Yoga journey – What you need to start yours …

– Start your Yoga Journey …. Beginners Yoga and Meditation –

Congratulations on starting a new wonderful chapter in your life!

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.

Everyone’s Yoga Journey is unique to them.

There are many benefits to engaging in a regular Yoga and Meditation practice, but where to start? Start your Yoga Journey here!

Whether you choose to start at home due to lockdown, or to start at a studio, these tips and pointers will help you in the right direction.

1. Finding the right teacher and style for you.

Having a daily practice and devoting your time to learning meditation and philosophy will facilitate positive changes in your life. Find a teacher who doesn’t have a gym focus with body aesthetics in mind. Find one that is focused on philosophy and meditation as well as asana practice. This will help to guide you in your yoga journey and aid in developing a regular yoga practice.

There are many different styles, some much more physical and stronger (such as Vinyasa or Ashtanga Yoga). Some styles of yoga are some are more gentle (Dru Yoga / Yin Yoga / Gentle Yoga).

Dependent on what style you are looking for, the elements of Asana (posture practice) , meditation and philosophy should be intertwined within a class.

There are many teachers and classes out there, teaching various styles. A quick google search can help you to find teachers in your area. Chat with them 1st, to see if their teachings and style is what appeals to your Yoga Journey.

I currently teach online VIA zoom (Hatha Yoga and Meditation) as well as Gentle Yoga, Chair Yoga and Move It or Lose It! classes. I also teach across Teesside in person, as well as being available for personal tuition.

My Teacher and Friend (Maria Dowson) (www.yogateesside.com) offers Ashtanga and Sun Power Yoga, which are a bit more physical but still wonderful modalities of Yoga.

We both teach at My Core wellbeing in Guisborough which offers an array of different classes and styles to suit all needs.

2. Finding a good quality Yoga mat.

There are many good yoga mats out there, but also many ones that aren’t really suitable for the job. The key is to look for non-slip ones TPE ones.

When looking for mats, check reviews and make sure they are non-slip, especially when you practice Ashtanga or Vinyasa type classes.

I personally love Liforme mats, but I know they are expensive. If this is something you wish to keep up and devote a lot of time to, its worth buying a trust-worthy mat. However, when beginning, a non-slip mat will suffice.

3. Bring a hoodie, blanket and pillow to practice.

Usually, the body cools down when we meditate and come into final relaxation. The mind will not settle if we are cold, so its beneficial to bring some things to keep us warm during this time. Also, its nice to have a pillow to rest the sit-bones on, if your not used to sitting for extended periods. Its also handy for poses when we balance on our knees.

You will be grateful for bringing these things when it comes to final relaxation, meditation and savasana.

4. Making your environment ready for practice , both mentally and physically.

Whether you’re coming to class in person at a studio, gym or community centre, or perhaps logging in VIA zoom, prepare your space both mentally and physically before practice.

Take time to arrive 5-10 minutes early, so you can settle down into the environment before practice (Both online and in person!)

Sometimes we cannot help being late, however being late for in-person and online classes can cause disruption for students and the teacher. Showing up early is not only good for our mind, allowing us to settle in and prepare for our practice (setting out our mat, placing our blanket or warmer clothes near us, say hello to our teacher, for example) it is good practice to respect our fellow students and teacher.

If at home, it is nice to have enough space, perhaps light candles, have blankets at hand. Making our yoga space into a spiritual haven for practice.

5. Come to class with an open heart and an open mind…

Trying something new can be scary, daunting and a little weird if its something we haven’t participated in before. However, with an open mind and heart, placing trust in your teacher to guide you… you will see how wonderful the world of Yoga is for mental and physical well-being.

Are you looking to start your Yoga journey, but don’t know where to begin? We would love to hear from you and help you find your way!

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 Middlesbrough, Stockton, Teesside and online.

