My understanding of yoga as described in the Yoga sutras of Patanjali, is a set of tools for developing the ability to regulate the mind & emotions in order to reduce suffering & restore ease.
With one in every four people affected by mental health issues during their lives, yoga wisdom is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. What a comfort that is.
Many people come to my studio to manage anxiety, depression & other mental health issues & over the years I have seen many very dear people learn to manage & even conquer such problems. The message that the mind is the culprit & cause of so much anguish & that yoga can help has been trickling through for a number of years now.
This informal workshop, held at the Lake will present important philosophical & historical principles from the Yoga Sutras for managing mind & emotions, we will look at anxiety, sympathetic arousal of the nervous system, the effect of long terms stress & release of hormones, such as adrenaline & cortisol & most importantly we will develop an understanding of how to practice yoga in a way that reduces symptoms & helps build resilience to future stressors rather than providing temporary relief.
The workshop will draw on key concepts from the Yoga Sutras & introduce the common scientific understanding of mental health. My hope is you will gain a deeper understanding of:
- Role of the three Gunas in determining mood & behaviour states for restoring balance
- The Kleshas for recognising our character flaws
- Kriya Yoga as a plan for managing our mental health
- The koshas & Yoga Nidra
- Mindful movement
- Breathing & pranayama
- Valuing Rest & relaxation
The day begins with a short Hatha Yoga practice followed by presentations on the nature of the mind & mental health through the lens of yoga psychology & easy to follow science, culminating in an in depth look at anxiety & the many practices Yoga provides us with for countering this debilitating & distressing human experience. As well as a selection of raw vegan nibbles that are free from gluten, dairy, wheat & refined sugar & as much tea as you can drink. We will end with a restorative practice that leads into a long guided relaxation.
No. 1 Question asked by students in their first two years of finding yoga - Am I doing it right?
Its quite right that when we come to yoga, we want to learn the postures so we can practice intelligently. Or sometimes as a long-term practitioners, the shapes start to feel habitual & we become ready to look at variations on the alignment because the 'usual' cues just don't cut it anymore.
In the first of these once monthly, 90 minute mini-workshops, Lucy will deconstruct five familiar postures every month & then help you reconstruct them with renewed attention to detail.
Every month, asana Lab will take you on a journey through the asanas, helping you discover new ways of transitioning through postures & discovering what suits you prop & modification-wise, in each pose.
Please request asana that you want to explore, by email to Lucy.
This gentle, non-judgmental workshop introduces the idea that we have a choice in the way we live in our bodies. So many of us rely on our habit-patterns - we can't remember when we started but now, we've been doing it so long, we can't seem to stop. Yoga calls these habit-patterns 'Samskara', if we become so ingrained in our patterns that they alter our body chemistry, we may find we physically cannot stop.
Habit-patterns might include food issues, starving or overeating, debting, shopping, drinking, relationships, gambling, using drugs prescribed or otherwise, over-exercising, co-dependency, love-avoidance & a whole lot more. Anything in fact that we might use to change the way we feel. This workshop might be of use to those for whom the refusal to acknowledge the reality of one’s situation is wearing thin & the evidence is starting to pile up, for example losing friends or jobs, relationships or your memory. That niggling doubt is getting louder perhaps.
This workshop will also help those of us who live with or love people who seemingly cannot stop hurting themselves & repeating unhelpful life-patterns.
When we practice yoga, we attune to our body & our breath, we can learn to take ownership for the way we feel & gain control over our actions, we can recognise our cravings when they occur & not attempt to avoid them or give in to them, we may be more able to cope with & manage these feelings if we are more physically aware of them when they occur.
Stopping the repetition of habitual using is one of the most painful yet transformative processes a person can go through. More often than not, pain is our catalyst for change.
In this workshop we’ll begin with an easy gentle flow practice to get out of our heads & into our bodies; a widely appreciated method for creating space in busy heads & creating a mind-body connection. We’ll begin the day’s investigation into the addictive personality & routes to freedom from negative habitual patterning thereafter with a presentation examining denial, stress, social pain & the very real role of guilt & shame in repeating behaviours we know to be unhelpful. We’ll look how the addicted mind works & the neurobiology of dependence, reward & withdrawal.
I will provide plenty of tea, coffee & biscuits - you can bring a picnic lunch if you like, to eat on our shaded deck, whilst watching our fauna & flora.
After a break, I will present a final unit on the Yoga Sutras & the recommendations of this text for minds that become locked into harmful patterns & modern-day methods for replacing bad habits with routine, healthy boundaries & goals.
Our day will round off with a vision building activity & a relaxation practice, designed to increase body awareness which may in turn provide psychological & pain-related support for those who are coming to terms with addictions of all or any sorts.