Entries in senses (3)

Tuesday
Nov262013

Open Letter to New Male Hot Yoga Students

Dear men. I love that more and more of you come to hot yoga classes. You do good things to the the energy in a hot room full of yoginis. And you’ll do good things to yourself.

I’m glad you’ve realised that yoga is not ‘just for girls’. It can be quite challenging. Especially if your hamstrings are as tight as a drum or you find it difficult to just be present with your body. But there’s room for you too, new hot yogi man, and here’s a few things I’d like you to know to make your first encounter with hot yoga an enjoyable one.

Welcome to the Hot Room

Yes, the room is hot. It’s 38 degrees Celsius. That’ll make your body bendy as a cooked noodle. It’ll feel humid too, and as the air in the room comes from the air outside, the weather (and the number of students) will decide the humidity. Expect to sweat more on rainy days.

You’ll Sweat

As it’s hot and humid you’ll sweat. A lot. Probably more that women, so make sure you bring a towel. The sweat will cool your body down so you don’t have to wipe it off. You could wipe it off the floor afterwards as a courtesy to the next student and the staff if you wish.

Wear Clothes

You don’t have to wear a shirt, if you’d rather not, but please do wear shorts that cover your bits. Even though white is said to reflect your aura better in yoga, it’s a no go in the hot room. Unless you’re looking for miss wet t-shirt kind of action and for that I’ll recommend you go elsewhere.

Don’t compete

I know it’s in your nature and that you do it in the gym, but please don’t compete. You’re new in the game so you’ll never win. And yoga is about accepting what is. And right now you’re a rookie. That means that you might not be able to touch your toes without bending your knees. So bend your knees. Don’t do your back in.

Breaks are OK

In the beginning of class I’ll introduce child’s pose or balasana, as it’s called in Sanskrit. I’ll also tell you that you can use this posture if it all gets a little too much. I’ve never seen a man in child’s pose, though. I’ve seen you stand hunched over with your arms out to the sides trying to balance while you breathe heavily or even moan. This is a sign that you ought to be in child’s pose. Actually moaning will only occur quite a few minutes after you should have taken child’s pose.

Breathe

If you can’t breathe you’ve gone too far. Back out of the position until you can breathe nice and slow again (remember child’s pose? It’s also good for getting the breathing going again). Sometimes I’ll remind you to breathe. This is not because I think you’re so stupid that you don’t know. It’s because people sometimes actually do forget, and as I want you to enjoy your first hot class as much as possible I don’t want you to get dizzy.

Try Not To Care

Yes, there are many people in the room, there are mirrors, and you might feel a little exposed in your shorts.Try not to care. Everybody else is too busy trying to remember to breathe, to keep their legs straight and their bum tucked in to notice how your Trikonasana looks. In yoga we try to practice Pratyahara, which means to withdraw from the senses. We even have gaze points for our eyes (Dhristi) to stop them from landing on your Trikonasana. And we’ve all been new.

I Might Correct You

Yes, I might tell you to bend your legs or square your hips. That’s my job. I’m here to pass the ancient tradition of yoga on to you without you hurting yourself. And as you’re new I’ll keep an extra eye on you. I’ll only do this to make sure you’re alright. I’m not doing it to pick on you.

Bhujangasa-what?

Sometimes we speak Sanskrit in yoga. This is not to confuse you. It’s just that all the yoga positions have Sanskrit names and some of us teachers love to use them. Others will use the ‘animal-names’ and call it cobra instead of Bhujangasana. We’ll also show you the position and tell you how to get into it, so don’t worry.

Relax

When you’ve made it through to the relaxation - or Shavasana as we call it, you might feel a little weak. I understand that. But try to really feel your body now. Maybe you’ll feel your heart rate a little more or maybe you’ll feel a tingling sensation in your body. Maybe you’ll feel restless as I’ll keep you in Shavasana for a while before we all get up and leave. Again I don’t do this to bother you. Shavasana is where all the positions and all the hard work sinks into the body. So see if you can just lie here and be present without doing anything. Just for a little while.

Come back

Good job. You made it through your first hot yoga class. Make sure you drink a lot of water today, come see me after class if you have questions. It’s now up to you if today’s experience is something you laugh about with your friends and never attempted again or if it is to become a new routine that might change your life... I hope you come back. Next time will be so much easier.


Namasté

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Tuesday
Apr022013

Vote for SenseS

SenseS - the studio where I teach - has been nominated as Copenhagen's Best Welness (Byens Bedste Wellness) after only existing for 9 months. Pretty cool.

Help us win by voting here. It'll only take a minute which we'll pay you back in good karma.

 

Wednesday
Nov142012

Workshop Sunday the 25th of November: Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra

On Sunday the 25th of November I’m giving a workshop in restorative yoga and yoga nidra at SenseS. It’s really misleading to call it a workshop as you will only be working on relaxing.
Restorative yoga is especially beneficial for you if you feel stressed or are having a hard time relaxing completely. Or if you just want two hours of complete relaxation and learn relaxation techniques that you can use at home. Here’s a little description of the workshop. Let me know if you have any questions.

Restorative Yoga
The restorative practice leads you deep into your body and brings you closer to yourself. When we work with relaxation, internalisation of the senses and calming of the mind we balance the nervous system and let go of our ‘fight or flight response’. There are many benefits of a restorative yoga practice: you can reduce stress, depression and anxiety, you can balance your blood pressure and blood sugar and improve your digestion and fertility.

Yoga Nidra

Yoga nidra can be translated to ‘yogic sleep’ and is a systematic method for deep meditation. You don’t have to have practiced meditation before to participate. You will be guided through a meditation that will make you so relaxed that you might fall asleep. But that’s OK. Your subconscious mind will still be alert and benefit from the practice.

The Workshop

We’ll start with waking up the body with gentle flows before starting our restorative practice. We’ll support the body with props like blankets and bolsters so that it can surrender completely into the yoga asanas (positions) and learn to actively relax our bodies. We’ll end the workshop with a guided yoga nidra laying down.


Bring a jumper and a pair of socks and a bean bag (eye bag) if you have one (a scarf will also suffice).

You don’t have to be young, fit or flexible to participate. And you don’t have to have any experience with yoga. You don’t have to be a member of SenseS to join the workshop. Just sign up at Senses.dk and show up with an open mind.

The workshop is taught in Danish.

Time: Sunday the 25th of November at 16:00-18:00
Place: SenseS, Sommerstedgade 7, 1718 København V
Price: 100 DKK for members of SenseS. 200 DKK for non members

Sign up on  SenseS.dk and join the event on Facebook to spread the word.