Feedback on our adult yoga classes:
“The classes are quite informal, friendly and well run. Claudine puts everyone at ease no matter what their ability is. She is very knowledgeable, professional and friendly. A great way to unwind after a stressful day.”
“Since coming to yoga my flexibility has improved, my sleep has improved and I am able to relax after work.”
“Claudine is an experienced teacher who is always helpful. She tailors her class so that it is suitable for all levels of ability. Highly recommended.”
“I feel calmer, healthier, fitter and have more energy since coming to yoga.”
“Claudine is a caring and supportive teacher. I get a lot of joy attending her classes.”
“Thanks you so much, I’m really enjoying the classes and it’s doing me the world of good!”
“The yoga classes are great. They are a perfect level and it is a perfect way to unwind and stretch your muscles and Claudine is lovely!”
“Claudine is very patient and explains everything fully and reassures. It is a very relaxing way of exercising the mind as well as the body”
“I have learnt a lot, especially how to deal with stress!”
” I love the classes and try never to miss one!”
“I find the classes help me feel re-vitalised but also help me feel calm and peaceful.”
“The class has improved my flexibility and posture and helped to ease the stress in my life.”
Feedback on Family yoga classes:
“My 2 year old had her first Yoga class with Sunshine and Light and I am so thankful it was a wonderful session to start her yoga journey on! A beautiful class for children and guardians to do interactively and individually. Children can learn about body and breath awareness through singing and creative themes..and explore their imagination in the relaxation, which adults are sure to love (need!) too.. In sum, we loved it!”
“Lovely and calm sessions, and the ladies are lovely.”
Feedback from one of our teen yoga classes:
“Claudine is a lovely yoga teacher and I really enjoy it!”
Corporate Yoga Feedback:
“Claudine’s session was excellent – all my staff enjoyed every aspect of the session – Claudine is a fantastic Yoga teacher who explains each step and has provided my staff with tools and resources to use when working in order to reduce stress and regain a sense of calm. I would not hesitate to recommend Claudine to any organisation. Claudine’s yoga sessions are outstanding.”
Joanna Thomas – Director of Breaking the Cycle Ltd
“Superb teachers! Great variety of classes: yoga for adults, for children as well as family yoga,. They are run in a professional, caring and supportive manner. I warmly recommend Claudine and Joanna’s classes at Sunshine and Light Yoga as very knowledgeable! A truly wonderful experience!”
Sunshine and Light also provide yoga sessions to benefit children and young people by visiting nurseries, primary and secondary schools in and around Leicester and Leicestershire. Yoga and mindfulness is healthy, fun and accessible, providing many benefits for children and young people. It builds physical and mental strength and flexibility, improves fitness levels, increases social awareness, and aids sleep. Yoga also assists with stress and anxiety management, improving self-regulation and self-efficacy. Research has shown that practicing yoga improves learning, academic achievement and emotional literacy in children and young people.
Yoga provides many benefits for children and young people including:
- Helping them to feel better about themselves, encouraging self-control and independence, aiding behavioural regulation
- Increased ability to concentrate and focus
- Builds balance of body and mind, helping with emotional regulation, enabling mood stabilisation
- Improved social interaction
- Better tone in the body and weight management
- Learning to accept wide differences in body shape
- Developing a positive self-image, helping to gain a sense of feeling at home in your own body
- Provides support for the confusion of physical change as children grow and develop
- Creates a safe space to encourage greater social acceptance and understanding with peers
- Enhancing connection with the self and others
- Raises energy levels but also calms
- Greater resilience to stress and anxiety
- Boosts the immune system
- Helps improving sleep patterns
- A structured environment to allow for discharge of energy in a positive way
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Ever since I can remember there always seems to have been two commonly held myths about practicing yoga. The first being:
Yoga myth 1) “Surely you have to be thin to be able to practice yoga?”
There is a misconception that you somehow have to look like something out of a fashion magazine in order to be able to achieve yoga postures. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Yoga is suitable for every type of body, small, large, rounder or thinner and the benefits can be enjoyed by all. It can be practiced by the very young, right up to old age, by those with a larger body or those who are slim, by those who are pregnant and even by those who may have sustained an injury.
In our culture, it is wrongly assumed that a bigger body is either inflexible or unhealthy or both. In reality, nothing can be presumed from just looking at someone’s size or stature. In reality, a person’s size, weight or BMI is not a reflection of how physically fit someone is or how frequently they exercise or the level to which they practice yoga. Yoga is a wonderful way of using the body positively and becoming happy in our own skin, through releasing the idea that we have to look like an unobtainable perfection that the media falsely peddles to us daily.
Yoga helps us to realise that our bodies are a gift. Bigger bodies in reality can also do the most incredible things, and as with any type of fitness activity or exercise, creating a regular, safe practice enables our bodies to develop positively. Regular yoga practice helps us in creating a healthy lifestyle and tap into mind, body co-ordination and balance. It enables us to take back our personal power, bringing us in harmony with ourselves. This is a personal journey, rather than a competition. There is no need to compare ourselves to others as we are all different and understanding and embracing this is where the real freedom of yoga lies. Every individual body is unique, so not every posture works for everybody. The most important thing is to focus inward and listen to your own body and know what is right for you.
Yoga myth 2) “You have to be flexible to be able to do yoga”
This statement assumes that if you are flexible, you will, in turn be better at yoga. In reality, whilst the more flexible may be able to easily touch their toes in a forward fold or reach their feet in head to knee pose, extreme flexibility can actually be quite problematic. The very bendy body (the hypermobile) have an increased risk of sustaining injury, unless the individual is mindful of their practice. This can also be an issue during pregnancy, as the ligaments are more relaxed. Greater care is required if this is the case.
When considering this mis-conception, we need to remember that the goal of yoga in itself is not merely to become more flexible. Whilst flexibility most certainly improves with regular practice, and is desirable to obtain, there are a wealth of other benefits to be gained as well. Flexibility alone, we must remember, is not the only factor in achieving different yoga postures. Physical strength also has an important part to play. Yoga postures (asanas) help us to build our strength, as well as our flexibility. Balance too is a very fundamental part of any yoga practice. Whilst one person may be able to put their hands flat on the floor in a forward fold (uttansana), they may equally lack in the balance department. It is important to remember we are all different and as with anything in life, there are things that some may find harder that come to others with ease.
Yoga is not something that’s just for the young, thin and flexible; it is an ancient practise that really can be of great benefit to anyone who’s open to the possibilities. Yoga can be adapted to anyone and everybody. It’s not about being good at something, it’s about being good to yourself!
Yoga postures give us the ability to focus on being present within our physical bodies, accepting ourselves in this moment, exactly as we are. This enables us to have control over our thoughts, keeping them positive and uplifting. Sometimes the trickiest thing can be releasing the constant stream of negativity that we hold within ourselves, which undermines us, removing our confidence and self-worth. Often, it almost seems as if we are at war with our own bodies. It can be demanding, but with a regular practice we can quickly reap great rewards, including improved strength, flexibility and balance, a greater sense of inner peace, calm and control and perhaps most importantly self-acceptance.
Yoga is one of the best available tools to overcome the viscous cycle of self-deprecation and help us to learn to embrace our minds and our bodies as they are today.