Develop Resilience and Establish Poise Through Yoga.
The Right Conditions for a Yoga Practice

Discipline, patience and enthusiasm are three qualities that we need for our daily yoga practice. If our yoga practice is approached enthusiastically, we will find enough discipline to keep going. Adding patience is pivotal- fruit doesn't ripen in one day. Time spent in stillness can allow us to notice subtle changes that occur as a result of our efforts. Noticing subtle changes can ignite our enthusiasm, but we need discipline to direct it in the right way. Change is sometimes so subtle that it's hardly perceptible, this is when patience will keep us on track without losing our way with frustrating, "are we nearly there yet?" thoughts. We need enthusiasm, patience and discipline in our yoga practice. Our yoga practice cultivates discipline, enthusiasm and patience.

The Fire Service

If we're exploring how to generate power and stimulate heat through yoga asana/postures, we'll want to move with our breath as the soundtrack. If we work with our breath in asana we can circulate warmth throughout our bodies. With cold fresh air billowing in the windows we will definitely benefit from some fire stoking and ice melting practices. We'll need some earthiness to keep our fire in check and direct our warmed water though. The air element can come in to play as it enables our internal fire to burn. Water and earth, in the form of mula bandha (similar to a pelvic floor contraction but more subtle), will combine to secure and direct the heat of our agni/fire. In addition to the regular postures that we usually do, we can investigate some bandha practices (which are similar to muscular contractions placed in specific areas around and near the spine, to support and energise and also release stagnancy). We apply bandha to our posture with the basic, but helpful, aim of stimulating prana (vital energy) and supporting the spine. And the space element with be there during our yoga practice in the form of our focused mind which is coordinating of all of these processes- this mental concentration can stabilise, or calm the waves of our erratic mind.

03.09.2020 "Energy Flows Where Attention Goes."

This September, classes will be themed around support and energy. We'll explore the relationships between left, right, inhale, exhale, front, back, receiving, giving as well as effort and release. We'll sense how each action relates to another action. We'll aim to feel support and energy within held static postures and we may feel one movement giving rise to another and offering momentum in sequences.
When a series of actions are purposefully linked the body can offer support to the breath and the breath can offer support to the body.
The body and breath are the support of the mind. The mind gives energy or prana to the body. "Energy flows where attention goes."

12.8.2020 What on Earth is a Chakra and how in Heaven's Name do we Interpret them?
What are the chakras? It’s a good question,. They are approached and utilised and loved and even commodified in lots of ways. Sometimes the answer to what the Chakras are is very conflicting. I don’t usually use the chakras in any spiritual way in the classes that I teach, but we do place our attention in specific ways along the spine. When we focus on specific areas we are attempting to organise and harness the energy of the elements in specific ways, and these elements are often homed in the spine at the energetic centres that are used in some models of the chakras. I like to think of the spine as an instrument. All the vibrational tones of the elements play along the spine and harmonise to deliver a beautiful melody from our posture, breathing and mental focus. The healing tune reverberates all around our body with our yoga practice and we can be left feeling that we have attuned to our own bodies to be more responsive and less reactive. We are able to improvise empathetically with our environment, at least for a while after the class.

27.7.2020 8 limbs of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra in relation to COVID 19 regulations

Arguably the most famous of the ancient yoga texts is Patanjali’s yoga sutras which is a set of statements that weave together many practices and theories about the aim of yoga. Within the yoga sutras, there is a famous section, it comes in part two and we tend to refer to this section as “the eight limbs of yoga.” It’s known in Sanskrit as Ashstanga yoga. The practice of cleanliness or saucha is one of the niyamas. The niyamas are ritual or habitual observances that support us in calming our turbulent mind which is bound to be good for our individuated health. Cleanliness is practical, it keeps our bodies clean and healthy, but also it keeps our environment clean too and that supports the beings around us. Cleanliness leads to compassion, buy keeping our bodies and immediate environment gently clean in a natural way. With saucha/cleanliness we protect the people around us as well as ourselves, and they, in turn, are inclined to do the same for us.

