Nikita Akilapa's Yoga Classes
Yoga For Happiness (4): Kindness
In this gentle vinyasa yoga class, the focus is on ahimsa (non violence). In the body, we can work with soft negotiation rather than force or brutality. In the mind, we can be aware of the tone with which we speak to ourselves. Pay attention to what you ask of your body in today's practice; notice when you are forcing it to do something it doesn't want to do / ignoring or overriding body wisdom. Pay attention to the internal dialogue and notice the tone of internal dialogue. Make a note of any recurring thoughts. Finally, write a mantra, something supportive and loving, that you can repeat to yourself (e.g. you are perfect as you are).
Yoga For Happiness (3): Patience
In this yoga class, Nikita will take you through a slow vinyasa flow with a focus on patience. If you are able to see with honesty where you are, you are able to grow from this point of awareness. But growth doesn't necessarily happen quickly. Expansions will happen a a rate and pace that feels appropriate to the body, the heart, the mind. When we rush, when we push too far too fast, we can often be met with some form of shut-down. Without any harsh judgement of yourself, consider the ways that you could be more patient. It could be moving more slowly on the commute, it could be by allowing your loved ones to do things in their own way at their own pace. Where can you afford to introduce some more patience to your life? You may need a brick.
Yoga For Happiness (2): Gratitude
Adopting an attitude of gratitude is a game-changer for journeying into joy. Gratitude for your breath and your body; gratitude for your relationships and experiences; gratitude for who you are and what you bring to the world; gratitude for the opportunity to see yourself clearly and non judgementally. This beautifully paced and sequenced vinyasa flow yoga class has shoulder and upper back opening focus, great to release tight shoulders and stiffness in the upper back and perfect to open the heart to gratitude. This class is about shifting from our habitual responses. You will need two bricks.
Yoga For Happiness (1): Honesty
This is the first class in Nikita's Yoga for Happiness Series. This is a nourishing and supportive, mindfully paced vinyasa flow yoga class. A perfect to start your day with mindfulness, openness and honesty. With slowness to the flow comes depth of feeling and depth of breath. This class isn't complicated, but it does require that you come to the mat being honest with yourself, your needs or your limits; the boundaries being set by the body. Enjoy a simple, well rounded flow class where you'll find you're able to build self-kindness and self-confidence through an honest acceptance of your body in the here and now. The Yoga For Happiness Series is designed to help us move towards self-acceptance - meeting ourselves where we are, as we are, without judgement. This set of nourishing and supportive classes will invite you to really see yourself, both on and off the mat.
Meditation: Soft Pause
In the final part in our Introduction to Meditation Series, we start to watch the top and the bottom of our breath. You'll notice that there are round edges to the inhale and exhale, where each breath gently reaches a peak and then gives rise to the next. Either simply watch these spaces between breaths or gently hold for a moment at the top of each inhale, and pause for a moment at the bottom of the exhale.
Meditation: Exploring the Breath
In the fourth part in our Introduction to Meditation Series with Nikita, we learn how to explore breath patterns as a means to change the way we feel. Allow the exhale to be twice as long as the inhale to give the body a chance of releasing all the old, to make space for the fresh new oxygenated air to flow in fully. Start at an equal breath (e.g. inhale for six seconds and exhale for six seconds) then increase gradually to a ratio of 1:1.5 (e.g. inhaling for six seconds and exhaling for nine seconds). Eventually, breathing to a ratio of 1:2 (e.g. inhaling for six and exhaling for 12 seconds). Maintain for up to about 20 breaths and then return to normal breath. If you are asthmatic, you may find that it's tricky to get to the full 1:2 ratio at first, in which case stay at 1:1.5. This is another great technique you might want to use as a tool to anchor an anxious mind any time you feel overwhelmed.
Meditation: Counting the Breath
In the third part in our Introduction to Meditation series, we start to count the breath. Get settled in a comfortable spot, either sitting or lying down, and begin to count your breaths backwards from 20 to 1. Say to yourself mentally, I am breathing in 20, I am breathing out 20. I am breathing in 19, I am breathing out 19, and so on until you reach 1. If you notice your mind has wandered away from this focus, draw it back. If you lose your count, start again. If you manage to get all the way to 1, try starting at 50 next time. You might want to use this exercise as a tool to anchor an anxious mind any time you feel overwhelmed.
