A seasonal yoga journey

Following the rhythms of the seasons can be life-changing, writes Emma Lawrence of The Yoga Tree

It’s easy to be consumed by work, children and family - but how many adults actually take enough time for themselves? Whether it’s learning something new, giving yourself enough relaxation time or changing to a career that you enjoy, spending time on yourself can yield a huge range of benefits.

A year-long yoga course may not immediately not sound like the answer to a hectic life, but it is amazing what taking that time for yourself can give you. Most people when told this will automatically decide that they are not flexible enough or find it too hard to lie still on the floor. But if I told you that it would be a year learning about your mind, impulses, relationships and happiness, would you think differently? If I was to tell you that your knowledge of yoga postures, breath work, mindfulness, meditation and anatomy would grow, allowing you to live your every day life in a far more relaxed and calm way, would that help?

Yoga is the greatest form of exercise for both physical health and mental wellbeing! You can practise at any time, any place, anywhere: home, on holiday, for a short time or for a long time. Free of charge with no equipment, it's an anti-ageing practice that keeps you young internally as well as externally. Somehow you never get bored with noticing how your body responds to your self-practice.

The crucial thing is knowing how to have a self-practice and how to integrate yoga into your daily life. Our lives (and the lives of those around us) seem to be forever changing - whether in the form of new timetables, illness, age or politics. If you can learn to be more flexible in your mind as well as your body, you will find it easier to adapt confidently and calmly to life’s ever-changing shape.

Learning to tune into the seasons is one of way of helping yourself. Seasonal Yoga is designed to align the changing energies of nature and the seasons in a practice that improves physical strength and flexibility, giving balance, harmony and an enhanced sense of well-being.

Created by teachers Julie Hanson and Sue Woodd in 1995, the practice is an antidote to the stress and anxiety of modern life. We all need to learn to bring balance and harmony into our lives a little bit more and practising Seasonal Yoga does just that. As the energy of the seasons change so to does the emphasis of our classes, and practice.

Springs practice all about energy building, stretching and strengthening the core. It's also about detoxing the body. It’s a time for new beginnings and setting new goals.

Summer brings deepening high energy practice to stimulate the circulation and energise the body. The heat of nature is mirrored in a practice that strengthens and cleanses. This is the season of living life to the full with joy happiness - and our practice reflects this.

Late Summer works on immunity and consolidates the energy created in summer. Feeling physically strong from the core together with a developing sense of self awareness helps us feel centred and peaceful.

Autumn's focus is on breath/movement coordination. Concentrated and mindful in our practice helps us deals with the ins and outs of life.

Winter means a gentle restorative practice. Here we stay longer and go deeper into each posture, increasing flexibility, rejuvenating the nervous system and creating inner peace. It's also a time for meditation and reflection .

Moving our bodies with intention helps us to strengthen, rebalance and re-energise our minds, allowing us to reconnect with nature, realise our potential and feel wonderful. Living with a healthy body and a peaceful mind is every bit as good as it sounds!

If you would like to dedicate some time to yourself in 2019 visit www.the-yoga-tree.com for more information.

Testimonials

I have come from being a shy, awkward person who hated the limelight to being able to stand in front of people and deliver. Yoga has opened my heart, my mind and my hips! I now have a thirst for knowledge and the desire to continue learning - a real Life Goal!

Relationships have improved, my self esteem, my eating habits too. I have met a fantastic group of people and some wonderful inspirational teachers. I wish you all well and cannot thank you enough for starting me off on my journey.

Jen x

Thank you for all of your help and support throughout the year and for introducing me to seasonal living - the start of a new and exciting journey

Rose

The seasonal yoga teacher training has taking me on an inspiring journey both on and off the mat. The course was delivered in a dynamic yet nurturing way reminding us how relevant the teachings of yoga are for a long life

Ben