Yet in these current times, we’ve started to feel that cleanliness is harsh because we need to separate ourselves from one another physically with partitions and masks and our health is being monitored. Yoga aims to be a bridge across disconnecting divides with its practices. It sometimes feels, these days, as if the gap between us all is getting wider and the disconnect is getting stronger as we all try to avoid COVID contamination.

I’ve been out and about this week and I’ve found myself behind barriers of protection all the time. I’ve put on my mask but I’ve started to feel resentment and mistrust and I’ve found that communication with other people is troublesome.

I’ve contemplated the part of the 8 limbs of yoga which is cleanliness/Saucha because it’s so prevalent in the whole consciousness and the global community and I’ve realised that when I put on my mask it’s a display of compassion for others rather than a shield to hide behind in fear, and then fear of the rules of 2020 abate. Fear is one of the 5 causes of suffering in yoga, they are called pancha Klesha. The guides offered to us in the 8 limbs of yoga are aiming to lift or dissolve these five afflictions, known as klesha because these klesha prevent us from knowing our essential, eternal nature.

Concentration or Dharana is another of the 8 limbs of yoga that support us on our life’s journey, so when I’m washing my hands now so often and so long, I try to focus on ahimsa or non-harming and feel that this act is a gesture of compassion towards others, but I’ll also trust that it is keeping me safe too.

The yamas, or rules of personal responsibility that support society are, in brief;

1. Non-violence/compassion

2. Honesty.

3. Not stealing,

4. Loving connectivity without lust,

5. Living moderately without greed.

The niyamas or rules of personal responsibility that support the individual are, in brief;

1. Cleanliness,

2. Resting with what you have,

3. Actively attending to all the 8 limbs regardless of how motivated you feel, or you could call it discipline.

4. Studying the 8 limbs and/or being thoughtful about your responses.

5. Trusting the wisdom that the 8 limbs of yoga was sourced from.

The yamas and niyamas all support one another, they all go together, it seems that no one of them can act in isolation.

Fear feeds all of the Kleshas/obstacles which are in brief;

1. Ignorance of your essential, unchanging, eternal nature that exists within but is beyond all suffering.

2. Identification with the changing physical body that is filled with thoughts and our changing personality.

3. Attraction towards a thing, situation, idea or being.

4. Aversion away from a thing, situation, idea or being.

5. Fear of death or clinging to life.

So if we act without fear all the afflictions will disappear. We can act without fear by adhering to the 8 limbs of yoga.

So when we adhere to all the measures that we’re expected to observe in 2020 and beyond, we could remember that cleanliness and discipline are two of the eight limbs of yoga. When we feel harshly herded or invasively washed we could try to look at it differently. When we wash our hands it’s a compassionate act (ahimsa) and we are practising saucha (cleanliness). When we stand apart in ques and stay behind barriers we are behaving thoughtfully (svadhyaya) and practising tapas (discipline).

If we rest within what we experience (samtosa) then we’ll be practising yoga fully.

Yoga gives us a temporary respite from our habits and tendencies when we practice it weekly. However, if we develop a daily practice that takes account of our patterns then it can transform our lives- we put warped "vibes" behind us and get in tune with the nature that we're surrounded by. With time and patient practice, one day in the future, we will be able to create a clear resonance between the environment (or elements) around us and act in harmony with our world.

In Competitions to succeed one Will Surely Win, and that's Great! In Yoga we seek Completion so that all can Certainly Thrive, and that's Divine. 

It's necessary to have a functioning sympathetic nervous system, but the ability to urgently run at extraordinary speed, lift boulders with super human strength, or fight an opponent to the death are not needed nearly so often as our mind believes.
At first the slow movements and focused calm breathing of hatha yoga can be challenging; the mind is so embroiled in the sympathetic nervous system that it often resists any dismantling of tension and further boundaries are put up in attempts to protect against the howling tempest of thoughts.
In yoga we patiently remove resistances and allow a purposeful, therapeutic slowing down. Instinctive reactions are for immediate survival situations- measured responses enable healing circumstances. We promote healing by entering a parasympathetic state through yoga.