Barriers to Practice & Exercise…

Many of us experience barriers that affect our ability to practice Yoga, Meditation and Exercise. We can overcome them using these tips and pointers.

Often with our busy lives and schedules, we can feel like we don’t have time for practice. Sometimes, exercise can seem boring. However, if we look at and reflect on our potential barriers, we can find ways to make practice a priority. In this article, we will reflect on some potential barriers and how to overcome them, making our mental and physical wellbeing a priority and a healthy, sustainable daily routine.

1. Time

We often have a busy work schedule, on top of household chores, children to look after, errands to run and an array of other things we have to complete day-to-day. Sometimes fitting sleep in can seem like a challenge! This can be a barrier to our practice.

We need to create space for our practice and make time for exercise. We owe it to ourselves to have calm periods of time in every day, as well as times of the day where we move our bodies. Not only will we benefit, but others in our lives will too.

It is ESSENTIAL to create space to facilitate practice and exercise.

Facilitating time into our days and into our lives to switch off for our physical and mental wellbeing is really important.

Allow yourself some calming time, every day, with no phone, no laptop and no distractions. Just you, facilitating relaxation in your day.

How to overcome this?

1. Allow yourself some calming time, every day, with no phone, no laptop and no distractions. Just you, facilitating relaxation in your day. Perhaps, start to set aside half an hour a day for meditation.

Two people that come highly recommended include Jason Stephenson and Michael Sealey. These are good ways to initiate a regular meditation practice.

I would also recommend a meditation teacher called Burgs. Or perhaps, practice some gentle breathwork.

2. Reduce the amount of time you practice, so it doesn’t seem as daunting initially. Perhaps start off with 10-20 minutes, a few times a week. Then, you can gradually build up to longer sessions.

3. Are there things you could reduce, to make time for practice? Things such as spending time on the internet and watching TV can become time-consuming. Half an hour less a day can make time for practice and exercise.

4. Make a schedule and plan time within your week for the goals you wish to achieve.

2. Boredom


Sometimes, if we practice the same things practice can become monotonous and boring. try practicing a range of different styles that you enjoy and resonate with you. Practicing with friends, or finding a local class or a zoom class can help with this. Also, looking for local community classes can help you make friends with similar interests.

3. Weather

Outdoor exercise has many health benefits, but sometimes the weather can be a barrier to exercise. Find practices you can do from home to compliment your outdoor exercise routine.

4. Covid-19 , lockdowns and restrictions to classes and gyms.

Covid-19 has really affected our ability to go to regular classes, gyms leaving many feeling stuck or uninspired to practice. However, there are many wonderful classes available online now to see us through to the other side. Many may also choose to stay online for the ease of joining a community from their homes. So, if you feel lockdown is a barrier, it might be an idea to look into classes you can attend from home. I run classes VIA zoom, if you need assistance getting online, please contact me.

5. Stress and anxiety

Sometimes, feeling stressed and anxious can affect our motivation.
Yoga, meditation and exercise are a wonderful tool to help reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety and help us heal from the effects.

Finding a way to practice, even when it feels really challenging, is really good for our physical and mental wellbeing.

6. Injury, illness and chronic conditions

When we injure ourselves, or have challenges to practice through illness, it can feel impossible to exercise. There are many classes to facilitate this, such as Chair Yoga or gentle exercise (Move It or Lose It!) classes. It is important to stay active. These gentle exercise classes are taught with those who have certain challenges in mind, making them accessible and adaptable, so that anyone can enjoy and get the physical and mental benefits from a class.

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

Movement helps us stay independent and able to do day-to-day things, like shopping, housework etc.
Setting time aside on a daily basis to practice can help us stay active and even help the body to heal.

Hopefully some of these tips to overcoming barriers to practice will help you to find time within your day for Yoga, Meditation and Exercise.

What are your barriers to exercise? How do you overcome your barriers?
I’d 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.

