Liverpool Yoga Review 11. Yoga Nation Liverpool

Saturday 30th June – Hot Ashtanga Yoga with Debbie McCormick at Yoga Nation

 – 75-79  – County Road – Liverpool  – L4 3QD – (0151 345 4676)

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I landed back in Liverpool two days before booking at Yoga Nation. I’m living in the semi desert of Andalucia and my sister is a principal dancer with a U.K Ballet company – on tour most of the time … I wasn’t sure whether to include her in the adventure but as we very rarely ( like once every 2-5 years ) get to spend any time together, I thought … go for it! Truthfully though, I was more than a little bit dubious about the imminent culture shock involved of trekking off to County Road. Any anxiety I had immediately vanished when we reached Yoga Nation. It’s a beautifully furnished studio with lots of extra nice touches that made us feel comfortable and relaxed. However if we’d have known anything about Ashtanga then we’d have known that we really shouldn’t have got quite so relaxed!

Ashtanga is based on ancient yoga teachings, but it was popularized and brought to the West by Pattabhi Jois in the 1970s. It’s a rigorous style of yoga that follows a specific sequence of postures and is similar to vinyasa yoga, as each style links every movement to a breath. The difference to other styles of yoga is that Ashtanga always performs the exact same poses in the exact same order. This is a hot, sweaty, physically demanding practice… and that’s the definition before putting the practice in a hot yoga room !
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So my sister and I went fearlessly down to County Road on Saturday morning. We had booked and paid online and were welcomed into Yoga Nation by a friendly and professional receptionist. I didn’t catch her name but she made us feel extremely welcome and showed us around the studio, which included a chill out room where juices and smoothies were available. Then we were offered a freshly made wheat grass shot on the house!

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A common difference between Hatha yoga and Ashtanga yoga in terms of class structure is flow, and Debbie’s fabulous instruction and motivational attitude had us moving from posture to posture without stopping. There is no transition between postures in Ashtanaga classes and  although my limbs were trembling towards the end, I was grateful to my body and grateful to Debbie for what had been my first ever Ashtanga class!

I booked my class on the Yoga Nation website but you can also book with the link below

https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=15381

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Liverpool Yoga Review – 10. Happiness Hot Yoga

Tuesday 19 May 2015 – 7:30 p.m. – Absolute Hot Yoga with Ryan Tierney at Happiness Hot Yoga 

– 2A Church Road – Penny Lane – Liverpool – L15 9EG – (0151 735 1116) 


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I know that I arrived at the Hot Yoga Absolute 60 minute class at Happiness Hot Yoga last night at 7:30. I know that Ryan Tierney was the instructor. These things I know because I have evidence of the booking I made online. But exactly what went on in that class –  I can’t recall in great detail.

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Absolute Hot Yoga is a high-energy, uplifting series of classic Hatha yoga poses in a specific sequence that promotes balance, strength, flexibility, and overall wellness. The heat allows you to stretch deeply, cleanse the body and calm the mind. The body is detoxified and strengthened and your overall health and focus will be improved. The classic yoga postures coupled with hot temperature means that you will sweat a lot and burn more calories. What to expect – A really strong flow class to contemporary music which will also help you connect with your inner Yogi.

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I have a recollection of the reception and changing rooms, which were spacious and bright leading to the studio which was dimly lit and held about thirty of us. Ryan began the class and did something which I haven’t experienced in any of the classes that I have been to so far… He said that he would be making adjustments throughout the session and if anyone would prefer that he didn’t… they could raise their hand now. I immediately started to reminisce about my yoga teacher training because this is what we had also been taught to do. I immediately trusted Ryan, he had a great teaching style … but I’m not a hot yoga teacher and it was the hottest I’ve ever experienced in the Happiness studio. Also I was standing directly under a panel, which I discovered, is not a good idea unless you want to sweat from the top of your head with the effect as that of, like you are standing underneath a shower… this I proceeded to do …for the entire 60 minutes. Needless to say Ryan did not make any adjustments to me, and I could hardly blame him as I didn’t want to touch me either, considering the outrageously sweaty mess I had so swiftly become!

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The rest is a blur really! The next thing I was truly aware of was when we came down to the mat in Savasana and I heard Ryan saying allow yourself to surrender. I managed to maintain my sense of humor and almost laughed as I remember thinking that at that moment there was really nothing else that my body was capable of other than to surrender. I enjoyed the class in a jubilant ‘give thanks and praise … I got through that’ type of way! As we all left Happiness I felt pretty happy but I also had a revelation that hadn’t become apparent before… with my distorted sense of achievement I realized that over the last two weeks I must have been the oldest hot yogi in Liverpool … I wonder if I carried on could I be the hottest old yogi … who knows … at least I didn’t turn out to be the oldest raver in town … and that was on the cards for a bit!

