Yoga in Plymouth with Ruth
18.11.2019 Yoga For Vintage Models

We need guidance on the rules of safe driving when we first hit the roads and likewise when learning yoga postures we may need some advice. But when we come to a yoga class we don't want to be towed along by the teacher, or pushed into anything. In yoga we steer our own course and take charge of our own motor. If we treat our body like a vehicle giving it the right fuel, moving it with respect for it's design and observing and responding to warning signals, then our yoga practice will become part of our body's healthy maintenance. Hatha yoga practices can keep us in good condition even if we're a vintage model.
For advise on how to maintain your body like a vintage vehicle and keep it running well, please come along to any of my yoga classes in Plymton, Plymouth, Crownhill or Yealmpton.

7.11.2019 What is Yoga For

In yoga classes, we move the body in ways that enable us to sit upright with a stillness that is both sturdy and easeful. If we can sit undisturbed and hold our spine upright without physical discomfort, then we may enable an efficient flow of energy known as prana because we breathe more deeply and slowly. If we can breathe in a more balanced way using our full lung capacity, that in turn, enables our mind to become fully awake but also relaxed.
In this calm state, our thoughts will continue to bubble away, but with a relaxed mind we gain understanding. So in yoga classes, we move the body to still the body, and we still the body to balance our energy, then we balance our energy to reach an understanding.
There are other states of existence that our yoga practice may reveal that go beyond understanding, so in yoga (as I understand it) we reach an understanding to go beyond understanding.

There's lots of the word "understanding" in this post, but I guess you can never have too much understanding. If you want to gain more understanding of Yoga please come along to any of my classes in Plymouth, Plympton, Yealmpton and Crownhill.

16.10.19 Changing Seasons

Seasons change and so does our yoga practice. We practice appropriately for the changing seasons of our lives as well as the meteorological seasons of the environment. We can't predict what kind of winter we'll have, but our yoga practice can keep the glow of the sun in our hearts and minds throughout the year whether the weather is hot, wild, cold or mild.
Hatha yoga classes in Plymouth, Plympton, Yealmpton and Crownhill will show you how to adapt your practice to the changing seasons of our lives and the changing weather of our environment.

16.9.19 How to be Self-Centred and Selfless at the Same Time.

Yoga is all about you. Through careful, dedicated Yoga practices we can learn to understand the pattern of our thoughts and how they motivate our habits. If we understand ourselves rather than judging ourselves, then we might be able to replace unhealthy cravings with helpful observances- our yoga practice can become a refuge from striving to fit in. It is possible to find brief moments of respite from the daily performance of being ourselves when our thoughts are outshone by our breath-centred yoga practice. In these peaceful moments our breath is like a beautiful, super-full moon and the thoughts are stars in the sky, still there but insignificant by compassion to brilliance of the moon. Yoga is all about you, and yet with sincere practice you could be outshone by it.
Have a little self-indulgent "me" time at any of the restorative, dynamic or gentle drop-in yoga classes that I teach in Plymouth, Plympton, Yealmpton or Crownhill.

09/09/2019   Unite in Yoga (whether you're a brexiter or a remainer).

Yoga can bring us down to earth at the same time as lifting us up to a higher mental realm. Yoga moves us and brings us closer to stillness. Yoga cools the mind down and fires the body up. Yoga releases us from the constraints of the past and frees us from future expectations that restrict us as it teaches us to ride the ripples of time within the presence of now.
Learn how to hold steady in a see-saw society by practicing  hatha yoga at any of the classes that I teach in Plympton, Yealmpton, Crownhill and Plymouth.

02/09/2019                 When is Exercise Yoga?

Let gravity hold you but know that it doesn't bind you. Go with the flow but don't follow the herd. Freely absorb prana (vital energy) right into the core of your being as you breathe in, then generously release it back into your surrounding environment to be reabsorbed and transformed into renewed prana as you breathe out. If we take this approach to physical exercises then we're practising yoga postures known as asana.
You can learn more about the physical exercises of Hatha yoga at any of the classes that I teach in Plymouth, Plympton, Yealmpton and Crownhill. Please check out the time table page for more details of yoga classes near you.

