ANDREA - a full time Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi instructor.

I fell in love with yoga over seven years ago, when I got a Nintendo DS and bought a game called Let's Yoga. From then, I began 'playing' yoga everyday, sometimes twice a day. At first, the practice was more physical for me, but after few months I started to really count on yoga to bring me a sense of calm during especially chaotic days. Soon after, I began recognizing the benefits of a regular asana and meditation practice and continued to incorporate yoga daily - not just during times of chaos. I found myself feeling more energized, more compassionate, happier, and with more awareness. Now, I teach full-time and couldn't be happier to do what I love. What began as a physical practice for strength and flexibility quickly became a lifestyle. I teach my students to take their yoga off the mat and apply the principles learned in the class to their lives outside of the studio. I do not only teach my philosophy, I live it.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Winter Fun with Yoga

We went for a little walk to the forest today with my best yoga student, Alena and we did some incredible pictures :) 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

I don´t have a good luck with Zumba this week, but...

Yesterday, I was sooo looking forward to do the Zumba class, but unfortunately it was cancelled. Today, I was ready for Zumba again, but it was cancelled. Few people turned up, anyway, so I offered them to have a Power Yoga class instead of Zumba and they liked it :) I am very happy about it!

And here are two pictures we took :)

Reunion after years :)

Our friend, Zuzka, visited us yesterday, so we had a little reunion and enjoyed a hatha yoga class :)

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The last Filming for DVD

On Thursday, we FINALLY (after a month) got time to get together (well, 4 extremely busy women...) and we finished the last part of filming to my DVD. It all went well, we had fun, and even if we did not have too much time, I think we did pretty well :)


And here are few pictures :)

Monday, 11 March 2013

Why to Practive Yoga

The short answer is that yoga makes you feel better. Practicing the postures, breathing exercises and meditation makes you healthier in body, mind and spirit. Yoga lets you tune in, chill out, shape up -- all at the same time.
For many people, that's enough of an answer. But there's more if you're interested.

For a start, yoga is good for what ails you. Specifically, research shows that yoga helps manage or control anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, headaches, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, stress and other conditions and diseases. What's more, yoga:
  • Improves muscle tone, flexibility, strength and stamina
  • Reduces stress and tension
  • Boosts self esteem
  • Improves concentration and creativity
  • Lowers fat
  • Improves circulation
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Creates sense of well being and calm.
And that's just the surface stuff. In fact, most of the benefits mentioned above are secondary to yoga's original purpose.

Developed in India, yoga is a spiritual practice that has been evolving for the last 5,000 years or so. The original yogis were reacting, in part, to India's ancient Vedic religion, which emphasized rituals. The yogis wanted a direct spiritual experience -- one on one -- not symbolic ritual. So they developed yoga.
Yoga means "union" in Sanskrit, the classical language of India.

According to the yogis, true happiness, liberation and enlightenment comes from union with the divine consciousness known as Brahman, or with Atman, the transcendent Self. The various yoga practices are a methodology for reaching that goal.
In Hatha yoga, for example, postures and breathing exercises help purify the mind, body and spirit so the yogi can attain union.

Pranayama breathing exercises help clear the nadis, or channels, that carry prana the universal life force, allowing prana to flow freely. When the channels are clear and the last block at the base of the spine has been opened, Kundalini rises through the spine, through the central channel called the sushumna-nadi, and joins the crown chakra. According to the tradition, the release of Kundalini leads to enlightenment and union.

If you do yoga will you become enlightened?
Well…you might (of course, it could take a few lifetimes of diligent practice). But then again you might not. But it doesn't really matter because yoga is a process, and there's a lot of good to be had along the way.

What if you don't believe in talk about enlightenment, spirit and the rest of it?
That's okay, too. Yoga doesn't discriminate. Even if you don't believe in the spiritual side of life, you can still do yoga. Whether enlightenment, nadis, prana and Kundalini is literal truth, metaphor or myth is irrelevant. If you do yoga, chances are that you will feel its psycho-physiological effects.

Moreover, the concept of union has a powerful down-to-Earth meaning. Yoga helps us get in touch with our true selves.