Indigestion and Yoga

A morning yoga practice can set us up on the right track for the day and enable us to go with the flow. Yoga is a discipline, but disciplines can be nourishing or punishing. You'll know if you've punished yourself because you'll feel as if you've slumped out of bed and forced the living daylights out of yourself. If you've nurtured yourself you'll rise above any reluctance to get out of bed and you'll ease yourself into daytime with gentle morning rituals. Nurturing yoga routines can ready you to receive the onslaught of sensory stimulus that's bound to happen during the waking hours; the chances of mental, physical or emotional indigestion are minimised by practicing yoga before breakfast.
Yoga in Plymouth, Yoga in Plympton, Yoga in Crownhill, yoga in Yealmpton.

Post Brexit Yoga

We're not aiming to vanquish our ego in the practice of yoga, instead we can let it settle peacefully within ourselves with no fear of banishment. Our subtle and vital energy (prana) will then be able to flow throughout our whole body with no holding places to restrict it; no part of us is disconnected from our practice. With yoga, we're encouraged to liberate ourselves from our ego's striving need to succeed over everything, and also we liberate ourselves from any fear of rejection that the ego holds onto - we are free to be creative individuals. With yoga, we are uniquely integrated and our ego is at peace.
Connect with yoga classes in Crownhill, Plymouth, Yealmpton and Plympton.

Yoga is a Sublime Feeling of Divine Reality

We encourage our spine to undulate with the flow of our breath in yoga. If we study these graceful, slinking movements in our body it can help the erratic and sometimes irrational waves of the mind grow calm. If we aim to be attentive to our posture and breathing within yoga practices, then we can promote a sublime feeling within ourselves, whilst still being down to earth. Yoga helps us deal with reality because its methods are divine.
Mixed ability drop in yoga sessions are available in Plymouth, Plympton, Yealmpton and Crownhill  from £4.00 per hour.

Elementary Yoga

Our mind is constantly twisting and turning as it creates colourful patterns as a result of received information. We're subject to huge amounts of sensory stimulus all day, and it's hard to manage the kaleidoscope patterns that our mind creates as a result.
It can be useful to focus on the fire element, called agni, in our yoga practice. Fire is naturally at home around the naval area which is the place where the inhale and the exhale engage.
Fire, as an element in the body, governs digestion, which refers to not just food, but anything that we take in through our senses. Agni/fire helps us to become receptive without getting upset.
Fire helps us transform information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. When we establish a yoga practise, we can avoid upset by becoming both receptive and discerning; we can sense when to act, how to act and what to leave behind. As a result of tending to our digestive fire, our kaleidoscope mind can stop twisting and turning in ever more elaborate patterns. If we focus on the flame of agni our mind can digest the day's stimulus well and experience some replenishing calm in the night.
I run 9 yoga classes in Plymouth, Plympton, Yealmpton and Crownhill; Monday through to Friday. The hatha yoga classes I'm running take place in the morning, afternoon, early and late evening.

Carry on in Yoga

Total absorption within the breath is rare. Some of us feel as if we've never experienced a time when we lose the sense of ourselves and dissolve into an expressionless state. But when we purposefully notice the breath, those brief chinks of "non-reactive awareness" shine, whether we notice them or not (at least that's the belief I hold).
I'm a person who doesn't notice these chinks, but I trust the instinct that drives me towards yoga practice; in yoga, I intuitively feel the brilliance that shines into my crackpot existence. My practice often highlights my flaws, but yoga introduces me to a brilliant awareness that is pure, undaunted, unphased, unbiased, unaffected and unchanging- sometimes we refer to this as purusha. That brilliance glints in and around me during the practice of yoga and fortifies me, making me feel more vibrant. On each exhale I can offer my stifling patterns of identity as a sacrifice and in return, each inhalation offers new chances in life. It's an ongoing process- daily life brings back those stifling ways; thankfully yoga will always be there to shift my ignorant ego out of the way for a while so that I can breathe well and feel lively enough to carry on being me.
Yoga classes all around Plymouth, Plympton, Yealmpton and Crownhill might help you to carry on being you.

