Top 5 Yoga Studios in Brighton

As a spiritual and creative hub it is little surprise that yoga has taken off in Brighton in a huge way! There are plenty of dedicated studios across the city offering a variety of yoga styles and classes, Brighton also hosts its very own annual Yoga Festival!

Channel your inner yogi at one of my top five yoga studios in Brighton …

Yoga-in-Brighton-2

Yoga in The Lanes

Beginners, intermediate or experts are all welcome at Yoga in the Lanes. Located just a short walk from Brighton station, this spacious studio boasts a great reputation and offers an average of 5 classes a day. The studio specializes in Bikram Yoga (Hot Yoga).

Find out more

The Float Spa

The Float Spa is a hugely popular destination in Hove for practicing yoga, it boasts a lovely dedicated studio with friendly staff. The studio offers a wide range of classes, for beginners to more experienced yogis, with highly experienced teachers on hand to help adapt technique depending on your level.

Find out more 

Yoga for all at Yellowave

Yoga teacher Melanie Melvin holds a weekly class every Sunday at Yellowave Brighton. Offering a beautiful view of the seafront, it’s the perfect way to relax your mind and get yourself ready for the week. Mats are provided, the class is open to all levels and you can just drop in on the day. Having studied yoga for over 20 years Melanie knows all the ins and outs of Yoga.

Find out more

Yoga-in-Brighton

Revitalise

Revitalise is a well-being center that specialize in 5 different types of Yoga – Mysore Self Practice, Vinyasa flow, Hatha, Ashtanga and Yin Yang. Their group classes are small but intimate, ensuring the attention is on you allowing for the teacher to help with quicker development and understanding. Suitable for all abilities, each student receives quality guidance and personal advice depending on their level.

Find out more

Unity Studio & School

Unity Studio & School is based on Lewes Road, Brighton. Unity offers group classes, workshops, teacher training as well as private one to one classes. The studio can hold up to 20 people, making an ideal size for group classes. Classes vary and include Ashtanga, Yin Yoga and Aerial yoga. With an ethos of meeting new people and connecting, you’re guaranteed to leave with more than just a great mindset and increased flexibility!

Find out more

Rachel x

 

 

A Beginners Guide to Chakras

il_fullxfull.529105413_792u.jpg

There are seven major chakras. They are located at the base of the spine, at the reproductive centre, at the solar plexus, the heart, the throat, the brow and at the crown of the head. These sites in turn represent the body’s major systems: excretion, reproduction, digestion, circulation, respiration and the complex functions of cognition. The crown chakra is sometimes regarded as a unique centre of consciousness and not counted with the first six chakras. It is important to note that there are other minor centres also in the hands, feet and behind the knees.

Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘wheel’ and denotes a point of intersection where mind and body meet. Chakras can also be called lotus flowers, symbolising the unfolding of flower petals, which metaphorically describe the opening of a chakra. Lotus flowers are sacred in India. Growing from mud, they symbolise a path of development from a primitive being to a fully blossoming consciousness, mirroring the base chakra rooted in Earth, which evolves into a lotus flower with a thousand petals at the crown of the head. Like lotuses, chakras have ‘petals’ which vary in number from chakra to chakra. Beginning at the bottom with the first chakra, the petals number four, six, ten, twelve, sixteen, two, and a thousand petals. Like flowers, chakras can be open or closed, dying or budding, depending on the state of consciousness within.

The chakras are traditionally represented through symbols. Their functions and nature are described not through words but through symbolic images. This is the traditional approach of all esoteric traditions, for the symbol is richer in meaning than the word.

The chakras carry the colours of the rainbow spectrum, and a shape also represents each. The first five chakras also have animal symbols that express the nature of the chakra, and an elemental symbol. There are also common associations between the chakras and the glands of the endocrine system, so when we are ‘balancing the chakras’ we are, at a physical level, balancing the glands of the endocrine system. This is of course a very simplistic explanation of the chakra system of energy.

Root Chakra

Location: Perineum (the area mid-way between the anus and the genitals). The chakra face downwards, between the legs, the stem faces upwards into the central.

Key words: Survival

Colour: Red

Element: Earth

Sense: Smell

Endocrine gland: Adrenals

Imbalance: An imbalance in the base chakra can make a person feel as if they are underground and unfocused, they may feel weak, lack of confidence and be unable to achieve their goals.

Sacral Chakra

Location: The chakra is approximately two fingers below the navel,

Key words: Reproduction

Colour: Orange

Element: Water

Sense: Taste

Endocrine gland: Ovaries and testes, it energies also effects the urino-genital organs, the uterus, the kidneys, the lower digestive organs and the lower back.

Imbalance: A person with an imbalance in this chakra may bury their emotions and be over sensitive, an imbalance may also lead to sexual difficulties, infertility problems and blocks of creativity

Solar Plexus Chakra

Location: Just below the sternum, extending down the navel. The stem is in a corresponding position at the back.

Key words: Personal power, will, self-esteem

Colour: Yellow

Element: Fire

Sense: Sight

Endocrine gland: Pancreas

Imbalance: People who are under a lot of stress will show imbalances in this chakra. It is in this chakra that negative energies relating to thoughts and feelings are processed. Imbalances may result in depression, insecurity, lack of confidence and worries about what others think.

