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    If you've seen us offering a Kirtan evening you may have done a quick google to find out what the heck it is.  Now you know that we do offer some seriously whacky things occasionally (Yoga laughter workshop) so it might not be a surprise when google guides you to a page full  of pictures of lots (and lots)  of people all dressed in white or sometimes orange in what appears to be a religious ceremony.  Don't worry!!!

    As with many practises that have been around for a while the benefits can turn out to be additional and independant of the original devotional intent.  People, and as it happens science too has discovered that kIRTAN Offers serious health benefits to those who practise it. The meaning of Kirtan has changed as it's roots have passed through different cultures and beliefs.  You could visit a different Kirtan group every night and may not have the same exerience twice.  It's a kind of meditation idea for those who struggle meditate - the Kirtan  seems to do it for you!

    Taking a look at some of the beneiftis here which also offers a more Westernised picture of a Kirtan group - see what I mean no two groups are the same!

    Now for the science bit:

    Psychology Today magazine recently published scientific evidence that showed Kirtan helped with:

    Improved Blood plasma helping,  cognitive function, sleep, mood, and quality of life.

    Increased cerebral blood flow  helping with many aspects of memory. reducing symptoms of depression and improving chronic pain.

    So it's got to be worth a go.  Plus the fantastic benefits of sharing the whole experience with a group of like-minded people really does  give you that feel good buzz that can last for a few days.  So you see that's why we sometimes offer whacky off-the-wall stuff like Laughter workshops.  It's just to keep the Mind, Body and Spirit  tip top and bushy tailed.

    We currently offer Kirtan on sunday evening monthly.





    adyogain glade

    There are many reasons why people start practicisng yoga and they do it in differing ways. Some go to one or two classes per week with a little home pratice in between. Some practice alone at home on  a daily basis. Nowdays, many practice on line via zoom or youtube.

    Some practice at specific times in their lives for example when they are recovering from injury or surgry and need a nurturing nourishing physical regime to ease them back to health. Some to help them deal with stressful times or chronic anxiety.

    I have been practicisng yoga for around 50 plus years now and like other people for varying reasons. Originally, I practiced to help me deal with the stress of exams when in my late teens and at uni. Later to help keep flexible when involved in athletics. Later returning to it for general anxiety and stress. 

    These days I am a senior and yes like many other seniors I have aches and pains from wear and tear on the body. Practising yoga for so long has made me think of other healthful habits like eating more nutritious and healthy and lighter foods and drinks. Getting the right rest. Choosing complementary exercise to help my yoga such as brisk walking. Practicisng meditation to help me get on a better footing with my mind, mental health and inner realities. 

    I have been very lucky to have moved into teaching yoga 20-25 years ago as this has kept me on track with my own practice. I originally started teaching a couple classes per week just to make me keep up with my own practice and it snowballed into many other things.

    Yoga has become a way of life for me and what I will say about that is that whatever comes along my yoga has helped me to deal with it. Whether that be moments of trauma and anxiety or physical injury.

    I have slowed down considerabley in recent years and have aches and pains but my yoga has kept me mobile and helps me manage my physical challenges. Even if meditation is not part of a yoga practice, regular deep posturing accompanied by slow focused breathing on a daily basis even if only for 20-30 minutes can over time calm the mind and body and make us less reactionary to daily mental and emotional challenges. You don't even have to be a disciplined daily practitioner doing 1-2 hours a day 7 days a week. 20-30 minutes a day and one class a week with a couple of days off is of great value. You will notice the difference after a while but don't keep assessing your progress just be a regular yogi and all will be well. After a few years one day you will stop in your tracks and say to yourself, hey:"You know what, I feel so much more flexible and toned and my mind is much calmer these days, I wonder what that's all about!"


  3. yoga group1

    Yoga on your yoga practice we often work with lateral bends and side stretches but it was the bananasana (banana pose) that drew my attention to the greater value of this part of the anatomy.