I booked my class on the Happiness Hot Yoga website but you can also book with the link below

https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=35684

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Liverpool Yoga Review – 9. White Wolf Yoga

Monday 18 May 2015 – 6:30 p.m. – Multi level Yoga with Louise at White Wolf Yoga

– Camp and Furnace – 67 Greenland Street – L1 0BY – (07769 357 870)

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White Wolf is a Native American symbol of power, love and unity. Yesterday evening I went to the Baltic Triangle to attend the White Wolf Yoga class at Camp and Furnace. Last time I went into one of Tom Bloxham’s places was when I was renting my shop, one of  the units in Liverpool Palace. Arriving at Camp and Furnace I saw that the warehouse theme had prevailed into the next generation. I had an idea that it was going to be a big open space, so I’d carried my yoga mat and blanket through China Town in the hail and rain. When I walked into the bar I was directed by the bar staff to the stairs and when I reached the studio in contrast to the feel of the place, it was strikingly warm and comfortable.

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There were about thirty yoga mats already placed on the ground with blankets and blocks. The area was surrounded by led lights and the room was heated with overhead lamps. Even though it was a big urban space, it felt cozy and inviting. Louise introduced herself to me and made me ‘feel at home’. There was an even mix of male and female students and a lot of them seemed to know each other and chatted on their mats before the start of the class.

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Louise began the class with some breathing and easy movement, although we quite quickly began on some sequences that I found myself stumbling over. Throughout the class there was music playing including tunes like Lana del Ray. I thought to myself that I would never be able to focus properly with the music and decided that was why I was stumbling… and then I thought maybe its because I’ve decided I’m going to stumble and be unfocused with the music playing… so I decided that the music was going to help me focus… and I stopped stumbling! Then by the time we got to the sun salutations and warrior sequence I was undoubtedly back on track and really enjoying the class.

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When we came to sit on our mats again for the final sequence Louise brought us to Butterfly and I fell into quite a meditative state. When we lay on our mats in corpse pose, for the yoga nidra she used a guided visualization, a gorgeous meditative visualization which described a meadow and surrounding woods. Then the chimes sounded three times to bring us back to sitting on our mats. This had been a great class!

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I felt genuinely peaceful as I left White Wolf and walked back through China Town and along Berry Street and automatically called into the BobBon Chinese Bakery and bought a Cha Sui Samosa. It’s strange because I’m generally a vegetarian, although this has happened to me before, after certain classes. There was one class where I called into a pub, still carrying yoga mat and drank half a Guiness and black and another where I went to a chippy and bought a kids fish and chips and ate it on the way home! I haven’t mentioned these occurrences before because I didn’t realize it was a thing. Now I see it’s a thing … I’m not sure I should have mentioned it !

I contacted Louise on Facebook to book my class but you can also book with the link below which is available on the White Wolf  webpage or by contacting Louise directly: louise@whitewolfyoga.co.uk

 http://www.whitewolfyoga.co.uk/#classes

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Liverpool Yoga Review 8. Mindfulness Liverpool

Thursday 14 May 7:00 p.m. – Hatha Yoga with Dave Spencer at Mindfulness Liverpool

– Kaos Studios – Floor 4 – The Gostins Building – 36-38 Hanover Street – Liverpool – L1 4LN – (07791 041212)

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Mindfulness Liverpool … where it’s easy to let go, in a secure environment and an atmosphere that is warm and friendly and not overwhelming. Mindful Yoga with Dave Spencer helps not only address physical issues, but unifies body, mind and spirit. His approach emphasizes the self compassion that is required to develop a happy and successful practice. This is genuine, unadulterated yoga!

I also had the privilege of attending the Mindful Meditation class (Tuesday 7p.m.), where Dave encouraged us in the practice of focusing our attention on our thoughts and feelings in the present moment. He has an excellent approach, drawing on techniques and teachings which support learning, healing and individual growth. I smiled, during and for a long time after the class and the memory of the session still makes me feel blissful.

This is modern take on Classical Indian Hatha Yoga. Dynamic, gentle and with a mindful twist. Listening to your own body and finding new capabilities and movement in a safe, supportive environment. Relaxing, moving, stretching, breathing and smiling. Staying centered, grounded, happy and healthy. Mindfulness Liverpool classes are suitable for all ages, levels of experience and body types. Stimulating, accessible, challenging and enjoyable.

The lighthearted and accessible classes aim to provide balanced, down-to-earth guidance on mindfulness and meditation, in a non-traditional setting and with a focus on everyday life. Mindfulness attendees can choose to sit in chairs or on a yoga mat, blanket or cushion on the floor. Being comfortable in whatever way works best!

These simple techniques and practices are a valuable, time-tested resource available to all of us, to help us be happier, less stressed and feel more at home in our own skin.

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The unique series of drop-in classes is designed to be as accessible as possible, allowing people to attend as little or as often as they want to. Each session looks at a different topic or theme related to mindfulness – always fresh and interesting but still with a strong focus on the foundation of the practices.

