CategoryUncategorized

Detox tea recipe

Detox tea recipe

Did you overdo it at the grand reopening of your local over the weekend?

This antioxidant-rich tea is a great energy booster, stomach settler and all-round brain revitaliser. It contains green tea for that much-needed slow release caffeine, turmeric for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, lemon and apple cider vinegar for digestion, and a dash of honey for a sugar hit, even more antioxidants, and to soothe any sore throats (Karaoke, anyone?).

If it’s too sour, reduce the amount of apple cider vinegar to one tbsp or ditch the lemon.

Ingredients
  • 1 mug of very hot, but not boiling, water
  • 1/2 tsp matcha powder, or alternatively a standard green tea bag will work
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, preferably with the mother
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Juice of half a lemon
Method
  1. Mix the turmeric & matcha powder,
  2. Add the hot water to the turmeric and matcha powder (or teabag), and stir continuously for a good few seconds.
  3. Then add the apple cider vinegar, lemon and honey and stir well
  4. Enjoy!

Starter kit for Yoga students – what to recommend

Starter kit for Yoga students - what to recommend

Since the Coronavirus pandemic hit our shores life as we know it has changed. Even when we come out of lockdown, the way we practice yoga will undoubtedly be different to how it was before. And having your own yoga kit is going to be essential. Many yoga studios had already stipulated that post-lockdown all students will be required to bring their own kit to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

At the moment, as many students practice yoga at home, they’ll also need to invest in some yoga kit to make the most of their online classes. As a yoga teacher myself, I know that the recent crisis has prompted many of my students to make the step to invest in their own yoga equipment so that they can join in fully with my online classes.

A senior yoga teacher once said to me, “If you were going to play tennis, you wouldn’t turn up without a racket, yoga should be the same.”

As yoga teachers it’s up to us to encourage our students to invest in proper kit so that their experience of doing yoga at home is as good as it can be, and also so that they have the tools to start a home yoga practice.

What is a yoga kit?

As an Iyengar yoga teacher, I have yoga props galore. However, if you’re on a budget, then a basic yoga kit list is:

  • A mat
  • Four blocks
  • Two bricks
  • One belt

These are the basic building blocks of a yoga practice. The mat gives you a surface that grips to your feet, preventing you from slipping in the poses. It also gives you a space in which to orientate the body.

The four blocks can be used to support the body for seated poses, can be used under the sacrum in supported Setubandha and under the shoulders in Sarvangasana.

The two bricks are like extensions of the arms in standing forward bends such as Uttanasana and Parsvottanasana, and can be used in all sorts of imaginative ways, like between the upper thighs to encourage the thighs to work.

The belt is again to allow those who are slightly stiffer to reach the feet in seated forward bends, to allow the hands to grip in Gomukhasana and can be used around the elbows in Pincha Mayurasana.

What products should I recommend?

There are so many fantastic yoga products out there. Yogamatters offers a wide range of well-designed, brightly coloured yoga props. They also do discounts for yoga teachers.

If you’d prefer to go for a more environmentally friendly yoga kit, then Manduka does a very high-quality range, including cork bricks and blocks, as well as recycled plastic blocks. Their Eko yoga mats are eco-friendly and biodegradable, harvested from non-Amazon rainforest rubber trees.

If these are too pricey, then encourage your students to look out for deals in their nearest cut-price supermarkets, such as Lidl and Aldi, and they occasionally sell yoga props in their ‘bargain’ aisle.

Yoga Extras

Once your students become committed yogis, you can encourage them to invest in more than the starter kit above. If restorative yoga is their thing then a bolster (or two) is essential. Bolsters’ rounded shape and supportive filling allow the body to open and relax while holding supine poses for long stretches of time.

A good-quality cotton blanket or two is also very useful for restorative yoga, as well as for use in general yoga classes as an extra level of height (with more give than the blocks), and for covering yourself for śavasana. Yogamatters do a large natural cotton blanket which is great for folding into various shapes for restorative poses – you need to wash it before use though as it’s very fluffy!

If you’re into hot yoga, then an absorbent yoga towel is a good investment to stop you slipping and sliding all over your mat. Manduka sells the yogitoes yoga towel, which is ultra-absorbent, lightweight, and quick-drying.

A yoga chair is also a worthwhile investment once your students become serious about their home practice. There are whole sequences you can do around the yoga chair, and it can be a way of accessing the more advanced poses, such as Kapotasana and Eka Pada Koundinyasana.

