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Coaching in Frome

A highly respected life coach has started work in Frome, Somerset. His name is Neil Croom, and he works with all kinds of issues that men and women might bring. As he says on his website:

People come for coaching generally because they experience something getting in the way of them achieving their potential or living their life more fully. These blocks might show up as:

• Confusion

• Stress

• Feeling overwhelmed

• A sense of being stuck

• Lacking confidence

• Feeling hopeless or disempowered

• Vulnerability

• Fear

• Lacking a sense of meaning or purpose

Blocks like those listed above can affect any area of a person’s life including family, personal relationships, work, health and well-being, or they might have a more global impact.

Often these challenging and uncomfortable experiences can act as a catalyst for someone to examine their life more closely and ask themselves what they really want from their life. Prompted to look at their life by challenging circumstances, a person might decide they want:

• Greater confidence

• More energy

• Greater satisfaction from their work

• More intimacy in their life

• A greater sense of ease and relaxation

• To be healthier

• A clearer sense of life purpose or vocation

Coaching works to remove blockages, unlock a person’s potential and support them to take the action required to make changes in their life. The client’s desire to change and willingness to look at their own thoughts, feelings and behaviour are critical to this endeavour.

With skills based not just on training but also garnered from a hugely varied experience of life, ranging from psychiatric nurse to holistic guardian of organic land at Embercombe, Neil is a man who can be trusted; and his work can shift people into a completely new perspective on life. Contact Neil Croom for life coaching now. This is perhaps the first step in living the life you want.

Yoga Chanting

A daily practice of toning and mantra chanting helps to boost our immune system and aids in healing asthmatic symptoms. Low humming helps to equalise brain waves, generating relaxation and clarity of mind.

As well, regular vocal exercises have been known to increase lymphatic circulation to as high as three times the normal rate.

Healing is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as simply “to make sound” and throughout history there has been an intimate relationship between music, health, and healing.

In Greek mythology, Apollo is the god of medicine and of music, often depicted playing his lyre to cure sickness. Among Eastern philosophies, the Indian Goddess Saraswati, usually seen carrying her veena (a South Indian stringed instrument) is revered as the Goddess of both music and medicine, while the God Shiva is frequently pictured carrying the flute with which he played healing music.

The voice is known to be the highest healing instrument of all for the voice resonates deep inside the cellular body and is directly tuned into the personal emotions, feelings and positive intentions to heal and harmonize the body/ mind back into balance.

Contemporary medical research has shown that toning, chanting and other forms of vocalisation actually oxygenate the cells, increase levels of melatonin in the brain, reduce stress related hormones, release endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers) as well as boost the production of interleukin-1 (a protein associated with blood and platelet production).

One study conducted in Paris discovered that women with breast cancer significantly reduced the effects or eliminated tumours through toning and chanting several hours each day for a month. From eating disorders, schizophrenia, hyperactivity, arthritis, heart disease, recovery from surgery and trauma, to Alzheimer’s disease, vocal sound is proving to be a vibrant healing energy.

Through toning and chanting on a regular basis the body/mind begins to drop into a calm place of relaxation yet alert and vibrant!
As mentioned earlier sound is practised in various cultures around the world. For example in the “Qi Gong” discipline of the Chinese culture healing vocals sounds are used to heal the body’s organs such as the liver, spleen, pancreas, lungs and heart.

The Sufis, an esoteric branch of Islam has a great knowledge of vowels, which they use in there healing work. The Book of Sufi Healing writes “The three basic sounds are the long vowels sounds of A, I, U.”

These are what the Sufis call the universal harmonic constants, and are used in all mystic paths that utilize sounds.

In the Eastern practice of the “Science of Yoga” chanting the frequencies of the chakra energy centers on a regular basis can bring about much change and transformation in the body, mind and spirit.

In alignment with this concept of sound, every organ, bone and tissue in the body has its own resonant frequency. When an organ or another portion of the body is vibrating out of tune disease can set in. When disease sets in, a different sound pattern is established in that particular part of the body which is not vibrating in harmony.

However it is possible through the use of external sound as well as vocal toning / chanting to help re-introduce the correct harmonic pattern into that part of the body.

The Egyptians practiced vowel sounds to invoke healing energies and attune with the universal , cosmic energy world!

Dr. Alfred Tomatis a well respected French physician (ear specialist) believed that sacred chants from different traditions such as the Gregorian chanting and the Tibetan tradition, are rich in high frequency harmonics and have a positive neuro-physiological effect which charges the brain, stimulating the central nervous system and cortex of the brain.

Harmonic toning also affects the flow of cerebral spinal fluid through the cranium, which may be the physical counterpart to the kundalini energy. It is also thought to be possible to create new neural synaptic connections in the brain using vocal toning/harmonics.

In the Native American tradition the use of sound and chanting is predominant in healing rituals, and other cultural ceremonies. Joseph Rael, of the Ute-Tewa tradition, is known as Beautiful Painted Arrow.

