REGULAR YOGA CLASSES IN A DELIGHTFUL SETTING IN NORTH OXFORD
during the coronavirus period.
My classes are for people of all ages and levels of fitness, designed to bring you health, fitness, well being and peace of mind. I facilitate an accessible approach to yoga that is comfortable and enjoyable from your very first class.
I run eight weekly classes in the Yoga Barn in Wolvercote, N. Oxford
from Monday to Thursday.
For classes and times please click here
BI MONTHLY YOGA SATURDAYS
To read about these Yoga Saturdays please click here
YOGA PRACTICE CD's
To read more about Yoga for Busy People please click here
I am one of Oxford's most experienced and highly regarded yoga teachers. I have been a teaching member of the British Wheel of Yoga for more than 35 years.
THE YOGA CLASSES
The classes integrate the four cornerstones of yoga:
- yogic breathing
You leave feeling:
- calm and relaxed
- balanced and centered
- that you are moving more freely
My classes all take place in the Yoga Barn in Wolvercote, North Oxford. This is a converted Edwardian barn set in an orchard with superb views over Port Meadow to the spires of Oxford.
The Barn is a delightful space to practise. It is warm, comfortable, private and has a lovely atmosphere.
The Barn is within easy reach of Oxford, Kidlington, Witney, Wheatley, Botley, Long Hanborough and Bicester. There is ample parking within 2 minutes walk of the barn.
Directions will be sent to you when you confirm that you are coming to try a class.
I am very experienced at integrating beginners into mixed ability classes. If you're a beginner you'll be made very welcome and I'm sure you'll be pleased to discover that yoga is not difficult. You can enjoy the postures and exercises and benefit from them straight away.
Over 50's are welcome in all the mixed ability classes. Two classes on Monday and Thursday mornings are specifically for this age group.
The majority of yoga students throughout the West are women. However, perhaps because I'm a male teacher, there is a healthy sprinkling of men in all my classes. So if you're male and a beginner and perhaps recognize that you are rather stiff, please get in touch. In many ways you have most to gain from yoga. I'll make sure that you feel comfortable in your class and that you enjoy and benefit from the sessions.
Size of the Classes
I take 13 people on the register for each class. The average attendance at any one class is around 8 -10. Because my classes are relatively small I am able to give each member the individual attention they deserve.
You pay £8.00 for your first trial class. If you decide to join you pay £48 for a block of six classes and continue to buy blocks of six for as long as you continue to be a member of the class. Because of the relatively small venue and class numbers I am not able to operate on a pay-as you-attend basis. I regret that I don't roll over any missed sessions from one block of six to the next. I can however do my best to arrange for you to come at another time if you have to miss your regular slot, subject to availability.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
IF YOUR PRACTICE is forced you may injure yourself. Or if your practice is tiring or uncomfortable you simply won’t enjoy it. So here are guidelines to practise in safety and comfort.
Be gentle with yourself
Never force yourself into a posture. If you try to do too much too quickly your muscles will tense up. This is due to a natural reflex where your body seeks to protect itself from injury. The gentle, staged approach to postures that we apply in my classes allows your muscles to relax into stretches gradually and thus accept them.
Always retain a sense of poise
You should never feel under pressure or out of control. Always keep a feeling of poise and dignity.
When you first attempt to balance on one leg, practise close to a wall so that support is there if you need it. This is much better than wobbling about in the middle of the room, which compromises your feeling of poise. If you begin to lose your balance don’t struggle to regain control. Come out of the posture and collect yourself. Then begin again in a calm and measured way.
Never strain in a posture
If your breathing is snatched or ragged, your jaw is clenched, or you’re screwing up your face, these are indications that you’re straining. Ease off until you’re able to breathe easily and relax your face into a smile.
Never put up with any pain,
When you begin to stretch in yoga postures you encounter boundaries between pleasure, discomfort and pain, depending on how far you go. Never go beyond moderate discomfort. Stretching can be pleasurable, as in stretching when you wake up in the morning or stretching your legs after a long car journey. Stretching a little further than you are used to in a yoga posture can feel unfamiliar and possibly uncomfortable at first.
But gradually your limitations expand. What formerly felt mildly uncomfortable now feels pleasurable. When you practise you explore the boundaries between pleasure and moderate discomfort, deciding just how far you want to go at any given moment. In this way you can gradually extend your boundaries and stretch further without ever experiencing pain. ‘No pain, no gain’ is definitely not a motto for my classes!
If a posture is presented in a staged approach, wait until you feel ready before you progress to the next stage.
I approach most postures in the classes via a staged approach. There’s absolutely no hurry to progress towards completing postures. Stay with a given stage until you’re comfortable with it and feel ready to move to the next.
Understand and respect your natural limitations
Yoga postures primarily stretch muscles. Muscles account for around half of our capacity to stretch. The tendons and ligaments, the fibrous tissues that attach the muscles to the skeleton, account for approximately the other half. Ligaments aren’t really designed to stretch. The people who perform extreme stretches with ease are often those with long tendons and ligaments. If we have shorter ones, we need to be aware that these will impose certain natural limitations. We can’t stretch further than we’re designed to without damaging ourselves.
Some people are born athletes. They have natural strength, grace, co-ordination and balance. When these people begin yoga, they find they take easily to demanding postures that require strength and balance. If they have these attributes, combined with long ligaments and tendons, they often become star performers and make excellent models for photographs. If you’ve ever attended a class where your teacher, or perhaps another student, is such a person you might have felt awed by their performance and discouraged about your own. To counteract this tendency to compare ourselves with others we need to let go of our conventional notions of progress and willingly embrace our natural limitations. It’s absolutely fine to settle for more modest postures, adapted postures and the use of appropriate supports. Concern yourself with what really matters; your progress towards health, well-being and peace of mind.