Workshop: Yoga of The Womb

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Yoga 

of the Womb

Connect with the power of your cycle

Saturday 15th September, 3:30-5:30pm

Q: Hey Liz! We're so looking forward to your upcoming workshop on Yoga for the Womb tell us a little bit more about you and what you do? 
Namaste! I'm really looking forward to being there! I have my own small business, Holistic Health Derbyshire. I teach weekly Vinyasa flow classes and private womb yoga sessions, run workshops and hold women's circles and retreats in the Peak District. I'm also a Mizan Therapist so I see private one to one clients in my home in Cromford to support with their reproductive health. 

Q: Tell us a little about the Yoga for the Womb workshop:
The workshop will bring together my two favourite things - Womb Yoga and Mizan Therapy. We'll explore simple and powerful techniques to reconnect joyfully with our naturally arising feminine wisdom. We'll tune into the power of our cyclical wisdom through the art of self-care massage, Yoga asana, pranayama breathing, meditation, chanting and menstrual charting. 

Q: The workshop sounds so interesting! What can women hope to gain from the experience? 
The aim of the workshop is to provide the tools to restore health and vitality through the power of tuning in to inner wisdom – the inner goddess! Women will learn the art of Mizan self-massage, connecting with their womb space through meditation and pranayama breathing, and a series of easy-to-remember Yoga asanas. Attendees will also be given a template for menstrual charting to take home and use in the coming months. Depending on individual needs, women may also like to take away Yoni steams, castor oil packs, fajas (womb binding), and herbal teas to balance hormones. 

Q: What led to you specialising in these areas? 
I started practicing yoga in 2007 whilst I was living in South Korea. Then, as with most passions, it was my own 'journey' that led me to become a womb whisperer. A series of health issues led me to two wonderful women - Bushra Finch (Mizan Therapy) and Uma Dinsmore-Tuli (WombYoga). The universe can be a little bit cruel sometimes when it's steering you on the correct path, but I am undoubtedly on it now. Feeling happier and healthier than ever, and totally in tune with my inner wisdom, I feel compelled to spread the womb love . 

Q: What do you do when you're not on the yoga mat? 
I'm currently training to be a Naturopathic Nutritionist which is taking up loads of my free time, but it's totally fascinating! The human body... just wow! Over the summer I've been spending as much time as possible in the garden... It's a new project. Slugs 1, Liz nil. 

Q: What does a day in the life of liz look like? 
Pretty much every day begins with some form of yoga and meditation (so as to avoid grumpiness) , has a yoga class at some point, and ends with a massage of my womb. The bits in between totally depend on where I am in my cycle. Sometimes I spend QT with my favourite people - sometimes my time is non-negotiably mine.... I've learned to plan social occasions within the limits of my cyclical capabilities! 

Q: What is liz doing in an alternative universe? 
I very much hope the same thing! 

Q: Sunsets or sunrises? 
Both! By the sea preferably. 

Join Liz on Saturday 15th September for Yoga of The Womb, 3:30-5:30pm, £25/£20 Non-members/Members - Book Now

Welcome Bridget Luff

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Welcome
Bridget Luff

Bridget joins us on Tuesday mornings, 9:20am, with a class aimed to nourish, a sanctuary to land within.  

We're excited to welcome Bridget to the teaching team at East of Eden. Below she tells us a little about her yoga journey, what to expect from her classes, and...

Q: Tell us a little about your journey into teaching yoga
I read a book about yoga when I was a teenager, I had glandular fever at the time and had to miss a lot of school so I was raiding my mother's bookshelf for reading material. I experimented with the poses - they were super simple - and they made me feel better. I had this strange feeling that one day I would teach it, which seemed absurd, it wasn't a real job (except in Dharma and Greg) and I couldn't even touch my toes. But something about it felt deeply right, I felt a sense of 'coming home'. 

I had an on-off love affair with yoga for ten years. In my late twenties I was at a turning point in my life and my local yoga studio became a sanctuary, where that feeling of 'rightness' came back to me and I just knew I had to become a yoga teacher. And so I did two yoga teacher trainings simultaneously (which I do not recommend - it was very intense!) and dove into teaching full throttle. Now about decade later I am still teaching, growing and learning... but at a more leisurely pace, with more time to relax and do other things in between.

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Q:What can people expect from your Tuesday morning class?
I hope that the class can be a sanctuary and space to nourish. So that people who come can find that sense of coming home, of landing into their bodies, which I now understand is what 'embodiment' is.

I generally theme my classes, either with an anatomical focus or perhaps a concept that has inspired my practice. I tend to teach slow strengthening flowing sequences that grow in complexity during the class and I pepper in rest, meditation and breath-work. I offer subtle alignment details but try to keep the movement of the class focused and meditative. 

