December is almost here! What’s new?

It is almost December again! We can’t believe how fast this year has gone by. December is a beautiful time to turn inward more to reflect and at the same time it is a beautiful time to connect to others. A time to give and a time to share. A time for gratitude and a time to relax. We are going to do all of those things the next few weeks! So what’s new in December?

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  • Meditation classes

As some of you know Monique went to Amsterdam to do an advanced meditation course. She has come back with lots of new techniques to share. Meditation is a quiet practice that can be done by anyone with lots of science-based health benefits such as:

  1. stress reduction
  2. better sleep
  3. anxiety control
  4. better blood pressure
  5. better memory and attention span
  6. getting rid of addictions
  7. pain management
  8. general wellbeing and emotional balance

Reasons enough to include two meditation classes into our weekly schedule. One on Mondays at Satori Centre Xaghra from 17:30 tot 18:30 starting the 9th of December. The other one on Tuesdays at 9:15 in Qbajjar Bay.

If you like meditation but you like to stretch out as well, try our Yin Yoga classes on Monday, Thursday and Sunday. Yin yoga has all the benefits of a meditation class as well.

  • New Certified Yin Yoga teacher!

Talking about Yin Yoga….Nop has just completed his Yin Yoga Teacher Training! Congrats to Nop and this means that you can now book your private Yin Yoga sessions with Nop and  of course you will find him guiding group Yin Yoga sessions more often!

  • Extra outdoor yoga class on Thursdays 

We have added an extra outdoor yoga class on Thursday mornings at 8:00. Nop will be teaching this class. The focus is to work on a fit body, optimal health, extra energy and on a relaxed mind. This means that we offer outdoor sessions 6 days a week now. If you haven’t tried our outdoor yoga sessions yet, this winter is an excellent moment to get a bit stronger, more flexible and healthier, while enjoying fresh air and beautiful Qbajjar Bay.

  • Personal outdoor fitness training

As most people like their outdoor fitness training to be personal, as from December Nop will be offering his outdoor fitness training only on an individual basis. Should you want to train with a friend or partner, this is still possible. Contact Nop to discuss possibilities.

  • Free and donation based sessions in December

December is the month of giving from the heart, the month of sharing. That is why we are happy to organize two free or donation-bases activities in December:

  1. Gentle Yoga & Meditation session on Sunday 1 December at Victoria Sportscomplex from 15:30 to 17:00. We do this together with Lina Vuk. Any donations will go to Gozo SPCA.
  2. Yoga & AUM-chanting sessions on 21st December from 15:00 to 17:00 in Victoria. This event will be organised together with Antje Lewerenz and several other yoga teachers on the island. Follow us on Facebook to learn more. Again, any donations wil go to Gozo SPCA.

You and your friends and/or family are most welcome!

  • Holiday schedule

We will continu our yoga classes during the holidays, however, between 23 and 29 December there will be a limited amount of classes, mainly indoors. Follow Yellow Rock Yoga Gozo on Facebook, to learn more.

We wish you a beautiful December month, with lots of love and laughter, for you and your loved ones!

Namaste, Monique & Nop

 

 

 

 

 

 

October is coming! Check the new schedule!

We cannot believe it is almost October. The weather is still beautiful, 27 degrees Celcius, and the temperature of the sea is amazing, about the same. If still feels like summer, but the summer holidays are over, schools have started again last week and high season is over for sure. For outdoor yoga October is a gorgeous time, as the temperatures are dropping a bit, but the sun is still there and your after-yoga swim is very, very rewarding! So we will keep our outdoor classes going in October like last year, but as we are moving with the sun, we will change the times a bit. See the October schedule below!

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What’s new in October?

  • We will leave the Rooftop of Calypso Hotel and do the Saturday morning Yoga by the Sea session in the Qbajjar Bay Bocce, because it is more favorable with the wind. We have had a great time on the Rooftop of Calypso Hotel thought, so thank you management and staff of Calypso Hotel, and we certainly hope to be back next year!
  • Our Tuesday, Friday and Saturday morning sessions will start at 8 a.m. instead of 7 am.
  • The Saturday outdoor class will last 75 minutes instead of 90 minutes.
  • Our Wednesday morning session will start at 9 a.m. instead of 7 a.m.
  • Monique will be gone for a week to further her studies in meditation. Nop and Lina will cover all Monique’s classes that week.
  • Nop’s Getfit classes will start at 8 am instead of at 7 a.m. and will be on Thursdays and Sundays instead of on Mondays. This will give more people a chance to do outdoor fitness during the weekend.