    Claimed by Chinese medicine and yin yoga to be the asanas that increase vitality and toning of the kidneys "sideline" asanas are an important connection with other parts of our anatomy that can make them even more valuable to our health and wellbeing and skeletal stability.

    The muscle group we more particularly engage with when we laterally bend is the Quadratus Lumborum. This muscle attaches to the iliac crest or pelvic hip bone and runs up to the lowest 12th rib whilst also attaching to the lumbar vertebrae. Consequently, it makes a connection between the hip the lower spine and the rib cage on both sides. 

    They are muscles that are often referred to as a postural muscles in that they are responsible for stabilizing us when we are standing or sitting. They have what is known as "slow twitch fibres" which means they don't function in quick or explosive movement. Hence their postural title. They don't tire too easily but they can get tight!

    They have an important connection to the core muscles, the glutes and the erector muscles in the spine so it is useful to keep all these toned to keep things in shape in the pelvic and focal area of the body.

    Finally, it can be argued that the tightness we feel in some of our postural muscles (these also include hip flexors spinal muscles and calves) can benefit more from more gentle stretching and motion while at the same time keeping the workhorse muscles strong.

  4. This is an appropriate time to look at one symbolic meaning of Easter.


    As you crack open your Easter eggs, think about the chicks emerging and tapping their way out of those shells, consider how much effort and discomfort they must feel; how much fear maybe they feel at being trapped; they may have an awareness that they won't be able to continue breathing for long.  Yet they put all their effort into that escape whilst we look on and marvel. Those that can't put in the effort fail to survive. 

    The reason I believe it is a good time to reflect on the symbolism of this is that we can often relate to some of those uncomfortable emotions.

    Many people are in an egg shell of their own.  They have an invisible protective shield around them that keeps them safe from harm but also restricts them from moving forward freely through their life.  They stop and examine every little thing that might effect them, consider every conversation and whether they should have said 'that'; suppress their anger and harbour it;try to please other people above themselves. They feel vulnerable.

    Their behaviour is  influenced by this shell making them appear to be defensive, submissive, manipulative, cohersive, agressive and more.  Yet they just feel that they are staying safe.  Like an egg they feel that if someone gets to close to them and gives a tap in the right place then the inner substance flows out, flows away leaving them empty and destroyed emotionally.  

    Yet if you were able to hard boil the egg and emerge from the shell you would have taken away your vulnerability.  You are now able to stay together even if people tap you in the right place.  You may suffer a little but like the hard boiled egg you would quickly bounce back.

    Sounds simple enough. 

    Yet breaking your shell is the hardest thing you will ever have to do in your life.  Emerging from your protected invisible behaviour 'shields' with freedom shining ahead is profound. It's a never ending journey as the sheilds are removed one by one over time.

    It's worth the effort it really is.

    Andrea Lowe

    Senior Hypnotherapist, 

  5. 1andreaatwychnor

    Hello again.  I have just seen an online article by the Daily Mirror with the Headline 'Can you be hypnotised' and a brief explanation that only some people can be.  I thought I needed to examine this potentially fake news or at least check that it was a headline aimed at grabbing attention,  expecting a bit of an anti-climax. I couldn't even open the quiz so I am still wondering what that says about me.

    You might be asking "What's the problem Andrea, why are you getting so uppity."

    Here's the problem.  In my formative years as a hypnotherapist back in 1995, I spent most of my time doing everything I could to explain what hypnosis and hypnotherapy is.  I actually thought that over this period of time my efforts along with those of my fraternity gradually took the mystic and magic away from hypnosis and established it as a bonafide option for healing and breaking free from self imposed limitations.

    Of course, it's always great to have  a bit of magic around. I won't deny that sometimes when people who have been suffering all their lives with unnecessary restrictions suddenly turn it around and experience a great sense of freedom, it can feel magical.  Truly it is just the proccess.

