Katie’s hugely popular Restorative Yoga classes continue on a monthly basis. Restorative yoga is a deeply relaxing style of yoga. Each asana is held anywhere from 2-10 minutes, depending on the pose and the student. During this time you will be supported by blankets, bolsters or/and blocks. The asanas are based on those found in a regular yoga class and most postures will be floor based. The physical part of the class will be followed by a yoga nidra meditation. These classes will be 90 minutes.
In addition, Katie has added a new series of classes, Restorative Yoga +. Building from Katie’s recent training in self-myofascial release, these workshops will include all the elements of the restorative yoga workshops, plus an insight and experience of self-myofascial release to release long held tension within the muscle and fascia systems. These classes will be 120 minutes.
Keeping yourself healthy throughout the Winter becomes more difficult if you are or your kids are in a stuffy environment, surrounded by people coughing and sneezing. So how can we best protect ourselves?
Many factors influence the health of our immune system – stress, diet, quality of sleep and exercise. Additionally, gut health is incredibly important to our immune function, given that the cells which help us fight bacteria and viruses are located in our gut mucosa. Vitamin D levels too play an enormous role and catching colds and flu maybe be symptomatic of an underlying deficiency.
Some steps to good immunity
1) Add at least 5 portions of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables a day. Vitamin C is a strong anti-oxidant, but it is also water soluble, meaning that you excrete it in your urine and so needs to be eaten every day – not just when you feel a cold coming on. Sprouts, broccoli and kale are all surprising sources of good levels of vitamin C.
2) Add at least 3 portions of probiotic foods a week. A good balance of beneficial gut flora can boost your immune system. You may improve your levels naturally with probiotic foods, such as natural live yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut or kombucha, and if you are dairy free, then you will find there is also coconut kefir or live coconut yoghurt.
3) Add prebiotic fibre to your diet daily. Prebiotic foods are those which supply the indigestible fibre for our good bacteria to feed upon, thereby ensuring that they thrive. Onions, garlic, bananas, leeks, asparagus, cabbage and legumes all have good levels of prebiotic fibre.
4) Add spices – ginger, garlic and turmeric all have anti-inflammatory properties which can aid your body in its fight against infection.
5) Get your vitamin D levels checked. Sub-optimal levels of vitamin D levels will significantly impair your immune response, potentially making you far more susceptible to contracting colds, flu, and other respiratory infections. Exactly why adults absorb and process vitamin D so differently is still somewhat of a mystery, so the only way to know if your vitamin D level is therapeutic and nontoxic is by having your blood tested. A simple £32.50 test can tell you if you need to supplement and at what level.
The menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life cycle. With the ageing process, our oestrogen levels decrease and periods become less frequent until they stop altogether. Oestrogen is the hormone that regulates a women’s periods. This process can take many years and symptoms may appear gradually. This gradual change is called the peri-menopause.
When does it happen?
The menopause usually occurs around the ages of 45 to 55. The average age is 51. In some cases, it might start as young as young as 30. This is known as a premature menopause
Signs and Symptoms
Some women will pass easily through the menopause, but most will experience some of the symptoms to a greater or lesser degree. Symptoms arise because of the loss of oestrogen, which happens with the ageing process. Symptoms may also be affected by diet and lifestyle.
It is also thought that the more out of balance the body is, the worse the symptoms will be. These imbalances may have occurred due to diet, exercise and lifestyle.
Here are some of the most common symptoms:
Changes to periods: The flow and frequency of your periods may change.
Hot flushes: This is the most common symptom and occurs in about 3 of every 4 women going through the menopause. Some women say that the description of ‘hot flush’ doesn’t do justice to what happens. Many liken the experience to being placed in a hot furnace. In some women, this can occur many times throughout the day. Sometimes these hot flushes occur at night and are known as night sweats.
Insomnia: This may be as a result of night sweats which disturb sleep.
Vaginal dryness: The lack of oestrogen means that the skin and support tissues of the vagina become thinner and less elastic, and also for the vagina to become dry. This can cause irritation and itchiness. There may also be discomfort during sex.
