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Hi everyone!

Hope you are all having a good summer and that you are practicing lots of yoga with all the rain keeping you inside! I will be teaching the following classes in Mullingar this autumn:

Mondays  7 – 8.30 p.m. Yoga & Ayurveda in Mullingar Community College. Starts 24 September 2012. If you want to book a place, you will have to contact them directly @ 044-9340786

Tuesdays 7 – 8 p.m. Beginners Yoga in the Parish Community Centre, Bishopsgate St. Starts 4 September 2012. This course covers modified forms of the yoga postures as discussed in this blog. It is suitable for anyone who wants a more gentle form of yoga, regardless of whether you are a beginner or not. Fee: 6 weeks – 50 Euro. To book a place, you can text or phone me @ 087 930038

Wednesdays 7 – 8 p.m. Continuation Yoga in the Parish Community Centre, Bishopsgate St. Starts 5 September 2012. You must complete the Beginners course first before joining this class. Fee: 6 weeks – 50 Euro. To book a place, you can text or phone me @ 087 9300380

Below I have listed a few tips for getting the most out of your yoga class:

  • Do not eat for at least 2 hours before a class. This is because when you take food, your body’s No.1 priority is to digest whatever you have eaten. This means you won’t have very much energy left over for yoga. Plus, imagine standing on your head after consuming a big bowl of chilli…enough said.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat and a blanket to class. If you don’t have a blanket, a thick towel, like a beach towel will do.
  • Please inform me of any medical conditions or injuries that you have. In this way I can adapt the class plan to suit your needs.
  • Yoga is practiced in bare feet. Don’t worry about this. Everyone thinks their feet are the ugliest in the world. Rub some coconut oil into them before you go to bed and their condition will improve. Feet are very forgiving.
  • Yoga is non-competitive. The aim is not to get or achieve anything but to have some quiet time to make a connection with yourself. It’s what happens on your mat that counts. You change the world by changing yourself first.
  • People often get confused by when to breathe in and when to breathe out. The most important thing is to just to keep breathing. However, when in doubt, breathe out! If you are a total beginner of yoga, think of yourself as standing at the tip of a tip of a gigantic iceberg. That’s how vast the system of yoga is. Give yourself lots of time to learn it.
  • Drink plenty of water after the class to flush out the toxins that have been released with all the stretching and breathing.
  • Most important of all, enjoy the class and don’t be afraid to try out what you learn at home.

Hope to see you all again, soon,

Orla

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Serpent Pose may look  a bit scary at first, but once you get yourself there, it is actually a nice, restful position. So restful in fact, that the position is called after Ananta, the serpent whose coils formed the couch where the Hindu god, Vishnu would relax. For this reason, it is often called Couch Pose.

In the beginning, practice the pose against a wall as aligning the spine is crucial i.e. no banana shapes. It will also help you retain your balance for longer. Serpent Pose is fabulous for opening the pelvis and stretching the legs. People do find if tricky in the beginning but if you persevere with it, you will have amazing legs! Eventually, you can move away from the wall.  However, you need to align yourself along the edge of your mat – again, no banana-shaped spines. Also you may be able to throw away the belt and hold the big toe with your thumb and middle finger instead. But it usually takes some time. Work gently always and within your limits.

How to practice Serpent Pose:

  • Make a loop in a yoga belt or in a long scarf and tie it around your right foot.
  • Lie on your left side against a wall. Rest the back of the head, the back and the back of the left leg against the wall. Your right leg will be resting on top of your left leg. Keep the little toe of the left foot in view at all times as this will help you balance. Also keep your left leg active and sharp.
  • Bend your left elbow so that you can rest your head comfortably against your right hand. Your body should now form a straight line from the little toe of the left foot all along the left side of the body into the elbow.
  • Bend your right knee and bring it in towards the chest, supporting it with your right hand. Hold this position for a couple of breaths.
  • Inhale, exhale, and pulling on the belt/scarf, extend the right leg up towards the ceiling with the inner leg and the toes facing your head. Do not stretch the leg more than is comfortable. Keep the knee bent if you have to.
  • As you inhale, encourage the right leg to lift gently out of the hip. Exhaling, move your right foot in the direction of your head. Keep your head facing forwards and relax your arms, shoulders and the sides of your neck. Work in this way for 6 breaths.
  • Inhaling, bend the knee and bring it in towards the chest as before. Hold it there for a couple of breaths, before lowering the leg completely.
  • Change sides and repeat.

NEED HELP? If you find this pose too difficult, practice Supine Big Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana) until your legs become more flexible.