Please check the full schedule below and if you have a request for yoga or fitness on other times, please contact us about the possibility of private classes. It is more affordable than you might think, especially if you share a class with your partner, family members or friends. For more information, check the schedules & rates page.

October schedule for yoga

  • Mondays: 10:00 – 11:15 Yin Yoga at Gozo Sports Complex Victoria
  • Mondays: 18:30 – 19:30 Hatha Yoga at Gozo Sports Complex Victoria
  • Tuesdays: 8:00 – 9:00  Fityoga by the sea, Qbajjar Bay Bocce
  • Wednesdays: 9:00 – 10:00 Hatha Yoga by the sea, Qbajjar Bay Bocce
  • Thursdays: 9:00 – 10:15 Yin Yoga – Satori Centre in Xaghra *
  • Thursdays: 17:45 – 18:45 Hatha Yoga at Gozo Sports Complex Victoria
  • Fridays: 8:00 – 9:00 Hatha Yoga by the sea at Qbajjar Bay Bocce
  • Saturdays: 8:00 – 9:15 Fityoga by the sea, Qbajjar Bay Bocce
  • Saturdays: 12:00 – 13:00 Hatha Yoga at Gozo Sports Complex in Victoria
  • Sundays: 8:00 – 9:15 Yin Yoga by the Sea – Qbajjar Bay Bocce

October schedule for outdoor fitness

  • Thursdays: 8:00 – 9:00 GetFit with Nop, Qbajjar Batterija
  • Sunday: 8:00 – 9:00 GetFit with Nop, Qbajjar Batterija

We love to see you in one of our sessions!

Namaste, Monique & Nop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Yoga in Gozo!

Summer is finally here! To celebrate the summer and to make you feel your best, body mind and soul, we have added some extra classes. All classes will be guided by Monique, Nop or Lina, and you could find Antje on the mat as well some times! So whether you want to come to our beach and outdoor classes in Masalforn, Qbajjar, Xlendi and Xaghra, or you want to come to our comfy air-conditioned indoor classes in Victoria: we are here for you!

Summer schedule for yoga as from 22 June to 7 September 2019

  • Mondays: 10:00 – 11:15 Yin Yoga at Gozo Sports Complex Victoria – Monique
  • Mondays: 18:30 – 19:30 Hatha Yoga at Gozo Sports Complex Victoria – Nop
  • Tuesdays: 7:00 – 8:00  Fityoga by the sea, Qbajjar Batterija – Nop
  • Tuesdays: 18:30 – 19:30 Hatha Yoga at Xwejni Beach – Monique
  • Wednesdays: 7:00 – 8:00 Fityoga at Xwejni Beach – Nop
  • Wednesdays: 18:30 – 19:30 Sunset Yoga by the Sea in Xlendi – Lina
  • Thursdays: 9:00 – 10:15 Yin Yoga – Satori Centre in Xaghra – Monique
  • Thursdays: 17:45 – 18:45 Yoga for Beginners at Gozo Sports Complex Victoria – Monique
  • Thursdays: 18:30 – 19:30 Sunset Yoga at Xwejni Beach – Nop
  • Fridays: 7:00 – 8:00 Hatha Yoga by the sea at Qbajjar Batterija – Monique
  • Saturdays: 7:00 – 8:00 Rooftop Yoga at Calypso Hotel Masalforn
  • Saturdays: 7:00 – 8:30 Fityoga by the sea, Qbajjar Batterija – Nop
  • Saturdays: 12:00 – 13:00 Hatha Yoga at Gozo Sports Complex in Victoria – Monique
  • Sundays: 8:00 – 9:15 Yin on the Rocks – Salt pans behind Qbajjar Batterija – Monique

Summer schedule for outdoor fitness

  • Thursdays: 7:00 – 8:00 GetFit with Nop, Qbajjar Bay
  • Mondays: 7:00 – 8:00 GetFit with Nop, Qbajjar Bay

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Have a great summer!

Yin yoga Gozo: stay a little bit longer….

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…..stay a little bit longer in your yoga pose every now and then! It is something I am experimenting with, as I have just finished a teaching training course in Yin Yoga. Over the past few months I have done a lot of private yin yoga classes here in Gozo, outdoors and indoors and a weekly group class in Victoria. As I am about to start a second group class at Satori centre in Xaghra, it is probably a good idea to share a bit more about yin yoga and why it has become so immensely popular world wide.

Yin yoga: what is the fuss about?

