January 2018 – New Yoga Term

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My yoga classes at the lovely new studio at Life Dental & Wellbeing on Queen Street, Exeter (directly opposite Exeter Central Station) start again on Wednesday 17th January 2018.

 

Classes are for all abilities and run each Wednesday from 5.30 – 6.30pm.  All equipment will be provided but feel free to bring your own mat if you prefer.

 

Your first class is free so come and give it a try without any commitment or cost.  You can book a block of 4 classes for just £30.

 

I look forward to seeing you at the Top Floor Studio, Life Dental & Wellbeing, 31 Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3SR.

 

Call the LDW team on 01392 278843 to book your place or email me for more info.

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

New Exeter City Centre Yoga Class

chrissie tarbitt, integrated wellbeing, yoga, retreats, andalucia

I’m delighted to launch a new weekly yoga class in Exeter city centre.

From Wednesday 27th September 2017, I’ll be teaching at the lovely new studio at Life Dental & Wellbeing on Queen Street, Exeter (directly opposite Exeter Central Station).

 

Classes are for all abilities and run on Wednesdays from 5.30 – 6.30pm.  All equipment will be provided but feel free to bring your own mat if you prefer.

 

Your first class is free so come and give it a try without any commitment or cost.  You can book a block of 4 classes for just £30.

 

I look forward to seeing you at the Top Floor Studio, Life Dental & Wellbeing, 31 Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3SR.

 

Call 01392 278843 to book your place.

Yoga Retreats & Holidays

Michelle Bartolo, Gozo Retreats

I’m a self-confessed lover of the seasons, but not in equal measure.  I have nothing against winter and I’m lucky enough not to be affected by a lack of morning and evening light.

That all said, the air of optimism and increase in energy around me at this time of year is infectious.

Spring has definitely sprung!   I’m loving being able to go for early morning walks, watch the sunrise over the estuary where I live and, on beautiful clear evenings, enjoy sunsets that we would normally expect on some exotic summer holiday!

Topsham, Goat Walk, sunsetTopsham, Goat Walk, flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing beats a walk in nature to dust off any vestiges of winter blues and I highly recommend going for a paddle if you live near water for instant grounding.  I promise you, not only your feet, but your whole body will thank you for it as you invite any stagnant prana/chi to leave achy joints and muscles, not to mention the shift in your mental state, helping us to view the world through a more positive lens.

All this talk of prana (our vital life force) and nature has me thinking ahead to yoga retreats and summer meditations on the beach.

A dear yoga teacher friend has invited me to co-host a gorgeous wild eco retreat in Southern France with her this summer and I’m already looking at various retreat centres in my favourite part of Spain, Andalucía, to take students for 2018 retreats (more on this in a later post). 

You don’t have to be an experienced yogi to enjoy your first yoga holiday.  My husband often tells friends of his first ever foreign yoga adventure in which he thought he was just accompanying me to keep me happy. His intention was in fact to drink nice coffee and read lots of books while I indulged my passion.  However, he was gently persuaded by our gorgeous yoga teacher, Michelle Bartolo of MichelleBartoloYoga.com, to give it a go.  To cut a long story short, by day three, 5 one and half hour sessions later, he was totally hooked.  He said he felt inches taller (this is a guy who is already 6’ 4”) and that he hadn’t slept so well in years!

The benefits of yoga have been widely written about, but if you’ve never been on a yoga holiday or retreat, I urge you to take the plunge – the effects will be exponential and equal to at least 6 months of going to a regular weekly class. 

Go with a friend or partner or if you decide to go on your own, you won’t be the only one.  I have tried all three ways and enjoyed each experience for different reasons.

A few things to look out for when choosing the right place for you:

  • A yoga holiday tends to be just that; you have yoga in the mornings and evenings and are often left to please yourself during the day with the option of organised outings or workshops.
  • A yoga retreat quite often means more participation in the preparation of food, clearing up etc. 
  • Check out the style of yoga by looking at the biographies of the host teachers involved.  If you’re used to a gentle hatha flow type of class, then you may not find that a week of dynamic Ashtanga meets your needs. 
  • There are themed holidays too, such as combining yoga with a sport you’re passionate about, specialist cookery classes or mindfulness and meditation workshops. 

