BOOK NOW -ONLY A FEW SPOTS REMAINING

SAT 13th JULY, 10AM-1PM, THE GARDEN ROOM, BROUGHTON ST MARY’S CHURCH, EDINBURGH

“When we allow ourselves to bloom, we free others to do the same” – Caroline

Join Emma and Caroline and explore themes around ‘softening our edges’, ‘leaning into surrender’ and ‘self-acceptance’ on this

special ceremonial journey through yoga, sound and healing touch that will see you soaring into Summer and beyond.

 

Please bring a mat and drum/rattle if you have one!

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen” Brene Brown

10am START
10:00-10:30 – led by Emma

Arrival, cleansing and gathering our energies into the space.

Drumming, singing and dancing!

10:35-11:40 –led by Caroline
Yoga asana practice – focusing on heart opening, opening front and back body, freeing up breath.

11:50 – 12:20
Intro to bodywork & caress – led by Emma and Caroline
Working with a partner to exchange safe, caring and healing touch to calm the nervous system.

12:25-12:55 – led by Emma
Savasana with live sound healing

13:00 – Finish

£30
To book email contact@carolineyoga.co.uk

 

**For any cancellations there will be no refunds or transfers unless your place can be filled from a waiting list, in which case I will refund the fee (less a 10% admin fee). If the workshop is cancelled you will be offered either a cash refund or the option of being transferred to an alternative event.**

YOGA IS FOR EVERY BODY –  FREE TASTER SESSION TEMPLE VILLAGE HALL 7-8PM WEDS 27th MARCH

As the rise of yoga continues to sweep across our leisure centres and village halls, hopefully too the myth that yoga is only for the fit and flexible is starting to diminish.  Yet still I find there is a “not for me” stigma attached to this most ancient and wondrous of practices that alienates a huge population of people from even trying it and finding out its many benefits for themselves.

That is why I felt compelled to write this because yoga’s healing benefits, if given the chance, will far outweigh the awkwardness of questioning our own preconceived ideas about why we do not fit the “yoga body” mould.  For me, with my tight hamstrings and rounded shoulders from years of cycling and slouched stressed over an office desk, it was one of the hardest and one of the best decisions I ever made to walk into my first yoga class.

So what’s all the hype about anyway?  Where to start?  Well, maybe with the fact that none of us are getting any younger!  That more of us than ever before are living a good 25 years post retirement age, yet sadly, the statistic is that only 11 of those year are likely to be spent in good health.  So with that in mind, there has never been a better time to tap into the preventative health benefits of yoga than now.  We need to do this for ourselves, so that we can enjoy life and thrive long into those golden years of retirement and so that we can empower future generations to do the same.

Whilst yoga is so much more than just a physical practice, its physical benefits are a tangible entry point for many people seeking to address an injury or physical tension.  Many health care practitioners are now recommending the practice for instance for the prevention and management for one of the UK’s largest causes of disability, back pain and with my own experience of Forrest Yoga and working one to one with clients, I can see why.  Developed by yoga pioneer and healer of 40 years, Ana Forrest, this particular style of yoga uses intelligent poses and sequencing to address ailments such as lower and upper back pain as well as shoulder and neck issues that so many of us experience due to our lifestyle.

Over my years on the mat and through my many yoga trainings, I return time and time again to Forrest poses and techniques for my own personal practice and when working one to one with clients. The results speak for themselves with clients reporting substantially increased core strength, a greater body awareness leading to prevention of further injury, increased range of strength and mobility that allows them to excel in hobbies such as walking, running, cycling and golf not to mention reduced stress levels, improved mood and greater quality of sleep.