The Yogi Dictionary

Some regular terms we hear in Yoga Class

When we are in class, we often hear the teacher say some phrases and words that are hard to decipher.

‘Focus on your drishti!’ / ‘Feel your Prana flowing’

What do these phrases mean? How can they benefit your practice?

In this post, we look at some common phrases heard in a Yoga Class and break them down, making them easily understandable, with advice on how to incorporate them into your practice.

1.Drishti is a point of focus that helps us to balance.

When we practice an asana posture that requires us to balance, have focus, and be stable, our teacher usually tells find a point to fix our gaze our upon. This helps us stay both physically and mentally steady. ‘Drishti’ can be a point on the wall, our thumbs, a hand, our big toe, to name a few!

the most common time I use this term is when students are practicing Vriksasana-Tree pose.

2. Pranayama is a point of focus that helps us to balance.

Prana – our vital life force, our energy and breath which gives us energy and sustains and vitalises the body; 
Ayama – “ extend, draw out” meaning to extend and draw out.

In class, we often do breathwork techniques to encourage the flow of Prana and bring a soothing calm to the nervous system.


3. Prana – our vital life force, our energy and breath which gives us energy and sustains and vitalises the body.

4. Nadis – Energy channels through which Prana flows.

Nadi is a Sanskrit word which translates to ‘tube, pipe, nerve, blood vessel, pulse’. It is is a term for the energy channels through which Prana flow. The Nadis are said to connect at special points of energetic intensity, known as the chakras

5. Mudra – the hand positions used in poses and meditation practice.

The term mudra translates to ‘seal, mark or gesture’. It is defined as the use of hand gestures during meditation and Yoga Asana Practice that help with channeling the flow of energy and Prana within the boy. 
A common mudra is Gyan Mudra – the Mudra of Knowledge.

6. Ahimsa – No harm – No violence in thouse and action.

Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word which translates to ‘no harm’ or ‘no violence’ in English. 

ahimsa-sanskrit

It can be found in the 1st limb of Ashtanga Yoga and is one of the five Yamas. (Yamas are ethical standards and a  code of conduct in the Yoga Sutras).

Ahimsa is one of the most important aspects of Yoga.

 Ahimsa means no harm. This means to any living beings, including yourself In both action and thought. 

Peace begins with no violence and no harm. To be truly at peace, you have to be at peace with yourself and others, internally as well as externally. 

I wrote a previous blog post which goes into Ahimsa in more depth, it can be read here.

Learning philosophy and Sanskrit will really benefit your Yoga Practice both on and off the mat.

I hope you found this article insightful.


Are there any terms you find challenging? Do you actively learn Philosophy and Sanskrit along side your practice?

I’d love to hear from you!

Aimee is a Yoga and Meditation teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.


Find AMALAwellness yoga and meditation classes in Teesside and online.

AMALAwellness Teesside – 8 ways Yoga & Meditation improve mental wellbeing…

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 reducing stress and alleviating the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

To improve mental well-being, we need to look at ourselves as a whole and also have a focus on physical movement. Improving diet (what we eat and drink- yogic diet) , moving our bodies (asana practice), practicing meditation and learning yoga philosophy. All these elements link together to improve our well-being and mental health.

The mind, body and spirit are all interconnected and cannot be separated. This is why a whole yoga practice both on and off the mat offers a wonderful holistic solution for helping mental wellbeing.

– What is Stress? –

To decide if we are stressed, we must first understand what stress is and how it affects us. The dictionary defines it as…

stress/stres/noun

A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.“he’s obviously under a lot of stress

synonyms:strain, pressure, (nervous) tension, worry, anxiety, trouble, difficulty;informalhassle“he’s under a lot of stress”

However, it means something different to each and every one of us and affects us all in different ways. It takes toll on both our mental and physical wellbeing.

