Reiki – A Teesside Yogi’s experience

Reiki in Middlesbrough, Stockton and Teesside – Where to practice.

On one of my many trips to practice Yoga and Meditation on Koh Phangan, I decided to participate in the local Reiki I & II course. When I was there, I made a very good friend Rashaun and had an amazing experience with Taryn, the lady who runs the courses on Koh Phangan. This was circa 2015, it seems like a lifetime ago, however I still use the skills and knowledge learnt from this experience daily in my practices and in my teaching.

Taryn, Rashaun and I – after completing my level II authorization (2015)

There are many benefits to practicing Reiki and learning it with a skilled, well learned teacher can really help with mental wellbeing.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese deep relaxation technique, which invokes a deep meditative state for the receiver. The practitioner works with the bodys energy, known as Qi in Japanese, by placing hands on specific points on the body. This helps to bring calm and a sense of peace and tranquility.
It helps to move blocked energy within the body, which can cause feelings of unease, anxiety and low mood. When our energy flows freely, our energy levels increase, which leads to feelings of peace, calm, tranquillity, improved mood and wellbeing.

What are the benefits of Reiki?

crop masseuse with hands near ears of woman

Reiki helps to soothe the nervous system, bringing a peace of sense and calm to the body. It can help lower blood pressure and help with certain mental ailments such as anxiety and depression. It can improve sleep patterns. It can also help with working through difficult feelings and emotions, improving clarity.

Teachers and practitioners in Teesside.

There are many teachers and practitioners within Teesside practicing Reiki. I would recommend Jenni Crowther and Jo Taylor for sessions in Teesside. They are two well learned practitioners and rate them both highly.

Do you practice Reiki? What are your experiences? Team AMALA would love to hear from you!

About The author:

Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Move It or Lose It! teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.
For more information on Aimee and the services she offers, contact her VIA www.amalateesside.com or www.facebook.com/amalateesside

Yoga in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees.

We are a socially conscious, community-minded local business with wellness at the heart of our mission.

AMALAwellness offer Yoga, meditation and Chair Based Yoga and Exercise classes across Teesside and easily accessible from Billingham!

Yoga classes in the Billingham / Norton Area.

Gentle Hatha Yoga Flow and Meditation Class

Yoga in Billingham

We have a Beginners/Improvers Community Hatha Yoga Class at Ragworth Community Centre in Norton/Stockton on Tees.

Tuesdays 7:00-8:30pm.

A ‘Hatha’ yoga class will typically involve a set of physical postures (yoga poses) and breathing techniques, practiced slowly and with standing, seated and sometimes inverted static posture holds.

Classes are £6.50 drop-in, or equivalent £5.00 for a block booking. (£20/£25 depending on how many weeks are in a month).
**Block bookings are non-refundable and non-transferrable.**

Who is this class suitable for?

AMALAwellness' Gentle yoga Flow is suitable for all ages and abilities.

Beginners are very welcome. 

We have a range of students from 20 years old to 80+.

It involves standing, seated, kneeling poses as well as lunges. If you think this might be too challenging, you might be interested in our Chair Based Yoga and Exercise Classes.

The 1st hour is asana focused (postural practice) and the last half an hour is dedicated to practicing meditation and relaxation, where we flow through two or three different meditation exercises. 

Chair Based Yoga & Exercise

Chair Yoga in Billingham 
Stockton on Tees
It is suitable for anyone who needs a gentle practice. 
Options for this practice include seated, with chair support and free-standing, making the classes versatile. 

These classes are very fun and active. They are also very social with a wide range of ages and abilities attending. 

Beginners are very welcome. 

The first class is a taster session, so it is on the house!
After that, classes are £5.00 pay-as-you-go.

Contact us for more information and bookings.

If you would like to sign up to one of ourp classes in the area, please contact us using the information below.

Whatsapp/text/phone – 07774600440
facebook: www.facebook.com/amalateesside
Email – amala.teesside@gmail.com

We would love to welcome you to class!

About The author:

Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Move It or Lose It! teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.
For more information on Aimee and the services she offers, contact her VIA www.amalateesside.com or www.facebook.com/amalateesside

Relaxation Techniques – relieve stress and anxiety with these tips

Relaxation techniques - AMALAwellness Teesside

Using Yoga and Meditation to learn how to relax.

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax”

Mark Black

Relaxation techniques are a great way of helping the body and mind to rest and recover.

Sometimes we can find it difficult to switch off. Especially as we have many day-to-day demands, work stresses and are constantly switched on due to notifications from phones.

This leads to increased stress, anxiety and other mental health issues.

– Why is it important to learn to relax? –

Symptoms of stress, anxiety and other mental health ailments can affect both our physical and mental wellbeing; as well as motivation, relationships, sleep just to name a few things. It can negatively effect the way we behave and react to certain situations.