The beauty of yoga is that it embraces all bodies, all shapes, all sizes and all abilities that come to the practice.  It’s an all-inclusive non-denominational practice.  The possibilities are only limited by our own imagination as this practice can be completely tailored and adapted to each individual which is what makes working with people on a one to one basis so rewarding for me as a teacher.  For instance, poses can be done seated in a chair and using props or wall space to create a safe environment, enabling even those with very limited mobility to fully experience the benefits be it releasing years of built up tension or connecting to the strength of muscles they didn’t even know existed!  My approach is always mindful, non-judgemental and all accepting and for many we are re-learning how to be kind and compassionate to ourselves and therefore others.

If any part of this article has perked your attention or resonates, then it’s a sure sign that there really is no better time than now to look into a practice that could well be the difference between surviving or thriving into your retirement years.

So if you’re interested to find out more about how private yoga sessions could really benefit you, from learning about habitual patterns of movement that may be causing you pain to exploring the yoga’s many tools to mindfulness and stress release, then I urge you to get in touch or book on to my free no obligation yoga with Caroline taster evening at Temple Village Hall 7-8pm on Wednesday 27th March.   To book email contact@carolineyoga.co.uk

 

It’s at this stage in the year I start to look back and wish I had tracked all of the magical wins that I’ve had along the way.  I’m not talking the big hitters here, for they are usually so memorable we tend not to forget the likes of that huge career move or the purchase of a new home!  No, I’m talking about the little subtle things that unfold over the duration of the year that start to realise a manifested vision that you had about what it is you want to invite into your life.

I’m not going to pretend it’s all happened, the additional family member is a work in progress for example!  But, so much has that it’s almost freaked me out.  I now believe fully that doing the magic; the bit where you dare to vision, write it, feel it and imagine it as already existing in your life; actually works.  For me, the vision bit is the first step, the rest is a daily practice in coming back to the vision and putting into practice those things that will help to realise it.  Getting up ten minutes earlier so I can do a daily meditation practice, dancing like a loony with my toddler to the radio before breakfast so I feel the love that I want our family to be enveloped in, being present as I move through my daily interactions with loved ones and strangers alike, all of this helps to feed into a wider vision of moving through life feeling abundance rather than feeling like I’ve never got enough time, money or that in some way I’m not enough.

So, that’s why I love to use this time of year as a juncture to invite you to take stock of the year that you’ve had.  To be able to see where the highs and the lows were and to pause and suspend in a moment of reflection.  Asking yourself, what’s your default mindset?  Are you constantly feeling like life is a struggle and if so, notice if that’s being mirrored back to you through the events of the year you’ve had.  Or, are you a glass half full person and you regularly experience what others call luck!  It so often is a case of what we put in, we’ll get back.  Try walking down the street with a frown and 99% of people will frown back at you, but walk down the street smiling and most people will smile with you.

The next part of this self-reflection is about letting go.  This process of non-attachment is about not letting the successes or perceived failures define you but rather seeing it all as an opportunity for personal growth.  Maybe you need to let go of the fear of failure or the need to be always doing in order to move towards the life you dare to dream of?  There is always so much to learn in those moments when life doesn’t go to plan.  The biggest lesson for me is in those moments, is about learning to trust. To trust that if I have a vision, do my daily practice that feeds my vision, if I keep doing the magic and if I believe I deserve what I am asking for, then all is coming.  And even if it doesn’t all happen, at least I’ve enjoyed life far more believing that it just might!

So, for all of you believers and non-believers alike, I invite you to join me in the run up to 2019, for a very special manifestation workshop.  Be prepared to vision big for yourself and who knows what exciting developments might be coming your way in 2019.  Full details below.

De-stress and Manifest Your Best Year Yet – 3rd Feb (new date!)

Join me on the yoga mat as we celebrate and let go of the triumphs and trials of 2018 and stride into the New Year with vision and vigour.

9:30am-12 noon OMH Therapies, 1a Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh.  www.omhtherapies.com 

£25 Includes vegan sweet treat.
At this special time of year of rebirth and possibility, come and let go of the stress that holds you to the past and manifest the magic that will see you flow into the fabulous year that you deserve.

