We’re running a short but sweet schedule this Easter:
9am Level One
12 Level One
We’re running a short but sweet schedule this Easter:
9am Level One
12 Level One
We are just so thrilled to be bringing back parent and baby yoga to Yoga on the Lane. From Wednesday April 17th the lovely Chloe George will be teaching a new double: Postnatal Yoga 10.45am-11.45am and then a new Pregnancy Class at 12.30pm (to go with our ongoing pregnancy yoga at 6pm on Fridays). Why is she the perfect woman to do it? One, she’s a brilliant yoga teacher. And, two, she’s thought as much about what it means to be a young mother as insightfully as anyone we know. These are her words:
“It’s tempting to put things into boxes in our lives: things, feelings, people. When I was pregnant and in early motherhood I was keen to find women like me to befriend, maybe ones with nice clothes or shoes or a good sense of humour or who I thought I could talk to about a book or a band or a film I liked. In yoga and at NCT classes I looked out for them, imagining us hanging out with our new babies and talking about interesting things.
Although I did go on to make real friends that I had things in common with beyond just giving birth in the same month, this time of my life was a lesson in knowing that sharing characteristics with people is not the only thing that matters. That everything I assumed about them on first sight was usually wrong.
There was the woman I locked eyes with in the hospital waiting room as I left my 20 week scan, those moments which carry ecstasy and anxiety and which pass between you and a stranger in a rush of pure comprehension. The woman next to me in yoga who shared similar hopes and fears. The kind stranger who went to lengths to get me the phone number of the community midwives who changed everything about my birth. The commuter who eyeballed me when my new baby cried on the train, and I was sure she was annoyed and then she came over and smiled and said “I had a little one like that, too”. The older lady who nearly got run over in flagging down a bus for me and my buggy.
It stopped mattering whether anyone was stylish or had nice hair or liked PJ Harvey or Margaret Atwood or Portlandia. It mattered that people were kind. It mattered that they knew a little of what you were going through. It mattered that they could hold your coffee for a minute while you grappled with a sling or while away a few hours in the afternoon.
In pre and postnatal yoga it’s the conversations you have before, during and after that are often just as useful or meaningful as the yoga itself. The more I’ve taught yoga for women in these stages of life (something which often feels more like facilitating the coming together of a little community than just teaching physical movement or breath work), the more I’ve observed these moments. As a teacher it’s wonderful to step back and see the yoga doing its work, see the community doing its work.
It’s not all easy or perfect, like any community – especially at this potentially vulnerable time, when everyone has an opinion on our pregnancy or mothering, or people are difficult or different to us or can say things that rattle us. But this is life, and this is exactly where yoga can steady us, can help us to look directly at whatever we’re feeling with courage. It can help us explore the heart and edges of our emotions and know that thoughts are weather that passes. How can we be steady inside whatever storm rages around us? This is a great gift for motherhood.
And it helps to know that there are others doing this alongside us, finding some space, feeling lighter or stronger. Maybe they have great shoes and hair or maybe they don’t and maybe none of it matters. Maybe in a few months you meet for coffee, or are added to a what’s app group, and maybe not and they’re just a nice face you know from your yoga studio where you gathered, as mothers always have. People say that we have to make our own village. So let’s start here. “
A three-week course of sound bath sessions, each framed in a different way to give context to the science behind therapeutic sound.We discover what is actually happening to us during a sound bath. How sound can alter our heart rate, brain waves, and nervous systems and take us into deep relaxation. With takeaways on how we can apply therapeutic sound to our lives for our own health and wellbeing.
Thursdays 21st and 28th of Feb, 7th of March. 7.45-9pm.
The entire Annand clan (Thing One and Thing Two very much included) will be heading to gorgeous Poundon House in Oxfordshire this Easter for a back-by-popular-demand yoga and feasting weekend. The setting is stunning. The yoga will be blissful. The food will be fulsome. And it's all just a hop, skip and a jump from dear old London town. Email the studio for booking.
