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.
Yoga for Healthy Bones and Stability
A steadily paced hatha yoga class focusing on balance as one of the key pillars of bone strength. This class is great for everybody, but is especially important for women to help protect against osteoporosis. This yoga class establishes a steady foundation through the pelvis, hands and feet to help feel more connected to the body and the surrounding world. Developing balance and stability helps build agility, equilibrium and mental focus. It also helps improve proprioception - your relationship with space and the environment around you and how you move within it. You will need 2 cork bricks, a blanket, two tennis balls and a chair (optional).
Hot Flush Remedy
A simple visualisation exercise to help to manage hot flushes often associated with the menopause. This yoga class is one simple pose, breathing deeply whilst lying in a constructive rest position. You can do this any time when experiencing uncomfortable feelings of heat. Expect a short demonstration of Petra’s Hot Flush Wave, with Ocean breathing and 3-part breath. If you practice this daily to reduce stress, you will also develop the simple skills for managing hot flushes, as you learn to allow the heat to flow calmly through you, rather than resisting it.
Menopause Yoga: Finding Ease
This gentle vinyasa yoga class is designed as a moving meditation to calm your mind and nervous system to help you prepare for rest. It is followed by Petra’s ‘disappear from the world’ restorative yoga poses, Max Strom’s ‘Mind Meets the Breath’ meditation and breath work, before ending with a relaxation practice, seated meditation and a mantra. You will need a strap or belt, a bolster, a cushions, 2 blankets, 2 blocks and 1 cork yoga brick or weighted eye pillow (or equivalent). NB - Modifications: hip and knee injuries take care. If you experience hot flushes, keep your head level with your heart. Osteoporosis: avoid flexion rounding your back in forward folds; keep your spine straight. Claustrophobia: avoid placing the blanket over the head. Headaches: avoid placing weight on the head. Trauma and previous experience of panic attacks: breathe at your own pace and pause the practice when needed.
Menopause Yoga: Befriending Your Body
A soothing and calming yoga class to cool hot flushes and help you surrender to the natural process of change associated with the perimenopause and menopause. Expect hip opening stretches and simple somatic movements through the spine which lead to a restorative yoga practice, followed by a deep relaxation, a guided meditation and a mantra. This class is taught wholly on the floor and is very gentle and grounding. It is designed to help you befriend your body with kindness and self-compassion at a time when your body is transforming and can feel out of your control. You will need a yoga mat, a strap or belt, 1 bolster and 2 cushions (or household equivalents), and 2 blocks (or thick books). NB - Modifications: take extra care with hip and knee injuries. Osteoporosis: avoid flexion rounding your back in forward folds; keep your spine straight. Trauma: please note that hip opening poses and stretches across the chest can release tension but may also trigger trauma. Follow your own breathing pace, pause the practice when needed and find a comfortable resting pose.
Menopause Yoga: Befriending Your Feelings
This dynamic vinyasa yoga class is an energising but soothing practice which ends with a restorative yoga pose, relaxation, seated meditation and mantra. This class is designed to help you befriend your feelings at a time when erratic hormonal Pre-Menstrual Tension can trigger ‘energy surges’ and fiery emotions such as menopause rage. You will need a strap or belt, a bolster, a cushion and 2 blocks. NB - Modifications: hip and knee injuries take extra care, use a blanket when kneeling. If you experience hot flushes, keep your head level with your heart. Osteoporosis: avoid flexion rounding your back in forward folds; keep your spine straight. Trauma: hip opening poses and stretches across the chest can release tension but may also trigger trauma. Follow your own breathing pace, pause the practice when needed and find a comfortable resting pose.
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.
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.