Through intent, yoga ceremony, breath, asana (poses), partner work and hands on assists, this workshop aims to leave you feeling physically and emotionally lighter, more spacious, stronger and therefore more connected to your own powers of manifestation. Shifting you from patterns of fear and scarcity to ones of abundance and gratitude. The poses will concentrate on releasing areas prone to stress such as the neck, jaw, shoulders and back with a strong emphasis on connecting to intent, breath and core.

This workshop is part of a series that is heavily influenced by the teachings of Forrest Yoga and Forrest Yoga Guardian, Jambo Truong, that have helped me deeply in my own journey towards healing.

“Holding on is believing there’s only a past; letting go is knowing there’s a future.” Daphne Rose Kingma.

Exchange: £25.  To secure your spot and if you have any questions email contact@carolineyoga.co.uk

*Workshop numbers will be kept low to ensure individual attention.

Can’t wait to see you all there…

**For any cancellations there will be no refunds or transfers unless your place can be filled from a waiting list, in which case I will refund the fee (less a 10% admin fee). If the workshop is cancelled you will be offered either a cash refund or the option of being transferred to an alternative event.**

 

 

***ONLY 3 SPACES LEFT***

Needing to decompress and rest?

Join me on this magical morning of yoga where I will share some potent and practical yoga tools to support you through the darker days ahead. 

9:15-12:15 OMH Therapies, 1a Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh.  www.omhtherapies.com 

£30 Includes vegan chocolate treat and warming chai tea.

Through intent, ceremony, pranayama, asana (poses), partner work, hands on assists and practical lifestyle tools, expect a safe haven for you to hit the pause button, to check in with yourself and to really tune into where you are sending your energy right now.  Explore the use of props and blocks to unravel you, balanced with strength work to empower you, capped off with a guided yoga nidra to woo you into a state of deep relaxation and rest.

We will play with the polarities of light and dark; being introspective whilst opening your heart; building strength whilst encouraging surrender.  Challenging the perception that slowing down is lazy and exploring the importance of paying attention to yourself and your relationships with those around you.

This workshop is the second in the series that is aimed at bringing your practice off the mat and into everyday life.  As someone who has always run from darkness and constantly feels the pull to ‘do’, this workshop really does come from the heart as I share my own personal yoga toolkit towards a more harmonious and joyful existence where both light and dark can be celebrated. Added to this, the practice is heavily influenced by the teachings of Forrest Yoga and Forrest Yoga Guardian, Jambo Truong, that have helped me deeply in my own journey towards healing.

Expect to decompress, sacredly connect and meet yourself in a place of heart embracing rest.

Sign up now and learn what it is to embrace what Brene Brown so beautifully put into words, your own “Strong back, soft front, wild heart.”

Exchange: £30.  To secure your spot or if you have any questions email contact@carolineyoga.co.uk

*Workshop numbers will be kept low to ensure individual attention.

Can’t wait to see you there…

Here is one of my favourite medicine songs that I have often sung in yoga ceremony.  It was first taught to me during my Forrest Inspired teacher training with Jambo Truong last year and it’s stuck ever since.

I think we could all do with reminding ourselves that at the heart of us, we all deserve our own love and appreciation and then we can better love and appreciate all of those around us.

Sing it from the roof tops, whisper it like a prayer, silently recite it or write it in the sand – either way – try breathing these words in and see what magic happens!

 

I am enough, you are enough, we are all of us, we are enough

I am love, you are love, we are all of us, we are love

I am light, we are light, we are all of us, we are light. AHO.

INT_8568 copy INT_8571 copy INT_8574

Over the course of the last couple of years, I’ve been opening up to my creativity again and with pencil and paintbrush in hand, have come up with some yoga illustrations of poses that really resonate with me.  From the strength of a warrior to the surrender of a child’s pose, I painted those poses that have felt healing and empowering.  I wanted to share that same love and connection that I felt in these poses with the wider world, so that you too, could feel the love and sanctuary I feel when I’m in those poses on my mat.  So, the yoga post card set of six was born!  They are simple and striking, make a thoughtful gift for that special yogi in your life and equally look great framed up and on the wall in your home.  Each post card is blank on the reverse leaving you plenty of space to write your own personalised message.