There are ways and means to change our lives and our mindsets to reduce stress and anxiety, having a regular Yoga & Meditation practice is one of them. If we incorporate a regular practice into our lives, we can start to make positive changes both on and off the mat. Even if its a little habitual change a day, like practicing the sun salutations and doing some gentle breathwork, you would be surprised how much of an impact and a difference it can make in your life.

– How Stress Affects Us –

We are designed to experience stress, it helps engage our natural reactions to deal with situations (such as fight or flight, or letting us know something is wrong or amiss in certain situations).

However, when things become too much for us, it affects both our mind and body. It affects the nervous system making us feel anxious, stressed and uncomfortable.

When our nervous system is out of balance, we feel stressed, depressed or anxious.

Our nervous system has two main branches:
1. Sympathetic – Fight or flight symptoms (Survival mode)

2. Parasympathetic – Resting/relaxed state

When we are feeling stressed, anxious or fearful, our body and nervous system operate in the sympathetic branch of the nervous system. This causes to body to release stress hormones such as cortisol, which, when released too often, takes a toll on the body both physically and mentally. Being in this over-active state makes our mind race and causes us to feel uncomfortable in our own bodies. Often, our heart rate increases and we feel we cannot switch off or relax.

On the converse, when we operate from the parasympathetic part of the nervous system, it over-rides the sympathetic leaving us feeling more rested and calmer.

When we feel stressed and anxious, it stops us from living our lives fully. Leaving us trapped and unable to function how we wish to. It keeps us caged in a bubble of fear and often people will not change and stay in situations because of this fear that stress and anxiety brings.

The physical effects of prolonged stress have a major effect on the mental and physical body including (list from MayoClinic):

  • Headache
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Change in sex drive
  • Stomach upset
  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Irritability or anger
  • Sadness or depression
  • Overeating or under eating
  • Angry outbursts
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Tobacco use
  • Social withdrawal
  • Exercising less often

A majority of these symptoms are invisible to the eye.

Yoga and meditation can help alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

By having a regular practice, you can start to change your lifestyle to improve physical and mental wellbeing.

– How Yoga and Meditation can improve physical and mental well-being –

1. Practicing Yoga Routinely has a positive effect on body, mind and spirit.

Having a daily practice and devoting your time to learning meditation and philosophy will facilitate positive changes in your life. Find a teacher who doesn’t have a gym focus with body aesthetics in mind, but is focused on philosophy and meditation as well as asana practice, to guide you in developing a regular yoga practice. Ashtanga Yoga is good for this. A regular Mysore Ashtanga practice helps you to learn a sequence safely and well that you can practice on your own in your own time and rhythm.

“Yoga chitta vritti nirodha”– Yoga Sutras 1.2

The aim of yoga is to still the fluctuations of the mind.

Improving fitness, strength and flexibility is a bonus, but not the aim of the game. If you find a teacher who embraces all aspects of yoga, it can really have a positive influence on your life and help you to still your mind and de-stress.

Yogini (2)

2. Asana practice – Moving the body helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Asana is defined most commonly as the posture practice in Yoga, where we flow through poses or hold statically for a set time. Ideally, we should be moving consistently for 30 minutes minimum daily, or at least 5 days in a week. It is important for both our mental and physical health. Exercise releases endorphins, which help alleviate both mental and physical pain as well as having a calming effect on the mind. It keeps our minds, muscles, body and organs supple; plus it improves our cardio-vascular health.

Having a regular practice helps us attain this, working mindfully with the body also has a positive and meditative effect on the mind. However there are other ways of incorporating movement into our lives also:

Walking the dogs for 30 minutes a day, or cycling and swimming; anything that gets us moving is so beneficial. Co-blogger Sarah is often out in the mountains to combat anxiety and stress. If we practice mindfully and with awareness, any task we do can become a mindfulness practice.

3. Yoga helps us reflect on what we’re putting in our bodies

Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, drugs (legal and otherwise), processed food and sugar.

All these will have an effect on our physical and mental well-being.

