Delightful news! Karen Watson is coming over from London for a one-day Shadow Yoga workshop.

Karen has been teaching Shadow yoga for about 30 years, having fist trained in Iyengar yoga before completing an extensive apprenticeship with Shandor Remete. She will be holding a workshop on Sunday, May 12th in Wicklow. This is a superb chance for everyone interested in yoga to experience the Shadow yoga practice under exceptionally capable guidance.

Sunday 12th May

9 – 11 am and 3 – 5 pm

Ananta Yoga & Ayurveda Studio, Wicklow A67 YR60

Early bird discount to 12 April – don’t miss that! BOOK HERE!.

See more about Karen’s teaching here.

I’m mentioned in Women’s Health magazine!

We’ve been offering the Lisnavagh Yoga & Sleep retreats long before it became a thing. As mothers of young children, sleep seemed like the holy grail back in 2010. Emily dreamed up (:)) the idea of offering a weekend retreat that she felt would hit the spot for her; and so the straightforward Yoga & Sleep retreat was  born. In addition to yoga classes curated for the people who gather for the weekend, comfy beds, big baths, lovely fires, and Emily’s amazing vegetarian and vegan cooking have always rounded off the warm welcome.

Retreats are ongoing and have blossomed in variety and number. Check the Lisnavagh website for upcoming retreats.

 

Karen Watson

I’m delighted to announce that Karen Watson is coming over from London for a one-day workshop on

Sunday May 12.

Karen is a senior Shadow yoga teacher, adept at guiding a class with a serenity that invites everyone to be fully engaged with their practice. Her knowledge of yoga – the asana, philosophy, language, and progressive practices such as mantra – are immense. No matter your level, you will be enriched by being in Karen’s class.

I know this from personal experience! Karen guided me through an apprenticeship that gave me the skills to begin teaching Shadow hatha yoga.

Check out Karen’s website to learn more about her work. The venue for the workshop is to be confirmed, but probably in Dublin. Two sessions, 9 – 11 am and 3 – 5 pm are planned.

If you’re already convinced, book here!

Karen is offering a sweet early bird rate until 12 April.

If you’re not sure, I will send out more information soon Be sure to sign up for my newsletter (below). Save the date, and please ask me if you have questions!

No prior Shadow yoga experience is necessary, Karen is looking forward to connecting or re-connecting with you, and supporting all levels of practitioner.

BOOK KAREN’S WORKSHOP HERE

Meanwhile…
2nd Prelude Workshop

Join me to practice the Chaya Yoddha Sancalanam, the prelude that refines our sensitivity to the subtleties of coordinating breath with movement. Featuring forward bend variations and some strong warrior forms, this is a beautiful practice for drawing inwards.

Saturday March 16

9:30 – 11:30 am

Ananta yoga & Ayurveda Studio

BOOK PAM’S WORKSHOP HERE

The ZOOM ROOM is open!

Would you like some support with your Shadow yoga practice?

Join me on Zoom every Wednesday,

7:30 – 8:30 am

Drop in is available to those with Shadow yoga experience.
BOOK YOUR ZOOM CLASSES HERE
Visit the YOGA SHOP

It was great to see such enthusiasm back on the mat last week. If you missed the start of term, don’t worry. you can still book!

Tullow all levels

Carlow beginners

February is just around the corner…

Check out the Shadow Hatha Yoga Workshop 10 Feb

Join me in Wicklow

to practice the 2nd Prelude Form,

Chaya Yoddha Sancalanam

Saturday 10th February, 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

I’m offering an early bird discount for anyone booking the Zoom + Workshop

Click here to see more

Zoom Room

opens Wed 14 February

for a 6 week block.

You can book just the Zoom if you’re familiar with the 2nd Prelude.

Namaste,

Pam

Shadow hatha yoga with PamShadow Hatha Yoga Zoom classes are now Wednesday morning, as of 18 October.

Get in touch if you’d like to join, or book a class here.

Wednesdays to 6 December

7:30 – 8:30 am

Drop in €15

Six classes €66

Bonus: Recording available for a week.

 

SAVE THE DATESBalakrama Sharva

Two workshops coming up in Wicklow

Balakrama basics

Saturday November 25

9 – 11:30 am

60

Suitable for beginners to Shadow yoga, those seeking a refresher

Join weekly Zoom classes to support your practice every Wednesday 7:30 – 8:30am. Drop in €15.

Benefits of the Balakrama

  • You’ll feel stronger! The Warrior and Archer poses stoke the fire of agni, your digestive fire. This refers to physical and mental digestion – food, and processing events and happenings in your life.
  • Your mental focus will be enhanced through the structure and rhythm of the practice.
  • Joint mobility improves. The joint warm up is a gentle hint to the body that we use at every practice, and the toes, ankles, knees and hips gain power and space through the Balakrama activity.
  • It’s good for your bones. Static standing poses help to maintain strong leg bones which support bone density
  • Your breathing becomes deeper more rhythmic. As we apply “good stress” to the body and practice maintaining a smooth inhalation and exhalation, the lungs grow more capable of this deeper breathing.
  • Coordination improves through the “prana mudra” elements. “Prana” is the life energy that circulates, and “mudra” is a position. We move the arms in an expressive way, moving our energy as well.
  • The sum of this work cultivates a foundation for seated asana.

Balakrama full practice

Saturday January 27

9 – 11:30 am

60

Suitable for those with some yoga experience

Join weekly Zoom classes to support your practice every Wednesday 7:30 – 8:30am. Drop in €15, 8 weeks €88.

Benefits of the Balakrama full practice

Breathing will deepen and become more rhythmic

Stamina improves

Coordination is refined

Joint mobility improves

A strong foundation is established for seated work, and for further Prelude work

 

Welcome to yoga, and congratulations for giving it a try.

