Category: News


Christmas Offer! 15% OFF gift cards 🎁

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This is the season to want to treat your loved one (or yourself!) to a New Year grounded in balance, peace, and well-being.

Enjoy 15% off all Giftcards until the 24th of December!

Buy a €25 Voucher and only pay €21
Buy a €50 Voucher and only pay €42 
Buy a €60 Voucher and only pay €51
Buy a €100 Voucher and only pay €85

Our Giftcards can be used to buy classes, memberships or class passes at our beautiful studios in Midleton and Ballincollig or our online yoga studio 🧘‍♂️

A quick and gentle warm-up sequence for your practice

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Enjoy this short and sweet warm-up sequence.

A gentle warm-up right before the Yoga practice can make a lot of difference in how you feel throughout your practice. Warming up can make your movement easy and smooth by removing the morning stiffness of the body.

Very accessible warm-up you can catch up before heading to your day to open your body and still your mind.

Asanas to include to cover all the key stations in your warm-up sequence

Start in Sukhasana: 2 minutes

1. Cross your legs and sit with spine straight, aligning your neck, spine and your hips.
2. Rest your palms on your knees with palms facing down.
3. Gently close your eye and draw your awareness inwards. Observe your breath.

 

Side Body Release: One minute (30 seconds each side)

1. Inhale – Raise both your arms up to lengthen your spine.
2. Exhale to place your right hand on the right side and bend to your right.
3. Left arm stretching up, stretching your side rib cage.
4. Inhale to come back in the center.
5. Exhale and repeat on your left.

 

Forward stretch: One minute

From side release, come back in the centre, lengthen your spine, place your palms in front shoulder distance apart, and fold forward.

 

Side Twist: One minute (30 seconds each side)

1. From the forward fold come back to the centre. Inhale to lengthen your spine.
2. Exhale to place your right palm behind your right hip, left palm over your right knee and twist.
3. Look over your right shoulder.
4. Come back to the centre, lengthen, and repeat on your left.

 

Shoulder Rotation: 30 seconds

1. Bring your knees together from Sukhasana, and swing them back to place your sit bones over your heels to sit in Vajrasana.
2. Spread your arms parallel to the floor in a T-shape.
3. Rotate your arms from the shoulder socket – clockwise and anti-clockwise.

 

 

Shoulder opening: One Minute

1. From the T shape, sitting in Vajrasana, stretch your arms back.
2. Interlace your fingers.
3. Lengthen your Spine, and stretch your arms towards the floor while opening your chest.

 

Cat & Cow: Ten Rounds

1. From Vajrasana, place your palms forward, shoulder distance apart.
2. Knee hip distance apart.
3. Wrist in line with shoulders, and knees in line with hips.
4. Inhale and move your chin and chest up, arching your spine.
5. Exhale, bring your chin to the chest, rounding your spine.

 

 

Move to Downward Dog – 30 Seconds

1. From Cat & Cow – Tuck your toes, lift your knees and bring your hips back.
2. You can walk your heels to get rid of the stiffness from your hamstrings.

New Class Themes for November!

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We are back with brand new themes as a new month begins!

Each month we run brand new themes across our classes to keep them fresh and engaging for our clients!

This November we have some really exciting new themes for online and in-person classes.

Ālaya Yoga Online Themes

  • Monday – 07:15  – Core and Back Strengthening Intermediate Intermediate with Lalit
  • Tuesday – 11:00  – Hips & Hamstrings Flow with Monica
  • Wednesday – 17:45 – Mixed Level – Twist Focus with Karen
  • Thursday – 07:15  – Advanced Flow – Arm Balances & Inversions with Lalit
  • Friday – 07:15  – Finding Flow Intermediate Flow with Karen

Ballincollig Yoga Studio Themes 

  • Tuesday 5.30pm – Mixed Level with Lisa – Core Focus
  • Wednesday  5.30pm – Mixed Level with Bernadette – Shoulders, Back and Neck
  • Thursday: 6.45pm – Strong and Slow Intermediate – Yoga for Strength
  • Friday 9.30am – Mixed Level Flow with Karen – Improve your Posture
  • Sunday 10.30am – Mixed Level with Mary – Healthy Hips and Lower Back

Midleton Yoga Studio Themes 

  • Monday Mixed Level 5.45pm: Feel Good Practice (Breath Awareness, Twists, Inversions, Long Held Stretches)
  • Wednesday Strong and Slow 7pm: Open the Heart and Spine
  • Friday Mixed Level 6.30pm: Shoulders, Neck and Back

You can book your classes for our online classes or studio here: Book Class

Stay cozy with us!