There’s a huge amount of variety and of course wonderful destinations to choose from.  It’s definitely worth investing in the research before taking the plunge.  Finally, I would also check out the accommodation:  Are you happy to share with a stranger of the same sex (the cheaper option of course) or do you definitely want your own space?

There’s something for everyone out there and, in my experience, the teachers are very keen to ensure you have the best experience possible so don’t be shy about contacting them and asking for clarification.  If it’s luxury you’re after, then a campsite in the forest ain’t going to cut it after all!

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Post-Ride, Cool-Down Yoga Stretches

Chrissie Tarbitt, Cyclist's Lunge

It’s all too easy come off our bikes at the end of a ride and tend to other needs; grabbing something to eat or drink, or jumping into the shower.

Of course these are an important part of our recovery, but a few minutes spent on post-ride stretches can pay huge dividends with injury prevention and increasing our flexibility (warm muscles respond so much more kindly to being stretched than cold ones!).

So here are my top 4 stretches as part of your post-ride cool-down.

1. Back and shoulder release

I love this one as you also get a gentle hamstring stretch into the bargain (not unlike a downward dog pose in a yoga class).

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  • Steady yourself on the bar, hands approximately shoulder-width apart
  • Walk the feet back until you come into a 90 degree angle with the ground
  • If this feels too tight on the back of the legs, soften the knees
  • Keep the spine long and extended and your gaze to the ground avoiding undue tension in the neck
  • A gentle tuck of the tailbone towards the ground will prevent undue tension in the lower back
  • The key is to take a few slow deep breaths and enjoy this stretch along the sides of the body, and through the shoulders
  • Hold for at least 30 seconds, then walk the feet towards your bike and stand up slowly

 2. Glutes stretch

This is one of my favourite stretches in my yoga classes. It’s a preparation for the “eagle pose” and is fabulous for releasing tension in the glutes. Again we get to use the bar of the bike.

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  • Hold onto the bar approximately shoulder-width apart
  • Bend the standing leg and sit back as if going to sit on a chair
  • Lift the other leg off the floor, turn out the hip and place the leg (just above the ankle) on the standing leg
  • Again use the breath to help you relax and keep the oxygen flowing to the muscles
  • Try not to slump into the stretch by keeping the spine long and looking forward
  • Hold for at least 30 seconds on each side

As the eternal optimist, I’m offering these next two on the basis that it won’t be pouring with rain when you come off your bike through the summer season, so you can take socks and shoes off (although they do work with shoes on too!). It’s so good to be able to stretch out the feet after a long ride.

3. Front of the lower leg stretch

  • Chrissie Tarbitt, Integrated WellbeingHold onto the bar approximately shoulder-width apart
  • Really feel the standing foot connect with the ground so all the little muscles in the foot are fired up and ready to give you stability up through the ankle and the knee into the hip
  • Take the other foot back, keeping the spine long and avoiding any arching of the lower back
  • Gently place the toes on the ground (hopefully there is some grass nearby) and soften that leg very slightly to enjoy a gentle stretch through the front of the foot and shin
  • Take a few deep breaths and hold for at least 30 seconds on each side

4. Stretch out those tired digits!

Integrated Wellbeing, Chrissie Tarbitt,

  • Hold onto the bar, again approximately shoulder-width apart
  • Start with a firm foundation, a long spine and gazing forward
  • Rock back very gently onto the heels and lift the toes out in front of you
  • Raise the heels off the ground slowly and inhale

 

  • Slowly lower the heels to the ground on an exhale
  • Repeat at least 3 times

Check back soon for more sport-specific yoga, or sign up for my Integrated Wellbeing newsletter so you won’t miss a thing!  And please share your own favourite warm-down stretches in the Comments below.

