Great infographic to explain interval training. Love it or hate it, interval training works. It's a great way to keep on top of your fitness when you are short of time and to improve performance and support other sports. It also helps to burn fat more effectively...
Kids' yoga is taking off at the tennis club, following the introduction last summer during the multisports camps. Kids really enjoy the mix of fun and focus and finding novel ways to practise together. Some like the more active parts of the session best, and some really prefer the meditation and relaxation at the end: all clearly enjoy it as they keep coming back. This year we added sessions to the Easter sports camps and this summer we've added an extra day each week, now on Wednesdays and Fridays in July and August.
After an initial trickle of stories last year, there seems to be an outpouring now of articles and research concerning how yoga, meditation and mindfulness can improve mental health, not just in adults, but in children and teenagers. In the last few days alone I've read about schools in San Fransisco and in Toronto that have implemented programmes that are providing demonstrable results, and adoption of these programmes is snowballing. By demonstrable, I mean happier children who are behaving more appropriately, willingly, it seems.
This is really great news, especially when you consider that, according to The World Health Organisation (WHO) there are around 350 million people in the world who will suffer from some form of mental illness during their life. And further, according to the WHO factsheet, almost 50% of mental health issues begin before the age of 14. Frightening stuff. So it's great to see the momentum building, and more and more children and young adults being given access to tools and techniques that can help to improve their mental and physical fitness.
PHOTO: Rene Johnston / Toronto Star (c)
Come and join our yoga for runners workshop on Saturday 25th January. This is an informal session, suitable for beginners or experienced yogis.
Yoga can really support your running and fitness goals. Not only can you build strength, stamina and flexibility, it allows you to totally relax, which further aids recovery from your training or competition schedule.
£15 for bookings in advance, £20 on the day.
Don't fancy sweating it out in an aerobics class, or getting outside in the wind and rain? I don't blame you! Or maybe you'd just like to do something to support all the other activities you are doing...
Why not try the new beginners' yoga class, an informal environment to learn the basics and give you confidence to join any 'all levels' classes or practice at home. Starting Sunday 12th Jan at The Scout Hall Weybridge.
Hatha yoga combines physical exercise and mental discipline, with the goal of integrating and invigorating both body and mind. It is an excellent way to develop muscle tone and increase strength, flexibility and endurance, and is particularly good preparation and/or recovery from other sports, as well as helping to maintain good overall health and combat the stresses of work and modern life.
The stretching in yoga is an excellent way to reduce the effects of stress on your body. Many postures apply gentle pressure to internal organs, stimulating the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid through the tissue. This, combined with controlled breathing with your movements, leads to you feeling invigorated and relaxed at the same time. You do not need to be flexible or fit to practice yoga, it is suitable for all ages and body types. Please contact us for more information. If you have any specific medical conditions please check with your GP and arrive 5 minutes early (or call beforehand) to ensure your yoga teacher is aware and can offer you appropriate alternatives throughout your practice..
See you there!
I love this fruit! I knew it was good for me, take a look at this article
I eat bananas that are only just ripe before a longer run, or an almost over ripe one after a run (or any time I need an energy boost). The underripe ones are slower burn, ripening breaks down the carbs into sugars.
It's really great for weaning babies too, especially mashed in with an avocado and a large spoonful of natural greek yoghurt, stuffed full of nutrients. (HEALTH WARNING: this recipe is totally lush, but not so good for the waistline)!
With a last minute entry, no time to train and totally forgetting to fundraise beforehand, we set off for Windsor race course where we did Cancer Research's Twilight Race For Life. What a brilliant event this is! Such a wonderful atmosphere, sadness and joy all rolled into one, with a common aim: have fun and raise some funds for a very worthy cause.
I was really touched to be able to put a glow stick in my decorated sandbag (instead of lighting lanterns), it made me feel quite emotional and when we ran through the gate onto the racecourse proper I had tears in my eyes as I saw that someone had placed many of these bags on the bank to spell out HOPE.
