Yogi Kick

Yoga and Martial Arts World


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I said yes!

We went to Rome to celebrate my parents 35th wedding anniversary and I was surprised by my partner with a wedding proposal after practicing AcroYoga in Vatican.
With so many things in common with this sexy man I am so proud to announce that Ricardo are and I are getting married!

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Trikonasana A (Utthita Trikonasana)

Trikonasana A, the Triangle Pose

Typically you get into this posture from the front of your mat and inhale as you step out to the right. The distance of your feet should be about three feet apart or a bit shorter (about one leg’s length). This means that if you are taller you are going to have a longer distance and if you are smaller you are going to have a shorter distance between your legs. Don’t try to emulate someone with a different shape that you are. If you are tall and try to copy a short person, you will end up with a stance that is too narrow.

Then allow the external rotation of the hip-joint, the belly draws in and find the access point into the empty space of the pelvis. Find the right hip-joint and external rotate it, then pick up the right heel and spin the ball of the right foot to external rotate the hip-joint. Draw the belly in as deeply as  you can and begin to pivot into the empty space of the pelvis, moving into an external rotation. Avoid pivoting from the ribcage and avoid arching the back, but keep the navel drawn in. Keeping your hips stacked as much as possible, avoid turning your hip too much forward and instead find that line between the hips.

Then dangle your right arm. If you feel that your arm is too far away from the ground you have two options: the easiest option (number 1) is to reach the hand down to the shin. If when you press down on your shin you feel a pain at the back of your knee, maybe you are pressing down too much, so reach down and grab a block and press your hand down on the block as your foundation (option 2). Depending on how far down you go to the ground you can put the block either up or sideways. However, don’t go down too far too soon and let yourself get comfortable pivoting into the hips. If you can reach the floor easily, hold the right big toe with two fingers (option 3).  Take the left arm up and spread the shoulder blades away from each other.  The full expression of the Trikonasana pose is when you hold the big toe and gaze to the left thumb. Press down on the base of the big toe, base of little toe and heel, and keep the belly drawing in. Take five breaths and then look down, inhale to come up and do the left side, spreading the arms, turning the right foot in and then pull in the left hip-joint as you spin the left foot. The alignment is between your left heel and the arch of your right foot. Exhale reach down to the big toe (option 3),  the block (option 2) or the shin (option 1). If you hold the big toe, avoid rolling your body forward or resting too much on your thumb; instead,  keep the wrist active and align yourself up so that you can press down through the base of the big toe; belly sucked in. Take five breaths and then inhale to come up,  spread the arms to the side and exhale back to the front of the mat (Samasthitihi).

In the video you will first see the full expression of the pose and then option 2 using the block. Remember to let yourself go in stages and never jump the game. If you need to use the block, fine but treat the block like a training wheel, just like you use to learn how to ride a bike, not like something you would use forever. Those of you that come to my classes know that I tend not to encourage the students to use the block for too long, and  that is because progress happens faster without using props, but using modifications with the own the body (in this case grabbing the shin). Also, some people tend to get addicted to the block, and can get stagnated in a modification for a long time. So, although students are advised not to rush too soon, they are encouraged to work with modifications using their own body.

 


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Padangusthasana and Padahastasana

Padangusthasana and Padahastasana – Deep Forward Fold
First standing poses of the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series
How to come into the postures:
Padangusthasana:
Move the feet hip width appart and enter this pose in the same way you enter the second position of Surya Namascar A, by pivoting from the hips, sucking the belly and finding the inner space of the pelvic floor. Lift the knee caps up and find the basis of the big toes, the little toes and the heels. Pressing down to the ground and with the arches of the feet lifting. Then, hollowing out the pelvis, slowly bringing the hips back and pivot down as you exhale. Wrap your fingers around your big toes. If you cannot grab your toes, you can bend the knees and then straighten the legs. Pause for a moment and suck the belly in, then inhale and straighten the arms and then as you exhale fold forward sucking the belly in. Dangling the arms to the sides and bringing the crown of the head to the matt. Gaze at the tip of the nose. Only if you are proficient at the forward bend, slowly pull the rib cage in and fold in a little bit more.
Padahastasana
These two postures are linked together. Inhale straighten the arms and place the hands under the feet, and then again inhale, lengthen, belly sucks in, and exhale fold. You can also bend the knees if you need.
Don't pull on the hands and don't pull on the feet, instead focus on strengthening the legs, bringing the belly in and relaxing the back. The key in the forward bend is relaxing the back. Once the back is relaxed you can engage the ribs and pull the ribs in to fold forward.
Then if you want to take the posture to another level, bring the sacrum forward. It will feel that you are falling, so suck the belly as deep as you can to balance.
Then inhale look up, exhale release the hands and inhale come all the way back up and bring the feet together into Samasthihi.
These are the foundational forward bends of the practice. If you need to bend your knees a litle to reach the feet, no problem, just put your effort into straightening the legs as much as possible.

