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Lead the life you want!

How would you like to feel motivated, relaxed, satisfied, nurtured, connected and in the flow?

These are some of the words that students at Universal Yoga use for the results of their yoga practise. Universal Yoga is based at Red Hill House, Red Hill, Camerton.

Among the teachers in the Radstock and Bath area, some have gathered at Universal Yoga, to form a centre, which has enjoyed tremendous success in the last 2 years. All the teachers are fully qualified and deeply experienced yoga practitioners.

January sees the start of many courses, most notably the Beginner’s yoga class – designed to take you through to a general level of yoga in a very structured way.

The popular meditation course is also back, running every Friday from the end of January for six weeks. The course is a non-denominational and pragmatic step by step approach to the science of meditating. A book is included in the price of £50. Meditation has been scientifically proved to lower blood pressure, increase endorphin levels and increase the level of the relaxing hormones of the body.

For those of you expecting a new arrival there is ante-natal yoga on a Wdnesday evenings, and a mums and babies yoga on Thursday as well as an intermediate class on a Thursday for the hardcore lot. Interspersed in those lessons there are the general classes every night of the week and a monthly get together on a Friday, where meditators come together and drink tea and chat.

As if that were not enough, there are also monthly workshops and retreats, often following a theme. In January there is a new years’ resolution workshop to help you maintain those new years resolutions. There is a vegetarian workshop at the end of January for those interested in learning how to cook in a healthier and leaner way!!

More about pregnancy yoga:

Ante natal yoga classes are suitable for women from about 14 weeks right through to when their baby is born. You can join at any time, a woman who attended for only two weeks at 38 weeks said she learned breathing techniques that really helped her in labour. Many women start yoga in their pregnancy who have never done yoga before.

In the class you will learn and practise safe physical exercises to keep you strong through your pregnancy and prepare for birth. These can be therapeutic and can help with common problems such as heartburn, backache and pelvic discomfort. You will also learn and practise specific breathing techniques, some which are used to improve concentration and relieve stress and others that are specifically designed to use as tools in labour . There has recently been a lot of research into the effect of stress hormones on a baby in utero, results suggesting that babies are affected by constant high levels. We practise a deep relaxation every week to combat stress in pregnancy.

Women also love coming to the classes for a sense of community and often form friendships that continue after they have had their baby.

‘Thanks so much, I found the breathing exercises really useful in labour’ Nik

‘ Yoga really helped my sciatica and after each session I felt energised’ Sara Bailey.

‘ My back and neck stiffness have improved and I feel more prepared for and active birth’ Sally Ellis

More about mum and babies yoga

The post-natal class is for mums and babies any time after birth up to when the baby is independently moving. ( Yes twins are welcome too!) The yoga for mums prioritises exercises to realign the spine and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. It then progresses to deep abdominal work to rebuild core strength and adapted classical yoga poses for vitality and fun. There is also focus on releasing the physical tension from carrying and feeding the baby through self massage and stretching.

The yoga for baby is a series of massage and exercises designed to keep your baby supple and encourage optimum development. Touch and movement has been shown to stimulate the immune, digestive and the nervous systems amongst others. Most of the exercises are done using rhymes, songs and rythm that your baby will grow to love. Stimulating baby during the class can encourage peaceful sleep, something that every new mother craves.

Both mum and baby participate in the relaxation at the end of the class. It gives mum a chance to have a few moments of peace and teaches baby the important art of relaxation as a foundation to wellbeing.

‘ Myla always sleeps really well after the baby yoga class’ Karen O’dell

‘I have really enjoyed playing with my new baby using the yoga techniques, it’s given me loads of ideas’ Boglarka Miggels

‘ It’s given me loads of confidence in how to handle my baby and reminded me that I need to look after myself’ Lisa

The community has grown from the core 10 or so to a group of 100 or more students.

Most people come to increase their flexibility, as they start to feel the unstoppable march of time effect their bodies. Many come to alleviate anxiety and sleeping problems, with great effect. Others come for the community and sense of well-being. Whatever their reason, yoga seems to be a panacea for most ills if practised regularly and properly. The teachers at Universal Yoga have a combined 42 years of practise between the three of them. Sushi is qualified in ante-natal and post-natal yoga with Birthlight and Tejas has taught yoga internationally for 25 years. Charlotta is the director of the company and has taught in the village since 2004, when she arrived. All the teachers are from the Sivananda tradition, which is also known as integral yoga. This refers to the integrating of all aspects of yoga – the philosophy, the practical postures, the psychology, chanting and devotional aspects.

Yoga is not only techniques in moving the body and overcoming stiffness but a whole philosophical system, which started over 3000 years ago.

The main thrust of the philosophy is that through stilling the mind we reach a deep sense of peace and joy. The stilling of the mind can happen in many ways according to your temperament, either through action, meditation, devotion or study. In the words of one famous teacher; Health is wealth, peace of mind is happiness, Yoga shows the way.

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