09.01.2020 Happy New Year

2020 yoga classes in Plymouth start again on Monday 6th January for all existing students and brand new students too. Classes this year will explore the relationships between light and darkness, fire and ice, movement and stillness and in particular sound and silence. Our fiery nature will shed light on our old habbits and all 5 elements of yoga (earth, liquid, fire, wind and sky) will help us find new ways that help us to live a life of fullness, peace, generosity and prosperity. Every inhale is an opportunity to adapt, change or even transform ourselves, every exhale is like the passing of an old year that we may remember and learn from, but we are never able to repeat.

24.12.2019 Happy Christmas and Thanks

I probably should be more concerned about being present rather than receiving presents, but I'm really grateful for the kind gifts that I've received this week. The message of appreciation that any gift brings always warms the heart and I've been totally uplifted by the thoughtful words of encouragement that accompanied the beautiful gifts I've been given.
I look forward to another year of yoga in 2020 and I hope to share it with many of those people (students and teachers) who have bolstered me onward in my own appreciation of yoga studies.
I'm humbly thankful for all the generosity that's been shown to me this year and for being lucky enough to be blessed with the opportunity to experience the life enhancing occupation of yoga. Happy Christmas and a peaceful and brilliant New Year! xx

22.12.2019 The Helping Hand is Yours....

Some teachers guide you to work out how to take care of yourself for yourself and they ask you to own your actions; some teachers expect you to follow their carrots and wear their blinkers. "There is no greater teacher in the universe than experience." Yoga teaches us to become wise by learning from our past experiences and relating that knowledge to our current experience, it doesn't teach us to fall foolishly into the quagmire of the next false expectation. Many of us have been in stuck in that quagmire, (and fall back in almost all days). Grabbing at dangling carrots won't help us out. Learn to let your mind, body and breath co-operate and support one another and you will eventually see that it is your own helping hand that leads you back to firm, nurturing earth.
All yoga classes around Plympton, Plymouth, Yealmpton and Crownhill start back again on 6th January 2020

18.12.2019 A Purposeful Yoga Practice

The breath is the one thing in life that we can rely on, even those of us who don't breathe as well as others. From the exhale we might realise the depths of our being and from the inhale we could perceive the fullness of our experience. If we contemplate the breath we might connect with our extraordinary, mystical nature. If we manage to access this boundless expression of our reality, then we have no fear of constraint because fear cannot constrain us. These moments of liberation may be very brief but they are accessible to anyone under any circumstance where we concentrate our mind, but yoga aims to unbind us by design, on purpose and by the power of our will.
The last yoga class of the year is on on Friday 20th December at Crownhill and the first class of the year is at Derriford Health and Leisure on 6th January 2020 when all the hatha yoga classes will run as usual around Plymouth, Plympton and Yealmpton.

16.12.2019 Increasing Vibrancy and Being Calm

We're looking to feel as if our yoga practice brings more vibrancy to our being. Vibration cannot exist without stillness to move from, sound cannot exist without silence to chime in. We're exploring the interactions between sound and silence as well as movement and stillness this week.
If we warp or block the spine in our asana (posture) practice it'll mute us, which we don't want. We're imagining that the back of the neck is the portal of vibration, like the mouthpiece of a flute. We'll try to experience the the harmonious vibrancy of prana radiating through and around our spine as a result of our breath and spine centered practice. We'll spend time at the end of the class appreciating the stillness and silence that enables us to express our vibrancy.
Learn to freely expressive of your vibrant essential personality but accommodate your inner calm and contain your ego through yoga lessons, mixed ability drop in classes run all over Plymouth, Plympton, Yealmpton and Crownhill.

22.11.2019 Become Vibrant through Practicing Yoga

In a hatha yoga practice, our body supports the spine and the spine supports our bodies. If the physical body constricts itself and constrains the spine then prana (our vibrancy) cannot flow. As I understand it, in yoga the breath increases the movement of prana in our physical system and the spine increases its vibrancy and therefore our vitality.
If you'd like to discover more about the vibrancy that prana stimulates and the vitality that yoga brings, please come along to any of my yoga classes in Plymouth, Plympton, Crownhill or Yealmpton.

