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  • 11

    Dec

    Become a Yoga Teacher? Why?

    become a yoga teacher

    6 reasons why you should become a yoga teacher straight from the mouths of our Camyoga teachers

    1 – You make a positive difference to other people’s lives

    “What I love about teaching is to have the possibility to share knowledge and/or experience with other people so that they too might feel the benefits and happiness it gave me.” Jozef Wiewel

    “i like the idea of helping people or influence them in a positive way” Hakan Aydin

    2 – Become a yoga teacher – keep fit and healthy and it does not have a retirement age!

    “It’s probably the one and only job in the world which makes you healthier and happier the more you “work” (with no negative side-effects!)” Andrea Price

    “Yoga teaching goes with you throughout your life. I am still teaching 30 years on from my training, and one of my first teachers only retired at 75.” Beverley Nolan

    3 – It enriches your own spirit and mind; to be in “satsang” – to learn and grow yourself from other like-minded people

    “Teaching enhances one’s own personal development because as a teacher you are forever expanding your knowledge.” Kari Knight

    “Teaching is a two-way dynamic, and everyone you meet is unique. I learn a lot from everyone” Beverley Nolan

    4 – You become part of a positive and proactive community

    “Social connectedness supports us. Practicing yoga in the community in the company of others brings social connectedness. Other benefits include sharing positive energy of love, compassion, kindness.” Kari Knight

    5 – As a yoga teacher you can help people to reconnect and re-energize

    “To guide and to inspire others that yoga means finding connections and links to all life – life is precious , all beings are worthy, lets make the planet a better place to live on and off the mat “ Andrea Kwiatkowski

    “It may sound like a trite FB post, but you have something not only practical but amazing to offer people: a way back to the lived experience of the body” Beverley Nolan

    6 – It’s a great and enjoyable job!

    “You get to teach something that you love (and have the perfect excuse to do as many yoga courses and workshops as you want)” Paul Fox

    So there is it, from the horse’s mouth so to speak. Thank you to all the yoga teachers that took part, though I must say I can’t believe nobody mentioned the great clothes you get to wear to work (have you seen the leggings they have for sale at the moment?!) If you are interested in becoming a yoga teacher take a look at our courses and workshops here or email us at tt@camyoga.co.uk

    “with teaching comes responsibility , you guide , like the translation of Namaste says- “the spirit of yoga in me guides and honors the spirit of yoga in you” – that in essence is what your ultimate reason should be about” Andrea Kwiatkowski  

     

  • 04

    Dec

    10 reasons for the yoga boom

    janefonda        yoga legs up        yoga pose legs up

     

    Today there are 30 million people regularly practicing yoga around the world but what has made this ancient practice so popular?
    1. Firstly think Jane Fonda in lycra! The 70’s and 80’s brought us the fitness boom in the US. This movement led to interest in many different forms of exercise, including yoga
    2. Numerous research studies reveal the physical and emotional benefits of yoga, adding scientific weight to this ancient practice and attracting even more followers
    3. Yoga is an ancient 5,000 year old practice; it has travelled and shifted and hybridized. Think of Yoga like an ancient tree with many branches and roots from its original self. It moves with the times and endures. With so many fad diets and workouts it has stood the test of time
    4. Yoga is illuminated to the masses through its celebrity followers; think Madonna and Sting in the early days and now a whole bucket load of famous faces swear by the practice like Charlie Theron and Robert Downey Jnr. There is nothing like celebrity endorsements!
    5. It is accessible to all – it suits all ages, shapes and sizes – it does not require high levels of fitness nor any special equipment just the body and the mind (and preferably a mat!) There are over 84,000 different postures and variations of yoga – so take your pick!
    6. Yoga can heal – it is therapeutic and can be used successfully with conditions such as insomnia, back problems, digestion problems, asthma, improving circulation, anxiety and weight loss — just to name a few. It is often recommended to patients by osteopaths, acupuncturists, and other medical practitioners.
    1. Yoga is regenerating – it benefits ALL systems; the circulatory, glandular, digestive, nervous, musculoskeletal, reproductive and respiratory systems. Everyone has something that could be improved by yoga practice
    2. Yoga is a non-dogmatic spiritual practice but it is not religious. It is enlightened and special and spiritual and as humans we are attracted to this sense of something else in our lives
    3. Yoga is an antidote to the negative effects of our modern lives; busy and stressful, running around the ant farm being bombarded by so much external stimulus – Yoga has the ability to calm us, to take us away from the madness and teaches us to ‘be in the moment’. It helps us to balance ourselves – to add a little more Yin to our Yang!
    4. Yoga is now a billion dollar industry; immaculate studios, fashionable clothes, accessories, retreats, DVDs, famous faces and famous juice cleanses – these all keep the yoga wheel turning – we see it in advertisements, on social media, TV and films – capitalism is fully involved and agree with it or not it does promote and maintain yoga within popular culture – and lets be honest; the more people that discover yoga, the better off we will all be! Namaste
  • 01