I’ve studied and practiced different styles of yoga, as well as some Pilates, dance and movement. Currently I am training in the Embodied Flow school with Tara Judelle and Scott Lyons which has really resonated with me, so some of my themes are inspired by their principles. 

I think yoga should be open to everyone and we can all just meet where we are at, no matter whether we can touch or toes or stand on our hands. I’m interested in how we move and transition, rather than achieving a final result, to keep curious and open to new discoveries in our bodies and minds.

Q: What's your favourite thing about teaching yoga?
I love the moment in a class when people tune in - to each other, their breath, their bodies. Something indescribable happens and everyone seems to sync up, moving and breathing with awareness in themselves and the space around them... the tension drops down a notch and it feels totally magic. 

Q: And what are some of the challenges that the job brings?
Oh goodness, that’s a really big question. Like everything, it has its challenges! It can be hard to stand up in front of a room full of people and share something that feels so intimately personal, something that you love. And then sometimes people don't like what you are offering and I find that can be challenging. But if I remember why I do what I do and tune into my highest intention as best I can, then worrying about what people think of me doesn't matter as much. 

Q: Where's the strangest place you've done yoga?
I once went to a yoga class that was in a night club the morning after, the floor still stank like booze, it wasn't the most relaxing experience!

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Q: What does a day in the life of Bridget look like?
Every day is different! But I guess ideally I’m starting the day doing meditation, yoga and some journaling -  these are the things that keep me sane. Somewhere in there is coffee and breakfast. Then during the day I’m either teaching yoga, doing some admin, writing or dabbling in some other creative projects . And then of course resting, practicing, and being in nature whenever I can to recharge myself.

Q: What is Bridget in an alternative universe doing?
She’s a chocolatier. 

Q: Sunrise or sunset?
I love both. But probably sunrise, watching the sun light up the dark skies, with a chorus of birds and the moon lingering, is heavenly.

Join Bridget on Tuesday mornings, 9:20am in Studio 2, and see here for her upcoming courses and retreats. 

Embodied Vinyasa: A Q&A with Nathalie Joel-Smith

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Embodied Vinyasa

A Q&A with Nathalie Joel-Smith

Tuesday nights are now home to Embodied Vinyasa, a new class at 7pm with teacher Nathalie Joel-Smith. Curious about what an embodied class is? We asked Nathalie for a little more info on this practice, and what led her towards it.

Q: What is Embodied Vinyasa Yoga? 
A: Embodied Vinyasa is less about the shapes we make with asana (poses), and more about the experience we have within and moving between these shapes. It is a flowing practice that invites you into a deeper awareness of being in your body, it is a way of sensing, moving and arriving throughout a Yoga class, to cultivate presence and improve your relationship with yourself, your body and your life.

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Throughout a class, the embodied experience is guided in a number of ways:

- experiencing your anatomy - Information about your bones, muscles and connective tissue is offered as guidance for how you move through the practice, so you can feel it! Explore how your body is designed to move, how you can find more efficiency and what feels good for your individual body.
- curiosity and exploration - Becoming aware of bodily sensations and letting go of how things 'should' look, this flowing practice is an exploration of how things feel. Through a variety of movement possibilities, we get curious and find new pathways. This becomes a metaphor for how we live our lives, which is part of what it means to be embodied.
- ground and space - The relationship between gravity, the ground, your body and how you move through space is explored. This helps improve mobility, strength and function. It allows you to become more in tune with yourself and your surroundings, and creates the conditions for shifts in mood and energy.

Q: What can people expect from your Tuesday night class?
A: To move through a nourishing practice, learn something new and access the wisdom of their body. Expect interesting, exploratory and juicy sequencing, guided with a special blend of encouragement, compassion and playfulness

Q: What feedback have you had from people in the first few classes?
I’ve had some great feedback from students so far. One lady said that life feels full of jerky movements, and it felt so good in her body to do something smooth. Others have commented on the link with mindfulness, and how relieving for the mind it is to really tune into the body, and move in ways that feel spacious, supported and self-aware.

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Q: Tell us a little about your journey into teaching yoga and embodied vinyasa.
A: I started Yoga 20 years ago, as a teenager with a back injury. It became obvious early on that Yoga alleviated anxiety, which was revelatory for me. My original and still beloved Yoga teacher (Julie Martin) transitioned from ashtanga to vinyasa flow, and I followed her journey, eventually training with her in India. On returning to London I found a mentor in Mollie McClelland Morris, who works with the Franklin Method which encompasses embodied function, and my practice evolved from this. I then studied Space and Flow with Raphan Kebe, which had a significant impact on how I moved and taught Yoga. I have been to many workshops along the way with different teachers, wherever something captures my interest, all of which has placed its own special inspiration in the pot!

