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.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Meditation recording... in progress :)

I tried to record a very short meditation - and I am kind of pleased with it :P
it´s just a bit difficult for me to listen to my own voice :/

hopefully my first meditation CD will be out soon... :D 

Burlesque Yoga

Is Spring Finally Here???

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Kids Yoga Challenge - Starts in March!!!

How many of you have got kids? I hope many, cos I am just thinking of having the first weeks of the month dedicated to children - you were telling me how supporting they were during our first Yoga Challenge, let's challenge them for the first time in March! :) 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

News :)

I´ve been thinking about registering my own brand and then I can produce some CDs with meditaions... DVDs with yoga sessions...
What do you think? 
Would you be interested in that? 

Also, I finalised dates for next 3 Workshops:
28th March (Dunstable Leisure Centre - spaces are VERY limited!!!!)
29th March - a workshop with Lucy - more info about the place, time, everything coming soon!
21st June- in paradise ;) (Ill let you know more when I will book our beautiful paradise! :) )

That is it for me so far - enjoy your day!

Friday, 20 February 2015

Does Yoga = Exercise?

The benefit of exercise is a well-known fact. It can reduce our stress by taking a hard day at the office into the gym, park or beach. Moving the body creates “happy chemicals” called endorphins and, for only 30 minutes a few times a week, we can instantly improve our overall mood. And exercise can even assuage our addictions as the brain releases dopamine, the “reward chemical”, which responds to pleasurable activity.

With all the benefits of exercise, it’s no wonder that yoga has jumped on the bandwagon. You only need to type “yoga” in your YouTube search to find the vast varieties offered. There is yoga for weight loss, detox yoga, yoga challenges, total body workout, morning workout, weight loss yoga, yoga for six pack abs—the list goes on.

The way Westerners perceive exercise has influenced our adoption of modern yoga. I can tell you from firsthand experience that when I started my teaching career at gyms, most of the participants weren’t too thrilled if more than 5 minutes of their class was dedicated to the subtlety of breath awareness. In an industry now imploding with options, classes and studios, it seems that class numbers and calories burned are more important than actually delivering an authentic experience of yoga.

But, in fact, the teacher’s role of upholding the tradition of yoga to allow participants to assimilate and apply its concepts to a broad range of contexts off the mat is essential.

So what would an authentic experience of yoga look like? For example, it is critical that, as a teacher, I know how to be present enough in class to not be provoked into reaction if—and inevitably when—students become uncomfortable with their own internal experiences.

This is where the notion of yoga as only exercise crumbles.

Although it appears that we are exercising—i.e. moving our bodies—, the subtlety of the yoga process clears the inner debris to move us toward profound and useful insights about ourselves. This is challenging to access if the teacher leading the class is more interested in giving students more of what they want and enjoy and is afraid to tread into the dark terrains of the emotional suffering people might be going through.

Modern psychosomatic medicine reminds us that body and mind form a single system; a healthy body cannot exist in a tormented mind, for mental and physical healths are closely related. Although regular exercise can, as mentioned, produce a broad range of positive chemical processes in the body, most of the time it doesn’t address the underlying issues hiding behind our regular 8km run.

Who cares? You mutter. I don’t have any hidden baggage. I exercise to stay fit (and because I am afraid of growing old, being weak, not being the strongest).

This is where our yoga practice takes us beyond the mere physical pursuit of eternal youth. Yoga faces us with that which intimidates us. The ancient yoga sages referred to our suffering as “duhkha”, which is virtually unavoidable. If we are not in some kind of physical pain or discomfort, then we are usually experiencing suffering in the form of emotional unease. We then do everything we can to avoid acknowledging the experiences that instill fear and hesitation within us, for we believe doing so will feed the cycle of stress and anxiety.

Yoga teaches us to embrace our thoughts about life and death and accept that suffering is an integral part of human experience. Rather than succumbing to pessimism about this inevitable future, yoga encourages us to examine the nature of the mind and understand that we are often in far greater control of our thoughts and emotions than we imagine, regardless of external circumstances.

In short, our yoga practice trains us to become mental “athletes”, working to uncover our highest human potential and spiritual essence.

So I encourage you, mental athletes, to approach your yoga practice not as mere exercise, but rather from the perspective that we are only a few deep, slow breaths away from embracing the holistic intersection of body, mind and soul.

Yoga Workshop News 2015

I know, I am taking my time to announce all the workshop dates, but I need to know when I will be away first 
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 It looks like there are almost two definite dates - the first one - the first weekend after Easter - Ill have to decide if Saturday or Sunday will work better for me, that's April and the second date is 21 June - the World Yoga Day! 
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Could you please let me know if you are interested in attending these two 
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(there will be more, we're just discussing a joined one with Lucy)

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

All the winners of Valentines Yoga Challenge

We had an amazing Valentines Yoga Challenge form 1st February until a big Final Day on 14th February.