    Dec

    What is the hardest aspect of flying? 26 minutes of the David Swenson workshop retold

    david

    David Swenson ran a ‘flying and floating’ workshop at the Camyoga Studio loft in Great Shelford. 60 people attended and for the first 26 minutes so did our very own Tom Hallam. Here is his own words, he explains this inspiring experience;

    david swenson

    What is the hardest aspect of flying?

    This question was proposed early in David’s fantastic workshop, to which the answer being; the sudden deceleration at the end! I only managed to catch his first twenty six minutes (yes, very specific; I recorded the audio!)  before returning downstairs to continue helping behind the scenes.

    However, in that time, the amount I learnt from his words and actions is highly valuable to anyone wishing to develop their yoga practice to the next level. I wish to share some of those special twenty-six minute-moments with you, now. Comical and wise, David gave insights of knowledge into the practice of Ashtanga Yoga that was wholeheartedly digested by his captivated audience;

     

    In this universe it would seem that everything is comprised of opposites. Up-down, right-left, front-back winter-summer male-female inhale-exhale birth-death. The two components of Vinyasa; movement and breathing, I look at as though opposite forces. What do they represent? A rather abstract question, contemplate this for a moment…

    What does movement represent, what does breath represent? (various answers crop up)

    Well let’s look at movement first; the gross, external, physical, mechanical aspect.

    The breath represents the invisible practice, everything we cannot see. The energetic, internal, subtle aspect.

    What does yoga mean? Union.

    What does Hatha mean? Sun and moon. Opposite forces. The union of opposing forcing.

    This Vinyasa is a beautiful manifestation of taking these opposing forces and creating a balance between them.

    We’ll talk more practical things, jumping through and jumping back, this is part of it, right? That jumping around I was doing, is also a manifestation of Vinyasa, but this is also Vinyasa. *demonstrates*

    Anytime we move with our breath in that precise manner, it’s a Vinyasa. It’s not only jumping. Any questions so far?

    I’ve been practicing Yoga since I was thirteen. So, five years now.” * class laughter*

    David Swenson

     And that was in the first four minutes. The ball was rolling. This was preceded by many more anecdotes and stories that simply do not hold the same power as if you were present in the room. Needless to say the laughter was hysterical. His style of teaching and delivery were unique, it was lighthearted, relaxed, professional, and completely in control.

    I intermittently checked in on the class, and observed sixty people in what appeared to be a dance. There was such a strong sense of unity. I can understand from this why more and more people are gravitating to Yoga every day. It is to these inspiring teachers, like David, we thank. And also to the dedicated Yogis, who traveled far and wide to attend this three hour workshop. Until the next time. Keep practicing!

    Namaste.

     

    Thomas Peter Hallam

    David Swenson will be returning to Camyoga in 2015 – watch this space!

     

  • 24

    Nov

    Yin & Yang – The theory and yoga practice explained by Simon Low

    What is the theory of Yin & Yang?

