Autumn is most definitely here and we are embracing the change of season with an immune boosting focus in this month's newsletter.
Nature looks absolutely stunning with all the colours changing, the mornings are getting a little colder and the evenings draw darker earlier.
The change of seasons can take us a bit out of balance, a little bit more vulnerable and exposed to changes in our health and overall wellbeing. From YOGA poses, workshops, recipes and local ideas for wellbeing and self care, we hope this newsletter can help you embrace Autumn, making it a positive move of season.
YOGA for immunity
Yoga can be very beneficial in helping to boost the immune system. Regular practice will keep you strong throughout the year, but here we've selected a few poses that are particularly good at this time of year.
Downward Dog Adho Mukha Svanasana
A wonderful full body stretch. In this pose our head is below the heart so this asana is a great opportunity for a gentle inversion. It's a calming pose that encourages deep, steady breathing allowing the nervous system to relax and therefore boosting immunity as our body naturally weakens when under stress.
Twist - Supine Twist or Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Twist are a great way to stimulate our third chakra (Manipura) responsible for keeping our inner fire (Agni) ignited, especially important in the change of seasons and colder month to come. There are a lot of poses that include twisting so you can try different variations. From more restorative options like supine twist (easy twist on the floor) to more challenging and dynamic ones like Revolved Half Moon! (great for testing your balance too).
Headstand or Viparita Karani (legs up the wall)
An inversion strengthens the immune system by stimulating the lymphatic drainage in our body. It's a wonderful pose to practise at the end of a busy day, keeping your breath steady, allowing the whole body to relax.
Take a few moments out of your busy day to sit down and tune into your own breath. This is such a simple, yet neglected practice that should be a part of everybody's daily routine. You don't need to make it too long, even just a few minutes spent away from the busy everyday doing and thinking will transform how you approach your day, it'll enhance your creativity and give you a clearer perspective on things. If this is quite new to you, start your mediation by doing a full body scan in a seated position with your eyes closed, and eventually move on to using meaningful mantras that you recite in your mind and gradually lengthen the time of your practice.
October WORKSHOPS + EVENTS
We have a selection of great yoga workshops and events lined up for you in October. To book, simply go to our timetable, select your date and reserve your slot.
THURSDAY 11th OCTOBER 17.00-18.00 TEENS YOGA + MINDFULNESS with Amani from Project Yogi - this will be an ongoing weekly class for teens from 12-16yrs old.
This is a flow yoga class, introducing teens to a real adult style yoga class. Here teenagers will learn more challenging postures, do breath work, meditation, mindfulness, partner and acro-style yoga, helping with balance, focus, flexibility, strength and reliving stress. Open to all levels.
SUNDAY 14th OCTOBER 14.00-16.00 SLOW DOWN YIN with Alice
Yin Yoga is a gentle and meditative practice that encourages the mind and body to slowly unwind. In Yin the postures are held for 5 minutes, or longer, using yoga props to help support the body and to enhance the feeling of 'letting go'. By holding the postures for an extended period, the fascia (the inter-web of connective tissues in the body that encapsulate and supports every muscle and organ in the body) is stimulated, and circulation to the joints is increased. Making Yin the perfect practice to increase suppleness in the body, allowing you to move with more grace and ease in every day life. The practice of Yin also encourages you to stay aware and available to the different sensations that arise in the body moment to moment. Through introspection Yin provides the perfect gateway into meditation, inner peace and quiet, and can often help to promote feelings of calm and alleviate stress.
During this 2 hour workshop Alice will guide you through an extended Yin Yoga practice where you will explore; mindfulness techniques and guided meditation. Breathing exercises to encourage relaxation and better breathing. Yin yoga postures to create space and ease in body. Expect a warm and cozy setting with low lighting, essential oils and incense to help you melt into an oasis of calm. This will be the perfect practice to round off the weekend, providing you with a clear mind and open body, ready to take on the week ahead. At the end of the practice you're welcome to stay for a cup of tea and a slice of home made vegan cake. Open to all levels, £20 early bird (£25)
FRIDAY 19th OCTOBER 20.00-21.00 GONG BATH with Junior
Monthly sound baths run by a qualified Gong Master who will take you on a magical sound journey with his three gongs. The gong is a sacred and ancient instrument of healing, rejuvenation and transformation. Feel the deep relaxation and stress relieving effects of this amazing Sound Bath. All you have to do is lie down and let the sound vibrations flow through your body and mind.
Open to all levels.
Open to all levels. £15 pre booked or £18 on the door.
SATURDAY 20th October 12.45-15.15 ASHTANGA with Imir
The workshop will provide a relaxed and fun opportunity to experience a classical Ashtanga Yoga practice, from Pranayama to Savasana.
Imir will begin by exploring modifications for some of the more challenging Asanas and Vinyasas, then lead the group through Pranayama, the opening Mantra and ‘all aboard!’ to enjoy a guided ride through the opening Sun Salutations, Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga, a select few Second Series postures, the Closing Sequence followed by a deep relaxation, aaaahh... Intended as a daily personal therapy, in Ashtanga the rhythmic sequence of Asanas and Vinyasas are developed, slowly and steadily, with breath, concentration and bandhas.