All of this has landed with me in beautiful ways that feel wonderful in my body and have created huge shifts mentally and emotionally, allowing my relationship with myself and my life to evolve. This is a ongoing process, and I would say embodiment is now at the heart of how I live my life.

Q: What do you enjoy doing when you're not on the yoga mat?
A: I trained as an actress, dancer and singer, and am still engaged with this, whether it be performing myself, or working with artists in the realms of embodiment. I write poetry and songs (and the occasional rap!). I also very much enjoy red wine, chips and chocolate, usually in that order. The love of my life is a Bullmastiff called Hugo - a 60kg dog who behaves like a teddy bear.

Join Nathalie for Embodied Vinyasa, 7-8:15pm on Tuesdays

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It's our Third Birthday!

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This April, East of Eden turns three and we're rather excited about it! Starting from just one small studio with 28 classes and 8 teachers three years ago, we now have two busy studios with over 90 classes and 43 teachers, and lots of exciting things ahead for 2018.

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Come Celebrate With Us

Please  join us for an evening of Kirtan on Friday 6th April at 8:15pm.

Kirtan, the practice of chanting, comes from the tradition of Bhakti Yoga - Bhakti being the path of love and devotion and yoga of course being union. In Kirtan we use the voice, singing together to unite our heart, mind, body and soul. Come along to help us celebrate the last three years.

Click here to book your spot.

 
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Birthday offers

As well as celebrating with Kirtan, we have a few birthday offers running throughout April.

STUDIO 1
Get a special 40 x Anytime Class Pack for £400 for
Barre and Reformer Pilates classes with a 12 Month Expiry

STUDIO 2:
Get 14 Months of Membership of unlimited
Yoga and Mat Pilates classes for the usual price of 12 (£850)

Buy 3 Workshops for £55 (6 month expiry)

Click here to purchase

Workshop: Demystifying the Chakras

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Demystifying the Chakras

A Journey Through the Energy Centres
 

Ever heard teachers talk in class about the chakras and wondered what they were all about? Join Vanessa Joy for this experiential workshop to learn more.

We’re excited by your upcoming workshop on the chakras, tell us a little about chakras & the chakra system:
Chakras are key energetic points within the body. There are believed to be over 100 within the human body as a whole but there are 7 main chakras poised over the spinal column that are most commonly referred to in classes.  Each chakra has a series of qualities related to it which reflect our experience within life. For example, the root chakra is our foundation, and so relates to our feelings of stability and groundeness. A person for whom this chakra is out of balance may experience an inability to ground, maintain routine etc, or conversely, may feel too sedantry and find it difficult energising. 

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The 7 main chakras form a journey up the spinal column from root to crown and can be thought of as an ascent from the dense physical existence to spiritual realization: 
1. Root Chakra, our foundation and being grounded
2. Sacral Chakra, our connection and ability to accept others and experiences
3. Solar Plexus, confidence, self esteem and control  
4. Heart Chakra, our ability to love and be loved
5. Throat Chakra, communication and our truth
6. Third Eye, to focus, dream and see the bigger picture
7. Crown Chakra, to connect spiritually

How do the chakras relate to a yoga practice?
Moving through a traditional Vinyasa Flow sequence, we already honour the practice of working from the Root Chakra (Standing Poses, Grounding and Foundations) all the way to the Crown (Inversions). Whether we acknowledge it or not, the chakras are benefiting from the alignment, breath awareness and physical practice of asana that inherently seeks wholeness. Powerful shifts can happen when we bring them to light and start working with them consciously.

How has practising within the chakra framework helped you in your own life?
After practicing asana for some time I was intrigued how there were shifts occurring within me that were more than just greater flexibility and strength. Learning about our energetic body and the chakra system gave me a framework to reflect and understand how I was relating to myself, my relationships and my environment. Practice became less about the physical and more about aligning myself, with myself. It was then my yoga journey started to move off the mat.

What can people expect from the workshop on the 3rd March?
I wanted to create something to deepen people's understanding of the chakras that was accessible and help people relate what is happening on the yoga mat to the bigger picture of their own life experiences . We will open with some Yin poses, a chance to settle and learn about the energy body and then begin to build our Vinyasa practice working methodically through all 7 chakras, from root to crown. We will reflect on the physicality of asana, use breath to bring awareness to these areas energetically and summon experiences we’ve had in our own lives to develop a relationship with each of these energetic centres mentally. Finishing in an extended Savasana we’ll move through a guided meditation with our renewed understanding of the chakras.

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Is there a particular chakra you enjoy working with or teaching?
Muladhara (Root) is a chakra I could always work with and teach on. We all need a little more grounding, security and stability amongst busy city life.