Relaxation is not only about finding peace or doing a relaxing hobby. It has a very positive effect on both physical and mental health. These techniques help with maintaining wellbeing. They can help alleviate and regress long term health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and certain types of pain.

– How Yoga and Meditation can help –

Yoga is a mind body practice, that helps with not only physical wellbeing, but mental too. It combines gentle breathwork with physical postures, gentle, controlled movement, meditation and relaxation. There are a range of practices from the very gentle and accessible Chair yoga, to Hatha Yoga (most suited for beginners), to the very physical practice of Ashtanga Yoga.

When you find a practice suitable for you, it can help us become more flexible, mobile and active as well as reducing stress and anxiety within the mind and body. This in turn leads to a reduction in heart rate and blood pressure.

The Best thing is, Yoga and Meditation is suitable for anyone. All you need to do is practice.

– Aimee, AMALAwellness

Meditation helps with becoming present, slowing the heart & mind down and feeling at peace. When practiced regularly, meditation can have a wonderful effect on mental wellbeing. However, like working our physical body, the mind must be trained to see the benefits.

– Relaxation techniques you can take anywhere with you –

down angle photography of red clouds and blue sky

Consideration of Environment…

Take time to create a peaceful environment where ever you are, whether it is your desk at work, or your bedroom or living room. Make time to create a peaceful and calm environment.

Set time aside for peace, calm and relaxation…

Whether its an hour to read a book in the bath, taking the dog for a long walk or attending a local yoga class. Taking this time is crucial for our wellbeing.

Gentle Yoga

Gently moving the body, stretching and having a focus on the breath can really help to calm the mind in a positive way. It helps to soothe the nerves and the nervous system, takes our mind to the present and gentle movement and stretching helps the body to produce hormones and chemicals which invoke a sense of relaxation and recovery within the body.

Autogenic Relaxation

Autogenic = coming from within…

Autogenic Relaxation uses visualisation and body/mind awareness to invoke relaxation within. It includes guiding muscles to gently let go and relax to take the mind and body into a place of deep calm. Usually, this is practiced lying down and to feel the benefits, 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted practice is needed.

Gentle Breathwork

Gentle breathwork is a process where we use or breath to change out physical and mental state for the better. It helps to soothe the nervous system. Slowing the breath and taking a one point focus to the breath helps us to calm the mind and body, slow down our heart rate and allow the mind and body to relax. Click here for a short practice to take with you anywhere.

Meditation

By just pausing, inhaling deeply, exhaling fully and gently closing the eyes, we can practice meditating anywhere we find ourselves. By just relaxing the shoulders, face, removing the tongue from the roof of the mouth and taking an awareness to the breath, it can being us back to the present moment.

– Guided meditations to practice at home –

Warm Autogenic Relaxation
7 Chakra Guided Sleep Meditation (Practice before sleep)
Guided spoken meditation for beginners
Meditation to Reduce Stress and Anxiety (Connecting to Loving Kindness)

Local AMALAwellness’ classes.

We run classes across Teesside.

Yoga & Meditation – Tuesday Evenings, Ragworth Community Centre, Norton, Stockton on Tees.

Gentle Yoga – Tuesday Afternoons // Meditation and Relaxation – Thursday Afternoons, My Core Wellbeing , Guisborough.

Yoga and Meditation – Friday Mornings, St Mary’s Chuch Hall, Nunthorpe.

See our Yoga & Meditation classes for days, times, pricing and location here.

What Relaxation techniques do you use? We would love to hear from you!

About The author:

Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Move It or Lose It! teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.

To find out more, visit www.amalateesside.com

Cultivating Self Compassion

What is self compassion?

– What is self compassion? –

Self compassion is our ability to be kind to ourselves. Self-compassion is often mistaken for selfishness (being self-centred) or selflessness (not putting yourself first). We are often more used to seeing and practicing compassion towards others. Compassion is showing loving kindness, consideration and care towards the difficulties of others. Self-compassion is compassion directed inwards. There is a wealth of research that self-compassion improves mood and overall wellbeing.

Psychologist Dr. Kristin Neff explains the practice and conditions of self compassion in the following short clip:

What are some of the benefits of practicing self-compassion?

ImgSource: Medium.com
  • Improved quality of life
  • Resilience during stressful life events
  • Deeper understanding of others perceptions (empathy)
  • Increase in physical and mental well-being
  • Reduction in stress, anxious and depression.
  • A greater ability to handle conflict
  • Increase in resilience

What are some of the challenges to being self-compassionate?

  • Our beliefs about self-compassion being wrong or unattainable can be a barrier
  • We may not have experienced compassion from others so find it difficult to show ourselves the same kindness
  • Perfectionism – believing that you must do everything perfectly and if you fall short of your own expectations then you punish yourself
  • We may have psychological or physical challenges which have lead to us being more self critical rather than self-compassionate

How do I be more compassionate towards myself?

