Meet our teachers: Claire Hawkins

claire hawkinsClaire is joining us in Croatia in just a few days so we thought it was only right that we introduce you to her!

Claire attended her first yoga class over 16 years ago and she left with such a wonderful feeling (one that if you think back to your first yoga class I bet you felt it too); that feeling of calmness and feeling like she could deal with anything that came her way.

With her background in the competitive world of dance and musical theatre yoga gave Claire to connect to something on a deeper level and the philosophy behind yoga allowed her to find patience, presence, acceptance, peace and an appreciation of the breath and how it can instantly calm her emotions and mind.

Claire competed her 200 hour Yoga Alliance teacher training in 2010 and carried out further Yin training a few years later; through this training Claire explored her interest in the complexities of the human anatomy and its influence on the way each of our bodies approach asana. Because of this Claire’s wonderful approach to teaching is to help her students find a practice that suits their own individual body and needs.

Claire’s love of music and dance is evident in her style of teaching and her classes are filled with energy and expression. She teaches weekly classes in London with an emphasis on vinyasa flow, hatha, Yin yoga and restorative yoga. Claire also teaches at yoga retreats and workshops and she recently completed a Barre training course and teaches Barre classes in Brixton and East Finchley.

Claire is also running a Mindful Eating & Yoga Workshop with Rosaria La Pietra on the 08 September; this workshop is an introduction to Mindfulness as an aid to losing weight, releasing stress and rediscovering your zest for life. For more information you can contact Claire at claire@yogaradiance.co.uk

 

We are so excited that Claire will be joining us this week in Croatia from the 26 May to 02 June and then we’ll be seeing her again in Sardinia at The Grand Hotel from 22 September to 29 September.

If you’d like to join Claire at either of those venues please get in touch with us through our Contact page and one of our team will be in touch shortly!

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Time to SUP?

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Image by Harbour Springs Paddle Board Club

The sun is shining and the sky is blue at long last! When the weather is a great as it is at the moment the last thing any of us want is to have to get into a hot, sweaty gym or yoga studio and spend an hour of precious sunshine indoors.

So how can we take our practice outdoors and really enjoy this great weather to the max? Well you could set your mat up in the garden and have a perfectly pleasant time, OR you could try SUP yoga!

Amy, I hear you cry, what are you suggesting we try now?

SUP yoga – it’s yoga; on a stand up paddle board…in the water…have i lost you?!

Now, it’s not necessarily for the faint hearted or those that don’t like getting wet, but it’s definitely for those that love to try something new and have fun in the process!

You don’t need to be on a tropical beach to try SUP yoga – there are SUP classes popping up on rivers and lakes all over the country – just make sure you’ve got a winter wet suit for those colder days!

Nothing else will keep you in the moment and keep you breathing more than trying to downward dog on a paddle board in the middle of a lake.

It is such a great workout for your core because you’re using all your strength from your whole midsection to keep yourself up and out of that water.

Have you ever tried SUP yoga? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below or if this inspires you to give it a try we’d love to hear from you!

Meet our teachers: Josephine McGrail

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We’ve got some wonderful new teachers joining us at Sardinia Yoga and we’d love to introduce you to them. This week it’s Josephine McGrail.

At the age of 12 Josephine was introduced to the world of yoga and it stole her heart. Josephine has an extensive background in dance and performance and spent years travelling the world working with some famous names; and would find a yoga studio at every possible occasion.

After years of wearing herself too thin Josephine realised it was time to begin her yoga training and did so with The Yoga People; slowly but surely regaining her inner strength.

Her style is reflective of the years she spent dancing around the globe but she also draws strongly from the traditional yoga styles of Meditation, Ashtanga, Yin and Rocket.

Josephine sees yoga as a form of medicine for the mind, body and spirit and now travels the globe teaching. She also teaches charity classes in order to enable everyone to practice yoga regardless of their financial situation.

We are so lucky that Josephine will be joining us in Sardinia on the 15 September and then again on 13 October in Majorca. If you would love to join us with Josephine in either of these venues please don’t hesitate to get in touch! Or, if you can’t make those dates  or September feels too far away; we’re open all summer!

Where to start with essential oils?

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Essential oils seem to be everywhere and used for everything these days but, if they’re new to you; where on earth do you begin? Luckily Amy (part of the team here at Sardinia Yoga) has, what she calls, a ‘mild obsession’ with essential oils and she’s going to share some top tips with us.

So, first things first – while you don’t need to be spending ridiculous amounts on essential oils you shouldn’t get fooled by the oils that only cost a couple of pounds, what you’re looking for is 100% organic essential oils so you should really be spending more than a few quid. For example – 100% organic frankincense can cost upwards of £60!

Secondly – you don’t need to have a million different types of essential oils. There is so much you can do with just a select few My favourite thing is diffusing them. I got myself a diffuser from Amazon – they have SO many on there to choose from, and you just  add some water and a few drops of your favourite oil, or try out a combination or different ones and I promise you your house will be smelling magnificent in no time! Really, I promise!

