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What everyone out to know about yoga and flexibility @ Mala Yoga Fremantle Perth

We often hear new students share with us that they aren’t flexible enough for yoga. For many of us, being inflexible is the very reason we start yoga! To help our bodies feel freer, so we can move with ease and feel tall, strong and energised.

I didn’t practice yoga when I was in my teens, yet it would have been the best thing for me. Do you remember the sit and reach test? I did a lot of sport when I was at high school but my flexibility was terrible! So much measuring and comparing at school, and PE (physical education) was not immune from this. One of these was the was the sit and reach test – feet against the box with a ruler measuring how far you could reach. I didn’t even get to zero, to my horror I was a minus 🙁 Minus five to be precise, the only female not to touch her toes.

For some reason this day has always stayed with me. Even though my hamstrings still feel tight and I’m not the super bendy yogi in the magazine, I remember how far I’ve come. And also to bend my knees a little – it’s how it is for my practice 🙂

Everyone can enjoy a yoga practice. The simple act of being still and focusing on the breath is a great place to start. You can do this seated, standing, lying down or walking. Our Yin classes are the perfect place to experience this connection. Taking your time to melt in to the postures as you focus on your breathing. Finding softness and release as the minutes drift by.

What everyone out to know about yoga and flexibility @ Mala Yoga Fremantle Perth

Yoga is not only about the physical benefits (of which there are many for you to experience). One of the things I love most about yoga is that it allows us to improve our wellbeing on many different levels. Increased mental clarity, emotional balance as well as improved physical flexibility, strength and posture.

Our vision has always been to create a space where students are respected and accepted exactly as they are. Your own range of motion, whatever that is today, is all you need to start benefitting from yoga with us.

Your yoga is completely different to the student that is standing next to you, and that’s what makes it such a beautiful, individual experience.

Tell us in the comments below – what is it that you most appreciate your practice? I can’t wait to hear from you 🙂

Kids yoga at Mala Yoga Fremantle Perth

Two minutes. I learnt about this in my training but I wasn’t prepared for the reality. Kids can hardly sustain two minutes in savasana. They were so excited to finally relax! Yet some of them almost immediately started to fidget upon lying down.

It was one of my favourite parts of our first Kids Yoga class last month. Seeing their peaceful faces, eyes closed for that short amount of time… and then they were up, ready to finish their drawings!

Not having children of my own, I took a step way out of my comfort zone to guide and look after this group of young people. And their questions! The moment we closed the door, it started. My mummy does yoga. Are we going to do boat? Is there a dinosaur pose? I can do dog!

Teaching kids required quick thinking and adaptability on my behalf. Working as a team that day we discovered ways to share, talk and move together. It was an amazing experience!

Part of our vision has always included kids and sharing yoga with them. Meeting young people in class, their parents shared how they were dealing with anxiety, stress, lack of self-confidence. It broke my heart knowing what these beautiful beings were already experiencing. And so started Mala Kids.

Kids yoga at Mala Yoga Fremantle Perth

I bet you are curious what we actually do in a kids yoga class. I was too! Here’s five things you most likely didn’t know about kids yoga.

1 – Parents get time for themselves

Once your child is calm on their mat, ready for class, it’s time for you to leave! While we look after your child, you get 30 minutes to yourself. Have coffee (we have so many great neighbours who can help with that!), browse the shops, read a book, go for a walk. While your child experiences valuable time on their own, you also have a moment for self-care and time for yourself.

2 – Kids learn all the same things adults do

In class, we teach the kids breathing to energise and breathing to calm. We practice asana (postures) – some you will even be familiar with! Downward dog, warrior 1 and cobra all make an appearance. How about Flower? A seated balance posture that the kids effortlessly get into, it can take a bit of manoeuvring for us adults!

3 – Kids also need to learn tools for relaxation, stress relief and building resilience

It’s not only adults who get stressed. Kids also need to learn techniques to relax mentally and physically and deal with stressful events. Yoga combines active movement with relaxation. And research is showing that this combination can trigger a deeper relaxation response than only relaxation practices. Yoga can also help to increase self-compassion and self-awareness, tools we can all use to help deal with stress.

4 – Yoga can help your child to sleep

Ever been to an evening class and had the best sleep of your week that night? Kids too can experience periods of decreased sleep quality. Yoga helps this by tiring the body and mind and increasing relaxation. The calming breathing techniques that children learn in class can also be practiced before bedtime to help fall sleep. Studies are showing that a regular yoga practice can improve sleep quality by decreasing sleep onset time, increasing total sleep time and reducing the number of awakenings.

5 – It’s not all singing and dancing

Yes we play in class – it’s so important for everyone to play! Class also allows time to explore creativity and develop motor skills. Kids also create a sense of identity and cultivate positive body image.

If you and your child are ready, we’d love for you to join our Mala Kids program 🙂

We create a fun and inclusive environment for your child to learn mindfulness, movement and social emotional learning. Course dates are always online.

And if you have any other ideas, we’d love to here from you! Leave a comment below to let us know – what would you like your child to learn at yoga?

Mala Yoga it's just different

Gems of wisdom appear everywhere. There’s always the possibility of encountering them throughout our day 🙂

This particular piece of wisdom was a gift from Steve, a lovely Californian we meet last month. We were talking about driving and I made a comment about the challenges of being on the “wrong” side of the road. In the most charming way possible, he let me know that there’s no right or wrong, it’s just different.

No truer words have been spoken that can also relate to our personal yoga practice. The ego is a tricky thing and it likes to interrupt our feelings of zen with comparison. How come my hand isn’t on the ground in side angle? Why can’t I touch my fingers when we bind? Why is their torso so low in triangle pose and I’m still upright?

The mind kicks in and these unnecessary and unsupportive thoughts come rushing through. We attribute a right and wrong to our poses – assigning an end state or goal. When I can get my hand to *insert location*, then I’ll be doing the pose right. When I can straighten my legs, then it will be perfect.

Mala Yoga it's just different

But that’s the thing. There is no right or wrong. And we are all different. My history, my physiology, my being is completely different to yours. So while I need a block to prop my hips in hero’s pose, you might be able to sit comfortably on the ground. Neither of us is wrong or right, it’s just different. We are expressing the essence of the pose in our own unique way.

Yoga helps us to be humble and connect with ourselves, so that we can quieten the mind chatter and let the ego go. Know that at Mala you’ve found a community free of judgement and comparison. Here you can practice acceptance and appreciation of your amazing being. Differences and all.

Is there someone in your life that could benefit from this message? We’d be honoured for you to share by email or online by clicking one of the links below. And leave us a comment below – what is your difference that you embrace the most?