ImgSource: Verv

Self-compassion can be improved in a number of ways. Firstly, we would recommend making some dedicated time for self-care. Self-care involves nurturing activities which can help to relieve day to day stress and tension. Self-care can be as simple as making sure that you are eating healthy meals regularly and getting in at least 30 minutes of sunlight by going for a walk for your well-being. Self-care can include planning things to look forward to such as seeing a friend, going to a local yoga class or making use of annual leave to rest if you are working. Self-care looks different for everyone – find what feels good for you. It can be helpful to develop a self-compassionate box or bag with items in which make you smile when you are having a challenging day.

– Keeping a journal –

It may be worth keeping a journal so you can notice how you speak about/to yourself. If you are overly self-critical or negative towards yourself, it can sometimes be helpful to challenge this by thinking about how a trusted friend would react to what you have written. Then, write a letter to yourself which acknowledges the difficulties you are facing without judgement. You can do this as though you are responding to a letter from a friend rather than to yourself if you find it easier to be compassionate towards others. It is not easy to be self-compassionate when we are used to being self-critical. It can feel completely alien at first and requires some practice to become neutral towards yourself rather than judgemental. It is worth putting in the work to set the right tone of the relationship we have with ourselves. Our inner voice shapes our world, our view of ourselves and others. Self-compassion is something which can be learned and developed through out our lives.

– Developing a mindful practice –

Developing a mindfulness practice can help with cultivating self-compassion. The aim of mindfulness is to be present, observe our thoughts, feelings and environment without judgement. A mindfulness practice can start wherever you feel most comfortable. Whether that is trying a guided meditation while in bed or noticing the experiences of your 5 senses (What you can see, hear, touch, taste and smell).

– Mindful tea breaks –

Here at AMALAwellness, we are advocates for tea breaks! You can practice mindfulness by thinking about the smell, colour, warmth, taste and origin of your tea. Spend a few minutes focusing on each individual sense with curiosity. Mindfulness connects with self-compassion because our inner critic is invited to rest for a moment. It allows us to be open to our experiences with space to learn and grow. Mindfulness is a practice – it is not something to perfect. Mindfulness releases the body and mind from the unhelpful effects of thinking about the past or the future.

woman meditating in the outdoors

Recommended evidence-based self-help on developing self-compassion:

Create your own ‘Compassionate Kit Bag’: https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/media/pqsg3xsf/kitbag.pdf

Guided meditations by Dr K. Neff:

Self-compassion work book from the Centre for Clinical interventions: https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself/Self-Compassion

We hope you enjoyed this blog. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments!

Warm wishes,

Jess

Team AMALAwellness

Ashtanga in Middlesbrough and Stockton – Managing Anxiety and OCD Symptoms

Practising Mysore Ashtanga (the traditional way of practising Asthanga yoga) has changed many peoples mental wellbeing around the world for the better. When practiced daily with persistence, it is a very transformational practice.

Through the power of having a committed, dedicated practice, not only does practice change for good on the mat, life off the mat starts to change too. That’s the magic of Ashtanga yoga.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of:
– Fear
– Worry
-Unease

Symptoms of anxiety include:
– Racing heart
– Excessive sweat
-Shaking
– Over thinking
-Shortness of breath
– Chest pains
– Increased heart rate
– Racing mind
– Changes in mood or behaviour

We all experience anxiety at times, feeling anxious is a natural reaction to some situations.

However, feelings of anxiety can be constant. When Anxiety becomes overwhelming or out of proportion to the situation. This can affect your daily life, work, hobbies and relationships. This is when we might need to find ways to alleviate symptoms or reach out to get support with anxiety.

What is OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)?

OCD is a form of anxiety disorder that involves repetitive, invasive and often unwanted thoughts that can lead to physical compulsions. (Such as checking a door is locked, or washing hands). It can be very distressing and disrupt a persons day when suffering with the symptoms of OCD.


How I used my daily Mysore Ashtanga practice to over-come anxiety and OCD.

Having a dedicated, daily Ashtanga and Meditation practice helped me to change my mind and body to overcome anxiety and OCD. This wasn’t a quick fix by any means, it took dedication and time. However as Yoga became an important part of my life, I found that my symptoms and suffering faded. Here are some of the things I found really helped me on my journey and hopefully can inspire others too!

– Tough Love –

With a dedicated practice, it opens up our energy channels (known as nadis) and starts to heal the emotional and physical body. It literally breaks you down, then builds you back up. The practice really improves strength, flexibility (both mentally and physically). When combined with a long meditation/savasana at the end it makes you reflect, more mindful, kinder and compassionate.

