Pregnancy Yoga: Hips & Legs
This pregnancy yoga class will help with discomfort in the hips and legs, which can be quite common in pregnancy, from Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) to antenatal Sciatica, Restless Leg Syndrome to full on leg cramps. This class is designed to alleviate some of these niggles, helping you feel more comfortable in your body. Suitable for all trimesters.
Menopause Yoga for Strength
A gently strengthening yoga class to re-energise and empower by building strong bones. This dynamic hatha yoga class with poses that are held for 10 rounds of breath helps build bone mineral density and muscle mass, and raise the heart rate. This class has been designed to help prevent osteoporosis (weakened bones), sarcopenia (muscle loss) and cardiovascular disease, which can develop post-menopause. Expect a range of simple heart-lifting backbends to energise, breath work, a restorative yoga pose, relaxation practice and seated meditation. You will need a strap or belt, 2 bolsters, a cushion, a blanket, and 2 blocks. NB - Osteoporosis: avoid flexion rounding your back in forward folds; keep your spine straight. If you have previously experienced panic attacks, avoid holding your breath and instead follow your own breathing pace.
Yoga for Osteopenia
This is a brief yoga tutorial of some of the ways you can use a chair to modify your yoga practice if you have osteopenia (weakened bones) which can affect women as they go through the menopause. If you have osteoporosis, you must always consult your GP before practising yoga, and ask your osteopath or physiotherapist which range of movement is suitable for your body.
Yoga for Pelvic Floor Health
This yoga class brings awareness to the pelvic floor and lower body through breath, gentle movement and deep relaxation. Starting with a long relaxation, we then bring gentle movement to the body, practicing yoga poses to bring tone and range of movement to the pelvic floor. Class ends with a guided lower body relaxation. Pelvic Floor health is essential as we transition into Perimenopause and Menopause. As our levels of oestrogen begin to fluctuate, this can have an effect on the tone and elasticity of the pelvic floor. Increased levels of stress and anxiety during this time can also lead to hypertonic or overactive pelvic floor muscles caused from too much tension or tightening of the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor muscles can also be weak or hypotonic meaning the muscles are not providing enough support for the bowels, bladder, and uterus. You will need a bolster, blankets, two cork bricks (if you have them, or books), a belt, sandbag or weights (optional).
Hatha Yoga to Energise
Feel energised and reinvigorated with this simple but well-rounded yoga class of mostly standing postures. After a gentle warm-up, expect a simple series of grounding, standing postures to bring strength and energy to the whole body. The class is specifically sequenced to re-energise women, but everyone can benefit. The movements work with the spirals of the female form so the body is encouraged to feel at ease. This sequence of flowing and predominantly standing Hatha Yoga postures is linked with thoughtful transitions and breath work, to help release such tensions and manifest our full awareness of our physical and energetic being.
Meditation: Befriending your Whole Self
In this short meditation class, be guided through an embodied enquiry of the layers of your body (physical, mental, emotional, energetic, spiritual) as a way of tuning into, welcoming and befriending your body. When we take time to listen and connect to our body we make room to welcome the full spectrum of our human experience – from the comfortable to the not so comfortable. Befriending the body in this way widens the circle of compassion and acceptance of this moment allowing you to tap into the inherent wisdom that resides within. This is a really useful short practice to connect to yourself at the start of your day, before any yoga class and when you are experiencing feelings of anxiety, stress or overwhelm.
Open to Your Heart’s Desire
This heart-centred gentle yoga class is designed to help you connect to your heart's desire, to your inner wisdom and to feel more love for oneself and one another. It includes opening to self love through embodied enquiry, gentle stretching and movement, finishing with yin postures and a guided visualisation to connect deeply to your heart’s desire and its expression in the world.
Yoga to Rest & Digest: The Vagus Nerve
This yoga class uses simple practices to resource and reset the nervous system using breath, sound, gentle movement and massage to stimulate the vagus nerve and encourage deep relaxation. Either follow the class in full or learn the practices which resonate with you to be done in your own time. The vagus nerve acts as a “super information highway” communicating between the brain and our body’s systems regulating our mood, digestion, heart rate and hormones. The vagus nerve balances our nervous system by switching on our parasympathetic 'rest and digest' mode and influences how we connect and feel safe with others. You will need a bolster, blanket, tennis ball and/or soft pilates ball. Gabriella uses a Yoga Tune Up Coregeous Ball.
Gentle Yoga for Emotional Release
The journey into perimenopause and menopause can bring up a range of emotions from anger, rage, grief, loss and frustration. This gentle yoga class is an opportunity to move with your feelings; allowing them to arise, shift and release through somatic movement, gentle yoga postures and breath work. Welcome the full spectrum of your human experience. You will need a blanket.