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

 

Yoga with Chrissie – January 2017

chrissie tarbitt, integrated wellbeing, body matters

The new yoga term at the Ocean Physio studio in Woodbury starts on Wednesday 4th (7.15 – 8.15 am) and Thursday 5th January (9.30 – 10.45am).

Classes will be payable in advance, in blocks of 6 @ £42 per block.

The drop-in fee will be £9 per class.  If you’re unable to book a block, please call Ocean in advance of any class to check availability, as I can only take a maximum of 10 in the studio.

All equipment is provided, but if you prefer to use your own mat, then of course that’s absolutely fine.

You’ll find the Ocean Physio & Rehab studio at:
Woodbury Business Park, Woodbury, Devon, EX5 1AY.

Wishing you a happy new year!

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

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Manilla Cycling – 2016 Season

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I’ve really enjoyed watching the progress of the Manilla Cycling Team during 2016 and, as one of their sponsors, playing a small part in their continued success.

Adam Brooks, who was promoted from Team Coach to Team Principal in May, has overseen the continuation of the great work done by his predecessor and team founder, Tony McDonagh.  Here’s Adam’s review of their busy 2016.

February

The team enjoyed a fantastic start to the season, with some outstanding performances in the Velo 29 Croft Winter Series, particularly for the junior riders, with Tom Hill and Ted Kane getting on the podium for the first time and youth rider Alana Prior taking back to back wins.

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March

March continued to be a busy month with a strong team of both senior and junior riders heading to the Tour of Northumberland 2-day stage race.

Will Corbett and Robert Wallace both put in fantastic performances on day 1, finishing within the front group in very challenging conditions. Stage 2, with some particularly tough climbs, was tamed by Will Corbett, riding strongly at the front of the race before attacking on the final lap and taking the stage win and securing the overall victory on General Classification as well.

April

April started with some amazing performances from the Manilla ladies with Alana Prior taking a great stage win at the Youth Tour of Scotland and Nikki Metcalfe taking 2nd at the Prologue Criterium Series in York. Junior riders Robert Wallace and Ted Kane rounded out April with an excellent 2nd and 3rd place at the Westmorland Tankard Road Race and 1st and 2nd junior prizes.

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May

Moving into May, Nikki Metcalfe continued to fly the Manilla flag in the ladies races, taking 3rd place in three criteriums.

Will Corbett, Robert Wallace and Joel McGlynn began to combine well at the PTR/Speedflex Summer Series with Will taking a 2nd place before Joel recorded a fantastic win for the team a week later.

Joel continued his fine form with an excellent 2nd place at Round 2 of the iMann Trophy in Northumberland, and Robert then closed out May by taking the win at the evening criterium.

June

June was the month of the Regional Championships, with riders all over the country competing in their home regions and vying for the crowns of regional champion.  Alana Prior stepped up and took the win at Hetton Country Park, making her North East Youth Girls Regional Champion.

July/August

Stand-out performances over the summer included youngsters Will Corbett and Alana Prior both taking a number of wins at the Croft Tl Series, with Nikki Metcalfe taking the overall series victory for the ladies. Our Time Trial specialists also began to set some cracking times with an interesting inter-club battle between Craig Carruthers, Nik Parker and Adam Jarps, all setting new PBs along the way. Our female Time Trialist Pam Greer also got in on the action recording a number of victories.

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Craig Carruthers won the final Round of the iMann Trophy races in Northumberland, against a quality field of riders, and Will Corbett continued his excellent form throughout July taking numerous podiums in the local criterium series.

Youth rider Alana Prior once again showed her class taking an unbelievable 3rd place and bronze medal at the National Youth Criterium Championships.

As summer came to an end the young junior riders demonstrated their talent with Ted Kane grabbing a podium place in the Speedflex Summer Evening Series. New signing Adam Jarps started his Manilla Cycling career with a superb 2nd place at Ouesburn Valley Cross before putting in a sterling performance a week later, setting the fastest time at the Scottish National Youth Time Trial Championships.

