Mindfulness, as it is coined these days, is the new buzz word worldwide and even with the benefits and criticisms of its teaching, it is wonderful news! The practice of mindfulness has been shown to exert a powerful influence on one’s health, well-being and happiness as attested to by the scientific and medical evidence presented in a very accessible fashion in the book by Mark Williams and Danny Penman, and by many other researchers of mindfulness over the past 20 years. The overwhelming results are that mindfulness is good for us, and positively effects everything in our life.
What is mindfulness? It is an ongoing practice in which we cultivate non-judgmental awareness and kind attention in the present moment, thereby learning and growing, so that we begin to live life fully.
Mindfulness is heartfulness. It is the presence of heart in Chinese calligraphy and regarded as the science of a meaningful life. The practice is a wonderful journey, a process which informs and transforms our life. The practice involves paying attention in a systematic way for no reason other than to be awake, aware, so that we begin to live in the present moment, as if it really matters, which is the only time we have to create and to be in relationship or to love.
Yoga is a deep mindfulness practice with the focus mainly on the body and its sensations and on the breath. We teach both yoga and mindfulness and we train in other mindfulness practices such as presence of mind and living fully; and awareness with kind attention. Many mindful practices do not include awareness or movement of the body, whereas we feel both the mind and the body are very important for maximum success in releasing and coping with stress, and at the same time creating health and wellbeing. Jon Kabat-Zinn has the same success with body awareness in his renowned Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course (MBSR).
Our strong belief is that yoga is for everyone and is not about doing yoga postures as acrobatics but to listen to your body, to focus on the breath, which brings you into the present, calms your mind and emotions, and is extremely energizing. With gentle movement of the body’s musculature you develop flexibility and support to your joints and organs, and the “feel good” factor. Yoga switches on the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the “de-stress” system in the body which creates calmness, peace of mind, and deep sleep. Other forms of exercise do not activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Most of us have experienced the interconnectedness of the body and mind, even if we haven’t realized it. Physical symptoms can effect our mental state and attitude, just as our thoughts and emotions can have an influence on our body. For example, exercise and dance usually have a positive effect on our mental state, whereas discouragement and disapproval usually cause our body to deflate with the shoulders and upper back closing inwards and downwards, literally closing the heart and lungs.
Scaravelli Inspired Yoga with Karen Ingman
The style of yoga that Karen teaches has been inspired by the pioneering approach of Vanda Scaravelli. The yoga postures are a framework for undoing tension and tightness, creating physical and mental flexibility and space, and for exploring and understanding our body and mind in a non-judgmental way. The body loves gentleness, no forcing, no pushing, no pulling. This way of working with the body ensures ease and safety. This is a gentle form of Hatha yoga that requires focused awareness and deep listening to the breath and the body, a deep surrender to the earth and gravity, which, together with strong engagement of the body's muscles, gives huge relief to the body, releases and undoes tension, creating space, uninhibited openness, and freedom. With this surrender and physical alertness, the breath changes, and well-being, vitality, and focus naturally follow, as the spine, the central nervous system, unfolds freely like a wave. Tightness and tension disappear.
Karen’s approach to yoga will bring you closer to the earth, gravity, your breath and the beautiful movement of your spine. Her approach brings a lightness and ease to both the body and mind. Her focus on the breath takes you to the essence of yoga and is an integral part of her teaching. Through listening to your body and your breath, rather than to push and pull, you will discover that it responds in an incredible way, giving life and suppleness to the spine. In this process, you experience the power of presence, inner peace, health and vitality.
Karen conveys this subtle and dynamic style with a hands-on approach that invites your body to undo beyond its limitations, thereby releasing tension. There is precision and grounding in her teaching and attention to posture. You learn to surrender to the earth so that tension leaves your body, and in response, your body becomes lighter and your posture
realigned. This releases enormous energy to complete your daily tasks with greater ease.
Hatha yoga and mindfulness benefits everyone and is suitable for all ages, all levels of experience and for complete beginners.
Regardless of your level of fitness, you will discover a stronger, more flexible, and healthier spine, with freer movement. You will enjoy increased energy, vitality, focus, and peace of mind. With the focus on the body and the breath, you will learn to go within and find your own inherent wisdom and peace.
Why Scaravelli Inspired Yoga?
This style of yoga is safe, intelligent and revolutionary. Instead of forcing, pushing and pulling your body into yoga positions that create more or new tension and tightness, you listen, surrender, wait, breathe, dissolve unnecessary tension, and undo into your yoga postures, giving life and vitality to your spine. This is a unique approach that uses gravity and the breath to ride the body's own wave of limitless expansion. It is a liberating practice that brings freedom and playfulness, thereby infusing our life with this approach.
Scaravelli inspired yoga focuses on creating space in the body while engaging the whole body's musculature, and thereby awakening the spine, which is your central nervous system. "Yoga is one of the few practices that directly switches off the sympathetic nervous system which becomes overactive in the event of stress and strenuous exercise, releasing damaging chemicals into the bloodstream. By stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, and thereby altering electrochemical activity, yoga creates the right conditions for overall good health" Swami Rama.
With this approach, yoga is a journey of awakening your higher intelligence. Karen's way of teaching takes you on a journey within, towards your own powerful presence. Through listening and moving with awareness, you embark on a journey of self-discovery and self-reflection, towards your greater self and inner peace. You become lighter, brighter, and freer, in both your body and your mind. This freedom comes when you have dropped a lot of unnecessary knowledge, unnecessary burdens, unnecessary competition, and unnecessary struggle. You experience and manage stress very differently. Yoga is amazing! I love yoga! You will love yoga! Try it!
As we struggle to find peace in this world of conflict, yoga & mindfulness practice allows us to quiet our mind and listen to our intuition, which might inform us that what is missing, is our willingness or our ability to show up fully in our lives, and to live them as if they really mattered, in the only moment we ever get – this one. Not in the future when this or that is achieved or the past of regrets or “bad” decisions etc. The future is now.
Through regular mindfulness practice we begin to realize that we are worthy of living our lives fully and creatively. This realization and practice takes courage, and it could be world-transforming as we transform our attitude to others also. It is certainly profoundly nurturing and life-transforming for those who undertake it.
We recommend: two yoga classes per week of 45 to 60 minutes, rather than one longer class, and for optimal results combine this with the corporate mindfulness training course or corporate coaching for optimum health & well-being course. This will significantly reduce your physical and mental stress and transform your life on a profound level. Combine this with massage and you will be flying high! Your well-being is a certainty.
You will see the difference in your state of mind and stress coping mechanisms very quickly. The body remembers much faster with twice weekly yoga, doubly reinforcing what your nervous system is learning, and the neuroplastic changes to your brain that it produces, laying new patterns of well-being much faster and more permanently.
See the courses - mindfulness training or corporate coaching for optimum health & well-being, massage & acupuncture and health & nutrition pages.
Make yoga & mindfulness your priority and well-being your way of life.
To book for your classes or for more information on our well-being consultations and courses contact: Karen on 07896204441 or send a message via the contact form.