JANUARY THOUGHTS AND THEMES


 I love the freshness and positive intentions which surface at this time of year but January is also a time when we can become a bit hard on ourselves, guilting ourselves over “shortcomings” of the previous year and the indulgence which often comes hand in hand with the festive celebrations just gone. It is notoriously a difficult month.


Traditionally in January, resolutions are made, which can be a really positive thing, however all too frequently these resolutions stem from the idea that we are lacking in something, that we are not enough as we are. 
The way we apply these resolutions is often harsh, and guilt ridden, we put pressure on ourselves and experience shame and self dissatisfaction if we slip. In my experience we are often not very kind to ourselves at this time of year. 


So, sessions this month are opportunities to be a little gentler on yourself, to do something positive without the pressure of achieving anything in particular, and above all to begin to see that you really are enough as you are. 


Resolutions can be super positive tools if they come from this place of abundance rather than from a place of lacking. 


Hope to see you on the mat soon!
With warmth


Yasmine 


Namaste

The divine in me, bows to the divine in you

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New year wishes and upcoming yoga!

Hello all and a happy New year!! (Almost!)

I hope that you are enjoying this festive season! I have been taking a little break but as the new year approaches I’m beginning to look forward to a few lovely bits planned which I wish to share with you! Please put these dates in your shiny new diaries and calendars!

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Tuesday 29th JanuaryFirstly I will be teaching a new class at the gorgeous Society cafe in Jumeirah 1. This will hopefuly become a monthly event with an hour’s yoga starting at 7.30pm followed by a gorgeous vegetarian feast. The first event is on Tuesday 29th January, 250AED. Bring friends and make an evening of it!  To book email pr@societydxb.com with the heading; Yoga at Society Jan 29th 7.30. Include in your message your full name, number of guests attending and any dietary requirements.  

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Saturday 19th JanuaryThen on Saturday 19th I’m back at XVA with Yoga & Brunch. Do remember to reserve a spot for the early bird price of 105AED, email reservations@xvagallery.com to do that. 
Earlier this month I had the absolute privilege of studying with Uma Dinsmore Tuli and Nirlipta Tuli, the incredibly profound practice of yoga nidra- (yogic sleep) I have been relying on this practice more and more in my own personal yoga tool kit and it’s an honour to now really be able to share it with you all. Expect to enjoy short yoga nidra sessions now towards the end of most of my classes with more in depth special workshops to come. 
For a taster of what this practice can offer visit my website where there are 2 free Yoga Nidra available for download. Perfect for anyone feeling a bit depleted, tired and in need of rest and relaxation. 

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Thursday 10th JanuaryMy regular Restorative yoga and yoga Nidra class will resume at Nilaya House from the 10th of January. It’s a wonderful transition into the weekend and a super beneficial addition to your weekly self care routine!
Do get in touch if you’d like to know more about any of the above, or just to say hi!
With warmth,
Yasmine 
Namaste,The divine in me, bows to the divine in you

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Yoga Nidra for a well deserved sleep

A Christmas eve gift for those of you who are either too excited to sleep tonight or maybe dread this time of year. For whatever reason if you find it difficult to nod off then this 17 minute yoga nidra, recorded outside on a crisp December afternoon, invites you to take a well deserved rest. This practice is designed to lead you into a good night’s sleep so make yourself comfortable, take all measures to ensure you won’t be disturbed, close your eyes and allow the practice to wash over you.

 

Listen to the practice here!

 

Yoga Nidra Free Download: Giving and receiving love and kindness.

This 15 minute Nidra was recorded in Kerala, India, during my recent Total Yoga Nidra training with Uma Dinsmore Tuli, Nirlipta Tuli and Yoga United.

Listen to the Yoga Nidra recording here

I intend to re record this making it a bit longer but as  I am aware how long it takes intentions to manifest I thought I would offer it up as it is for now- a short practice to cultivate love and kindness towards yourself.

This practice is suitable for all but designed specifically with caregivers in mind, or anyone who feels depleted or that the give and take in their life is out of balance.

Before listening to the practice please make yourself very comfortable, make sure the environment you are in is a comfortable temperature and take every measure available to ensure you will not be disturbed.

Enjoy and do let me know how you find it!

With warmth,

Yasmine

Yoga & Brunch

As the heavy summer heat starts to ease up and those gorgeous easy Dubai days are on the horizon, yoga starts to take itself outdoors- events are popping up all over the city!

Practicing yoga outdoors is a fantastic way to connect to the elements. You root your practice in the hustle and bustle of life itself as you are taken out of a studio or controlled environment and into the inherent spontaneity of mother nature.

I have been offering yoga at XVA Hotel and Gallery for the past 3 years and it really is one of my most favourite experiences from living, practicing and teaching in Dubai.

This year I am hosting 5 Yoga & Brunch mornings in this creative corner of the city.

Saturdays at 10am-

13th October

10th November

19th January

16th February

16th March

We will meet on the roof top of XVA which is situated in the historic Al Fahidi area and an hour of mindful yoga will start at 10. The class is open to all, from the experienced practitioner to the complete beginner. Each class will focus on creating a sense of ease in the body, mind and breath as well as having a unique theme, so you will enjoy a series of yoga perspectives if you are able to join all 5 sessions!