These things give you a quick boost, then a low. We know they are bad for us, but a lot of us reach out for them anyways.

We should be aiming for things that keep us constant. Not things that bring us up, to bring us crashing down, be it 20 mins, an hour, or a day later.

Can you cut/reduce any of these things out your diet? Try eating more fruit and vegetables and perhaps consider a more plant based diet.

Yogini

It may be challenging at 1st, but you will feel the benefits later.

We literally are what we eat/drink and what we put into our bodies.

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

Both moving and diet are interlinked…

The more we exercise and move the body, or practice meditation and mindfulness, the more we tend to eat healthier and vice versa. When we eat healthier we tend to have more energy and feel like we want to be active.

On the converse,

the more we stay in, lounge around and are not active, the more likely we are to reach for food to match our mood.

When we are not exercising, we tend to reach for the processed and sugary food, or opt for takeaways. Both are important and go hand in hand.

4. We actively start to do things to Calm the Mind

We need to create space for ourselves. We owe it to ourselves to have calm periods of time in every day. Not only will we benefit, but others in our lives will too.

It is ESSENTIAL to create space to facilitate healing.

We need to stop being so busy, for our minds sake. One thing I and many others have found so crucial in reducing stress, is facilitating time into our days and into our lives to switch off and allow the mind to still.

Allow yourself some calming time, every day, with no phone, no laptop and no distractions. Just you, facilitating relaxation in your day.

It may be curling up on the sofa with your favourite book, having a nice relaxing bath or watching your favourite TV series with a cup of tea. Any time like this in your day is valuable. Cherish it and value it.

5. We reflect and start to meditate, hopefully making it a daily routine…

There are many useful guided meditation videos on YouTube that are great for beginners, or advanced alike. These will help you to reach a calm mind quite easily and with practice. It might take a few goes, but the mind is a tool that needs to be trained like any other muscle. We also cover a range of meditation practices in our Sunday Zoom Class.

Yogini (1)

Two people that come highly recommended include Jason Stephenson and Michael Sealey.

I would also recommend a meditation teacher called Burgs.

5. We start to do things that make our soul happy

When we have a regular Yoga & Meditation practice, we naturally start to slow down and make time for ourselves.

Do Yoga, meditate, catch up with friends, cook inspiring healthy meals, buy a smoothie maker. Read a book with a cuppa. Cuddle lots. Spend time with children and with animals. Finish that DIY task you’ve been putting off, book a flight to somewhere you’ve dreamt of going, say ‘I love you’ to someone and mean it, smile at strangers, be polite to all, kill folk with kindness.

All these things are guaranteed to be good for your soul.

Yogini (2)

6. We start to incorporate positivity into out lives…

Surround yourself with positive people, positive music and positive hobbies.

If your workplace, friends or family members are negative, it can be difficult to escape. Try not to engage in negative talk and remove yourself from negative situations as best you can.

The more you do positive things, the more positive people will start to appear in your life. Be it starting a new class, going to yoga, the gym or joining a local running club.

Listening to positive music, reading and watching TV shows/documentaries with positive messages and doing positive hobbies will all have a benefit on stress and anxiety.

7. We look to improve the quality of our sleep

Aim for 8 hours of sleep a night. Make bed-time a priority, make it relaxing and an enjoyable peaceful time. If you struggle sleeping, sometimes sleep music can be a great aid to getting to sleep, or sleep hypnosis.

Make sure to switch off from technology atleast an hour before bedtime.

8. Engage more and listen to Relaxing Music

Some music I like to listen to are binaural beats. They really help with relaxation and have the following benefits (from medical news today):

  • reduced stress.
  • reduced anxiety.
  • increased focus.
  • increased concentration.
  • increased motivation.
  • increased confidence.

It has been proven to aid relaxation and reduce stress, so listening to these whilst working, relaxing, or practicing Yoga and Meditation can help alleviate stress.