28/08/2019                 Contract to Release Constrictions

When we contract certain muscles towards the spine, in specific ways, it can help to release constraints that may cause pain, stress or lack of energy. These supportive contractions are generally applied on the exhale and they can help to improve our posture and our ability to breathe out smoothly. When we release some, or all, of the contractions on the inhale, we can breathe in deeply and fully refill our bodies with freshness.
These supportive contractions can lead to hatha yoga practices that are referred to as "bandha." If you'd like to progress towards a knowledge of "bandha" and how and when to use them, please come along to Ruth's yoga classes in Plymouth, Yealmpton, Crownhill or Plympton.

25.08.2019                  Be Convinced by Hatha Yoga

If we are convinced by the principles of hatha yoga and we practice with resolute patience and quiet determination, then we can trust that our dedication will yield sustaining results.
You can learn something about a few of the principles of hatha yoga at any of Ruth's yoga classes in Plymouth.

18.7.2019                    Feeling Fine
If you want to feel O.K. come what may, practice yoga most every day.
If you want to discover how to practice yoga in a useful and supportive way for you yourself, almost every day, please come along to any of my yoga classes in Plymouth, Yealmpton, Plympton or Crownhill:- you can find the days and times on my timetable page.

17.08.19                      Yoga and Death
One of the meanings of yoga is union. We try to completely associate ourselves with one main interest or point of focus. It's easy to become obsessed with one thing that we want to gain or posses, but obsession and possession aren't yoga practices. In yoga, one thing becomes the centre of our attention and we aim to intimately know that thing so that it can become a driving force that brings vigour to our life, enthusiasm for our environment and compassion for our fellow beings on this planet. We try to concentrate on something that is non-judgemental and has no attributes of good or bad. As we move in asana (postures) we try to discover what causes our movement? As we sit in stillness we find what relaxes us and where the resolve to maintain a calm perspective comes from (even if that resolve only lasts for a brief moment)?
For me, the sacred union is the breath and the vital energy that moves in and out of my body- the same body that I sometimes obsess over hasn't always allowed the free flow of energy via the breath and as a result, I have asthma, permanently damaged lungs and a weakened diaphragm. But the breath is not something that I can buy or that I can be judged by, it's reliability is not something that can I can pin down, but I can trust it fully because it brought me to life and it will naturally guide me to death.

01.08.2019                  Yoga and Freedom
Yoga practice supports creative freedom and reins in erratic unruliness.

31.7.2019                    How yoga lets us flow
We're not aiming to get out of breath in yoga, we set our sights on our respiration and aim to stay on target during all our postures/asana. Most of us find that our concentration wavers frequently, but by bringing our aim back to the breath after every misfire, we ensure that the poses we're adopting are replenishing us and not wrecking us.
When we settle into stillness after a breath centered yoga asana practice our mind is brighter, calmer and clearer. With this clarity we can use the breath to learn how to relax our body and mind in order to wind down at night, or enliven our mind and body ready to go with the flow of the day.
                     Lots of Love from Ruth Mielek (Plymouth yoga teacher)

30.7.2019                  Plymouth Yoga gets Juicy
Maturity is highly valued in yoga, we don't waste our time striving to uplift what's drooping or ironing out what's wrinkled. Futile attempts to defy the forces of nature can make us stale, brittle and dry at any age, young or old. Hatha yoga practices aim to make us fresh and keep us that way, just like sweet, ripe, juicy fruit; therefore when we, inevitably, drop off "the vine of life" our residual energy is sweet and nourishing.
                   Lots of Love from Ruth Mielek (yoga teacher in Plymouth)
29.7.2019                   Paradoxical Plymouth Yoga
I love the paradoxes that are continuously presented to me in yoga; for instance, we'll have more freedom from societal constraints and personal hangups if we follow strict guidelines from fundamental yoga texts such as Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and The Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Yoga offers us rules to follow and yet it's framework is highly adaptable to suit each individual's circumstances. Yoga has specific formulas that serve us physically, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, spiritually and morally, but we're not obligated to follow all of them- ancient yoga wisdom recognises that most of us can't. Practising and following the regimens of yoga is difficult for many of us, however, if you do "religiously" practice yoga, in a way that complements your life circumstances, it will enhance your physical, emotional, mental and psychological health. Yoga rules are not always easy to adhere to, but when we do we're not confined or restricted by them, rather yoga's tried and trusted guidelines unbind us and broaden our horizons.
                   Best Wishes from Ruth Mielek (yoga teacher in Plymouth)