After yoga we will enjoy brunch in the picturesque courtyard cafe. The food at XVA is delicious and brunch will include lots of fresh fruit and Arabic breakfast items, a choice of eggs or an option of pancakes, fresh juice (try the mint lemon!) and tea or coffee (dairy free milk available).

Friends, and families are welcome to join for the brunch paying just the cost of the food. (mentioning extra guests in advance is helpful but not essential!)

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After brunch there is so much to see and do in the area- the gallery and shop at XVA are always worth checking out, there is the gold and spice souks, an abra down the creek, you could wander around the galleries and museums in al fahidi or check out the new Al Seef development!

This year we are offering a great deal too- the early bird rate is just 100AED (+VAT) if you book and pay before the day through the hotel reservations@xvagallery.com . If you prefer to pay on the day then it is 120AED (+VAT) in cash.

Yoga mats can be borrowed but please do let me know in advance if you wish to borrow one.

Please share with all your friends and loved ones and do feel free to get in touch if you would like to know anything more.

Namaste

The divine in me, bows to the divine in you.

Supported Forward Bound Angle Pose

Forward folding poses naturally draw our attention inwards, away from external distractions. They strengthen our ability to explore our inner landscape. When you add to this the seated element of this pose, you add a sense of grounding and safety that comes from physical closeness to the earth. From this position the support and warmth from the earth is more intimately felt and received. In a regular yoga class you might practice this posture and certainly enjoy these same benefits but what we get when we add the additional props to make this a restorative pose is that extra sense of comfort.

IMG_20180501_120808_884.jpgWhen we are comfortable then the body and mind can drop into relaxation and in this state the systems of the body can more effectively restore themselves. Without props this can be a physically demanding pose that requires a certain amount of flexibility but by bringing the earth up to meet you where you are (with the use of the bolster to support your body and the blankets to support your legs/hips) you can reduce the stimulation of the posture and find this sense of relaxation.

 

Join me weekly at Nilaya House, Al Quoz, Dubai

Tuesdays 8pm-9.15pm

 

Restore, Restore, Restore

No man is an island.
Our energy is affected by many external factors and life pulls and pushes us in many ways. The relationships that bring us love and joy can also cause us pain and worry, the work responsibilities that offer pride and satisfaction can also lead to stress and burn out. With so many amazing ways to spend our leisure time in this  city that never sleeps, even our ‘free’ time can be laced with pressure, the pressure that we should always be ‘doing’ something to be fully alive.
Restorative yoga is a liberating practice as it is not a practice of ‘doing’, but a practice of ‘being’. Through finding inner stillness and quiet we see that the essence of being fully alive is most potent with an absence of doing, when we start to peel away the layers of stimulation and distraction. This is a practice of ‘un doing’ and, in my opinion, it is an essential practice to maintain balance.
If you follow the 8 limbs of yoga you will know the term brahmacharya, one of the yamas, (social restraints) which can be translated as wise use of energy. Learning how to contain, to replenish and when and where to expel our energy is vital to a life well lived. In the stillness of a restorative yoga practice we can heighten our awareness of our own energy levels and,  give ourselves time to replenish our store. I believe when we dedicate time to nurturing our own energy we become more careful about the ways in which we spend this precious resource. This can lead us to making healthier and more sustainable decisions about the way we live our life.
Restore, restore, restore.
This is my mantra. It reminds me that before I can look after my family, my friends, my students, before I can function in any meaningful way, I must maintain my charge, I must look after my Self. There are many short term pick me ups which have their place in my life – an active yoga practice, a run outside, a chat with a close friend, even a coffee can all make me feel more energised and improve my mood, but I would argue none of these can truly address stress and exhaustion rooted deeply in my body.
Restorative yoga lives in a space between activity and sleep, this deep relaxation that is often neglected, that feels so wonderfully luxurious yet is also so fundamentally essential.
So what is Restorative Yoga?
 
Poses are ‘held’ for several minutes – often between 5 and 20. The poses are passive, meaning there is no muscle engagement. The body is totally supported in the postures by props – blankets, blocks and bolsters. With this support we can let go of physical tension, of mental tension, and of emotional tension. The body is gently invited to open in areas we may keep habitually closed. This is a gentle opening and not a stretch (stretching is mildly stimulating to the nervous system). Significantly, over the course of a restorative yoga class we move the spine in all directions, gently folding forwards, backwards and twisting. A healthy spine enhances well-being.
And why should I practice Restorative Yoga?
 