This helps with anxiety and OCD symptoms as Ashtanga is a physical practice. A session will help the body and mind in a similar way to physical exercise, releasing feel-good chemicals from the mind into the body. Also, coupled with meditation – it soothes the nervous system and gives us space to relax, recover and rest.

Dedication and discipline is the route to change.
No discipline/sporadic practice = the route to right back where you were.

A lot of people have a misconception that having a dedicated practice is a form of punishment. From having a dedicated practice and studying over the years, I have learnt discipline isn’t punishment. It’s self love. By being dedicated and consistent to my practice once more after lockdown, I started to see big shifts in my mental health and my life.

If you suffer from mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, OCD, etc, then being dedicated to something daily is where you may see transformation for the better. Especially when it is a focus on physical and mental well-being.


I believe, this is why Ashtanga is so transformational.

It’s a practice you can learn and take with you anywhere.

balance body exercise female
Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

All you need is your mat and you.


With this practice, it is indeed an internal practice and the rest is just a circus.

Yoga


Being disciplined in Mysore style Ashtanga Yoga can have transformative effects on both physical and mental well-being

How did I manage OCD and Anxiety with Ashtanga Yoga?

– CONSISTENCY! –

Consistency, discipline and a commitment to practising daily are important if you want to see any transformation in this practice.

It’s something you have to dedicate yourself to. If you practice Mysore Ashtanga Yoga, practicing at least 5 days a week is really important.

“Ashtanga yoga is for everyone, except for lazy people”. – Pattabhi Jois.

Through a consistent practice, you begin to learn your strengths and weaknesses. When including the Yamas and Niyamas (Moral and ethical codes Yogis live by) you work through issues and ailments in life both on and off the mat.

Yoga



Being devoted to the practice is the most important thing. With consistency, you start to break old habits, chains and thought patterns in your mind and form new ones.

By doing something mentally and physically positive for 21+ days, you will naturally start to rewire your mind and body.

– TIME AND SPACE –

We need to create space to:
– facilitate healing
– allow time to go deep with yoga and meditation practice
– create a peaceful, calming space for ourselves

Mysore Yoga

We need to give ourselves space and time for stillness and calm within our lives. Often, many people will state they are too busy to create this time for themselves. One thing I and many others have found so important in our journey, is facilitating time into our days and into our lives to switch off and allow the mind to still. When we do this, we find we feel less stressed and are actually more productive.

Taking this time is especially important if you suffer from OCD or anxiety.

– MENTAL & PHYSICAL STRENGTH –

When we practice consistently and dedicate to the practice, we are able to build physical and mental strength.

It takes a lot in the beginning to build up the confidence, emotional and physical strength and stamina. The practice is very physical.

Mysore Yoga

This is why it is such a transformational practice. It’s so humbling when you achieve something, the next thing is there. It’s always changing. It takes months, even years to build up the fitness.

You realise also, if you take a break, how quickly your mental and physical fitness changes. I’m quite fond of this quote by Sharath Jois, because it is very true for the Ashtanga practice, if a daily practice is done.

Yoga Tip

Becoming more physically fit as well as working on the mental is important, you cannot really have one without the other. Same goes for diet, you cannot really practice if your diet is not sufficient. However, the more you start to look after your physical health, the diet naturally follows and many people find themselves making healthier choices.

– COMMUNITY –

Showing up even when you cannot face getting out of bed means you’re making a commitment to yourself and your practice.

When you show up daily you prove to not only yourself, but your teachers and fellow practitioners that you are reliable.

People notice when you aren’t around. Plus, teachers put a lot of effort into you, in the Mysore Ashtanga Method. They like to know that their effort is not in vain.

Yoga

By showing up, or honoring your commitment to a week, month, etc, course, you show your teachers you are invested in the practice.

– NATURALLY HEALTH & HAPPY –

When we practice, we start to naturally become healthier. We start to think of things we maybe didn’t think of so deeply before. Especially starting to look more deeply in to philosophy and Sanskrit.

We literally are what we eat. Our bodies use vitamins, minerals , proteins, carbohydrates and other compounds from our food to literally re-build our bodies from a cellular level. What we eat and what we drink is super important for our health, emotional and physical.

This also has an effect on our practice. We cannot expect to be our best at, or enjoy practice if we eat a late night pizza the night before, or have a few beers.

We naturally start to intermittent fast and think about the effects our food has on not only us, but the environment.

We also start to reflect on our own environments (santosha and saucha), the company we keep and how this affects our practice too.

Through this practice and intermittent fasting, plus changing my eating habits I have become much healthier and stronger (physically and mentally) plus leaner!

– REWIRING THE MIND & NEURONS –

person holding string lights photo
Photo by David Cassolato on Pexels.com

Practice becomes something you’re able to tune in to and commit to daily, where you set time to be dedicated.

