Friday, 16 March 2018

Yogi Claire Spring Newsletter

We made it through the Winter - although if the weekend weather forecast is to be believed, we are not completely done with the Siberian weather yet!


I thought it would be timely to put out a newsletter outlining what is happening at the moment with my classes.  Well to be honest - not much in the way of change!!  Things are ticking along nicely with the usual schedule working pretty well so no need to change things around.  I think people enjoy some consistency in life.

Easter:  A couple of notes for the Easter period: No Thursday evening class on 29th March as the church is being used for Maundy Thursday Service.   No toddler class on 2nd & 9th April.  No chair yoga on 4th April.  No Avenue class on 30th March and 6th April.  No Tues morning class on 3rd April only.  Note the Tuesday evening class at United Reformed Church IS running all over the Easter period so if your usual class is not on - you are welcome to attend that one - it's a really big hall so loads of space!! If you are in any doubt - check the links on my calendar page of website or bob me a quick text to check.

Price Adjustment:  I'll get the money stuff out of the way first - the Tuesday and Thursday evening classes will have a slight price increase from 1st April from £5.50 to £6 per session.  This is because my continuing training and increases in room hire impact on my costs.  The classes are still very reasonably priced and so versatile as there is no need to book ahead of time and you don't have to commit to a block booking.  Please let me know if this creates a real problem and we can maybe come to an arrangement to help with the cost of classes, as I would hate for anyone to be unable to come to yoga due to cost. This also simplifies my prices as it means all regular classes are £6 per session (apart from chair yoga and toddler yoga which remain at £5 per session)

Chair Yoga:  The new chair yoga class on Wednesday mornings has been really wonderful, and well attended - even when the room was a bit chilly one morning.  We just got on with it and had fun with our movement - then warmed up with coffees in the cafe afterwards!  

Toddler yoga:  I'm happy to say this class is still well attended but I usually have one or two drop in places each week, so if you have little ones and fancy it - have a look on my website for all details.

April Workshop:  On April 14th I am running my Standing Tall Workshop again (the first one of this theme was 3 years ago!!) - this is an exploration of feet through our yoga postures.  This is fully booked at the moment but if you would like to be put on the waiting list let me know.

Yogi Claire Online Content: I am still producing weekly online content in the form of a 12 minute yoga video and also a weekly relaxation.  This is free content with contributions to cost welcome, if you see fit.  They are unlisted videos on You Tube/Soundcloud so you do need a secret link via email to access them.  Message me your email and which class you attend if you would like go on the subscribers list.  (class members only)

Remember if you haven't been to class for while - and would like to return, please don't hesitate.  No questions asked and certainly no judgement!  Hope to see you soon

 Click here for Yogiclaire Website



Sunday, 11 February 2018

Awesome Vegan Banana Bread

Another recipe for you!

I've been doing my best to eat plant-based since Oct of last year (2017) and it's been going remarkably well.  It has been a gradual thing for me - I was pescatarian (eating fish but no meat) for about 4 years prior to that but when I educated myself on  a few things I realised it didn't sit well with me to be eating fish and dairy due to the cruelty involved and the fact that I love so many other foods that don't involve suffering, means I am lucky i can make the choice to eat this way.  (I'm going to leave it at that as this is a blog of a recipe....this is a lovely, easy loaf to make and eat whatever your eating habits are)

Firstly this is definitely more bread-like than cake-like - it is quite dense but can be lightened up by changing the flour used.  I do not like anything that is 'scream in your face' sweet....in fact I prefer bread to cake but this does have a subtle background sweetness due to the banana and date syrup used.  With the quantities used there is not an overwhelmingly banana flavour but again if you want that - you can easily tweak the recipe.

There is an ingredient called aquafaba - which is basically the whipped up water from a tin of chickpeas (i did experiment and tried with the water from some butter beans and it worked just as well)  This is in lieu of eggs and appeals to me as I hate waste and like to use everything I can!!

Ingredients:

2 small ripe bananas
Quarter cup of melted coconut oil or other mild flavoured oil
Quarter cup of date syrup
Three Quarter cups of aquafaba
2 cups of flour - I used 1 cup of spelt and 1 of regular white flour, have used all spelt, does work fine, but not as light!
1 Teaspoon mixed spice
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1-2 tablepoons of soya yoghurt or plant milk (I love Alpro coconut yoghurt for this)

Equipment:

Loaf tin oiled
Electric hand blender (can use hand whisk)
Large bowl

Method:

1. Drain liquid from a tin of chickpeas.
2. Whizz up in a bowl either with a hand blender or whisk - it shouold whip up all bubbly pretty quickly.
3. Break up the bananas into the bowl and whizz some more.
4. Melt the coconut oil to liquid and add to the bowl.
5. Add the flour, baking powder and spice and fold in - combining everything throughly.
6. Start adding the milk or yoghurt slowly until the mixture loosens a bit. I mix it to almost dropping consistency but not quite - use your intuition!
7.  Transfer mix to oiled loaf tin.
8 Bake at about 180degs (fan oven) for approx 30-35 minutes.  It should rise really well and goes a little cracked on top but the crunchy top bits are the best!
9.  Eat when a little warm either as is or with a little vegan butter or almond butter spread on top.  Would be ace with vegan custard too.
10.  ENJOY!!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Winter Newsletter

We are rapidly hurtling towards December! Yikes - how did that happen?  We say this every year don't we, but it does seem to come round quickly after the schools go back in September.

