Sunday Night Sound Bath with Joseph Yanaku

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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…

 

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Student of the Month: Eleanor Nairne

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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:

https://www.artfund.org/news/2017/09/20/eleanor-nairne-basquiat-boom-for-real-barbican

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Floyds X Yoga on the Lane Dinner Special

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Could Thursday nights get any better on the Lane? No, surely, not when there’s an Elisa de Grey double going down. But wait a second, what’s this? YOTL x FLOYD’S THURSDAY NIGHT YOGA SPECIAL. Just book your yoga class as you ordinarily would and then pop to Floyd's after class and say 'I've been to yoga' and you'll get two courses and a drink for £20. And look at the line up. It’s MEGA. They serve until late so you can go after the 6.30pm or after the 7.45pm. But is it far? No, it’s at number 89! And when does it start? This week! GO GO GO

S T A R T E R S

Grilled goat’s cheese, herbed quinoa, toasted buckwheat, harissa (gf)

Beetroot, fig & smoked almond salad, basil cress & pomegranate (ve)

M A I N S

Cauliflower rice, charred broccoli, butternut squash, pickled beetroot, tahini dressing (ve) (gf)

Courgette linguine, pesto, wild mushrooms, rocket, parmesan (v) (gf)

Marinated crispy tofu, kohlrabi, kale & alfalfa sprout salad, cardamom rice, wasabi soya aioli (ve)

Cod & salmon fishcake, wilted spinach, soft boiled egg, tartare sauce 

D E S S E R T S

Chocolate & salted pistachio tart, amaretto cream 

Quince crumble & double cream 

Absinthe crème bruleé, shortbread

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Student of the Month: Helen Richardson

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    Darling Helen Richardson is part of our Teacher Training Class of 2017 and is the obvious choice to be our latest student of the month. Why? She’s only gone and had a novel published. It’s called  Waking , and the author Phoebe Morgan had this to say about it: ‘Beautifully-written, cleverly-plotted, and with a creeping sense of darkness, 'Waking' will stay with you long after you turn off the lights at night...’ The blurb gives you a sense of what to expect:  There are dark corners in your mind that even you can't get to. Anna Caldwell is terrified of falling asleep. A nightmare, her very own, will be there waiting for her. After sharing her bed with the same vision for fifteen years, she's desperate to shake it. But it only holds on tighter. Then Anna meets Jack. She's drawn to the strange, alluring tension that she feels when she's around him. It's as though it's meant to be. But creeping beneath the roots of their intimacy is darkness. If you knew your dreams were trying to tell you something terrible, would you listen?  Sounds amazing, no? It comes out October 12th and you can buy it here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/waking/helen-richardson/9781786153449

Darling Helen Richardson is part of our Teacher Training Class of 2017 and is the obvious choice to be our latest student of the month. Why? She’s only gone and had a novel published. It’s called Waking, and the author Phoebe Morgan had this to say about it: ‘Beautifully-written, cleverly-plotted, and with a creeping sense of darkness, 'Waking' will stay with you long after you turn off the lights at night...’ The blurb gives you a sense of what to expect:

There are dark corners in your mind that even you can't get to. Anna Caldwell is terrified of falling asleep. A nightmare, her very own, will be there waiting for her. After sharing her bed with the same vision for fifteen years, she's desperate to shake it. But it only holds on tighter. Then Anna meets Jack. She's drawn to the strange, alluring tension that she feels when she's around him. It's as though it's meant to be. But creeping beneath the roots of their intimacy is darkness. If you knew your dreams were trying to tell you something terrible, would you listen?

Sounds amazing, no? It comes out October 12th and you can buy it here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/waking/helen-richardson/9781786153449

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Bo Forbes for Magic Breakfast

It's such an honour to have Bo Forbes come to teach a benefit workshop at the studio. Of course the spaces filledinstantly because she's Bo Forbes but the good news is that it filled with all our teachers so you'll be reaping the rewards of her genius very soon. The money raised will be going to Magic Breakfast, a charity very close to our hearts here at Yoga on the Lane. Run by Carmel McConnell, (who in the way she lives her life embodies the principals of yoga - radical empathy, boundless love, heroic solidarity - better that anyone else we know), Magic Breakfast runs breakfast clubs at hundreds of primary schools in many of the country's most deprived neighbourhoods. To find out more or donate follow the link:

https://www.magicbreakfast.com

Student of the Month: Alexander Whitley

 