In restorative yoga you are momentarily stepping away from the outside world and from all the demands it makes on your, body, mind and energy. You are invited into a still and silent space where the body’s own resources (it’s tool kit) is given the opportunity to awaken, to heal and to restore. Relaxation takes us out of stress mode and activates the sympathetic nervous system – this switches our body over to ‘maintenance mode’. Simply put, when we allow ourselves to stop and relax, the inner healing processes can take place, homeostasis can be restored.
Restorative yoga is for everyone, not just those with injuries or physical limitations (though wonderful in those instances too!) This practice is for anyone who ever feels stressed or short of time. It is for people who would like to sleep better, for those who get run down easily, who want to give their body a chance to heal, who suffer from a reactive nature, or who simply want to maintain optimum well-being.
Restorative yoga isn’t being lazy. In fact finding a place to ‘do’ nothing in your life can be extremely constructive. I urge you to try the practice and see what extra space and energy it frees up for you.
I teach restorative yoga at Nilaya House in Al Quoz, Dubai on Tuesdays 8-9.15pm

Coming up!!! Season finale at XVA, Full moon Restorative yoga at Nilaya House

Hello all,
 
A big thank you to all of you who have made it to one of the Yoga Day Retreats at XVA this season. The last one is coming up on Saturday 10th March- the season finale!! I hope it will be the best one yet 🙂
I would love to see you there, familiar faces and new. Bring friends and family or just your self! Non yoga guests are welcome to join us for breakfast and or lunch (get in touch for more info).
 
As an extra treat you will recieve 5% off in the XVA shop which has beautiful and unique offerings, carefully curated from artists and craftspeople from all over the world, and some items even hand made in house!
The cost for the day is 357aed (inc vat) and if you would like a reminder of what is included please check my website or send me an email.You can also find a preview of the last day retreat on my instagram account @yogawithyas in the highlights of my profile.
In other news… New restorative yoga in Dubai
 
Next Friday (2nd March) I am thrilled to be holding a special Full moon class at the very special Nilaya House in al Quoz. The session will be a luxurious 90 minutes of restorative yoga and yoga nidra. No yoga experience is necessary and all are welcome. Please share the event with any loved ones in need of some nourishment! More info here or do of course get in touch if you would like to know anything else.
This class will be a little taster as from April I will be sharing this wonderful practice regularly through a weekly restorative session at Nilaya House!
So I hope to see you soon at one of these upcoming occasions. Wishing you love, peace and contentment in the meantime.
With warmth,
Yasmine
Namaste,
 
The divine in me, bows to the divine in you
 
x

PRACTICE, PATIENCE, PRESENCE (& PARENTING)

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3 simple words to keep in mind on and off the mat.

These 3 words I have found to be totally transformative to my yoga practice.

The more I practice, the more I realise that what is truly interesting in each asana (yoga pose) is not what is happening in the body, but what is happening in the mind.

Thoughts pop up that can be hard to face. Thoughts pop up that can take our attention away and afar, as we rehash old stories, or dream up new ones. Shopping lists, conversations at work, emails to write; the mind is a busy junction with thoughts coming and going like trains. It can be hard to be honest with ourselves and truly acknowledge the thoughts and accompanying emotions that arise within us. We may not like to acknowledge our stubbornness, arrogance or easily frustrated nature- but we are human. We must be patient with our selves, seeing these patterns but knowing they are not us. They may appear within us regularly (or occasionally) but they are not us. We are not rigid, we are flexible, constantly changing, never set in stone.

Yoga asana allows us to hone our skills of concentration as we observe without judgement  what arises as we move our body from shape to shape. When we practice this ability of moment to moment observation, just like practicing anything, we strengthen it. When we are able to be present we engage with life as it is- acceptance. We work on being just where we are within a yoga pose without thinking about where we should be, where we would like to be, or where the person on the mat next to us is. With acceptance of our circumstances we naturally invite patience. Patience leads to all kinds of positive qualities- kindness, generosity, tolerance, selflessness, empathy to name a few.

Practice, patience, presence. This recipe is not exclusive to yoga, in fact these three attributes allow us to navigate more smoothly through all areas of life. I have found this to be incredibly true with regards to parenting. As a mother to a 6 month old I am practicing patience every day, and with that dedicated daily practice I have found my capacity for patience has increased more than I could have imagined! She does not sleep when I want, she does not sleep for as long as I would like, she is a spontaneous and independent little being and sometimes she doesn’t fit in with our ‘plans’. I can only be present because as I sit rocking her to sleep, or as I sit through nights of cluster feeding, if I think about what I would rather be doing, or what I have to do when I can FINALLY put her down I would quite simply go bananas. When I think- ‘but she slept through last week, what’s gone wrong?’ I feel cheated, when I think ‘when will I ever get a full nights sleep again?’ I feel down. But when I notice the softness and warmth of the baby in my arms, when I see what is there in that moment- a baby and its mother, it really is OK.

Presence and patience feels better. It is easier. It opens the way for intimacy, as to be intimate we have to be present, it opens the way for kindness and empathy, as I acknowledge my daughter needs me and is not crying or fussing out of spite!

Being present means we open our self up to the reality of life as it unfolds. We don’t just listen, we hear, we don’t just look, we see, we don’t react we respond. We essentially wake up to a whole life within our lives which when existing via autopilot, planning, and impatience could easily be missed.

So

Practice- whatever that means for you, yoga, meditation, art, music, cooking, changing nappies, driving to work, relationships.

Presence- observing, acknowledging, accepting, being not just doing

Patience- cultivates kindness, empathy and understanding towards yourself and others.

 

Namaste,

 

The divine in me, bows to the divine in you