This becomes routine, like getting up for work. Because of this routine, it becomes an intentional habit. After 21 days of doing something consistently, it becomes routine. 

It starts to reprogram the mind. You start putting your self, your mental and physical health first.

Ashtanga, Hatha, Gentle Yoga & Meditation…

I found that Ashtanga has been a big part my personal practice, but I have over lockdown and beyond, found solace in gentle yoga and hatha yoga, as well as really deepening my meditation practice.

Its the focus and dedication where you see the benefits, no matter what the practice. You need to find what works for you, there are many differing styles that can help you be dedicated to practice of Yoga and Meditation.


You can take the teachings and knowledge with you and practice anywhere. All you need to do is get on your mat 5/6 days a week.
Whether it’s 10 minutes, half an hour or two hours, as long as it’s a daily dedicated practice, that’s enough. Its just finding a routine.

I am so grateful for building up a dedicated Yoga and Meditation practice, as it has given me the discipline to practice daily, for my mind more than anything. Toning up and weight-loss are just a nice side effect of the practice.

It has inspired me to lead a more peaceful, healthy life and taken me to some amazing places in the world and given me much more confidence.

Its something I endeavour to keep up, to keep practicing… imagine where life might be in a year, 2 years… 10 years!

So as you can see, any type of practice when practiced daily will have a transformational benefit to your mental health, be it meditation, yoga, jogging…

I am so grateful for my teachers for showing me how finding a dedication and focus in life can really help to change your life for the better…

Dedication & Discipline= the route to change…

Yoga Middlesbrough advanced asanas


Through having a regular daily practice, you will start to see how your mental and physical health start to improve naturally.



Do you plan to be dedicated to a practice?

Do you already have a consistent practice in something?

We would love to hear from you!

Ashtanga in Middlesbrough & Stockton

I offer beginners one-on-one Ashtanga lessons (see classes for more information) and teach Gentle Yoga and Hatha Yoga classes.

For in-person classes, or experienced Ashtanga practitioners looking to deepen their practice, I would highly recommend Maria Dowson (www.yogateesside.com) and Jenni Crowther (https://jennicrowther.co.uk/)

Both are local to Teesside and have a wealth of experience and knowledge. I am lucky to have practiced and attended their classes and they are wonderful teachers.

Do you plan to be dedicated to a practice?

Do you already have a consistent practice in something?

We would love to hear from you!

About The author:

Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Move It or Lose It! teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.
For more information on Aimee and the services she offers, contact her VIA www.amalateesside.com or www.facebook.com/amalateesside

Coriander health benefits – 4 amazing facts about this super herb.

Coriander health benefits

At AMALAwellness’ headquarters, we love adding coriander to our food. We eat primarily plant-based and love not only the flavour, but the myriad of health benefits associated with this super herb.

– What is coriander? –

Coriander is an aromatic, herbaceous plant.   Although all parts of the plant are edible, the fresh leaves and seeds are traditionally used in cooking. It grows all around the world and is used in many cuisines to add spice and flavour. It also has a myriad of health benefits.

IMGURL: Times of India

Coriander / Cilantro, what is the difference?

Interesting fact: In America, the seeds of the plant are typically known as coriander and the leaves are called cilantro, however in the UK the leaves and seeds are both known as coriander. Whatever form its in, it provides some impressive, interesting and significant health benefits. This herb is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Read on to learn more about this super herb!

Coriander health benefits
Photo by Uluer Servet Yuce on Pexels.com

– Amazing health facts –

1. May help lower blood sugar naturally.

Coriander is known to help lower levels of sugar within the blood. This study shows that when added to diets, it helps improve liver function and allows the body to process sugars to reduce the amount in the bloodstream. Coriander aids in the activation of enzymes that process blood glucose effectively.

2. The herb is full of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.

Antioxidants are Synthetic (man-made) or non-synthetic (natural substances) chemicals that help prevent or delay cell damage. They are found in abundance in fruits, vegetables and teas. Infact, green tea is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic content through a compound called Tannin. Tannin is found in all plants, but found in abundance in coriander. It can also reduce the signs of ageing!

Coriander leaves are full of Vitamin – K ( important for helping blood to clot, helping improve bone density and reducing effects of osteoporosis).

The leaves are also full of Vitamin A – which helps to protect vision, especially as we age. It also plats an important role in maintaining your body’s natural defenses, as well as cell health and production.

3. It can help with alleviating inflammation within the body.

Coriander has shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation within the body is linked to several health conditions, from anxiety and stress to early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease. The antioxidants in coriander have been linked to reduced inflammation and when eaten with a healthy diet, can help to alleviate and even reduce symptoms.

– Making healthy choices daily –

assorted sliced fruits in white ceramic bowl
Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

By making healthy choices daily, especially eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and drinking two litres of water, we can help transform our physical and mental health. By adding fresh herbs and spices to cooking, we get an array of extra vitamins, minerals as well as adding flavour is always welcomed!