I was so pleased with all the photos you posted on our FB Group , so many of you took part in the challenge, even if not every day. You got more and more creative, and I was happy to hear that you are waking up in the morning thinking of the next pose :)

We will have another challenge soon - Spring Challenge :P as you were saying you are missing the everyday poses. I am missing them too!!!

Here are all the winners of this Challenge, with the name of the pose, and which gym are they coming to my classes :)

Day 1 - Linda in Tree Pose (Vrksasana) (DLC)

Day 2 Raymond in Salamba Bhujangasana - Sphinx Pose (Hitchin)

Day 3 Deborah in Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog (Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana) (Hitchin)

Day 4 Tony in Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Hitchin)

Day 5 John in Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Hitchin)

Day 6 Melissa in Big Toe Pose (Forward Fold) - Padangusthasana (DLC)

Day 7 Kate and Angela in Warrior III Pose Virabhadrasana III (Hitchin and Ban)

Day 8 Andrea in  Bridge Pose- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (HRLC)

Day 9 Kim in Side Plank Pose - Vasisthasana (Hitchin)

Day 10 Lucka in Cow Face Pose - Gomukhasana (private tuition)

Day 11 Janine from New Zealand :) in Half Frog Pose - Ardha Bhekasana

Day 12 Sarah in Wild Thing - Camatkarasana

Day 13 Dave in his favourite arm balances (DLC)

And the winners of Final Day 14 

Thank you for taking part in our first challenge ever, I will soon announce the second one :)
Keep practicing and feel free to post pictures on our FB Group.

The (real) reason we should all meditate.

Everywhere we look, we’re bombarded by advice from spiritual, self-help and wellness coaches to meditate—trust me, I’m one of them.

But, If I asked you what the purpose of meditation is—would you know?

What if I told you that the purpose of meditation is not to be more mindful, or to calm down, or to feel more connected or to even hear your intuition?

Don’t get me wrong.

Being mindful, focusing on the present moment, loving yourself, feeling more connected and guided are all really amazing effects of meditation, and they may be the very reasons why you meditate—but they aren’t the purpose of meditation.

The purpose of meditation is to clear the subconscious.

Not quite sure what that means? Let me break it down.

Our subconscious is like that garage or that closet or that basement in our house that has become the unspoken storage centre for our life’s possessions: the things that we’ve put away in boxes or that we still haven’t unpacked from a previous move; the stuff that we’ve tucked away until we have the space or the time to open them up and sort through them and either throw them out or put them away.

Sometimes we’ve organized the boxes neatly, clearing a path so that we can walk through and navigate the space with the just an occasional trip. Other times, we find the stuff is all over the place creating blocks and hazards everywhere.

In our subconscious, each box represents something different. We might have a couple of boxes that we’ve been carrying along with us from past lifetimes (just like when we move to a new home). We might have a couple of boxes filled with fears and emotions and experiences that have been passed down and donated to us from our parents, or grandparents, or even our great-grandparents. And we definitely have a couple of boxes filled with memories and experiences and emotional attachments to any of the events from our current lifetime.

So, how do we clear up some space and deal with all these boxes?

We meditate. We commit to a daily practice of going through each box one by one, showing gratitude for the lessons and the gifts that each experience has given us, and releasing the emotional attachments that no longer serve us.

We sit and we stop trying to silence the mind. We allow whatever wants to come up to come up, acknowledging that the chaos in our mind is our ego’s way of avoiding having to deal with the really deep stuff that needs to come up. Our ego is like our bodyguard, and meditation is our opportunity to thank the ego for protecting us while simultaneously giving it the day off.

Only then will the silence will come.

By clearing our subconscious, we’re unlearning all the fear, all the judgement and all the lies we’ve been taught are necessary to protect ourselves and to “get ahead.”

But most importantly, when we clear our subconscious, we remember our divinity, our greatness, our light and our purpose: to raise the vibration of the planet by inspiring others do the same.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Valentine's Challenge Day 14


Some of you have already asked me if we can continue with the challenge, well... It is entirely up to you, this is the last official day, but if you would like, we can have it another week, just let me know.

Todays challenge has to do a lot with Valentine's Day - I want you to do any poses, but it has to be two of you on the picture (it can be also cat, dog, ... be creative if you don't find your valentine so easily), here is an inspiration on the picture, and if you were following the challenge I did few months ago, I did a trick you can do, too :P

And today has a special prizes:
three of you will win an hour private yoga class with ME :)

I had really hard work to pick three best photos... but I did it! :)
The winners are:
Val and Annerly
Kim and Adam
Kate with James
Congratulations to all the winners, the poses and photos you posted were amazing!!!
Let me know when you would like to have your private classes :) 

I would like to thank all of you who participated in our first Yoga Challenge,
I had fun and I hope you had fun, too!!!
These two weeks has been great, I am pleased how many pictures you posted...
I will miss the challenge, but soon we will have another one!!
Thank you and Namaste!