Our boy Alex Whitley is Yoga on the Lane's latest Student of the Month. He went to the Royal Ballet School with Naomi which led to a long dancing career with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rambert and Michael Clark, before he started choreographing his own work. His latest piece, Eight Minutes, is on at Sadlers Wells Tuesday and Wednesday this week and there are still tickets left. We suggest you go, go, go, as it's going to be amazing. As he says of it:

Igniting our imaginations with spectacular forces and overwhelming scales, space exploration constantly re­shapes how we understand ourselves and our place in the universe. For his new work Alexander Whitley takes inspiration from the stunning images and data produced by solar science research in a collaboration with scientists from STFC RAL Space. With a specially created score by the electroacoustic music innovator Daniel Wohl and an installation of high-definition imagery from BAFTA award-winning visual artist Tal Rosner, 8 Minutes creates a striking, immersive environment of dance, music and film to illuminate our relationship with the star that gives us life.

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Teacher Spotlight: Imogen North

Looking for a big start to the week, or the weekend? Imogen is your woman. She gets us into gear at 7.15am on Mondays and 7.45am on Saturdays.

How long have you been practicing?

Since I was 16 (too long ago to mention!) 

What compelled you to start teaching yoga?

I never really thought I would become a teacher. I started my teacher training to help further my practice and knowledge and within a few week of training realised there was nothing else I wanted to do more....the path was set and I haven't looked back.

Describe your classes in three words? 

Indulgent. Rhythmic. Quiet

Which pose do you find most challenging? 

Depends what day of the week it is… if I really had to choose I would say Adho Mukha Svanasana (Handstand) – it has taken me a long time to overcome the fear of falling. 

What inspires you as a teacher?

A sense of humour. The students and teachers who don’t take themselves too seriously. Its only yoga! Breathe my friends! 

 

Teacher Spotlight: Lucy McCarthy

She’s back. After a long spiritual sojourn to India our Lucy returns to the little ship ready to bless us with her beautiful, dynamic, flowing classes. She’s going to be resuming her Thursday morning double (7.15am and 9.30am), and taking the Monday triple: pregnancy, level one, and dynamic.

How long have you been practicing?

11 years now. 

What compelled you to start teaching yoga?

My own passion for the practice led me to train- more to deepen my own practice than with a specific plan to teach initially. However, once I started my training I fell in love with teaching.  I love sharing the deep wisdom of this practice with others and seeing the transformation and changes that occur in my students. 

Describe your classes in three words.

Mindful, uplifting, heartfelt. 

Which pose do you find most challenging?

Triangmukhapaschimottanasana (hard for me to spell as well as do!)

What inspires you as a teacher?

Seeing my students evolve and change. When their practice on the mat starts to impact and create positive changes in their life off the mat. My own practice and self study. My teachers. Nature. My relationships. Life. Everything! 

What’s your favorite pose at the moment?

Camel. Just love the feeling of freedom it elicits in me. 

Teacher Spotlight: Nikita Akilapa

Gorgeous Nikita Akilapa teaches our Tuesday lunch class and she’s quickly developing a cult following for her beautiful breath-led classes. She’s also available for one-to-one sessions either side of her class. Here she tells us how she got where she is….

How long have you been practicing?

I've been practicing for about 16 years, on and off. I took my first class while travelling round Asia in my early 20s. I started practicing in a gym back in London, then the studios. About 7 years ago, I found an amazing Ashtanga yoga retreat in Portugal that I would go to regularly. 

What compelled you to start teaching yoga?

I worked as a PR consultant for about 10 years, and had dreams of making yoga my life but couldn't really see a way to make the switch. When my brother died in 2011, everything changed. I realised clearly that any day can be the last and I didn't want to waste any more time doing anything that didn't serve me. Driven (or dragged) by something much bigger and more powerful than me, I left everything behind and went to India to train as a yoga teacher. I then moved to Portugal to work at the retreat I loved so much.  When I became pregnant with my daughter, I moved home to London and started to teach in the studios that I had loved practicing in.

Describe your classes in three words?

Only three! Ok. Strong, soulful and breath-based 

Which pose do you find most challenging?

Double Pigeon forward fold. Simple but strong posture that is always hard for my tight outer hips and my grumbly knees. INTENSE

What inspires you as a teacher?

The quest for my truth and the bravery/strength to live in it

What’s your favorite pose at the moment?

Wheel. Because it was my nemesis for so long, I can't get enough of it these days.