Beginners Yoga in Middlesbrough

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.

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

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 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
  • 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.

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!

Yoga Spotlight: Amy Miller

Hatha & Vinyasa Teacher from Dorking, Surrey.

Amy Miller - Dorking, Surrey (Yoga Teacher)

The spotlight is on Amy Miller today. We chatted about her love for Yoga and how she became a teacher. We also discussed the benefits of Yoga and Meditation for both mental and physical wellbeing.

Amy Miller  Yoga Logo - Dorking, Surrey (Yoga Teacher)

Amy has been practising Yoga for 23 years and has been teaching for just over 5 years. It took her a long time to trust that she wanted to take the leap from hobby to career. However, since making the decision she’s never looked back. She teaches small groups her local Village Hall and also at a brand spanking new beautiful studio space in a vineyard. Both are located in Dorking, in the heart of the stunning Surrey Hills countryside.

Amy's Vinyard Studio Space - Dorking, Surrey
Amy’s Vinyard Studio Space


Read our interview below:

1. Why were you drawn to Yoga initially? What inspired you to keep practicing?

I started taking yoga classes in my first year of university, mainly because I was trying as much new stuff as possible at the time! I think a LOT of people try their first class and for whatever reason they don’t like the teacher and then quit. Finding the right teacher is SO important – you have to click. Luckily my first teacher was really inspirational in the way she held the room and captivated everyones attention. After I left I found a class in my dance studio and I kept going back because it was really helping me advance with my flexibility. That was important to me at the time because I was dancing, but I’ve come to realise that being flexible is certainly not a prerequisite for doing yoga, and is definitely not the main benefit.

2. How did you start to practice? What effect did it have on your life, both mentally and physically?

I was all about the physical when I first started. Again that was because of the teachers. I was being taught in a setting of performance so that’s what led my practice. It wasn’t until about 7/8 years later – interestingly, after I moved out of the city – that I found teachers who were much more spiritual in their teaching and I really had an AH HA moment. I had a few really profound moments on the mat that made me realise that yoga was so much more than a physical practice. That’s when I got into meditation too.

3. How did your mind and body change when you started a regular practice? Was anything a quick change, did anything take a long time?

When this realisation (re: meditation) came, I started to be injured less. The physical practice was still dynamic and I was still going deeply into postures, but in a completely different way. I was starting to leave my ego behind and not have to be the most bendy person in the room. Nowadays I am very far from the most bendy person in the room because I’ve realised that that doesn’t at all matter and I’ve lost my flexibility a bit. I began to treat my body with much more respect and questioned everything I did on my mat before I did it. I try to remember what a life changing process that was back then, and pass it on to my students.

4. When did you decide you wanted to facilitate and teach classes? What drew you to teaching?

Teaching wasn’t something I even thought about until many many years later when I had my first child. People would say to me ‘why don’t you teach yoga? It would fit so perfectly into raising a family’. I was like….’naaaaa’. I didn’t see myself as a teacher and I was worried I would turn something I loved doing into a ‘job’ and it would start to lose it’s appeal. But slowly slowly I started to change my thinking. Until one day, the universe literally aligned in a way that enabled me to move forward and that was it….BAM – decision made!

Amy Miller - Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Dorking, Surrey - Tree Pose

5. Where did you do your initial teacher training? What other trainings have you done? What effect did training have on your teaching style and on your own practice?

I did my teacher training locally which was necessary for me to carry on with being a mum of 3 boys under 7. I had been practicing with a teacher I loved and had a connection with and so knew that her training would be the right one for me. Since then I’ve also done Face Yoga teacher training, which I love – mainly for it’s relaxation benefits (and it can’t help to get rid of a few wrinkles at my age!) and also a diploma in Ayurveda. Starting to teach and learning the philosophy and spiritual lineage behind yoga came at the same time as I started to leave behind the idea that yoga was only a physical discipline so the two came together to change how I practiced for myself, and also the kind of teacher I wanted to be.

Amy Miller - Yoga and Meditation Teacher Urdva Danurasana

6. How to people benefit from Vinyasa & Hatha Yoga?

I teach a mix of Vinyasa and Hatha for a very specific reason. I love vinyasa. I have a background in dance and choreographing vinyasa flow gives me the space to be creative and introduce movement that is maybe slightly ‘outside’ the traditional set asanas that you would see in hatha. However, I feel that a vinyasa class is often too fast paced. Yes that’s great for the body but it doesn’t allow you the time and space to observe what’s happening in the body on a more subtle level. There is no interoception. There is no time to ask yourself…. what do I actually FEEL here, besides just my hamstrings! What is my energy? What am I learning about myself? Do I have space to go further? Or is where I am right now the best place for me to be.

Combining the two modalities means that students get the physical benefits whilst practicing internally. Balancing and gaining the meditative benefits from the practice. Improving strength, flexibility and mobility combined with calming and stilling the mind have an amazing effect on wellbeing.

7. Do you practice any other modalities or do anything else that is positive for mental and physical wellbeing, to compliment your Yoga practice?