    In essence this ancient Chinese philosophy means two halves that together complete wholeness, two opposite yet complementary energies which are always in movement, never static but always balancing and rebalancing into a state of perfect harmony. We encounter examples of Yin and Yang every day. As examples: night (Yin) and day (Yang), female (Yin) and male (Yang)

    How it is relevant to my life?

    In our busy and often stressful lives our personal harmony can be seriously off balance. Perhaps you deal with an excess of work and not enough relaxation, lots of time spent thinking about the externals of life (deadlines, daily choices, opinions) and a lack of inner contemplation. Striking a balance with ever changing states of energies is hard (really hard!) but it is also possibly the path to a more contented and harmonized existence

    Yin and yang are a wonderful way to generate greater self- awareness and make interesting connections between our own conditions and all our possible interactions with the world we live in. Yin and yang allow us to connect ourselves to everything around us so that we can quickly decide what we need to do to bring ourselves back to a more balanced state when feeling any discomfort.

    Yin and Yang in Yoga and Simon Low

    Yin and Yang yoga started in the 1970’s but has only recently gained international popularity. Simon Low (who will be at Camyoga in 2015 running workshops) discovered this form in 2001 and is now one the foremost experts in it. Here are extracts from his website explaining this popular form of yoga

    YIN              Simon-Low-yoga              YANG YOGA SIMON LOW

     

    “In appropriately balanced combination, the ‘whole’ is greater than the sum of its two parts, offering the most effective & inclusive approach to yoga that I have ever experienced in over 20 years of teaching & practice. I continue to recognize Yin & Yang Yoga’s incredible effectiveness as a modality for health”

    Read more about Simon Low’s visit in 2015 and book into his workshops

    Please come and experience Yin Yoga yourself at one of our evening classes held at Central CAMYOGA

    To read more about Simon Low visit part 1 of my blog on this Yoga legend here

     

  • 19

    Nov

    Who is Simon Low? 5 things you should know!

    Simon-Low-yoga

    Simon Low has over 20 years’ experience as a yoga teacher and is internationally acclaimed. Here are 5 things you should know about the charismatic man who will be visiting us next year!

    1 – Simon spent 14 years in the music business. It was high flying and fast paced; a life representative of the ‘work hard, play hard’ moto. It wasn’t till he was in his mid-thirties that he first discovered yoga and started his path to become to yogic mogul he is today!

    2 – Simon Low was a founding member of one of the first ever yoga studios in the UK – The Triyoga studios in London. Since then he has continued to delve into the world of yoga; founding the Yoga academy, running international courses, retreats, writing books and yoga videos (Yin and Yang Yoga with Simon Low), he has contributed and been covered by various national papers

    Simon-Low-Yin-Yoga

    3 – Simon is a LEGEND in Yin & Yang yoga (Yin and Yang to be explained in part 2) Simon is famous in the world of Yin and Yang yoga. He views yoga practice as a balance between the body and mind, the spiritual and the emotional, the physical and the mental. He talks of Yin yoga practice as a form of therapy to actively change negative patterns within our minds. This can have successively positive and lasting effects on our wellbeing and is something that is at times forgotten in the modern world within the focused ambition to improve the physical body. “the essence of yoga…is observing our mental attachments, observing our patterns – the whole process of yoga it to undo patterns and to really open us up to the reality of how our mind shapes our experiences”

     

    Simon-Low-Yoga-24 – Simon is an open minded scholar. Simon first trained to be a yoga teacher with Dr Larry Payne at Samata in Los Angeles and has spent over 20 years studying and exploring a varietal wealth of physical, energetic and spiritual practices. You get a real sense that he has studied an incredible amount with gusto and he intertwines his style of yoga with what he learns about anatomy and physiology among other areas of interest

    5 – Simon is passionate and outspoken about safety. He teaches his students that they must understand the need to protect themselves and that yoga can cause harm if not practiced correctly. If he believes a classic asana may have the potential to damage he will apply adjustments, for example with Warrior II pose, which he considers to put strain on the lower lumbar area.

     

    In the proximate chapter of this blog we will focus specifically on Yin and Yang yoga and Simon’s teachings within it.