 


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Is Yoga and Martial Arts compatible?

You may be thinking, Yoga and Martial Arts, how does that work? I often get this question or the strange look when I tell people that, being a Yoga teacher, I also practice Martial Arts. It is like if Yoga and Martial Arts were incompatible!

The truth is that all these techniques, Martial Arts, Tai Chi, Yoga, they all have one thing in common: to lead the mind into silence! The goal of Martial Arts is not learning to kick and punch to hit other people! The goal is to bring the mind into quietness through the warrior’s path, by stimulating the values of a warrior such as honour, honesty and courage.  The goal is to be able to control the mind under stressful or dangerous situations. By controlling the body we learn to control the mind! Each tradition has developed its own variations which aim at stilling the mind and reaching the silence within. Performed in the context of different faiths and techniques, they may differ in expression, but in essence they are one. Without the philosophy and spirituality, Martial Arts become a meaningless and dangerous sport!

Tai Chi is moving meditation and Martial Arts in slow motion. I find it quite funny that some people seem to get shocked when we say that Tai Chi is Martial Arts. It is like if they felt disappointed as they thought that it was something else, something magic maybe.. However, Tai Chi is the purest Martial Art, and by practising those movements in slow motion they become a lot more refined and when used in the context of a combat, each movement is perfect and effective  – “one step one kill”.

But also the beauty of Tai  Chi is that we  learn to work with the energy of our body, what we call the “Chi”. And it is the slow movements and the energy created within the body that brings the calm and quietness in the mind. This is the part that people like to hear: Tai Chi with its slow movements brings serenity and inner peace, like magic. They don’t like to hear it is a Martial Art, but it is indeed.

All these different techniques, either Yoga, Martial Arts or Tai Chi they are methods of purifying the nervous system so that it can reflect a greater  degree of consciousness.

So, in answer to my original question, yes, Yoga and Martial Arts are perfectly compatible.

Yogi Kick teaches PaKua Martial Arts, Tai Chi, Yoga and AcroYoga.

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Surya Namascar B

Sun Salutation B
Surya Namascar A is the easier sun salutation in Ashtanga Yoga. Surya Namascar B is harder as we integrate two extra movements:
Utkatasana, the chair pose and Virabhadrasana, the warrior pose.
Start nice and slow and then as you become more familiar with the movements bring it up to its full pace.
Tune into the inner body and feel the heat and fire 🔥 created in your body. If you’re sweating, great! Feel the sweat, don’t resist it and breath deeply!
Traditionally, the Ashtanga practice includes five Surya Namascar A and three Surya Namascar B.
As you begin to move into a consistent practice of sun salutations you will become familiar and will start to memorise these movements: nine movements in Surya Namascar A and seventeen in Surya Namascar B. Once you do, you will find a sense of peace and tranquility and the practice will begin to be yours! 

 


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Surya Namascar A

Sun Salutation A

As we move through the sun salutation the body heats up, the mind sharpens and the inner fire  of purification starts to cultivate in the inner body. As you begin to practice the sun salutation you will notice that it is like an old friend, in which you will get to know these motions really well, but at the same time there is always room to dive deeper and explore new options, new perspectives and new awareness. The sun salutations are the foundation of a complete practice. You can just do the sun salutations if you don’t have time or feeling sick or with low energy. As little as 5 minutes a day will build the foundation and the elements of a complete practice.


