It was really fantastic kicking off Park Yoga Wokingham 2022 on the 1st May. We continued form where we left off last year, but with more people turning up for some outdoor yoga in the beautiful Howard Palmer Gardens in the town centre. Wokingham is now established as one of the 17 locations across the south of England that provide free outdoor yoga classes to everyone, no barriers to entry, we are totally inclusive, and the yoga is accessible to everyone.

Park Yoga has grown over the last few years, like many things, COVID had an impact and coming out of successive lockdowns last year, it was evident how beneficial Park Yoga was to people.

We are a charity and survive and thrive on donations, people are extremely generous which enables Park Yoga to expand and take yoga out to more locations.

There are many people across our community that might be interested in yoga but not wish to attend a yoga class, for any number of reasons. The great thing about Park Yoga is that is free, people can remain inconspicuous and work at their own pace without feeling pressured and simply choose which movements they like to do. It provides people the opportunity to try some yoga, learn about what goes on in a class, learn a little about their body and take a moment in our busy lives to release, relax and feel connected with nature.

Only this week a new NHS guideline was published stating exercise is good for people with wear-and-tear joint arthritis and should be a "core treatment". The charity Arthritis Action said it hoped the guidelines would reassure people with osteoarthritis that exercise is a good intervention.

I know, as a yoga teacher, that movement is key to living a good life and yoga is a great way to move, in any class we will move the body through the 3 planes of movement. Moving through the postures on grassy ground is so good for the joint and improving our balance. Breathing fresh air being surrounded by nature brings a different dimension to a yoga practice, you really need to try this to see.

We will be holding Park Yoga sessions every Sunday, in Howard Palmer Gardens, through the course of the spring, summer. We hope we can engage with more people and really build a yoga community in Wokingham, young and not so young, there are no restriction as to who joins in.

Please come along and try a session, you will be very welcome. For more information, go to our Park Yoga Wokingham Facebook page

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Whatever the preconceptions about yoga, more and more men are realising the benefits of this practice.

As a male teacher I know how good yoga is for men but we are still not getting the message across sufficiently.

The statistics concerning men’s mental health in the UK are stark, and these only refer to those who have been formally diagnosed. Many experts believe that men in particular may avoid mental health treatment and be unwilling to share what they are experiencing with medical professionals.

According to the Mental Health Foundation: Men aged 40-49 have the highest suicide rates in the UK.

Men report lower levels of life satisfaction than women according to the government’s national wellbeing survey.

Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women: only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are for men.

Men are nearly three times as likely as women to become dependent on alcohol, and three times as likely to report frequent drug use.

Men are more likely to be compulsorily detained (or ‘sectioned’) for treatment than women.

In recent years the narrative has started to shift. Work from mental health campaigners is helping to destigmatise mental illness, and it is becoming increasingly acknowledged that self-care should not be confined to one gender.

The amount of research into yoga for mental health is both vast and continually growing. Yoga is self care, physically, emotionally and mentally across all genders.

Yoga can become a source of calm in men’s lives. Far from requiring a base level of fitness or spirituality in order to start, yoga is accessible and adaptable, and letting go of any expectations they may have of yoga and themselves is one of the freeing parts of the practice.

I am going to run a few classes in the coming weeks, subject to interest and numbers, exclusively for men come along and try some yoga, no matter what level they are. The classes will be suitable for absolute beginners and regulars, you won’t feel out of place, awkward, or ‘no good at this.’ Some movements will be challenging, body specific and you will surprise yourselves.

The classes will aim to inform and educate men about yoga, they will learn about their bodies, how to breathe, and how to find some calmness in their lives and above all, they will understand the essence of yoga.

#yogaformen, #manyoga, #yogaforstrength

I know what it's like when you want to do some yoga at home but forget the sequences and some of the finer details of the postures. When you follow the online stuff, they're too quick, especially mine! and you need to crane your neck to follow...

I have produced a home practice guide which goes in to some detail about sun salutations and the various great postures I use in class. These are free, just drop me an email for a pdf copy. Also, if you have a particular requirement, or like any particular postures, I will produce a home practice video for you, cost £25 for a duration that works for you.

email or message me if you are interested: