Sixteen people enjoyed an excellent morning of mixed yoga led by Lindsay Jones on 22nd October at Wilmslow Methodist Church. Lindsay has a very approachable teaching style. I also found her session thoughtful, helping me to think a bit more laterally about yoga postures.

Lindsay started the session with some work stretching and strengthening our hands and later thinking about using them more effectively in yoga postures such as cat and head down dog. Having arthritic tendencies in my hands I have used some of her “mudras” and ideas both for myself and in my teaching since the training day.

Lindsay introduced us to a series of 4 postures to help ease hip stiffness or other hip problems. The first two were very simple, yet effective. We were seated on a chair with foot supports where needed. Each seated posture could be taken a step further if appropriate. See photos below.

Lindsay then took us through 2 further postures to stretch out and strengthen the hips. These were floor-based postures which also used two blocks for support. We gripped them firmly with our hands to ensure not too much stress was put on the hips/groin.

The last posture in this series was a version of a lying spinal twist. In achieving this posture we were instructed to bring our bent knees right down to the floor, even if it meant lifting our opposite shoulder off the mat. Knees remained “glued together” throughout. Then they were drawn in towards the trunk with arms moved accordingly, before rocking back to centre to move to opposite side. See 2 photos below.

For the main part of the session we worked thoroughly with a range of postures, sometimes using Iyengar blocks or belts to support or enhance them. We took time to comment and discuss the impact of postures on different types of physiques. For example the importance of fully lifting in the legs and knees to support strong standing postures such as parsvotonasana, especially if we, or our students, have a tendency to hyperextend. We worked in a different way with belt support around the heel to enhance skeletal work stretching and strengthening into the hip, rather than with the belt around the instep which is more commonly used in that position to stretch out hamstring muscles. I found the strengthening work really helpful for myself and have introduced some of these postures into my classes, especially where there are more mature students.

For me the time whizzed by and we were soon being shown a 3-part breathing exercise to use as a prelude to relaxation. The session was over but shared lunch and a good chat were still to follow.

Thank you to Lyndsay for her thorough and stimulating programme. I thought it was a true Training Day with lots discussed and plenty of new ideas to take away.

Thanks also to all who attended, to the CYTA Committee and to Gill Justice who provided the photos of Lyndsay’s posture sequence.

Judith Lynch (Ed.)