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So, Covid happened and what a turmoil this has been for all of us. For most of us, our lives have changed; for some more than others and we are still busy adjusting to our new lives and schedules. There have been so many disruptions. Things are still up in the air with a sense of uncertainty as this is new territory. This has been such a stressful time and has left many of us feeling exhausted. There may even be a sense of loss. The body needs to reset and recharge.


We live in a noisy toxic world with more chemicals and pollution than ever before. Stress and anxiety are high and more stress has been generated by the pandemic. Maybe you were already struggling with other challenges in your life ? We lead busy lives trying to juggle it all as we feel the need to keep going… often ignoring that inner voice within us asking us to “please press the pause button and rest for a while”.


We act like superheroes forgetting we are human beings. Action is required yet equally rest and recuperation is key for our wellbeing and that of others around us so we can carry on offering support without feeling depleted. How often do we stop and pause ?


Being in a state of high alert and continual tension can be a trigger for chronic fatigue and burnout. Our immune system weakens making us more susceptible to catch a cold or other viruses. The cells in our body need to repair and rebuild themselves. Two of the key ingredients needed are Oxygen and Rest.


If you are suffering from long Covid symptoms, or simply feeling lost, worried, stressed, or tired, your body is trying to talk to you. You need to slow down, rest and recharge. The mind can be bossy telling us to keep going…We, the mind, just need to allow this without feeling guilty. To detox and rest mind & body is not a luxury but is a must for our wellbeing.


Stress gets stuck in our bodies. We need to learn to release and let go at some point. There is a difference between proper rest and sleep. A lot of us suffer from sleep issues and if you are lucky to fall asleep at night, how often do you wake up in the morning not feeling refreshed ? To preserve our health and thrive, we need to listen. Plan some “Me time” and allow your nervous system to be soothed and nurtured. Allow for all tensions to melt away from your body.


This means no television, phone, or other gadget. No stimulus or distraction. Just to be by ourselves for ourselves in silence. I know this can sound scary but believe me, it is well worth it. It feels like bliss. Your body and mind will thank you for it. Rest & restore. Offer your body and mind what it needs. You may want to indulge in a bath or a walk in nature. Drink water. Do some gentle breathing and restorative yoga exercises.


The aim of Somatics and restorative yoga is to offer a nourishing, soothing practice to calm the nervous system down. We learn to switch from a fight and flight mode to rest and digest mode. I encourage students to listen to their bodies and reconnect within. If this is new to you, it is best to practice in a group with a teacher to guide you.


Should you wish to explore further, I am offering you the opportunity to do just that. I run weekly classes and offer workshops. Somatics or restorative yoga workshops to let go of everything to unwind, relax, reset, restore, rebalance. Check out www.yogawithbelle.co.uk/classes/events You can attend In person or online.


All welcome. No previous experience necessary. Somatics offers a mix of gentle movements and breathing. Most of it is done on the floor. All you need is a quiet space, a comfortable exercise mat, a small cushion and a blanket. Restorative yoga uses props like bolsters, pillows, blankets… to allow the body to feel fully supported and let go.


When you take time to take care of yourself, this is an act of love and kindness towards yourself and others as when you feel refreshed and restored, calm and happy, you are in a much better place to assist others around you. Here is what some of my clients said afterwards:


“I have never felt anything like this. I found my first experience with Somatics to be wonderful and am still feeling fantastic; It brought a connection between my mind and body that I have not experienced before, and one that I wish to explore further!”


“Amazing, I feel relaxed and grounded. I breathe easier”. “I feel a sense of inner calm”


To book a class or a workshop, simply email yogawithbelletw@gmail.com. You can also sign up for the newsletter to be kept informed of our yoga somatics classes and workshops and follow me on Instagram or Facebook for yoga tips, fun and wisdom.


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“I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky, I think about it every night and day, Spread my wings and fly away, I believe I can soar” R Kelly


“If I just believe it, there's nothing to it”


How I love that song by R Kelly. Well, I too can get that feeling of ease, freedom and glide… During my BWY teacher training, I came across Somatics. I went to a class and could not believe how I started to feel during and afterwards. A sense of ease and spaciousness within my body and deep peace within my heart. I wanted to find out more… I fell in love with this gentle practice which married itself so well with yoga and eventually trained as a Somatics Coach Educator.


Somatics is probably one of the best kept secrets. Yet, I love to share it with everyone as it feels SO good. Here are some of my clients’ feedback after class:


My husband always remarks on how my face glows with energy…

“Thank you very much Isabelle for the fabulous Somatics workshop. I am still feeling the benefit. My whole body feels balanced and free to move. No stiffness…wonderful! When I finish your sessions, my husband always remarks on how my face glows with energy!” VA


I arrived with headache & sore back. I left feeling great – no pain…

"I attend Isabelle’s Somatics class and arrived last week with terrible headache and very sore back after just an hour went home feeling great - no pain - excellent! Highly recommended”. SK

A good counterbalance to my busy life…

"Feeling much more relaxed, mellow... The body feels longer, flatter, heavier, more relaxed and more spacious... I like learning how to breathe and connecting with my body. A good counterbalance to my busy life." GH


My chronic back pain has just simply vanished…Amazing!

