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.
– 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.
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.
Combining Asana (Postures) with Pranayama (Breathing techniques)…
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’)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
– 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
Spending too much time on technology
– 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.
AMALAwelless’ aim is to help seniors and those with limited mobility get fit and active for life through accessible, fun, social community based Gentle Movement and Chair Yoga classes.
We include time to focus on mental wellbeing in class, as well as physical aspects, making AMALAwellness’ classes well-rounded. Exercises can be done seated, with chair support and free-standing. Making classes accessible for all. Wheel-chair’s and walking frames are welcome!
Aimee already has classes running across Teesside, helping seniors in the local community stay fit, active and independent. Her aim is to provide more classes to those who would benefit most, working alongside local charities, community centres and care homes to facilitate this.
AMALAwellness – A Brief History
I initially came to yoga in 2013 to help me with my own battles with anxiety. I fell in love with the practice and it totally changed both my mental and physical wellbeing. I also loved the sense of community and support from like-minded individuals, as well as the teachers. It really inspired me. I came to have a regular practice and in 2017 left my job as a Scientist to follow my dreams of studying Yoga and Meditation abroad. Whilst abroad, I studied and gained experience with wonderful teachers in Thailand, India and Nepal. I completed two Yoga teacher Trainings and courses in Breathwork, Reiki and Meditation. In 2019, I came home to help and support my parents when my late father was diagnosed with cancer. An opportunity to teach arose from my Yogi friend and from that AMALAwellness was born.
I set up my project through looking after my friends Yoga Class whilst she was on maternity. The average age of the students is 60+ and I enjoyed teaching it so much that I did a Move it or Lose it! course – which is about teaching seniors or those with limited mobility gentle movement safely and inclusively. I also teach meditation and relaxation. I seen the benefits of the classes on student’s lives, physically, mentally and socially. I wanted to do more to be of service in the community using gentle exercise as a modality. I have worked alongside My Core Wellbeing in Teesside, to run Move it or Lose it and gentle exercise classes in the community, as well as setting up my own classes independently.
I am very passionate about working with seniors and those with limited mobility. Since changing career paths in 2017, I have been drawn more and more to this modality naturally, where it feels more like a hobby or a vocation to me. I love hearing my students say they are happy, or that something in class has improved their physical/mental wellbeing. I cannot imagine doing anything else now.
– My Social Enterprise Project –
AMALAwellness’ aim is to offer classes for to help improve mental and physical wellbeing, as well as offering a safe, fun, inclusive social space for people to enjoy being active, learning something new and making new friends.
My main activities are gentle movement classes, yoga classes and chair based exercises, which can be done standing, with chair support or seated. My classes focus on the FABS acronym – Flexibility, Aerobics, Balance, Strength, which is incorporated into every class.
This helps people stay motivated, fit and active as well as providing a sense of community. I work with those with Parkinsons, Dementia and COPD, for example. In Gentle Exercise and Move it or Lose it! classes, exercises are done to music from younger years which really brings a smile to students faces.
I have helped over 200 people during lockdown and in person since January 2020, to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. Please read on to read about our classes, their benefits and the mental, physical and social impact of my project.
Gentle Yoga, Meditation and Relaxation
Yoga for Seniors / Yoga for Limited Mobility
Gentle yoga classes for seniors / those with limited mobility are going to be accepting of beginners , as well as being beneficial to all levels. They may include meditation. Classes will involve standing, seated and kneeling mat based exercises. They are intended to be slow paced, gentle and calming.
They aim to reduce stress and improve mobility, flexibility strength and balance.
If students have been intimidated by more athletic yoga styles or are looking for a way to unwind and reduce stress, they 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.
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. This leads to 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.
Move it or Lose it! Gentle Exercise classes
Move it or Lose it is a gentle exercise class designed for those age 50+ and over, or those with limited mobility and a need for a different approach to exercise than usual gym-based modalities offer.
Attending a Move it or Lose it class is great fun and as much a social event as a fitness class.
Move it or Lose it! Classes are designed to help you stay fit, motivated and active for life. It also helps 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. They help “turn back the clock” and help maintain independence.
