YOGA

Meaning "union", yoga seeks to not only reconnect mind, body and spirit but to put practitioners back in touch with the idea of something greater than themselves. This ancient practice originates from India and Hindu philosophy but the version that we're familiar with today - with the heavy emphasis on physical poses - is actually fairly modern, dating from the late 19th and early 20th century. 

 

The ancient practice of yoga places emphasis on the breath not the body, even though you will certainly get stronger and more flexibile! By controlling the breath as we hold poses, we move prana (life energy) through the body, shifting and clearing energy blockages that can lead to poor physical and mental health. Through meditation, yoga invites the body and mind to relax and recentre. Ultimately, this leads to a stronger, healthier body and a clearer, calmer and less reactive way of being. It brings us one step closer to the divine.

 

With this in mind, it's easy to understand how yoga is for everybody and every body - the perfect antidote to the stress of modern living. ​

WHAT TO WEAR

Loose comfortable clothing that you can move freely in and that doesn't ride up. Layers are good. Yoga is done in bare feet.

WHAT TO BRING

A yoga mat, a blanket and a willingness to let go! If you don't have a yoga mat, don't worry. We have spares that you can borrow until you decide you want to commit a little more.

QIGONG

Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) has its roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy and martial arts. It is similar to yoga in that it uses the breath to move energy and promote a meditative state.

 

Qigong focuses on health and meditation, rather than the martial aspect which is more closely associated with tai chi.  Qigong could be described as a gentle mind-body-spirit practice that improves one's mental and physical health by integrating flowing posture, movement, breathing technique, self-massage, sound, and focused intent.

Like yoga, it is good for stress management.

WHAT TO WEAR

Loose comfortable clothing that you can move freely in. Qigong can be done in bare feet or soft shoes.

WHAT TO BRING

Just yourself!

MEDITATION & MINDFULNESS

MINDFULNESS

When you are being actively mindful, you are noticing and paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and movements, and also to the effects you have on those around you.

 

You can practice mindfulness anytime, anywhere, and with anyone by showing up and being fully engaged in the here and now. Mindfulness is the simple act of paying attention and noticing and being present in whatever you’re doing. 

Both practices promote calmness, clarity and well-being, with meditation seeking a spiritual connection with something bigger than the self. Mindfulness is generally taught as a secular practice, but does in fact have its roots in Buddhism.

The two terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference. Loosely, meditation  tends to focus more internally and mindfulness externally but obviously there are cross-overs.

MEDITATION

Meditation tends to refer to formal, seated practice as part of a wider spiritual philosophy. There are many types of meditation, for example:

 

  • Breath-awareness meditation

  • Loving-kindness meditation (metta)

  • Mantra-based meditation

  • Visualization meditation

  • Guided meditation

 

Seated meditation usually begins with deep breathing in a comfortable position and consciously guiding the mind toward an anchor, or a single point of focus, such as a mantra. You typically spend a set length of time - from a minute to an hour or more - in which you are tuned inward.

WHAT TO WEAR

Loose comfortable clothing that you can sit easily in. When sitting on the floor or on a cushion, it's customary to remove footwear.

WHAT TO BRING

If you have a meditation stool or zafu (meditation cushion), please bring those; it's important to be comfortable. If you don't have either, bring a couple of cushions. Blocks will be provided to help support you while you get used to sitting on the floor. If mobility is restricted or there are health issues meditation can be done on a chair, so please don't worry!

Because you will be sitting still for long periods of time, it's easy to get chilled. It's nice to bring a blanket or shawl for your shoulders. 

PILATES

Pilates is a method of exercise that consists of low impact flexibility and muscular strength and endurance movements. It emphasizes proper postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance.

 

It is suitable for all levels of participants from the complete beginner to the advanced athlete. Whether your objectives are general conditioning, rehabilitation after injury or just to enjoy learning about how your body moves, the right instructor can help you achieve your goals.

Pilates is good for stress management.

WHAT TO WEAR

Typical sportswear is absolutely fine.

WHAT TO BRING

Just yourself!

 
 
 
 
 
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