Self Practice with Purpose

There can be a lot of obstacles to creating a consistent self-practice, including creating the time and space or just not finding the same energy for your practice as you would in a class.  However for most long-term practicing yogis, their self-practice gives them the opportunity to really delve deeper into the practice, to take time to explore poses, to listen to their bodies and to adapt their asana practice in order to support them through life’s challenges and transitions.  And for these and many other reasons, it can be the time during which little golden nuggets of insight occur.

I didn’t have a home practice until I decided to undertake my teacher training and I thought it was about time I tried to practice by myself, plus I was travelling and didn’t always have access to a class or teacher.  The only thing was I had no idea where to start. I’d been practicing yoga on and off for a long time, but had really started to focus on the...

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6 Things Every Budding Yoga Teacher Should Know

As the 2020 Immersive Yoga Training approaches here at Meadowlark, Jenn Usher sums up what the first few months (or years) of being a yoga teacher can be like – and the positive journey a YT course can begin for everyone taking part.

1. You will realise you are a complete beginner at yoga

I don’t know a single person who didn’t eat a huge slice of humble pie when they started their YTT. No matter your practice level, once you start training to be a teacher, you will be reminded that you are at the very beginning of a lifelong commitment. Even upon completing your YTT and being recognised as a qualified yoga teacher, the real learning doesn’t start until you begin teaching, and it is important to stay really sharp in terms of continuously progressing your skills and developing as a teacher and a practitioner.

2. You may spend months, years, or decades building up the yoga career you want

Of course, not everyone does a YTT with the ambition of teaching...

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Getting Back on the Mat

Frankie Culpin gives us an insight into the practice she turns to when she's getting back on the mat and why it works for her; and some tips on how you can get back into your practice.

So many things can take us away from our practice and I'm sure that most long-time yoga practitioners have had periods of hiatus. I have a short and accessible practice that I enjoy and therefore use to coax myself back on the mat if for one reason or another I’ve not managed to practice for a while.

I won’t write out the whole practice in full, but it includes:

Starting in Easy Pose (Sukhasana) or sitting on my heels in Vrjasana and doing some chest and shoulder openers, gentle side stretches and twists.

Before making my way into Mountain Pose (Tadasana), I like to dangle and sway in a rag doll forward fold before taking my time to slowing roll up to stand.

Sun Salutations with low lunges

Core warm-up work such as Sphinx roll-ups

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Lunges-low lunges then high lunges...

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Sussing Out Sequencing

How can learning more about sequencing yoga poses help your practice? How can it help you when you teach yoga? What are the benefits? Frankie Culpin explores the meaning and importance of learning more about the process of creating sequences within yoga, to fully explore the benefits of the practice.

'What is 'Sequencing'?'

In a vinyasa yoga practice we move from one pose to another. In some styles of yoga, such as Ashtanga Vinyasa, the order of the poses is already set. In other styles of yoga, the sequence of poses isn't fixed which therefore allows for more freedom in the practice.

Sometimes translated as the union of breath and movement, the word 'vinyasa' is derived from the Sanskrit term 'nyasa', which means 'to place', and the prefix vi, 'in a special way'  This is what sequencing means to me.

‘How Does Learning About Sequencing Benefit Your Yoga Practice?’

How we move through our practice can have different physical and energetic effects, so focusing more on...

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Pregnancy and the Mysore Room: do they go together?

Director of Meadowlark's Morning Mysore Programme, Sarah Hatcher, shares her experience and knowledge of practicing whilst pregnant in the Mysore room, and the various paths you can take if you would like to practice yoga if you are expecting.

“Simply trust the body and follow the breath.” Judy Cameron, Yoga of Birth

The Mysore room is the melting pot of transformation: when you walk in you immediately feel the heat, hear the music of people’s ujjayi breath, and witness bodies moving in the space with rhythm and pace. And you are pregnant. Do you belong in here?

