What are you looking forward to in 2020?

A question that has been going through my head the last few days.  This year I look forward to sharing more yoga retreats and workshops. Family yoga and family time.  Running!  And more yoga study.  I have booked myself on to some new courses to deepen my knowledge of yin yoga, yoga for the core, yoga for digestion and am learning new skills and techniques that I really look forward to sharing with you.

Yin Yoga

Yin yoga is like having a massage- it releases the tension, worries and stress from being a mother, it helps reduce the stiffness from running and cycling and it eases the everyday imbalance from work and life.  Yin has always been a part of my practice, but since becoming a mother, its been even more important to take this time for myself each week.  It’s a practice I do sometimes in the morning, to ease the tension from a long night.  Sometimes in the evening, to quiet my mind after a busy day.  Often, I yin on holiday as it really helps with jetlag or travel tightness.  It’s also a practice to balance the hormones and so very often beneficial during your cycle. 

Yin poses are floor based, they are held for 3-10 minutes and the idea is to gently open the connective tissue, or fascia in the body.  In my practice, I emphasize that we should find comfort in the postures to help the body to release.  Yin is very beneficial for tight muscles but can also help bring balance to internal organs as well and is therefore lovely if we are feeling any imbalance in our digestion, or hormones.  It allows the energy or prana to flow more freely in the body.  And therefore, we often feel rejuvenated and revitalized after the practice. 

I offer a two-hour yin yoga workshop once a month.  You will feel as though you have had a mini-escape and I do hope you can join for the next one.  Please book here

Home Yoga Practice

Home yoga practice can sound scary and daunting– where to start???  but it doesn’t need to be.

  1. Start where you feel safe and comfortable and work from there.
  2. Start with your favourite pose, start with your favourite breathing practice.
  3. Start where you are- you don’t need to be on your mat even, bring it into your day, taking a mindful moment while brushing your teeth or drinking your morning brew.
  4. Start with kindness and compassion for yourself- it won’t be like at a class, but it will be beneficial.

My first yoga teacher always encouraged home practice, this always seemed so intimidating to me, but I am so glad she did, and I am so glad I listened. This is where I truly began to understand the practice and myself.  I didn’t know where to start when I first started practicing at home, it seemed impossible to remember everything from class.  I was scared of getting it wrong.  I had to have all my other ‘chores’ done before I could do it.  I had to have at least an hour free.  Having all these requirements meant that I didn’t actually do it as often as I wanted.  Now, I don’t have any of those requirements, the first requirement of the day is to do a bit of yoga, whether it is a few minutes with the kids, 5 minutes or an hour alone, I try to make it part of my daily routine- like brushing my teeth, yoga is there to help keep my body, and mind healthy.

If you have questions about your home practice, get in touch;)

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga nidra is a practice of deep relaxation that has huge potential healing powers for the body and mind. It is not sleep, although you may fall asleep during the practice. Try if you can to maintain a fine thread of awareness, listening to the teacher’s voice and instructions.

During yoga nidra you enter a state between awareness and sleep, and can access the subconscious and explore further into your mind. One element of yoga nidra is the sankalpa, or resolve. The sankalpa is an opportunity to make a positive change in your life. It is a simple sentence that you will repeat to yourself. Frame the sentence in the present tense, as if it is already happening in your life. It is worth taking time to refine your sankalpa. It may change over time, but try using the same one for a number of sessions if you can. The sankalpa is like planting a little seed in the mind. The rest of the practice will help nourish the seed. The sankalpa can be very powerful, so if you are not fully sure of what you desire for your life it is worth spending time thinking about it.

You are in control during yoga nidra, the teacher is simply the guide through the technique. Allow yourself to be open to anything you may experience in yoga nidra.

A yoga nidra session can be as restful and beneficial as regular sleep but done in less time. There are so many benefits to yoga nidra- one of them being how it helps with stress. As the systems of the body experience deep physiological rest during yoga nidra, the body’s powerful, natural regenerative mechanisms are activated. Allowing the body to rest and repair itself. As the level of stress hormones in the body decrease during the practice, the body is less susceptible to inflammation and diseases associated with it. Yoga nidra may be beneficial for people with hypertension, coronary disease, arthritis, asthma, ulcers, migraines, insomnia, depression, IBS, cancer, high blood pressure, pregnancy, post-natally… the list continues.

I hope you have had the chance to experience yoga nidra during your exploration of yoga. If you have any questions please get in touch.

Healthy cookie recipe

healthy cookies

healthy cookies-natural sugars

I pretty much never follow a recipe exactly so you will have to play a little to get the consistency of these healthy cookies right for you. This one seems to always need a bit more help sticking, adding more honey- or sometimes a bit of water helps. The good news is this one seems to always turn out yummy no matter what I do!

125g flour
150g oats
1/2tsp bicarbonate soda
pinch of salt
cinnamon to taste- i have also added ground ginger and tumeric before
100g sugar—I substituted Molasses(treacle?) last time, about 4tbls=AMAZING
4tbsp maple syrup, or agave, or honey
1 large carrot grated – might try fresh ginger next time too!
100ml olive, or coconut oil
100g chopped dried fruit- raisins etc
100g chopped nuts or seeds

mix all together- should be sticking together itself or you need more liquid probably. bake 180c/gas 4/350f
8-10minutes
I recommend making double batch as they don’t last long! Let me know if you try them!

