Tag Archives: Brixton village

1-2-3 Free: Free yoga for bringing your friends along!

Yoga with friends.

It can be hard to see your friends in the big city. So what could be better than bringing your friends to FGB?  Just imagine hanging out post class over a cup of green tea in the foyer or un-rolling your mats side by side in the studio…

We thought it would be great if you were rewarded for bringing your friends, so we offer a very special perk, called 1-2-3 FREE* to members who bring along 3 friends who are new to Fierce Grace Brixton and who sign up for an Introduction Offer. As a thank you from us, you’ll get 1 MONTH FREE yoga!

We chat to Valentine Ohagwa about bringing along her 3 friends, getting a free month and why she came to FGB in the first place:

“11 years ago I was reasonably fit, until I suffered a road traffic accident where I was hit by an uninsured drunk driver. The long and short of it is: 10 years and 4 operations later, I still have a damaged right leg which causes back, hip and knee problems. No only that, I can no longer wear heels or run!

Finally, I found yoga. Yoga is the only form of exercise I have done which I feel is fully helping me heal. Realistically, I can only do 70% of the class, but I have to remind myself that it’s better that nothing! I have been coming to Fierce Grace Brixton for about 1 year now and have told all of my friends about it. Over this year, they’ve seen my mood lighten, change and I’ve become more of a positive positive. I encouraged them to come along and they loved it! I’m so happy that the 1-2-3 Free offer helped me practice 1 month for free.  If I was 100% able, I would be a teacher!”

So there you are folks: bring your friends and get free yoga. Simple.

Friends with benefits, really!!

 

 

*Friends must be new to the Fierce Grace Brixton studio and sign up for a package with us.

Omae Top Tips

First classes can be overwhelming and great at the same time. Even if you’re coming back to FG after a seasonal break, it’s useful reconnect with your intentions. We chat to FGB teacher, Omae about her Top Tips for hot yoga practice… one of the biggest she says: ‘be kind to yourself’. Spot on, Omae. Thank you!

 

What brought you to teach Fierce Grace yoga?
I’d been working at the studio and practicing Bikram for about 6 years but as soon as I tried Fierce Grace I knew I was ready for a change. So when Michele announced the very first FG teacher training it was too good an opportunity to miss! It was four intense weeks but the real life changing experience starts when you get up and teach your very first class. I was terrified! I still get nervous but I don’t allow my nerves to get the better of me 🙂
Any advice for newcomers?
First time in the hot room can feel amazing but it can also be overwhelming! It’s different for everyone so come with an open mind. Get used to the heat by taking it very easy and pacing yourself…. get used to breathing through the nose. Rest as much as you need. Expect to feel exhausted as you are working twice as hard as anyone else but it does get easier.
What about advice if you’ve been practicing a while?
Those that have been coming a while can face their own set of challenges. Learning how to be kind to yourself can be one of the biggest. Don’t feel you have to push push all the time! Sometimes it’s about holding back and really listening to your body, accepting yourself just the way you are. There’s potential for transformation but it can be a long, hard journey. Connecting with breath is the surest way to advance your practice.
How do you encourage people out of their comfort zones?
Try out the different classes and teachers. If you always have the same spot in the room change it up a bit! Sometimes it’s small changes that make the difference. Noticing your habitual patterns is the first step, we all have them! Practice giving your full attention to any task you do, including your practice.
And tell us about evolving your own practice
This has been a real journey for me and very humbling. I love this yoga so much and it’s become such a big part of my life! However the last few months I’ve had to really learn how to hold back as an old back injury has resurfaced and it’s really affected my practice….I can’t do half the stuff I used to do, and as a teacher, that’s hard! But I see lessons everywhere and I know that there’s a huge one here for me. It’s actually given me a valuable opportunity to understand just how important breath and awareness are. I’m gradually getting stronger again and I’m strangely grateful for this experience.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’m having a wonderful time teaching at FG Brixton, it’s a beautiful, well run studio with amazing staff and students, I love it here! We are all one community and this incredible practice gives us the chance to not only connect with ourselves, but also each other.
Here’s to a year of positive change, more love, more understanding, more Peace!
Wise words, Omae! Want to know more? Come to her classes on Wednesday 10am and 12.30pm at FGB.

Back to Basics

Practice Evolution with Fierce Grace.

 

Whether you are new to yoga, or hot yoga, or Fierce Grace; or you are someone who has been practicing for a few years, one of the truths of yoga is that your practice is different every time you get on the mat. Class after class your practice changes and evolves. Mood, energy levels, stress levels, different teachers, there are lots of factors that contribute to your practice being a living, breathing, every-changing thing.   But how to evolve more consciously? And how can we help?

 

Well, start by looking at the foundations of your practice. Is it solid? By this we mean paying attention to the building blocks of the poses. Set yourself up properly; even if you think you know how a pose should look and feel, or you have been practicing for a while, listen to the teacher and their instructions for getting into position. You may hear something different.  Use your breath, use your focus and work to your limits, whatever they are that day.

 

Try some of the new classes on the Fierce Grace schedule. They have been created to help you work in specific areas, taking some poses further and breaking down others into different steps. Fly for upper body strength, Deep Dark Core to add a more meditative dimension, FG2 to take some poses into different expressions to keep you challenged, interested and evolving.

 

Go back to some of the old classes in the schedule. We all have our favourites, and the classes we aren’t so keen on. Sometimes we aren’t keen on them because they challenge us in ways that make us physically or mentally uncomfortable. Work through it, man!!! That’s what Fierce Grace means!

 

When you first get back on the mat in 2017, or you step on the mat for the first time, think about your practice. How has it changed? What do you want from it? Fitness, health, flexibility, free heating? Whatever it is you want to get out of Fierce Grace, bring your fierce, bring your grace and remember to bring a towel, appropriate clothing, no aerosols, plenty of water and practice evolution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What we’re looking forward to this year…

Yeehaw!!! New Classes for the New Year at Fierce Grace Brixton

 

We don’t know about you but we are looking forward to starting a new year. Don’t get us wrong, life at the studio has been fierce but 2016 has been a big old year for saying goodbye to some of the most creative talents who have touched many of our lives in varying degrees. And we have also seen seismic changes on the political landscape. So what will 2017 bring?

 

Two new classes, that’s what. That’s right, we are going to be introducing FG2 and Fly to the schedule over the coming months. We have already talked about FG2, designed to help you meet The Beast with grace, for all levels. It’s 90 minutes of getting out of your comfort zone, with expressions of each pose to challenge and surprise. If you came to our Christmas launch class with Michele Pernetta then you know all about this!

 

But brand new is FLY, a 60 minutes class designed to unlock the secrets to arm balancing.   Look forward to building upper body strength, balance and focus, and learn the alignment protocols of inversions and arm balancing. As well as poses you have already experienced in other classes – Crow, Crane, Side Crow, Flying Pigeon, and Dolphin, – you will advance your practice with other fun balancing poses.  Become super strong and light as air. Supafly.

See you on the mat, fly girls and boys.

 

Here’s what our studio team are looking forward to:

 

Katie Gerald owner, director and member

Three years ago we were laying out our plans to develop he studio and build a Fierce Grace yoga community in Brixton. Two years ago we opened. And here we are with a strong and vibrant community with wonderful staff and teachers who support our members in their commitment to maintain and develop their own physical and mental well-being.

I still continue to be wowed by it all. How supportive our members are of each other and also of staff and teachers. Some sort of magic takes place in the studio whereby members – new and experienced, young and old, fit and not so fit, healthy and not so healthy – take up the challenges, seize the opportunities and enjoy the benefits and variety of the six class integrated system of integrated yoga which is Fierce Grace.

So what am I looking forward to in 2017? Well without doubt, its going to be exciting and challenging. We’ve got a great new studio manager Serena whom I’m looking forward to seeing implement her plans to take the studio forward – to strengthen and broaden and deepen the community, focusing especially on overall service and also expanding daytime membership: there are plenty of classes, so there really is no excuse not to come practice during the day! So all you mums and dads and folk who live or work at home or nearby, come down to FGB and join me to get your day-time lift!

I’m looking forward to seeing our experienced teachers continue to develop their skills, especially for injuries, to help manage and help resolve them, reducing or eliminating pain; newer teachers honing their skills; and introducing and supporting brand new teachers – watch out for Saturday 5.30pm FG classes! All supported by ongoing training from Michele Pernetta and Emma Croft.

And some great new classes. FG2 will be starting on Friday evenings at 7pm taught by all-round star Shirley – this introduces a few little optional twists to FG to get you experimenting. Fly will be coming shortly, offering a 60 minute class working on upper body strength, complimenting Fix for when you need to get in and out quickly. And possibly a pregnancy class and more for children. And DDC Deep Dark Core on Wednesdays at 8.45pm to take you into deep relaxation and mediation whilst practising Deep Core, completing the day, preparation for sleep – taught by Paula. All part of Fierce Grace being a living, breathing, ever-developing system of yoga.

We will also be having some great new workshops. Michele Pernetta will be comeing to lead some, and we also plan to have some tightly focused on specific areas such as breathing – get your pranayama breathing finally nailed! If possible, we’ll do another Touch Your Toes in Windrush Square.

And welcoming back the newly married Lisa Hong and also a new addition to the world when Victoria, the life force that she is, gives birth to her first child in February 2017. We wish them, and you, and Michele, well and all the best for 2017. Enjoy. 

 

And more form our studio team on what they’re looking forward to in 2017…

 

Lisa Hong:

I am looking forward to another fantastic year of self growth, kindness and of course being Mrs Willoughby!

 

Maria G:

‘Become who you are’

 

Serena S:

Settling into our new place: having spent some months travelling with my husband and after recently relocating to London (and living with a very generous friend for a while), we are looking forward to moving into our own place and make it our own. On a more yogic note, I look forward to overcoming once and for all a small and nagging wrist injury I’ve been nursing for some months: It has taken longer than I would have liked but I’ve learnt a lot from it (namely, how to work my planks in a healthier way by using my fingers and shoulder strength more) but I sure look forward to it being over!

 

Victoria W:

In 2017 I am looking forward to always making the most of myself! This also means taking the absolute best care of myself, I intend to still be practicing the Beast when I’m 100+!

 

Paula Cronin:

I’m looking forward to a fresh start, new happy beginnings, hanging with a loving, positive tribe, and welcoming in all the new good energy and blessings!

 

Kam B:

I’m looking forward to finding more time to relax and seeing what happens; how the year unfolds.

 

Gabriela:

I look forward for meeting new/old people as each individual can inspire you and influence in some way, for new adventures, commitments (more hot yoga practice J) and learning opportunities. I am trying to see every obstacle and challenge as an opportunity to learn and growth, therefore, I look forward for those happy but also sad and difficult moments.  

 

Lila C: I’m looking forward to keeping an open heart and mind, writing more and seeing where my next adventure lies…

 

Nadia:

I’m looking forward to the fresh wave of energy the start of a new year brings, travelling with friends and new adventures!

 

Daniel Gleeson;

I can’t wait for the new FG2 class at FG studios (as a student more than as a teacher!). It’s the FG we know and love… and then some! I’m really looking forward to my partner and I exploring more of the gorgeous hidden mountain town of Telluride, which we discovered in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. It’s incredible any time of year, and we can’t wait to return again and again. I’m also hoping optimistically for 2017 to start undoing damage and uncertainty created in the world in general in an unsettling 2016. There’s always hope – things can and will get better.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Strike a Pose: Paula Cronin explores Side Crow

This month we discover Posture Secrets from FG Teacher Paula Cronin.

Paula is a regular teacher on a Monday morning and evening. She’s the one setting you off for the week ahead with that oh-my-goodness-it’s-so-dark-outside 6.30am FG class. We thank you Paula!

 

Posture: Side Crow – Eka Pada Koudinyasana. (Arm balance or Circus trick?!)

BenefitsArm and hand strengthening. Upper body strength. Balance. Lower spine flexibility.

Side crow was always my nemesis.  It was the one pose I couldn’t do in the whole FG integrated system.  I always figured that it was because of my knee injury or due to my thoracic outlet syndrome.  I tried, but didn’t get it and felt very frustrated in the posture.

However, I first did Side Crow in my FG teacher training.  We were doing one of our many posture workshops, and even though I was really scared (and quite frankly ashamed), I got up in front of everyone to admit this was a posture I had never managed to do.  Then in front of everyone Michele talked me through it: I did everything she said (and it truly is all about the set up), I took my time, and I was in. Not only was I in my first ever Side Crow, but I STAYED in, for like, ages!  I even remember looking up at Michele while I was holding the posture, and mouthing an expletive which could, for the purposes of this piece, be described as ‘Wow!’ I even cried. I will never forget it. 

I see so many students in every FG class struggling in the same way and the chatterboxes in their heads are winning; “this is too hard, I’ll never be able to do this, oh this is for the advanced yogis, I will fall, I will embarrass myself, who do I think I am thinking I can do Side Crow.”  Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is the most “I’ll just sit this one out” posture around. To be honest, I used to do the very same thing as I thought I wasn’t ‘good enough’ to do it, that it was ‘too advanced’ for me.

But the truth is  – everyone can do Side Crow (of course as long as injuries such as wrist strain don’t contraindicate it). 

So it is important to listen to the teacher and follow instructions step by step.  If one step is missed out, the set up is incomplete and it won’t come together.  I see lots of people trying to get into it before setting up properly.  This just causes frustration, disappointment, and a misconceived belief that the pose isn’t for them.

So here we go – The Setup

Firstly, the key part of making Side Crow work – is having the forearms vertical. You are, in a sense, creating an upper arm shelf and moving the weight onto the vertical forearms; a bit like resting on a table or chair. 

– Ground the base of the knuckles down into the floor (like crow claws!)
– Bend your elbows to create a vertical shelf with your forearms to take the weight
– Lift your hips high to drop your knees on top of the elbows
– Look forward
– Lift you legs!
Mindful set up.

Mindful movement.

Successful Side Crow!

So next time you are taking the Fierce Grace class don’t hesitate to ask the teacher to assist in giving it  try – it’s easier done than said!

Member mention: getting to 60 days…

You’ve heard of the 30 Day Challenge, right? You’ve seen those brave souls rock up at all hours, every day to the studio, ticking off each class on the white board? You might have noticed that Teresa McGovern has powered past the finish line of her 30 Day Challenge and is now heading towards her 60 Days!

Go Teresa! We love having you here every day with a smile on your face! You are truly Living Life with Fierce Grace.

Find out what makes her tick….

What brought you to yoga? For how long have you been practicing?

I’ve been doing FG since the Studio opened in Brixton (Dec 2014), prior to that I did Bikram (a little less regularly) , which I started in 2009 and prior to that I did other random yoga classes (but not a regular practice).
And how have you been finding Fierce Grace
I love it. I love the variety of the classes and I love the studio.
What made you decide to do a 30 Day Challenge?
I came back to London after having been away for a lot of the Summer, having done hardly any exercise. I’d put on weight and felt very unfit, and wanted to change that and challenge myself.
How have you been finding it? Have you noticed a change in your practice?
Really great, tough dragging myself out of bed some mornings (early morning is the only time I can really fit in classes) but once I’ve finished class I feel brilliant. The change in my practice has been slow but I am beginning to notice the difference.
We see you have been attending the full range of classes (Classic, FG, Deep Core, Fix plus SOB) therefore making full use of the integrated Fierce Grace system. Has this been helpful for the 30 Day Challenge?
Absolutely.  It’s fantastic to have the option of fix for those days when I’m short on time and I love that class.  I also hadn’t really tried Deep Core before the challenge but am beginning to really like that class too and find it’s brilliant after having done a couple of days of Classic or FG, and I weirdly find this class tougher. I’ve tried wild too and liked that, but not quite ready for the Beast yet!
Do you have a favourite class?
From a purely practical point of view I love fix, as I’m always  rushing around but I do love FG too. I especially like having music.
What is your favourite pose and why? And what is your most challenging?  

I like Camel, although it’s challenging it has such an immediate impact. Challenging – well loads – big to stretch, froggie, side crow…

On a different note – just to learn more about our Brixton community – how long have you lived in Brixton?What are your favourite things to do in Brixton? What do you like about the area?
We’ve been in Brixton since 2014, but were in Stockwell before this so were in the area.  In terms of things to do…I think we are really lucky in Brixton with loads of great eating and drinking places around the market and at Pop now, and also some great haunts locally for us up Brixton hill. The cinema is fantastic, and  I have a 5 year old, so we spend alot of time at Brockwell park.
Anything else to add…
Just thanks to all the crew at Fierce Grace Brixton.  All the staff are amazing, it really is the friendliest studio I’ve attended!
Thanks so much Teresa and keep up your excellent work!

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

Feel the Fierce!

You’ve seen it on the schedule. You’ve thought about it… twice. You were on your way and then found a burning desire to go to Wahaca on Saturday instead. You’re not sure you’ll be good at it. What if everyone can get their leg behind their head? What if everyone else is levitating when you arrive???

Now, it’s time to zip up that chatterbox and step outside your comfort zone. The worst that can happen is you fall over laughing! (I did)

Fierce is a wonderful sequence of postures, which are accessible to all, but take your practice to the next level, with fun and laughter along the way. If you’re new to it – Fierce is a friendly, safe place where you can try postures out for the first time and learn the developments of poses from other classes. If you’re experienced – Fierce will stretch and guide you to new heights.

When I did Fierce for the first time last week, I found it a really open environment, lots of encouragement to try something new and even surprised myself with what I could achieve. Yes, there are some super challenging postures to aspire to, but it’s a great feeling to get part way there. It also felt like a collective, as over half had never done the class before.

Krzystof kindly took some photos of us during the class and when we took a look afterwards, we were all really pleasantly surprised at how well we did – hey, we even looked good!!!

Alternatively, if your just starting at FG or have any injuries, get yourself down to our SOB class every Sunday. This is a user friendly class where there is more time to understand how to work safely and effectively, get to know the poses, learn modifications and ask questions. Know what works for you and your body. Better still, if you have a friend who is FG-curious, but maybe a bit unsure, bring them along as a big open-armed introduction to our classes and what can be achieved with regular practice.

It’s been said that we should aim to do 3 things each day that scare us: a daily risk quota if you will. Start this by coming to Fierce on Saturday, challenge yourself, do something that scares you; be Fierce!

Teacher feature: Daniel Gleeson

This month we meet one of our teachers who knows a thing or two about travel, as his non-yoga alter ego is a full time flight attendant.

 

 

What brought you to yoga and what about it made you stay?

I’ve always been interested in fitness & exercise, and so a few years ago, like many others, I decided to try out the phenomenon that was Bikram yoga. Straightaway I was fascinated by it; trying to use my body in a different way, becoming so much more aware of it, understanding its capabilities and limitations, all simply by striking a pose on a mat. Not long afterwards, I discovered Fierce Grace, and I loved it even more – I found it to be a much better fit for me. In terms of attitude, variety, humour, and approach, I knew immediately that my yoga had found a new permanent home.