I have been fortunate enough to have had incredible teachers who have inspired me to practice and had a profound effect in my life through teachings of the yoga tradition. I teach to help students find inspiration themselves and practice in a way that expands awareness of their physical form and their breath, leading to a better understanding of themselves. As my life has been positively transformed through yoga I hope that my teaching has a similar effect on my students.
YOTL is a great place to teach yoga. There is a homely vibe that differentiates it from other studios. It is as close as a home practice as you will get! A real community feel - a warm and welcoming space for students to come together and practice. The studio is run with care and love and this approach is obvious to anyone that has spent time here.
Practising first thing in the morning is certainly challenging but it is the best way! Starting the day with a yoga practice is a great way to check in with yourself to see where you are mentally and physically. It is important to remember that yoga is not about performance - morning stiffness or tightness should not be a reason to avoid practice but reason to embrace it. You feel more by doing less! Also - you won’t have to think about it for the rest of your day and can get on with the rest of your life.
My practice is constantly changing and evolving with time, the change of season, the weather, mood... currently my practice is focused more on creating a feeling of introspection as we move deeper into autumn. Forward folds, seated postures and inversions are the main focus. I find that as I get older less is becoming more and I explore the subtler aspects of asana practice.
Just reserve yourself a spot in the class as you ordinarily would and then bring your first-timer (first time at Yoga on the Lane, not necessarily first time on a yoga mat!), and we’ll sort the rest out at reception. Saturday morning’s 9am and 10.15am classes will be limited to three free first-timers. In all instances it will be first come, first served. Your friend will then be offered a ten-class pass for just £85 and if they buy one, so can you!
After a short hiatus to make a baby, Naomi is back with another Quarterly at the Round Chapel on Friday 13th of April. It’s a celebration of spring, obviously, and we’re hoping that it will remind spring to actually kick in weather-wise. There will be a joyous uplifting season-specific workshop and then all kinds of spring treats from the wonderful Ania at Fingers Crossed. Tickets are £45 and can be booked here: https://billetto.co.uk/e/the-quarterly-spring-awakening-tickets-274118
You know how you do something and you just know instantly that it is absolutely incontrovertibly right. That’s how Naomi felt when she first did Mischa’s class: “Mischa’s teaches thoughtfully with intention and focus and her approach is underpinned by her evident dedication to the practice. Her humility and kindness are perfect for everyone from beginners to advanced practionners. And her intelligent and always-evolving sequences have the kind of a philosophical framework for the yoga geeks to get their teeth into. She is really is just perfect for Yoga on the Lane.” Which is why we've found space on the schedule for four weekly classes:
Wednesday 9.30am Dynamic (Community has moved to Tuesday lunch)
Thursday 6.30pm Level One
Thursday 7.45pm Dynamic
Friday 12.30pm Dynamic
Want to know more? Here’s her extended biog:
Mischa's yoga journey began over a decade ago and slowly began to weave its way through her life; she is continually humbled and inspired by the potential of yoga to transform, expand and heal and is devoted to sharing the practice with others. She holds enormous gratitude to leading vinyasa flow teacher Claire Missingham with whom she completed her initial 200 hours and went on to assist for some time afterwards. Most recently Mischa finished an additional 300 hour training with her teacher Sianna Sherman who is of enormous influence and inspiration to her. She has now stepped into apprenticeship with Sianna and assists on her workshops and trainings. Mischa has spent over a year in India studying, practicing and visiting sacred sites and it holds a special place in her heart.
Mischa teaches a heartfelt practice with creative sequencing, a deep focus on breath and alignment and a combination of strong steady flow and longer holds to both uplift and tap into the stillness. She draws her understanding from a number of styles and traditions, particularly inspired by the philosophy and practices of the Tantric lineage. Her classes are woven with philosophy, myth and stories and often include music, chanting, meditation and ritual. Mischa's teaching is passionate and knowledgeable, her intention is to both challenge and restore, holding a space for individuals to open, reflect and absorb. You will be taken on a joyful journey of self inquiry and unfolding. Mischa is committed to her own study and practice as the foundation of her teaching.
