MoreYoga’s May Playlist

Back by popular request! Our last playlist had you chilling to the max, so we’ve decided to make our playlist a monthly thing (or thang if you’re feeling sassy).

We’re mixing it up this month with some chilled vocal beats, traditional mantras and electro meditation music. Don’t worry – you don’t have to make a mad scramble to save all of last month’s favourites! We will keep the golden oldies on out lists and add fresh sounds as we go.

Enjoy your flow on Spotify here.

Got a tune that just needs to be shared? Email your suggestions to katie@moreyoga.co.uk!

Yoga Basics: Avoid Injuries With These 4 Tips

It seems like every yogi you meet has a tale to tell about a pulled hamstring, sore wrist or other injury. As yoga’s popularity continues to rise, so does the frequency of injuries. Here are four failsafe tips to protect yourself and your practice!

Make sure you choose the right class for you

If you haven’t been practising for a while, going to that insane level rocket class probably isn’t the best option. Focus on nailing more accessible classes first – you’ll build the strength you need to progress (and you will be less inclined to cheat when you get tired). Additionally, look into who will be teaching the class – it’s always good to know that your teacher knows their stuff. Nothing like a safe pair of hands to keep you from hurting yourself!

Respect your limits

There’s always one, isn’t there? The one yogi who floats into a handstand without breaking a sweat. As difficult as it can be not to compare yourself to others, respecting your own limits and listening to your body is what will ultimately improve your practice. If you’re shaking uncontrollably, breathing very heavily and losing alignment, you probably went too far. So the next time the person next to you casually cracks our a Bird of Paradise while you’re still shuffling your feet together, take a deep breath and remember that this is all about you.

Ask questions

If you’re not sure, or if something feels weird, ask about it. Most yoga teachers are just waiting to give you all their worldly knowledge, so make the most of it. Having another pair of eyes analyse what you’re doing can help you to learn your own personal alignment too.

Be patient

If the worst happens and you do end up with an injury, be patient. Muscle pulls can take anything from a week to a few months to heal. Depending on the severity of the injury, there could be numerous asana to avoid. Talk to your teacher, get advice and be patient. Forcing yourself back into your practice 100% could lead to re-injury and a longer recovery time.

For more info on injuries, speak to our teachers. They’re always happy to help!

History Repeating Itself? 3 Questions to Ask When You’re Stuck In A Rut

Sometimes, the same situation just keeps coming back to bite us on the butt. Different people, slightly different circumstances, but ultimately it’s the same roadblock you keep running into. It could be in the form of crappy relationships, giving up on a new exercise routine or just eating bad food when you swore not to.

When you hit a block like this, it’s easy to ask the same questions over and over. Why do I keep doing this? What’s wrong with me? When will I learn? The problem is, those questions don’t have answers – and even if they did, they wouldn’t help you to move forwards anyway.

If you find yourself getting deja vu, ask yourself these three questions (inspired by Tony Robbins).

What gives me pleasure in this situation?

This may sound odd because you don’t necessarily want to be in this position, but there’s clearly something making you feel good or you wouldn’t tolerate staying in it. Pleasure may not mean you’re jumping for joy, but could come from feeling safe from the unknown, avoiding failure, a sugar hit – the list goes on. What is making you want to stick around in your current scenario?

What gives me pain in this situation?

Thinking about what hurts it the worst part of this process, but you need to identify and accept what’s bothering you in order to move on. Don’t dwell too much on why it’s painful, just be aware of what’s getting you down. What’s the worst possible outcome of continuing to allow this pain? Once you know, you’re going to be a lot more proactive about changing things.

What can I learn from this situation?

Every cloud has a silver lining and every tough situation has a lesson hidden within. It could be something as simple as realising that eating high sugar foods makes you crabby. Or it could be a revelation that you’re not willing to tolerate disrespect from others any more. Whatever the lesson, carry it with you and continue to grow.

Use adversity to stimulate growth. Check out Rabbi Twerski’s wise words in a lobster analogy that hits the nail on the head. 

What To Expect At A Gong Bath

You mean you haven’t been to a gong bath? Then you haven’t lived!

Sound baths are becoming increasingly popular in the yogi community and for good reason too. Here’s a quick rundown on what to expect at your first gong experience.

Yoga

Yesssss! We all love yoga. We’re down with this. The style can vary depending on who is running the session, but we find that a juicy flow is the best way to prepare yourself for a sensational savasana.