Meditation: Feeling the Breath
In the second part in our introduction to meditation class we notice the breath within the body. Notice the body's involuntary response to your inhalations and exhalations; from the most obvious, loudest reactions (like the rise and fall of the chest, the expansion and release of the mid body) - to the more subtle and quieter ones (like the gentle drawing back behind the eyes as you inhale, to the sensation of the palms of the hands as you exhale). Notice how you feel before and after doing this short meditation class, you might be surprised at how effective just a few minutes in meditation can be!
Meditation Series Introduction
A really accessible introduction to meditation comprising five short breath based meditation classes to help you land in the present moment and move into your body. Using the breath is a very simple anchor for your thoughts and can be an easy way to start meditation. Each meditation invites you to focus on the breath in a different way. Be aware of the thoughts that creep into your mind. They will inevitably come, but when they do, try not to engage with them. Simply notice and observe them in a detached way. Acknowledge them and let them go. See them and send them on. If you find yourself being drawn off on a narrative, be compassionate toward yourself and simply bring yourself gently back to the breath. Remember, there is no failure; only meditating. The act of meditating is to mindfully watch the thoughts, rather than to carelessly engage with them. You are winning by even attempting the exercise.
Meditation:Watching the Breath
In this first introduction to meditation video we use the breath as our anchor. Learn how to pay close attention to your breath and how it feels in your body; start to explore all its qualities. Get really involved in all its personality - length, depth, temperature, quality. Fully inhabit it. Breathe in, knowing you are breathing in, breathe out, knowing you are breathing out. Use it as an anchor to the present moment. The minute you notice your mind drifting off to something else, make a point of bringing it right back. Keep the focus and enjoy this meditation introduction! Watch the intruction here: https://movementformodernlife.com/yoga-class-1238-meditation-series-introduction
The Art Of Surrender
A yogic lesson in letting go, reminding us that giving it up is by no means giving in. A vinyasa yoga class which has you courageously explore your relationship with surrender, on your journey towards Hanumansana (the spits in yoga) - stopping at koudinyasana B and Bird of Paradise on the way. Class starts with supine hamstring openers and then we up the pace for more feisty poses. You'll need a strap and two blocks.
The Day Breaker
A powerful, fiery all-round vinyasa yoga class that will strengthen, energise and open the body, heart and mind. Moving to the natural rhythm of our own bodies and calling on our own inner strength, we will work with twists, back bends, hip and leg openers, core strengtheners and balancing postures. The perfect way to start the day! You may need two yoga bricks.
A strong vinyasa flow class that cultivates and amplifies strength of body, heart and mind. Lean into your own power to start the day with some home-grown magic. This class focuses on building core strength, you'll need resilience in body and mind, perfect to prepare for the day ahead.
Space And Freedom
This hip and leg opening vinyasa yoga class helps you to move into a more expansive state by prioritising space and freedom, a sentiment that can live well beyond the mat and into your behaviours, attitudes and approach for the day, and onwards. Listening carefully to the whispers of the body, you increase our sensitivity to sensation and enhance your interior perception. By moving slowly, you are able to build more strength and stamina, while staying connected to what you feel. In this way, you can encourage the gentle negotiation between body and breath to find a sense of release and freedom. You may need yoga bricks and a strap.
This heart opening vinyasa flow class is designed to help you open up; open up to your potential, your experience, the sensations your body presents, the wisdom and inspiration available to you and to gratitude. Working on creating space in the chest and shoulder area, mobilising the spine and strengthening back muscles - this class will have you feeling wide open and ready to receive. You will need a brick and a strap.
Shake It Off
A beautifully sequenced intermediate vinyasa yoga class weaving a variety of arm balances throughout. Working with fluid breath based movement to see and hear the body's narrative more clearly. This enables us to see our lives more clearly and make better decisions. Exploring the art of perspective and opening up to the wonder of what is. You may need blocks and a strap.
Ride the Rhythm Vinyasa
In this soulful, breath-based vinyasa class, we acknowledge the fluctuation of experience, sensation and energy within our practice and our lives. This flow honours the natural rhythm of things, moving slow and strong, with a playful exploration of (optional) inversions and arm balances. You'll need two bricks and a strap.