Yoga Clothes

Part of a good yoga kit is also having the right clothes. If you’re not comfortable and supported, it can be distracting from the yoga.

Sweaty Betty has a brilliantly well-made range of yoga leggings, which survive endless washing and last for years. They’re not natural fabrics, but they’re breathable and designed to be super comfortable. I have five pairs…and don’t regret a single one.

Their tops are also sweat-wicking and made from a lightweight fabric and are both flattering and well-fitting. They also do a great discount for yoga teachers, that applies even in the sales (hence the five pairs of leggings…).

If you’re into cotton yoga wear then yogamatters do organic cotton ‘pune’ pants which are the traditional Iyengar yoga choice of yoga bottoms.

Again, these are quite pricey options for your students, so feel free to recommend that they buy some basic cotton leggings online, just as long as they feel comfortable and can move easily. The most important thing is yoga after all!

 

 

PS – none of the above links are generating any money for us, they’re honest-to-goodness, real recommendations 😉

Poppy Pickles

YogaLondon Teachers’ Lockdown Classes

YogaLondon Teachers' Lockdown Classes

Do you miss our teachers as much as we do? Here’s how to stay connected with them during the lockdown.

 

ABI BARBER

Banish any yoga nerves and step on the mat with Abi, who is offering classes every day of the week: everything from Morning Movement & Meditation; Slow Flow, a gentle practice suitable for everyone; and Vinyasa Flow, a more dynamic practice with plenty of room for wobbling and laughing! Suggested price £5-10 depending on duration. Find out more: www.abibiyoga.co.uk

 

ALICE TROW

Her style a mixture of strength and softness, Alice is live-streaming classes on YouTube every Monday morning and Tuesday evening. No need to book – just turn up and she’ll be there, leading you through varied and creative sequences to help you find your flow. Price is £6 a class, £20 for 4 classes or £35 unlimited for the month. Find out more: https://www.alicetrowyoga.com/classes

 

ANAIS MANIAVAL

Anais, YogaLondon’s French Fox, is making the most of her bilingualism by leading a Gentle Flow in French on Wednesdays and a Vinyasa class for all levels in English on Thursdays. Suggested price £5-10 or free for anyone who has lost their job because of the pandemic. Find out more: www.anaisyoga.org 

 

CORRIE MCCALLUM

Our Captain, Corrie, teaches an empowering and fluid style, free from those standardised alignment cues. She blends osteopathy, pain science, somatics, sports science, pilates, psychology and dance to tailor her classes to students. Vinyasa Flow classes and workshops running Tuesday to Thursday; price £6/£10. Find out more: www.stretchbreathesmile.com

 

FRANCESCA SANLORENZO

Philosophy guru Francesca shares her highly experienced teaching that places emphasis on the breath-work, enabling students to develop strength, flexibility, focus and balance both on and off the mat. She offers sessions on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, which connect body movements and breath. Donations accepted as payment. Find out more: www.bunow.co

 

JESS LEITCH

Jess currently offers 5 classes per week online, a mix of slow flow, flow & restore and restorative. All classes are taught with the intention of exploration, growth and self-understanding. Jess is also offering workshops and an online course on emotional resilience. YogaLondon students can sign up to her newsletter for a free class as a thank you for their support during this trying time. Price: £8 for 75 minutes. Find out more: shakeyourbuddhi.com/online 

 

JO HARRIS

Join Jo’s classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Rise and Shine is an open level Vinyasa flow class to energise and get you started for the day. Slow Flow is a moderately paced mindful flow. Pregnancy Yoga is suitable for women from 14 weeks onwards. Price: £8 for drop in or £25 for a 5 class pass. Find out more: www.joharrisyoga.com  

 

JOSHUA LECLAIR

Get ready to play! Joshua teaches high-energy classes on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. They’re led by alignment, presence, a sense of play, and encourage students to invite balance into their lives while pushing their boundaries as a yogi and an individual. His passion for theatre and dance merges with yoga to fuel these playful classes. Come prepared to play, find your edge, try new things, and not take anything too seriously! Find out more: yoga.joshualeclair.com

 

LUCINDA BEATTY

Restorative yoga expert, Luci, offers Vinyasa Flow sessions for all levels, as well as Restorative Yoga. Classes run every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and on alternate Fridays. Linking to the breath throughout, the attention is drawn to different parts of the body – finding balance by awakening lazy muscles and relaxing those that do too much work. Suggested donation: £10, feel free to pay what you can. Find out more: lucindabeatty.com

 

SANDRA PATERNOSTRO

Our very own Cheeky Yogi, Sandra, is leading classes on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, offering different flows and variations for all levels. Prices range between £8 and £12 and you can enjoy a free taster class with code YOGALONDON100! Find out more: www.yogaflowsandra.com

 

Have you joined one of our teachers’ online classes? We’d love to see the pictures! Tag us on instagram 🙂

Admin

Get off the mat! How to Practice Yoga on your Daily Lockdown Walk

Get off the mat! How to Practice Yoga on your Daily Lockdown Walk

During the lockdown, we’re all allowed one walk, run, or cycle a day to get our daily exercise. This precious time of being outdoors is invaluable, especially for those that live in built-up urban areas.