    Simon comes to CAMYOGA in 2015: A weekend with SIMON LOW

    Research and quotes taken from: Telegraph Interview by Anna Murphy. Interview by Christina Maningo for In The Loop and from Simons own website

  • 03

    Nov

    Pete Blackaby – ‘Intelligent Yoga’

    intelligent-yoga-cover-new-shadow

    Pete Blackaby author of Intelligent Yoga’ and pioneer of the ‘Humanist Yoga’ approach pays a long awaited visit to Camyoga next week for a two day intensive open to teachers and students alike.

    In his book ‘Intelligent Yoga’ Pete introduces the following ideas:

    Themes that I think are worthy of debate are the following:

    1. Yoga as a modern practice. Most serious students of yoga will know by now that there is a big disconnect between the type of yoga that is practiced in the majority of Gyms and yoga studios today, compared to the type of yoga described in the texts revered by most yogis. There have been a raft of books in recent years pointing out this disconnect. If we take this as our starting point that current yoga is a modern practice, what from the past can we legitimately carry forward into the future and what needs to change? What differentiates modern yoga from exercise?

    2. Perhaps most contentiously can we take the ideas of chakras, kundalini prana, and other ideas of subtle energy as reality or are they simply a metaphor for experience, which is certainly the perspective I take. If we take this view and strip out much of the metaphysics how do we now differentiate yoga from other forms of exercise?

    3. Anatomy. Yoga is flooded with books on the anatomy of yoga. Having taught the anatomy of yoga for many years, I now feel it can be a red herring leading us down un-useful ways of thinking. There is a place for anatomy, but largely to help explain why some movements are unhelpful, or why some people can do certain poses and others not. What anatomy cannot do is inform about how to move. To understand movement we have to study movement and see how anatomy supports it, not the other way round.

    Join Pete 13/14 November Camyoga Shelford BOOK HERE open to teachers, trainee teachers and students

  • 30

    Oct

    Alice’s Vegan Pumpkin soup recipe – Caribbean spiced

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    our very own Camyoga ‘Om-kin’!


    Delicious vegan pumpkin soup recipe from Alice at the Camyoga kitchen – spiced with Carribean flavour

    A delicious way to use your pumpkin this Halloween, with just a little kick of chilli and a hint of creamy coconut. Enjoy with crusty bread- perfect as a chilly autumnal lunch or light supper!

    Ingredients:

    • 700g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and chopped in to 1 inch chunks
    • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
    • Handful of fresh thyme sprigs, tied with string
    • 1 tsp salt
    • ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper
    • ½ tsp allspice
    • ½ tsp chilli flakes
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 red onion, chopped
    • 1 carrot, diced
    • Around 500ml vegetable stock
    • Half a can of coconut milk (around 200ml)

    Instructions:

    Heat the oven to 200°C. Place the pumpkin in a large baking tray along with the whole cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, allspice, chilli flakes and 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Roast until tender (around 45 minutes), removing the cloves of garlic halfway through so they don’t overcook and burn.

    1. Meanwhile, heat the other tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan. Fry the onion and carrot over a medium heat for about 10 minutes.
    2. Add the roasted pumpkin, garlic cloves and thyme to the pan, along with about 500ml of vegetable stock.
    3. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes
    4. Before serving, remove the sprigs of thyme and blend until smooth. You may wish to add more vegetable stock to reach the desired consistency.
    5. Finally, add the coconut milk and season to taste.

    Mmm mmmm mmmm Enjoy!

  • 15

    Sep

    5 minutes with Pete Blackaby

    peteb

    This November, we welcome Pete Blackaby, author of Intelligent Yoga, back to Camyoga for Taking Yoga into the 21st Century – two days of practical workshops. To give you some background on Pete’s extensive body of work, here’s a potted history of his life in yoga:

    “I started practicing yoga seriously in 1978 as a student of the Iyengar system of yoga, after six years I took their two year teacher training programme and qualified in 1986. I continued in this system for a further four years.