Do you add any coriander to your dishes? Which ones and why? We would love to hear from you!

Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Move It or Lose It! teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.

Find AMALAwellness yoga and meditation classes in Teesside and online.

Community Yoga in Middlesbrough & Stockton (Teesside) – AMALAwellness

Update -19th July and beyond…

– Community Hatha Yoga & Meditation –
– Move it or Lose it! / Chair Yoga –

Hi all! Hope you are well and enjoying the Sunshine. As things start to change and restrictions are lifted, I just thought I would update you on our plans moving forward.

Follow us on Facebook for up-to date class information!

– Protocol for classes –

Although restrictions will be easing on the 19th of July, I have decided it is in the best interests of both myself and students to keep class numbers to 14 (16 in St Mary’s Church Hall) so that people can feel safe attending classes and still socially distance. Luckily our community classes are in quite spacious halls.

hands with latex gloves holding a globe with a face mask
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

– Optional –

This is optional, but preferred to keep people safe and able to enjoy classes for the foreseeable future.

For all classes, wearing a mask will be recommended for entering and leaving the building.
You can remove the mask when seated on your mat/chair and practicing.
When leaving, a mask will need to be worn.

2M + must still be adhered to, so please respect others spaces when setting up and practicing.

Please sanitize hands before class and bring your own mat.
If equipment is used, Aimee will sanitize these before and after class.
Please keep your personal belongings by your ‘space’ to avoid unnecessary contact with surfaces around the hall.

– Update to schedule – Online classes –

We will be running the online Move it or Lose it class till the end of July, then we will be moving to in-person classes only. If you would like to attend an in person class, please see our class schedule and let us know.

– Looking after ourselves as we transition out of lockdown –

As we start to exit restrictions, many of us may be feeling stressed, anxious or exhausted. Even with the worst hopefully behind us, the effects can still be felt. If this is you, you’re not alone.
As things start to lift, getting used to the new normal will be challenging for us all. Make sure to look after yourself as we start to transition.

Combatting lockdown blues
Yoga and Meditation Classes Online 
Teesside / Middlesbrough / Stockton

Yoga, meditation, Gentle exercise, relaxation and creating a stress-free home environment is so important, now more so than ever. At AMALAwellness we have a regular class timetable designed to help deal with the lockdown blues, maintain good mental health and keep active.

– New classes coming soon! –

We will be running a beginners Yoga and Meditation class in Linthorpe on a Monday morning, as well as setting up another Move it or Lose it! and Gentle Chair Yoga class soon…. so watch out for more information.

– Need to contact us? –

If you have any questions, please contact us on:

www.facebook.com/amalateesside

or email us on amala.teesside@gmail.com or aimee.bell@moveitorloseit.co.uk

Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Move It or Lose It! teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.
Find AMALAwellness yoga and meditation classes in Teesside and online.

Hatha Yoga – Middlesbrough & Stockton

What is  Hatha Yoga?

Combining Asana (Postures) with Pranayama (Breathing techniques)…

man people woman sitting
Photo by Aatm Yogashala on Pexels.com


Hatha is the root of all yoga.   Iyengar, Vinyasa, Yin, Ashtanga and other forms of Yoga all stem from Hatha yoga. 

A ‘Hatha’ yoga class will typically involve a set of physical postures (yoga poses) and breathing techniques, practiced slowly and with standing, seated and sometimes inverted static posture holds.

Hatha means ‘force’ in Sanskrit हठ and attains that through the physical practice of Yoga, we receive the benefits. So Hatha yoga can be considered as anything you might do with the body to still the mind, including: 

  • asana – yoga postures (practised in any style of ‘yoga’)
  • pranayama – breathing techniques
  • mudra – hand gestures
  • Meditation and relaxation techniques

Hatha practices are designed to align and calm your body and mind. This practice is often modified and can be as challenging as you wish it to be, with modified poses for beginners. More challenging options are included for more experienced practitioners, making it accessible to all. Your practice deepens and grows with you as you progress.

It is recommended that you abstain from eating or drinking anything but water 2 hours before practice.

It has actually been proven that those who attend regular Hatha classes have reduced stress and anxiety levels, also their flexibility, core strength and cardio endurance improved. It also helped to improve balance, posture and mobility.

The Eight Limbs of Yoga.


When practising, asana (postures) are important, but there are 8 limbs to yoga and asana is only 1 of these limbs. When practising the other elements of Hatha yoga, such as chanting, pranayama (breathing techniques), meditation, kriyas (cleansing), and philosophy, plus eating a vegetarian diet, we can begin to link the benefits of healthy mind and healthy body.
 

Yoga Middlesbrough advanced asanas

What is Hatha Vinyasa Yoga?

