If you’re looking for some online options for accessible yoga and meditation during this next lockdown, my Patreon has a selection of practices on offer! 🎉 5x Mat-based Vinyasa Classes 🎉 3x Restorative practices 🎉 2x Bed Yoga practices 🎉 2x Chair Yoga practices 🎉 2x Vinyasa & Restorative Fusion practices 🎉 2x Meditation / Visualisation practices 🎉 9x Coffee & Musings Vlogs
Some lovely feedback after a recent Chair Yoga class at Bloom Studio & Well-being “I thoroughly enjoyed my first ever chair yoga class with Sarah. She was warm friendly and knew her stuff! She was down to earth and made the atmosphere so welcoming. I learnt alot in 45 minutes, how to stretch and place … Continue reading Some lovely feedback!
Chair yoga is for everyone! One of the things I’ve really loved about teaching chair yoga in a studio space (the wonderful Bloom Studio & Well-being in Cheltenham) is that I’m able to introduce people to chair yoga who have never tried it before. It’s been interesting to listen to people who have a strong … Continue reading Chair Yoga is for Everyone!
Is anyone else in desperate need of a holiday? 🌴🌞🌊 Right now all I can think about is lying on a secluded beach somewhere, listening to the ocean, feeling the sun on my face! It might not be possible to actually do this at the moment, but visualisation has been shown to have the same … Continue reading Guided Visualisation: Beach
On Friday I released a slightly more active vinyasa practice video to my Patreon. Some days we want to build heat in the body and move, whereas other days are all about rest and stillness. I used to purely practice vinyasa yoga when I first started, but as I started to explore other practices such … Continue reading Try something different in your practice!
In a Coffee & Musings video last week I talked about the breath, stress and anxiety, the parasympathetic nervous system and the vagus nerve. I first learned about the vagus nerve in a workshop I attended with Edinburgh Community Yoga (www.edinburghcommunityyoga.co.uk) called 'Neuroscience, the stress response and yoga' – it blew my mind and I … Continue reading The Vagus Nerve
Yesterday I uploaded a video to my Patreon page which includes Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana I) and Humble Warrior - and it got me thinking about hand placement during our yoga practice. For quite a long time now, I've been opting for hand placements which are closer to my body in my personal practice. For example, … Continue reading Hand placement in yoga
If you join my Patreon this month, you’ll have instant access to: 3 x Mat-based vinyasa practices2 x Restorative practices1 x Bed yoga practice1 x Chair yoga practice1 x Vinyasa & Restorative fusion practice8 x Coffee & Musings vlogs You’ll then have access to all of the new October content as it’s released! The standard … Continue reading What’s available on my Patreon?
Restorative yoga is all about rest! In an hour-long class, you can expect to do between 4 and 6 postures, spending anywhere from 3 minutes to 10 minutes in each. You will use props (see more below) such as foam blocks, foam bricks, bolsters and blankets to make yourself as comfortable as possible – the … Continue reading Restorative Yoga & Props
I've just released a new practice sequence to my Patreon page. This practice is a 37-minute mat-based vinyasa class which focuses on the hamstrings. http://www.patreon.com/accessibleyogawithsarah Now, for some of us, our hamstrings can be very tight - whether that's from exercise or long periods of sitting. Exercises that put substantial strain on the hamstrings can lead to … Continue reading Mat-Based Full Sequence: Hamstrings 1
In the latest episode of Coffee & Musings I talk a little bit more about Flow. The theory behind Flow is that "people are happiest when they are in a state of flow—a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation." I read from the book Flow - by … Continue reading Coffee & Musings 7 – Flow
I've just added a Vinyasa & Restorative Fusion practice to my Patreon page. The first part of this practice is a mat-based vinyasa flow and the second half includes restorative postures. I first taught a fusion class when I had one participant in a class, they usually attended a restorative class, but one week attended … Continue reading Vinyasa & Restorative Fusion practice
I've just released the 6th episode of Coffee & Musings on my Patreon page. In this episode I talk about the eight limbs of yoga, focusing on the final four limbs: Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Pratyahara: Withdrawal of the senses Dharana: Concentration meditation Dhyana: Absorption meditation Samadhi: Integration meditation I also start to discuss … Continue reading The Eight Limbs (part 2)
I've just added a 30-minute seated practice which can all be done from a chair to my Patreon page. Accessibility note: This practice does involve sitting sideways on the chair. http://www.patreon.com/accessibleyogawithsarah Firstly, yes, you can practice yoga in a chair! Essentially a chair class with me will be similar to a Vinyasa class except the … Continue reading Seated Practice Full Sequence: Warrior 2
I've just released the 5th episode of Coffee & Musings on my Patreon page. In this episode I talk about the eight limbs of yoga, focusing on the first four to start with: Yama, Niyama, Asana, and Pranayama. The eight limbs comes from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali which is often used as a guide … Continue reading The Eight Limbs (part 1)
I've just uploaded a new mat-based vinyasa class to my Patreon page. This practice is just under 30 minutes long so perfect for a morning practice or a lunch break! http://www.patreon.com/accessibleyogawithsarah This practice includes Lizard pose which can be used to open your hips. I invite you to really explore this posture and the variations … Continue reading Mat-Based Full Sequence – Lizard (Short)
Each month I'll share a Posture Spotlight video where we can deep dive into a posture and look at some of the variations - so we can fit the asana (postures) to our bodies. This month we're looking at Downward Facing Dog. The Sanskrit name for Downward Facing Dog is Adho mukha svanasana - pronounced … Continue reading Posture Spotlight: Downward Facing Dog
Friday is the perfect day for some Bed Yoga - that's right, bed yoga! If you've never tried it before I cannot recommend it enough. I've got a 23 minute bed yoga practice on my Patreon page which includes a lovely reclined pigeon posture. http://www.patreon.com/accessibleyogawithsarah I really hope you enjoy the practice - let me … Continue reading Friday is the perfect day for Bed Yoga!