    From 1987 -1993 I studied Osteopathy at the college of osteopaths at Regents college London, qualifying in 1994. In 1995 I co-ran a two year teacher training course with John Stirk and Sophy Hoare, and ran a second one in 1997. I also taught anatomy and physiology at the Chiron Centre for Body centred psychotherapy in Ealing between 1995 and 1997.

    In 2002 I became involved in the British Wheel of Yoga, (the governing  body in England) and ran a two year teacher training programme for them. I no longer train teachers, but have been running courses for teachers since then. My interest in the last 15yrs has been to put some scientific underpinning to the practice of yoga both in the bio-mechanical sense and in the mind /body relationship.

    Currently I teach functional anatomy on the London yoga teacher training course and have input in two other local courses. I also teach the anatomy module at the Esther Myers yoga studio in Toronto. I am regularly invited to teach throughout England Wales and Scotland. The current project I am involved in is a two year course for teachers called ‘Grounded Yoga’. There are five faculty, myself teaching bio mechanics, Professor Peter Connolly teaching philosophy, Dr Christine McHugh teaching homeostatic regulation through yoga, Diane Farrell teaching the psychology of the body, and Taravajra, teaching mindfulness. Our aim is to help students understand how yoga can bring productive change to the body, the mind, and the breath and improve our sense of relationship to the environment in which we find ourselves.

    What I hope students will gain is a clear and reasonable synthesis of the salient points of yoga practice. What is important to consider in practice and what is less so. These understandings will be based on recent research findings. Whilst recognising that there is no such thing as certainty when dealing with human beings it is useful to know the main perspectives that are out there when dealing with bio-mechanics and the body/mind relationship. At the very least I hope to clarify what the debates are, and more particularly help students navigate some of the ideas with confidence.”

    peteblackaby

    Join Pete Blackaby for Taking Yoga Into the 21st Century at Camyoga Shelford, 13-14 November, 10.00-17.00. Camyoga graduates receive 10% off when booking the weekend. Click here for full details or to book online.

     

  • 08

    Sep

    Camyoga Autumn Schedule Highlights

    autumnnnsBRAND NEW CLASSES:
    • Mysore! Tuesday & Thursday mornings
    • Lunchtime Yoga Open on Mondays and Thursdays
    • Lunchtime Mindfulness drop in class Tuesdays (from sept 16th)
    • Hot Pilates (from 24/9)
    • Hot Yoga Beginners and Yoga Basics 8pm Tuesdays
    • Saturday Iyengar with Shali from 27/9
    • Midday Jivamukti from Sunday 28/9
    • Yoga Open Sundays 6pm at Shelford
    • View the full schedule here
    THEY’RE BACK!:
    • Mondays 8pm Hot Yoga and Yin
    • Wed 11.30 Flow with Andrea Price at Shelford
    • Thursdays Forrest with Rosalind and Yin Yoga with Andrea K
    • Sunday Yoga Open and Flow at new times
    • Paul Fox, Andrea Price, Andrea K, Karen Stamper and Mark Stevens are now back from their Summer hols!
    • View the full schedule here
    INTRODUCING OUR NEW TEACHERS…

    Beth Onuha — will be taking the Monday 6.15pm Hot Power. Hailing from the US, Beth brings a wealth of experience having taught at the world famous ‘Stroga’ in Washington DC.

    Meredith Gunderson – will be taking Yoga Open Mondays 13.00-14.00. She’s recently returned from teaching and living in Bangalore. Welcome back and welcome to the Camyoga teaching team, Meredith!
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    Rachael Blyth – will be taking Sunday Yoga Open at Shelford 18.00-19.15. Rachael trained with internationally renowned yogi and healer Ana Forrest, founder of Forrest Yoga, and has also studied yoga nidra with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli.
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    FORTHCOMING WORKSHOPS:
  • 04

