Tag Archives: Meditation

Classes Explained

Out with the old, in with the new?   

Some people like routine and the same old, same old and some people’s heads are turned by the novelty of new.

As new classes are introduced to the schedule this year, it’s the ideal opportunity to shake things up and build yourself a Fierce Grace hot yoga practice that brings you strength, flexibility, stamina, fitness and joy. But before your head is completely turned by the glitter of the new, we wanted to remind you of the gems at the heart of the Fierce Grace system.

Created as a series of interconnected classes that work together, the classes complement each other, with different focuses, because yoga is about balance.  The balance of strength and flexibility, of focus and relaxation, of fierce and grace.

So if you really want to get the best out of this system of yoga, then ensuring you mix it up by engaging with as many classes as you can is really important.

 

S.O.B.

If you’re new to FGB, we highly recommend S.O.B. Perfect for beginners or those with injuries the class is taken at a slower pace to get to know the poses, learn modifications and there’s the chance to ask questions throughout. It stands for Stiff, Old and Broken, but don’t let that put you off!

 

DEEP CORE.

The cornerstone of the practice, Fierce Grace founder Michele Pernetta suggests that everyone take this class at least once a week; and that anyone new to the practice do at least two or three Deep Core classes before diving in more deeply.

More floor based than other classes, this class is about alignment, helping correct postural issues and using deeeeeeep stretches to juice up the joints and release the muscle groups, all helping bring balance to your musculoskeletal system.

 

CLASSIC.  With a traditional hot yoga class format, this class focuses on alignment and breathing, bringing strength and stability to your poses.  Excellent for building stamina, this class offers an opportunity to think about posture technique as many of them are repeated.

 

FIERCE GRACE.   Combining Hatha, Power and Ashtanga yoga with interval and Core Training for a fully rounded workout that works 100% of the body, this is the heart of the Fierce Grace system and the class around which all other classes are designed. Set to music, it offers strength and flexibility, fitness and relaxation.

 

FG2.  An evolution of the Fierce Grace class, hit up FG2 once you have a handle on Fierce Grace and challenge yourself to the limit of your capabilities.  General level, variations and advanced poses keep you interested, challenged and ever improving.  Excellent for experienced and intermediate alike, this class will help get you ready to tackle The Beast.

 

WILD.  High energy and fast paced, Wild combines Kundalini Yoga, Barre, resistance stretching, HIIT and Super Slow training for strengthening and sculpting.  Core power, stamina and strength, this is a class for the curious to explore how yoga can be combined with other disciplines.

 

THE FIX.  A mix of Classic and FG, this class is short, super charged and super sweet.  Ideal when you want to squeeze a class in but are strapped for time, this class is for topping up your practice.

 

FIERCE.

Aka ‘The Beast’, this class is user friendly Intermediate/ Advanced class. Take practice to the next level, learn developments of poses from other classes and if you’re advanced, we will guide you to new heights!

The Brixton studio teachers are always on hand to give advice, so if you find you struggle with certain classes or have specific goals to achieve, do have a chat with them and keep playing.

Staff spotlight: Lila’s Shakespearean adventure

We meet Lila, our reception and marketing gal who’s recently been working with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

 

What have you been up to recently?

I’ve just returned from performing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Royal Shakespeare Company; I’m an actor as well as FGB employee!

We toured 11 venues in the UK, as well as performing at the legendary RST in Stratford Upon Avon and Barbican in London. It was a real bucket list job – the RSC is a company I’ve always wanted to work with and the experience definitely lived up to its expectations. I even managed to get a Blue Peter badge along the way!

 

How did you find Yoga on tour?

To be honest, it was tricky to find a studio that offered the variety and quality at FG and teamed with the fact that our rehearsal/ performing schedule was pretty demanding; “A Play for the Nation” meant we had a band new set of actors playing the rude mechanicals and 30 children playing Titania’s fairy train every week in each new city. In fact the total number of people involved in the production came to 682 – which is pretty incredible when you think about it!

 

What are your tips for maintaining Yoga while travelling?

We travelled 3882 miles over 6 months, so becoming portable is pretty up there! I’d do yoga backstage while another scene was going through its technical rehearsal or sometimes in the quiet room in the attic of the RST. A towel can easily double as a yoga mat if your suitcase (like mine) was majorly limited for space.

Most cities have gyms as standard, where I’d sneak off to the mats and do some yoga. Some of the best studios I found were: a Hot Yoga studio in Norwich, then a beautiful converted warehouse studio in Belfast and a pint size warm studio in Truro, Cornwall where I learned that I hyper-extend my knees and should focus on lifting the kneecap in balancing postures.