The past can interfere with our state of mind. The future can be a projection of ideas which constrain us. We practice yoga so that we may learn to relax and reduce our mental and physical stress. With time and dedication, we can find a way to calm ourselves enough that we may give-way to the flow of our current experience. In yoga, we aren't striving to freeze time, but we might have moments where we slip seamlessly under the waves of it. In a state of utter physical relaxation some people can find themselves immersed in their current experience- the past is less intrusive and projections of the future become undefined and boundless.
                   Kind Regards from Ruth Mielek (yoga teacher in Plymouth)

Our ego can sometimes become overinflated or utterly crushed from the circumstances of our lives. Yoga doesn't increase the fragility of our ego, but it can help to make our self-esteem more robust so that we might be able to learn how to gracefully negotiate the harsh vagaries of life. From a regular yoga practice that's appropriate for individual life circumstances, we can develop self-awareness, self-reliance and self-confidence.
                    Aum Shanti from Ruth Mielek (yoga teacher in Plymouth)

One of the things that we try to do in our yoga practice is to put our heads in touch with our bodies. 
These days many of us are drawn into a headspace that has no concern about our bodies; adverts and product placements tell us to eat this, drink that, inhale this and drive that. There is an overwhelming array of stimulus to assault the senses, and our heads constantly think about this daily onslaught, which can be mentally and physically exhausting. 
Our neck and throat area is a pivotal region in our yoga practice because it's the area that connects the head with the body. Nearly 100% of us hold tension at the neck. Most of us are able to practice jalandhara bandha, where we imagine a clean, rolled up pair of socks held under our chin. Jalandhara bandha connects our heavy head with our body in a way that means our head is no longer a burden to our spine. 
In addition to jalandhara bandha, it's appropriate for many people to practice ujjayi pranayama (a hollow, whispering resonance that vibrates gently at the base of the throat). Ujjayi tunes our mind into the frequency of the body so that the mind can allow the body to move in a way that enlivens it- in turn, the body can feel healthy enough to adopt simple meditation postures which facilitate moments where stillness is experienced. During these still moments the breath can shelter our heads from the onslaught of sensory stimulus. These are two important features of hatha yoga that you can learn about in more depth at the yoga classes I teach in Plymouth.
                    Namaste from Ruth Mielek (yoga teacher in Plymouth)

Sometimes when I trip up on the pavement I make a little running, skipping, hopping movement as if I meant to fall over my own feet! 
Blunders can become opportunities to learn, but we have to be able to recognise when we've made mistakes, and that can be frustrating, humiliating and exhausting. 
Take it from one who knows a lot about making mistakes, it can sometimes feel easier to stubbornly stay on the wrong track, despite knowing it's ill-conceived; I guess this is because we hope to avoid embarrassment. 
Yoga encourages us to reflect on ourselves with compassion and understanding rather than judging and condemning ourselves.
Developing a regular breath centred yoga practice can help us to become more reasoned and intuitive, we may be less swayed by our unreliable emotions. Instead of falling down into our faults our flaws become footholds to uplift us.
                     Yours Faithfully Ruth Mielek (yoga teacher in Plymouth)

With a sincere, dedicated yoga practice, we slowly but surely promote physical self-healing and progress towards mastery of the emotions, then clarity of the mind.
                     Yours Sincerely Ruth Mielek (yoga teacher in Plymouth)