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Stay cozy with us! 

As the evenings get colder we are switching up the heat and we also have some brand-new, cozy blankets and some more heating for Midelton!

When we practise dynamic movement, and then slow things right down for Savasana- we can feel a drop in temperature. This also applies for more restorative classes where we are not moving as much and holding postures for a longer period.

Here are some suggestions to keep comfortable during your practise 

  • Grab a blanket for savasana (the pose at the end of class) or for the full class if it is restorative
  • Wear layers during class that you can remove and put back on depending on where you are in the class
  • Wear warmer clothes for slower classes

Of course, you can always bring your own blanket too!

We have infrared overhead heating in Ballincollig and we are closely monitoring the temperature in our new Midleton studio.

Please keep us in the loop with how the temperature works for you- you are our best guides! Just chat to your teacher after class to keep us in the loop.

October Sale at Midleton & Ballincollig Studios!

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October Sale at Midleton & Ballincollig Studios!

We had such a great response to our flash sale that we have extended it for the month of October.

If you are ready to commit to your health and well-being on an ongoing basis this offer is for you.

At both Ballincollig and Midleton, our 6-month membership is just €49.99 per month giving you unlimited access to more than 100 classes per month in each location with our team of expert teachers.

Practicing yoga regularly is a great way to nourish your body and improve your mental health. With this pass, you can access the highest quality yoga classes daily for less than €2 per class!

Grab your MONTHLY UNLIMITED YOGA PASS – usually €69 for JUST €49 valid for unlimited classes in Ballincollig Studio or Midleton Studio

Got any questions about this pass? Reach out to us in the chat!

Core Focus and Hip Opening focuses in our studios this week!

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Do you spend a lot of time sitting at work?  You may have noticed that you are feeling the pinch in your lower back, and perhaps your hips feel tight, or your mobility is reduced because of this repetitive mechanical lifestyle stress.

We have two classes themed classes in our Ballincollig and Midleton studios that will support you in therapeutic recovery from desk life!

Core Focus and Hip Opening 

These focused theme classes are designed carefully to help you with tight hips and a weak core- both can often go hand in hand, and when we bring more flexibility and stability to the hips, and strengthen the core we can experience reduced back pain, improved mobility, and better gait- all of which greater integrity within our daily functional movement.

And isn’t that what our yoga practise is all about? Better health on and off the mat!

Here is the full list of themed classes for our studio this week.

Themes for Midleton Studio –

  • Monday 17.45 pm – Core focus
  • Wednesday 18.45 pm – Strong and Slow Hip Openers focus
  • Friday 18:30- Twists and Lower Back focus

Themes for Ballincollig Studio –

  • Tuesday  17:30- Mixed Level with Lisa Nurture your Nervous System with Inversions
  • Wednesday 17:30- Mixed Level with Bernadette  Hips and Twists
  • Thursday: 18:45 Strong and Slow Intermediate  Chakra Focus
  •  Friday 9.30 Mixed Level Flow with Karen  Supple Spine and Shoulders
  • Sunday 10.30 Mixed Level with Mary Yoga for Strength

See you on the mat to explore these themes yogis!

Deep Rest for the Body and Mind with Jim

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Deep Rest for the body and Mind Masterclass

A relaxing class that includes restorative poses and a yoga Nidra at the end. We will then move into a Restorative Yoga practise to release physical tension, deeply relax your body, still your mind and boost your immune system. Within this part of the class, your parasympathetic nervous system will be stimulated to counteract the body’s fight or flight response and will help to decrease built-up stress or anxiety. We will finish with a full Yoga Nidra or “Yogic Sleep”. This is the systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. You will be lying down and will be talked through a body scan, breath awareness and visualisations to access your theta brain wave state for deep rest, transformation and healing. Masterclass Price: – Free for members on the Unlimited Memberships – €20/person  In case of cancellations, prices are non-refundable, but they are transferable to your account for future purchases.

Masterclass: Deep Rest for the body and Mind with Jim

Fri, Oct 7th
20:00 – 90 Minutes
Jim D
Himalaya Yoga Valley Midleton Centre

Booking Information

Book your place through our schedule here or on the Himalaya Yoga Valley app.

Shoulder Opening Tips to your Practice 🙆🏻‍♀️

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Why not add these Shoulder Opening Practices to your daily routine?

Safeguard your Shoulders today to prevent the most common Shoulder injuries.🙌 Strengthen & open your Shoulders with some small practices you can try any time of the day.

Why should we even have Open Shoulders?