    So let's start at the beginning.  Don't believe anyone who starts by talking about trances, that's all part of the mystical control they like to promote.  Hypnosis is simply a deep relaxation, the type that you experience when you're about to drop off to sleep or just after you have woken.  You're less alert than when fully awake and even feel as though you are in a bubble of tranquility but still in full control.  The aim is that this state quietens the thinking mind and gives more access to the stored limiting beliefs and fears that are harboured to the rear.  This part of your mind is often active when  you are fully asleep and you sometimes remember those dreams that are lurking there.

    Whether or not people are suggestable is a different matter.  It is true that some people are very open to suggestions and some totally closed.
    Hypnosis doesn't come into it, this is an every day phenomenon.  You can tell a suggestable person that they are looking ill and they will start to feel ill, whereas there are those who would shrug it off and never think about it again.  That means that the highly suggestable people are open to suggestion while hypnotised.

    Suggestion therapy as it's very basic and raw is just that a suggestion that you will stop or will feel something desireable.  It is a bit hit and miss and has the potential to wear off in most cases.  It is also what the stage hypnotists depend upon.

    Hypnotherapy is able to identify the sources of limiting beliefs in oneself, of fears and anxieties that influence our reactions to events in our lives.  Whether that is a phobia or a compulsion in contrast to a habit, in fact anything that prevents one from being who they would prefer to be.

    So, if they want to be, everyone is able to be hypnotised, don't believe anything else.

  6. ad yoga on lawn1


    While I have been practising yoga for some 40 years I have only been teaching yoga for about 16 years and in those latter years I have often thought it important to give my students a reason for practising yoga. That has often been played out on the yoga mat, why are we practising this particular posture, why are we doing this breath technique, why are we are we doing this particular relaxation technique or meditation.

    By giving students a good reason for doing what they are doing I have found it inspires them to continue with their practice with greater encouragement and purpose. 

    But if you are a beginner or someone who is thinking of starting yoga what might be a good reason for taking up this practice? 

    As we have moved into the 20thC many people are taking a fresh look at the idea of exploring spirituality and yoga can play an important role in that quest. Nevertheless, spirituality apart, yoga practices can give clear and meaningful benefits to everyone.

    At this point I would like to just make reference to one of the great yoga Swamis of the last century, Satyananda Saraswati who once said words to the effect: Don't just practice yoga because I say it is good for you but if you do practice yoga have faith for a while in the technique you are using and then decide for yourself if it has brought value to your life.

    Beside the spiritual quest, yoga can simply be a means of maintaining health and wellbeing in our increasingly stressful global community.

    We probably will never completely irradicate stress in our lives. After all stress is the nature of matter in the universe. All atoms contain an element of agitation or stress and remember we have evolved from that matter. But we can do a lot to alleviate some of that stress.

    Even gentle yoga postures assist in removing some of our physical discomfort that can build up during the day from our activities at work and other interactions that can leave us with tensions and sometimes feelings of anxiety.

    Yoga breathing is an underated practice but it is probably the glue that holds the whole practice together and as your yoga journey unfolds you often come to see its ever growing value. I would even go as far as to say that our breath is the key to experiencing Samadhi, that blissfull state when the stilling of the body/mind brings us to a place of exquisite calmness.

    Yoga relaxation and meditation can help us to make better use of our ever decreasing time off. We live in a time of mobile phones, laptops, 24 hour online shopping, a pandemic, political conflict and increasing hours of working from home. In this pressurized lifestyle practising yoga makes good social and business sense.

    You could say that the underlying principles of yoga give us a most useful implement for helping us combat social despair. Yoga helps us to start reconnecting with our true selves so as to bring harmony to our body, mind and spirit in this current age and compassion where it has often drifted beyond sight. Besides the benefits already mentioned remember that yoga practice is an experience that cannot be understood in a scholarly way but can only really become part of your knowledge through regular practice and experience.

    Barry Todd (Yoga Teacher M&B Bury)