A long established yoga class has been run by Rosemary at Liverpool Hope University, Childwall for the past 25 years to which everyone is welcome.
Many teachers and student teachers attend this class along with people who have been practicing yoga for many years, we are therefore able to practice pranayama, mantra and meditation. The format of the sessions mean there is always something for any level of student from beginner to experienced. Everyone is welcome. (It is a mixed class of males and females.)
Please bring your yoga mat, blocks and belt if you have them, otherwise something that can be placed on the floor like an extra large towel or rug.
Drop in sessions every Tuesday evening from 7.00-9.00. Classes are on-going. Cost: £10.00 per week.
The Conference Centre
Liverpool Hope University
The Upper Back
There is little motion and a great deal of stability throughout the upper back (thoracic spine), as a result, it is not usual for this section of the spine to develop typical disorders of the spine such as herniated or slipped discs, or spinal instability.
However, it is a common to feel stress and tension in the region of the spine from just below the shoulder blades up to the neck, and owing to poor postural habits, we do have a tendency to ‘round’ this part of the spine (flexion) and this habit can become fixed in older age. Commonly this might be from working on a computer, bending forwards and down when looking after young children, or gardening it could also come from doing a job that brings our shoulders forwards such as hairdressing. It might also be more prevalent in people who are tall, especially girls that grow tall in their teenage years.
There is one specific disorder that does show itself in the upper back as we age, and that is osteoporosis, this is when the front portion of the spinal disks degenerate (they crumble) thus causing a ‘hump’ in the upper back (hyperkyphosis).
Individual disc movement is very limited in the spine, however, increased motion is possible when several discs combine forces. Our postures today will target this area of the spine. Movement helps to break down the tension we hold here.
There are psychological implications of this postural position, it is often considered that it is a posture that protects the heart as when the upper back rounds, the front of the chest collapses, the shoulders come forward, in a gesture that does indeed provide protection to the heart space. It is also evident in people who are shy and lacking in confidence.
Louise Hay says,
“The upper back has to do with feeling the lack of emotional support.“ (Hay (1996) p128)
Of “Feeling unloved.” Or, “Holding back love.” (Hay (1996) p152)
Aphorisms from Louise Hay are:
“Life itself supports me. I trust the universe. I freely give love and trust.” (Hay (1996) p211)
“I love and approve of myself. Life supports and loves me.” (Hay (1996) p152)
“I relax, knowing that Life supports me at all times.” (Hay 2007, p218)
Hay, L. Louise (1996), You can heal your life, Hay House Ltd
Hay, L. Louise, (2007), Meditations to heal your life, Hay House Ltd
Today we will focus on spaciousness; we will look to create space in our mind and world. Rather than focusing on thoughts that arise, we will focus on the space between the thoughts and see if we can expand that space. As we experience the space, the stillness between thoughts, we become present with awareness; this is a natural, nurturing, healing experience.
Pain or tightness in the shoulder area often reflects a person’s overall emotional and physical state. A stressful lifestyle, emotional strain, physical injuries and fatigue can contribute to constriction and pain in the shoulders.
"I choose to allow all my experiences to be joyous and loving." Louise Hay
"I release anger in harmless ways. Love releases and relaxes. Life is joyous and free, all that I accept is good." Louise Hay
Today I went to Prema Yoga. I didn’t search for it and no one told me about it, I just found it, a little bit by accident but what a find! Prema Yoga doesn’t have a great Google page rank. It doesn’t appear in the initial listings when you do a search for ‘yoga and Liverpool’, but it should. ‘Many teachers and student teachers attend this class along with people who have been practicing yoga for many years, therefore it includes the practice pranayama, mantra and meditation. The format of the sessions mean there is always something for any level of student from beginner to experienced. It is a mixed class of males and females’.
I found Prema Yoga in my search term ‘Yoga Liverpool’ and I was impressed by Rosemary's experience and qualifications that I read on the website. I was intrigued by her credentials and curious about the type of class that she would deliver as on the website it simply said ‘Yoga’ class. I was looking forward to meeting her and experiencing the class. I called her up in the morning to check that the class was on as there wasn’t a booking facility online. She was friendly and told me it was a drop in class and to definitely come along. So at 6:30 p.m. I called a cab and arrived at the Conference Centre in Hope Park with time to chill on my mat before we began.
I haven’t been back to Hope since I finished Uni and the gardens have really taken off! Also for anyone who knew Hope before the Liverpool 1 era, the Conference Centre is what used to be the nursery. The yoga class is held in one of the conference rooms. It’s warm and dimly lit with good space for about fifteen to twenty students. The class was full and everyone seemed to know each other and chatted before we began.
Rosemary has a very gentle and reassuring tone of voice and is knowledgeable about the postures. She delivers this knowledge to the class in a manner that is warm and informative. She had set a theme for the class and the postures complemented the theme. The class flowed beautifully. We were often asked how we felt after certain postures and Rosemary also demonstrated modifications of postures that we could choose.
The latter part of the session included pranayamas, (breathing exercises) meditation and an invitation to affirmations. The class closed with a luxurious yoga nidra (body scan). I thoroughly enjoyed the practice of yoga in this style. The class was not rushed and not arduous. Some of the joint freeing series at the beginning of the class made me feel as though I’d had a great massage!
I understand now why the class was just listed as ‘Yoga’, because it was totally just yoga, in all it’s glory! I have to admit that I was so blissed out at the end of the class I thanked Rosemary and gave her a big hug! It was difficult to believe that I had been there practicing for two whole hours! When I left Hope Park and walked out onto Taggart Avenue I was feeling super relaxed and incredibly present. An hour later I arrived home. I’d walked all the way … Maybe yoga should come with a health warning; because it really does makes you feel amazingly alright!
Rachele, co-founder of Eco Liverpool (http://mindfulyogaliverpool.com/page/2/)
The BWY is recognised by Sport England and The Sport and Recreation Alliance (formally the CCPR) as the National Governing Body for Yoga in England. As the NGB for Yoga we also accredit other organisation's teacher training programmes.