Between work, home and all of the demands and stresses in between, it's easy to lose touch with who we are, that core essence with which we were born. Rushing around all day it sometimes feels like the "I" inside is simply the result of the things we do all day -- or the effects those things have on our minds, bodies and spirits.

Ever say "I am hungry" or "I am stressed"? We identify with our conditions. It's like "hungry" or "stressed" is a name (Hi. I'm Stressed. What's your name?) As a result, our identities shift with our moods and conditions.

In truth, however, we are not the conditions we experience or things we do. We are not our jobs or the thousands of tasks that make up our jobs. We are not the sensations or emotions we feel. We are not the car we drive or the house we live in. We are not "S/he Who Must Pay Bills." We are not Mr. and Ms. Stressed.

Strip away the emotions, sensations and conditions and somewhere deep down inside you are still there. Strip it all away and you find out who you really are.

The techniques developed by the yogis to transcend also help us strip away the things that try to mis-define us -- the emotions, sensations, desires, achievements and failures of daily life. Through yoga we learn to develop a greater awareness of our physical and psychological states. As a result, we're in a position to better manage our reactions to the thoughts, feelings and responses we have to the various situations we deal with every day.

With greater awareness comes the sensitivity and skill to find and remove the physical and psychological blocks that often keep us from our true selves. We no longer identify with our conditions. Instead of saying, "I am stressed," we begin to say, "I feel stress," or "stress is present." It's a subtle but powerful difference.
Or better yet, we say "I feel anxiety and fear, and that's causing stress and in particular it's causing tension in my neck and shoulder." So we breathe deeply to soothe the anxiety. We review the events that led to the onset of those feelings, and in the process they lose their grip on our nervous system. We intentionally relax our shoulder and neck to prevent the stress and tension from building into a permanent condition.
Yoga gives us control of ourselves. It helps cut through the layers of mis-identities that arise in response to our actions, experiences and feelings. It calms the frenzy, clears the clutter and allows us to get back in touch with ourselves.
Yoga is union with self. Or, as Patanjali, one of the great yoga sages, said:
Yogashcittavrittinirodhah (Yoga stills the fluctuations of the mind).
Tada drashthuh svarupe' vasthanam (Then the true self appears.)
However, yoga is not about self-absorption. Yoga is about being in the world. Although most books, videos and websites focus on yoga postures, breathing and meditation, the tradition also emphasizes love, compassion, knowledge and right action as paths toward union.

Whether you pursue yoga as a spiritual path or for its psycho-physiological benefits, yoga is a methodology for developing a deeper experience of your self and the world.
And it makes you feel really good.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Applying for Funds to have more Yoga classes in Farley Hill Community Centre

I would like to hold classes in Farley Hill Community Centre for: 
1. children
2. pregnant women 
3. older people  
(3 classes per week for a duration of 6 months)

My project meets few of the points of the Community Priorities for Farley Hill Community Centre.

Overall priorities: 
1. Reduce the fear of crime and anti-social behavior by encouraging the neighborhood to come together 
3. More diversionary activities for young people.

Health and Well Being priorities:
5. Promote healthy lifestyle through existing children and people's activities.

Children and Young Children priorities:
1. Consistent youth led activities for all young people.

Environment and Economy priorities:
6. Need for local evening classes.

 As many as possible people will my project benefit and they will fit into all age-groups.

To promote classes, I will put up banners, posters, place leaflets and brochures in Farley Hill Community Centre and place posters and brochures in local shops. 

More information about the project updates, changes and progress will be also on my website and blog.

Since Yoga is very adjustable and anyone can practice it in his own pace and according to his own abilities, inequality is not an issue and every member of the community will have the same opportunity to join my classes and benefit from them.

We are physical, mental and spiritual beings; yoga helps to promote a balanced development of all the three. Other forms of physical exercises, like aerobics, assure only physical well-being. They have little to do with the development of the spiritual or astral body. Yoga is a way of living, having a healthy mind in a healthy body.
- Increases self-awareness
- Helps in attention focus and concentration, especially important for children.
- Reduces stress and tension in the physical body by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
When people are in the class, they can turn to the person next to them, introduce themselves, ask them their name and give them a smile. This can be a first step in getting to know other people from their community.
After the end of my project I can continue to hold the classes and have special offers of the fees for classes.