This 45 minute mat-based vinyasa class is available now on my Patreon page! http://www.patreon.com/accessibleyogawithsarah This practice includes one of my favourite flows - Warrior 2, Reverse Warrior and Extended Side-Angle pose. The Sanskrit name for Warrior 2 is Virabhadrasana II (veer-uh-buh-DRAHS-uh-nuh to)You can listen to the pronunciation here: https://try.yogainternational.com/brochure-sanskrit-pronunciation-guide/ I hope you enjoy this practice, … Continue reading Mat-based Full Sequence: Warrior 2
I'm so excited to announce that my Patreon page is now live! What is Patreon? Patreon is a membership platform that makes it easy for creators to get paid. As a patron, you can subscribe to me, a creator, to get exclusive Patreon only content - in my case, that's online yoga classes, guided meditations and … Continue reading My Patreon page is now live!
Yesterday in my Pregnancy Yoga Teacher Training we were discussing the qualities of a teacher; ranging from the voice and language they use to the space and atmosphere they create. In groups we discussed negative experiences we’d had with teachers, and we discussed positive and inspirational experiences with teachers. One thing that was apparent from … Continue reading It’s all yoga!
I wanted to share something that I’ve been trialling for the last two weeks, and that’s affirmations or self-affirmations. I’m pretty sure most of us have heard people talking about affirmations or at least seen it in films or on TV – perhaps we conjure up images of a person staring into a mirror repeating … Continue reading Daily Affirmations
This year has been incredibly challenging for me, and instead of using my practice to help me through it, I neglected it. I’m not just talking about asana (physical practice) here, I’m talking about my yoga practice in its entirety. As we move into this new month, I realise this isn’t a time for regret, … Continue reading I lost my connection to my practice.
This is a question I get asked a lot, and it's never easy to answer! When I first started to practice yoga, I bought a very cheap mat from a high street shop and it lasted me a good year before it started to show serious signs of wear and tear. However, this meant I … Continue reading Which yoga mat should I choose?
I’ve seen a few social media posts recently about ‘advanced’ yoga and 'advanced' practitioners/students/yogis (whichever term you use) and what this actually means. So often, being ‘advanced’ in yoga is seen as being ‘more flexible’, able to hold ‘complex asana’ or being able to have a stronger/more intense physical practice. I speak to people who … Continue reading What is ‘advanced’ yoga?
We like to call it [Brahmacharya] "proper application of energy", because this idea helps guide a physical practice to the appropriate edge, spending energy where it's needed and not where it isn't. Sage Roundtree & Alexandra Desiato (Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses)
On your yoga mat, this might show itself as being excessive in how often you practice, trying so many times to do an advanced posture that you injure yourself. Activity: The concept of excess can start to get very personal so as an activity, maybe just think about this yama? Have this idea in your … Continue reading Brahmacharya on your yoga mat
The fourth of the Yamas is Brahmacharya, or Nonexcess. Moderation in all our actions. Brahmacharya does roughly translate as abstinence, and some people take this to be celibacy, however many prefer to think of this in terms of nonexcess. So basically, don’t have more than you need, don’t be excessive. Still partake in enjoyable things, … Continue reading Brahmacharya (Nonexcess)
Cultural appropriation is stealing the intellectual, spiritual, cultural informational wealth of another group, such as we see happening with yoga today and for the last century. Susanna Barkataki - How to Practice Yoga Without Appropriating It (www.susannabarkataki.com) This is always a discussion that should be happening in yoga spaces but I'm specifically mentioning this now … Continue reading Cultural Appropriation
On your yoga mat, Asteya might show itself as wishing you could do a posture like the person next to you or wishing you had their figure. It could also mean showing up to class on time and respecting the time the teacher and other students are giving. Activity: Try and practice Asteya in your … Continue reading Asteya on your yoga mat
The third of the Yamas is Asteya, or Nonstealing. Not taking what does not belong to you. The obvious message here is ‘don’t steal stuff’. But this can also refer to other things too. You can ‘take’ other’s time and energy by taking advantage of them. You can desire something that someone else has that … Continue reading Asteya (nonstealing)
On your yoga mat, Satya might show itself as not being honest about what you’re capable of on that day – resulting in not giving your mind and body what they need, or potentially pushing yourself to injury. Activity: Try and practice Satya in your next yoga class/work meeting/social occasion, be honest about how you’re … Continue reading Satya on your yoga mat
Truthfulness is partnered with nonviolence…We can appreciate this statement when we begin to practice speaking our truth without causing harm to others. As partners, truthfulness keeps nonviolence from being a wimpy cop-out, while nonviolence keeps truthfulness from being a brutal weapon.Deborah Adele
The second of the Yamas is Satya, or truthfulness. Right communication through speech, writing, gesture and actions. Yes, this means telling the truth, but sometimes the truth can cause hurt which goes against Ahimsa, and Ahimsa always comes first. So, try to be truthful and honest where you can, with your words and actions, but … Continue reading Satya (truthfulness)
On your yoga mat, Ahimsa might show itself as beating yourself up for losing your balance, or perhaps judging the person on the mat next to you when they do… Activity: Try and practice Ahimsa in your next yoga class/work meeting/social occasion, speak to yourself and others with kindness!