Meditation

Most sound baths will follow the practice of asanas with a short seated meditation to close the sequence. During this time, you have the chance to clear your mind of all the crap that builds up over the day (e.g. “What will I have for dinner?” “I wonder if that hot yogi followed me back on Instagram” etc.).

The Sound Bath

Depending on who your sound practictioner is, the person leading the sound bath may use a range of instruments, including crystal bowls, gongs and shruti boxes. Baths can last from ten minutes to an hour and will leave you feeling like you’ve been to a different planet and back. The practitioner will work through the range of instruments, choosing frequencies to totally relax your body and mind. If you’ve opted for a longer session, don’t be surprised if you fall asleep, only to be gently woken up by the sound of a singing bowl.

Closing the session

There’s no rush, and believe us, you’ll want to take the time to enjoy your newfound nirvana. Chat with others around you about their experience – you’ll find that everyone has different experiences. Some people have flashbacks, weird dreams or even see solutions to current problems.

Join us for a sumptuous sound bath at MoreYoga Brixton with Leo Cosendai on Sunday 30th July. Book your tickets here!

What’s The Deal With Chanting?

If you’ve ever sat in a Jiva or Kundalini class wondering how on Earth you’re supposed to remember the minute long chant your teacher just sang and repeat it back, you’re not alone.

In more spiritual branches of yoga, you will certainly come across some form of chanting. Whether it’s just a simple om or a full on Sanskrit verse, here’s the lowdown on why we do it (and some of the more common mantras so you’ll at least have a clue what’s being said).

Aum (a.k.a. Om)

We personally don’t mind which way you spell it! This chant consists of four parts – bear with us for the spiritual part – A represents the beginning or creation, connects us to a sense of something greater than ourselves and purports the transformative energy of the universe. And the fourth sound? Silence, which represents the pure consciousness of the self. Ooh, we get chills just thinking about it.

Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu

If you’ve struggles to remember the end of this mantra by the time you hit sukhino, you’re not alone. Although this isn’t the longest chant (yes, there are longer ones, eek), once you’ve got it down it brings a beautiful vibe to your practice. The translation from Sanskrit is “May this world be established with well-being and happiness”. Aww.

Sat Nam

Literally translating to “Truth is my name”, Sat Nam is all about recognising the divinity within you. Sat reaches up to a higher plane, and Nam grounds it on our plane. We’re not sure what that means either, but it sure sounds cool.

Ra Ma Da Sa

Our favourite mantra, mainly because it’s so easy to remember. Ra ma da sa calls for compassion, self-love and healing. The perfect antidote to being too harsh on yourself and a great way to cultivate kind eyes when looking at others.

Chant your heart out at your next class. Don’t be embarrassed about messing it up – we can guarantee we’ve done it before!

MoreYoga’s Summer Yoga Playlist

We’ve scoured our teachers’ playlists to bring you the most uplifting and energising tunes for your yoga playlist. We know how important your home practice is, and now you can make it feel just like you’re in the studio.

Follow our Spotify playlist here.

Start of with some gentle, spiritual mantras from well-known kundalini artists and fire up into your vinyasa with sublime EDM beats. Close with haunting piano melodies from Einaudi and you’ve got a signature MoreYoga class right in your living room!

Got suggestions for awesome tracks? We’re always on the lookout for amazing new tunes. If you’d like to hear your favourites in class, email katie@moreyoga.co.uk and we may just add it to our list!

Practice Reached A Plateau? These Simple Tricks Will Help You To Nail Advanced Asanas

After a year or so of practice, you might notice that you’re not making the leaps of progress that you did when you first started yoga. Sure, you can get into bakasana easily enough, but handstands just ain’t happening. Here are some tiny adjustments that will make a big difference to your practice!

Halfway lifts 

It’s easy to rush through this pose, especially when you’re on your eighth vinyasa. In a halfway lift, keep your back and legs straight – even if it means not touching the floor. This will get your back muscles much more warmed up than rounding your back.

Roll that spine

Make every transition count – instead of unconsciously transitioning from Downward Facing Dog to High Plank, use a rolling motion through the vertabrae to increase spine mobility.

Don’t jump back unless you can float

Yeah, we know. It looks super impressive. But jumping back into chaturanga can be harmful unless you’re able to pivot your weight forward and float your legs back gently instead of thudding to the mat. Protect your shoulders from the shock of the jump and work on your upper body strength first!

Push, push, push in Downward Facing Dog

Ah, old reliable. The relief of Downward Facing Dog after a gruelling series is unimaginable. But don’t get complacent! This asana has a host of strengthening and flexibility benefits as long as you push the floor away, keep your core active and your legs engaged. Even if you have just done a Half Moon series (anyone else screaming inside during these?!).