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PaKua Martial Arts – Belts Ceremony

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PaKua Martial Arts – Receiving belts

 

On Thursday, the 22nd of June 2017, the students of Master Ricardo Tomasio received their new belts.

Aquelis Soares: grey belt – is Master Ricardo’s first Instructor in the UK.

Susana Tomasio: green belt – is one belt away from becoming an Instructor. Susana is also a Yoga and AcroYoga teacher.

Congratulations to the students!

The grading took place on the 25th of May with the world-renowned Master Guilherme Pigatto Arrais.

 

 


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8 Drunk Immortals

The legend tells that there were eight immortals who devoted their time practicing meditation. Combined with ancient techniques of Chinese Yoga (Kai Men / Chi Kung) getting extraordinary abilities.

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By natural law they became experts in Kung Fu.

They developed very advanced techniques such as the drunken style. They also worked the internal power to perfectly master the imbalance; they were eight great masters who dominated the control of energy (Chi Kung at its most advanced level).

Inside this group there was a female monk who had good skills in handling all leg-techniques,  developing the Martial Chi Kung.

This style was brought to the Shaolin temple to be taught to advanced students after the Saholin destruction in which several monks escaped and hid in villages to not be recognised, and exchanged their names and dressed as beggars. In each village they left teachings that the villagers improved adapting to their customs and physical structures. Within these transformations, the southern drunken style of China, which is not as beautiful but very effective in fight ; at that time the  Stick of the Southern Beggar’style is born – name given in honor of a monk who walked the villages pretending to be a blind beggar and handling his stick with great ability.

The drunken style, improved with time and lost its essence due to being a difficult style to learn and perform, since  a great physical, mental and spiritual  preparation was needed to perform this task.

This style stands out for its ability to deceive the enemy, mistaking him, using the imbalance, spins, jumps, dodges and acrobatics using the opponent’s strength. The techniques is used with the internal energy from the Tan Tien (waist force), hips and shoulders, which combine to launch a coup fists and legs followed by sweep kick.

The purpose of this style is to keep our body in good condition to turn and store energy (Chi Kung) that is used in more advanced spiritual levels.

To the practice of the drunken style is a set of highly refined techniques,  and therefore, it  is considered as the highest level of the physical plane.

With practice, physical changes on the internal organs and endocrine glands are performed. Our body becomes a deposit of energy that elevates the human being to its highest level of consciousness. Through the exercises of Chi Kung we began to channel the energy and find the connection to the gland to develop the immortal fetus. The vital force of the practitioner depends on these glands; with the practice it increases the flow of hormones strengthening the immune system. The sexual energy (creative) improves cleaning and strengthening the organs.

This is very important to have strong and detoxified organs; the practice helps to eliminate toxins, waste and convert fat into the roots of the connective tissue in energy (Chi Kung). Currently, there are modern styles of the drunken style which have simplified the old style to facilitate the learning.

 

 

 

 

 


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Os 8 Imortais Bebedos

A lenda conta que existiam oito imortais que dedicavam o tempo na praticada da meditação. Combinavam as técnicas antigas de Yoga Chinesa (Kai Men / Chi Kung) obtendo habilidades extraordinárias.

Por lei natural se tornaram peritos no Kung Fu.

Desenvolveram técnicas muito avançadas como o estilo bêbado. Também trabalharam o poder interno para dominar perfeitamente o desequilíbrio; foram oito grandes mestres que dominaram o controle da energia (Chi Kung em seu nível mais avançado).

Dentro deste grupo havia uma monja que era hábil no manejo de todas as técnicas de pernas- técnica que se desenvolveu através da Chi Kung marcial.

Este estilo foi levado ao templo Shaolin para ser ensinado aos alunos mais avançados após a destruição de templo Shaolin, vários monges escaparam e se esconderam em aldeias, e para não serem reconhecidos trocavam seus nomes e se vestiam como mendigos. Em cada aldeia deixavam ensinamentos que os aldeões os melhoravam adaptando a seus costumes e estruturas físicas. Dentro destas transformações o estilo do bêbado do sul da China, que não é tão vistoso e sim efetivo na luta; nesse momento nasce o bastão do mendigo do sul, nome dado em honra a um monge que caminhava pelas aldeias fazendo-se passar por mendigo cego e que manejava seu bastão com grande habilidade.