The close of the 2016 season marks the start of an exciting time for the team with the launch of an Under 23 Academy for 2017 to provide a pathway to support the development of young riders to compete at a higher level.

I look forward to watching Manilla Cycling go from strength to strength next season. You can follow their progress at their website, on Facebook and Twitter.

And for the cyclists amongst you, check out my post-ride cool down yoga stretches article from earlier in the year!

With wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

 

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Yoga with Chrissie – Autumn Term

integrated wellbeing, outdoor yoga

I hope you’re all having a great summer and enjoying some sunshine. I’ve been out early most mornings with a rather lovely view from my mat!

The new yoga term at the Ocean Physio studio in Woodbury starts on Wednesday 7th (7.15 – 8.15 am) and Thursday 8th September (9.30 – 10.45am).

I have decided to change the booking system slightly for ease of admin.  From September, the classes will be payable in advance, in blocks of 6 @ £42 per block.

The drop-in fee will be £9 per class.  If you’re unable to book a block, please call Ocean in advance of any class to check availability, as I can only take a maximum of 10 in the studio.

The first block’s payment will be for 7th/8th September through to 12th/13th October inclusive.  Please could you call Ocean Physio on 01395 239455 prior to the start of the classes to make payment and secure your place.

All equipment is provided, but if you prefer to use your own mat, then of course that’s absolutely fine.

You’ll find the Ocean Physio & Rehab studio at:
Woodbury Business Park, Woodbury, Devon, EX5 1AY.

Let me know if you have any questions.  In the meantime, I’m really looking forward to seeing you again in a few weeks’ time.

With wellbeing wishes,
Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Yoga with Chrissie in 2016

Chrissie Tarbitt, Why Meditate?

This is just a quick reminder that my yoga classes at the lovely Ocean Physio studio in Woodbury begin again in January.

The first classes of the new term are on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st January 2016.

Classes are kept intentionally small (with no more than 10 students) to ensure maximum benefit.  All times are the same as last term.

Spring Schedule

  • Wednesday mornings (60 minutes): 7.15 – 8.15 am
  • Thursday mornings (60 minutes): 9.30 – 10.30 am

Prices are unchanged too. Adult classes are £8 for a 60-minute class or £42 for a 6-week block.

I still have a few available slots for private yoga tuition for individuals or small groups, either at the Woodbury studio or in your own home (where appropriate).

You’ll find the Ocean Physio & Rehab studio at:
Woodbury Business Park, Woodbury, Devon, EX5 1AY.

For class reservations, please call Ocean on 01395 239455. For other yoga or class content queries, drop me a line at chrissie[at]integratedwellbeing.co.uk.

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Yoga & Relaxation in Gozo

Michelle Bartolo, Gozo Retreats, Hamlet 1

Those of you considering a yoga retreat or yoga holiday abroad should definitely add the week-long “Inside/Out” retreats with Michelle Bartolo to your short-list.

Set on the beautiful, unspoiled island of Gozo just off the north coast of Malta, the week-long retreats include morning and evening yoga and plenty of free time during the day to chill out and recharge your batteries.

An ideal week to escape the daily grind and relax your mind!

Guests arrive on Saturdays and gather for a vegetarian welcome dinner in the evening. Having flown from the UK to Malta, we took pre-arranged taxi transfers and a short ferry ride over to Gozo to reach the tastefully restored island farmhouse that would be our home for the week. After meeting the ever-smiling Michelle and the four other retreat guests, we were able to take a swim in the private pool before watching the sun go down across the valley from the farmhouse terrace.

Michelle Bartolo, Gozo Retreats, Hamlet 1Michelle Bartolo, Gozo Retreats, Hamlet 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each day began at 8am with an invigorating 90-minute yoga class, either on the private terrace or in the large sitting room (depending on the weather), followed by a nutritious breakfast and a healthy side-order of laughter as we chatted and shared experiences with each other.

With intentionally small groups and the relaxed, convivial atmosphere that Michelle encourages, breakfasts sometimes extended well past mid-morning!

