Hello lovely humans,
In just over a week I begin a new series of 5, Tuesday evening, classes called ‘The Art of Changing Your Mind.’
These 90 minute Kundalini Global yoga classes have a specific focus on how practises such as breathing and stretching can aid us on a journey through stress, overwhelm and anxiety.
All 5 classes will be recorded and available on Vimeo the following morning. The series of classes comes with an exclusive issue of my zine, Dancing Star. The issue has been made to complement what we will work through in class.
Dancing Star will be sent out in the post, with a surprise gift, to you all. It will also be with you as a PDF.
The classes will include a full yoga series and follow a similar format to my regular classes. With 90 minutes we have a little more time for us to go deeper in to individual aspects of the practise. And more time to relax, too!
The cost for the 5 classes, the recordings, and the zine is £30.
That is £6 per 90 minute class plus the zine and recordings. If money is any sort of an obstacle, and you feel you would benefit from the classes, do get in touch.
Also email me: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the classes.
I would truly adore for you to join me. I’m excited about this series and sharing on some of what I learned when I qualified to teach addiction and anxiety recovery classes earlier this year.
To book your place go here:
When I am teaching classes, I often repeat myself. A lot.
I do my best to be liberal with my explanations. I do. It would not be hard for you to tire of my voice. No matter how gorgeous my Wolvo accent is.
I do love to talk though. And it is important to me that I share some of the ‘why’ when I teach. Perhaps, for you, it is unimportant. My own experience has been that feelings of agency have increased with my understanding of how things work to make me feel so amazing after a class.
A few things come up with so much regularity I thought I would take a little time over coming weeks, on the blog, to explain a more about some of the aspects of our physiology that come up when I am chatting during posture in class.
We’re going to start with an important one:
The Vagus Nerve
Something that I mention, often, is the vagus nerve.
In Kundalini Global, polyvagul theory has informed many aspects of how we work with posture. As one small example, when working with Spinal Flex, a posture that features in pretty much every Kundalini class you ever attend, rather than keeping the neck still, employing the neck lock throughout, as is common in another school of Kundalini, we raise the chin. We do this because of the impact the stretching of the throat has on the signalling aspect of, indeed ALL of, the vagal system. As Carolyn Cowan, our founder, always says ‘if you don’t raise the chin, you miss the gift.’
The vagus nerve is a creepy looking, giant, creature-like cranial nerve that goes all the way from the frown lines to the pelvic floor.
It is a ‘two way highway’ in that it plays a huge role in managing both our sympathetic and parasympathetic responses in in body.
It is a part of the system that manages the internal organs – along with the limbic brain, fascia, endocrine system (our hormonal flow) and the muscles involved in our fight or flight response.
The signalling aspect of the vagus nerve goes from the forehead to the base of the throat. This relates to our external way of telling the world what is happening inside – how we show emotion on the face, for example. Or in the voice. Our eye contact or how our eyes may dart around the room (or be still and gently focused).
The thoracic section of the vagus nerve goes from the neck down to the diaphragm – when we feel triggered/stressed etc. this is felt in the chest. Which tightens in a sympathetic response. We breath higher up in the body, and faster.
The ventral branch of the vagal nerve affects body functioning below the diaphragm down to the pelvic floor – this is known as the viscera. Where we hold trauma and shame. This is why we have ‘visceral’ or ‘gut’ feelings.
How can you affect the vagus nerve, positively?
First of all, the power we take back by being aware of it’s functioning is incredible. When we are aware of how it functions and then notice our triggers, notice when we contract, when everything tightens, when our thoughts are short and fast, when the throat closes or the chest tightens… etc. we can, from there:
Use cold water e.g. cold showers
And very many other practises. All of which help to improve vagal tone.
What have I been reading?
I’ve been getting through my to-be-read pile at a wonderfully satisfying speed. The is largely thanks to getting back in to my very gorgeous habit of having, what many people may consider, obscenely early nights.
A few books I have read, and enjoyed, over the last few weeks are:
This book takes perhaps an hour to read. And it was a pure joy.
A collaboration between neuroscientist Hana Roš and neuroscience-PhD-turned-illustrator Dr. Matteo Farinella, Neurocomic explains the inner workings of the brain in a really fun way.
It is great for nerds like me who are fascinated by the brain but have no formal university level education in its workings. Covering perception, hallucinations, memory, emotional recall… it even dips in to consciousness and the difference between the mind and the brain. A topic I am reading a lot about at the moment.
The protagonist takes a walk through a forest of neurons, learning about neuroplasticity.
“This is the great power of the brain, it’s plastic!”
“Once you learn something it is not set in stone, it’s continuously shaped by experience.”
A book to treasure. An object of beauty. Simple. Fun. Informative. Cute. I love.
That may make you laugh. But the ‘For Dummies’ books can be truly excellent. This happens to be one such example, although I will admit that it took me quite some time, and further reading, to fully be able to follow the text through. To have a Quantum Physics for Dummies book definitely feels something of an oxymoron, and the depth this book goes into really challenges the ‘for dummies’ element to breaking point.
Dummy or not, quantum physics is something I am determined to learn more about. I will not say ‘understand’ because I think that may be rather ambitious. I would say that this book is not aimed at someone entirely new to quantum physics… if you are unfamiliar with Hilbert Space, or if you find mathematical equations a huge turn-off, you may not enjoy this book. If you are an expert it is likely not for you, either. For me, this book was valuable to read. It is not ‘pop science’ (I do love a little pop science) but it does not zoom so far over my head that to stay with it is unbearable which has been an experience I have had when reading around quantum physics many times to now.
Quantum entanglement is my latest Google-based, time draining, rabbit hole, since reading this book. Some fascinating concepts are explored, and dusting off the 11-year-old ‘mathlete’ aspect of myself has been quite an adventure. Numbers are great.
Other news from my life…
I have had most of my house decorated over the last month. Something that was very disruptive but worth it. Our home feels as if new life has been breathed in to it. I found the experience of having decorators here to be quite the challenge after a year of lockdown life. Many coffees and teas were made, chats were had, I found myself flying into daily incandescent rages about the sexism I encountered in various workmen’s interactions with me and my family, assumptions that were made, language that was used. We got through it. No one exploded. I thought I might.
One room I did not decorate was the room I teach from. But I have plans. Big plans.
I want that space to be a much more accurate reflection of who I am. I want it to be bright and colourful and magical and strange. At some time over the summer I will take a week or two off from classes to allow the transformation to take place. If you have any interior design inspiration featuring tigers, brains and faux leopard print joy, send it my way.
FREE CLASSES: Saturday and Sunday at 8am.
My free classes now take place on Saturdays AND Sundays at 8am.
Both classes are 60 minutes long.
These classes are a fantastic way to explore Kundalini Global from the comfort of your home.
Beginning in June I will be adding a charity fund-raising element to this offer. All you need to do to sign up is to join my email newsletter.
More info can be found here:
As always, I would love if you left a comment or sent me an email to let me know if you enjoyed this post, how you are, or any questions you may have about anything I have said.
Have the most gorgeous day, week, moment.
Loads of love