Tell us a little about your yoga journey - what brought you to the practise and what keeps you coming back?
I originally started practicing to get in the good books of a boss that didn’t like me, and was an avid Ashtangi! Like most of what I did then, it was for someone else. Although I didn’t ‘enjoy’ the practice at first, there was no denying I was a completely different person afterwards and had NEVER felt so centred, calm and me, so I had to keep following its breadcrumbs and fell down the rabbit hole. Its a journey that has connected me back to my body, understand my emotional landscape and presents a philosophy I can absolutely resonate with. I am helpless now to share it with anyone that stumbles across my path.
 

Book Now:
Demystifying the Chakras: A Journey Through the Energy Centres
Saturday 3rd March, 3:30-5:30pm, £20 Members, £25 non-members

Workshop: The Magic of Savasana

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Workshop:

The Magic of Savasana

Saturday December 2nd

3:30pm-5:30pm

Book Here

You've probably seen the t-shirts and Instagram posts 'I'm just here for Savasana' and it's fair to say, at busy and stressful times we're often keen to get to those magical 5 mins at the end of class, which often ends too soon. Join Natalie for a chance to delve deeper into the magic and discover just what it is about this part of class that leaves us so refreshed. Come along to practice savasana in 3 different positions, experiencing the different effects on body and mind, before taking a long, luxurious rest in your favourite pose.

Curious? Read on!

What is Savasana?

Savasana, also known as corpse pose, is usually practiced at the end of class, where for anywhere from 5-15 minutes, you lie completely still, usually on your back, and with the only focus or intention being to remain awake. When practised following an asana class, it is a chance for the effects of the practice to be absorbed more deeply by the body. 

Depending on duration, Savasana is an opportunity for the body's nervous system to move from the sympathetic (the 'doing' side) to the parasympathetic (the rest & restore side). This can have profound effects on body and mind.

What can I expect from the workshop?

The workshop will aim to give you both a deeply restful and relaxing Saturday afternoon as well as setting you up with the tools to continue a savasana practice at home, should you so wish.

We'll begin with some gentle movement to release aches and stiffness to prepare the body for pro-longed stillness. We'll then undertake some breathing techniques to focus the mind, before moving into shorter practices of 3 variations of savasana. Practicing the pose with the body in different positions can have profound effects on the experience for the individual so the workshop aims to give you a snapshot of each. 

We'll then take an extended savasana in your favourite variation.

What is a regular savasana practice?

As with most daily or regular practices, this can fit to the individual. Whilst the ideal would be spending 20 minutes a day in the pose, if that sounds impossible to fit into a busy life, start small. 5 minutes each day, or 10 minutes 2 or 3 times a week is a great place to start. It's also beneficial to experiment with practising at different times of the day. Taking savasana in the morning can be a great way of reducing stressful reactions to events during the day, where as taking savasana when you get home from work can be a great way of 'resetting ' before starting your evening. 

What are the benefits?

Stress Reduction - Practising savasana reduces stress both in the immediate moment, and in the longer term if the practise is regular. This in turn has a great positive knock on effect for the body in the reduction of stress-related or aggravated conditions.  
Clarity of Mind - Reducing stress and body moving the body out of fight or flight can give a greater sense of 'headspace'.
Improved Concentration - A calmer body and clearer mind helps still our monkey-minds and find greater focus on single tasks. 
Better Sleep - A regular practice can lead to better quality of sleep and falling asleep more quickly. 
Body Connection - Time spent in savasana cultivates a greater awareness of, and connection with your body, and where and when you feel stress.

Do I need to have done lots of yoga to attend?

NOT AT ALL!! This class is open to anyone, even if you’ve never stepped on a yoga mat before.

About the Teacher

Natalie on her own savasana practice:

"I found yoga as a hectic central London restaurant manager. Days were intense, hours long, and relaxation usually involved a drink at the end of a shift or days off spent in bed.

Yoga gave me calm and space and then in years that followed, the philosophy of a yogic approach to living really helped to deal with some challenging times.

Attracted initially to a dynamic yoga practice, its been in the moments of slowing down where I’ve found the greatest transformations. Without a doubt, the most-life changing regular practice I’ve engaged in has been a savasana practice, allowing my body to switch from an always-on, fight-or-flight state to one of deeper/more pronounced calm, where I notice myself reacting far less to the minor irritations and stressors, and being able to tackle bigger challenges with a greater sense of clarity.  I believe that a regular savasana practice could be hugely beneficial to Londoners living busy lives, so I'm very excited to be teaching this workshop in London for the first time at East of Eden, my Yoga home."

To Book

Click here to book via the main East of Eden site.