Vinyasa means “to place in a special way” , where in Hatha, we tend to hold asana postures for longer, in Hatha Vinyasa we flow through asana, linking postures and movement with breath. Without practising the other limbs of hatha/ hatha vinyasa yoga, you are only doing a gym class. It is really important to develop  a fully rounded practice to learn and get the benefits from Hatha properly. This is an integral part which is sadly getting lost and diluted in the west. 

Who is the practice suitable for?

The practice is suitable for anyone who is looking to begin or deepen their practice. It is suitable for beginners and improvers.

Postures include lying down, kneeling, lying on the front, beginners/improvers inversions and standing.

– Schedule –

Aimee teaches a Gentle Hatha class in Guisborough on a Tuesday Afternoon, an evening class on Tuesdays in Stockton, as well as a morning class on a Friday in Nunthorpe. Please see our timetable for more information.

What other classes are available with AMALAwellness?

If kneeling, or coming from seated to standing is too much of a challenge, we offer Gentle Chair Yoga, Movement and Move it or Lose it! Classes.

See our timetable for more information.

To summarize…

The benefits of this practice are well known. In the west it is mainly used to bring strength and flexibility to the body. However, if you take the time to learn about other aspects of Yoga; you can really begin to develop a deeper practice. Not only for your body but for your mind.

About The author:

Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Move It or Lose It! teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.

To find out more, visit www.amalateesside.com Like6

Free Self Care Checklist – Yoga in Stockton & Middlesbrough

AMALAwellness’ printable Daily Self Care Checklist – perfect for your fridge!

This week we celebrate World Wellbeing Week across the globe. It is a good opportunity for us to raise awareness of all aspects of wellbeing and how we can incorporate it into our lives.

Self-care is in the lime-light at the moment, especially during this transition phase of easing restrictions imposed upon us to help stop the spreading of Covid-19. However, it is not a new concept. Our ancestors taught us the value of meditation, yoga, tai-chi, physical movement and much more. Things which are inter-twined within life for many of us to this day.

It’s so important to make sure you take good care of your body, mind, and soul every day, not just when you get sick. Learning how to eat right, reduce stress, exercise regularly, and take a time-out when you need it are touchstones of self-care and can help you stay healthy, happy, and resilient.

Quote from Psychology Today

– What is Self-Care? –

Self care is consciously making decisions to look after your physical and mental well-being. It is essential for normal functioning. There is a myth that self-care is selfish, however it is imperative that we incorporate time to look after ourselves daily. Especially if we look after others, we cannot pour from an empty cup!

be kind to yourself self reminder

– Some self care is different for everyone –

Self care differs for everyone, from the youngest in society to the oldest.
For one person, it might be flossing daily, for another, it might be walking to the shop.

– Daily self-care is similar to all –



Although self-care is different for many, some self-care routines should be incoporated into daily life. Things such as brushing your teeth daily, drinking 8 glasses of water, walking and eating healthy are universal and essential for us all.

– Barriers to self-care –

There can be many barriers to self care, such as –

  • Feeling time is limited
  • Looking after others and not leaving time for yourself
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Low mood
  • Depression
  • Motivation
  • Feeling incapable
  • Spending too much time on technology
  • Stressful jobs

– How to overcome these barriers –

A great place to start is by doing 15 minutes of self-care a day. Perhaps, picking one thing off the ‘Self Care Checklist’ to do daily for a week and build up from there.

If you feel like exercise is too much for you, you could try moving gently for 10-15 minutes. Perhaps, incorporating gentle movement with cleaning and tidying, or even walking to the shop! There are many ways you can overcome these barriers by breaking self-care down into simple steps.

The more you move, the more you’re able to move…

– Learning to set boundaries –

It is OK to change plans, to say ‘no’ and to put your own needs first. Many of us feel obliged to say yes to people who ask for our time and energy. If you are already feeling burned out, it can be detrimental to our wellbeing. Learning to say no and set boundaries can really help us improve our self-care. When you learn to assertively, but politely say ‘no’, it can actually feel empowering. It can help to boost your mood, improve confidence and give yourself more time for selfcare.

Keep track of your progress with our daily self-care checklist.

AMALAwellness has made a simple checklist to help you keep track of self-care and things you can incorporate into your life. Doing these things daily will help boost your mood and improve your physical and mental wellbeing.

Self Care Checklist

What do you do for self-care? What do you wish you had more time to do?
Tell us in the comments below!

AMALAwellness – Yoga, Meditation and Gentle Movement Classes in Teesside.

At AMALAwellness, we offer a range of classes across Teesside from Hatha Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Meditation and Gentle Movement classes for those with limited mobility.

If you would like to come along to any of our classes and deepen your knowledge, let us know!

About The author:

Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Move It or Lose It! teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.