YES! Everyday. I’m a little obsessed with ritual. I am a self care and wellness advocate so I try and practice what I preach as much as possible. Rituals help us keep on the right track mentally and physically. Making small changes daily and sticking to them help us improve our physical and mental health. Plus I practice modern witchcraft which is all about natural healing. I start my day with 20 minutes of meditation; I go outside into nature everyday; I use diet for medicine; I make my own natural remedies…(which I sell btw!)

Amy Miller - Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Dorking, Surrey

8. What would you recommend for people looking to practice Yoga and Meditation, but don’t know where to start?

One good thing about lockdown is the current accessibility of yoga and meditation. The amount of free content on the web, social media and via apps is wonderful and gives anyone who has never practiced before to try different classes, teachers, styles etc for free before they commit to anything. I currently teach on Zoom, till we can return to the new form of normal.

Find out about Amy and the services she offers on her website.
www.amymilleryoga.co.uk

Thank you so much Amy, for being in our Yoga Spotlight today!

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

Yogi Experiences : The Kriyas – Jala Neti

The experience of Kriyas (1) – Jala Neti

Aimee of AMALAwellness has used a Neti Pot for many years, here she speaks of her experiences:

– What are Kriyas & What is Jala Neti? –

Kriyas are a cleansing technique used in Hatha yoga to help clear toxins and purify the body. One of the most popular Kriyas is Jala Neti.

I have had the chance to experience a few of the Kriyas in my practice and Yoga teacher trainings. One I love doing and regularly do is Jala Neti. I practiced it a lot in Rishikesh, Northern India and still continue to practice to this day.

– How do you use a Neti Pot? –

As the diagram shows; salt water is passed through the nasal cavity, with the aid of a ‘neti pot’ or lota.

When you hold your head at a certain angle and pass salt water through one nostril with your mouth open, it passes out the other nostril.

– Sinus Relief –

Some common symptons with sinus problems include:

  • Pain / Pressure / Swelling / Tenderness in the face
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nasal dripping
  • Reduced smell and taste

Neti pots with a saline solution help to clear the sinus cavity and reduce these symptoms.

– What are the benefits of Jala Neti? –

Physical Benefits

It is really effective at removing mucus and dirt from the nasal passages and clearing sinuses. I had really bad sinusitis recently and practising jala neti reguarly recently has helped to clear it and my sinuses feel a million times better! Its been a good thing to practice as it can be quite dusty here, so I have been doing it regularly early morning before practice.

It definitely improves a persons ability to breathe more clearly.

Mental & Spiritual Benefits

This process helps clear and cleanse the third eye chakra (agna chakra), helping us think more clearly and aiding with stilling the mind when practicing meditation.

– Give it a go …! –

I would definitely recommend it to anyone who suffers sinus problems or asthma.

It may seem weird at first (I can remember the 1st time I did it and thought… what is this bizzareness!) but its a practice definitely worth doing. When I have showed my friends how to do it, they also enjoyed it!

What are others experiences with Kriyas? I’d 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

AMALAwellness – Yoga Asana of the week.

Viparita Karani – Legs up the wall posture.

– ‘Everyones favorite lockdown pose!’ –

This accessible yoga pose is suitable for most practitioners and has many physical and mental health benefits.

– What is Viparita Karani? –

Viparita Karani is one of my students (and my) favorite poses. It’s a rejuvenating, relaxing pose where it is easy to invoke calm within the body. Switching the nervous system from flight or fight mode (sympathetic nervous system) to rest and relaxation mode (parasympathetic nervous system).

Its a restorative pose where we put our legs up the wall for 5-10 minutes, usually at the end of class. It has a whole host of benefits and I regularly encourage students to practice it in their own time to compliment their practice outside of class.

legs up the wall - image of woman with legs up the wall, yoga asana posture often practiced in gentle yoga classes with AMALAwellness - Teesside. Based in Middlesbrough and Stockton.

What are the benefits of Viparita Karani (legs up the wall pose)?

– Physical benefits –

The physical benefits of Viparita Karani include:

1.Allows your muscles to relax.

2. Helps calm the nervous system, relieving stress and anxiety.

3. Helps relieve fatigue.

4. Releases tension and stress. (Especially in the legs and lower back)

5. Lengthens your hamstrings passively.

6. Relieves tired legs and feet (great for after exercise)

7. Stretches the glutes, hamstrings (also, if legs are apart, the hip adductors).

8. Helps improve blood circulation.

9. Helps encourage drainage of excess fluid from the ankles and feet.

This pose relaxes the shoulders, abdomen, lower back and legs. It’s great for relieving symptoms of sciatica, releasing the muscles and nerves associated with the symptoms.

It’s also great for those suffering with menstrual cramps, allowing relaxation and relief.

– Mental Benefits –

This pose really helps to calm the nervous system, thus having a calming effect on the body and mind. It helps switch on the parasympathetic nervous system, where the body can enter deep rest and relax. It is a really soothing pose to practice when feeling anxious or stressed.

What are your favorite lockdown poses? Is it also Viparita Karani?

Lotus posture- image of man in lotus posture, yoga asana posture often practiced in gentle yoga classes with AMALAwellness - Teesside. Based in Middlesbrough and Stockton.
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.

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 ‘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