“I just wanted to drop you a quick message about the somatic course on Sunday afternoon with Isabelle. I wasn’t sure about it at first, as it wasn’t what I was expecting - and I was extremely tired and kept falling asleep! – but I really enjoyed it in the end and most importantly, my back pain / strained muscle pain in my side, which has been bothering me terribly for months and months (since at least springtime) has since vanished. It was at its worst on Saturday morning and now has gone. Amazing! I would love to do it monthly or quarterly to reset my body – or whatever it did! – if you were thinking of running it again.“ DR

Feeling a sense of inner calm and relaxed…

“Somatics has really helped with a sense of inner calm and relaxation”. AV


For more testimonials, pls check the page on www.yogawithbelle.co.uk


For me Somatics is about undoing stress from within to find wellbeing & peace.


Thomas Hanna, founder of Somatics says “As we grow older, our bodies and lives should continue to improve, right up until the very end” How interesting, when you hear so much of the opposite in our society, right ? “Oh it is your age, dear…”


Did you know you could teach your mind to mend your body ? “If you can sense it, you can change it”. Thomas Hanna. So, whether it is rehabilitation work, retraining of alignment, correcting posture, improving your range of motion, supporting the spine or simply looking to develop flexibility and strength, check out Somatics. Oh and there are many more benefits with this practice…


You will enjoy better alignment, better sleep, better breathing, reduce stress and tension, decrease pain, increase flexibility, coordination, balance, mind and body relaxation, improve posture & body image and have more energy…


As we age, our bones begin to degenerate, we lose mobility in our joints and our fascia tightens. That’s a fact. However, there is something you can do about it. You may suffer from tight chronic tension, achy muscles and joints, poor posture, stiffness, or fatigue... When we experience pain or discomfort, our bodies naturally contract and tense up in a fight, flight or freeze response.


These problems are not always due to structural weaknesses in the body but to sensory-motor amnesia which can be corrected. Just as you learn to ride a bike, you can learn get back in control of your body and transform areas of stress and tension stuck in the body –due to age, injury, trauma, bad habits or just everyday life. You can learn to feel good and enjoy wellbeing.


Somatics teaches us to take notice, release, and repattern addressing neuro-muscular skeletal imbalances. It is a little bit like NLP for the body.


I can teach you safe, gentle specific movements for the whole body. You will learn to breathe, regain balance, mobility, coordination and ease of movement. You learn to “stretch” or lengthen tight muscles in a subtle luxurious way – think like a cat stretch ! You will come out feeling taller.

Somatics can ease back, hips, shoulder, neck pain, tension headaches, sciatica…


Somatics is unique and deeply relaxing. It asks you to tune into your inner world of sensations to connect within allowing you to let go and come back to your natural balanced self. to calm the whole nervous system to bring you in a state of peace. You will come out feeling calmer and grounded. All in all, it is an excellent antidote to the stresses of everyday life.


Somatics helps you find ease and freedom of movement in daily life. It will also improve your performance in sports or yoga. Please note that this practice is mainly floor based postures … with mats, cushions and blankets. We like to get cosy and comfortable to give ourselves top quality “Me” time.


If you wish to improve your quality of life, stay fit, and strong to enjoy sport, gardening, grandchildren, travel etc. and feel good, pls get in touch. If you would like to move better, regain ease and freedom of movement and learn how to melt those tensions and undo bad habits, please contact me to try one of our somatics classes. I offer group and 1:1 tuitions - in person or online. No prior experience needed. Just come along with an open curious mind.


I will be delighted to teach you the tools to make positive changes which will reset your brain to muscle communication. You will leave with better flexibility, renewed energy, and sustained feelings of peace and well-being. It certainly has enhanced my quality of life since I started practicing and I don't intend to stop.


In fact, I love it so much I wish to share it with everyone. It is too good to find a sense of ease in your body and return it to its natural state so muscles function at their optimum level once again. The cherry on the cake, well, it simply leaves you feeling truly relaxed and free as a bird !!


To book a class, simply email yogawithbelletw@gmail.com. New courses running from 10th Sept. You can also sign up for the newsletter to be kept informed of our yoga somatics classes and workshops and follow me on Instagram or Facebook for yoga tips, fun and wisdom.


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Shallow, deep, slow, rapid… How you breathe will determine your mood, level of vitality, and health. The breath is like a barometer. Notice the connections between your thoughts, emotions and your breath ? Yoga is a very effective stress reduction and relaxation tool. The practice directs the mind to attend to the body and the breathing in the present moment.