The first of the Yamas is Ahimsa, or nonviolence. Nonviolence towards others and ourselves, and a consideration for all living things. There is more to this than just “not getting in fights” – this means being kind and thoughtful when interacting with others, but also yourself. Your words and thoughts can be just as violent … Continue reading Ahimsa (nonviolence)
After nearly 20 years of Ashtanga Yoga practice, I now measure my success by how long I'm able to keep my emotional centre spacious enough to be genuinely kind. By comparison, it's almost easy to get on the mat and bend and twist your body. In daily life, it is much harder to maintain a … Continue reading Measuring success
Yamas translates roughly as restraints and covers our attitudes toward our environment. The yamas are: Ahimsa (Nonviolence)Satya (Truthfulness)Asteya (Nonstealing)Brahmacarya (Nonexcess)Aparigraha (Nonposessiveness) I realise that at a first glance, you can see a lot of words starting with 'Non' - however, these guidelines, or restraints, are not about limiting your life, they are about opening up … Continue reading The Yamas
Recently my, physical/asana practice has been very limited - a combination of the house move and shoulder injuries means it's just been more difficult than usual. But this doesn't mean I've not been practicing yoga. I've spent 3 years practicing asana, so now it's really nice to dedicate some time to the other areas of … Continue reading Yamas & Niyamas
So, you might have noticed it's been a bit quiet here lately, but that's because I've just been so busy! In the last month or so, I've moved to a new house which has taken up so much time – all the paperwork, the building work that needs doing, decorating, and work in the garden … Continue reading It’s been so busy!!
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"Where and how does the practice of yoga begin? Should we always begin on the physical level? I would say that where we begin depends on our personal interests. There are many ways of practicing yoga, and gradually the interest in one path will lead to another."T. K. V. Desikachar - The Heart of Yoga
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends, stay up-to-date with the latest news and promote your business. But it’s also easy to get lost in an unhealthy relationship with social media; it can start to take over, you live your life through a camera lens or screen, and you’re constantly … Continue reading Self-care when using social media
"Anyone who wants to can practice yoga. Anybody can breathe; therefore anybody can practice yoga. But no one can practice every kind of yoga. It has to be the right yoga for the person." T. K. V. Desikachar - The Heart of Yoga Do you have a preferred type of yoga? What works for you?
With the eight limbs, there is a lot of information to take in, especially as there are so many interpretations of them. As I read through various versions I always need a notebook handy to scribble notes, and (sorry for those who hate this) but underline and highlight passages in the book too. Do you … Continue reading Journaling & taking notes
Did you know that I'm on other social media platforms? My main content is shared across them all, but I also share content from other people on each platform too - usually in my Instagram stories, or sharing articles on Facebook.
The eighth, and final, limb is Samadhi which is a state of unity, or a complete sense of concentration.
As we've been introducing the eight limbs, you can see that there is so much more to yoga than the physical poses. This quote from T. K. V. Desikachar's The Heart of Yoga sums it up really well. "Yoga is primarily a practice intended to make someone wiser, more able to understand things than they … Continue reading Yoga is primarily a practice intended to make someone wiser…
The seventh of the limbs is Dhyana which is often translated as meditation, though in some books I've read it is slightly different to meditation - the ability to focus and have deep mental concentration.
As I'm introducing the eight limbs of yoga, you can probably see why the third limb, Asana (postures), is the limb that's most often portrayed and talked about, especially on social media. First, it is ideal for images as it's purely physical - how do you take photographs of concentration or breath work? Second, it's … Continue reading Yoga is more than asana