If you have a fitness regime it’s likely that you don’t train flexibility, or if you do it’s just for a few minutes before or after your workout. And if you practice yoga you’ve got this covered right? Maybe.
We often think that flexibility if a function of our muscles, or more specifically the muscles tissue, but this is not strictly true. The components of the muscles tissue (actin and myosin fibres if you’re into the geeky stuff) actually slide past each other and their grip is activated and reset via chemical processes. Finding mobility and flexibility in the body is really a function of the facia - the material that glues us together, the connective tissues, the white stuff in your steak – and this is found throughout the body. Historically facia was cut away in dissections and disposed of. However it has been realised partly as a result of advancements in scientific technology that this stuff has properties that are essential to the body’s integrity, efficiency and feeling.
The facia has the properties or elasticity (think of an elastic band that has been stretched and is returning back to its original shape) and plasticity (think of pressing your finger into a plastic bag and deforming its shape, permanently). We can train both of these properties. But why bother?
The plasticity training is perhaps more obvious - who wouldn’t like to do the splits or touch their toes? And if you think these goals are unworthy compared to the goals of strength gains consider this: the ability to lengthen the muscles increases the amount of pull factor in the muscle (actin and myosin again) producing bigger strength gains = more power.
The elasticity training is perhaps less obvious but provides benefits that are wider reaching. The ability of the elastic fibres in the facial tissues to pull back, or return to shape, decreases due to two factors: underuse and age. One factor is inevitable, the other reversible. Training these elastic tissues returns the facia back to its healthy, buoyant, smooth properties aiding ease of movement, upright posture and a sense of well-being in the fabric of the body itself. With eleven times as many nerve fibres as muscle, conditioning the facia has an increased effect on the central nervous system also. Double whammy.
Get flexible, get mobile, move with easy and feel great with our flexibility training class. Science says it’s so.
Flexibility Training at Pacific Yoga Wednesdays 1330
Life is fast paced and I am slowly catching up.
I fell out of love with all things shiny and new some time ago. How many times can I upgrade my phone of computer and expect increasing happiness? The same is true of my relationship with social media.
A student asked me about upcoming workshops. I said they are all on my website and handed her a business card. 'Don't you have a Facebook page?', she replied staring at my card.
Dropping the ball is easily done and thanks to the student I pulled my socks up.
I can post on the go and even have a live class calendar embedded. Workshop events are posted there and it's the fastest way to get in touch.
Go ahead - sign up, like me, poke me. It all sounds rather personal but I am assured it's quite safe.
More Broga® - yay!
For those of you that come to BCY on Tuesday evenings you know it can get a little sweaty and a pretty packed.
But fear not - new classes are available in the brand-spanking-new Pacific Yoga studios. And get this - they are heated ;)
Pacific Yoga has state of the art heating including infrared which heats the body and not the air - it feel's amazingly therapeutic.
And the best part? For those of you on MoveGB, it's included in your plan!
Join me there on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and we'll meet after for a super-healthy juice from the cafe. Yes - there's an amazing cafe too;)
Tuesday's @ 5pm BROGA® 60
Wednesday's @ 12.30pm BROGA® 45
Friday's @ 5pm BROGA® 60
#pacificyoga #cafematariki #brogauk
About Pacific Yoga:
Yoga, wellbeing and warmth come together at the new home of hot yoga. Begin your journey, deepen your practice, or simply stop awhile at Cafe Matariki. Experience a touch of our founder’s South Pacific home, Rarotonga, right in the heart of Bristol.
So it's that time of year again when we are asked what our new year's resolutions are. Believe in them or not (and I'm not sure I do), the ending of a year does seem to have a significance that can raise questions and prompt decisions.
Alongside this, I noticed in the news that there is a 'middle age health crisis' for those people aged 40-60.
Two red flags include decreased sleep and increased stress: two major factors that can disturb the balance of health in other areas in your life, often leading to physical health complications - if not now, maybe later.
But rest assured, yoga will add some health benefits back into your life.
The breathing alone in a yoga class can greatly relieve stress, with techniques learned having far reaching benefits beyond the mat, for example in aiding better sleep. Coupled with the physical posture aspect of class and a healthy dose of the 'woo-woo' yoga stuff that any good teacher will weave in, starting a yoga practice is probably the best resolution you can make.
