Body and Soul Yoga

Body and Soul Yoga Blog

An ongoing series of informative entries

Setting a Sankalpa

1st April 2022

A sankalpa is a short phrase or sentence, clearly and concisely expressed, using the same wording each time, to bring about a positive change in one's life.  Your sankalpa should remain private to you and is not something to be shared with another person.  


It is not the same as a goal or a resolution because it is not an external achievement, rather it is a quality or state of being we aspire to.  You may choose to keep the same sankalpa for a long period of time as it will be a constant work in progress.  However, when it feels right you can make the decision to set another one. 


Initially you may want to experiment with different intentions and wordings until you settle on one that feels completely "right" for you.  When that happens it's recommended to focus consistently on your sankalpa for some time.   


A good time to set a sankalpa is at the beginning of a new moon cycle.  You can light a candle (non toxic options are soy or beeswax) and write down your intention.  Repeat this each night.  You can write your intention many times to reinforce it and you may want to journal your thoughts and feelings, noting down obstacles you encounter.  On the full moon write down anything you want to release and burn the paper to symbolically let go.  


How to set a sankalpa or intention

  • Make your intention about you.  Ask yourself "How do I want to be regarded in the world?"; "What is my highest expression of myself?"; "What is my purpose?"; "What do I truly want from my life?"
  • Let it resonate within you.  You will know when you have found the right intention for you as it will feel right; it will resonate throughout your entire being and create a sense of expansion in the body.
  • Phrase your intention positively and in the present tense.  Your intention should be a true statement.  You may not fully believe it right now but you must feel it as though it were true.  Start to cultivate and direct your attention and energy in that direction.  Use the words "I am ...." to begin your sankalpa.  Make your intention to withdraw energy from where you don't want to be and instead direct your energy to where you do want to go.  Rather than "I want to be thin" your sankalpa could be "I am healthy and only do things that nourish my body."
  • Keep it simple and concise.  That way you will be able to recall it whenever you need it.  You can use an image or a sense if words don't come easily to you.  Your sankalpa can be anything that works for you.  
What if you really can't decide on a sankalpa?  Don't worry just use a generic positive affirmation such as "I am strong" or "I am relaxed" and in time Yoga Nidra will naturally bring you into better alignment and harmony.  Bad habits and emotional habits will shift naturally and negativity will naturally melt away.


Price Plans

15th May 2022

My aim is to make yoga accessible to everyone at an affordable and fair price which is why   I offer three membership plans:

Gold = unlimited zooms and recordings + a guaranteed place at the Sunday RAFA class for  £5 per session
Silver = 5 "in person" class pass to be used within 8 weeks

Bronze = Pay as you go: £12 in person / £5 zooms and recordings  

Is anything free?

Yes, check out the free stuff link on the homepage.  There's a limited range of videos and tutorials you can access whenever you want. 
Some are in the private Facebook group which you will need to join first (no charge or commitment asked).  I livestream in the group every Monday evening at 9.30pm with a different Face Yoga technique using  The Face Yoga journal by Danielle Collins followed by a short meditation.  Please help me by commenting and interacting as much as possible, likes and loves are also appreciated!   

Other videos are available on my You Tube channel:      You can even watch them on your TV - some are very my early days of recording so not the greatest but I do add new ones from time to time.  Please click the subscribe button - it raises my You Tube profile and makes it easier for you to access the videos at no cost whatsoever. 

I do occasional taster sessions in local venues - most recently I've been at the Pantry Shelf Pop-up shop in The Liberty Precinct, Romford (you can join me this Thursday at 11.00am) and I'm giving a yoga talk with worksheets for mudras and pranayama practice on Monday 6th June at the Mercury Mall Breakfast Club at 10am in the Della Continental Caffe near Asda.

Can I try Gold membership first?

Yes, new students experience Gold Member privileges for a whole week by paying just £5 for their first class.  They have unlimited access to past recordings, live zooms and one in person class with nothing more to pay until the end of the week.  

How much is Gold Membership?

Gold Membership is £50 for the full 10 weeks.  If you have a trial week at the start of a block you pay £5 for your trial and then £45 being the balance of the block.

Is there a price reduction for mid-block starts?

Yes, the price reduces in £5 increments each week.  That means if you join in Week 2 and pay £5 for your trial week the balance will be £40 for the remaining 8 weeks.

Do I get anything extra for paying at the start of the block?

Obviously you get unlimited access for the whole 10 week period.  You are also entitled to a 1-1 zoom at a mutually convenient time (or an in person consultation after class) and a personalised programme.

Why do Gold members pay a £5 supplement for in person classes?