While on your walk, there are lots of ways that we can practice yoga, through the way that we interact with others, by practicing mindfulness or simply by being present.

Here’s a variety of ways to keep doing yoga, even when we’re off our mats.

Mindful Walking

Using apps such as Headspace we can enter a state of walking meditation. Instead of the focus being the breath, which is traditional for seated forms of meditation, the focus becomes the rhythm of our gait.

There are various steps that you can take, even without the app.

  • First, notice how your body feels.
  • Then begin to observe your gait, how your weight shifts from foot to foot, for example.
  • Then tune in to what’s going on around you, but without any layers of judgement.
  • Become sensitive to your senses, noticing smells, sounds, and physical sensations such as the breeze or temperature.
  • Once you’ve tuned in to all these things, keep your attention in the present by focusing on the rhythm of your gait, which keeps your mind from wandering.

Through these steps, you’ll learn to bring your mind into your body, which is just what we’re trying to do on our yoga mat. It will also help tame that chattering monkey mind.

Noticing Nature

I’ve always been one to stop and smell the roses – too much, according to my family – but now it seems more important than ever to enjoy the senses when out on your walk.

Even if you haven’t got a park in walking-distance (which I find hard to believe in our green capital), then there’s loads of nature doing its glorious spring thing in front gardens, on the trees lining the pavement, even growing out of cracks in walls.

Heading outside every day means that we will start to tune in much more to the seasons; now the blossom is starting to fade and the lilacs are blooming and throwing their scent into the air.

It’s also a great reminder that we are part of the dance of Nature. Just as nature has its seasons, and cycles of renewal and change, so do we. As B K S Iyengar says in ‘Light on Life’:

We too are part of Nature, therefore constantly changing, so we are always looking at Nature from a different viewpoint.

Yamas and Niyamas

Before we even get to our mats, the first limb of yoga is the yamas and niyamas – the moral codes of conduct for our actions towards ourselves and others.

Our daily walk is the perfect place to practice these qualities, for example:

Ahimsa – non-violence

The new considerate when out walking is to stick to small groups, or ideally just one at a time so that it’s easier to keep two meters from anyone else. When my two children and myself go out for a walk, we slip into single file when we see someone else coming, like a mama duck and her ducklings…

Aparigraha – non-hoarding

This is a weird one, but I think it’s easy to take more than we need in any situation. We’re being asked to take one walk for exercise, and if we take more than that, or stay sitting in the sun on benches for too long, then we’re taking up space in the park that others might need.

Santosha – contentment

There is a lot to be sad about at the moment. We can’t hug our friends, do our jobs, go on the holidays we’d booked. But there is also so much to be content about. Our health, spending time with our family units, enjoying our homes and gardens if we’re lucky enough to have one, appreciating nature. Remind yourself that we still have so much to be content about.

Svadhyaya – self-study

Our daily walk is the perfect time to reflect on yourself. Sometimes it’s not a comfortable exercise. Notice your thoughts as you walk. Are you leaping to judge and criticise others? Are you criticising yourself? Self-study doesn’t mean self-criticism, but self-awareness.

DeviceFREE

Try doing your daily walk without a device. Our phones are pretty much grafted to our hands these days, and although we’re more grateful for online communication at the moment than ever, there’s only so many online Zoom meetings a person can take.

Make your daily lockdown walk a time to literally switch off from social media, messages, taking pictures or chatting, and take it as a time to be with yourself.

Although most of the time we’re fine, there’s a low-lying anxiety underpinning this whole situation. Our lives and the lives of the people we love are at risk, and although that risk is very small, it’s still there.

Our phones are outward-looking, constantly deflecting our attention from one thing to the next. When we put them down we give our minds and hearts a chance to turn inwards (just as we do in yoga) and start to heal.

Enjoy!