To find out more, visit www.amalateesside.com

Beginners Yoga in Stockton – Teesside

**Main image from a local, talented photographer known as Stephen Hornsey.**

We have a Beginners Yoga Class at Ragworth Community Centre in Norton/Stockton on Tees. Tuesdays 7:00-8:30pm. For bookings and information contact us at amala.teesside@gmail.com.

For more information on the classes and services AMALAwellness offer, read on.

The class includes kneeling, seated and standing postures.

Beginners Yoga in Stockton – at AMALAwellness we cater for beginners and improvers in all of our Yoga, Meditation and gentle movement classes. We run classes in:

Stockton (Ragworth & The Glebe)
Middlesbrough (Nunthorpe)
Redcar and Cleveland (Guisborough)



Private one-on-one classes are available, on zoom and in-person, as well as running Move it or Lose it! classes across Teesside.

"Invite stillness into your life." - Eckhart Tolle

Starting a new Journey…

People decide to come to Yoga & Meditation classes for a vast array of different reasons.

From weight loss, to improving flexibility, strength, feeling a sense of community to alleviating the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

A comprehensive list of things needed to start your yoga journey can be found here.

Why is AMALAwellness good for beginners looking to practice Yoga?

Aimee has had a regular practice since 2013 and a daily practice since 2017.

She has over 470 hours of Yoga teacher training and professional development, with bodies such as Yoga Alliance , FABS, EMDUK, Move it or Lose it! and Yoga Alliance Professionals.

Experience and Knowledge

Aimee’s practice has grown with her. When she first started Yoga, she couldn’t touch her toes and suffered with anxiety. Yoga and meditation had such a positive effect on her life, that it transformed her physical and mental health. Aimee quit her 9-5 job as a Scientist to travel and practice Yoga around the world. Upon return to Teesside, she decided to set up her own business to teach people the tools she has learnt from her teachers and on her travels to help people transform their physical and mental wellbeing.

Aimee has ran 6 Week Beginners Courses with local Studios in Teesside and knows how to accommodate for all levels within a class.

Aimee is also trained in teaching Yoga and Gentle Exercise for Mobility, as well as experienced in teaching seniors and Yoga in studio and gym settings. Aimee has progressed in her practice, studying and learning from an array of experienced teachers from all over the world. Aimee has a range of knowledge and experience which means whatever your ability or goal, she can cater for you.

Aimee enjoying practicing outdoors in Nepal

Reflections on being a beginner and a focus on progression….


Remembering what it felt like to be a beginner, Aimee always take a holistic approach to practice. Movement is important for both physical and mental wellbeing, but at AMALAwellness we focus on philosophy and meditation to teach Yoga in its entirety.

Aimee always explains postures, breathwork and meditation techniques to make sure that the practice is suitable for beginners and helping improvers to advance.

More than just a gym class…



Meditation, gentle breathwork and philosophy are intertwined with a phyiscal asana practice. This makes the practice suitable for beginners and improvers, with postures differentiated for those looking to improve their postural practice.

Beginners Yoga in Middlesbrough
Photo by Marcus Aurelius on Pexels.com

A focus on Community, with a fun, light-hearted and friendly atmosphere…

Classes always have a community feel, where people feel welcome. We focus on inclusivity and believe community and a non-judgemental space where people can enjoy practice should be at the fore-front of lessons.

We also practice meditation and relaxation techniques, allowing the mind to practice being still and peaceful.

Beginners Yoga in Middlesbrough -Affordable classes with a community feel…

Aimee teaches in Community Centres such as:

  • Ragworth Community Centre – Stockton & Norton
  • Norton Grange Community Centre – Norton
  • St Mary’s Church Hall- Nunthorpe

    AImee also teaches in Guisborough.

Classes can be drop in – so you can try before you commit to anything. You can also book onto a block of lessons, to really give the class a go. Block bookings are cheaper, but our drop-in rates are still really affordable too.

Aimee also works with My Core Wellbeing to bring accessible, affordable Yoga to those that need it. To see the full range of classes, please see our comprehensive list here.

What else does AMALAwellness offer?

Community classes Yoga Move it or Lose it Teesside Middlesbrough Stockton

As well as Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Beginners Yoga and Meditation classes, we offer Move it or Lose it! Classes – running across Teesside and online.

Move it or Lose it! classes help encourage and motivate people so they enjoy later life. We encourage top to toe workouts to help people stay active and feel fit for LIFE! Our aim is to help people to stay active and independent – especially those with mobility challenges. Our classes are fun, friendly and help build a sense of community.

Would you like to give one of our classes a try? Why not contact us for more information. You can complete the contact form here, or email Aimee directly at:

aimee.bell@moveitorloseit.co.uk
or
amala.teesside@gmail.com

We look forward to hearing from you soon!