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When yogis talk hips, it is generally about opening them. However, your hips CAN be too open... Balancing strength and flexibility in the hips area is so important. Awaken those core and hip muscles; they will love you for it.


Those last few weeks, we have been focusing on pelvis, hips and legs in our yoga practice. They all connect and work together as one supporting your spine, your posture and your wellbeing. Too much sitting affects hips, legs, lower back creating imbalances and weak muscles. No wonder people suffer from back issues. We have worked on opening and releasing hips, hamstrings, lower back by recreating space to bring back alignment. We have also worked on strengthening by consciously connecting and engaging our leg muscles and glutes rather than simply relying on our joints to stand in the yoga pose. When you engage your muscles, you create stability.


As my students would tell you, “Woah, this is strong work !” You really feel so much more connected and stronger in your body and mind. In fact, you simply feel a lot more grounded. We use props like chairs, belts, blocks to help us really engage and align. At the end of the practice, you walk like a different person as you have simply transformed your body. When you change your body and your posture, you also change your mindset. As you become aligned and connected, you feel grounded yet light and powerful. You become clear, calm and focussed.


Position of the pelvis is key to good posture and good alignment. It is the connection between our upper and lower body, spine and legs. It bears weight and offers support for our spine and upper body. It allows us to stand, walk and run. With or without ease, that is the question ?


If misaligned, it can create back and hip issues along with aches and pain. Our breathing and muscles of the spine, abdomen, pelvic floor, lower/upper limbs can affect the pelvis. Tight hip flexors or a tight lower back can create an anterior tilt of the pelvis probably leading to misalignment, lumbar compression, disc degeneration, sciatica issues and fatigue due to the kidneys and adrenals being compressed in the long term. It will not only affect your spine but also your legs and the way we walk adding extra stress on the joints. A posterior tilt or elevation of the pelvis on one side due to scoliosis or other also has negative impacts.


The pelvis is also 2 parts like big elephant ears (the Ilium) joined in the middle at the pubic symphysis and sacrum, so there is supposed to be some movement when we walk etc. Think walking like a Caribbean lady with a beautiful swing in your hips ! You should feel free and light. Finding good neutral alignment of the pelvis is key to find lightness and keep everything happy in your body the way it should be. Along with core strength, yoga somatics helps to release, rebalance and recreate space to move with ease and freedom. I love mixing somatics with yoga.


Some of my client’s feedback: “I feel grounded and light. I feel so relaxed yet energised. I can feel my hips moving in balance and my whole lower back free. I now walk like a different woman….”


Your 1st group class is free. I offer various classes online such as beginner’s yoga, non-beginners yoga, dynamic morning yoga, meditation, Somatics or relaxation. Yoga online via Zoom available. Classes Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays. To book, Pls email yogawithbelletw@gmail.com to receive your Zoom link 24hrs prior to class.


To find out more, check www.yogawithbelle.co.uk








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How the body connects… Breath, Posture, Shoulders, Neck, Spine ? Yoga shows the way.

Wild thing or “Camatkarasana” in Sanskrit, is an exuberant celebration of life. This pose requires both flexibility and strength. It opens the heart up toward the sky, allowing us to tap into the energy of love, joy, playfulness and compassion. It is both an arm balance and a backbend focused on the shoulders, throat, quadriceps, and core. It also combats mild depression and fatigue.

Why in our yoga practice do we focus on neck, chest & shoulders ? How many of us are tight in this area ? How many people do you know who have shoulders, back or neck issue ? Bad posture, habits, stress, gym workouts, driving, typing… So many reasons. As our front chest (pectoralis) muscles get tight, our shoulders get pulled forward, rounding our posture collapsing our chest, compromising our core, straining our spine & neck whilst weakening our back muscles. Our arm movement becomes restricted. Watch out for a downward spiral ! It is all about balance.

Our head gets out of alignment creating neck and back strain. Our shoulders start to lose full range of motion which leads to other muscles overcompensating creating more imbalance in the body. It is like a “domino” effect. As our chest becomes tighter, our breathing becomes shallow affecting our mood and energy level. We may start to feel “fatigued” or depressed. Our digestion may also suffer as a tight front compresses the organs. Our shoulders, neck and back start to complain. If you try to do a backbend with a tight front, you are heading for trouble. Your arms and shoulders will not be moving freely to allow the expansion and your lower back will most likely take most of the compression, which will be pretty risky and uncomfortable. I know because I have been there.

For those of you, who would like to find out more about tight shoulders, please read this article from yoga journal https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/mission-possible

Strengthening is key but always check to see first which area needs to be opened and lengthened to recreate space in the body before strengthening. As we look at releasing tension, opening the chest, shoulders, upper back to recreate space and mobility, we bring the body back in balance. We improve our posture and our sense of well-being. We feel more comfortable in our own skin and move with more ease. We breathe better and find a new level of energy. We feel happier.

