Private classes are a good place to start yoga. They allow the teacher and student time to focus on what the student needs most. Private or small group classes are particularly useful for back pain, neck and shoulder tension, stress management, sports injuries, low energy, IBS and insomnia.
A typical session involves working with a students posture, breathing, balance, strength and flexibility. The teacher may use guided relaxation techniques or practical meditation and self-awareness practices. The student comes away with a personalised programme.
The first session lasts 1.5 hours. Subsequent sessions last one hour. They can be in the comfort of your own home or at either of my clinics in Dun Laoghaire or Mount Street.
Please note: I am not taking new private clients for the remainder of 2017 due to my very full teacher training schedule. However I am happy to refer you to another practitioner in your locality. Please contact: [email protected]
Yoga therapy refers to medically based yoga practices. A yoga therapist is a teacher with a minimum of two years additional medical training. It is most commonly used to help treat back-pain, spinal problems, arthritis, osteoporosis, asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease, hypertension, stress related conditions such anxiety, mild depression, panic attacks, migraines and IBS, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and sleep problems.
Yoga Therapy is recognised by all major healthcare providers.
Sessions are usually one to one or in small groups. The client comes away with a practice programme adapted to their needs and health.
A strong body does more than look and feel good. Strong, well-balanced muscles protect us from conditions like arthritis and back-pain. They continue to allow us to enjoy all the things we like to do in life. Yoga is unique because strength is balanced with flexibility.
You may not be able to touch your toes in your first yoga class, but as you continue you’ll feel yourself loosen up. Lack of flexibility can cause structural problems resulting in bad posture and muscular tension. Yoga takes the body through a complete range of motion, helping keep us supple, youthful, and energized.
Posture and Tone
How you feel about yourself is instantly recognisable in your posture. When you feel good in your body, you walk with your head held high. Yoga teaches you to stand on your own two feet with confidence and presence. By respecting the body’s natural alignment it also dramatically improves posture and tone in walking, sitting and lying.
Yoga is the Stress Busting Superpower. When we operate under frequent stress, our adrenal glands go into overtime and produce high levels of a stress hormone called cortisol. Yoga lowers cortisol levels in the body by accessing the part of the nervous system responsible for digestion, sleep and relaxation.
Switching to this mode has a dramatic calming and restorative effect on the body. Breathing and heart rates slow, blood pressure decreases, and blood flow to the intestines and the reproductive organs increase. This helps common stress related complaints like IBS, constipation, ulcers, infertility, and insomnia.
Taking a Breather
When our breath slows down, our minds become calmer and more focused. Learning to breathe properly is one of the simplest, easiest things we can do to improve our quality of life. Everyone from the Dalai Lama to Madonna to Tiger Woods has learned to use the power of the breath to help performance. Yoga is also beneficial in improving asthma and other respiratory conditions.
Yoga increases your vital energy, prana or life-force, allowing it to move freely throughout your body. It allows you tap into an abundant source of energy, and helps the body renew and regenerate as a result.
Osteoporosis (or decreasing bone density) can occur anytime after the age of thirty. The remedy is weight-bearing exercise that strengthens and protects the bones. Everyday activities such as walking work the lower body, but we often forget the upper body is vulnerable to fractures. Common yoga poses such as cat pose and downward facing dog regularly strengthen the arms and shoulder girdle keeping the bones strong and healthy.
The joints in the body are lined with cartilage, a protective material that works like a sponge. It needs to be squeezed so waste products can be flushed out and fresh nutrients taken in. Otherwise the cartilage wears down just like a break-pad. Yoga takes each joint through its full range of motion whether that is forward bending, back-bending, side bending or twisting. This ensures a ‘squeeze and soak’ action in each joint which helps prevent arthritis and other degenerative joint conditions.
The world started to wake up to the benefits of yoga for the heart when Dr. Dean Ornish published his Program for Reversing Heart Disease (Ballantine, 1992). Ornish found that heart disease could be reversed though diet, meditation, group support and yoga. Additional studies found that yoga lowers the resting heart rate and increases endurance. As yoga also lowers stress, it helps alleviates depression, worry, and anxiety. All of which make for a happy heart, a healthy life, and a peaceful mind.
Peace of Mind
Yoga encourages us to cherish peace of mind above all else. This helps us deal with feelings of frustration, regret, anger, fear and worry. With a little practice, the mind learns to slow down, rest, and focus. Then we start to realise what we really want and need out of life in order to be happy. A good teacher will help guide you towards a personal practice that supports you best.
Yogis have more tools to deal with life’s stresses. This is because yoga nurtures our inherent potential. It encourages us to have confidence in our decisions and trust where we are in our lives. Yoga has been used successfully in weight loss, infertility, depression, as well as drug, alcohol and other addictions.
Yoga lowers blood sugar and LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and boosts HDL (“good cholesterol”). In the case of diabetes, yoga lowers blood sugar in several ways: it reduces cortisol and adrenaline levels, encourages weight loss, and improves sensitivity to insulin.
Memory and Concentration
Yoga teaches us to focus on the present, using tried and tested body-awareness techniques. Studies have found that yoga improves co-ordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ. When we are less distracted, we are more efficient and have more energy for the task in hand.
Lymph is a fluid rich in immune cells. When you move in and out of yoga postures, you contract and stretch muscles, move organs around and increase lymphatic drainage. This helps the lymph system fight infection, destroy cancerous cells and get rid of the toxins.
Simple awareness and breathing techniques can help with everyday aches and pains. In addition, yoga has been shown to reduce pain in arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, and other chronic conditions. It can also help eliminate the need for drugs in birthing. When we relieve pain, our mood and energy levels improve, and we have more get up and go.