You’re very welcome to be pregnant and practice in the Mysore room at Meadowlark Yoga. If you’re not here in Edinburgh, speak with your Mysore teacher about practicing as each programme is different; some Mysore programmes don’t want pregnant mammas in the room. This may be the case if the teacher isn’t prenatal trained or they haven’t had a baby of their own. The Mysore room,...

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Pratyahara - sense immunity for health

Pratyahara, or "sense withdrawal" (in short) is the 5th of the 8 limbs of yoga, but not regularly touched upon in yoga classes.  This important study can have a huge effect on physical and mental states and is a tool used regularly in the practice of Ayurveda (a sister science to yoga).  This often overlooked limb of yoga is also fundamental to a successful meditation practice... which I needn't tell you is one of life's great healing tools!

So... what exactly is it and would it be useful for me?

Simply, pratyahara is the withdrawing of our senses from negative environmental influences - food, impressions & associations.  This covers what we nourish our bodies with (food), what we fuel our thoughts with (impressions) and who we spend our time with (associations).

If we can temporarily and effectively withdraw the senses from negative influences, we can tone and strengthen our senses to longer term immunity.

In Ayurveda, we believe that pratyahara has different...

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300 & 500 Hour Yoga Teacher Training at Meadowlark

cpd teacher training yausa yoga ytt Aug 19, 2019

We are thrilled to extend our training options as of summer, 2019, opening with our 9-day immersion into next-level yoga training and practice. Whether you're new to our Avid Yogi training programme or already part of our extended yoga family, there is a place for you in our continuing yoga training path.

If you are a previously qualified yoga teacher with a 200 Hour qualification with YAUSA, you are eligible to apply for our 300 Hour training (takes place over 3 summers).  Together with your original 200 Hr certificate, a further 300 Hours would put you up to the highest level of training credentials the YA offers: a 500 Hour Certificate.

At the end of the day, it isn't really the paper that motivates us, but the continuous study and connection with higher levels of teaching and practice. Together as a community, we'd love to keep checking in with all of you and work together on developing our offering to levels that distinguish us from the growing number of 200 Hour...

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The Art of Stretching; an ode to Hanumanasana

by Frankie Culpin

Hanumanasana or Splits Pose may seem more appropriately called Hamstringsasana to many, especially as we tend to focus primarily on the front leg. We shouldn’t forget the range of motion required in the fronts of the hips or fronts of the thighs however, but while I’ve been preparing for teaching a workshop structured around this Monkey God Pose, I’ve been thinking a lot about the backs of my legs.

When I first started yoga I felt really inflexible and I think most people can relate to feeling like their hamstrings were holding them back from being able to ‘do yoga’ well. My knees were bent in Downward Facing Dog and my heels were high and my standing forward fold or Uttanasana more closely resembled the half-way lift of Ardha Uttanasana. I honestly couldn’t get my feet to touch the floor in Plough Pose or Halasana for what felt like decades. And then there were the seated forward folds...I tried to pride myself on keeping my...

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Entering the third decade of teaching Yoga… who would have thought it?!

by Nadine Watton

Entering the third decade of teaching Yoga… who would have thought it?!

During one of our chats, Karen and I realised that we are both celebrating our 20th anniversary of teaching Yoga. It really is amazing how quickly time goes by and these landmark moments always provide the opportunity to reflect and consider the journey of the years gone by.

My introduction to yoga was through Ashtanga Yoga which I fell in love with instantly and I have had the privilege to learn from some amazing teachers from the start. My beginnings of Yoga teaching was assisting my teacher at the time, Abbey Daniel,  in the Mysore room, assisting her in beginners classes and then, with the guidance of Abbey, beginning to teach classes which I started at the age of 23 when I lived in London.  

Early 90’s…

In the early 90’s the Yoga scene was very different to what it is now. There were very few dedicated Yoga studios. We had no Instagram, no Facebook,...

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Step One for Postpartum Recovery with Karen Kirkness

 
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