You must love and be of service of yourself before you can love and be of service to others.

How do you alleviate stress? Do you have a regular practice? I would love to hear from you!

Aimee is a Yoga and Meditation teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.

Find AMALAwellness yoga and meditation classes in Teesside and online.

*Some of these reasons Yoga and Meditation can help relieve stress are exceprts from a blog I wrote for my friend on stress management, which can be found here.

Chair Yoga & Gentle Exercise Classes

AMALAwellness – Teesside offer gentle chair yoga and gentle exercise classes (Move It or Lose It! ) VIA zoom and across Middlesbrough and Stockton.

AMALAwellness’ aim is to deliver yoga classes to aid with over-all wellbeing, focusing on gentle exercises and relaxation/meditation techniques as well as quality of life and over-all health (both mental and physical).

‘I love teaching gentle yoga and meditation, working with students is really rewarding and after a few sessions people report feeling the benefits.
Its a really gentle and fun way to improve flexibility, mobility, build strength as well as working on improving confidence and reducing stress and anxiety.

The gentle movements in class married with breathwork and meditation make the classes great for both physical and mental wellbeing.

The classes have started to build up both in-person and virtually, with a lovely community feel. The classes are affordable and accessible to all abilities. ‘ – Aimee.

What is Gentle Yoga?

Gentle yoga classes are going to be accepting of beginners and people who have limited mobility, as well as being beneficial to all levels. They may include meditation. They are intended to be slow paced, gentle, calming and aim to reduce stress and aid mobility. If you have been intimidated by more athletic yoga styles or are looking for a way to unwind and reduce stress, you may want to explore gentle yoga. Also, gentle yoga is suited to those who are used to a faster pace and want to learn how to slow down.

What is Chair Yoga?

Seniors or those who have mobility issues avoid unnecessary movements due to fear of falling or injuring themselves. With limited movements, the limbs get stiff reducing the range of motion causing aches and pains in the limbs. Fortunately, with awareness of yoga practices spreading wide, those with mobility issues too can benefit from this practice through the introduction of Chair Yoga.

Benefits of Gentle & Chair Yoga:

  • stretching the muscles, to reduce pain and stiffness.
  • improves blood circulation to keep the body fresh and active.
  • keeps control of the blood pressure.
  • improves the range of motion of the joints, keeping the symptoms of arthritis in control.
  • Helps lift mood – reducing anxiety
  • improves balance and coordination
  • Improves physical and mental wellness
  • Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Aids in recovery from injuries or ailments
  • Manages pain and inflammation
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Helpful for working through difficult feelings
  • Gentle way of improving flexibility, strength and mobility accessible to all
  • Fun way to encourage community & sociability

If you think these classes would be of benefit to you, or a loved one please contact Aimee at www.amalateesside.com , VIA facebook or email amala.teesside@gmail.com

AMALAwellness ‘The Anahata Chakra’

Anahata translates from sanskrit as ‘unstuck’ , or unhurt and unbroken. 

heart-clakra

It is the fourth chakra and is thought of as a bridge between the upper and lower chakras. Moving from practicing on ourselves to sharing kindness and compassion with the world. The colour associated with this chakra is green. It is located in the middle of the chest.

It is my favourite chakra to work with, as it allows us to look inwards into our hearts and in doing that, create the space we need to transform, to accept things the way they are and to start healing. With practice, it allows us to forgive and make peace with our past, focusing more on the present moment.

Balanced…

When this chakra is balanced, we feel unconditional love, a lack of ego, a passion and a joy for life. We live our truth, feel no jealousy or envy and feel compassion for ourselves and for others.

Out of balance…

On the converse, when it is out of balance, we feel co-dependent, unable to cope on our own. People might be unintentionally manipulative and suffer trust issues. It can cause us to have difficulty opening up, relating to others and lead us to be withdrawn, defensive and scared or fearful of intimacy.