More importantly to me though, is that these post cards give the gift of yoga.  Every £1 per pack sold goes towards Edinburgh Community Yoga Outreach, an innovative charity whose work includes yoga for addiction and trauma.  Being able to give back what I have been able to get in the way of healing from yoga, is definitely part of my life’s calling.  So, I am reaching out to all of you reading this to help support my mission to raise funds for this valuable cause.  You can buy your pack here today. https://www.paypal.me/carolinemcintoshyoga/15.5 or if overseas https://www.paypal.me/carolinemcintoshyoga/20 .  You get some beautifully illustrated cards and someone in need of support in our community gets to benefit from yoga.  It’s a win win!

Price includes postage and packing – please complete your address details in paypal.

 

card promo image

It’s been an absolute age since I’ve popped by to update you all on the latest news of all things Caroline Yoga.  My baby is now two, life is busy and I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to write an inspiring blog and to let all of you following this page know that I’m back!  However, I now know that there is no perfect time, that life is a juggle and that if something needs doing, better have it done than perfect, (which doesn’t exist anyway)!  I have exciting news to come of yoga artwork post cards I’ve been working on, of upcoming yoga workshops that will take you deeper on your yoga journey and give you an opportunity to play as well as news of an inspiring yoga festival that I am part of and that I hope you will all come along and enjoy.  So, watch this space, I promise I’ll be back much sooner this time!

I am so delighted to be part of this year’s Pay It Forward Yoga Festival Edinburgh running 13th – 19th Feb 2017 with a full and vibrant programme of all things yoga.  This really is a celebration of yoga that is attempting to shake the image that yoga is just for the fit and flexible, so with that in mind, you can expect something for all ages and abilities, from complete beginners to seasoned yogis.  If you don’t believe me, check out the full schedule here.  Added to that, this festival is extra special as each participant is literally giving another person less fortunate, the chance to experience yoga’s healing benefits. How does this work?  Because each time someone buys a ticket for one of the festival events, the money pays towards a yoga class for someone else out there who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to access or afford it.

So, come and take part, give it a go and give the gift of yoga not only to yourself but to someone else too whilst you’re at it!

You’ll find me teaching a beautiful empowering pregnancy yoga flow at Serenity Cafe on 19th Feb 1:15-2:15PM (please spread the word to your mama-to-be friends)

Or/mama baby

By donation at my usual open ECY Thursday class on 16th Feb at Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre Palmerston Place 6:45-7:45PM

Full details www.edyogafest.co.uk 

So, it’s been a very long time since I last wrote a post and a lot has happened in that time.  In the world at large and in my own small universe.  I’ve just returned to teaching after becoming a mum for the first time and was asked the other day, “How are you finding it being back?  Does your body feel different now? Has your practice changed?”

As I sit down to write of my return to teaching, I wonder where to begin.  I feel like I’ve possibly been on the biggest yoga journey of my life so far in the last ten and a bit months of motherhood.  There’s nothing like becoming a mother for the first time to put you face to face with your own daemons that lurk in the recesses of your brain and the tissues of your body after countless long dark sleepless nights, endless hours on the sofa breastfeeding without the movement that your body so craves and the biggest responsibility for life that you have ever known.

As with many challenges in life, there are huge rewards to be reaped, not least in this case having the most beautiful content and smiley little boy who bursts my heart with joy, but I have learnt new depths to the yoga practice too that perhaps until now I was not ready for?