As a relatively fast jogger (as you ask, yes, I did it sub 30 minutes, ok by a few seconds, I admit) I cheered on every other lady on the course. There until the bitter end, shouting and cheering the last of the walkers over the finish line. While I was there I met a lovely chap whose wife and 2 best friends were running for their friend who had been battling cancer and who had passed away only that morning. Gosh, it brings your life into perspective when you talk to people. So much to be grateful for.
p.s. we did retrospectively fundraise and hit our modest target within 48 hours!
Image courtesy of Cancer Research website
This latest piece of research into the benefits of yoga for people suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is great news. The study by researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders found that lung function, shortness of breath, and inflammation all showed significant improvement after patients completed 12 weeks of training. This was a small study, but it should be enough to help kick off funding for more in depth research.
With the World Health Organisation (WHO) predicting that COPD will become the world’s third leading cause of death by 2030 (apparently 64 million people had COPD and 3 million people died from it in 2004), this is going to cause not just a great deal of pain and suffering, but massive cost to countries in terms of health care and benefits. We need to take note...
Sun salutation anyone?
I read this interesting article about how yoga is helping people in prisons around the world. Some Oxford University research shows some interesting results between a yoga group and a control group (doing exercise). This must be really rewarding for the yoga teachers and is clearly wonderful work.
I can’t help wondering though, if yoga can help transform lives in this way for prisoners, some of whom have had very tough and, let’s face it, unpleasant lives (some of their own doing through poor choices), then what would happen if we dared to teach yoga to children? All children I mean, not just the privileged few. How many of those prisoners could have perhaps made the different choices, despite their environment and situations they found themselves in, that would have enabled them to avoid prison in the first place. Yoga isn’t the answer to everything. We need education, we need to pull people out of poverty, and we need to ensure people have somewhere they can call home, somewhere safe and warm to sleep. And we need to discourage the throwaway, consumerist, selfish behaviours we see across all classes within our society. I’m not suggesting we all walk around in natural fibres, eating beans and stop dreaming of the latest PC games or throw away our mobile phones, but toning down the greed would be good. Developing a self confidence that is based on who we are, not what we have would be good. For us all. Just a thought.
No, I’m not talking about expensive summer holidays, I’m talking yoga. Kids yoga to be precise.
Friday afternoons have never been so much fun as they have this holiday. A welcome relief from the Mon-Thurs commute, and quite frankly, the highlight of my week, has been the kids yoga classes that I’m running as part of summer camp at St Georges Hill Lawn Tennis Club. We’ve had Royal Baby inspired classes, Yoga Challenge themes, and the most amazing trip around the world, with fun (and sometimes quite silly) music from appropriate countries to accompany the postures and movements.
We’ve had bumpy truck rides, rollercoaster rides, we’ve been elephants, lions, pigeons, penguins, sharks and surfers (warrior II). When Prince George showed up we were soldiers, corgis, storks, horses, deer, hares and, of course, we finished our asana practice with ‘happy baby’, what else… This has been one of the most rewarding summers for me, seeing the enjoyment and confidence growing in the children, having fun and acting like a kid with them (all adults should try it once in a while, it’s therapeutic!) and then seeing them all relaxing in their meditation at the end of the class. One group asked for more meditation, the completed 15 minutes, this is a big achievement for 5-12 year olds (the range in that particular class) and the fact they asked for more shows that downtime is sometimes what they really need. No stimulation from TV, computers, games consoles, siblings, parents: just some gentle music and a soothing voice to help them focus their mind, so they can relax fully. There is a great deal of emerging evidence that yoga and meditation provides huge health benefits to children, not only in calming them and managing behaviour and reducing their stress levels, but inspiring them too, building confidence, building strength and courage and most of all, building their self esteem.
I’m actively looking for Weybridge/Walton/Chertsey area venues to run some public kids classes, so watch this space. I can’t wait…
Photo copyright Kanua CLM
I’m a life coach, yoga teacher, communications professional and fitness enthusiast. I’m a closet techie and science boff in my spare time. I’m also part-time slave and taxi driver to a 14 year old.