Physical inbalances can manifest as circulatory problems and lung infections.

How to balance this chakra…

We need to go beyond our ego and preconceptions, of our preoccupied minds and have an acceptance and make peace with what is.

To achieve this, on an every day level, is to engage with people, activities and places that we find inspiring, comforting and beautiful. Look after ourselves and others more, be open to giving more (look up random acts of kindnesss!) and be of service to others.

A key element is to practice meditation and breathwork exercises more also.

We all carry hurt and it is wonderful to meditate on this to forgive others in our life that have caused pain and suffering. It is very therapeutic for us and the people around us.

It helps us look at things from a different angle, of compassion.

It is useful to practice breathwork (pranayama) also to ground and calm the body and practice backbends in yoga, to open up our heart chakra (but overworking this can lead to purging of some unwanted emotions, so be wary!)

Some useful meditations and heart chakra music is linked below.

Open Heart Chakra ➤ Love Frequency 528hz Music

Heart Chakra healing meditation

Experiences with this Chakra…

As people deepen their practice, they start to realise the importance of meditation and working on letting go of the ego. When I do this, i feel so much more peaceful, compassionate and feel such love for those around me, my friends and my family. From a place of not wanting, or needing anything from them, just an unconditional love.

I see the beauty in the world and just want to be of service and a good person.

It’s not always like this, it’s normal to still get pangs of anxiety and worry and be affected by others actions, but it is something that we have to continually work on. When students put these techniques into practice, students report that personal suffering decreases day by day, especially working on forgiveness and looking at different viewpoints from other people.

There is a Buddhist quote –

‘If you truely loved yourself, you could never hurt another’

Which I connect and resonate with, as when I have hurt others, it comes from a place of hurt within myself… so I always try to see things from anothers point of view. Normally when someone hurts me, its because of their own internal pain and struggle, so it makes it easier to forgive.

A daily Yoga, Meditation and Breathwork practice allows us to work with this Chakra to improve our physical and mental wellbeing.

What is your experience with this?

Peace & Love

Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Gentle Exercise teacher from Middlesbrough, England. She teaches in Stockton, Middlesbrough and across Teesside. For more information, please visit www.amalateesside.com

AMALAwellness – Gentle Breathwork techniques- calm the nervous system & calm the mind …

In class, we often cover gentle breathwork at the beginning and at the end of our Yoga and Meditation sessions. Gentle breathwork has an important effect on soothing the nervous system:

Our nervous system is out of balance when we feel stressed, depressed or anxious.

Our nervous system has two main branches:
1. Sympathetic – Fight or flight symptoms (Survival mode)

2. Parasympathetic – Resting/relaxed state

When we are feeling stressed, anxious or fearful, our body and nervous system operate in the sympathetic branch of the nervous system. This causes to body to release stress hormones such as cortisol, which, when released too often, takes a toll on the body both physically and mentally. Being in this over-active state makes our mind race and causes us to feel uncomfortable in our own bodies. Often, our heart rate increases and we feel we cannot switch off or relax.

On the converse, when we operate from the parasympathetic part of the nervous system, it over-rides the parasympathetic leaving us feeling more rested and calmer.

How can we function more from the Parasympathetic?

There are lots of ways to switch to the parasympathetic, such as having a calm environment and home life, balancing work life vs home life and practicing yoga and meditation. However, today we are going to look at a gentle breathwork exercise to practice. This can be done anywhere, anytime!

A gentle breathwork practice – Part One

  1. If you’re practicing at home, set up a safe space and environment where you will not be disturbed. Perhaps, burn your favourite incense, or light a candle (I always like to make a spiritual safe space before meditating or doing breathwork).
  2. Sit comfortably, perhaps on a cushion and focus on the breath.
  3. Focus on the breath as you inhale & exhale – observe the lungs and the ribcage, what is happening?
  4. Start to slow the breath down for a count of four as you inhale and exhale, perhaps elongating the exhale a little longer.
  5. Place your hand on your chest and complete 10-20 rounds breathing like this.
  6. Return to a normal breath, pause and reflect – how does the body and mind feel after this short exercise?

