Which parts of the body are we using in these poses that we are doing?
How does it feel when we move the body in different ways?
This week we are taking time to notice, movement, breath and the effects that these movements have on the body. Opening up enquiry. What's happening, why are we doing this? Observing the sensations and thoughts that arise without judgement or expectation. Learning to listen.
We were actually doing quite a lot of core work again this week, but I really wanted to explore what that means without it just being all about the abs.
Why do we care so much about our core, really? We aren't in a Yoga class to get a 6 pack are we? Toning might be a nice side effect of the work we do in class but what are we really trying to achieve?
I don't know the answer for sure, but I will share my thoughts, I think we are trying to develop a deep inner strength and resilience that goes beyond simply muscle. By becoming aware of our core, our centre, physically and energetically we are stronger, more stable, balanced, we can move more freely with confidence and ease.
We can connect with an inner sense of power that can help to motivate and drive us in the direction that we want to go. If you really want a 6 pack there are a million classes and tutorials out there. There must be a reason that Yoga is more than that. More than the physical.
I would love to hear your thoughts? Why do you choose Yoga over a fitness class?
Thanks for sticking with me so far on this crazy journey, made even crazier with the current challenges being imposed upon us.
I thought I would just tell you a little bit about myself, for those who don't know me, and explain what I want to create with this Happy Healthy community.
I came to Yoga teaching from a major shift in my life. I had been working in London since leaving university, and now, with 3 kids, commuting to the city from our seaside town four days a week was really taking its toll.
The house was chaos, my marriage was falling apart, and the kids were shunted from different nannies to grandparents and back throughout the week. I was a wreck. Totally stressed out. Working my arse off but never quite making enough money to cover everything. I drank too much and craved escapism. Connecting with the children in a meaningful way was almost impossible as I was so stressed out and irritable. Life was a blur.
And then I had a health scare. I had to have a lump checked and then when it didn’t go away, I was referred for a biopsy. In that moment, I was shocked into re-assessing everything. I was petrified, I didn’t cope with stress well and catastrophised at the best of times. I got straight onto the phone with my Mum and she said, “Franny, whatever it is, you have to change something. You have been running around like a mad woman for years!” And so I quit my job. I called in sick the next day, and never went back.
Like so many others before me, I was lucky enough to fall into my Yoga practice in this time of worry and uncertainty. I was so lucky that my results came back and everything was fine. I’m well aware that many people don’t have it so easy.
Yoga was such a huge support during that time I was drawn to share it with others. I became fascinated with the power of the tools that Yoga offered. Not just the poses, but the practices like meditation, relaxation, intention, gratitude, kindness. Practices that we now know are scientifically proved to be good for our health and make us feel better.
I was drawn to study hypnotherapy and the potential that we have to change our behaviours and habits to further support a happy and healthy lifestyle.
I have a vision of a community space where these resources can be shared in a simple and accessible way. Resources to help relieve pain, suffering, isolation, and stress. Free of jargon and dogma. A place where someone who may have been intimidated by the idea of a Yoga class would feel comfortable.
I started with local classes and created a programme to combine techniques from both Yoga and Hypnotherapy. I then progressed to organising events, workshops and retreats to share these tools for managing stress and anxiety, for finding a way to live happily and healthily.
Since then I have taken my offering online, with this website and Facebook Group, a hub where you can join a live class, and find free resources to support your happy healthy lifestyle: short Yoga videos, meditations, relaxations and workshops.
All the Free resources I share on facebook are also uploaded to the website so No Facebook = No Problem!
My experience and belief is that if you focus on supporting your happiness and your health then everything else will follow.
I can help you to:
So THANK YOU, and I look forward to seeing you this week if you can make it.
Frances Robertson-Ritchie, Yoga teacher and hypnotherapist