Why should we even have Open Shoulders? 🤔

According to the APA (American Psychological Association), “Ongoing muscle tension in your neck and shoulders can lead to more serious issues like back and shoulder pain, body aches, and migraine and tension headaches.” Click for reference.

Some more:

1. It helps you improve your posture.

2. It helps in multiple muscle movements around your shoulders.

3. Adds extra support to your arms whenever arm strength is required.

4. Reduces neck and shoulder stiffness.

5. It Gives you more flexibility and mobility.

6. Open and strong shoulders help you lift heavy objects and play sports.

7. Psychological effect: Open shoulders make you look more confident.

Here you go with the tips for your shoulder:

Gomukhasana (Cow Face):

1. Sit in Vajrasana or Sit with your legs crisscrossed, placing one knee on top of the other.

2. Raise your right arm, fold it at the elbow, take your right palm behind your back, and take your left palm behind the back from down. Now your right elbow is pointing to the ceiling, and your left is pointing to the floor.

3. Try to hold your palms behind your back. If not, you can also use the belt, as shown in the image.

4. Repeat on the other side.

5. Breath, and hold for five breaths.

 

Forward fold with Clasp:

1. Stand with feet one foot distance apart or into a wide-legged position. You can also try this by sitting in Vajrasana.

2. Clasp your finger behind your back, inhale deeply, and open your chest.

3. With an exhale, soften your knees and fold forward, letting the head fall toward the ground and gently releasing the neck.

4. Aim your clasp hands to the floor beyond your head. Stay here for five deep breaths.

Ardha Uttanasana with the wall:

1. Stand an arm’s distance away from the wall. Inhale, lengthen your spine up, and raise your arms.

2. With an exhale, extend your spine and fold forward halfway through, making a 90 degree at your pelvic.

3. Place your palms on the wall, fingers pointing to the ceiling, and sink your chest towards the floor. Feel the opening in shoulder joints.

4. Breath. Hold for five breaths and repeat.

Reverse Prayer:

1. Sit in Vajrasana, or you may choose to stand with your feet together, float arms down to either side of your body and, bending elbows, reach arms behind your back.

2. Press palms together in a prayer position on the spine and reach hands as high up as feels good.

3. Stay here for five deep breaths.

In addition to these Practices, you can also explore a Shoulder focused themed session we are running this month every Thursday at 07:15 am with Lalit at our Online platform Alaya. You can also explore the Shoulder Focused Sessions in the Library, go to the Video Library, and hit the search button.😎

Ashtanga Yoga Workshop with Letizia

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Ashtanga Yoga Workshop

Join Letizia, founder of Himalaya Yoga Shala Sardinia, Italy for this 2-hour immersive workshop designed to help you refine your existing Ashtanga practise, or begin your journey on the path of the 8 Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga.

Letizia started to practice Yoga nearly twenty years ago. After trying various styles, she found her home in the connection of breath and movement typical of Vinyasa. She met Himalaya Yoga Valley in 2012 and under Lalit’s guidance completed the 500hrs of Teacher Training between India and Ireland. Over the years her practice and teaching went more and more towards the Ashtanga Vinyasa method. In 2015 she started studying with Lino Miele, both in Italy and India. India. In 2020 she has been honoured with the authorization to teach Ashtanga Vinyasa according to the method codified in the book written by Lino together with Sri PK Jois during his 25 years of study with Guruji. Ashtanga Yoga by Lino Miele is the main written reference for practitioners of Ashtanga Vinyasa worldwide.

WORKSHOP: Ashtanga Yoga Workshop with Letizia

DAY: Saturday, August 6th
TIME: 15:00 – 120 Minutes

This workshop will include:

Mantra, Pranayama and is designed for all levels of practitioners who are seeking a dynamic somatic experience using the traditional discipline of Ashtanga from Mysore, India.🧘🏻‍♀️

Booking Information

Book your place through our schedule here or on the Himalaya Yoga Valley app.

Yoga for Disc Bulge & Protrusion

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Yoga for Disc Bulges and Protrusions 

 
This week we got a question from a student about starting yoga with disc bulges. We know that this is an issue with many of our clients and we wanted to share our thoughts on this issue.
 
“Hi there- I just found out I have 2 disc bulges in my lower back, my doctor has suggested yoga, is there anything I should know before I start a class?
David, Dublin 
 
It’s great that David’s GP suggested yoga, and we are delighted that he wrote to us so we could guide him. 
 
While we are always pleased to hear that doctors are referring their clients to holistic therapeutic practices such as yoga to manage these issues, there are some precautions that we should take when starting yoga when we have disc bulges.
 