 

Why did you decide to become a yoga teacher?

I don’t think teaching yoga is something to take up on a whim. I spent a long time deciding whether or not to train. Teaching (anything) is a humbling and rewarding experience, and should always be approached as such. Too many times I’ve been in yoga classes whose teachers are disinterested, or overpowering, or serious, or massaging their egos, or ignorant of the varying abilities in the class. All of these qualities only serve to turn people away. So I wanted show that yoga can be taught without any of these things, but with quite the opposite; playfulness, alignment, professionalism, passion. And above all, a sense of humour.

 

You’ve recently started to teach Wild at Brixton – what do you like about Wild? Why would you recommend it to members?

I love Wild because it’s tough. But still satisfyingly so. I think yoga or exercise or fitness of any type NEEDS to be challenging – this works your body, maintains your interest, and suggests ongoing improvement. Wild definitely offers all this. Throughout the class there’s usually groans of pain, sighs of relief (and disbelief!), and even the odd smile…!

Also, back on the issue of trying to get more men into yoga, I think Wild helps to address this through its format – a brilliant yoga/bodyweight/cardio crossover. Wild offers a more strength-based repetition-style workout, which still uses yoga influence & techniques, which I think is more appealing to men with little yoga experience/background.

So for men AND women I’d recommend trying Wild for the variety it offers.

 

As a flight attendant, can you share your ‘Top Tips For A Good Flight’?

I’ve flown long-haul for many years now, so I’ve seen people have good flights… and bad flights! A lot of it comes down to preparedness – physical and mental. Especially for longer flights, I’d try to be at least a little prepared; take water and snacks, load your iPad with things to read and watch, be aware of the flight length AND time change.

On board, just try to take things in your stride – sharing a confined space with other people for a prolonged time is going to push your buttons at some point. Like a busy yoga class!

Long-haul flying isn’t always a pleasant experience, but you can make it much easier on your body & mind by approaching it well. Arriving at a destination I ALWAYS try to stay with the sun – if it’s light, try to stay awake, then try to wind down and sleep when it goes dark. I find my body responds better to light/dark triggers than anything else.

 

Which Yoga Poses do you recommend when flying?

In terms of yoga on boardspace is very limited – unless you’re sitting further forwards! Neck stretching is an easy ad obvious exercise – side to side, and rolling forwards. Gentle spine twisting when seated is something I do on board. Also a quick Standing Pigeon hip stretch each side, maybe while waiting for the washroom!

When trying to battle jetlag post-flight, try calming postures which work into the hips after sitting for so long, like Half Tortoise, Reclining Pigeon, full Pigeon.

 

What’s on your Fierce Grace playlist?

I love the use of music in a yoga class, I think it can really enhance it. But… it can also detract from it too! Mismatched or obscure music during class can really spoil the experience.

I have four different playlists I use for the FG class, but I’m always looking for music to help me create more! I’ll hear a tune, anywhere, and think “Oh that would be perfect for Sun Salutation!”, or for the abs section, or for the final 4 postures. So my playlists include disco, to 80s, to recent, to RnB, to chill-out, and more.

I teach Wild too, which is faster paced than Classic or FG, so that definitely calls for an upbeat playlist – keeping you motivated when your muscles are starting to scream at you! For that I use some ‘happy house’, some 80s retro, and a couple of my own discoveries.

 

Teacher Close-up – Sara Gordon

For those of you who love a good Fierce Friday, you’ll have enjoyed the Sara Sandwich: 7am Fix, 10am Deep Core or 12:30pm Fierce Grace. Having celebrated Mothers’ Day earlier this month and currently launching our Off Peak membership (available to use for 10am and 12:30pm classes Monday – Friday, making it perfectly-post-school-run) we thought for this month’s Teacher Close-up we would catch up with our favourite yoga mama: introducing the fabulous Sara!