What should you expect from a beginner’s yoga class?

There are so many styles of yoga or personal teacher’s interpretations that it can be overwhelming. As a rule of thumb, if you are truly a beginner it is beneficial to start with a beginner level class.

What I can offer is that

  • You will be welcomed as you are.
  • The yoga will set you up with a good foundation, with a gradual progression.
  • Many pieces of the practice are simple, but precise, so that you can “get” them yet they will offer a challenge to perfect.
  • The basics are repeated weekly so that you can become familiar, and even begin to try a little at home.

Key themes for beginners

Standing poses are important. Getting sensitivity into your feet affects your whole posture. Standing poses help develop strength, which is more important than flexibility in the beginning. Seated poses already assume joint mobility in the hips, knees and ankles, so it’s good to work with standing poses to improve joint mobility.

The mind will be busy. As you get more familiar, you might become bored. This is not because of the yoga, but the mindset – we’re overstimulated so it’s hard to stay focused on simple things. This will improve with practice.

The breath is the last thing to coordinate. Yoga focuses on breath because it bridges the physical body and the mind. But until you’re familiar with the physical movements, the breathing can become confusing. Don’t worry. Breathe normally until your mind is ready to absorb what’s going on with the breath as well.

Relaxation is wonderful! But it’s also a “pose”. Don’t be surprised if you fall asleep during relaxation – sometimes that’s exactly what we need and our body knows it. It’s a good sign that you are at ease. Just know that the idea is to stay focused – or “mindful” – of your body and breath. Everything improves with practice!

How to get the most out of your classes

Arrive a few minutes early. You’ll be settled in and ready to go on time, so your focus will be fully on the practice.

Allow at least an hour between eating and the class. Digestion is work for the body, so the less you eat the more settled you will be for practice.

Remove your shoes at the door. Yoga is usually practiced in bare feet. In Ireland sometimes socks provide warmth, although bare feet give you more sensitivity and more grip.

When you arrive, prepare mentally by simply sitting quietly or lying down. It’s a good way to let the day go and give yourself a bit of head-space.

What to bring

Have a mat and perhaps a blanket for the relaxation at the end. We lose heat quickly after a session and it’s important to be comfortable and warm to really benefit from the relaxation.

You won’t need water during class, it’s physically challenging but not sweaty yoga. If you hydrate well during the day, there is no need to drink during class.

Drop in or term fee?

While drop-in fees offer flexibility, you’ll get more value for money in the term fee.

Also, if you have decided to try yoga, you should know that the first couple of classes will be a steep learning curve. It’s not of much benefit to attend one or two classes. You’ll start to get some familiarity by the 3rd or 4th class, and only then does your mind begin to take in more details. And yoga is a practice for any stage of life, so there is a gradual progression and refinement that can provide benefits at any age, once you have a regular practice.

If you have any questions, please get in touch. Thursday evening classes in Carlow are aimed at beginners. Classes on Tuesdays in Tullow accept beginners but are aimed at those with some experience.

Namaste.

It’s the longest day of the year up here in the Northern hemisphere. I have always loved the long days in Ireland, with the sun still offering light as late as 11:30 pm. It was a bit tricky getting young children to bed some years ago, but now summer is a couple of cherished months of basking in lovely, light evenings.

What does “light” mean? The absence of darkness; a speed (about 300,000 km / second); electromagnetic radiation perceivable by the human eye; the opposite of heavy; a good mood.

What makes me feel light? Eating lightly – fresh food, not too much. Walking outdoors, not too fast nor too slow; a wander. Reading an uplifting book; stories about overcoming. A smile beaming at me; laughing with a friend. Having time off; having space to do nothing; or doing something new, a light challenge like learning a few guitar chords or painting a picture just for the fun of it. In the darkest of winter, the security of a hot drink by a warm fire does it.

I’m not alone, judging by the poem, below, by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Creativity, socialising, being outdoors, slowing down. Those seems to be the themes for me. What about you? What makes you feel light? Can you do any of it on this Solstice day, to mark it? If nothing else, close your eyes and take 3 slow breaths. It’s amazing how that can lighten the mood, the day, the weight.

Wishing you a light-filled solstice,

Pam

In Summer Time

When summer time has come, and all
The world is in the magic thrall
Of perfumed airs that lull each sense
To fits of drowsy indolence;
When skies are deepest blue above,
And flow’rs aflush,—then most I love
To start, while early dews are damp,
And wend my way in woodland tramp
Where forests rustle, tree on tree,
And sing their silent songs to me;
Where pathways meet and pathways part,—
To walk with Nature heart by heart,
Till wearied out at last I lie
Where some sweet stream steals singing by
A mossy bank; where violets vie
In color with the summer sky,—
Or take my rod and line and hook,
And wander to some darkling brook,
Where all day long the willows dream,
And idly droop to kiss the stream,
And there to loll from morn till night—
Unheeding nibble, run, or bite—
Just for the joy of being there
And drinking in the summer air,
The summer sounds, and summer sights,
That set a restless mind to rights
When grief and pain and raging doubt
Of men and creeds have worn it out;
The birds’ song and the water’s drone,
The humming bee’s low monotone,
The murmur of the passing breeze,
And all the sounds akin to these,
That make a man in summer time
Feel only fit for rest and rhyme.
Joy springs all radiant in my breast;
Though pauper poor, than king more blest,
The tide beats in my soul so strong
That happiness breaks forth in song,
And rings aloud the welkin blue
With all the songs I ever knew.
O time of rapture! time of song!
How swiftly glide thy days along
Adown the current of the years,
Above the rocks of grief and tears!
‘Tis wealth enough of joy for me
In summer time to simply be.