I phoned Mindfulness Liverpool to book my class but you can also book with the link below which is available on the Mindfulness Liverpool Facebook page.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=WXAZFDBZG6V44]

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Liverpool Yoga Review – 7. Absolute Yoga

Wednesday 13 May – 6:30 p.m. – Traditional Yoga with Camilla  Connolly at Absolute Yoga

– 121 Oxford Rd – Crosby  – Liverpool – L22 7RE – (0151 928 1029) –

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Today was a beautiful sun shiny day and perfect for going to Crosby for a class! It took quite a while to get there so it was like going on a little holiday. I had a walk along the beach before the start of the class. Lots of people were around enjoying the sunshine and Antony Gormley’s, ‘Another Place’ sculptures. What a great setting for a Yoga Studio, away from it all! I arrived at Absolute Yoga fifteen minutes before the class as requested when I made my booking. This was so that there was plenty of time to meet Camilla our instructor and also fill out a registration form.

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In the reception area were a group of new students sitting on the couches and chatting, they had come to do a beginners course, and upstairs was the yoga studio for our class. Camilla was really friendly and showed me and another ‘new girl’ the changing rooms and showers and then we went to begin the class.

The studio had mats prepared and low lighting, we all lay in Savasana. Camilla had soft music playing throughout the session. The class was advertised as a ‘traditional not hot yoga class’, and it was … although we were in a hot yoga room and the temperature was just a little more than ‘room temperature’ I was warm from the exercise, I put that down to the warrior vinyasa! We practiced a series of postures in an approach that wasn’t demanding or strenuous, but felt incredible.

I got the feeling from the website that Absolute Yoga were conscientious regarding injury and medical conditions and throughout the class Camilla reminded us to be aware of moving into different postures in relation to any conditions we may have. She was also able to recommend a variation of  specific postures for those who were more experienced.

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I loved the running theme of the eagle pose throughout the class. This posture is one of my absolute favorites so I was  quietly rejoicing to myself when I realized it was a theme! Also I have never practiced ‘flying eagle’ until this class, it’s an excellent posture that we built up to, it’s like a victory pose. I’ll probably need to stop myself just doing it randomly while waiting for the train. Believe me, it feels good!

Another thing that felt really good in the class was that after we had finished the flow we lay down for Savasana, and Camilla sprayed a mist around the class… just enough to feel refreshed before a restoring body scan and affirmations. The class came to a close with ‘namaste’ and with the reminder that ‘positivity brings positivity’. When I left Absolute Yoga the sun was setting I felt superb and the world looked splendid!

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I phoned Absolute Yoga to book my class but you can also book with the link below which is available on the Absolute Yoga website

https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=145434

LIVERPOOL YOGA REVIEW – 6. Planet Yoga

Monday 11 May 2015 – 09:00 p.m. – Hot Yin Yoga with Paul Wooding at Planet Yoga Liverpool

– 435 Smithdown Rd – Liverpool – L15 3JL – (0151 733 3339) –

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I arrived at Planet Yoga at 8:45 and was buzzed in by Martin jnr. and Martin snr. It was unusual to be greeted by men at a Yoga center but it wasn’t like a big testosterone type of vibe. Father and son were friendly and welcoming and Martin (dad) showed me around before the class started. Planet Yoga is a tardis like space and the interior design style is old school yoga. This is a really cool place, with a super chilled out atmosphere, it felt like I was back home. My other home that is, I’ve lived in Andalucia for the last ten years and that’s a very cool place too! I was pleased that I’d chosen the Late Hot Yin Yoga class, it seemed to me that it suited the setting.

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I changed and entered the studio where there were about fifteen other students and our instructor Paul. The studio was a very intimate setting with a serine low-level lighting. Paul explains that Yin Yoga is a simple, quiet practice, but it is not always an easy or comfortable one and the benefit comes from staying in this zone of discomfort, despite the mind’s desire to move on. We began the class and Paul’s style was engaging and lighthearted. This was reassuring, I was a little anxious because I had never practiced Yin in a hot room and I was hoping I’d make it through the hour!

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Even though Yin is practiced sitting or lying on the floor and there are no planks, no warriors, no standing postures and no core work … Even so after the first posture we were all breaking into a steady sweat! The practice is passive as opposed to the active ‘yang’ postures. We held each posture for up to three minutes increasing flexibility. Paul used the singing bowl between postures and I quite quickly began to feel in a meditative state.

Yin Yoga also dispenses with the Sanskrit names of the poses in favor of English descriptive words: butterfly, swan, dragon, twisted roots and my favorite from the session Shoelace, a great hip opener, and decompression for the lower spine when folding forward. I liked the connection between posture and anatomy that we were taught in the class, descriptions of connective tissues, fascia and the focus on hips, sacrum and spine. The savasana was partially guided and we lay in beautiful still complete darkness.

This class was like a wonderful meditation with movement, grounding, calming and revitalizing. Paul had encouraged us to listen, accept and be. At the end of the class I thanked him and asked if he wouldn’t mind being included in the blog. He said it would be great and I wanted to ‘link’ him in, but he doesn’t have any social network or website or blog and he also told me that he doesn’t have a phone … now that’s pure … living the Yin.

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I booked and paid for my class with PayPal on the Planet Yoga website.