What more, I hear you cry, could darling Joseph Yanaku contribute to YOTL? He mans the front desk, he paints the walls, he designs the website, he supplies all kinds of vibes and spirit and general aesthetic genius. He can't do anymore, surely! Oh no, what's this? He’s only going to lead a Sunday Night Sound Bath!! Every Sunday at 7.15pm, he’ll be using a mixture of Himalayan bowls, gongs, crystal singing bowls and therapeutic percussive instruments to zen you out in preparation for your week ahead. It starts this Sunday, 4th March. And it’s going to be MEGA. And what’s this? An actual interview! Amazing!
What first drew you to sound as an aid for meditation?
My whole life has been dedicated to sound and vibration. As a musician and composer, I have always been aware of the effects that sound and music can have on us. As artist and a designer, I am very passionate about colour and creating ambience, you know that ‘thing’ you can feel but can’t see. I think that my work basically boils down to one thing: a desire to create spaces that uplift, inspire and bring about a positive shift for those that occupy them. I have been practicing yoga for many years now and have strong ties with the yoga community in London and so using sound for meditation brings all my passions together. So, I feel like I have always been a sound therapist but I made it ‘legitimate’ by training at the British Academy of Sound Therapy.
What’s the science behind sound as a therapy?
We are interpreters of vibration without even realising it. What we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, and feel with our fingertips is an interpretation of vibration. Everything about what we call ‘reality’ is an interpretation of vibration. Of all of our five senses, hearing gives us the most direct access to understanding vibration through the experience of sound. It is because of this that I feel sound gives us a deeper connection to and understanding of the energetic body. There are several techniques used in sound therapy. One of these is the process of entrainment. Our bodies house a number of rhythms. The heartbeat (the first thing we ever hear) is the most obvious example of this. When resting, the average heartbeat is at around 60 beats per minute (BPM) and at around 75 on average during activity. However, when we are in a state of stress our heartbeat can increase to around 87 BPM and when we are deeply relaxed it will fall to around 57 BPM. Playing a regular beat or rhythm over a period of time on a drum or on a gong for example, will entrain the heart rate to this rhythm. This can therefore be used to bring about a deep state of relaxation and aid meditation.
In your opinion, what effect does sound have on us?
We know that music has a way to move people in ways they don’t ordinarily move. It makes us want to dance, facilitates emotional release, elevates our mood and holds us in a state of non-resistance for longer periods of time than almost anything else. In terms of sound as an aid for meditation, think of it like this: if you are willing to focus on sounds rather than a conversation, an opinion, a problem, or even a piece music that carries an emotion, then it has the same capability that meditation does where you are focused without any resistance. Anytime you focus without resistance your natural vibration raises to a frequency that allows your physical body to be more cooperative with itself.
In the age of technology where there is now an app for everything, including yoga and meditation why should people come to a sound bath as opposed to just popping a recording on or playing gongs through their phones?
As a recording artist, I often use electronic sounds and I do not shy away from using social media as a device for outreach and connecting. There is a place for everything and I can’t rule out that there would be some benefit to listening to recorded sounds. However (and I feel quite passionate about this), where meditation is concerned I feel that this is one time where we should be turning the apps off, putting the phones down and going on an inward journey. We already live so much through our phones that they’ve almost become an extension of us. I think it’s important to maintain a healthy connection with nature and with ourselves without any ‘add-ons’. Also, listening to sounds through speakers or headphones is never going to have the same effect as being in a room where a gong or a crystal bowl are being played with their vibrations resonating and pulsating in the air and through your body.
What are Sound Baths good for?
Attending sound baths can:
• Aid meditation
• Reduce stress
• Calm anxieties
• Increase mental focus
• Improve quality of sleep
• Ignite your creativity
The list goes on…
And so it turns out one of our all-time favourite students Ellie Nairne (a regular from the day we opened our doors) is even more brilliant than we’d realised. We knew she was a curatorial powerhouse and all-round art world superstar but we hadn’t realised she was the woman behind the smash hit Basquiat show at the Barbican. Maddeningly, the show closes on the 28th which means you’ve only got a few days to get to it if you haven’t already. Either way, here she is talking fascinatingly about it: