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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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

Mindful Eating

mindful eating, maind matters, integrated wellbeing

When clients come to me for advice about healthy eating, I first like to address their current eating habits and help them understand why they make the choices they make.

So how do we bring mindfulness to our eating habits? By shifting our focus from what we feel we “should” be eating (which immediately creates a certain level of anxiety, tension in the body and feelings of deprivation when we avoid what we crave), to bringing real awareness into how we make the choices we make.

Here’s my 5-step strategy for getting you started with a more mindful approach to healthy eating:

As with anything, it takes practice but, in the long-term, the rewards are so much greater than the stresses of yo-yo dieting.

1. What are the triggers?

Notice what’s going on around you when you feel that compulsive urge to go for the packet of biscuits (or whatever your thing is) and find yourself eating the whole lot.

2. What thoughts are you having?

When you feel the need to eat what you innately know isn’t going to nourish you, look at the thoughts you’re having in that moment. What is it about those biscuits that you think is going to make you happier?

3. What sensations do you feel in the body?

Are you feeling stressed, tense, anxious? Where in the body are you feeling that tension?

4. Observe without judgment!

Just notice what thoughts you’re having and the sensations in your body. Whether you still eat the biscuits or not doesn’t matter. Noticing and observing without beating yourself up is really the key at this stage.

5. Take action!

In that moment of awareness, ask yourself, am I really hungry … or am I actually just thirsty, bored, a bit stressed?

It’s in that moment that it becomes possible to respond differently to the triggers:

  • Perhaps have a glass of water or a cup of tea instead;
  • You may need to relax; taking a few full deep breaths and exhaling slowly for a minute or so immediately triggers the parasympathetic nervous system which so often will remove the reason for reaching for the biscuits in the first place;
  • If it’s boredom, then put your trainers on and go for a power walk or run. Moving the body is one of the best ways to shift negative energy!
  • Even if you wouldn’t normally write “stuff” down, we all know the power of seeing our goals written, so just jot down any observations, say, for a week. I’ve found this hugely helpful both personally and when coaching clients. Seeing a pattern emerge can so often bring about a lightbulb moment.

Understanding why we make the choices we make, is a fast-track way to implementing long-term changes to any patterns of behaviour as we are empowered to respond positively rather than react in an unconscious negative way.

Bring a degree of mindfulness to your eating habits for a week and notice the difference. And if this post interests you, please check out our other Mind Matters posts here on Integrated Wellbeing.

With love and 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

Rest & Restore Workshop

Chrissie Tarbitt, Integrated Wellbeing

I’m excited to share with you news of my forthcoming Rest & Restore Winter Workshop.  Join me in this lovely, peaceful, light and airy studio in Woodbury for a morning of “you” time.  

When?
Sunday 6th December: 10.00am – 12.30pm

Where?
Ocean Physio & Rehab Clinic, Woodbury Business Park, EX5 1LD

Timetable

  • 9:45  Arrival.
  • 10:00 – 10:45  Introduction to Mindfulness, Meditation and powerful Yogic breathing techniques which you can easily incorporate into your daily lives to bring about that all important sense of calm and peace just when you need it most!
  • 10:45 – 11:30  I shall then guide you through a gentle yin yoga session which will focus on allowing the body and mind to fully let go.
  • 11:30 – 12:00  Yoga Nidra – deep yogic relaxation.
  • 12:00 – 12:30  Finally, some time to share some home-made, cold-pressed juices and raw, vegan snacks before heading home.

Places are limited to 10 people per workshop so don’t miss out if you want to help banish winter blues or just need to rejuvenate before the busy festive period! 

The cost of the workshop is £25 per person with 50% of the proceeds being donated to Leukaemia Care as part of my various half-marathon sponsorship efforts. Book direct via the secure Eventbrite site here: Rest & Restore Workshop

No previous experience is necessary. I’ll provide mats, blocks and blankets. Please wear appropriate clothing.

I look forward to seeing you there!

With 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