Luckily I've got you covered - classes at Bristol City Yoga (Tuesday's and Saturdays) and Pacific Yoga (Tuesdays and Saturdays) are now complimented with a new class at the Streetevny Dance Studios on Wednesdyas at 12.30.
See you on the mat yogi's ;)
I have just got back from some exciting updates in New York City.
About eight years ago we left NYC to make our home back in Bristol, and while we have been back to the city in between, I have not had chance to reconnect with some of the most respected teachers I know. But this all changed this week when I was able to study once more with Hilary Cartwright and her ‘yoga for dancers’ work and with Noako Robbins in ‘Gyrokinesis®’.
Both techniques were developed in tandem and from the same source. Over the years there were some changes in emphasis between both techniques, but the underlying principles stayed largely the same. Hilary’s yoga for dancers is based on hatha and kundalini yoga, working on sensory awakening, breath work and associated movement. Gyrokinesis® has similar qualities to yoga and tai chi, and can be augmented by use of a chair to make it more accessible to those with limited flexibility.
Both techniques were developed by dancers for dancers, but you don’t have to be a dancer to do them! What can be gained by non-dancers is a sense of grace and fluidity which is often what's missing from a regular yoga class.
What makes these techniques different from other forms of yoga? Movement. While other forms of yoga link the breath with moving between postures, in these techniques the body is in almost constant motion, moving seamlessly through postures with an emphasis on ‘moving strength’ rather than ‘holding strength'.
What to expect from a class? Usually we start seated, waking up the senses and stimulating the body though self massage. The work is concerned with the muscles and the bones, but also the other systems of the body such as the nerves and visceral organs. Energies of the subtle body are the focus and while this may be elusive to the consciousness at times, energetic awareness and sensitivity develops. Plus you get super strong though the hips, pelvis lower belly as all movement is motivated from within those lower structures.
I have been teaching these diverse forms of yoga for years, and previously ran a teacher training facility in NYC. I loved getting reacquainted, updated and re-certified in these techniques and look forward to bringing them to the South West. I will keep you posted when classes and workshops come online and can offer experience of these techniques privately - great Xmas gift idea!
I love muesli but get bored real easy with the standard store bought ones. The hidden sugars and salts are a drag too. When I make my own I get to put in my fave fruits, nuts & seeds and boost it with the superfoods that make the most sense to me individually.
Here is my current recipe. Show me your success stories :)
110gr rolled oats
70gr rye flakes
70gr barley flakes
110gr millet flakes (great protein content!)
20gr bran or wheat bran
50 gr flaked almonds
25gr mixed seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, poppy)
50gr ground flaxseed & gouge berries
50gr dried cranberries (check the sugar content!)
Mix the base ingredients and toast in a medium oven for 10 minutes.
Chop the cashews & pecans a little, and mix with the other nuts - toast as well.
Keep an eye on the base and nuts so they don’t catch!
When out of the oven and cool mix all ingredients in a big bowl - base, nuts, superfoods and fruit.
Store in an airtight container and don’t let it hang around. The fats in the nuts and seeds will go rancid after a while - so eat up!
This is such a simple recipe and you can add your favourite bits and bobs - swap out the dry fruits for others such as mangos, pineapple, ginger but watch the sugar content in those ones!
Sign up to the donation based class at Wild Wolf's yoga at the link below. Looking forward to seeing you there for some yoga in Bristol's old town.
I can't wait to get teaching in a wonderful new space opening this fall in Bristol's historic city centre.
To get things started, and get you introduced to the space, I would love you to come along to some donation based & free classes!
Pay what you can and introduce those you love to a gentle taster of vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa means 'to place in a special way' and all this means is joining up some of the yoga poses and creating more of a flow-vibe.
Dates to go into your diary are:
Wednesday October 26th at 7.30pm - one hour, donations based
Saturday October 29th at 5pm - half hour, free taster
Wild Wolfs Yoga is located at
St Nicholas Street
Coming this fall I will be teaching new BROGA® classes at the brand new hot yoga studio Pacific Yoga. A purpose built space just across the water from Castle Park, it has state of the art heat and ventilation is a sumptuous & hi-spec studio vibe. Stoked to be offering some hot BROGA® to Bristol.
Classes are Tuesdays and Fridays at 4.30pm.
Check it out here: pacificyoga.co.uk