quickly built my confidence. Now I practice once a week and vary the classes I attend based on work commitments and other training. I particularly enjoy Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow and Hatha. Each class offers something different and I enjoy the varied styles and pace that each teacher offers.

AS1Has yoga helped you with your cycling in any way?
Although I started Yoga to mainly focus on flexibility I’ve found it has helped my cycling in numerous other areas. In addition to reducing injuries, it’s helped quickly build core strength. This has reduced neck and back pain on long training rides and helped with balance and bike handling. Building strength in my legs has led to more power being transferred to the pedals and therefore greater speed. But the big surprise was how much Yoga has improved my breathing and focus which has been invaluable when climbing the hills of the Yorkshire Dales and in those really tough, dark moments, when races push you to the limit and you want to give in!

Which poses/techniques help you the most?
For me personally I have very tight hamstrings and calf muscles for which there are lots of poses in the classes that have helped such as Downward Dog and the various seated forward bends.

Would you recommend yoga to other cyclists?
I’d certainly recommend Yoga to other cyclists. I’m sure everyone would benefit, in some way, whether it be additional flexibility, building of core strength or learning to focus the mind. If it’s good enough for Bradley Wiggins then it’s good enough for me!


Moon Sequence Workshop

Moon Sequence Workshop

Moon Sequence Workshop

with Kirsten Steffensen

Friday 19th September
7.15pm - 9pm
£15 drop in or £12.50 pre-book
BOOK THIS WORKSHOP

CHANDRA KRAMA – The Moon Sequence

Moon Sequence”Chandra Krama is intended for practice on the full moon, the new moon and at those times when you are feeling more tired than usual or have injuries you need to heal”

”Practicing a restorative sequence at regular intervals can decrease the risk of strain an injury and increase awareness of your changing internal body. We are all being influenced by the seasons and the waxing/waning moon, time of day/month and choosing the right yoga practice is important to keep you feeling balanced”

”The Moon Sequence has been designed with Ashtanga practitioners in mind.

It is a flowing therapeutic sequence for shoulders, wrists, knees, hips and the lower back and it has no jumping back/forward”

”In recent years there has been increasing research into the difference between the skeleton, the organs, soft tissue and connective tissue and how different techniques affect them.

Dynamic movement based practices tend to activate and develop the gross aspects of the body – skeleton, organs and larger muscles.

The internal (subtle) and connective aspects of the body – the ligaments, tendons and fascia are best activated and released through passive stretching held for a longer time and simple awareness”

”The slower you move the more you can let go”

https://vimeo.com/98133714

"The Moon sequence leaves me feeling likeI have really opened up my shoulders and hips in a strong, grounded practice, and when I  don’t feel like doing an Ashtanga practice or energetic class the Moon sequence still allows me to experience a deep release of energy at the same time as being calming and rejuvenating.

Working with the breath helps me stay focused, and as always Kirsten's expert guidance safely allows me to try the stronger poses encouraging everybody to work listening to their own body's feedback. Fabulous workshop, fabulous teacher....don't miss it"

Julia, Yoga Student

I love the Chandra Krama/Moon Sequence because it is a wonderful partner to the Ashtanga Sequence.
With Kirsten's guidance we move through this wonderful sequence calmly and mindfully, deeply stretching and moving but with more clarity and focus.

Yoga Student


Homeopathy Awareness Week

Homeopathy Awareness Week 2014

Homeopathy Awareness Week 2014
14th-21st June 2014

Feel good inside and out

Homeopathy Awareness Week

This year the focus for Homeopathy Awareness Week is skin and how homeopathy can help with minor skin complaints.  Our skin is the largest organ in the body covering about two square metres in total.  It plays a vital role in our overall wellbeing, it protects us, keeps us warm, helps us to cool down and allows us to interact with the world.  Our skin also shows how healthy we are on the inside.

Skin complaints are one of the most common problems that patients seek homeopathic consultations for.1  As a classically trained homeopath I approach skin disorders in a holistic way, so I don’t just look at the skin symptoms in isolation.

I won’t necessarily prescribe topical creams or even homeopathic medicines directed towards skin conditions alone, but instead I spend time exploring all aspects of an individual looking at how the body is functioning as a whole, including the impact of physical and emotional stress on the skin.  Prescriptions are tailored to each individual patient according to their specific symptoms.

Case study

I saw one of my clients, a 14 year old boy, in February 2013.  He suffered from clusters of warts on his hands, particularly round the fingernails, which started when he was 8 or 9.  He had had a tendency to fold his arms or hands over one another or bend his fingers to hide them as he felt the warts were “extremely ugly” and an “eyesore”.  He had tried a number of conventional treatments but these hadn’t been successful in getting rid of the warts.