Learn to breathe! You will literally change your energy. Of course, we all breathe automatically but how well do you breathe ? How well does it serve you ? Did you know you could learn how to breathe properly ? In our yoga classes, we use breath techniques to learn to quieten the mind, control our energies and feelings. If you are feeling anxious or worried, we can choose a particular breath and practice to let go and release. We can also choose a breath to energise ourselves or cool ourselves in the summer when it is hot ! This is called “Pranayama” or breath control.


When we are rushing around or simply feeling stressed, tired, anxious, or fearful, we instinctively hold on to our breath. When it becomes chronic, it is not good news for your wellbeing. Your body slows down, energy stagnates and you mind becomes agitated or foggy. You reinforce the feeling of panic and anxiety. A vicious circle. Have you ever heard someone says: “Take a deep breath…” when in fact, you really need to breathe out first to release the pent-up tension and energy within.


So Why learn to breathe ? Some yogic wisdom…


The portal through which we can begin to calm our anxious energy to transcend to higher states of being is found in our breath. Our breath and emotional state form a feedback loop.


When we experience mental or emotional stress, such as when we are anxious or sleep deprived, our breathing becomes compromised. When our breathing becomes compromised, our whole state of wellbeing becomes compromised. The breath is the bridge between body and mind. You can learn how to control your breath to influence your mind and energy.


Patanjali, author of the Yoga Sutra, a collection of pearls of wisdom on yoga, was an Indian sage, who knew what science has now proven: controlled, deep breathing shifts our nervous system by activating the calming, regenerating, and relaxing response whilst lowering stress levels.


“Calm is retained by the controlled exhalation or retention of the breath” Yoga Sutra 1.34, Book 1


Controlled, prolonged exhalation has been shown to activate our parasympathetic nervous system, the branch of our nervous system responsible for our “rest-and-digest” relaxation response. When we are in a stress or panic mode, our breath becomes quick and shallow.


In any situation, let us remember to always come back to the breath as our anchor. We can learn to control our breath for different desired effects, energy, balance, relaxation. Today, I would like to introduce you to a way to just find some peace and calm within to discover your inner sanctuary.


So how do we calm down our nervous system to find relaxation and stillness ? How do we release tension from within the mind & body ? The first step is your breath. Let me share with you a short breathing exercise, which we do regularly at the start of our yoga class to relax and let go.


Choose a quiet space and ensure no-one will disturb you. Switch off your phone and other devices for 5 min or so. Sit or lie down comfortably. I prefer to lie down with my legs bent, feet hip width distance apart to allow my pelvis to be in neutral and my lower back to relax completely. Your neck should be in line with your spine.


Now, close your eyes. One hand on your heart and one on your belly. Take the time to arrive. Feel your breath and body. Notice any movement in your chest or belly as you naturally breathe in and out. Settle into your space and allow yourself to just be.


Relaxing Breath Exercise: Breathe in for a count of 4. Pause. Exhale for a count of 6 or 8. Exhale is longer than Inhale. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth very slowly, keeping your face and jaw relaxed. As you slowly exhale and let go, feel your shoulders, neck and back gently melting away. Try this for 5 min or longer.


Feel free to adjust ratios of breath to suit you, shorter or longer. Be comfortable. Don't force or strain your breath. Breathing in and out through your nose is traditional. Personally, for this exercise, I like to breathe in through the nose and slowly out through the mouth as if you were breathing out through a straw. Allow the magic to slowly happen !!


Become the observer. Breathe in, breathe out, let go. Repeat. Notice what you notice.


At the end of this exercise, slowly start to move your fingers and toes and take a nice long body stretch and yawn. Stay still for a moment, notice the effect of your breath practice. Perhaps you feel refreshed and calmer with a sense of space within your body.


Now feel free to move your body freely, taking any shapes, poses you feel like instinctively before bringing your knees to the chest rocking from side to side before slowly getting up to sitting and standing. Take a few steps and see how you feel. Notice any difference ?


This is a great technique to ground yourself and calm down at any times. It is particularly beneficial to practice before going to bed for a good night sleep. Practice indoor or outdoor. When the sun shines, you can practice this breath even when walking - with eyes open, once you are used to it. As a yoga teacher, I have practiced this many times with myself and my students. They always come out feeling good and smiling. It is a ritual at the start of each of our classes.


Feel the magic happens. Feel the transformation. Our body is always talking to us. Reset your nervous system, improve your breathing, lower your stress level and feel good !


For weekly online classes, check my website. In the summer, I offer outdoor yoga classes. Yoga and nature all in one, simply the best. If interested, in either, please just contact me.


Lesson in French & English. I offer beginners yoga, dynamic yoga and relaxation yoga with somatics. Choose what suits you best. To find out more, visit www.yogawithbelle.co.uk


To book, simply email yogawithbelletw@gmail.com to receive your Zoom link 24hrs prior to class. You can sign up for the newsletter to be kept informed of our yoga classes and workshops and follow me on Instagram or Facebook for yoga tips, fun and wisdom.


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"I help my clients to find balance, strength, ease of movement and

peace of mind for a happier life"

Isabelle Leroy, founder of Yoga with Belle