Wednesday, 25 March 2015

CHILD'S POSE THE QUIET SEDUCTRESS

Despite its status as a “resting pose,” Child’s Pose can be the Marmite of yoga asana for many people. You either love it or you hate it. 
 
When I started practicing yoga as a mother - eventually of five, finding the time to go to a yoga class was a major effort of planning and delegating. Once I had made it on to my mat I wanted to really go for it. The last thing I wanted during my precious moments of me time  was to curl up like a little mouse and be still.  I could feel myself almost drumming my fingers with impatience and agitation with my desire to move on to something more challenging. 
 
However when I came to do my yoga teachers training and yoga began to take on an increasingly significant role in my life and not just an escape from child rearing, I noticed a shift in my relationship with Child’s Pose too. I no longer felt frustrated by what I perceived as wasted time sitting back on my heels. In fact, I actually began to look forward to it.
 
When I heard the word, “Balasana," any previous frustration melted away and was replaced by respect and a quiet curiosity. With a new found 'teachers mind' I began to explore subtle variations of the pose with my arms, legs and breath. Throughout my many months of teachers training whilst I enjoyed all the challenging stuff, the wisdom, the philosophy and anatomy I started actually choosing Child’s Pose whenever it was presented as an option. 

In my home practice I found myself in Child’s Pose more often based on learning to actually listen to the call of my body, mind, or spirit. Slowly, little by little, practice by practice I had grown to love my nemesis pose.  

Looking back, it's not so difficult to understand why this gentle, humble asana eventually seduced me into its care.



1. Child’s Pose provides respite between effort

Maybe it is an age thing, my urban life of physical work and the demands of a large family  but I now really love the  moments of rest granted by Child’s Pose. 

Child’s Pose provides respite time between my efforts: a moment when I can breathe, recharge and revitalise before asking my body to work again. It encourages me to be grateful for the strength, flexibility, and stamina that allow me to move and experience a full and active life.

Child’s Pose invites me to reflect on the positive changes that come from my yoga practice. 
It appreciates the time and effort I put in when working through challenges. No matter what the outcome.

Child’s Pose inspires me to appreciate my body and its incredible abilities, no matter what my level of practice.

2. Child’s Pose gives me time to take stock

Sometimes, despite my good intentions, I am on my mat, but my mind is miles away.
Child’s Pose gives me time to take stock, to check in and think about why I may be 
distracted or discouraged or apathetic. It offers me a second chance to return my practice in 
a better way, with more intention and focus.

Child’s Pose allows me check in with my body as well as my mind. To scan my body for 
stiffness, tightness, disquiet, fatigue. It encourages me to ask if I should dig deeper. If I 
should be more gentle or I need to take some healing breaths. Or perhaps I simply need to rest.

No matter what I am feeling mentally or physically, Child’s Pose encourages me to explore 
and consider my needs on any given day.



3. Child’s Pose is always there

 Child’s Pose is always there for me. No matter where I am in my practice, no matter what pose or sequence, the door to Child’s Pose is always there with a welcome sign on it.

When I realise my muscles aren't trembling with joy, Childs Pose calls me from the corner 
enouraging me with the assurance that it's there for me should I need it.. Child’s Pose gives me permission to try, fail, rest, and try again. 

Child’s Pose accepts me unconditionally. It knows that on some days I want to explore and others I want to take refuge. That two contradictory thoughts can be part of the same journey.  It doesn't need to know whether I am on the path or off it  rather, it asks me how I want to travel. It reminds me that I don't always have to push and struggle, that can pause and rest along the way.

I can celebrate my successes. I can explore obstacles and reflect on challenges. I can take time to heal, center myself, and redirect my focus. I can set a new intention at any time. And thanks to what I’ve learned from my beloved Child’s Pose, I can do this off the mat as well as on it. 

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT ELISA'S LONDON YOGA CLASSES & OVERSEAS YOGA HOLIDAYS VISIT Elisa Williams Yoga

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

PLANNING AHEAD - YOGA HOLIDAY IN KERALA 2016



Would you be interested in joining us in Northern Kerala for Yoga and relaxation in Winter 2016?

We have just returned from our fantastic winter yoga holiday in Northern Kerala. We were all delighted with our welcome in this unspoilt region, our friendly boutique hotel with its purpose built yoga space, pretty bungalows, gardens, pool and deserted beach. Needless to say somewhere this idyllic doesn't stay a secret for long and our hotel is already getting booked up for next year. Rather than missing out, we have decided to look at our options for next year as soon as possible. To secure our yoga group an exclusive winter booking at this wonderful resort, we are writing to gauge whether there are enough people keen to sign up for the holiday and make their deposits by mid to late April. We appreciate that it is a long way off, however we honestly think you will have the most amazing holiday at a time of the year when sunshine in the Northern hemisphere is in very short supply.


 If you would like to see more photographs of our trip to help make up you decision then please follow this link! 


Friday, 13 March 2015

THE IMPORTANCE OF A STRONG CORE


For many years I suffered from chronic low back pain exacerbated by 5 pregnancies within the space of 7 years. I turned to yoga and eventually to becoming a yoga teachier to see me through those pregnancies and to build up my core strength to see me through my day to day life - stronger and pain free.
Over the 25 years I have been practicing yoga the improvement to my health and wellbeing have been remarkable. My increasingly strong and flexible core muscles have resulted in:
  • less or no back pain
  • faster recovery times from minor injuries
  • faster recovery from child-birth
  • stronger and safer transition between dynamic yoga postures and sequences
  • increased ability to practice dynamic yoga poses mindfully
For more information about Elisa's London classes and overseas retreats please see http://www.elisawilliamsyoga.com








Yoga postures require us to move the body into dynamic positions, which we then hold for extended periods of time. In general, anytime you hold your upper body in a static position, and then move it shortly afterwards, with the spine extended beyond the hips, you incorporate your core muscles.

In yoga, there are a large variety of postures that do exactly that. In an average 60 – 90 minute Vinyasa Yoga class, whether you are aware of it or not, a large majority of the postures that you perform will help bring strength and flexibility to your core. Vinyasa Yoga, if performed mindfully and slowly, with a focus on alignment, is exceptionally good for core training.

At first you keep the core taught and rigid to strengthen it, and then you allow your core strength training to include movement, in order to ensure that your core muscles have a ‘functional’ strength that keeps you safe through all the movements that you perform in your day-to-day life.
Yoga’s all round approach to the body and balancing strength with flexibility is ideally suited to providing practitioners with the benefits of a strong and flexible core.

Visit www.elisawilliamsyoga.com for details of Elisa's West London Yoga Classes, Overseas Yogaa Holidats and Retreats