18.11.2019 Yoga For Vintage Models

We need guidance on the rules of safe driving when we first hit the roads and likewise when learning yoga postures we may need some advice. But when we come to a yoga class we don't want to be towed along by the teacher, or pushed into anything. In yoga we steer our own course and take charge of our own motor. If we treat our body like a vehicle giving it the right fuel, moving it with respect for it's design and observing and responding to warning signals, then our yoga practice will become part of our body's healthy maintenance. Hatha yoga practices can keep us in good condition even if we're a vintage model.
For advise on how to maintain your body like a vintage vehicle and keep it running well, please come along to any of my yoga classes in Plymton, Plymouth, Crownhill or Yealmpton.

7.11.2019 What is Yoga For

In yoga classes, we move the body in ways that enable us to sit upright with a stillness that is both sturdy and easeful. If we can sit undisturbed and hold our spine upright without physical discomfort, then we may enable an efficient flow of energy known as prana because we breathe more deeply and slowly. If we can breathe in a more balanced way using our full lung capacity, that in turn, enables our mind to become fully awake but also relaxed.
In this calm state, our thoughts will continue to bubble away, but with a relaxed mind we gain understanding. So in yoga classes, we move the body to still the body, and we still the body to balance our energy, then we balance our energy to reach an understanding.
There are other states of existence that our yoga practice may reveal that go beyond understanding, so in yoga (as I understand it) we reach an understanding to go beyond understanding.

There's lots of the word "understanding" in this post, but I guess you can never have too much understanding. If you want to gain more understanding of Yoga please come along to any of my classes in Plymouth, Plympton, Yealmpton and Crownhill.

16.10.19 Changing Seasons

Seasons change and so does our yoga practice. We practice appropriately for the changing seasons of our lives as well as the meteorological seasons of the environment. We can't predict what kind of winter we'll have, but our yoga practice can keep the glow of the sun in our hearts and minds throughout the year whether the weather is hot, wild, cold or mild.
Hatha yoga classes in Plymouth, Plympton, Yealmpton and Crownhill will show you how to adapt your practice to the changing seasons of our lives and the changing weather of our environment.

16.9.19 How to be Self-Centred and Selfless at the Same Time.

Yoga is all about you. Through careful, dedicated Yoga practices we can learn to understand the pattern of our thoughts and how they motivate our habits. If we understand ourselves rather than judging ourselves, then we might be able to replace unhealthy cravings with helpful observances- our yoga practice can become a refuge from striving to fit in. It is possible to find brief moments of respite from the daily performance of being ourselves when our thoughts are outshone by our breath-centred yoga practice. In these peaceful moments our breath is like a beautiful, super-full moon and the thoughts are stars in the sky, still there but insignificant by compassion to brilliance of the moon. Yoga is all about you, and yet with sincere practice you could be outshone by it.
Have a little self-indulgent "me" time at any of the restorative, dynamic or gentle drop-in yoga classes that I teach in Plymouth, Plympton, Yealmpton or Crownhill.

09/09/2019   Unite in Yoga (whether you're a brexiter or a remainer).

Yoga can bring us down to earth at the same time as lifting us up to a higher mental realm. Yoga moves us and brings us closer to stillness. Yoga cools the mind down and fires the body up. Yoga releases us from the constraints of the past and frees us from future expectations that restrict us as it teaches us to ride the ripples of time within the presence of now.
Learn how to hold steady in a see-saw society by practicing  hatha yoga at any of the classes that I teach in Plympton, Yealmpton, Crownhill and Plymouth.

02/09/2019                 When is Exercise Yoga?

Let gravity hold you but know that it doesn't bind you. Go with the flow but don't follow the herd. Freely absorb prana (vital energy) right into the core of your being as you breathe in, then generously release it back into your surrounding environment to be reabsorbed and transformed into renewed prana as you breathe out. If we take this approach to physical exercises then we're practising yoga postures known as asana.
You can learn more about the physical exercises of Hatha yoga at any of the classes that I teach in Plymouth, Plympton, Yealmpton and Crownhill. Please check out the time table page for more details of yoga classes near you.