Rael works with what he calls the Five Vibrations. In 1983 he had a vision during a Sundance in which he was shown sound chambers placed throughout the world. In these sound chambers, sacred sounds were chanted which allowed attunement and resonance through all the created beings on the planet.

There are now 18 of these chambers throughout the world. The sacred sounds used in the chambers come from the tradition of his lineage, but also in every other major lineage on the planet. The vowel sounds are AH, AYE, EE, OH, OOO.

Sustained use of toning and chanting over a long period of time will inevitably vibrate every cell., every atom and every molecule of your being, bringing the body, mind and spirit back in to balance, back into harmony – dancing along with the natural flow of universal energies.

Sound has been predicted to be one of the most prominent healing modalities of this 21st Century ! AUM!

Yoga Nidra

If you’re a yoga student, you’ll come across the concept of Yoga Nidra.

It’s a very ancient tradition, and a lot of people think of it as a system of relaxation. But Yoga Nidra is more than physical relaxation.

When we talk about relaxation in the West we’re generally talking about a state of physical relaxation, whereas Yoga Nidra is actually a state of relaxation of both mind and body.

In fact it’s a state of mind somewhere between wakefulness and sleep. It’s been described in various ways, but the description I like most is “a state of conscious deep sleep.”

States of mind – dreaming, daydreaming, meditating, thinking – are defined, or at least identified, by the frequency of electrical activity in the brain.

During Yoga Nidra, you may look like you are asleep, but the brain waves you produce during this time suggest the unconscious mind is working at a deeper level. During sleep, as you’re well aware, we lose consciousness of ourselves, but in Yoga Nidra we do not – sure, consciousness of the world is reduced, and physical relaxation is deep (as it can be in sleep), but there is nonetheless an inward consciousness which is lucid and you will be able to recall your thoughts and mental experiences later on.

From one point of view Yoga Nidra is an effortless, aimless relaxation. It’s best practiced with an experienced yoga teacher who can guide you through it, verbally.

There are two reasons for this: it’s a lot easier to be facilitated than it is to facilitate yourself into a state of deep relaxation with conscious awareness.

The second is that each yoga teacher will have a particular take on the concept of Yoga Nidra. If you can stick to a teacher who has a clear view of what they are trying to do in Yoga Nidra, you’re not going to become confused by different approaches espoused by different yoga teachers.

From a scientific point of view, there is some evidence to suggest that the state of mind you entered during Yoga Nidra practice is a state of unified transcendental consciousness.

This was first identified at the Menninger Foundation in the United States in the early ’70s, under the direction of Elmer Green, who recorded the brainwaves on an EEG machine of an Indian yogi who went through the practice of Yoga Nidra – involving the successive relaxation of his physical, mental and emotional being.

Of course the subject of this experiment, Swami Rama, had plenty of experience in entering this special state of consciousness, but nonetheless the remarkable changes in his brainwaves testified that Yoga Nidra is indeed a different state of mind.

For example, soon after entering Yoga Nidra, 75% of Swami Rama’s brainwaves were in the Alpha frequency – a frequency which is known to be associated with lucid dreaming and deep relaxation.

With more prolonged periods in Yoga Nidra, the Swami’s brainwaves were 75% Theta waves; this was associated with deep relaxation.

According to the Swami, in Theta states he had an internal experience which was, to paraphrase, “busy”, with desires, memories and images and other mental thought forms arising in what he described as an archetypal form.

While I’m not quite sure what this means, I would assume it implies the experience of powerful mental images which represented some fundamental aspect of his emotional and physical being.

The Swami could also enter a state of mind where his brain produced mostly Delta waves – which are the normal brain rhythm of deep sleep.

Interestingly enough, however, the Swami remained perfectly aware and conscious during this period – which is most unusual.

This 1970s investigation was probably the first time that such control over levels of consciousness and been demonstrated under laboratory experimentation.

And interestingly enough, to remain consciously aware while the brain is in the Delta wave frequency band is one of the indications said to be representative of the third state (prajna) of the four states of consciousness described in the Mandukya Upanishad.

For most of us, however, the experience of Yoga Nidra will be a simple form of deep relaxation which takes us into the Alpha wave frequency band, with all the benefits that are known to accrue from that, particularly around a big reduction in emotional arousal and level of stress.

Yoga in Westbury

Westbury Leigh Community Hall is a voluntary, not-for-profit undertaking run entirely by local people for the benefit of the village community.  

It’s a stunning converted church which was carefully altered in 2000 so that the atmosphere of the original church was preserved – and now the majestic Community Hall which it has become has a magnificent main hall measuring some 17m by 7m. The comfort of guest sis ensured by the underfloor heating and the impressive beech floor.

Not only that, but the Community Hall shows off to best effect the e original church ceiling and stone walls. There are three hardwood framed glass screens which open out into the original chancel of the church. Many classes and clubs use the venue, so you can check specific details on the community hall website.

