October’s Yoga With Paul Newsletter is here!
Enjoy – and happy Halloween 🙂
All the Halloween skeletons rattling around got me thinking about bone health. Weight-bearing exercises like running and weight-lifting build bone density and help prevent osteoporosis. Did you know that yoga is a weight-bearing exercise?
When you do yoga postures your muscles are pulling on your bones, creating a pressure that stimulates bone cells to build new tissue, creating stronger bones.
Yoga also helps improve your joints by circulating synovial fluid, and stimulating the connective tissues around the joints to make them stronger and more mobile.
In a 90-minute Bikram class you work every major muscle group in your body, influencing your whole skeletal system. You gain strength and build bone without any of the common risks of injury from impact sports like running, and without having to pump iron. Not only that, the balance and flexibility you develop through yoga can help prevent falls or other injuries.
Questions about bone or joint problems? Ask in the comments!
Join me for Warm Vinyasa Flow at Hot Bikram Yoga London Bridge studio, starting 5 November. I will be teaching the 90-minute class at 6:30-8PM every Thursday.
Flow Yoga, also known as Vinyasa (Surya Namaskara) is a sequence of flowing movement at the beginning of the class to warm the body, moving in motion with the breath. This will help bring flexibility to all the muscles and joints and wake up the nervous system.
A gentle, yet powerful series of balancing, stretching, back bending, twisting and mild inverted postures will follow.
During the Flow practice, music will be played. Music can calm and uplift you in so many ways and make the mind at ease when the yoga practice becomes challenging. This class is practised in a warm room and is suitable for all levels from total beginners through to advanced. The class will predominantly follow the same sequence every time.
Yoga is a practice that opens us physically. It should also be a practice that opens us mentally.
We begin each Bikram class with pranayama breathing to open our lungs and chest. We open our hips with triangle pose, we release our spine, shoulders, knees, ankles… by the end of 90 minutes we have systemically opened every part of our body.
This openness however, should go far beyond our physical being. As we move though yoga asanas we can observe the ways our actions influence our own emotional state. We learn through regular practice that we can change aspects of ourselves. We discover that our limits are not fixed. We experience being part of a community. All these things should move and inspire us to greater openness in our lives: emotional, intellectual and spiritual.
Openness means taking the wisdom of yoga into our relationships and daily interactions. It means being soft, strong, disciplined, persistent and kind with our friends, lovers, colleagues, children, and enemies.
Openness is strong and positive. It means accepting difficulties with patience and handling conflict with grace. Openness enables us to see things from other people’s point of view while maintaining our perspective. It is not just a physical state, it is a way of relating to the world.
Next time you’re in class, think about opening your whole being – mind body and spirit – to whatever the day holds.
How does yoga help you stay open? Share in the comments?
Some more words and photos from the Yoga Holiday with Paul retreat.
A little vicarious sunshine for your practice as the days get chilly!
What did you think of the mixture of Bikram, vinyasa, meditation and music?
I absolutely loved the mix of Bikram and Vinyasa- they complimented one another beautifully. I just loved the space to meditate and the music was not only fantastic overall but answered the subtle nuances everyday. Claire
How did you hear about Yoga Holiday with Paul and why did you choose it?
Paul mentioned his blog in his class at Balham HotYogaSouth. When I got home and googled it so I could subscribe to his weekly newsletter, the first thing I saw was YWP. It resonated with me so strongly that I booked it the following morning despite having had already planned another 2 holidays and not even checking with my boss if I could go! Kamila
What five words would you use to describe Yoga Holiday with Paul?
Privileged, Inspirational, Fun, Relaxing, Awesome. Su
What did you hope to learn and gain from the holiday?
I hoped to improve my Bikram practice, do a digital detox, clear my mind – basically just relax and live and enjoy every moment. Elke
What was the highlight of your holiday?
The highlight of my holiday was learning more about vinyasa yoga, it was interesting and nice to learn about a different type. Kay
How would you describe Paul as a teacher?
Paul is a very calm instructor who made you feel relaxed. His instructions were clear and detailed for example he would remind us to breathe deeply before stretching and turning. He was funny and engaging and I thoroughly enjoyed his sessions. Rung
Follow yogawithpaul blog and follow me on Twitter @yogawithpaul for future retreat information and bookings!
I love practicing other styles of yoga, especially Vinyasa yoga. It complements the Bikram method. Bikram & Vinyasa are genres that originate from Hatha Yoga. These two styles of yoga represent a powerful sequence. Both methods of yoga teach awareness, balance and connection of the body through movement and breath. Once you have mastered the breath, you are close to mastering the mind.
In the Bikram method, there are a set of asanas or postures and breathing exercises. The Vinyasa method synchronises asanas which are linked together with sun salutations, given the name Vinyasa Flow or Flow Yoga.
Flow Yoga is performed with grace and dance-like movements, maintaining calm and self-control through out the sequence. The class includes meditation, pranayama breathing, flowing Vinyasa sequence and deep savasana (relaxation). Flow Yoga will enhance the Bikram practice giving awareness of movement meditation.
A selected playlist of music will be played. Music can calm and uplift you when the yoga practice becomes challenging.
Join me as from Thursday evening 5th November at 6.30pm till 8pm at Hot Bikram Yoga London bridge.