Little Changes

My New Years resolution was ‘eat less sugar’….that lasted the typical two weeks until my over indulgent sweet tooth won out. Two months ago I decided my goal need to be more defined, tangible and achievable.

‘go one day a week without refined sugar’

-no cakes, cookies, biscuits, bars, yogurts, hard candy, juice etc.
-fruit, honey etc is all ok.

My sweet tooth hasn’t got the best of me this time. The no sugar days are getting easier and I feel good because I am achieving this goal. If you are looking to make a change in your life, it is better to start small, with something that is manageable and sustainable.

Things I have been eating instead of the usual sweets-

Home-made granola with fruit and plain yogurt
Tahini, honey and oat bars
Oatie biscuits made with honey, molasses
Dried Dates

Want to join my no sugar days challenge? Comment below if you would like the recipes too;)

Going Matless

I read the article, “Yoga Mats Are They Really Necessary” about a month ago. It briefly summarises the history of the yoga mat, and makes a few possibly controversial points about using them-

A) that they may be causing an imbalance in our practice by allowing us to stretch too much without the strength needed in some poses.

B) they define us, make the practice space ours and give us boundaries from other students.

It really got me thinking about the mat, I thought ‘hey let’s try it’. I gave myself a month to go matless in my home practice. It was challenging at first, not to reach for it, but eventually I really enjoyed the freedom, feedback and sensation I got from practising matless. It was very different, and quite challenging (especially in downward facing dog). In public classes it was impossible not to have a mat, I tried to explain- it’s OK, I don’t need one- but people bent over backwards to get one and I felt guilty refusing. After a month, and a very challenging week, I gave in, and crawled back to my mat, relishing the comfort it gave me. This particular mat was a special gift. It not only gives me a space to practice, but it reminds me of a thoughtful friend who encouraged me and gave me confidence.

Go matless for a while and see how it feels for you. If you have tried this, or if you have any thoughts on the article from Yoga International, leave me a comment, it would be great to hear your thoughts. I should mention, a few of my students practice on camping mats, instead of yoga mats- they seem to be doing just fine!  I will be doing 50/50 for now, at least I know what it feels like, and it will make travelling a bit lighter!

Simply Breathing

Breathing is so important in our yoga practice. The breath is such a powerful tool, something we do each day without realising,  and yet it can have a profound impact on our health.  Begin to examine your breath, a few moments each day and you will begin to notice how it is connected to your state of mind, and how you are reacting in your body.  It is so simple, and yet so often overlooked.  Begin to notice how you breath and the impact it has on your emotions.

Where are you breathing?  Through your nose, or through your mouth?  Where are you breathing?  Into your belly? Into your chest?  Into your back?  Into your whole body?  How are you breathing?  Short and Shallow?  Long and Slow?  Are your holding your breath?  Are you sighing or yawning often?

Your breath can help you fight off viruses, tone your belly, and massage your spine.  It can help with digestion and give you more energy.  Notice your breath this week in different situations, in meetings, in bed, in the car.  I would love to hear your observations.

I am still learning about my breath and trying to improve it, but I believe in the power of the breath because I used it myself during childbirth, to calm my mind and give birth without any pain relief.  What can your breath help you overcome?

Yoga for babies, mums, toddlers, children, schools and adults

Yoga for babies, mums, toddlers, children, beginners, and families

Yoga in Cullingworth
Mondays 6:45-7:45 and 8-9pm
Wednesdays 9:30 am
Yoga in Cullingworth is a dynamic class, including a variety of poses, breath work, mindfulness and relaxation. Suitable for all levels, beginners included.  £30 for 5 class yoga pass you can use for two months.

Yoga Explorers Toddler Yoga in Saltaire
Tuesdays 10am
Yoga and mindfulness practices for crawlers to four years old.  We have fun learning about our breath, to help calm us down.  We practice yoga poses to help build strength, balance and coordination, using music, singing, stories, and play.  And a little bit of relaxation. Carers and little ones enjoy bonding through this practice. Regular courses, Term time only.  Cost is £6 for block bookings or £6.5 pay as you go.

Post-natal/Baby Yoga in Saltaire
Tuesdays 11am
Breathing, singing, movement, and relaxation, yoga for mums and babies.  Each session is different, as they are completely baby led.  Join us to learn practices to help baby and mummy bond, stretch/strengthen and relax after birth.  Cost is £6 for block bookings or £6.5 pay as you go.  Suitable for birth to crawling.  Regular courses, Term time only.

Kids Yoga Club
Wednesdays 4:15
A special course for kids, (3-7) we will practice mindfulness, breathing, explore yoga through stories and games and finish with a lovely relaxation. Children will be able to explore their yoga practice in safe, supportive, relaxed environment while they build their strength, balance and coordination.
Parent supervision is not necessary, but welcome if needed.  Book Now

***Please contact Kellyannyoga@gmail.com or 07965582530 to book on or with questions.

For more information on what to expect at each class please see- About Yoga

Private classes- tailored yoga practice, for one or more people, in your home or business. Please contact for more information.

Yoga and Mindfulness in School- Help students to develop confidence, stay calm, focused.  Mindfulness helps improve student’s well-being and concentration.  Sessions tailored to school’s preferences and needs.

Family Yoga Sessions once a month in Saltaire- BOOK NOW