They’re also great to use as part of a massage or a relaxing bath, rub a few drops into the bottom of your feet to help them absorb quickly into your body (although be careful as some shouldn’t be applied topically without a carrier oil), you can even use them as part of your cleaning routine at home if you want to cut back on the amount of chemicals you’re using in the house. The possibilities really are endless and the internet is full of amazing ideas and great for learning more about the oils.

So, here’s my favourite 5 essential oils:

  • Orange – for me this is simply because it smells amazing in the diffuser – rooms will smell instantly fresh and revitalised
  • Lavender – this is great for when you go to bed – just a few drop on your pillow and a couple of deep breaths will leave you so relaxed and ready for a great night’s sleep
  • Eucalyptus – this little pocket rocket is antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal, although you definitely need to keep this one out of the way of anyone under the age of 10 as it’s pretty powerful
  • Peppermint – this is so great to use if you’ve got some muscle aches and pains and especially if you’ve got someone who can give you a massage. A few drops of this mixed into your massage oil will work wonders for your tired aching muscles
  • Lemon – get this into your collection if you want to look at swapping out some of the cleaning products you’ve got in the house. Would you believe me if I told you that you can use it to make a polish? All you need to do is mix up ¼ cup of white wine vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil and 10 drops of lemon water into a spray bottle – shake to mix it all up and then use it as you would a normal polish! (sorry for the american measurements but that’s the recipe I’ve used before and it’s really great)

We hope that’s given you some ideas about where to start with essential oils, and like Amy said; the internet is a great place to continue researching and finding the right oils for you. Comment below with any essential oil ideas that you’d like to share with the Sardinia Yoga community!

Is it time for a solo adventure?

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Solo holidays with Sardinia Yoga

Solo holidays can feel a bit daunting but they’re such a great way of recharging your batteries and having a bit of ‘me’ time.

But, admittedly all that ‘me’ time can get a bit much after a few days; which is why an activity holiday – like one of our wonderful yoga holidays could be just the thing for you.

Whether you’re in Sardinia, Majorca or Croatia we’ve got just the right balance – you start the day off with a light breakfast, then it’s a two hour yoga session with our incredible yoga teachers and the amazing views that our locations have to offer. Then it’s a big, delicious brunch with the group and then the day is yours. Whether you want to explore the local areas, try out some delicious local cuisine or simply relax in the sun with your favourite book – it’s up to you.  We don’t make you stick to any sort of tight schedule and free time really is free.

So, if this is just the antidote for the hectic you’re currently living then how about you visit our website and have a look at the dates we’ve got available at all three of our venues.

We can’t wait to see you there!

Yoga and Anxiety

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It’s probably quite fair to say to we all go through bouts of anxiety in our lives – whether it’s feeling anxious about something that’s happening at work or home or even an actual panic attack. I don’t know about you but these anxious feelings can leave me feeling pretty useless; a bit out of control.

One way I have always been taught to deal with my anxious feelings is simply by breathing. Deep breath in for one, two, three, four. Deep breath out for one, two, three, four.

By concentrating on breathing I wasn’t allowing myself to concentrate on those horrible little thoughts creeping into my mind.

Another way I’ve found to deal with my anxiety is to take to the yoga mat. Whenever I leave my yoga class I always feel like a weight has been lifted. There’s a couple of poses that are known to help alleviate those anxious feelings and bring you back to the present moment.

Childs Pose
This pose helps to relieve tension in the back, neck and shoulders and is known as a place of rest in your practice. This is an area where a lot of people hold their stress, but when we’re in this pose we concentrate on our breathing which can then help to alleviate that stress.

Cat / Cow pose
This combination can be extremely relaxing. Keep your eyes closed to allow you to focus on connecting each movement to your breath.

Seated Forward Bend
This pose can relieve anxiety and headaches. As you practice this asana your mind calms down and stress and worry can leave your body.

If you feel that things such as breathing, yoga and other forms of exercise which can be great to help anxiety aren’t working then do go visit your Doctor – we aren’t medical professionals here at Sardinia Yoga; just yoga lovers.

Keep Saluting the Sun

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The Sun Salutation is a very ancient technique of paying respect and expressing our gratitude to the Sun, which is the source of all forms of life on the planet.

We often run through them on auto pilot and see them as just a warm up; but here’s 5 reasons why you need to make the most of your next round of sun salutations:

  1. We salute the sun to give thanks for the new day
  2. The Sun represents our Third Eye centre and Sun Salutations can energise, activate and ultimately balance our seven chakras
  3. Sun Salutations can be a form of meditation while we’re moving – being able to focus on the breathing means we can build mental focus and concentration
  4. Sun Salutations quicken the blood whilst calming our minds
  5. Sun Salutations can bring us more strength, tone to the body and flexibility. It opens hamstrings, shoulders and chest.