28/08/2019                 Contract to Release Constrictions

When we contract certain muscles towards the spine, in specific ways, it can help to release constraints that may cause pain, stress or lack of energy. These supportive contractions are generally applied on the exhale and they can help to improve our posture and our ability to breathe out smoothly. When we release some, or all, of the contractions on the inhale, we can breathe in deeply and fully refill our bodies with freshness.
These supportive contractions can lead to hatha yoga practices that are referred to as "bandha." If you'd like to progress towards a knowledge of "bandha" and how and when to use them, please come along to Ruth's yoga classes in Plymouth, Yealmpton, Crownhill or Plympton.

25.08.2019                  Be Convinced by Hatha Yoga

If we are convinced by the principles of hatha yoga and we practice with resolute patience and quiet determination, then we can trust that our dedication will yield sustaining results.
You can learn something about a few of the principles of hatha yoga at any of Ruth's yoga classes in Plymouth.

18.7.2019                    Feeling Fine
If you want to feel O.K. come what may, practice yoga most every day.
If you want to discover how to practice yoga in a useful and supportive way for you yourself, almost every day, please come along to any of my yoga classes in Plymouth, Yealmpton, Plympton or Crownhill:- you can find the days and times on my timetable page.

17.08.19                      Yoga and Death
One of the meanings of yoga is union. We try to completely associate ourselves with one main interest or point of focus. It's easy to become obsessed with one thing that we want to gain or posses, but obsession and possession aren't yoga practices. In yoga, one thing becomes the centre of our attention and we aim to intimately know that thing so that it can become a driving force that brings vigour to our life, enthusiasm for our environment and compassion for our fellow beings on this planet. We try to concentrate on something that is non-judgemental and has no attributes of good or bad. As we move in asana (postures) we try to discover what causes our movement? As we sit in stillness we find what relaxes us and where the resolve to maintain a calm perspective comes from (even if that resolve only lasts for a brief moment)?
For me, the sacred union is the breath and the vital energy that moves in and out of my body- the same body that I sometimes obsess over hasn't always allowed the free flow of energy via the breath and as a result, I have asthma, permanently damaged lungs and a weakened diaphragm. But the breath is not something that I can buy or that I can be judged by, it's reliability is not something that can I can pin down, but I can trust it fully because it brought me to life and it will naturally guide me to death.

01.08.2019                  Yoga and Freedom
Yoga practice supports creative freedom and reins in erratic unruliness.

31.7.2019                    How yoga lets us flow
We're not aiming to get out of breath in yoga, we set our sights on our respiration and aim to stay on target during all our postures/asana. Most of us find that our concentration wavers frequently, but by bringing our aim back to the breath after every misfire, we ensure that the poses we're adopting are replenishing us and not wrecking us.
When we settle into stillness after a breath centered yoga asana practice our mind is brighter, calmer and clearer. With this clarity we can use the breath to learn how to relax our body and mind in order to wind down at night, or enliven our mind and body ready to go with the flow of the day.
                     Lots of Love from Ruth Mielek (Plymouth yoga teacher)

30.7.2019                  Plymouth Yoga gets Juicy
Maturity is highly valued in yoga, we don't waste our time striving to uplift what's drooping or ironing out what's wrinkled. Futile attempts to defy the forces of nature can make us stale, brittle and dry at any age, young or old. Hatha yoga practices aim to make us fresh and keep us that way, just like sweet, ripe, juicy fruit; therefore when we, inevitably, drop off "the vine of life" our residual energy is sweet and nourishing.
                   Lots of Love from Ruth Mielek (yoga teacher in Plymouth)
29.7.2019                   Paradoxical Plymouth Yoga
I love the paradoxes that are continuously presented to me in yoga; for instance, we'll have more freedom from societal constraints and personal hangups if we follow strict guidelines from fundamental yoga texts such as Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and The Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Yoga offers us rules to follow and yet it's framework is highly adaptable to suit each individual's circumstances. Yoga has specific formulas that serve us physically, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, spiritually and morally, but we're not obligated to follow all of them- ancient yoga wisdom recognises that most of us can't. Practising and following the regimens of yoga is difficult for many of us, however, if you do "religiously" practice yoga, in a way that complements your life circumstances, it will enhance your physical, emotional, mental and psychological health. Yoga rules are not always easy to adhere to, but when we do we're not confined or restricted by them, rather yoga's tried and trusted guidelines unbind us and broaden our horizons.
                   Best Wishes from Ruth Mielek (yoga teacher in Plymouth)