The supplement is to cover the extra costs of hiring a venue.   Even if you don't use zoom or recordings you will still only pay a maximum of £10 per week (£5 paid in advance with your Gold Membership plus the £5 supplement).  This is a big saving of £20 over the whole 10 week block and guarantees your place in the class as well as allowing you to dip in and our of recordings and zooms.

I

Gold Member Benefits
(£50 for unlimited access x 10 weeks) 

  • Guaranteed place at the in person class of your choice (£5 supplement per class) for the remainder of the block (10 weeks if you join at the start)
  • Access to the Password Protected area of the website (Gold Members' Area)
  • Regular emails notifying updates to the Gold Members' Area
  • Unlimited access to at least one recording of each type of class offered
  • Unlimited live zooms
  • Full paying members can arrange a 1-1 consultation leading to a personalised programme 
Silver Member Benefits
(£50 for a 5 week RAFA Club class pass)

  • Guaranteed place at the RAFA Sunday morning class (no supplement required) 
  • Save £10 on the drop - in price for each 5 weeks purchased
  • Can miss up to three classes within an 8 week period

Bronze Member Benefits
(£12 RAFA Club Sunday morning class / £5 zoom)

  • No commitment
  • Convenience of being able to drop in (subject to availability)

Creating a meditation space

5th January 2021

How to meditate is "just do it" - you really don't need a special place, fancy clothes or secret techniques.  But, of course, it's easier said than done so, although the aim is to be able to meditate anywhere - ideally in the midst of chaos in order to find your calm, still place within - to begin with it definitely helps to make a special place.  You don't need a lot of room, you could even gather suitable items in a box that you can take out and put away after your practice.

Choose somewhere warm and cosy where you can sit for at least a short period without interruption.  Use this place for your regular practice.  If your home is noisy and crowded plan your meditation when it's quieter - perhaps when the children have gone to bed or are watching their favourite TV programme.  Ideally choose somewhere near a window so you can see the phases of the moon and even enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset.

Cover a low table with a clean cloth and place on it items that resonate with you.  The items you choose are personal to you - the purpose of the "altar" is to inspire you, it's not religious in itself but the items can be religious if you want ie a cross or a picture of a deity.  You may have a picture of a living guru (inspirational teacher) but pictures of family or friends are not advised, unless that person is sick or in need of special prayers.  

Keep the table clean, pure and uncluttered.  Only use items that are special to you.  They can represent the elements: earth, water, fire, air and space.

Keep a favourite shawl and cushion or meditation seat near the table. 

Suggested Items for your Altar

  • An inspiring image or symbol
  • Candle (non-toxic - soy or beeswax are recommended) - I recommend getting a long, oil fuelled lighter  for easier lighting 
  • Incense or diffuser (Take care if they affect your breathing in any way.   You can experiment with different scents and essential oils: Sandalwood and Frankincense are recommended as calming for the mind.  Other scents ie rose, patchouli or jasmine stimulate the mind so are not recommended for meditation)  
  • Crystals
  • Fresh Flowers or a plant

Monday Meditations

5th January 2021

Monday evening meditations draw on my Dru training - both from the Teaching Course and also the separate Meditation Teaching Course - Foundation Modules.  I also use Swami Saradananda's excellent training (I qualified as a Meditation Teacher under her guidance in December 2020).

You may find the following publications useful although you don't need them to take part.   Gold Members can access everything needed in the Password Protected page of the Body and Soul website.

 All the following publications are available on Amazon.


Book List 

  • Mudras for Modern Life - Swami Sarardananda (Watkins)
  • Chakra Meditation - Swami Saradanananda (Watkins)
  • The Dance between Joy and Pain - Mansukh Patel et al (Dru Publications)
  • Draw Breath - Tom Granger (Summersdale)
Card Decks

  • Mudras for Modern Living - Swami Saradananda
  • Chakra Meditations - Swami Saradananda


Covid safety with Body and Soul

5th January 2022

Student safety is my priority and in person classes have been planned with that in mind.  

  • Doors and windows are always opened before class to ensure adequate air circulation.  
  • Numbers are limited to ensure sufficient space between participants.
  • Participants use their own mat and equipment.
  • Strong pranayama (breathing) techniques are taught outside or by an open window.  Participants are instructed to turn away from each other during practice.
  • Payment is encouraged by bank transfer to limit handling cash.
  • Complimentary spritz of Neal's Yard Hand Sanitiser (with essential oils) provided. 
  • Students are asked not to attend if they have cold or flu type symptoms or have tested positive for Covid.
  • Live zoom option available for the Sunday Stretch and Flow class.