This collection of practices we call ‘yoga’ is a deep connection with the forces of nature. It is in the air we breath, it flows through the water, it burns in the fires and grows through the earth into the trees. It is simply and perfectly a way of life. In yoga we make space for peace and freedom, bringing vitality and courage to our daily lives.
Today, yoga means so many different things to so many different people around the world. It has reached such an eclectic group of people ranging from the postural practising gym bunnies to silence meditation retreats and from the depths and origins of India to the community centre in Cornwall. Each group having a cross over of a multitude of people and diversity with hopefully an aim towards non judgement and mindfulness and without being displaced or diluted down.
Yoga asanas help to condition our body and kriyas focus on the breath and energy moving up and down the spine and through the body. Mudras are our gestures or movement holding energy and concentration of our awareness. Our bandhas hold a muscular contraction to focus our awareness. It is important that we do not force the flexibility of our bodies as that doesn’t ultimately work. We must be gentle and kind, listen to our Chakras, the energy centres where our body flows through, helping to centralise our focus and find balance.
Using the faculties of hearing and sight together (mantra and yantra) is tantra.
One subtly receives information and inspiration from the forms, colours and sounds. T.K.V. Desikachar
There are often contraindications in Yoga, where a physical posture may be harmful to do, and most commonly abused is the spine. We must be careful in our understanding of the anatomy of the body and as individuals make sure we know and respect our limits and abilities. We use alternate postures when required or practice meditation or breathing techniques if our bodies are not fit for postures. We use simple breath techniques that can open us up physically, physiologically and psychologically. A golden thread or humming bee breath can change a whole dimension of your being. There is always some way in which yoga can show up for us and be beneficial to everyone.
By doing yoga in the proper way, we should be able to maintain its purity until the end.Swami Satchidananda
Yoga helps to ease and calm my mind and support my body throughout my life. I found a real depth and connection to my self and baby through yoga whilst I was pregnant, a release of the ego and a peace in my heart. Practicing Nidra with a map of the babies body is a blessed thing to do and I now teach this in my pregnancy yoga class and hope that they can also gain something special from it too.
I had to listen to what my body needed (twice!) when recovering from a cesarean section and began to relearn everything physically, building strength and stamina, but all with a new respect for my body in a very gentle and forgiving way. In bringing new life into the world it opened my eyes with a real truth I had never seen before and could now see as a parent.
I employ yoga to nurture myself mentally and physically and to be as strong as I can for my family and to try and live a truthful and peaceful existence in this mad and crazy world. As I begin to teach others I tread carefully, not pushing it, a gentle affair.
I have changed and evolved with my own practice and teachings and continue to do so and will always try to do so. As I apply myself in my spiritual practice, little by little unravelling in truth and clarity, it is the case that ‘practice transforms us’.
The significance of teaching prenatal and postnatal yoga has manifested in a very natural way. As my yoga practice grew deeper, so did my wish to start a family, the two collided in a beautiful way. My yoga teacher Barry Elms taught both so I was able to continue my practice, in an all but different way. As my beautiful child, Eleanor, became a little older I was able to start my yoga teacher training and, as I had found a very natural and enjoyable way into pregnancy yoga, started shadowing Barry in these classes too. It was wonderful to share this special time with others to allow a happier, healthier pregnancy and birth.
Yoga has aided me significantly through my births so it felt amazing to be able to share and teach these skills, to nurture and cherish these people through this special time. For me, its time to join in the goal to promoting a healthy view of birth, pregnancy, parenthood and breastfeeding.
The benefits of an holistic hatha practice whether in a group or individual setting can provide some of the following:
• Yoga practice can help to relieve tension and discomfort throughout each stage of life as the body changes through childhood, teens, adulthood, pregnancy, after birth, perimenopause, and menopause.
• Yoga helps to prepare both your body and your mind using relaxation, visualisation and breathing techniques
• A class allows you the time to relax and spend time connecting with yourself, and/or your baby
• A class can be a great opportunity to share with other people our experiences
• Yoga can help to alleviate a huge range of ailments such as backache, sciatica, insomnia, heartburn, carpel tunnel, swollen feet, anxiety, increase strength and flexibility of muscles
It is important to acknowledge that Ruth's yoga teaching is inclusive to every body of every size, every race, LGBTQ, able bodied, disabled, special needs and all ages.
Ruth’s prenatal sessions were the perfect way to relax and unwind during pregnancy. The focus on breathing was extremely helpful through labour. Ruth is an excellent teacher as well as being very kind, caring and approachable. I would highly recommend her classes.Hannah