    Aug

    Interview with Yoga Sports Expert Hayley Winter

    Hhayleyayley Winter, New York based founder of Yoga Sports Science, and a member of the Camyoga Teacher Training faculty, took some time out of her busy schedule this week to answer a few quick questions about the benefits of yoga for sports people.
    I believe that sport-specific yoga is the new marginal gain and will be at the heart of future training for any sports person wanting to go further, faster, stronger and for longer.
    .
    How long have you been practising yoga and how did you discover it was an incredibly effective tool for sports people?
    I have been practicing yoga for 30 years and teaching for 20. My first experience of introducing yoga into sport was through a colleague who worked for the English Institute of Sport. He wanted me to introduce a few mobility techniques to a track and field athlete. It was during that session that I began to question why yoga wasn’t being used by every athlete as part of their strength and conditioning training.
    .
    In a nutshell, could you tell us a little bit about the benefits of a yoga practice for sports people?

    Most people in sport recognise that yoga can help improve flexibility, but there are many other benefits. Some of the benefits of sports-specific yoga are:

    •  Prevention of Injury  Introducing yoga as part of an active recovery session, or as a cool down, can help the athlete to reduce the build up of lactic acid and reduce muscle soreness, which means they feel more energised and refreshed for the next day’s training or event.
    • Improved Breathing Specific breathing techniques can be given to the athlete to either increase respiratory strength, or to introduce a breathing strategy which is particularly useful for long distance events. Breathing can also help athletes with their concentration, focus and with performance nerves.
    • Improved Movement Efficiency Specific yoga techniques which consider the movement patterns and demands of the sport, can enable an athlete to expend less energy and become more economical in how they perform.
    • Improving Awareness By helping an athlete develop an awareness of self can help them develop an awareness of others. This is particularly essential in team sports where the need for proprioceptive awareness is key. Initially for the athlete the development of self awareness begins with a sense of awareness of joint position and motion in space, through sensory feedback from the body. What occurs overtime is that the athlete starts to deepen their awareness of self and begin to explore aspects of their own nature. This opens up a whole new area of discovery for the individual, offering opportunities to integrate this level of awareness, not just into their performance, but also into their life.
    .
    Is yoga a useful tool for those practising any sport? Who might benefit from this the most?

    Yoga can be a valuable addition to any athlete, in any sport and at any age. You are never too late to start and can begin to feel immediate benefits within both your sport and life.  Communicating and delivering the benefits of yoga is both an art and a science, and the challenge in the world today is that because yoga is now widely accepted in the mainstream, yoga teachers are under more pressure to understand how and why yoga works.

    yoga sports camyoga
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    We’ve heard that even the German football team are using yoga now! Is yoga for sports becoming more widespread?

    Over 12 years ago when I first introduced yoga to footballers, it was mainly the older players who were trying it as a last resort to achieving longevity in their careers. But what started to happen was the older players were getting less injured and with the wisdom of their experience, matched with a renewed fitness meant that they were enjoying opportunites to demonstrate their talents. In all of the clubs I worked in, yoga was integrated into both academy and first team squads to great effect.

    A number of years ago I was invited to meet Sir Dave Brailsford who was the Performance Director for British Olympic Cycling. He talked about how the training methods of the future would be looking to help athletes achieve the performance advantage by increasing the marginal gain. I believe that sport-specific yoga is the new marginal gain and will be at the heart of future training for any sports person wanting to go further, faster, stronger and for longer.
    .
    How has your personal yoga practice helped you in your life?
    Yoga has been one of the most rewarding and essential tools in my own life. When life has thrown me a curve ball and presented situations that I thought I would never be strong enough to handle, I was able to access the resources within me. Each time I have been faced with something new, I have been able to find an internal way to navigate life’s external challenges.
     
    I am often asked how many times a week I practice, the truth is I practice all the time, but it is not necessarily the physical asana practice, but the practice of the other many wonderful aspects that yoga has given me to help me enhance my own performance.
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    Interested in Yoga for Sports People? Click here to find out more about Hayley Winter’s forthcoming 2 day Introduction to Yoga for Sports People course at Camyoga, open to all. If you’re already a yoga teacher or fitness professional, and would like to undertake the Hayley Winter Sports Foundation course at Camyoga this August, you can find out more here.