The exercises can be done standing, seated on a chair or standing with chair support.
They can be adapted to meet your needs with less repetitions or lower resistance.
They are great fun to participate in and teach!
-Our Impact on Teesside –
Aimee has already had a positive impact with Yoga, Meditation and Move it or Lose it classes in teesside. For those who have mental and physical health challenges, finding usual exercise settings, such as gyms, affects peoples ability to access services available. This affects 61% of people wishing to attend classes. By making classes accessible, this helps to eliminate this barrier.
We help to bring people together in the community, to socialise whilst keeping fit, active and looking after their physical and mental health.
The classes are taught in a community setting and in a warm, safe and inclusive environment. This makes the classes a wonderful way of looking after mental, physical and social wellbeing.
Move-it or Lose it! research findings suggest that 97% of participants had improved social fulfilment from their classes.
A big impact on mental wellbeing is loneliness. Our classes help to reduce loneliness within communities within Teesside.
People who attend gentle movement and exercise classes are reported to be more mobile and active.
The more you move, the more you’re able to move.
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 classes help improve flexibility, aerobic fitness, balance and strength. Helping us stay fit, mobile and independent as we age.
Pain and discomfort can be a barrier to practicing and exercising. From back pain, to stiff joints – sometimes it can seem that exercising will make a pre-existing condition worse. Challenges with circulation and breathing can also make movement and exercise seem like it will be too difficult.
When we injure ourselves, or have challenges to practice through illness, it can feel impossible to exercise. However, having a gentle approach to exercise can really help people heal and take steps, no matter how small, to being more active.
Movement helps us stay independent and able to do day-to-day things, like shopping, housework etc. Making classes functional and accessible means all can participate and get some physical exercise. Exercise also helps to reduce trips and falls, as well as reducing the onset of osteoporosis and other ageing related conditions.
Those who are experiencing challenges with memory, cognitive decline or dementia can still get many mental and physiical benefits from practice. Exercise and movement helps maintain healthy blood flow to the brain and helps the body produce new cells. It helps with proprioception, keeping the mind active. It also helps with balance and hand-eye co-ordination.
Classes allow people to come together from communities across Teesside to not only exercise, but socialise and make new friends too. Classes are a lot of fun, 95% of people who joined classes like these reported feeling an improvement in their mood.
Gentle Yoga, Chair Yoga and Gentle Exercise classes can have a wonderful impact on mental, physical and social wellbeing. I hope to continue to work in community centres and expand my business to reach more people that would benefit from these classes within Teesside.
If you would like to contact me, or work with me, please do so by the following means.
We practice in in a safe, inclusive, non-judgemental environment. Everybody is welcome! We also combine postures and movements with the breath. This makes the practice a work-in as much as a work-out. Simple meditation techniques and homework mean you can incorporate what you learn in class into your life.
Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Move It or Lose It! teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK. Aimee teaches in Norton, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Guisborough and Redcar and Cleveland, as well as offering online classes.
Beginners Yoga in Middlesbrough – at AMALAwellness we cater for beginners and improvers in all of our Yoga and Meditation classes. We run classes in Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland. We also offer private one-on-one classes, on zoom and in-person, as well as running Move it or Lose it! classes across Teesside.
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 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.
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.
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
Academy 17 – Ormesby
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.
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:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras state that to live a meaningful and purposeful life, one should follow ‘Ashtanga’. Ashta translates to eight and Anga translates to limbs in Sanskrit, so the word Ashtanga means the eight limbed path.
There are eight limbs to Ashtanga Philosophy, which focus on self-control, self-discipline and moral and ethical codes we should live by as Yogis.
They give advice on staying healthy, cleanliness of self and environment, meditation and physical asana practice.
The 8 limbs of Yoga: What are they?
Yamas – the five ethical and moral codes Yogi’s live by. Ahimsa – Non violence, Asteya – Non stealing, Aparigraha – Non greed, Satya – Truthfulness and Bramacharya – being good with ones energy.
