YOGADOO runs kid's yoga workshops at the FMLY store in bruton

YOGADOO's Lucy Aston (L) with Jess Parkhouse from the FMLY store.

YOGADOO's Lucy Aston (L) with Jess Parkhouse from the FMLY store.

The YOGADOO team has been a fan of the work of Selfish Mother and the FMLY store in Bruton for some time, their famous #GoodTees slogan t-shirts have raised well over half a million pounds for charity and are super-cool t'boot.

That's why we are so excited to announce that YOGADOO will be running FREE  children's yoga workshops this half term at the FMLY store in Bruton, Somerset.

Please RSVP here.

It’s perfect timing as it's Half Term, and you’re probably looking for ways to entertain the kids – right? YOGADOO founder, Lucy Aston will be running not one, but TWO kid's yoga workshops on Wednesday 31st May, which will be story-based sessions aimed at children aged 4-11, lasting around 45 minutes each.

The FMLY store will be open as usual, so you can enjoy browsing while the kids are occupied… Drinks, snacks and fresh fruit will be available from the Honesty Café in the store so you can sit back with a coffee and watch them having fun!

11am – Amazon Adventure: A journey through the rainforest.

2pm – We Are All Superheroes: Unleash your inner super powers.

In case your little ones have never been to a YOGADOO session before, we focus on positivity rather than spirituality, so there’ll be no omm-ing here – just an active, engaging session that’s accessible for all. Beginners are welcome, mats will be provided, so just show up on the day and get involved.

Please RSVP so that we can put your name down on the list. Drop-ins are also welcome on the day, though we may not be able to guarantee a place if spaces are full.

And in case you want to make a day of it, and you definitely could, check out what else there is to do in Bruton aside from the FMLY store.

The FMLY store is found at THE FMLY STORE, West End, Bruton BA10 0BQ

Review: Ogi Yogi yoga collectioN

Review by YOGADOO's Lucy Aston

After leaving the corporate world of PR behind over a year ago now, my wardrobe has gradually evolved from Smart/Caszh to 'Athleisure' which can only be a good thing, right? Well yes, and no. Because finding comfy, 'nice', ethical and actually practical fitness gear is tricky. So often the 'fit' of the leggings might not be quite right (do you know what I mean ladies?) so inevitably we stick to our old faithfuls. But that's why I was intrigued and a-little-bit-excited to be asked to review some of the Ogi Yogi yoga gear. Ogi Yogi are a UK based online retailer and have a yoga collection made from organic cotton.

They sent me the Ogi Yogi OY Merino and Bamboo zip hoodie (in navy blue) to try, which is super-soft to touch and so comfy to wear. It's perfect for this 'can't decide what it's doing weather' to slip on after a yoga class, but it's also nice enough to wear out and about. It's made from merino wool so it feels really luxurious and I love the little thumb holes to keep your hands warm. I regularly use it in class when we're warming up, and it's super cosy for resting in Savasana. I like the fact it's a zip-up too, so no mucking up the hair by having to pull it over your head. RRP is £69,99, but it's on sale at the moment at £48, which I reckon is a bargain!

Ogi Yogi have asked me to become their first UK ambassador, so you might spot me wearing their clothes in future classes. I particularly love their leggings - their fit is really spot on for yoga (although you could wear them for whatever 'physical' activity might be your bag) Your foot grips the fabric in tree pose (which is always my test of a good pair of leggings!) and they don't ride down in child's pose or forward bends (RESULT!) so that's another big tick in my book.

And the really good news is there's a super duper up to 60% off sale over the Bank Holiday weekend, so if you're looking for some lovely new yoga gear then head their way. My particular favourites are the OgiYogi long leggings, they are (and I'm not just saying this) the best leggings I have worn for yoga. They have a nice high waist band and are long enough to come down over your heels if you like that (and I do). Even better, they're reduced from £29.99 to £12 in the sale. 

Lucy Aston, Founder of YOGADOO was given Ogi Yogi clothing in return for a fair and reasoned review.

Lucy wears:

Orange and purple Lalini hoodie

Barnali Pink Leggings

Purple Zephyr Cap sleeve top

Black Long Leggings

Navy OY Merino and Bamboo hoodie

YOGADOO to open pop up studio - The Yoga Barn at Newton Farm

YOGADOO is taking yoga and mindfulness into the great outdoors, inspired by nature, and with the freshest of air to breathe and we want you to come too. We are opening the doors to the YOGADOO Yoga Barn, our first pop-up yoga studio at Newton Farm in Newton St Loe on Saturday 27th May. We have a programme of activity planned through May and June. (We hope to keep the Yoga Barn open throughout the summer too!)

There are 1 hour and 1.5 hour sessions for children and some parent and child sessions too.
We also hope to add some adult classes and workshops to the Yoga Barn very soon, so stay tuned! You can book online by clicking the link below. For more information email lucy@yogadoo.co.uk

There workshops include one hour children's yoga and relaxation sessions, and extended one and a half hour yoga and mindful craft workshops. There are also 1.5 hour Mindful Movement and craft sessions on Sunday 4th June which feature drama and creative mindfulness. There are also parent and child yoga sessions and even classes for parents and pre-schoolers (18 months-4 years) on a Friday morning,The full programme is listed here and more workshops might be added, so watch this space.