All my yoga classes start with a gentle warm up before our main practice and ends with a lovely relaxation. I use a mix of breath, yoga and somatics practice to achieve the best results. My students may find the practice challenging at times but always leave with a smile feeling so much better and taller. I always give alternatives to accommodate everyone. Many of them described the class as “Fantastic”.

As Vanda Scaravelli once said, “Yoga must not be practiced to control the body: it is the opposite, it must bring freedom to the body, all the freedom it needs”

Why don't you join me ? Your 1st group class is free. I offer various classes online such as beginner’s yoga, non-beginners yoga, dynamic morning yoga, meditation, Somatics or relaxation. Yoga online via Zoom during COVID-19 confinement. Classes Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays. To book, Pls email yogawithbelletw@gmail.com to receive your Zoom link 24hrs prior to class.


To find out more, check www.yogawithbelle.co.uk

“Wild Thing”, a song written by American songwriter Chip Taylor and popularized by the English rock band the Troggs







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Updated: Aug 31


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How do we keep focused and grounded ? How do we find steadiness & peace of mind ? We need to delve deep within to find our anchor. Yoga shows us the way with a regular breath, asana (poses) and meditation practice. It requires faith, discipline, patience and commitment. Being in the present moment time after time. Let me share with you how:

Staying calm & centered amidst the storm ?

Patanjali, a Sanskrit scholar and teacher, offers us pearls of wisdom in his book, The Yoga Sutras. Written in Sanskrit around 200 years BCE, it offers 195 sutras or verses, which used to be chanted, when oral teaching was prevalent. This book on which yoga philosophy is based, is considered as one of the most important book in the world of yoga. Why ? Although written thousands of years ago, it simply is still so relevant to us, human beings and to our lives today, teaching us how to live harmoniously within ourselves and the world around us, no matter what.

Patanjali mentioned some 2500 years ago,

Heyam duhkhamanagatam (Chapter 2, v.16)

“Suffering that has yet to manifest is to be avoided”

(Translation by Edwin Bryant)

He reminds us of the yoga tools, meditation, pranayama, āsana (yoga poses), svādhyāya (study), chanting etc. as a way to ease our suffering and reduce the surrounding negativity we find ourselves in today so, we can keep our balance amidst the storm.

Does it sound like something you would like to have in your life ? I know you might think it is easier said than done, so how exactly do we put this into practice ? This is when we look at another yoga sutra, (Chapter 1, v.2)

. Yoga citta vritti nirodhah (Chapter 1, v. 2) "Yoga is the resolution of the agitations of the mind”

This verse refers to what people commonly called nowadays our “monkey mind”. It is suggested the best way to calm our mind is the ability to direct our attention exclusively toward one point of focus without any distraction. It could be yoga, meditation, gardening, painting, playing music for example. Thoughts come and go all the time. On the mat, we learn to cultivate steadiness of mind and detachment. Yoga certainly is the most wonderful way to reach this peace of mind.

How do we arrive at a state of Yoga ? What should we do and what should we not do ?

Abhyasavairagyabhyam tannirodhah (Chapter 1, v.12)

The mind can reach the state of Yoga through practice and detachment.


To practice this art of quieting the mind, we need two things. First something known as abhyasa. This means dedication of prolonged practice over a long period of time. This is the work of discipline and commitment. It takes time, perseverance and patience. The regular practice of yoga asana (poses), breath and meditation cultivate tranquility and stability.


Secondly we must apply vairagya, meaning, non-attachment. We must learn to let go of attachment of the goal, even in our practice. It is no longer about achieving but about being in the present moment. Allowing ourselves to just be and cultivate presence and awareness to become the observer or witness. When we practice abhyasa and vairagya, we are in yoga.

In conclusion, a consistent yoga practice with yoga philosophy can help us both physically and mentally. On our mats, we learn to observe, listen, focus whilst developing inner and outer strength, patience, resilience, courage and flexibility to find the stability within.


We also learn to centre and anchor ourselves delving deep to find inner peace and calm no matter what. The breath, key part of our practice, helps us to steady the mind. We are then in a better position to deal with the storm around us and dispel the fear that pervades around us, and off the mat we can continue to remain steady like a mountain and learn to flow with life.


I offer various classes online such as beginner’s yoga, non-beginners yoga, dynamic morning yoga, meditation, Somatics or relaxation. Please feel free to contact me for further details.


To book, Pls email yogawithbelletw@gmail.com To find out more check www.yogawithbelle.co.uk





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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