Gentle Yoga to Unwind
A gentle yoga class of floor based movements for when we're low on energy and needing a gentle boost. Keeping low to the ground, and with few poses which use wrists, this yoga class uses gravity to unwind the spine, open the chest and shoulder area, helping our heart centred energy to flow more freely. A perfect class if you're suffering from PMT or you're on your period. Many of our day to day movement patterns can create a rigidness to the spine and rib cage that negatively affects our respiration and levels of tension throughout the chest, shoulder and neck area. But by moving in a flowing and ‘softer’ way, working with gravity as opposed to against it, we can begin to release these areas of tightness to become more free in our body. This sequence of predominantly floor based Hatha Yoga asana will work to unravel the upper body, especially the chest area, to create increased synchronicity between the upper skeletal system, breath and ultimately the heart space. You may need a block and bolster.
Pelvic Floor Awareness Tutorial
Get to know your pelvic floor. What is it? Where is it? This yoga class is a guide to pelvic floor awareness through breath, visualisation, palpation and movement. The pelvic floor is the ground of our being, supports how we stand, walk, control elimination and experience pleasure. It is our entry into the world, the seat of our creative power and where we find home in our bodies. Stress and our busy lives disconnect us from this part of our bodies. We usually do not pay much attention to the pelvic floor until we experience pain, discomfort or symptoms such as incontinence. Cultivating awareness of your pelvic floor is essential for befriending this part of your body. You will need a bolster, 2 blankets, 2 cork bricks (or books, if you don't have them) and a belt.
Yoga for Strong Bones
This yoga class takes us through a series of poses which have been proven (in a seminal two-year pilot study of yoga and osteoporosis) to improve bone strength. This class builds strength and balance, but in a gentle, accessible way. The key pillars for sustaining bone strength include stimulating the bones through weight bearing movement, muscular engagement of the arms, legs, abdomen and glutes, and balance, which helps build agility and equilibrium. Maintaining our bone strength and density to prevent the risk of osteoporosis is hugely important as we journey into menopause and beyond. You will need 2 cork bricks (or books!) and a blanket.
More One Blanket Restorative Yoga
A very simple, gentle class perfect to calm you down when anxiety is high or when you are preparing for sleep. This is a minimalist restorative yoga class focused on the abdomen, side body, hip flexors, and neck. All you need for this restful practice is one blanket or towel. You may also like to have some extra cushioning ready for your head.
Evening Yoga Relaxation
A beautifully peaceful yoga class, perfect to take right before bed. Use it to help settle into a great night's sleep, or anytime you feel overwhelmed and in need of calm. This class can be done either on a yoga mat or even in bed to allow yourself to fall into a deep and restful sleep. On this journey, we will explore what needs to be released and let go by focusing on the breath to connect and ground through the body. We will explore a little activation of the body to bring awareness, then a deep relaxation with some juicy restorative yoga poses. You will need a strap or a long towel.
Cooling & Calming Practice
This cooling and calming yoga class and breath practice soothes the nervous system and deeply relaxes the mind and body, suitable for anyone feeling overwhelm or the need to calm. But this class especially is a great menopause yoga class, providing relief to hot flushes, night sweats, irritability and sleeplessness. In addition to supported forward folds, gentle inversions and restorative poses, there is slow deep breathing and cooling pranayama practices. This sequence is recommended for anyone feeling overwhelmed or stressed, or anyone experiencing menopausal symptoms, especially if you are experiencing excessive heat in the body and to mitigate the effects of hot flushes, night sweats and irritability. A soothing practice to do in the evening before bed. You will need a chair, a bolster, two blankets and an eye pillow.
All Trimesters: Shoulders & Spine
A wonderful, gentle pregnancy yoga class suitable for all trimesters which is designed to stretch out the shoulders and lower back. Expect a selection of simple poses which will help to open up the chest, shoulders and the back of the body. This is a short sequence you can do anytime when you feel you need to stretch out and release these areas of the body. You will need a wall and a chair.
Enliven Your Body
This embodiment practice is a wonderful way to enliven and energise the body on those days when you are feeling low in mood, brain fog, sluggish or have been sitting too long in front of a computer. Practice it every morning to awaken the body and mind or during the day when you experience a slump in energy. Give yourself some time to feel your body before and after the practice to notice the shift in energy and welcome a newfound sense of aliveness.
Cultivating Courage Meditation
A seated meditation with mudra and mantra; call on the goddess durga for your strength and courage. This is a seated guided meditation with mudra (hand gesture) and repetition of mantra (sacred yogic chant) to invite the brave, courageous, inner warrioress within us to come forth! A simple yet potent centring and empowering practice to steady the mind and embolden the heart. Suitable for all trimesters and life in general!!