The practice becomes a strong, moving meditation; a vehicle to access deeper internal awareness, purifying the body and organs, maintaining optimum health of mind, body and spirit.
“Through regularity of practice the Eight Limbs are nourished, our practice blooms and our understanding of the depths of Yoga matures”
SUNDAY 28th October 14.00-14.45 FAMILY/KIDS YOGA with Kasia
Open to all levels, £20 early bird (£25)
Monthly Family Yoga class for grown ups and kids 5-10yr. Fun 45 mins of gentle yoga poses, breathing exercises, yoga stories and simple meditation techniques.
Open to all levels. £6 per Yogi.
Teacher Training at Yoga House
Momentum for the Parampara School of Yoga Teacher at Yoga House is gathering!
Just 6 places remain on our exceptional quality, 200 hour Yoga Alliance accredited course in Yoga Teacher Training and Foundation Studies. If you'd like more information on how to join the class of November 2018 drop us a line...
Local wisdom + offers
We asked local experts and businesses to give us their advice and offer discounts on services that will help you to look after yourself during the changing season. Here are two lovely local businesses that have kindly offered us advice and discounts on their services.
Fawz, the Botanical Pharmacist and founder of the All Being Well Project, gives her top tips for boosting your immunity and keeping the Winter bugs at bay.
Food to include in your diet:
Goji berries, Pumpkin seeds (rich in zinc), Shiitake mushrooms, Ginger, Garlic (antiviral so zaps cold and flu viruses before they take hold)
Vitamin C – black currants, kiwi, oranges, red peppers, broccoli, kale
Vitamin D – we don’t get enough sunlight for our bodies to make enough, so top it up from eggs, oily fish or supplements.
Eating a rainbow – the pigments in fruit and veg are antioxidants and great for keeping the body in balance to fight its own battles.
Gut biome - keep your gut flora in tip top shape. Eat a variety of food and plenty of fermented foods – live yoghurts, keffir, kombucha, miso ... whatever takes your fancy.
Nettle seeds – sprinkle on your cereal or add to a smoothie.
Elderberry syrup – an antioxidant and immune-booster. You can even make it yourself.
Tea blends – try a blend of Echinacea, Astralgus, Rosehips and Olive leaf and flavour to taste with honey or liquorice powder.
Keep your constitutional dosha in balance.
Try chywanaprash – also called the ‘elixir or life’, it’s a tonic jam of blended herbs.
Some herbs can’t be used in pregnancy or with other medicines so always check.
All Being Well Project workshops
Nature-inspired self care and home remedies with Fawz and Paula Sharp Nutrition
Oct 6th – Head Space (mind, anxiety, sleep)
Nov 3rd – Winter wellness (immunity and remedies)
Details: Insta and FB @allbeingwellproject
To book your workshop with All Being Well Project use YogaHouse code to get 40% off.
We've also received a very kind offer of £20 off for the first 10 people who book a luxurious treatment with a wonderful local holistic health space, A Curious Herbal, run by Lizzie in Lee, just around the corner from our studio. Her offering includes Energy Healing, Massage, Crystal Therapy, Alchemy... all at her beautiful boutique studio - with treatments being performed on her Amethyst Far Infrared Healing Bed. Hurry to book your slot!
Warming SOUP recipe
Autumn is a great opportunity to spend a bit more time at home experimenting in the kitchen, making some wholesome nourishing dishes. We have this very simple, yet delicious Pumpkin + Kale soup recipe for you including seasonal veg, full of goodness and colour. Where possible try using organic veg (why not give Lee Greens a try - local organic veg bag scheme - https://www.leegreens.org)
Here's what you need:
1 small sized pumpkin - (pumpkins are rich in vitamin A, which is great for our eyesight, eating pumpkins can boost immune system - they are a solid source of vitamin C. It's one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant)
a handful of kale
2 garlic cloves
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stock cube - to make 500ml of stock (I recommend Kallo for lower salt content)
half a tsp of turmeric
half a tsp of cinnamon
half a tsp of ground ginger
pinch of chilli flakes
salt and black pepper to taste
nigella seeds to decorate and for added crunch
a drizzle of olive oil
a dollop of Ghee or coconut oil for frying
Here's how to do it:
Pre-heat the oven to around 200 degrees. Wash and chop the pumpkin - the variety I bought didn't even require peeling the skin. Place in an oven dish, drizzle with olive oil and crush two garlic cloves and scatter over the pumpkin. Place in the oven for around 20 minutes (until the pumpkin in nice and soft). In the meantime chop the onion, heat the coconut oil in a large pan, then fry until soft. Add the turmeric, cinnamon, chilli and ginger. Fry for a couple minutes. Add washed kale, stirring it continuously so it doesn't burn. Fry for few minutes. If the pumpkin is ready, add it to the frying pan, then pour the stock. Wait until it starts boiling, then cover and simmer for around 10 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Take off heat. Blend it all to create a smooth consistency adding more water depending on how creamy/watery you want it to be.
Sprinkle with some nigella seeds for added flavour. Enjoy, what a treat!! Long may continue the pumpkin season!!
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The September draw of mala bracelet goes to Laura Padoan.
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See you on the mat.