Things are ticking along at Yogi Claire Headquarters, all my regular classes all still running at various venues around Sale.  Remember to take a look at the website to see the schedule.  One change is that my Mum, Barbara has finished her later Tuesday session at Sale United Reformed Church now,  to focus on her Tuesday morning class as many class members had switched from the evening session to the daytime session (at another venue)  She had been teaching the Tuesday evening class since the 1980s, which is some achievement!!  My class at that venue is still running Tuesdays at 6.15pm and now runs through the half term holidays too, so you can keep going with your practice.


The parent and toddler yoga class on Mondays is still well attended, but there are a few spaces at the moment, let me know if you fancy it with your little ones.  It's such a lovely class and the Mum's and Nanna's often stay for coffee in the cafĂ© bar afterwards.  I'd love to get some more Dads attending!

My workshop in the New Year is now fully booked - so thanks to all who booked on, I'm starting to put a few ideas together now for that.  It will be a really positive way to kick off 2018.



The online content consisting of 12 minute yoga videos and short relaxations has been doing really well, the videos are a little rough and ready but everyone who has signed up seems to be enjoying them - although I suspect Henry Moon my cocker spaniel is the main attraction.  Let me know if you'd like to sign up for this free content (you can make contributions to the cost if you wish but it is essentially free which is not bad for over 6 hours of yoga).  These are great if you want to have a daily practice or if you sometimes can't get to class.

The children's relaxations I have recorded on Soundcloud are publicly available - so you don't need a secret link for these.  Click the link for those:  https://soundcloud.com/yogiclaire99

Remember there is always lots of information on my website www.yogiclaire.com and you can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



Thursday, 31 August 2017

Yogi Claire - Autumn Newletter

Hello everyone!

Hope you are all well and have enjoyed the Summer - despite the changeable weather!! 

It's a great time of year as we head into September.   All the schools are returning for a brand new year and there is a 'New Year' vibe in the air, a great time to create some healthy new habits - or perhaps get back those healthy habits if they have slipped over the Summer months!


A bit of information and news for you.


Schedule:  We resume the usual class schedule as of Wed 6th Sept - this is the day many schools return after the long summer break.  If you are a Tuesday evening class member we will be back at the usual venue of Sale United Reformed Church, Montague Rd. on the 5th Sept at 6.15pm.  Please note the later session at this venue taught by my Mum (Barbara) does not start back until the 12th Sept.  But everyone is welcome at the earlier session on the 5th with me, as we have such a lovely big space, we do not struggle for room!

Price Increases:  Please note that the Tues and Thursday classes (taught by Claire) will be having a slight price increase to £5.50 per session.  Still some of the least expensive classes in the area. I have resisted increasing prices as long as I could and have only had one price increase in the past 6 years!  But my venue costs have gone up as has my insurance so to keep these classes super flexible and drop in, I need to increase by 50 pence per session.  All other classes remain the same price.  See website for details www.yogiclaire.com

Oct 14th Yoga Workshop - "Less is More"  - Please see me in class for details of this next workshop.

Online Content: I now have over 2 hours of yoga videos on You Tube - exclusively for my class members.  These are really adaptable versatile 12 minute yoga sessions which land in your inbox every Thursday along with a short guided relaxation.  This is free content but I do ask if you feel you benefit from the content and can afford to make a small one off contribution then it is much appreciated and helps me to keep going with this side of my work. There is a PayPal button on my website for this.  If you'd like to sign up simply pass me your email address and I can add you to the mailing list - or if you just want instant access to 2 hours of videos without receiving future ones then just let me know.  Ask me in class if this is not clear! 

Remember all information is on my website (address above and below) the 'Classes' tab indicates all the times, venues and prices.  The 'Calendar' tab has a link to my Yoga Trail profile where you can see a live calendar, so you can always double check at the click of a mouse if you haven't been to class for a while.  (sometimes I cannot instantly answer phone-calls, emails and texts, so checking the calendar is the quickest way!)

Happy September everyone and hope to see you in class soon!


www.yogiclaire.com




Saturday, 8 July 2017

Yogi Claire - Summer Newsletter 2017

I've not put out a newsletter for a little while and there are a few bits of information about the classes which I would like to inform people of.

Schedule Changes for Summer - As usual we have a slight schedule change over the Summer months with the following changes beginning week commencing 24th July. 

Mondays - No Parent & Toddler Classes at DW Fitness
Tuesdays - No classes at Claremont Centre.
Fridays - No Avenue Methodist Classes.

Please note there WILL be a Tuesday evening session running 6.15-7.15pm but as of the 1st August will be at the alternative venue of Sale Moor Methodist Church, Northenden Rd (the usual Thursday venue) 
The later Tues session usually run by my Mum (Barbara) will not be on for the month of August but she may teach some of the early sessions.