So if you’re facing a challenge or a huge change in your life, good or bad, that asks you to look beyond the physical asana practice of yoga, perhaps due to physical injury or lifestyle, then I invite you to delve into some of yoga’s less sung heroes that certainly helped me to find my feet, my breath, my mind, my sense of humour and most importantly my sense of Self.

Yoga Nidra: I can’t rate this practice highly enough.  I reckon the NHS should start prescribing this as medicine for Western Society!  So many of us are constantly switched on high alert as a result of our fast paced culture of instant everything when what we could all do with is some proper deep relaxation.  The kind of relaxation that is apparently as good as sleep.  Now what new sleep deprived parent or any being for that matter doesn’t need that?  Added to this, to allow for optimal healing, be it physical, emotional or mental, we need to bring ourselves into rest and digest mode and yoga nidra can be a great vehicle for doing this. Check out some lovely yoga nidras here by donation.

Breath or Pranayama: Ask yourself what it is that you need then adopt a breath that reflects that.  It’s something I often invite those who attend my classes to do and beyond weaving a mantra into the intention of the breath, there are some specific breath practices that I have found particularly useful both in times of anxiety and lethargy.  Ujjayi pranayama, simple even inhale and exhale that resonates at the back of the throat.  For me, it literally feels like a breath of fresh air whispering through the tissues of my body, balancing out the kinks, calming down the places that need calmed, energising the places that need energised and with its wave like sound, it’s a breath that I have to say works wonders at helping lull a newborn to sleep in the wee small hours.  Add in some breath retentions and you have an even more powerful tool that literally is like hitting the pause and reset button.  I must admit for a long time I struggled to find my ujjayi breath, but finally, when I stopped trying, it came to me.  So as with anything, practice with ‘Aparigraha’ or non grasping for results and the rest will follow.

Philosophy:  To me, yoga philosophy is another important aspect of my practice.  As much as our bodies like to be challenged, so too do our brains and being able to weave in the “why” yoga works and the “why” we do things the way we do, helps me to unravel and let go of the deep samskaras or imprints on the mind that unless identified will repeat again and again as habitual unhelpful patterns do.  Just as unhealthy foods will make our body and mind ill, so too can unhealthy thoughts. I could write a huge list of the books I would recommend on this subject but one that has really stood out for me is “Yoga And the Quest for The True Self” by Stephen Cope.  It’s a book that integrates Western psychology with Eastern philosophy and reflects on the different lineages of yoga through the story of Stephen’s own yogic journey.

Mantra:  Whether it be the words we speak to ourselves or the resonant hum of a gentle Aum, both are powerful ways to shift our brain chemistry.   Looking down on my post natal body after a few weeks, belly still inflated and swollen, plagued by the images of those celebs who just seem to bounce back to their pre natal bodies within days, I realised the grip that my own false identity had on me.  The false identity that said I must look a certain way to be me.  It has been a daily practice to accept and embrace what is now a different physical body.  To not only accept but to be proud of my torn abdominal muscles, my herniated belly button, for they represent that something greater than “I” exists and something way more important than the Ego Self.  It was useful to stand back and observe those deep routed ideals I had of who I was based on my physical appearance, so much judgement!  This has been one of the biggest still in progress lessons in self love, dropping the Ego and understanding a much deeper beauty that resides on the inside.  My chosen mantra?  “Om Namah Shivaya.”  We’ll cover this one in class soon!

If time is short as it is for many of us, think of this: There are 1440 minutes in the day.  Take off some of those for sleeping and some for work and you’re still left with a good few minutes.  So, let’s make them count with this delicious recipe for not just surviving but for thriving.  5 minutes of breathing first thing in the morning, 5 minutes to read something inspirational or journal or both if you have time, then 10 minutes of yoga nidra at night before bed.  All marinated with an inspiring mantra of your choosing, perhaps just “ I Breathe In Peace, I Breathe Out Tension, All Is Well”  Think of it as an extension to brushing your teeth, to quote another, “self care is not self indulgent, it is necessary”.