Poppy Pickles

YogaLondon’s Guide to Lockdown Yoga in the Capital

YogaLondon's Guide to Lockdown Yoga in the Capital

London is in lockdown and the once-bustling streets, shops, and cafes of our beautiful city have fallen quiet for the first time in our lifetimes.

Along with a lot of other businesses, yoga studios all over the capital have had to shut up shop for now too. But out of adversity comes creativity, and many studios have adapted their lessons to online delivery.

Using Zoom, YouTube and other social media platforms there are a whole host of yoga studios offering a tempting array of online lessons, so rather than there being less yoga in your life in lockdown, if anything there could be loads more! And, as well as keeping your yoga up and running, you can also support yoga studios to get through the current crisis.

Here’s YogaLondon’s guide to some of the wide range of studio yoga classes on offer at the moment:

The Shala

Based in West Norwood, this small, independent yoga studio has moved all its classes online using Zoom, which is the online platform that most closely resembles a live class. They are keeping class sizes small so teachers can easily see all the students in the classes for a more intimate experience. Styles of yoga on offer include Flow yoga, Restorative yoga, Dynamic yoga, and Post-natal yoga. They are offering several price packages, but you can do a trial class for free to make sure it works for you. www.theshalalondon.com

Light Centre

With three of their Central London studios all closing their doors, the Light Centre have taken their extensive timetable of classes online, offering Power yoga, Yin yoga, and Mandala Vinyasa yoga, among others. They have an introductory offer of 7 classes over 7 days for £7, and classes are free for NHS staff. They are also offering workshops including an online yoga workshop for better sleep. www.lightcentremonument.co.uk

YogaWorks

Set in the leafy South London suburb of Wandsworth, this small studio’s goal is to provide yoga classes from all levels from the absolute beginner to the more advanced yogi. They have moved a large selection of their classes online including a Gentle Beginner’s yoga class for those unused to stretching and Vinyasa and Yin yoga for all levels. They have an introductory offer of £20 for 4 classes to be used over a month. www.yogaworkslondon.co.uk

Essence of Good Health

With a real belief that no one should be exempt from the benefits of yoga, Essence of Good Health Yoga has been providing free hatha yoga classes in the southeast of London for over 15 years. They have continued this offering during lockdown, with all their classes available for free via Zoom links on their website. They’re even offering Saturday morning yoga for kids if yours are starting to bounce off the walls! www.freeyoga.co.uk

Yogarise

Set in trendy urban spaces in cool London areas like Brixton, Yogarise has attracted a loyal following over the years. They have moved their classes online and have adapted their price packages accordingly. Prices are per household, so the whole family can join in if they (or you) want – prices start at £7 per class. Styles of yoga available are Ashtanga, Jivamukti, and Vinyasa yoga classes, and they are hoping to add more. www.yogarise.london

Triyoga

Not exactly a small yoga studio, but they are a London stalwart and have been providing top-quality yoga classes for twenty years. They have now moved their impressive array of classes online so that you can still enjoy a class with your favourite London teachers, as well as adding to their workshops with ‘visiting’ yoga luminaries from abroad. Their most popular payment package is a 10 class pass for £70. www.triyoga.co.uk

The Yoga Hutch

A small but perfectly-formed studio in Surbiton, The Yoga Hutch are running Zoom classes including a Guided Ashtanga class and a Mysore-style led practice, which is suitable for more advanced Ashtanga yogis. They are keeping classes small in line with their usual practice. Prices start from £10 for a drop-in class and £30 for 5 classes over 7 days. www.theyogahutch.com

Flex Chelsea

This is a relatively new studio set in Fulham with a dynamic timetable to keep toned yoga bunnies busy. Power Flow is a strong vinyasa flow, which promises to be as much a cardio workout as it is a yoga class – rigorous practice with longer holds and the introduction of more advanced postures. If that sounds too full-on for you there’s also Slow Flow, Chill Flow and Yin yoga. Prices include a package of 10 lessons for £50. www.flexchelsea.com

Sangye Yoga School

Formerly Jivamukti Yoga London, this studio, based in Ladbroke Grove, has moved a selection of its Vinyasa and Jivamukti lessons online.  Sangye means awakened in Tibetan, and their yoga classes will definitely wake you up with ‘vigorously physical and intellectually stimulating’ classes on offer. They have an introductory offer of £40 for 30 consecutive days of yoga… Well, what else are we doing? www.sangyeyoga.com


YogaLondon is also offering free Vinyasa flow and Exam Sequence practice sessions to graduates and students this May.

 

Poppy Pickles