He was quietly spoken, serious and controlled - giving little away emotionally.  He was intelligent and liked maths and computing and read a lot.  He was keen to get things right and was very exacting.

I prescribed the homeopathic remedy Thuja – not just because it has a strong association with warts – but because it is a remedy associated with a desire to hide or cover up and keep things secret.  Those needing Thuja also tend to be deep thinkers, who can be stiff and cautious with strangers.  They can have fixed ideas and can have a tendency to want to be perfect.

Little had changed after the first dose, but after increasing the potency (strength of the remedy) his warts started to shrink and after repeating the remedy once more the warts and his verrucas continued to shrink.  3 months after starting homeopathic treatment, his mum reported that all his warts had gone, he had stopped hiding his hands and seemed much more confident.  Over a year later he is still wart free.

Special Offer - £10 off an initial consultation

To celebrate Homeopathy Awareness Week I am offering £10 off an initial consultation which is valid for appointments before Friday 18th July.  One discount per person.  Please quote HAWYK when booking.

Adult first consultation: £60 (Up to 1½ hours)

Adult follow up appointment: £40 (Up to 1 hour)

Child (under 16) first consultation: £50 (Up to 1½ hours)

Child (under 16) follow up appointment: £30 (Up to 1 hour)

To book an appointment or for more information

Call Abi Briant-Smith RSHom on 07970 067049

Or e-mail: abibriant_smith@hotmail.com

Facebook: Abi Briant-Smith Homeopath

References

Thompson, EA, et al., 2008, Homeopathy, 97(3):114-121; Witt, C, et al., 2008, BMC Public Health, 17(8):413; British Homeopathic Association http://www.britishhomeopathic.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/homeopathy-and-skin-conditions.pdf


Moon Sequence Workshop

Chandra Krama by Kirsten Steffensen

Chandra Krama - The Moon Sequence by Matthew Sweeney

Moon Sequence WorkshopThought it would be nice to share with you my personal experiences with the Moon Sequence – what it is, when and why I do it and hopefully it will inspire you fellow yogis to dive into slower and more therapeutic yoga.

My first visit to Leeds is now already two years ago – and in many ways it was a very happy trip!

Matthew Sweeney was in town and I joined him for a whole weekend’s workshop. He is no doubt a fantastic knowledgeable teacher and nice person. This was my first go at the Moon sequence. Matthew talked us through the sequence in a very calm, relaxed and soothing way. I was sold!

The sequence: You start sitting quietly for as long as you like tuning into how you are feeling in this present moment in body/heart/mind and becoming aware of the breath. The warm up consists of a Moon Salute A and B followed by some standing postures. You hold all the postures for a little while and keep focusing on a slow and smooth breath. Then follows a set of seated postures which help you to release tension around the shoulders and hips. The whole sequence finishes with back bending postures and a long deep relaxation.

Why: What I liked the very most is the way the sequence is designed. It emphasises good alignment and you spend a lot of time doing postures (back extensions) which are really important for a healthy lower back. Because you hold many of the passive stretches for a longer time it helps you to release tension in ligaments and soft tissue. It has also taught me a greater inner awareness because while I’m in postures (e.g. doing a hip-stretch) there is nowhere to escape compared to a dynamic yoga class where I’m always on my way to a new pose. Being more still teaches you to deal with less pleasant things and by tapping into the sensations learn to discharge them.

https://vimeo.com/98133714

When: From time to time I struggle with a painful and stiff lower back. One of the things that really seem to help me is practicing the Moon sequence daily for some weeks. When you are injured is when the yoga really begins. Suddenly you can’t do everything and you need to teach yourself to “just be”; ”to modify and be happy with that” and “listen inwards”.

Not only do I use the sequence when I have an injury that needs to heal. I also use it on days where I’m feeling more tired than usual or super high and airy and need to slow down and ground myself. Have you noticed how the phases of the Moon affects you?

Thanks: I have come to understand how one yoga style can’t cater for all my needs as they constantly change. Practicing the same style over and over again makes me realise that every yoga style has got strengths and weaknesses. Teaching myself to listen and really listen to my needs have made my yoga practice much more balanced and relaxed. You always have a choice in yoga as well as in life!

Matthew Sweeney: Designed the Moon Sequence as a supplement to the Ashtanga Primary series. In his book Vinyasa Krama you will find another four unique sequences to complement the Ashtanga Intermediate and Advanced series. If you are interested to learn more about him please have a look at his website www.yogatemple.com – he is based in Bali - do you get a better excuse to go traveling.

Kirsten x


Well Woman Workshop

Well Woman Yoga….What’s that then?

Well Woman Yoga….What’s that then?