O estilo do bêbado, com o tempo foi se aperfeiçoando uma vez que perdia sua essência por ser um estilo difícil de aprender e executar. É necessária uma preparação física, mental e espiritual muito refinada, para executar essa tarefa.

Este estilo se destaca pela habilidade de enganar o inimigo utilizando o desequilíbrio, giros, saltos, esquivas e acrobacias, utilizando a força do oponente confundindo-o. As técnicas são utilizadas com energia interna desde o Tan Tien, força da cintura, quadris e ombros, que se combinam para lançar um golpe de punhos e pernas seguidos de rasteira.

A finalidade do estilo é manter o nosso corpo em bom estado no plano físico para transformar e armazenar energia (Chi Kung) que é usada em níveis espirituais mais avançados.

A prática do estilo bêbado é um conjunto de técnicas altamente refinadas, e por isso é considerada como maior alcance do plano físico.

Com a prática são realizadas transformações físicas sobre os órgãos internos e glândulas endócrinas. Nosso corpo se converte em um deposito de energia que eleva o ser humano em seu nível mais alto de consciência. Através dos exercícios Chi Kung começamos a canalizar a energia e a encontrar a conexão com a glândula para o desenvolvimento do feto imortal. A força vital do praticante depende das glândulas mencionadas, com a prática se encrementa o fluxo de hormônios fortalecendo assim, o sistema imunológico. A energia sexual (criativa) melhora limpando e fortalecendo os órgãos.

Isso é muito importante para ter órgãos fortes e desintoxicados, a prática ajuda a eliminar as toxinas, os resíduos e converter a gordura nas raízes do tecido conjuntivo em energia (Chi Kung). Atualmente existem estilos modernos do bêbado que foram simplificados do estilo antigo para facilitar a aprendizagem.


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O Jovem Samurai

Um jovem samurai perguntou ao seu mestre: “Mestre como me torno o melhor guerreiro? ” O mestre então respondeu: ” Estas vendo aquela pedra ali? Então vai até a pedra e xingue bastante.”

O jovem samurai foi, xingou a pedra, e retornou ao mestre. O mestre perguntou: “O que foi que ela fez?”  O Jovem respondeu:  “Nada!”  Então o mestre disse: “Pega tua espada e ataque ela, com vários golpes. ”

O jovem destruiu a espada contra a pedra e retornou ao mestre e disse: “Nada Aconteceu!

” O mestre disse: “Para seres o melhor guerreiro, tens que ser como aquela pedra, teres a frieza de não reagir diante de atos e palavras, e te entao te tornarás imbatível…”

 

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The Young Samurai

A young samurai asked to his master: “Master how do I become the best warrior?” And so the master replied: “Are you seeing that rock ? Go there and swear to that rock. ”

The young samurai went there, swore to the rock and returned to his master. And the master asked: “What did the rock do? ”

The young man replied: “Nothing!” So the master said: “Grab your sword and attack the rock with several knocks.”

The young man destroyed the sword against the rock, and returned to his master and said: “Nothing happened!”

So the master said to him: “To be the best warrior, you need to be like that rock, and have the coldness not to react to words and acts and then you will become unbeatable…”

 

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Cherry Chocolate Shake

Hi beauties,

Coming from a chemistry background I love to experiment in the kitchen!

On the other day  I was craving something fresh, sweet and with chocolate. I made this smoothie with cherries and cacao nibs and the result was heavenly good! I had to share it with you!

Cherries are packed with antioxidants  that offer many health benefits, including help with insomnia, belly fat and aging.

In a study, researchers found that when rats had received whole tart cherry powder mixed into a high-fat diet, they didn’t gain as much weight or build up as much body fat as rats that didn’t eat cherries.

Cherries are actually  one of my favourite summer fruits, and if it helps to avoid belly fat, that is awesome!