There were others where I didn’t feel very welcome as I wasn’t a ‘regular’ on a block booking, these classes weren’t great and I really missed the freedom and frequency of Fierce Grace.

 

How did yoga help you maintain performance stamina?

Doing 8 shows, 1 full day technical rehearsal, 3 technical rehearsals with different fairy children and often extra rehearsal for special performances such as British Sign Language (BSL) or for an understudy role – every week, was pretty challenging and I needed to eat a lot and stretch out before/ after a performance. There was also the occasional back stage plank-off with other members of the cast… which I can now confirm is difficult in a corset!

Many of the theatres we performed in were on a rake, where the stage is on a slope, upstage being higher than downstage, so we had to take extra special care of our knees and hamstrings. I’d always incorporate extended side angle, wide-legged forward bend, tree, deep squats and wheel into my warm ups to protect myself from any rake-damage…and I finally mastered crow pose!

 

Any other elements of class that help you with performance?

The mindfulness side of Yoga is incredibly helpful as a performer: from dealing with nerves to finding peace with rejection when you don’t get the job.

Early in the run, during the physical warm-up – I was told that I was going on as an Understudy for a role I’d hadn’t finished rehearsing. Panic! The show was a bit of an out of body experience, but I made sure I did a little meditation in my dressing room before going onstage and thanks to the support of everyone around – it all went well!

 

 

We Touched our Toes

Well wasn’t Saturday a treat! A huge THANK YOU to all who came along to support our Touch Your Toes event in Windrush Square on Saturday afternoon. We had a fantastic turn out – 80 of you all practicing Fierce Grace yoga in the open air! We were also thrilled at the generous donations given by you to the excellent local charity, Brixton Soup Kitchen. £234.76 donated by you, of which we match funded £175, totalling a cool £409.76.

The class was taught by Fierce Grace founder, Michele Pernetta alongside our FGB studio regular, Shirley Williams. Solomon and Mahamed from Brixton Soup Kitchen came down to take part in class as well and they’ll be using the donations from this event to help fund a new van for the Soup Kitchen. Solomon Smith, founder and managing director of the Brixton Soup Kitchen, said: “We want to reach out to more homeless people. There are a lot of people around Brixton who do not want to come in to the kitchen because the estate we are based in had a bad reputation in the 80’s. We have a lot of clients in Vauxhall, Camden Town and also around Victoria and we want to be able to go to them.”

It’s not too late to donate to the Soup Kitchen’s van fund – drop into our studio and donate there and also make sure you come to the next mass outdoor Fierce Grace class in Windrush Square!

Please keep an eye open for new members who joined after practising for the first time at the Square and give them a big welcome to our very special community.

Thank you once again for being brilliant!

Wild Class

Fierce Grace presents WILD, a new, multi-system, cardio yoga workout unlike any other, designed by Michele Pernetta, one of the UK’s top yoga-fitness gurus. Few classes bridge the gap between conventional gym workouts and yoga, but WILD, a weightless gym, manages to fire up the body with the strengthening benefits of weight training, non-stop movement of cardio and the muscle lengthening and alignment of yoga, all in a dynamic one hour class.

Based on a unique structure of modern/ancient exercises from Martial Arts, Kundalini Yoga, Ballet Conditioning, Qi Gong, Physiotherapy, resistance stretching, HIIT and Super Slow along with strength conditioning. Simple functional movements allow the body to make it’s own micro adjustments to loosen, tone and integrate safely.

Experience WILD at one of our upcoming FREE taster classes:

  • City – 5PM Wednesday, 14 October with Gwen* – BOOK
  • City – 7PM Wednesday, 14 October with Michele Pernetta* – FULLY BOOKED
  • West – 6PM Thursday, 15 October with Michele Pernetta* – FULLY BOOKED
  • Primrose Hill – 6:45PM 21 October with Gwen* – FULLY BOOKED
  • Brixton – 2-3pm 31 October. BOOK
  • Taster session are FREE but they must be pre-booked.

After this initial taster session, FG Brixton will be scheduling  a WILD class every Saturday in November at 2-3pm. Like our other classes, Wild will be included in your FG package. So there’s no reason not to come along! As ever, we welcome feedback from our classes and hope you enjoy the challenge.

WILD was specifically designed by Michele Pernetta to bring cardio fitness and build stamina, core power and strength, along with yogic breathing to help oxygenate the entire body and purify and balance the nervous system.

