Move into Happiness
Slow Flow for Patience
This mindfully-paced all-around vinyasa flow yoga class practice helps us to work with the concept of patience to be able to sit with restlessness and emotional reactivity in your body and mind both on and off the mat. Expect to practice in a slower way than you might be used to, to slow down your practice to physically connect to your breath by first opening up space in the side body and then developing the pause between inhalation and exhalation as we move in rhythm. How can you learn to press the pause button? How do you create a space to pause between action and reaction, so that we can act with greater wisdom and patience with one another as well as with ourselves?
Buddha's Teachings: Yoga for Sympathetic Joy
This yoga class focuses on the third aspect of the Buddha's teachings to awaken the heart, Mudita. Mudita means finding joy in the happiness and success of others. It is the third of four boundless states, or brahmavihārās. This well-rounded class has a particular focus on the hips and the hamstrings, two areas where many of us are tight due to either a sedantary lifestyle, or strengthening workouts. Being happy for others when they are happy are we are not, or they achieve things that we haven’t not the easiest practice. Indeed, ours is a world where comparison, judgement, envy and aggression are rife. Learning to be happy for someone when they are truly happy and shining usually requires a deliberate effort. When we can summon sympathetic joy, the rewards are magnificent and freeing. Through a cultivation of mudita, we can pull out the weeds of pettiness, envy and comparison. We become less selfish and self-centred, and grow into more tolerant, generous and compassionate individuals. Our actions can then create a chain-reaction, where a joyful and charitable heart ripples out into the world. You will just need a mat.
Slow Flow for Discipline
This all-around vinyasa flow yoga class will help you work with the concept of discipline that is 'not too tight/not too loose' that you can use to compassionately guide the intensity with which you practice. Expect to physically connect to backbends, standing balances, and leg flexibility while regulating energy and effort. How hard should you practise? How much should you push and when should you back off? Interesting questions to explore in this class and in all your yoga classes.
Buddha's Teachings: Yoga for Compassion
This yoga class focuses on cultivating a strong and resilient heart that awakens karuna, or compassion. It is the second of four boundless states, or brahmavihārās. Compassion means to be with another’s suffering. It is the opposite of cruelty. It can be conflated with pity, which it is not. Compassion is born out of a selfless desire to stand in solidarity with those who experience misfortune. Misfortune does not have to be starvation, physical pain and loss; it can be as simple as wanting something to be other than it is, which the Buddha described as creating clinging as well as a pushing away of experience. When we begin to cultivate compassion, we start with extending compassion towards ourselves. By forging self-compassion, we create a springboard for extending compassion towards others and all beings in the world. This well-rounded yoga class focuses on heart opening and brings in qigong movements.
Buddha's Teachings: Yoga for Loving Kindness
This is a practice centred around metta, which means goodwill, care, or loving-kindness. It is the first of four boundless states, known as the brahmavihārās. The brahmavihārās are the Buddha’s primary teachings on how we cultivate an awakened heart. In this yoga class, we’ll do some heart-focused practices and gentle movements (including some inspired by Qi Gong) to explore metta, which is the wish for true happiness that you can direct to yourself and towards others. In Buddhist teachings, metta is the foundations to our heart’s love and strength as it is what guided the Buddha along his path to care for a world that was in so much pain. As we learn to cultivate metta, we can learn to support our capacity to extend care to ourselves and the world, and send wishes for true happiness to all.
Slow Flow for Generosity
A beautiful all-round vinyasa flow yoga class to help you work with the concept of generosity, ensuring the benefits you receive from yoga are shared off the mat by those who are in need. Expect to physically connect with a feel-good practice for the back of your heart and shoulders, which we will feel as the muscles of embrace. Who do you practise for (beyond yourself)? How can you bring this intention into your embodied practice?
Slow Flow for Wisdom
A simple but beautiful slow vinyasa yoga flow. This all-around flow practice will help you work with the concept of wisdom and how it can lead you to decrease your suffering and connect you with your belief in basic goodness. Expect to physically connect with your heart while practising variations of the warrior poses reconceived to embody bravery, strength, and vulnerability. This is the first class in the Brave Yogi challenge series - this class addressing: Why do you practise? Why do you want to awaken? How can you embody that? Bring your whole heart and a block.
Kundalini Yoga to Elevate the Spirit
A Kundalini yoga class full of strong, repetitive movements to really get the body moving. A very energising, cardio-led yoga workout which will elevate your spirit; bringing feelings of happiness. You'll feel energised and ready for the day! The class ends with a long relaxation with a gong for extra relaxation.
Explore Your Power
This well rounded, gentle flow yoga class brings in the joy, a perfect class to uplift if you're feeling a little low. We will, with care, bring some joy and feeling back into the body and this present moment as best as we can through opening up to breath and back-bending postures along with a few other energising surprises. You will need a blanket, and a brick or something like it, and a playful light attitude.
Positive Psychology Series (5): Creativity
Positive Psychology Series (4): Gratitude
Positive Psychology Series (3): Resilience
A fun, fast, feisty vinyasa yoga class where we learn to build grit; the ability to get back up when you fall. Expect new and creative ways of dynamic sequencing, arm balances and inversions infused into this power flow. A great class to try something new and challenging! You're not looking to achieve perfect poses here, but to try to do what your body is able to do, and build resilience in the process. Do listen to your body though! If class is too fast-moving and feisty, and goes to poses which aren't suitable for you, take rest pose or listen to your body and modify the pose to bespoke the practice for your own body and capabilities.
Positive Psychology Series (2): Patience
Positive Psychology Yoga (1): Zest
This is the first of Mercedes' Positive Psychology infused vinyasa yoga sequences! Zest is a way of approaching life - it's an energy but also a way of cultivating a positive approach to problems. This fiesty, fast and fun vinyasa flow is not for attaining each pose, but about keeping a positive outlook even through challenge. This yoga class leads to advanced arm balance s- perfect for a well-rounded, energy-filled start to the day. But do be careful and only practice within your body's limitations. Remember that this class is about working on your an approach to poses and building courage rather than achievement!
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.