Niyamas – Five self disciplines. Saucha – cleanliness, Santosha – Contentment, Tapas – Austerities and heat, Isvara pranidhana – surrenderin.g to a higher power, Svadhyaya – Study of the self and Yogic Scripts.
Asana – The physical postural practice of yoga. The most common perception of Yoga, where we focus on the physical and mental well-being.
Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the senses through meditation practice.
Dharana – One point focus, removing all other distractions, focusing on inner awareness.
Dhyana – Contemplation and meditation. Quieting the mind, unbroken flow of meditative state for long periods of time.
Samadhi – Union with the divine and self, deep sense of peace and stillness.
Beginners Philosophy, where is best to start?
It’s best to start with the physical asana side of practice and focus on bringing the Yama’s into your practice. There are many Yama’s we can incorporate into our lives both on and off the mat.
Often, Yoga is practiced for fitness reasons and the essence of the practice is lost. Incorporating the eight limbed path on and off the mat helps us to benefit from the philosophical and meditative sides to the practice.
A good place to start with asana practice is learning Surya Namaskar – The Sun Salutations. They help us learn proper breathing techniques within the practice. It also helps us build strength and flexibility, as well as teaching the foundations of building a lasting practice.
For example, incorporating the Yamas – Ahimsa and Satya into practice.
Ahimsa – No harm in thought and action.
Ahimsa translates into Non-harm/Non-violence in Sanskrit. We can start to incorporate this into our practice both on and off the mat. It becomes obvious to not harm in action, but how often do we do this in thought? Especially to ourselves? are we kind to ourselves on the mat? Do we practice with ease, or do we force ourselves? could we modify our diet to practice Ahimsa? Perhaps, leaning to more vegetarian or plant based diets. Could we look after ourselves, or others, mentally and physically more?
All of these pointers will help us practice Ahimsa both on and off the mat.
Join Aimee for an exciting new five week online course, VIA zoom, starting Friday the 14th of April 2021. A taster session will run next week (7th of April) so that you can try before you buy.
Preparing to get fit, moving and active again after lockdown…
There will be a free taster session next week for our upcoming 5 week online Move it or Lose it! Course ran VIA zoom, from the comfort of your home.
As the end is hopefully in sight, preparing for a more active lifestyle is as important as ever. Especially looking after our physical and mental wellbeing moving out of lockdown. Our gentle movement and exercise classes help to open up the body and tone muscles in a safe, inclusive environment. We also combine movements and practice a short, simple meditation at the beginning and end of the session to help with mental wellbeing.
Here’s a snippet of some facts about the amazing work we do at Move it or Lose it! – Socially, mentally and physically.
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. It helps with maintaining flexibility, mobility, aerobic fitness, balance and strength. They help “turn back the clock” and help maintain independence. The exercises can be done standing, seated on a chair or standing with chair support. 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!
When will the course run?
The taster class will be on Friday the 7th of April at 3:00-4:00pm. The classes will run for five weeks. It will run Fridays 3:00-4:00pm every week from the 14th of April to the 11th of May.
If you sign up to the full course, here will be weekly emails and articles to help you develop a home practice. It will include tips of how to improve mental and physical wellbeing. This is really important as we start to approach the easing of lockdown restrictions, as many are finding the transition a challenge.
Drop ins will be available at £3.50 per class, however you will not get the emails and support to develop a home practice during the time the course runs.
What will I learn on the course?
You will learn gentle movements to help improve flexibility, aerobic fitness, balance and strength. This can be done seated, with chair support or free-standing. You will also learn how to incorporate movement into your daily life in bitesize chunks. Also, you will get advice on developing your own routines for day to day life. Things such as making a little exercise routine waiting for the kettle to boil can make a massive difference to our wellbeing.
There will also be elements of how to invoke relaxation into your daily life.
Do I need specific equipment to join the course?
All you need is a sturdy chair, some comfortable footwear and some 1kg hand weights. However, if you don’t have hand weights, tins of beans make wonderful substitutes!
Sounds great! How do I sign up?
If you or a loved one would like to sign up for taster session, the process is simple. Just email Aimee at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a health registration form, then you just log in using the link at the top of the screen (located in the ‘classes’ tab). It is essential the health registration form is filled in prior to joining any classes.