Heart Chakra

Location: On the same level as the physical heart but in the centre of the body. Stem is at the back.

Key word: Love (unconditional)

Colour: Green

Element: Air

Sense: Touch

Endocrine gland: Thymus

Imbalance: If the energy does not flow freely between the solar plexus and the heart, or between the heart and the throat, it can lead to energy withdrawal into the body; a person with an imbalance in this chakra may feel unloved, be afraid of loving, feel unworthy of love or be afraid of rejection. This chakra represents ‘unconditional’ love.

Throat Chakra

Location: The neck, with petals at the front and stem at the back.

Key word: Communication

Colour: Blue

Element: Ether

Sense: Hearing

Endocrine gland: Thyroid and parathyroid

Imbalance: Imbalances in this chakra will have an impact on speaking one’s mind. It also deals with issues of truth and expression of the soul. As well as speech, an imbalance in this chakra may affect one’s willingness to hear.

Third Eye Chakra

Location: Above and between the eyes. The stem is at the back of the head.

Key words: Inspiration, insight, completeness

Colour: Indigo

Element: Light

Sense: There is no sense for this chakra

Endocrine gland: Pineal

Imbalance: The third eye chakra is central to ‘seeing’ past, present and future events. It is the storehouse of memories and imagination and is associated with intellect, understanding and intuition. Imbalances in this chakra may indicate someone afraid to look into the future, afraid of success, unassertive and undisciplined.

Crown Chakra

Location: At the top of the head with petals facing upwards and the stem going down into the central column.

Key words: Knowledge, understanding, release

Colour: Diamond, white, gold or violet

Element: Thought

Sense: There is no sense for this chakra

Endocrine gland: Pituitary

Imbalance: An imbalance in this chakra may be reflected in an unwillingness to open up to our spiritual potential.

Rachel x

 

A guide to Yoga.

claremont-yoga-mats

Most people who know me, know that I love Yoga and have been practising for many years. I regularly attend Hatha and Yin Yoga classes at The Float Spa on Third Avenue and highly recommend the studio!

I have put together all you need to know to get started with yoga, including the health benefits, yoga styles for beginners, and finding a yoga class.

What is yoga?

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing. The practice originated in India about 5,000 years ago, and has been adapted in other countries in a variety of ways.

What are the health benefits of yoga?

Dozens of scientific trials of varying quality have been published on yoga. While there’s scope for more rigorous studies on its health benefits, most studies suggest yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance. There’s also evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress.

Can yoga help with Arthritis?

I wanted to include this as I suffer with Psoriatic Arthritis. Yoga is popular with many people with arthritis for its gentle way of promoting flexibility and strength. Some research suggests yoga can reduce pain and mobility problems. However, some yoga moves aren’t suitable for people with the condition. Find a teacher who understands arthritis and can adapt movements for individual needs, especially if you have replacement joints. Check with a doctor or physiotherapist to find out if there are any movements to avoid.

Am I too old for yoga?

Definitely not! People often start yoga in their advanced years and many say they wish they had started sooner. There are yoga classes for every age group. Yoga is a form of exercise that can be enjoyed at any age.

Do I have to be fit to do yoga?

No, you can join a class that’s suitable for your fitness level. For example, to join a mixed ability yoga class, you need to be able to get up and down from the floor. Some yoga classes are chair-based.

Do I need to be flexible to do yoga?

No, Yoga will improve your flexibility and help you go beyond your normal range of movement, which will make performing your daily activities easier.

Can I injure myself doing yoga?

Yoga-related injuries are uncommon. Some injuries can be caused by repetitive strain or overstretching. But yoga is the same as any other exercise discipline. It is perfectly safe if taught properly by people who understand it and have experience. Learning from a qualified yoga teacher and choosing a class appropriate for your level will ensure you remain injury-free.

What style of yoga should I do?

There are many different styles of yoga, such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha and Yin. Some styles are more vigorous than others. Some may have a different area of emphasis, such as posture or breathing. Many yoga teachers develop their own practice by studying more than one style. No style is necessarily better or more authentic than any other. The key is to choose a class appropriate for your fitness level.

What type of class should I look out for?

Classes can vary in duration, but typically last between 45 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. A longer class will give you more time for learning breathing and relaxation techniques, and will give the teacher time to work with your individual ability. It’s worth speaking to a teacher about their approach before you sign up for a class.

Where can I find a yoga class?

No specific qualifications are required to teach yoga in the UK. However, it is generally accepted that teachers need to be insured and have a teaching certificate and accreditation from a yoga association.

The main UK yoga associations are:

These associations all list teachers and classes near you on their websites. You can also search for a local class or teacher using the following websites:

Can I use a book or a yoga DVD instead of going to a class?

It’s better to start with a class to learn the poses and breathing techniques correctly. With a DVD, there will be nobody to correct your mistakes, which may lead to injury over time. With some experience of being in a class, a DVD can then be helpful for keeping up practice.

Rachel x