Stay engaged in Trikonasana

So when you’re next to the uber yogi who can touch their toes in Triangle Pose, it can be intimidating to move your hand higher up your leg. But once you’ve reached the sweet spot, you’ll notice the side of your torso and core will switch the heck on like never before. If Trikonasana feels easy, something isn’t right. This pose should have you mentally repeating words that Grandma would be appalled at.

Prepare to revamp your practice – don’t be surprised if you suddenly find sun salutations a killer. Just remember it’s all the the name of good practice (even when the cramp makes you want to scream)!

 

What Is Bulletproof Yoga?

Hint: it’s not singing La Roux while in pincha mayurasana (although we did ask). Bulletproof Yoga  is coming to MoreYoga and we’re pleased as punch. But what exactly is it?

Bulletproof Yoga is an advanced programme, designed for those practising for two years or more. Expect joint-strenghtening, mobility training and advice on keeping your body safe. Powerful mobility techniques based on scientific research will rev up your practice – if you want to “float” through poses (rather than thud unceremoniously to the ground), Bulletproof is the place to be.

 Bulletproof Yogi, Katy Hooks, draws on her experience as a Functional Range Conditioning®  mobility specialist to guide you through a challenging class that will help you to power up your jump-throughs, improve your backbends and prepare you for inversions. Many professional athletes and doctors now use this system! Yes, we know it’s fancy.

This cutting edge class will start on Wednesdays at 5.15 at our Finsbury Park studio. We can’t promise La Roux, but we can promise a meaty challenge!

There’s also a cheeky workshop on June 3rd here!

9 Signs You’re Officially A Yogi

You’ve started leaving your yoga kit at work.

Because of course you’re going to a lunch hour class, even if that means you have no time for Pret.

You get mantras stuck in your head.

Nothing quite like singing “Ra ma da sa” in your head on a loop!

You own multiple pairs of ridiculous leggings.

Would you ever have considered purchasing tie-dye leggings before yoga?

You genuinely feel sad when you miss a class.

You could just really do with some grounding Yin right now!

You care less and less about what people think about you in class (and in general!).

After you’ve gone bowling out of a headstand in front of thirty people, there’s not much more to lose.

You randomly do yoga poses throughout the day.

Almost unconsciously, like when you realise you’re doing a half way lift to pick something up.

Asking you how class was results in a detailed breakdown.

“Oh it was great! I feel like I’m making great progress on my hamstrings. Also, I think my chest is finally opening up!”

Teachers know your name.

Your yoga teachers have stopped asking what your name is to sign you in. They know who the heck you are, you’re here all the time!

You’re a wonderful human being.

Because yogis are lovely!

This Is What Stress Does To Your Physical Fitness

Working late and balancing it out with hardcore fitness sessions? You could actually be damaging your health!

There’s a lot of pressure in the modern day to have it all – successful job, loads of friends, great house, awesome fitness regime. But is the cost of maintaining an Instagram worthy lifestyle worth it? Here are some of the side effects of pushing yourself too hard.

You’re tired all the time (even with enough sleep)

Feelings of stress release cortisol into the bloodstream which effectively readies our bodies for combat – tensed muscles, alert senses and constant expectation of danger leaves you feeling drained and tired, even if you get a solid eight hours. Another consequence of this is general aches and pains alongside headaches.

Your stomach just isn’t quite right

It could be diahorrea, constipation or nausuea – or a combination of all three! Stress triggers the “fight or flight” response of the nervous system, drawing blood away from the digestive system towards the brain and muscles – ready to fight or run away. Although this response is helpful in emergencies, if it becomes a regular occurence, it can totally mess up our digestive health.

You can’t sleep 

The hyperarousal that stress brings can result in difficulty falling asleep – or even trouble waking up after a disturbed night’s sleep. Not everyone under stress finds it hard to sleep, but those who do will be dealing with all of the side effects of sleep deprivation too.

You get colds often

You might have guessed it – all the above symptoms can leave you with a compromised immune system. If you find yourself reaching for the tissues more than four times a year, it’s worth looking at how you can look after yourself a little more.

There are many other physical symptoms of stress – all of them are a call to action (or inaction)! Take some time out – keep up your fitness with grounding classes like Yin and Restorative Recharge and prioritise getting to bed on time (even if you miss that quirky pop-up event you’ve been meaningn to visit). Keep your eyes peeled for tips on how to deal with stress on our blog and social media channels!