The Smoothie is very easy to make. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients
  • Serves 2 (medium glasses)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen organic cherries (or fresh, if you have the patience to de-pitt them yourself!)
  • 1 ripe banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2  avocado
  • 2 tsp. raw cacao nibs
  • 2-3 drops of vanilla extract
  • Toppings: non-dairy chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Add the coconut milk, cherries, banana, avocado and cacao nibs to the blender. Starting the blender on a low speed, blend until smooth. If needed gradually increase to higher speeds and blend until smooth.
  2. You can add a bit more of coconut milk to achieve the desired consistency.
  3. Top with non-dairy chocolate chips if desired.

Enjoy!

Happy bank holiday!

x

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The Wise Samurai

Near Tokyo, lived a great Samurai,  already old,  and  now spending his time teaching young people. Despite his age, the legend was that he could defeat any opponent. One afternoon, a warrior, known for his complete lack of scruples, appeared there. This warrior was famous for using techniques of provocation. He hoped that his opponent made the first move. Gifted  with a privileged intelligence to observe the mistakes of the other warriors, he counterattacked with fulminating speed.
The young and impatient warrior had never lost a fight . Knowing the Samurai’s reputation, he had come to defeat him , and increase his own fame. All the students were against the idea, but the wise old Samurai accepted the challenge. They all went to the town square . There, the young man started insulting the old samurai.

He threw a few rocks in his direction, spat in his face, shouted every insult he knew, offending even his ancestors. For hours he did everything to provoke him, but the wise old man remained impassive.  In the late afternoon,  feeling exhausted and humiliated,  the impetuous warrior gave up and withdrew.

Disappointed that the master had accepted so many insults and so many provocations, the students asked : “As you could bear such indignity?  Why not use your sword, even knowing you might lose the fight, instead of showing cowardly and fearful in front of all of us? ”

” If someone comes to you with a gift, and you do not accept it, whom does the gift belong to ? ” Asked the Samurai. ” To whom tried to deliver it “, said one of the disciples “.  The same goes for envy , anger and insults”, said the master.
When they are not accepted, they continue to belong to whom carries them . Your inner peace depends solely on you. People can not take away your serenity, only if you allow it.

samurai

 

 


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Ashtanga Yoga Foundations Workshop

YMCA_Yoga_worshopThis workshop will introduce the fundamental foundations and openings of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga and look at the various elements of which the practice is comprised. It will introduce the ujjayi breath, bandha (internal energy ‘locks’), Dristi (focus points) and the importance of foundation.

It will explore the sun salutations ‘Surya Namaskara A & B’ and the first few basic standing postures, as well as a short finishing sequence so that you will have a simple, balanced sequence to work with which can be continued at home as self practice.

This workshop is suitable for complete beginners or those who have practiced yoga but are new to Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.

Bring pen & paper.
Book early, limited spaces!

 

Location: YMCA

Queen Anne House

Gonville Pl

Cambridge

CB1 1ND

 

 


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Martial Arts classes in Cambridge, UK

 

Hi everyone,

Yogi Kick has an announcement to make:

Martial Arts classes will now be on Mondays 8-9.15 pm at the YMCA.

Learn how to defend yourself in a practical and exciting way.
The study and practice of Pakua Martial Art, will give the student physical strength, while learning unique techniques employing pressure points, levers, and much more. You will gain a better understanding of yourself and your surroundings.

The technical aspect of Pa-Kua Martial Art includes circular movements and the use of the opponent’s strength against himself. A strong emphasis is placed on physical and mental balance, expressed through movements that are both fluid and rigid, strong as well as slow, dictated by the needs of a particular situation. Students learn different aspects of the Martial Art at each belt level, leading them toward a full confidence in their personal skills and abilities upon reaching each successive level and finally the coveted level of Pakua Black Belt.

The benefits of training include:

• Better physical and mental strength
• Improved flexibility
• Self-defense abilities
• Increased physical self-awareness
• Improved self-esteem
• Better self-confidence
• Strengthening of character
• Values of a warrior: honour, strength and courage.

Get in touch if you have questions.

 

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Be Like Water

“Be Like water” – Bruce Lee

This is a common goal within the world of martial arts, regardless of the style. Students of various martial arts aim to improve themselves by emulating its fluidity, force and formlessness.

But not only martial artists can learn lessons from this. Being able to adapt and go with the flow like water it’s a quality that everyone should strive to achieve.