What classes will be running face to face, when restrictions lift?
Classes will run across Teesside on an afternoon.
Currently we have locations for classes in:
Norton Grange Community Centre, Stockton-on-Tees
Mondays – 2:30-3:30pm
My Core Wellbeing, Guisborough, Redcar & Cleveland
Academy 17 – Ormesby Bank – Marton-in-Cleveland
St Marys Church Hall, Marton Carr Lane, Nunthorpe
Thursdays – 1:30-2:30pm
The Rings Community Hub, Ingleby Barwick
Fridays – 1:30-2:30pm
We will also be running Chair Yoga classes too!
Hope to see you all virtually, soon! Warm regards, Aimee
About The author:
Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Move It or Lose It! teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.
Park Run Yoga is a brilliant compliment to add to your running regime. It helps lengthen tight muscles and strengthen the body. It can also reduce stress and anxiety. Practicing gentle breathwork and meditation can help improve lung capacity. A simple stretching routine before and after running can help improve performance and reduce the chances of injury.
A 15 minute yoga session before and after your park run can really help you improve your performance.
Park Runs are 5km runs around parks scattered across the UK. They are very popular with people all across England. In my local area, there are 3 main parks that host them. They are usually held on Sunday mornings.
I love practicing Standing Forward Fold. It is A full body stretch, which is wonderful for lengthening and stretching the hamstrings.
This posture is also wonderful for calming the mind. I often find that when the head is below the heart, we feel a sense of calm. If you have low blood pressure, this should not be practiced. If you are injured, you can come into what we call half-standing forward fold. This is where we lengthen the back and come onto our fingertips, so we aren’t folding too deeply.
When practicing: – Make sure the feet are hip distance apart – Bend at the hips – Keep a slight bend in the knees
Downward dog is wonderful for stretching the hamstrings and calves, as well as gently toning the shoulders.
– How do we do Downward Dog? –
We begin in table-top position (on hands and knees). We then check our posture, ensuring our wrists under our shoulders and our knees are under our hips. Spread your fingers and press the index finger, middle finger and thumb into the mat. Have a slight bend in the elbows so that you’re not locking the joints. Draw the navel towards the spine, engaging the abdominal muscles. Tuck your toes, lift your knees off the floor, pushing the pelvis into the air. Broaden the shoulders, then gently try to straighten your legs and make the famous upside down ‘V’ shape with the body. Breathe deeply, elongating the outbreath for approximately 10 breaths. As your body and muscles relax into the posture, try to lower your heels to the floor.
– Walking the dog-
When you are comfortable in the pose, perhaps try lifting and lowering the heels. This is known as walking the dog.
– Low lunge to High Lunge –
High lunge is wonderful for stretching the hip flexors as well as strengthening the hamstrings and quadriceps. To practice low lunge, simply lower the knee of the back leg.
To practice this, we transition From Downward Dog to a low lunge. We step our right foot forward between our hands. Then we lower the left knee. We keel the right knee in place between the hands and check out alignment. Are the knee and ankle in line? Next, slide the left leg back. This is low lunge. To come into high lunge, simply lift the back knee off the floor.
Balasana – Childs pose is wonderful for releasing tight quadriceps, whilst helping to release the lower back and bring relaxation to the shoulders. Begin on your knees and then hinge back so you are sitting on your ankles, the tops of your feet on the ground.
To practice, start in table top position. Sit on your heels and stretch your arms out infront of you. Your bum should stay on your heels. Rest your head on the floor and stretch out the arms, having a slight bend in the elbows. Let the shoulders be soft and relaxed. If your head doesn’t reach the floor, you can rest them on the hands or use the fists as blocks. This means we can rest our forehead withour putting too much strain on the body and enjoy the posture.
Another wonderful pose to do after is Viparita Karani – Legs up the wall posture. There is a whole article I wrote about it here.
Move it or Lose it! classes help motivate people to move more 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.
Aimee is setting up classes across Teesside – see the timetable below. All classes are on the ground floor with ample parking.
Join a safe and friendly community to exercise, socialize and try new things.