Michele explains “I wanted to develop a class that targeted strength, oxygenation and stamina, while remaining in the arena of yoga wisdom. Many cardio activities can wear out the joints. This new, dynamic class speeds up the development of building long lean muscle, core stability, cardio fitness and helps prepare the body for every expression, whether it be yoga, the gym, sports or just living a fun, active life”.

WILD is a new approach to improve your general overall fitness, help build strength, stamina, mobility and burn serious calories, whilst sculpting every inch of your body. It is nothing short of transformational. We can vouch for the positive effects it can have on muscle tone, overall fitness, vitality, flexibility, injury prevention AND skin.

Suitable for all levels, except the lazy…

WILD classes launch at City, West, Hothouse and Primrose Hill on 2 November. The schedule will be announced shortly.

*Please note WILD will be replacing the classes regularly scheduled at the above times. At Fierce Grace City the 5PM class on 21 Oct will be switched to a Fierce Grace class (hot) and the 15 Oct 20:30 class at Primrose Hill will be switched to a Fierce Grace (Hot) class to accommodate anyone that may not wish to attend a WILD tasters.

Yoga Nidra Fierce Grace Brixton

Yoga Nidra: the sleeping yoga

Yoga Nidra is an ancient yoga practice, a systematic form of guided relaxation. It is also called yoga sleep but it is actually a state between sleeping and waking. It restores our body, senses and mind to their natural function. Regular practitioners say it often brings immediate physical benefits, even after the first class. It helps to reduce stress, improve sleep, lower blood pressure and it has the potential to heal psychological wounds.

In a typical Yoga Nidra session, Nina will guide you through several stages, setting intention, Sankalpa, then you learn to focus your awareness on your breath, bodily sensations, emotions and thoughts. Going on a gentle journey through your body and mind, allowing you to reach the most profound level of relaxation possible. It is a very simple practice, asking you to let go and surrender.

Yoga Nidra after the 3.30pm Classic class is a fabulous way to cool down, relax and let go. The strong Yang postures in the Classic class need a calming counterbalance, and what better than an hour of yoga Nidra! It is also a nice way to prepare yourself for a calming Deep core class at 7pm, taught by Nina, deep relaxation will energise and calm the mind, focusing more and letting your body go deeper into the postures. The benefits of Yoga Nidra are cumulative, the more you do it, the more you benefit.

Nina has been practicing and teaching yoga since 1998. Nidra has always been a soothing balance to the different styles she teaches and practices and is very keen to to broaden and deepen understanding and experience of Yoga Nidra in its totality, join her on a on the second Sunday every month on the transforming, healing and awakening practice of Yoga Nidra. Don’t forget your eye masks, cushions and blankets!

“I liked learning about the connectedness of my body, the atmosphere and Nina’s instruction.”

“It had a massive impact on me.”

“I feel completely relaxed and instead of trying to block everything out I have embraced thinking about the things I need to.”

“Nina is a superb teacher – she did an excellent job of leading us through the process.  I achieved a state of deep relaxation – I’d love to do it again.”

Sunday 5.30-6.30pm on: 13th September, 11th October, 8th November and 13th December

£12.50 per class or £40 for all four

nina

Interested in meditation? Take Part In a Free Brahma Kumaris Retreat This Weekend

This Saturday, 21st February, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University is hosting a one day retreat at their Global Retreat Centre with its beautiful Oxford grounds, free of charge.

The BKWSU (Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya) originated in India in the 1930’s and teaches a form of meditation that focuses on identity as souls (as opposed to bodies).   This day will be devoted to knowing the self, exploring and developing the art of meditation and the spirituality of daily life.

Brahma Kumaris, literally translating from Hindi as “daughters of Brahma” is distinctly recognized for the prominent role women play in the movement, placing young women at the forefront of his institution, giving them a rare opportunity to share platforms with political and religious leaders of the highest levels.  These women, such as Dadi Janki, are “beacons of love, peace and happiness in a world increasingly troubled by disordered relationships, greed, addiction, anger and violence.”

The founder Dada Lekhraj Kripalani, more famously known as Brahma Baba was born in 1876 the son of a village schoolmaster. He grew up to be a jeweler, but after a series of visions and a powerful epiphany he was compelled to devote his life to meditation and reflection on the innate qualities of the human soul.

Today there is scarcely a town in India without a Brahma Kumaris study center.

Email odr@globalretreatcentre.org to book.