I was a dancer before I discovered yoga and love the way dancing and yoga complement each other.
Dance requires discipline and stamina. It is also joyous and enriching. An article on the health benefits of dancing points out that dancing can
Improve strength and
Increase muscle tone and coordination.
Dance lifts your mood and can even sharpen your mind. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, dancing can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. In the study, participants over the age of 75 who engaged in reading, dancing and playing musical instruments and board games once a week had a 7 percent lower risk of dementia compared to those who did not. Those who engaged in these activities at least 11 days a month had a 63 percent lower risk.
Dance is life-affirming and you don’t have to be “good” at it to have fun or benefit. Whether you dance around the front room to your favourite song, hit the club with friends, or sign up for swing classes, it lifts your spirits, energises the body and gives you something to smile about.
What song makes you get up and dance? Share in the comments!
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We had a brilliant week on the Yoga With Paul 2015 retreat. I’m happy to share some of the photos and words from our fantastic group of yogis … The following is an excerpt from our Yoga Holiday With Paul 2015 Memoir. Hope you enjoy it and plan to join us next year!
The theme of this year’s yoga holiday annual is the eight limbs of yoga:
The retreat was another wonderful week of growing, learning and enjoying life to the full with old friends and new. This year the memoir looks at how the retreat embodied the eight limbs of yoga – and offer suggestions for you to grow in your yoga practice through the coming year. Enjoy the words, images and inspiration!
THE EIGHT LIMBS OF YOGA
Yama – ethics
Niyama – spiritual practice
Asana – physical practice
Pranayama – control of the breath
Pratyahara – withdrawal of the senses
Dharana – concentration
Dhyana – meditation
Samadhi – super-consciousness
The eight limbs of yoga are a progressive path to enlightenment. Each cultivates a different part of the mind, body and spirit, taking you deeper into the practice.
What the Yogis have to say:
The retreat always confirms that yoga is a joy and necessity. -Claire
It was perfect for getting away from the everyday and focusing on improving my practice whilst being in a relaxing environment with great company and lovely food and drink. -Su
It has changed my regular practice as know I find myself correcting my posture and repeating what I learnt from the retreat. -Kay
On day three I nearly walked out of morning practice as my body was aching all over and I felt total frustration. I was so tired and my muscles were screaming too much yoga!” What was I thinking? Am I mad? I kept on looking around the room comparing myself to the others and felt almost anger how rubbish I was. I was close to tears. It was only that evening, after Paul told me that we are all different, our bodies have different strengths, flexibility and pointed out that some people were practicing for over a decade that my attitude and way of thinking changed. I approached next day’s practice with renewed enthusiasm and my oh my!
what a class it was! -Kamila
I arrived tired and exhausted from working and during my stay I recharged my batteries and felt a calmness and relaxation which has lasted long after the holiday.
Paul is a very calm instructor who makes you feel relaxed. He would remind us to breathe deeply before stretching and turning. He is funny and engaging. I thoroughly
enjoyed the sessions. -Rung
I gained a deeper connection with practice, enlightenment and relaxation. -Paul B
I visited the beach a few times and enjoyed swimming in the sea. The accommodation was surrounded by scent-filled fruit orchards and we were very privileged to enjoy excellent food. -Rung
Paul has an amazing presence, the way he works and feels the room – a spiritual energy. He has the ability to command attention without having to speak, a truly gifted instructor. Paul’s classes are always challenging but fun. He encourages everyone to push themselves just that little bit more at every class, it’s Yoga practice – practice makes perfect! -Elke
During the retreat I felt very refreshed, relaxed and happy. Afterward I missed the retreat, but used the meditation learning to bring me back to a place of peace.-Vibeka
If you’d like more information, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter
The OM Yoga Show is at Alexandra Palace 23, 24 & 25 October. This is always a wonderful opportunity to check out different styles of classes like flow yoga, vinyasa, or warm flow yoga, which I’m teaching.
There are dozens of presenters and stands covering all things yoga related, from clothing and mats, to food, travel, health, children’s yoga and more. It’s a great place to pick up new gear, explore new ideas, and check out lectures and demonstrations.
Download the free show guide here.
Nothing is tastier than a hot breakfast on an autumn morning. These vegan oatmeal pancakes adapted from a Vegetarian Times recipe are packed with energy, protein and fibre and you can make them even tastier by adding a couple handfuls of berries, apple chunks or banana slices.
Eat with almond butter, tahini, a drizzle of honey, or a dollop of compote.
Vegan Oatmeal Pancakes
180ml soya milk
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbs. honey or maple syrup
2 tsp. oil, plus more for oiling pan
45g rolled oats
65g whole-wheat flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
60g blueberries, sliced strawberries, sliced bananas, etc (optional)
1. Combine soya milk, vinegar, maple syrup, and oil in small bowl. Add oats, and let soak 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in separate bowl. Stir soya milk mixture into flour mixture. Add fruit if using.
3. Preheat large skillet or griddle – pan is hot when a drop of water sizzles. Lightly oil. Ladle 60ml batter into pan for each pancake. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until bubbles form on top and sides are a little dry. Flip, and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, or until browned on both sides.
What’s your favourite autumn breakfast? Share in the comments!