Yin Yoga is a kind of yoga derived from Hatha Yoga. It is a slow paced, passive kind of yoga to calm the body and the mind. It is a wonderful way to counter balance the yang, over-active way we sometimes live our lives, at least, I tend to. But of course all yoga styles counter-balance our busy lives, so how is Yin Yoga different from Hatha Yoga or Vinyasa? It was certainly I question I had when I started my training. Especially as Yin Yoga is becoming so popular around the globe, I was wondering why.

What is it?

Yin Yoga consists of Hatha Yoga poses. The difference is that poses are held longer than in a typical Hatha Yoga class. In a Hatha class you will hold a poses for 5 to 10 breaths or for 30 seconds up to a minute. In Yin Yoga you will hold the pose for 3 to 5 minutes. Why is that?

Getting younger with Yin Yoga?

Long holds of poses stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid (HA). HA attracts water and ions. Our connective tissues and our joints function better when lubricated. It is like rejuvenating your body by providing extra moisture. This is why you will find hyaluronic acid in face cream as well, it helps to reduce wrinkles by providing moisture. excellent to get this for free with your yoga practice.

Another benefit of hyaluronic acid is that it speeds up wound healing. It regulates inflammation and has anti-bacterial properties.

Benefits of Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga relieves joint pain and preserves bone strength. This is because Yin Yoga targets the connective tissue rather than the muscles. In Vinyasa Yoga and active forms of Hatha Yoga we actively use our muscles. In Yin Yoga we just sink into a pose with as little as muscle strength as possible. That why it feels much more relaxing than an active form of yoga. You won’t get tired as much and your stretches are becoming deeper and deeper because you are stretching passively instead of actively. After a long day of work it is easier to do 30 minutes of passive stretching than a more challenging vinyasa work-out. of course this will vary from person to person.

Benefits of Yin Yoga are:

  • improvement of joint mobility
  • stress reduction
  • anxiety reduction
  • improved circulation
  • release of fascia
  • improvement of well-being in general

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How does it help my well-being?

Many practitioners of Yin Yoga report that they experience significant stress reduction and a general feeling of well-being. How is that possible? I thought about it and from my own experience I would say that Yin Yoga helps me to be still in a pose for a longer time. It allows me to connect with my inner-self and to observe what comes up in my mind. Emotions and thoughts come up to the surface which helps to release them. And to release whatever you’ve suppressed inside of you, will increase your energy levels and help to restore your balance.

I encourage people to try some Yin Yoga at home, just to destress and release. Just lock yourself into a room, tell the family to leave you alone and roll out your mat. You will feel more relaxed even after a short session.

Boring or meditative?!

Some of my clients find Yin Yoga quite boring though, because of the long holds. But funny enough, they do it anyway, because they feel so much better afterwards. Every pose is like a mini-meditation, time to explore and to rest. As a teacher I like to combine the Yin and the Yang. More and more I incorporate a few yin poses in my hatha classes and in my Yin classes I will encourage people to do Yang activities as well during the week. This doesn’t have to be yoga. It can be swimming, our running, our hiking or anything active really. Life is about balance and we need to work on strength, cardio and flexibility to keep our bodies in the best possible shape. But as our daily lives are becoming more Yang and active, a bit of Yin is a nice way to increase our feeling of balance and well-being. And that helps us to enjoy life, feel our best and being able to do what we want to do in life, for ourselves and the people around us.

If you want to try it, there is a weekly Yin class at 9:15 every Monday at the Sportscomplex in Victoria. Also: as from the 9th of May their will be a 75-minute group class at Satori Centre in Xaghra. For more information, check my FB-page for Yellow Rock Yoga or the FB-page of Satori Gozo. You are most welcome!

 

Talking about food…my new year’s resolutions & g-bombs

I have wanted to write about food for a while now, but the right words didn’t come to me. My diet and your diet are very personal. What is good for one, doesn’t necessarily have to be good for another. However, like most of us I try to be the best version of myself I can be. That means thinking about my lifestyle as well. And nutrition is an important part of our lifestyle. There is a lot of evidence that one’s diet, next to our genes, has a great influence on how old we will be and on the quality of our life.

Moreover, there is a lot of research on what kind of foods have the biggest influence on our health. I have been reading and studying a lot about nutrition for years, but applying what I know to daily life is something else, I can admit! I guess that goes for many of us. So one of my new year’s resolutions is exactly that, applying what I know, and making sure I make healthy choices in my diet. So what am I committed to right now?