A gentle breathwork practice – Part Two

Four Part Box Breath

  1. Inhale for a count of four, from the base of the spine to the crown of the head.
  2. Retain the breath for a count of four.
  3. Exhale for a count of four, from the crown of the head to the base of the spine.
  4. Retain the breath for a count of four.
  5. Complete as many rounds as you feel comfortable doing, remembering this is your practice. Take normal breaths when needed then come back to the practice. Complete 3-4 rounds.
  6. Return to a normal breath, pause and observe. How does the body feel? How does the mind feel?

These short, gentle exercises can really help to switch the sympathetic nervous system off and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.

Do you practice breathwork? Did you give this practice a try? I’d love to hear your views and experiences.

Aimee x

AMALAwellness – Teesside run Gentle Yoga, Beginners Yoga and mindful meditation classes across Middlesbrough , Stockton and Redcar & Cleveland.

For more information visit www.amalateesside.com

Move It or Lose It! Gentle Exercise and Yoga Classes in Teesside ….

Would you, or a loved one benefit from gentle movement classes? AMALAwellness is offering a range of classes to help people across Teesside be more active and look after both their physical and mental well-being.

Aimee recently qualified and became insured as a Move It or Lose It instructor and is starting to roll out classes in care homes and venues across Stockton and Middlesbrough ( Norton, Guisborough, Nunthorpe and North Ormesby).



AMALAwellness also offer Chair Yoga Classes too!

Aimee is excited to offer these lessons as they are really fun, accessible and affordable for people who would usually struggle in a gym where aesthetic goals are the aim of classes.

Aimed at getting people active and moving in a fun, gentle, safe and supported way, every age and ability would benefit from these classes.

What is Move it or Lose it?

Move it or Lose it is an exercise class designed for those age 50+ and over , or those with limited mobility and a need for gentle exercise.

Attending a Move it or Lose it class is great fun and as much a social event as a fitness class. It will help you stay fit, motivated and active for life as well as helping with maintaining flexibility, mobility, aerobic fitness, balance and strength.
The exercises have been created in partnership with the Centre for Healthy Ageing Research at Birmingham University to help “turn back the clock” and help maintain independence.


The exercises can be done standing, seated on a chair or standing with chair support and can be adapted to meet your needs with less repetitions or lower resistance.

Benefits of Move It or Lose It! classes:

  • fun, friendly, accessible and affordable
  • simple dance moves to music help gently raise heart rate
  • exercises designed with those with limited mobility in mind
  • reduces pain and stiffness by stretching the muscles
  • improves blood circulation to keep the body fresh and active.
  • keeps control of the blood pressure.
  • improves the range of motion of the joints, keeping the symptoms of arthritis in control.
  • helps lift mood – reducing anxiety
  • improves balance and coordination.

What is Chair Yoga?

Seniors or those who have mobility issues avoid unnecessary movements due to fear of falling or injuring themselves. With limited movements, the limbs get stiff reducing the range of motion causing aches and pains in the limbs.

Fortunately, with awareness of yoga practices spreading wide, those with mobility issues too can benefit from this practice through the introduction of Chair Yoga.

Benefits of Chair Yoga:

  • stretching the muscles, to reduce pain and stiffness.
  • improves blood circulation to keep the body fresh and active.
  • keeps control of the blood pressure.
  • improves the range of motion of the joints, keeping the symptoms of arthritis in control.
  • Helps lift mood – reducing anxiety
  • improves balance and coordination.

Try a taster class for free, VIA zoom with Aimee.

Friday’s 3:00-4:00pm.

Contact us VIA facebook ( AMALAwellness – Teesside )
or email us amala.teesside@gmail.com for more information,