Yoga is extremely therapeutic for disc bulges specifically for Lumbar Disc Protrusions.
 
Disc protrusions cause instability in the spine and as ligaments cannot be strengthened with yoga (or any exercise) we want to strengthen the muscles around the spine to counteract this lack of stability. Yoga also nourishes and aids the healing of the spine by bringing fresh blood flow to this area. And when we improve our posture and core strength with yoga we can reduce pain or future bulges from occurring 
 
While yoga is a wonderful tool to aid recovery, a general flow class may not be appropriate without the proper modifications applied.
 
Before we get to the yoga, what is a disc bulge?
 
A disc bulge refers to an extension or prolapse of disc tissues beyond the edges of the edge of vertebrae. In some cases, this bulge can press on the nerve causing mild or severe pain depending on severity. 
 
Around 30% of the population have disc bulges, and we want to prevent them from progressing to fully herniated discs which can cause a host of issues such as lower back pain, sciatica, and even complete immobility due to pain in some extreme cases.
 
The issue with attending a general spectrum yoga class, especially without your teacher being informed about your disc bulges is that any forward folding (flexion) could exasperate a bulge. 
 
Now, there are yoga Asana (poses) that are extremely helpful for disc protrusion, however, they should be done in isolation, not in a general class that also includes a forward fold.
 
Any deep flexion, especially with a rounded back, could potentially turn your bulge into a full prolapse. 
 
Guidelines for practicing safely with a disc bulge 
  • Avoid forward folds or flexion if possible, bend knees 
  • If you do incorporate them into your practice, ensure you keep your chin forward and avoid rounding your spine, when we round our spine, and forward fold at the same time it pushes the prolapsed disc further towards the edge of the vertebrae 
How Yoga Can Help 
 
If we look at the issue of forward folds (flexion) bringing the disc further towards the edge of the vertebrae, we can see how backbends, or extension of the spine would do the opposite- bring the disc back towards the other side of the spine (where it should be!) 
 
With this in mind here is a sequence you can practice daily to aid recovery from 
 
Morning time
 
5 x sphinx pose, held for 5 breaths followed by 5 baby cobra or full cobra held for 5 breaths. 
 
1 x Setu Bandhansana held for 10 breaths (you can use a foam yoga block to support your lower back here) 
 
From Setu Bandhasana bring one with both knees bent and feet planted on the floor bring place your hands behind one and bring it towards your chest until you feel a slight pull. Hold this for 15 seconds and do both sides. 
 
Evening Time
 
5 x Setu Bandhasana held for 5 breaths (you can use a foam yoga block to support your lower back here) 
 
From Setu Bandhasana bring one with both knees bent and feet planted on the floor bring place your hands behind one and bring it towards your chest until you feel a slight pull. Hold this for 15 seconds and do both sides. 
 
Attending a Yoga Class 
 
If you do attend a yoga class, remember the principle for avoiding or modifying your forward folds and keep your knees bent where possible- and most importantly, let your yoga teacher know so they can keep you safe with modifications. 
 
Off the mat 
 
Don’t just apply these principles to yoga. When you get off your mat and head home to do the housework, take care of your family, or finally clean out the garage- the same principles apply. Avoid forward folding to avoid placing unnecessary pressure on the anterior portion of the disc.
 
Remember, always get medical clearance from your doctor, listen closely to your body, and avoid anything that causes you pain. 
 
Do you have any questions for us about this topic? What about another issue you are facing around injury, accessibility, or anything related to your practise
 
Drop them in the comments- we love to hear from you! 

Deep Peace & Release Yoga and Mantra Ballincollig Masterclass

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Join us in Ballincollig for this deeply relaxing Masterclass on January 28th in our Ballincollig, Cork Studio

Start into your year with a gentle mixed-flow class where we will focus on releasing physical, mental and emotional blockages. We will begin and end the class by chanting together the mantra associated with Green Tara, the Hindu-Buddhist Goddess who represents deep compassion and awakened activity. Chanting this Sanskrit mantra generates deep inner peace and clarity: Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha.

This Masterclass is FREE for Ballincollig Unlimited and Hybrid Unlimited Membership holders

You can also join this 1.5 hour Masterclass with Bernadette for just €20

You can book your spot here

Yoga for Depression in Young Men

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Yoga for Depression in Young Men

As International Men’s day is here on November 19th, 2021,  we are here to speak about depression and how yoga can have a profound effect in improving your mood and overall mental wellbeing.

… Continue reading