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G-BOMBS

Several years ago I was introduced to the work of Joel Fuhrman, an American doctor and former athlete who writes a lot about health and food. He has developed his a  so called “nutritarian” diet, based on worldwide research in nutrition and he did his own clinical trials. I’ll spare you the details, but the basics of his diet are very simple:

  • eat Greens every day
  • eat Beans every day
  • eat Onions every day
  • eat Mushrooms every day
  • eat Berries every day
  • eat Seeds every day

His philosophy is that one should get as many nutrients as possible in a meal with the lowest possible calories. The focus is on what you eat and not so much about what to avoid, although salt, oil, sugar and alcohol are to be avoided.  It is mainly a vegan lifestyle, although a tiny bit of meat, fish or cheese for flavouring are allowed but not recommended. Dr. Fuhrman provides strong evidence that animal food in whatever way promotes cancer and heart disease. Things to stay away from.

So how does this work for me? My typical daily meals look like this:

  • Breakfast: smoothie with fruits and green vegetables, or oats with fruit or fruit salade with oats, seeds  and nuts and soy milk
  • Lunch: big salad with warm vegetables on top of green leafy salads, with tomatoes and cucumber. Most of the time I have beans or legumes with my salad as well.
  • Dinner: wholewheat pasta, brown rice or other grains with vegetables, sometimes with tofu, tempe or soy.

Easy, right? But there are several things that I find more complicated.

I notice that it is sometimes difficult to eat the berries and the seeds every day. Especially flax seed is recommended for the omega-3 in it. But I am not such a flax seed fan and I tend to skip it and replace it by less favourable sun flower seeds or something like that.

Also, I find it a challenge not to snack. The nutritarian diet consists of 2 or 3 meals a day, so there is no room for rice cakes with peanut butter, the occasional handful of nuts or other snacks I enjoy. Another problem is that you have to prepare ahead with this lifestyle. If you are at home, of course you can cook what you want, but in the average restaurant it can be harder to find a meal that fits the above criteria.

What I like about this lifestyle is that it really  boosts my energy levels if I get all my GBOMBS in a day and that it is a flexible way of eating. Also, if I don’t snack in between meals I am sure to lose several pounds in the process as well. Something to work on, I will let you know how that goes in later updates!

If you like to read more about the Nutritarian lifestyle or about Dr. Fuhrman’s research, I can recommend his books “Eat to Live” and “Super Immunity”. To be continued & namaste!

 

Outdoor Yoga in January? Seriously?

It’s winter time, slowly but surely, temperatures are dropping here in Gozo. Stronger winds, big waves and occasional rain. So who in her or his right mind is thinking about outdoor Yoga in January? Well, me for one and I will tell you why!

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This picture was taken of me last week, in the beginning of January. Yes, it was colder than in autumn, but still, the sun was shining, and we were practising yoga in a sheltered place by the sea in Qbajjar Bay. So “outside” the wind was blowing, but under the roof of this beautiful yoga place, we hardly felt any wind at all. So we started with jackets on, but after 10 minutes we were exercising in t-shirts.

Which brings me to rule number one: wear layers! For winter time in Gozo, the right yoga or fitness gear could be something like this: a) tight fitness leggings or yoga pants, with an extra pair of jogging pants if you are afraid to be cold. You won’t need them during the dynamic part, but you might appreciate the extra layer during Savasana, the relaxation part of the end of your session. Then, for the top layer: a t-shirt or dry fit shirt, a long sleeve sports shirt and a jacket. With three layers you can be absolutely sure you won’t feel cold. Oh, and socks. I do the dynamic part of the yoga barefoot, but for savasana, socks are recommended, and if you fear to get cold, you could try “yoga socks” as well for the dynamic parts. Yoga socks have a non-slip grip layer, some people like them for hygienic reasons as well.

Oh, and for Savasana: use two blankets  instead of one. It keeps you comfortable for sure!

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Rule number two: stay in the sun & bring sunglasses and wear some sunscreen. Yes, that’s right, sunscreen. When sheltered from the wind and with the sun on your face, your practice could feel like in summer. Get the free vitamine D, luxuriate in the warm sun, but make sure your skin and eyes get the protection they need. At this moment I have a bit of a sunburn because of a long hike with the dog without sunscreen on my face. In January, yes!

Rule number three: bring water. You may not feel as thirsty as in summer time, but still, as we are exercising or doing yoga, you could use the rehydration. Warm tea is a good alternative.

Rule number four: just enjoy your outdoor practice! Nothing can boost your energy levels more than exercising or doing yoga outdoors. Enjoy the sound of the waves rolling in, the smell of the sea, the sun on your skin and that brilliant feeling of being alive in every cell of your body.

Want to give it a try? Check out the Schedule & rates page!