Lara Heppell - Women’s Wellness, Pregnancy & Hatha Yoga
Women’s Wellness, Pregnancy & Hatha Yoga

Put very simply it is a wonderfully feminine approach to yoga, a style of Yoga that has been developed especially for Women by Women. The practice combines rhythmic fluid postures (asana) with breath, sound, mudra (gesture), and bandha work (pelvic floor practices) to enhance our awareness of our inner body and our nante inner wisdom.

This style of hatha yoga with its roots in tantra has been developed to maximise comfort, ease and pleasure, making it a fun and enjoyable practice suitable for all women of all ages / at all stages of life to try. Uma Dinsmore Tuli who developed this practice states: This fluid, powerful yoga brings us back to the ancient feminine roots of tantric practices that informed hatha yoga in the first place. We are coming full circle. I’ve been practicing yoga for forty-three years, and have spent seven years researching the history of women in yoga. I’ve been delighted to rediscover that yoga’s feminine roots nourish women today.” - See more here.

Our next Well Woman Course starts on Saturday 17th September 2016. You are welcome to join this course as a complete beginner to yoga or as a very experienced yogini. The course offers something very different; a new perspective, a chance to really connect inside to learn ways in which to support your body and its needs by taking the time to understand the fluctuations that occur for you uniquely through your own cycle – whether that is a cycle that involves menstruation or not. Womanhood is an amazing journey but at times we can all lose our way. Busy, stressful lives, negative thoughts, too much doing and not enough being leaves us disconnected from who we really are and the incredible combination of softness and strength we have inside us. Our Well Woman Cycle awareness course is carefully designed to get us back on the right path and help us to find balance through yoga, meditation, abdominal massage, increased self-awareness and improved self-care.

Wherever you are in your monthly cycle, or in the cycle of life come along; the practice can be adapted to suit all needs and is particularly beneficial to those who are experiencing problems or irregularity within their cycle, looking to improve their fertility or approaching menopause.

The course will be a great opportunity for women to gather together to ground and balance our energies….what’s not to Love?

Lara x


Moon Sequence Workshop

Moon Sequence Workshop

Moon Sequence Workshop

with Kirsten Steffensen

Friday 27th June
7.15pm - 9pm
£15 drop in or £12.50 pre-book
BOOK THIS WORKSHOP

CHANDRA KRAMA – The Moon Sequence

Moon Sequence”Chandra Krama is intended for practice on the full moon, the new moon and at those times when you are feeling more tired than usual or have injuries you need to heal”

”Practicing a restorative sequence at regular intervals can decrease the risk of strain an injury and increase awareness of your changing internal body. We are all being influenced by the seasons and the waxing/waning moon, time of day/month and choosing the right yoga practice is important to keep you feeling balanced”

”The Moon Sequence has been designed with Ashtanga practitioners in mind.

It is a flowing therapeutic sequence for shoulders, wrists, knees, hips and the lower back and it has no jumping back/forward”

”In recent years there has been increasing research into the difference between the skeleton, the organs, soft tissue and connective tissue and how different techniques affect them.

Dynamic movement based practices tend to activate and develop the gross aspects of the body – skeleton, organs and larger muscles.

The internal (subtle) and connective aspects of the body – the ligaments, tendons and fascia are best activated and released through passive stretching held for a longer time and simple awareness”

”The slower you move the more you can let go”

https://vimeo.com/98133714

 


Ruth Hartley

My yoga journey and why I love practicing at Yoga Kula.

My yoga journey and why I love practicing at Yoga Kula. 

Ruth HartleyAfter years of working and training in gyms in June 2013 I went to a Bikram yoga class in Brighton with my brother and loved it.  I looked for a hot yoga class in Leeds and found to my amazement hot yoga classes 5 minutes from where I lived at Yoga Kula and started practicing hot yoga with Helena in July 2013.  In such a welcoming studio I soon tried the other yoga classes and after trying ashtanga with Angela decided the upper body strength needed in ashtanga and the balancing and back strengthening of hot yoga would be a good all round work out.

The more I practiced the more I benefited, not just physically, I felt centered and calm, I became focused and less stressed. I stopped going to the gym and concentrated on yoga. Encouraged by the wonderful teachers and my fellow students at Kula my practice has improved.

I can’t thank Angela and her team enough for providing such a beautiful studio in which we can all practice and grow. I feel lucky to have Yoga Kula in my life.

Yoga

  • I love that it pushes my mind, my strength and my muscles.
  • I love that I can complete a class, yet not have done any of the poses to their full extent.
  • I love that there is SO much room to grow and learn.
  • I love that I get excited for class.
  • I love that I see progress each time.
  • I love the inspiring instructors.
  • I love that everyone is working together, yet at their own pace.
  • I love that each class meets me where I’m at.
  • I love that it ends in a relaxing meditation.
  • I love the way my body and mind feel afterward.
  • I love that it makes me want to be better.
  • I love yoga.

Ruth x