The past can interfere with our state of mind. The future can be a projection of ideas which constrain us. We practice yoga so that we may learn to relax and reduce our mental and physical stress. With time and dedication, we can find a way to calm ourselves enough that we may give-way to the flow of our current experience. In yoga, we aren't striving to freeze time, but we might have moments where we slip seamlessly under the waves of it. In a state of utter physical relaxation some people can find themselves immersed in their current experience- the past is less intrusive and projections of the future become undefined and boundless.
                   Kind Regards from Ruth Mielek (yoga teacher in Plymouth)

Our ego can sometimes become overinflated or utterly crushed from the circumstances of our lives. Yoga doesn't increase the fragility of our ego, but it can help to make our self-esteem more robust so that we might be able to learn how to gracefully negotiate the harsh vagaries of life. From a regular yoga practice that's appropriate for individual life circumstances, we can develop self-awareness, self-reliance and self-confidence.
                    Aum Shanti from Ruth Mielek (yoga teacher in Plymouth)

One of the things that we try to do in our yoga practice is to put our heads in touch with our bodies. 
These days many of us are drawn into a headspace that has no concern about our bodies; adverts and product placements tell us to eat this, drink that, inhale this and drive that. There is an overwhelming array of stimulus to assault the senses, and our heads constantly think about this daily onslaught, which can be mentally and physically exhausting. 
Our neck and throat area is a pivotal region in our yoga practice because it's the area that connects the head with the body. Nearly 100% of us hold tension at the neck. Most of us are able to practice jalandhara bandha, where we imagine a clean, rolled up pair of socks held under our chin. Jalandhara bandha connects our heavy head with our body in a way that means our head is no longer a burden to our spine. 
In addition to jalandhara bandha, it's appropriate for many people to practice ujjayi pranayama (a hollow, whispering resonance that vibrates gently at the base of the throat). Ujjayi tunes our mind into the frequency of the body so that the mind can allow the body to move in a way that enlivens it- in turn, the body can feel healthy enough to adopt simple meditation postures which facilitate moments where stillness is experienced. During these still moments the breath can shelter our heads from the onslaught of sensory stimulus. These are two important features of hatha yoga that you can learn about in more depth at the yoga classes I teach in Plymouth.
                    Namaste from Ruth Mielek (yoga teacher in Plymouth)

Sometimes when I trip up on the pavement I make a little running, skipping, hopping movement as if I meant to fall over my own feet! 
Blunders can become opportunities to learn, but we have to be able to recognise when we've made mistakes, and that can be frustrating, humiliating and exhausting. 
Take it from one who knows a lot about making mistakes, it can sometimes feel easier to stubbornly stay on the wrong track, despite knowing it's ill-conceived; I guess this is because we hope to avoid embarrassment. 
Yoga encourages us to reflect on ourselves with compassion and understanding rather than judging and condemning ourselves.
Developing a regular breath centred yoga practice can help us to become more reasoned and intuitive, we may be less swayed by our unreliable emotions. Instead of falling down into our faults our flaws become footholds to uplift us.
                     Yours Faithfully Ruth Mielek (yoga teacher in Plymouth)

With a sincere, dedicated yoga practice, we slowly but surely promote physical self-healing and progress towards mastery of the emotions, then clarity of the mind.
                     Yours Sincerely Ruth Mielek (yoga teacher in Plymouth)