Workshops

Yoga Therapy for Insomnia

Sat 28 September 2019 2pm to 4.30pm. Yoga Venue, 2 Avenue Lane, Oxford OX4 1YF. Cost £35
Book with Yoga Venue. BOOK HERE

Deep restful sleep is a great blessing. We live in a time where increasing numbers of us suffer from the effects of not being restored through deep sleep. I spent many uneasy years with insomnia with little idea of what resources were available to help me rest again. My own journey back to sleep left me with a passion to help resource others so that their journey was not as long as mine. As a generalization, insomnia is caused by a stressed nervous system which remains activated when it is not softened and nourished through deep rest. Encouraging easefulness is the road to a cure. Ease cannot be induced through medicalization, so pills and potions which though occasionally offering respite offer no systemic route to reorientation.

 Ease comes through self-care. So, the sleep deprived person has to be prepared to invest time in unknotting the stressful patterns that keep us all too awake. My work is to help educate people with programs tailored to their needs that they can use to help bring back sleep. This includes practical methods of alleviating stress some of which is yoga based. In private work I would also provide a listening ear where requested.

 The workshop is designed to take us through an overview of the kind of work that is available to help the insomniac and includes some practical explorations. It includes something of modern sleep science and the physiology of sleep which are valuable resources. Insomnia therapy can be divided into three parts. Firstly, there is usually an initial reason why sleep got to where it is. This generally needs to be met and integrated at some point. Secondly is sleep management, which is surveying on an on-going basis the relationship of our lifestyle to sleep and introducing change where necessary. Thirdly are the practices designed to calm the nervous system including the ways in which we might soften the fears and anxieties that are generally concurrent with sleeplessness.

 Insomnia needn’t be a permanent state of affairs, but it does take time for positive change to take effect.  My own involvement with this area of therapy has clearly demonstrated that the restoration of sleep really does happen. The workshop will include time for questions and some conversation.

Managing Anxiety with Breath

Sat 26th October 2019 2.00pm to 4.00pm. Yoga Venue, 2 Avenue Lane, Oxford OX4 1YF. Cost £30
Book with Yoga Venue. BOOK HERE

There has been a good deal of scientific research in recent years into what the effects of yoga practice are. By far the most conclusive evidence that emerges from this is that yoga induces calm. The NHS now even adds yoga as a resource on its own website for this very reason. We all carry some stress and anxiety to some degree which is greatly amplified by the pace and complexity of the modern lifestyle. Yoga at the very least provides a space in which we have more opportunity to settle into a softer sense of ourselves.

Postural yoga practice as we know it is very much a product of the modern era, but the practice of exploring breathing which is called pranayama within the yoga tradition, has a direct connection with its ancient roots. Historically yoga was predominantly a practice of breath and meditation since its purpose was largely to relieve the practitioner of the stress that almost inevitably arises from the human experience.

 Anxiety is directly reflected in our breathing patterns. The practice of exploring our own breath and the energetic quotient connected with it has the almost magical effect of releasing tension within the nervous system. We feel the benefits almost immediately and for many people who discover this way of opening up, breathing practice becomes a life-long exploration.

The workshop will explore some of the physiological and psychological aspects of anxiety and its relationship to the way in which we breath. It will give a practical taste of some of the ways in which we can settle into a sense of spaciousness and calm. A few ways of exploring our breath will be offered which can be practiced at home. This kind of work is also immensely valuable in helping our active movement practice as following our breath with freedom is the condition for a real freedom of movement. There will space for asking questions and engaging in some conversation.

Deepening Meditation.Loving Being. A four week course starting at the end of January 2019.

The nights in 2019 will be January 25th and in February 1st, 8th and 15th

It is open to anyone who has a heart felt desire to deepen their practice, whether the practice is recent or has been in place for many years. It is not a course in proficiency, but a gathering to deepen the sense together, of the abundance of loving Being. Each night will probably start with a simple breathing practice (pranayama), which will be built on week to week, to draw us gently into the abundant silence of our core.  Settling into the deep friendship of our own breath leads us so naturally into our time in meditation. There will be the opportunity for conversation, a time to gently share. I would suggest early booking as the numbers will be limited. Cost will be £60 (if this is difficult then please let me know). Contact me if you would like to commit or to ask any questions.