Sara, how did you first come to yoga? What about it made you stay?

I first did yoga when I was at dance college back in the late 90’s and l didn’t like it! Then when I moved to London I tried hot yoga and everything changed. I just loved it and I ended up working in a studio just so I could do it as much as possible. For me it has been a real slow burner. I have been practicing since about 2004 but at first it was purely the physical aspect I was into. The way I practice now is completely different.
Tell us a little about your ‘yoga journey’…
In 2011 I decided to go to LA  to complete the Bikram Teacher Training. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. After practicing 2 classes a day for 9 weeks I felt like a shiny new being. I taught my first ever class at Bikram Headquarters in LA the day after I graduated (talk about deep end!) They loved my accent so I got away with the class being 98 minutes long! I have been teaching full time since and I am so happy I had the opportunity to become one of the first Fierce Grace teachers.
You have a dancing background; how does yoga work alongside your dancing?
Perfectly! Yoga has kept me onstage keeping up with the young ones right up until I became pregnant last year.
How old is your little one? How have you found motherhood?
Cosmo has just recently had his 1st Birthday; he is the best boy. l am really lucky he’s just such a happy baby. I have found motherhood the most crazy, amazing, tearful and joyful time of growth.
Did you practice during your pregnancy? How did you find practice and teaching after having a baby?
Yes I practiced and taught throughout my pregnancy and I loved it; maybe that’s why Cosmo is so chilled! After having Cosmo I think I did my first class when he was 3 months old and it was so hard!!! It was a strange feeling for me to have no strength. I had to build up really slowly and I learnt not to push myself. In the early days with Cosmo we would do mummy and baby yoga every evening before bath time. It was really good for me to put some routine into place or the days can seem endless. Practicing for me now is all about the stolen moments: 20 minutes before or after I teach a class or in the evening at home once I put him to bed, but when I do manage to get to a class it’s magical because to have that small bit of time to yourself is so energising in so many ways and I enjoy it and appreciate it more now than ever before.
Has being a mum changed your dance / yoga schedule?
Yes I have to plan much more now. As my family are all in Scotland my childcare is not around the corner, although I have some great friends who are like family to me. Teaching yoga is a great job as a mother as it has meant I am working but not full-time so I still feel like I spend most of my time with Cosmo. I am lucky that my parents are only 55 and retired so they are regular visitors to London.
What’s your favourite pose and why? What do you find most challenging?
It changes all the time and at the moment l think it’s Toestand. I am loving having the strength again to lift my hips from my heel. Standing head to knee is an all-time fav though because it takes ages to get and you have got to be up for it and even then when you get your forehead to your knee you might still wobble so you just have to laugh and try again.
Any yoga tips for mums?
I have 3 wee tips!
1. Get a mat at home and practice with your baby. There are loads of classes on youtube. It’s not the same as coming to the studio, but in the early days it will get you stronger.
2. When pushing the buggy, make sure you relax your shoulders. I have to remind myself all the time not to tense whilst pushing.
3. Practicing in the studio a few times a week will allow you to just be you again. It’s one of the only places where you have to focus so much on what you are doing that you can’t think about being a mum; you need this for you body and your mind.
Thanks Sara!

Member Mention – Cheryl Briscoe

New this year, every month we will be hearing from one of our own FGB members. At Fierce Grace Brixton we are blessed with a fantastic community. You only have to walk in through the door to feel the buzz and the love! This month’s Members’ Mention is Cheryl Briscoe.

Cheryl joined us earlier this February and has quickly become  part of the furniture, fully embracing her 30 Day Challenge as soon as she stepped in through the door! Now on Day 20 of her 30, we wanted to find out a little more about her Challenge and experience so far at the studio.

What brought you to yoga? For how long have you been practicing?