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Pakua Martial Art classes starting

As promised Yogi Kick is opening PaKua Martial Art classes with Master Ricardo Tomásio.
It starts Sunday the 27th of September, 1-2.30 pm at the University of Cambridge Sports Centre (CB30AS).

Learn how to defend yourself in a practical and exciting way.
The study and practice of Pakua Martial Art, will give the student physical strength, while learning unique techniques employing pressure points, levers, and much more. You will gain a better understanding of yourself and your surroundings.

The technical aspect of Pa-Kua Martial Art includes circular movements and the use of the opponent’s strength against himself. A strong emphasis is placed on physical and mental balance, expressed through movements that are both fluid and rigid, strong as well as slow, dictated by the needs of a particular situation. Students learn different aspects of the Martial Art at each belt level, leading them toward a full confidence in their personal skills and abilities upon reaching each successive level and finally the coveted level of Pakua Black Belt.

The benefits of training include:

• Better physical and mental strength
• Improved flexibility
• Self-defense abilities
• Increased physical self-awareness
• Improved self-esteem
• Better self-confidence
• Strengthening of character
• Values of a warrior: honor, strength and courage.

Get in touch for more details.

ricardo_martialarats


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The importance of breath in Yoga

breath

The first thing I always tell my students when they first start doing Yoga is about the importance of the breath, which is done through the nose, in and out. This is opposite to what we do if we are at the gym or doing other physical training (in through the nose, out through the mouth). And then I teach the Ujjayi breath, which not only involves breathing in and out through the nose, but also involves adjusting it, so that it’s like a whisper on the way in and out. This is achieved by creating a constriction at the back of the throat, enabling the breath to be more controlled and effective. This also creates heat in the body which helps to release toxins.

The big challenge is to maintain the breath throughout the practice

Of course the challenge is to maintain the Ujjayi on the inhale and exhale throughout the entire class. To achieve this you need to maintain the calm, controlled and even breath whether you are doing a challenging pose or just seated on a cross-legged position. It is very important to always be focused on the breath and this is the basic foundation of Yoga.

However, this simple basic foundation is often lost since most of us is focused  on keeping up with the class, on the postures and on which part of the body goes where. 

It gets even easier to lose the awareness of the breath, if the class has music. I personally like to include music in the classes as it helps to relax and get into the spirit but it also becomes easier to lose the ability to hear or even feel our breath. This is why it is important that the teacher constantly reminds the student about the breath. But even when we don’t breathe properly, we still leave the the class soaked in sweat and completely wiped from the experience but happy that we survived the experience. And yet it feels good and this is why we go back for more!

Yoga should give energy, not take

The thing is, the Yoga practice was developed to help us become in harmony with ourselves through mind, body and breath, but if we are leaving a class absolutely drained, then we are not in harmony. We may feel better because of the sweat and the raised endorphins, but the truth is that we are more fragmented than before starting the class.

And when our energy is drained after a strong class we wash out the Life Force (Prana)  within us. With an exhausted body all we want to do is sit on the sofa to recover. And that way, we can sometimes create the opposite effect of the one intended. Yoga should be giving us life, not taking it away!

“We should be doing our Yoga (Asana) to live our lives better,

not living our lives to do our Yoga (Asana) better.”

Leslie Bogart, Yoga instructor

And yet this a mistake we see very often! It is easy to lose the focus and purpose of Yoga and get lost in the postures (Asanas), competing against others in the class. That is not the point of a Yoga class. As Patanjali reminds in The Yoga Sutras, Yoga is non-competitive and the goal is to release the ego in order to ultimately achieve Samadhi or enlightenment.

Notice the quality of your breath

Not all breathing is the same. Life Force is translated as Prana in Yoga. Not all breathing is Prana, or Life Force. When you sit in a car driving in the traffic, you are breathing, but are you full of life? When you sit at a desk the whole day inside an office, are you full of life? But you have been breathing, otherwise you would be dead.

Most of us are exhausted after a day of work because we haven’t noticed our breathing nor put attention to the quality of the breath. The way we breathe determines whether our breath is just breath or if it turns into Prana (Life Force). And what happens is that when we take a strong Yoga class that requires a lot of physical effort, we focus on the exhaling and grunting to keep up with the class and without focusing on long inhales. It is not surprising that we get tired and all we want after the class is eat and go to bed, or top up on caffeine to get through the rest of the day.

In Yoga, breathing does matter! It should be smooth, steady, and balanced on the inhale and on the exhale.


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The Power of Meditation

The power of meditation!
These photos are impressive! They show how meditation makes you look younger! It is well known that meditation helps to relax and connect you with your inner self, but who would have thought that it can have an anti-ageing effect?

These photos were part of a project to explore the “observable changes after a period” of one month of meditation.

Each participant took a photo on the first day and last day of the one month-long meditation retreat.
For consistency the photos were taken in the same background.

Have a look at the photos here and let me know what do you think!

At the Yoga Strength classes we always take some time for meditation at the end of the class.

Come and try!

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Vegan Mango Mousse with Creamy Layer

It is possible to maintain a healthy diet while indulging your sweet tooth. This Mango Mousse with Creamy Layer is a guilt-free dessert that is free from sugar and vegan. Here is the recipe:

For the Mango Mousse layer:

– 2 cups of frozen mango cut into pieces (Remove the mango from the freezer 10 minutes before using it)

– 1 ripe banana

-1/2 cup of coconut milk

Blend all these ingredients in a powerful blender and put in a glass/cup, making sure you leave enough space for the topping.

For the Creamy layer:

– 1 cup of cashew nuts

– 1/2 cup of coconut milk

– 1 banana

Let the cashew nuts soak in the milk for 10-15 minutes.

Blend all the ingredients and add it to the top of the Mango mousse.

You can make more layers if you want too.

For this recipe, you really need a powerful blender. There are several in the market but my favourite is the Vitamix. It’s a bit pricey but it is worth every penny!

Enjoy and please let me know what do you think of this recipe.

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De-bloating Smoothie

Bloating… let’s be honest: we all have felt bloated at some point and it’s horrible. It makes us feel down and grumpy. There are good and bad news about bloating. The good news is that bloating is often confused with fat. But that’s not the case. Bloating comes in the form of gas and water retention and adds centimetres and puffiness to the waistline. Not really nice! This means that by reducing bloating you will look slimmer and healthier.

The bad news is that bloating is a real health issue and there is no quick fix to get rid of it. But there are things that you can do that will help to reduce bloating. There are several reasons that cause bloating. I am not going to get into details today, as that is the subject of another blog post alone. But briefly the main causes of bloating are  indigestion, water retention and hormones.Obviously, diet plays a very important role in sorting this issue, which is why I am posting the recipe of this delicious Smoothie that helps fighting the bloating. It is also super fresh for Summer!

It has watermelon which is well known for its diuretic effects and good for constipation since its a mild laxative. Watermelon also contains medicinal properties: lowers the blood pressure, treats edema, skin fungus and more. Watermelon contains considerable amount of beta-carotene, vitamin B, vitamin C and essential minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iodine and manganese. All good reasons to eat watermelon.

Just like watermelon, raspberries are high in water — which can help decrease bloating. They are also high in fiber, which helps the food move through the intestines more quickly and decrease abdominal pressure and bloating. Lemon is a natural diuretic and a gentle laxative and can reduce the amount of salt retained in the body. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C.

Here is the recipe of my De-bloating Smoothie:

– 2 cups of watermelon (with seeds)

– 1 cup of frozen raspberries

– 1/2 banana juice of half lemon

– 1/4 cup of water Blend all the ingredients in a powerful blender and enjoy straight away.

Lots of love! 🙂

debloating_smoothie


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International Day of Yoga – 21/06/2015

On December 11, 2014 the United Nations declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.

To celebrate this day, the next Yoga Strength class will be free and welcome to everyone!

This will be a class for people who have never tried yoga and for those who love yoga and want to celebrate this day with like minded! When we are passionate about something, we want the other people to love it too. This will be an opportunity for practicing  and sharing our love for yoga! If you haven’t tried it, come and give it a go and you will see what I am talking about! Let’s celebrate Yoga!

yoga_day