Your free class is here…

Your free class is here…

Here’s your free 30-minute yoga class.

There’s some important information below so please read that first.

Details

Runtime:

30 minutes, 50 seconds

Style:

Gentle seated/chair trauma-informed yoga with somatic practices.

Modifications

(The following modifications are for information purpose only and don’t constitute medical advice. Please see your GP if you’re unsure.)

Pregnancy:

I would advise you to seek professional medical advice before taking part in this class. If you do take part, I would recommend the following modifications:

  • In the backbending postures (cow and camel), I recommend that you only bend the upper part of your back behind your rib cage (your thoracic spine) and neck, and get into it slowly, stopping if you feel discomfort or pain. This will only be a small backbend.
  • In the twists, only twist your upper back (thoracic spine) and neck, and not your lower back. I would advise getting into twists slowly and gradually, stopping if you feel any discomfort. You will probably find you can’t twist very far with your upper back but that’s ok.
  • When leaning forward (humble warrior), you can keep your legs wide if you need to to accommodate your bump.
  • If you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded, I would recommend stopping this class and resting.

Please note, this is not an exhaustive list.

I’m not a trained prenatal yoga instructor. Please remember that I’m not an expert or medical professional so you might need to speak to your doctor or midwife before taking this class.

Hypermobility/cervical instability:

There are some stretches and deeper twists towards the end of the class that may be an issue for those with hypermobility. Also some movements like camel (backbend) and eagle arms may be an issue. Please be aware of this and don’t push to your limit. Engaging your muscles in these postures is a good idea.

For people with cervical instability, you may find the neck rolls and camel problematic, and possibly also cat/cow.

Injury, pain or recent surgery to neck, shoulder(s), spine:

If you have an injury, pain or recent surgery to your neck, shoulders or spine, please speak to your GP before taking this class. I can’t advise you how to modify because I don’t know the details or location of the problem. As this class is focused almost entirely on your upper body, it may not be suitable for you.

Hip or knee injury, pain or recent surgery

This whole class can be taken seated in a chair.

Frequently asked questions

What is shame free yoga?

Western yoga often sets idealised standards for what a posture should look like in a person’s body – and sometimes even what the ideal body should look like. This can be very shaming. Shame-free yoga is the antidote to this toxic western yoga culture. For more information you can read my blog post about shame-free yoga.

Is it really free? What’s the catch?

Yes it’s really free to people who subscribe to the Love Not Shame newsletter (and no, there isn’t a catch). You can unsubscribe at any time if you don’t want to receive the emails anymore.

Do I need to be in good shape/fit/flexible?

This isn’t yoga for fitness, flexibility or strength. Instead it uses gentle, mindful movements to help you become more present in your body, become aware of what your body needs and respect and honour your body’s boundaries. You don’t need to be fit, strong or flexible to take this class but if there are movements you find challenging, I usually offer alternatives or you can just sit that one out if needed. In everything, I advise you to notice pain and stop as soon as you feel it.

Do I need to buy a yoga mat?

No. This class is entirely seated and can be done on a chair or on the floor. You don’t need any special equipment but if you’re on the floor, you might want something to sit on like a pillow or folded blanket or towel.

What equipment do I need?

You don’t need any equipment to do the classes but you might like to sit in a chair. If you are on the floor, you might want a bit of extra cushionning. I can recommend using a folded towel or blanket as well as any cushions or pillows.

What clothes do I need?

Anything comfortable that you can move around in. I teach yoga classes in lightweight baggy trousers and a comfortable t-shirt, but when practicing yoga in the privacy of my own home I like to wear my pyjamas – they’re the perfect combination of comfortable and moveable. Some people like to practice in leggings, I personally don’t but that’s a personal preference and not because they’re unsuitable. If you already have yoga clothes you can wear them but if not I wouldn’t recommend buying them because they’re expensive and not necessary for these classes.

What if I have an injury, recent surgery or some other form of pain?

I would advise you to get clearance from your doctor to participate in yoga. However, it’s ultimately your body and your decision. In every situation I would advise you to listen to your body’s signals and back out of a posture if it’s causing you pain, discomfort or rapid breathing/holding your breath (breath is the nervous system’s way of saying that something isn’t right). I’m not a medical professional so if you have any questions, please speak to you doctor or physiotherapist.

Is this class suitable for pregnant people?

I would advise you to seek professional medical advice before taking part in this class. If you do take part, I would recommend applying modifications like those listed above.

I’m not trained prenatal yoga instructor. Please remember that I’m not an expert or medical professional so you might need to speak to your doctor or midwife before taking this class.

Can yoga really help me love myself?

Yoga has been found in studies to increase body satisfaction and self esteem.

Is yoga compatible with my religion/atheism?

Only you can decide that. Yoga isn’t a religion in itself but its practices are closely aligned with Hinduism because they are both from the same culture. I’ve heard from many people that doing the yoga postures is worshiping Hindu gods. However, if you look at the history of yoga, you will find that this is simply not true. The postures we practice today in the west are nothing like the ‘comfortable steady seat’ referred to in early yoga texts. They were developed at the beginning of last century during British colonial rule, and are influenced by (among other things) western gymnastics. There’s no indication that they were developed as a form of worship to specific gods, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be used in that way. People of all religions and cultures have adopted yoga as a means of calming the mind and drawing near to the divine. It’s true that yoga can be used to worship Hindu gods, but it’s also true that yoga can be used to worship other gods (or no gods).

I personally practice yoga as part of my Christian faith (and I even trained at a Christian yoga school) but the classes I teach don’t have a religious focus and are open to all. Here are a couple of resources from two of the people I trained under talking about yoga from a Christian perspective (Getting Still and Caroline Williams) You may have to do some personal research and soul searching to discover if yoga is compatible with your faith.

Disclaimer

Every body is unique and each has its own unique needs. This class is offered as a pre-recorded online yoga class and therefore can’t be tailored to your body and its unique needs. Although I’ve offered some modifications, these are provided for informational purposes only and not as medical advice. I am not a medical professional, nor am I able to diagnose or manage injuries. I’m also not able to tell you whether or not you are fit to participate in this class. Therefore, I would advise you to speak to a doctor of physiotherapist before taking part in this class. As with any form of movement, yoga carries with it its own risks. To minimise these risks, please ensure you are practicing within your own abilities and that you stop if you feel any pain. By participating in this yoga class, you do so at your own risk.