Low mood, anxiety, irritability: Oestrogen can also affect the brain, which has an effect on emotional well-being. Symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety and irritability may occur. There may also be difficulty in concentrating and forgetfulness.
The most common treatment is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). This can take the form of tablets, cream or gel, a skin patch or an implant. It works by replacing oestrogen and so relieves the symptoms that are caused by decreasing levels of oestrogen.
However, the side effects of HRT include weight gain, breast tenderness, nausea, headaches and mood changes. It is not recommended for women with a history of stroke or deep vein thrombosis, breast or endometrial cancer, or severe liver disease.
There is conflicting evidence as to the long-term safety of HRT. Some studies suggest an increase in the risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Other studies show that it is safe and that these results are over-estimated.
Menopause should not be seen as a loss of youth but rather as the potential gaining of wisdom and spiritual power. Flaws B (2005)
Acupuncture and the Menopause- How can I help you?
Many women are looking for alternative ways to help them with the symptoms of menopause; acupuncture is a natural way that many are choosing. Acupuncture works with the body. I look at where there are patterns of imbalance and work to address these by inserting needles into carefully chosen acupuncture points. In this way, we bring about balance to the body which enables the body to heal itself, alleviating the symptoms you may be experiencing. You may also feel more positive and able to embrace the journey that you are on!
Ideally you would make changes to your diet and lifestyle and start a course of acupuncture prior to this stage of your life, before the symptoms arise. Prevention is always better and we look to create balance, putting your body in the best possible place for an easy transition through this phase of life.
What can you do to help yourself?
Diet and Lifestyle
Eat a healthy, balanced diet: Avoid sugary processed foods that causes your blood sugar to spike. Keeping insulin levels stable can prevent or alleviate some of the symptoms.
Exercise: or simply move more! A sedentary lifestyle can have a very negative impact on your health and well-being. There are many apps and devises, such as step counters, that can track your movement throughout the day.
Rest and relaxation: Our modern lifestyle can be very stressful. We are constantly available. Giving time, even 10 minutes a day, to some sort of resting activity such as mediation or mindfulness exercises can have a really positive effect on health and well-being. You will then be in a better place to deal with the stresses in your life. Again, there are many apps available to help you with this.
Whatever choice of treatment you make, I would always suggest that you look at all of the evidence, weigh up the pros and cons, and make an informed decision that is right for you.
Please contact me if you would like any further information or if you would like to book an appointment.
TeenYoga provides a place for our young adults to get away from the pressures of school, friends, family and phones. Each one-hour class incorporates movement, breathing techniques and meditation. A time to release stress in the body through stretching and moving which feels so good; learning to understand the rhythms of the breath and use these to influence our feelings; a time to meditate, have stillness – a time to rest.
Yoga movements and postures (asanas) are the main part of the class. Moving the body into certain shapes can make us feel more alive and confident whilst other shapes can help us calm. The idea is to notice these feelings and be OK with them – this can help us begin to understand the root cause as to why we feel a certain way. When we can understand why we feel a certain way, start to be comfortable with being challenged in yoga asanas and begin to foster the patience to practice within the safe environment of a yoga class, we can start to use these techniques outside of the class – in school and home. Yoga is great for sporty teens as a form of cross-training for other sports. It’s also a beautiful way to be active in a non-competitive environment for the not-so-sporty.
“I enjoy going to teen yoga because it helps with my stress. I also try and practice some of the moves at home too because I’m trying to get my splits. It’s helped a lot with improving my flexibility and keeping myself calm in hard situations (like the breathing exercises we do).”
The classes also focus on breathing techniques. Some yoga breathing techniques are taught with particular attention to stress relief – a bonus for those with exams coming up. Breath powers each asana. In some asanas it is more difficult to breath as the body may be twisted, or in a backbend. We can use awareness to refine how we need to breath to be comfortable in a position; again these challenges can be translated off the mat and into life!
So many of the young people I teach always ask for more meditation. The meditation we do in this class is the yoga nidra meditation. Nidra means sleep! Whilst people really do sometimes fall asleep, the real meaning is the sleep of the body. The meditation, done lying down, includes a body scan to fully relax the body. Once completed there are simple breathing meditations and sometimes visualizations. Yoga nidra is a real gift of ease and time-out for our teens.
“It’s really nice to go after a day at school and just forget about everything. I enjoy learning different poses and feel more flexible now after doing yoga for a year. The best part of the class is the meditation (sleeping…!) at the end.”
Summary of benefits of yoga
develops strength, flexibility and stamina
reduces tension, stress and anxiety
raises self-esteem and promotes self-efficacy
develops clarity, focus and concentration
creates awareness of emotional responses
encourages self-management of behaviour
promotes social, mental and emotional health
“It’s been a safe place to unwind and de stress. Best thing ever for teenagers.”
Katie currently teaches yoga at a local grammar school and a local girls’ school.
She runs a TeenYoga class each Tuesday during school term time at Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre.
Katie also runs adult vinyasa, hatha and restorative yoga classes at the centre.
Restorative Yoga with Katie Maughfling (Yoga with Katie)
Restorative yoga is a relatively new style of yoga. It was developed in 1937 by B.K.S. Iyengar to help students release into yoga asanas (poses) without stress or strain and so has the benefit of assisting in recovery from injury or illness.
Restorative yoga is a deeply relaxing style of yoga. Each asana is held anywhere from 2-20 minutes, depending on the pose and the student. During this time you are supported by blankets, bolsters or pillows and blocks. The asanas are based on those found in a regular hatha or vinyasa class and there is a special sequencing of the poses as in a regular yoga class, whilst being held and supported throughout.
In all yoga we aim to let go of the ego, and even more so in restorative yoga. Holding these supported asanas for minutes at a time can be mentally challenging as we learn to watch the mind as the body stills.
Yoga with Katie is now offering Restorative Yoga classes at the Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre. We have here a number of mats, blocks, blankets and bolsters, however do bring your own if you have them.
These restorative classes will be 90 minutes long and will have the additional benefit of a yoga nidra meditation at the end.
Cost £12 per person, per session. Bookings essential. Email email@example.com for more information and booking.
Katie also runs weekly vinyasa, hatha and teen yoga classes at the centre.
“Bliss. Beginning with seemingly small movements to encourage your body to release tension. Using props, such as bolsters and blankets for comfort, very much guided by your own bodies’ needs. Surprisingly powerful poses culminating in a period of calming meditation. Katie expertly guides you through this so there is no need to be nervous for those joining for the first time! Really beneficial and great to take time out to restore and relax. Snoring optional.”
“The class was very gentle, but surprisingly effective. I felt a lot more relaxed and peaceful afterwards and it freed me from the stiffness I usually feel in my neck.”
Weekend Intensive Yoga Workshop with Lindsay, who is a very experienced Junior Intermediate Iyengar Teacher.
There are just a few places left for this wonderful weekend of Iyengar yoga asanas and pranayama.
Saturday 8th April 10-12.30
Saturday 8th April 1-3.30
Sunday 9th April 1-3.30
The whole weekend is £75. Or £30 a session if you can only make one of them (they will work as stand alone classes).
If you have at least 2 years experience of yoga and would like to join us taking a very spacious, thorough and focused journey through some of the asanas to improve your practice please contact Lindsey to find out more on 07748 531327.
We offer a wide variety of well respected and established therapies. Each of our therapies and treatments will help you to improve your physical and emotional health and are suitable for all ages – from tiny babies to the elderly.
We have a large team of fully qualified and highly experienced practitioners, all experts in their respective field and all have professional body registration. Our aim is to provide you with the best advice, treatment and patient care.
Our studio is a beautiful, light and spacious room, which is multi-purpose and can be used for a variety of events and classes. It may be rented on an hourly, daily or weekend basis, in the daytime or evening.