DW Fitness classes (adults) on Wed and Fri (for members only) are running as normal.

**My Thursday evening class at Sale Moor Methodist Church, Northenden Rd will run as usual, all through the summer. 

If you are thinking of coming to a yoga class for the first time - the summer is a good time as sometimes classes are a little quieter, far better than starting in January when everyone else has the
same idea!!

Everything will be back to normal w/c Monday 11th Sept. (with The Avenue class returning on 8th Sept)

 
Many thanks to all who have signed up for the free online content - these are weekly 12 minute yoga videos on You Tube and guided relaxations on Soundcloud.  There is a way to contribute to the running of these via a PayPal button on my website, this is purely optional and just helps towards my subscription to Soundcloud and other expenses incurred by providing this service.  Many thanks to those who have contributed already.  If you'd like to receive weekly emails with the secret links please just message me your email address.  cdpickin@hotmail.com

Finally, a few people have asked me about the next yoga workshop.  I haven't forgotten!!  I have been pretty busy with family and other yoga related work but I will definitely be running a workshop in the Autumn.  I never want to run a workshop just for the sake of it - I only want to run one when I have something useful and valuable to share with you, something above and beyond what we do in weekly classes.  Rest assured I will be busy researching and studying the next theme!!

Make sure you 'Like' my Facebook page to keep bang up to date with all info on classes.  Plus interesting articles and some light hearted content too.

I'll leave you with a little summer poem which I remember reading when I was a little yogi....

Summer Sun - Robert Louis Stevenson

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy's inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.


See www.yogiclaire.com for details of all Claire's classes in Sale.                        
                                
 

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Just a Little Trick...

This is actually just another mindfulness blog post really!!  I do occasionally get a bit irritated by the word sometimes, as if it's something new and fashionable.  I was taught a form of mindfulness (I now realise) many years ago just from advice from my Mum when I was growing up.  She wouldn't have even called it mindfulness anyway!  She would just say things like "don't look too far ahead"  when I was worrying about this and that.  So I have introduced the concept of mindfulness to my children - but I just call it a "little trick".  I am a fan of plain speaking these days!! 

In September my youngest son who is 7 years old started in the juniors at primary school and in the first term he was starting swimming lessons from school and was continuing his gymnastics club after school.  Typically both activities (which he really enjoys) were taking place on the same day.
Now, as my youngest boy is a little bit of a worry wart sometimes (can't think where he get it from....) he was stressing about all the stuff he had to remember.  Endless drawstring bags with all the relevant kit, remembering what he was doing, at which time etc.  So I taught him the "little trick" - just focus all your attention on the first thing you are doing in the day, don't even think about the next thing.  Of course we had to organise the bags and stuff in the morning but we had a simple chart on the wall with all the info on and once we had double checked that, he could focus on the first activity.

Every time I saw him starting to get stressed and start to worry about all the overwhelming things that were going on I reminded him to simply focus on the first thing.  So it was swimming in the morning and all he had to do was to be in the moment and enjoy his swimming.  When that was done he could move on in his mind and focus on the next thing.  I know, I know - this seems so simple but sometimes we forget to explain the simplest of things to our kids.  So by the time he finished his two terms of swimming he was really sorry to be stopping and he actually repeated back to me the instructions I'd given him and he said "That little trick actually works you know Mummy!"  It was so great to give him this simple tool to help him really enjoy activities he loves without feeling overwhelmed.

I sometimes tell him now when I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with things.  If my teaching schedule is really busy with my regular classes, cover work and private clients or even just general overwhelm with domestic chores!  I tell him I do a bit of planning then focus on the first thing I have to do.  He gives me a knowing look and says "Yes! Just use the little trick Mummy"

(Image: Taken from Google Images)  I have used the image with a bit of  'tongue in cheek'  Mindful kids don't have to sit in a meditation posture and try to look serene, they just need to know that they can focus and enjoy the thing they are doing in the present moment and let the future take care of itself!!


For details of my yoga classes in Sale see www.yogiclaire.com

Friday, 3 March 2017

What The Class Members Say.....Part 8



Feel like starting yoga, but not sure?  Have a read of what my class members say.  I've not published one of these since 2014, but it's always lovely to hear about personal yoga stories...this was kindly filled in by one of my Thursday evening class members. 

Photo on the left is of our lovely venue for Thursday evening classes and also is the seasonal workshop venue.


1. How long have you been practicing yoga?

Since September 2016.  I was looking online for a local class, some were Saturday only, then this one popped up and as it is later in the evening it suits my work life and I have time to eat and to digest my meal before the class starts at 8.15pm.


2.       What do you feel you get out of your yoga practice? 

My own personal space.  Some "me time" I come out feeling balanced and refreshed after class.
 

3.       How do you feel your life has changed since you have been doing a regular yoga practice?

I'm calmer, I get less anxious, the deep yogic breathing can be applied in many situations to ease anxiety in my busy work life and at home.
 

4.       What is your favourite posture and why?

Anything that eases my sciatica and the backbends.  I like learning new postures and how my body responds.
 
 
 
 
See website for details of all Claire's yoga classes www.yogiclaire.com