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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
I'm so grateful for everyone who likes, comments and shares my posts and blogs - thank you so much, it really is appreciated. If you do enjoy my content and would like to support me further, please feel free to buy me a coffee on Ko-fi! https://ko-fi.com/accessibleyogawithsarah
"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 →
"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 →
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 →
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 →
I mentioned in a previous post about attending a workshop at the Natural History Museum. It was an incredible space to practice in, if you're in the UK I'd definitely recommend it. At the end of the session, a lot of people were taking photos on the steps of the main hall, most holding advanced... Continue Reading →
The fifth of the limbs is Pratyahara which is sense withdrawal or the restraint of senses. From this point on, the limbs are very new concepts to me, so I'll wait to go into more details until I'm more familiar with them myself.
"To approach your practice intelligently means to know all the implications of what you want to do, whether that be Asana or Pranayama, and to make appropriate preparations and adjustments." T.K.V Desikachar's The Heart of Yoga. The passage in the book goes on to give the example of wanting to travel overseas - it's not... Continue Reading →
The fourth of the limbs is Pranayama which is breath control and the practice of breathing exercises. I've done a little bit of Pranayama work in my regular yoga class, and we practiced a few techniques in a workshop I attended at the Natural History Museum in London. Some of the practices made me feel... Continue Reading →
I love this image! Photo by: Matthew Henry on https://burst.shopify.com
The third of the limbs is Asana. These are the physical postures of yoga and are what a lot of people think of when the term Yoga is used.