I started in 2014 – I practiced Bikram for a year then some injuries meant I had to take an indefinite break from practicing and I became quite depressed. I met Katie Gerald, Fierce Grace Brixton owner, in Brockwell Park when she was handing out fliers last summer. I had a voucher for a £5 class but I never redeemed it. Then my time had come! It was the new year, new 2016, I needed to get my head and my body straight. As I had heard so much about Fierce Grace I wanted to have a new experience!

And how have you been finding Fierce Grace?

Amazing! They should call it “Amazing Grace”!

I have old knee injuries. I suffer from periodic sciatica and lower back/coccyx issues. Since being here I have built more flexibility in my hips than ever before in my adult life, largely thanks to Nina. She is very patient – as are all the teachers, all very patient and thorough – so I have reached depths I would never have imagined.

What made you decide to do a 30 Day Challenge?

I needed something for myself and being able to give yourself 30 days in this day and age is practically impossible so when presented with the opportunity presented by the Introductory Offer I jumped at the challenge. It’s my “I” time!

How have you been finding it? Have you noticed a change in your practice?

Yes. My sleeping has improved; I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat! I have noticed my mood to be much lighter once I have had my practice – my mood is heated into sedation! Physically, I have strengthened my knees which were quite painful – I can now get into a comfortable Fixed Firm posture which also opens my lower back – an area which never got any attention but now gets a good seeing to! I am also able to get into Sleeping Swan comfortably, which was initially more difficult with the tightness in my hips.

We see you have been attending the full range of classes (Classic, FG, Deep Core, Fix plus SOB) therefore making full use of the integrated Fierce Grace system. Has this been helpful for the 30 Day Challenge?

Yes – very helpful! I like the diversity. And it is like going to 5 different studios to do 5 different sessions, all under the same roof. It has the right intensity with the correct gentleness.

Do you have a favourite class?

I have a Magic Monday with Lisa Hong to kick-start the week; Terrific Tuesday with Nina so my whole body gets therapy; Winner Wednesday where I work out my wobbles with Omae; Thorough Thursdays with my strengthening Shirley, Fabulous Fridays with lovely Sara and my spectacular Saturdays for SOBs with crystal-clear Krzysztof and my Splendid Sundays with my cup of ‘Chi, he’s like a big daddy with his children, spoon-feeding us every move, I like his patience and attentiveness and he smiles as he talks which makes you believe you can achieve it!

What is your favourite pose and why? And what is your most challenging?

My favourite pose is Standing Bow Pulling because it opens up my hips like never before so I can lift my leg higher and tilt gracefully! My worst one is Standing-Head-to-Knee – it is a passionate pain because I want to be able to get there – once I have I will have achieved my ultimate yoga goal!

What advice would you give to anyone considering a 30 Day Challenge?

I would say GO FOR IT! It is a generous gift one should give to themselves at least once a year. It cleanses your mind, detoxes your body and purifies your soul.

On a different note – just to learn more about our Brixton community – how long have you lived in Brixton? What are your favourite things to do in Brixton? What do you like about the area?

I’ve lived in Brixton all of my life, so I’m a local. I love the market and the fresh fruit and veg. My favourite Brixton attraction is the Ritzy because I like going in the evenings and dancing – they have some brilliant live jazz. It’s one of Brixton’s gems. They have a band called Future Groove and it is very much representative of Brixton – the future developments in sight! Not just a cinema!

Anything else to add
Just some words about Fierce Grace Brixton as a studio! I think it is a super fantastic facility; the showers are the best in the business; the location is perfect and the studio is 100% clean. Great reception staff. Marvelous Megan! And Tremendous Tori, Fabulous Federico and Delightful Dilana! And to top it all, you get a tea when you finish!

Thank you Cheryl, you’re a Fierce Grace Brixton rockstar and now a Brixton celebrity!
If you’ve been inspired like Cheryl to do the 30 Day Challenge, just ask at reception!