Guests make their own arrangements for lunch and dinner. Sometimes we ate out, enjoying an evening stroll to nearby villages or going further afield on hired bikes that Michelle can arrange; other meals were taken at the farmhouse where there’s a fully equipped kitchen in which to prepare food purchased at the local store just a short walk away. Some guests hire a car, but taxis are a good alternative for heading into town.

Each evening at 5, Michelle taught a 60-minute restorative yoga class followed by 30 minutes of wonderful guided meditation.

With years of experience teaching across many countries, Michelle’s yoga is a blend of various styles with significant elements of vinyasa flow and kundalini. On our retreat, there were a couple of relative beginners and others who had been practicing yoga for some years. The teaching was intuitive and ensured that everyone enjoyed the class. A great deal of thought had obviously gone into planning the week’s sequences, as the level increased a little each day, allowing us to experience noticeable progress as our bodies responded to two daily classes and our minds quietened, away from the daily grind.

Michelle Bartolo, Gozo Retreats 2Michelle Bartolo, Gozo Retreats

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the daily free time, massages and other treatments were arranged for those who wanted them, and Michelle took some of us on a couple of guided walks round this delightful island. Towards the end of the week, she was even able to arrange a fabulous half-day aboard a local boat so that we could snorkel and feed the fish in the crystal-clear Mediterranean.

The Gozo Inside/Out retreats run monthly from April to November.

Check out details, pricing and availability at michellebartoloyoga.com

And you can watch Michelle teach a short yoga sequence at the fabulous cliff-top setting where she takes a sunset class in this video.

I, for one, can’t wait to go back!

 

With love and wellbeing wishes,

 

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Yoga with Chrissie

ocean physiotherapy, yoga studio

I’m looking forward to starting the new autumn yoga term on Wednesday 9th September. I’ll continue to teach two adult yoga classes each week in the custom-built, under-floor heated studio at the Ocean Physio and Rehab Clinic in Woodbury near Exeter, Devon with a brand new, additional class exclusively for teenagers on Thursday evenings.

All classes are suitable for beginners and those at intermediate level, combining the traditional Hatha style with elements of the more therapeutic Yin and restorative yoga.

Classes are kept intentionally small (with no more than 10 students) to ensure maximum benefit.

Autumn Schedule

  • Wednesday mornings (60 minutes): 7.15 – 8.15 am
  • Thursday mornings (60 minutes): 9.30 – 10.30 am
  • Thursday evenings (teenagers) (60 minutes): 5.45 – 6.45pm

Prices for adult classes are £8 for a 60-minute class or £42 for a 6-week block.  The cost of the 6-week course exclusively for teenagers is £42.

I still have a few available slots for private yoga tuition for individuals or small groups, either at the Woodbury studio or in your own home (where appropriate).

Yoga For Teenagers

My new Yoga for Teenagers course (exclusively for those aged 13 to 19) is a 6-week course starting on Thursday 10th September through to Thursday 15th October inclusive. These 1-hour classes will be held on a Thursday evening in the lovely studio at Ocean Physio from 5.45pm – 6.45pm. . There will be a maximum of 10 places and bookings will be taken on a first come first served basis. The cost of the 6-week course is £42.

Not only does yoga help to build strength and core stability, but it has been incredibly successful in helping students through stressful situations such as exam times.

The classes will include some great breathing and relaxation techniques which, over time, will provide an outlet to enable students to focus on one thing at a time – not something that necessarily comes naturally to many of us as we live in a culture that has raised us to love multitasking. Yoga also helps youngsters gain more awareness of their bodies (including postural habits) which is a particularly important skill for those involved in a competitive sport, but of course relevant to all.

Please email me directly with any questions or to reserve a place on this course.

You’ll find the Ocean Physio & Rehab studio at:
Woodbury Business Park, Woodbury, Devon, EX5 1AY

For class reservations, please call Ocean on 01395 239455. For other yoga or class content queries, drop me a line at info@integratedwellbeing.co.uk

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing