Yogi Kick

Yoga and Martial Arts World


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O Sabio Samurai

Perto de Tóquio, vivia um grande samurai, já idoso, que se dedicava a ensinar os jovens. Apesar da idade, corria a lenda de que ainda era capaz de derrotar qualquer adversário. Certa tarde, um guerreiro, conhecido pela sua total falta de escrúpulos, apareceu por ali. Era famoso por utilizar a técnica da provocação. Esperava que seu adversário fizesse o primeiro movimento. Dotado de uma inteligência privilegiada para observar os erros cometidos, contra-atacava com uma velocidade fulminante.

O jovem e impaciente guerreiro jamais havia perdido uma luta. Conhecendo a reputação do samurai, estava ali para derrotá-lo e aumentar sua fama. Todos os estudantes se manifestaram contra a ideia, mas o velho e sábio samurai aceitou o desafio. Foram todos para a praça da cidade. Lá, o jovem começou a insultar o velho mestre.

Chutou algumas pedras em sua direção, cuspiu em seu rosto, gritou todos os insultos que conhecia, ofendendo, inclusive, seus ancestrais. Durante horas fez tudo para provocá-lo, mas o velho sábio permaneceu impassível. No final da tarde, sentindo-se exausto e humilhado, o impetuoso guerreiro desistiu e retirou-se.

Desapontados pelo fato de o mestre ter aceitado tantos insultos e tantas provocações, os alunos perguntaram: “Como o senhor pôde suportar tanta indignidade? Por que não usou sua espada, mesmo sabendo que poderia perder a luta, ao invés de se mostrar covarde e medroso diante de todos nós?”

“Se alguém chega até você com um presente, e você não o aceita, a quem pertence o presente?”, perguntou o Samurai. “A quem tentou entregá-lo”, respondeu um dos discípulos. “O mesmo vale para a inveja, a raiva e os insultos”, disse o mestre.
Quando não são aceites, continuam pertencendo a quem os carrega consigo. A sua paz interior depende exclusivamente de você. As pessoas não podem lhe tirar a serenidade, só se você permitir.

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.

Bruce-Lee-Quote-Be-like-Water


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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!

yogikick_yoga_strength


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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!

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