By contrast, Leigh Park Community Centre is the focal point of Leigh Park, Westbury. It’s a community hall with catering and PA system. There is excellent disabled access and plenty of onsite parking. The venue offers clubs and classes in a central and easily accessible venue. 

We have two recommendations for yoga in Westbury:

Ben Parkes

Tuesday evening in Leigh Park Community Centre

Ben’s yoga takes place on Tuesday 7pm-8.30pm in Leigh Park Community Centre, Leigh Park Way, Westbury, BA13 3FN.

The cost is £10 per class for a drop in option any time, or £39 for a term class pass for any yoga class run by Ben for £10 a session. You can book by calling or texting Ben on 07850 465 419 or you can email him on ben@yogaben.co.uk

His website can be found here. 

This is a general yoga class, which means that all levels and abilities of yoga student are welcome, including beginners welcome. Ben suggest that you wear wear loose clothing and bring a yoga mat if you have one. Oh, and you’ll need a blanket to keep warm during your Yoga nidra (relaxation).

Fiona Fallon

Fiona holds classes on WEDNESDAYS in Westbury at the Westbury Leigh Community Hall Westbury BA13 3SQ

Her general and improvers class runs from 7.00 p.m. – 8.45 p.m.

Her schedule coincides with school term dates, with a break at half term. The costs of the classes is payable by the term in advance. Newcomers are able to attend on a drop in fee basis for up to 4 sessions before committing to a course. Concessions are available in some cases.

For full details see Fiona’s website. 

Fiona’s teaching is based on the teaching of B.K.S. Iyengar who one of the most prominent and widely respected yoga leaders. He has been dedicated to a traditional route of yoga teaching and practice and has acquired followers and practitioners throughout the world.

Yoga Students Can Expect To Benefit From 

  • greatly improved health, better posture, greater flexibility and increased strength
  • higher energy and improved vitality
  • finding it easier to relax
  • lowered stress levels
  • a sense of inner balance, greater calm and enhanced wellbeing
  • better concentration and a more focused mind
  • more mature discernment and a sense of integrity

There are, as you might expect, many more benefits to practising yoga. The whole discipline of yoga needs to be seen in the framework of its origin as a system for developing the whole human being so that eventually you can achieve the highest potential it is possible for you to achieve as an individual. 

Classes

In Fiona’s yoga classes she will teach you a variety of yoga poses (called “asanas”), which cover a whole span from easy to challenging, but all of which will leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and energised. The use of asanas, and the continual practice of them produces a firm base from which to learn “pranayama” (which means the regulation of the breath).

Asanas and pranayama are only two small aspects of yoga, but they are fundamental to developing personal qualities such as concentration and discernment. This can improve your awareness and sensitivity.

Yoga is an individual path to selfdevelopment which allows each Yogini or Yogi. Each man and woman in the class can develop at their own pace. 

View class location and fees.

Why Is Iyengar Yoga Different?

The main difference between Iyengar Yoga and the many other alternatives available is the detailed attention paid to alignment. Fiona teaches the various yoga postures with attention to detail and precise alignment.

BKS Iyengar is well knwon for making yoga accessible to everyone through his adoption of yoga mats, bricks, or belts. It’s wonderful to know that his gift to aspiring students is not just a theory but also the application of that theory. Yoga equipment permits all people, regardless of age or fitness, to enjoy a yoga practice, which they might not otherwise be able to do. Yoga is a mental and physical discipline available to everyone, regardless of age, health or ability.

Qualifications 

Fiona is a certified Senior Level 2 Iyengar Yoga teacher with the Iyengar Yoga Association in UK – IY(UK) Ltd

The Iyengar Yoga Certification Mark ensures you have a real teacher who is not only an expert but who can also apply the practice in a safe way. All Iyengar teachers displaying this mark are highly experienced and have gone through rigorous assessments of their own yoga practice and teaching ability.

The Power Of Shadow

Workshop for TYA teachers

Yoga teacher Ben Parkes has led workshops for the TYA on the subject of Yoga and our Shadow Self. The Shadow is the part of ourselves which we hide repress and deny, because it was seen as unaccpetable by our family when w were young children.

Put into shadow, or our of conscious awareness, the shadow continues to leak out in dysfunctional ways throughout our lives unless we take active steps to heal the wounds of childhood.

Ben’s workshop showed Yoga teachers how to discover the power of shadow work in yoga or, in other words. What this means in practical terms is exploring the way in which you can find out how much shadow you have and how much insight there is to be gained from exploring it.

As many people know, Carl Jung developed the idea of shadow when he broke from Freud. It contains repressed material – but of course, the shadow is not all bad. As well as the emotions and drives which ere repressed because they were socially unacceptable, the power of the shadow resides int he fact that it also contains our magnificence, and our glory.

The Yogis spoke of it as samskara ~ the power of past impressions.