The YOGADOO Yoga Barn will be taking over the stable block on the left hand side as you come into Newton Farm, with padded floor, yoga mats, bunting and hay bales to sit on. Parents are welcome to leave children and enjoy delicious food and drink in the award winning Newton Farm cafe or bring it across to the Yoga Barn where there will be hay bale-style seating for parents to relax while children are taking part in the workshops. 

Founder of YOGADOO, Lucy Aston (pictured below left with Celia Gay from Newton Farm) said: "There is something special about practicing yoga in the fresh air, hearing the sounds of nature all around you. The YOGADOO Yoga Barn will be a very special place. Our workshops will give children the chance to practice yoga, relax, enjoy mindful craft and learn more about farm life. We can't wait to open our doors on the Bank Holiday weekend."

For more information visit the yogadoo.co.uk/yogabarn

YOGADOO announces kid's yoga and mindfulness Holiday Clubs in Bath

YOGADOO is running our very popular, fun and wonderful children's holiday clubs this half term. Two packed days of yoga and mini mindfulness, arts and crafts, fun and games on two different themes.

On Tuesday 30th May the theme is 'Our Amazon Adventure' and Wednesday 31st May we'll be finding out how 'We are all Super Heroes'. Our fully trained and experienced kid's yoga teachers will bring the themes to life through yoga poses and 'dances', as well as creative activities to get the imagination juices flowing, as well as games and some all important calming and relaxation time.

To book Tuesday's Holiday Club 'Our Amazon Adventure' 

To book Wednesday's Holiday Club 'We are all Super Heroes'

The days run from 9am-4pm, with half days, sibling discounts and early/late drop off available.

Half days are 9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm. Weston Methodist Church, Kennington road entrance, Bath.

£35 Full day, £20 Half day

Activities include:

- Lots of yoga poses and learning how to put poses together into a sequence of flow

- Group games, creative play and activities

- Basic Acro yoga and group poses

- Crafty fun and colouring!

- Quiet story time

- Relaxation techniques and fun breathing exercises

For ages 4-11 years. Bring a packed lunch, refillable water bottle and please wear comfortable clothes. No previous experience of Yoga is necessary. The event is organised and run by fully insured, DBS checked, first aid trained staff; YOGADOO teachers.

BROGADOO t-shirts now on sale!

To celebrate the four month anniversary of our Men's only classes, BROGADOO, we have launched very special BROGADOO t-shirts. Four months on, and we still get between 15-17 chaps rolling out their mat every Friday evening (all were complete beginners to yoga).

The 100% cotton tees come in black, white and grey and feature the BROGADOO Bath UK statement print on the front and are £15.99 each, as a rough size guide our model, Tim, (size 44/46 chest) wears a Large.

So join the BROGADOO ranks and order yours here!

Founder of YOGADOO announced as Bath charity new patron

YOGADOO Founder Lucy Aston with co-Patron of Mentoring Plus, Bath Festival Director, John Cullum

YOGADOO Founder Lucy Aston with co-Patron of Mentoring Plus, Bath Festival Director, John Cullum

The founder of YOGADOO, Lucy Aston has been announced as one of two new patrons for Bath Youth Charity, Mentoring Plus. Lucy will join John Cullum, Bath Festival Chair and father of musician, Jamie Cullum as a new official ambassador for the charity. Other Patrons of the charity include film director, Ken Loach, theatre director Sir Michael Boyd and musician, Kevin Swaby.

Ruth Keilly, Deputy Director of Mentoring Plus said: "The charity is delighted to welcome two active local influencers as new Patrons, helping to raise awareness of its community work with vulnerable children and young people."

As chair of Bath Festivals, John Cullum is looking forward to the revamped festival programme this May, aiming to attract all ages and interests to join in with music, literature, pop-up arts and street food across the city. “I'm delighted to become a new Patron of Mentoring Plus having admired the work of this charity over a long period,” comments John. “I’ve witnessed the positive impact on young lives through partnership with other organisations focused on this growing area of need in our society. I want to help all young people feel they have access to the very best this community has to offer.”

Founder of YOGADOO, Lucy Aston: "I am absolutely thrilled to become a Patron for Mentoring Plus and help to spread the word about the great work they do.  The volunteer mentors really make a huge difference to the lives of these young people. YOGADOO runs yoga and mindfulness sessions for children and young adults in schools and communities across Bath and surrounding areas, and we have started working with young people supported by Mentoring Plus. It's so important that whoever you are, whatever your background, whichever postcode you live in, you are equipped with the tools for life to look after your own physical and mental well-being to self regulate your feelings and emotions. I've seen first hand how yoga and mindfulness can really help deal with modern everyday life or specific challenges. It can be as simple as rolling out a mat and sitting and breathing, and we can all do that."

“I have friends who’ve got involved with Mentoring Plus as volunteer mentors, and thought it was brilliant our community was supporting young people this way,” says Lucy. “When YOGADOO had the opportunity to teach yoga and mindfulness to a small group of mentees, we were so inspired by them. The young people threw themselves into it, having never tried yoga before and were felt and positive at the end of the session. I would love for more young people who may be facing a difficult time to find ways to reduce stress and understand their own potential.”

YOGADOO has a clothing range of statement slogan t-shirts and has unveiled the latest addition to the range which will raise money for Mentoring Plus. The 'YOUTH' t-shirt is available in black or white in men's and women's sizes and a range of colours for children. £5 from very adult tee (rrp £15.99), and £3 from every child's tee (rrp £7.99) and Tote bag (rrp £10.99) will go to Mentoring Plus to support their work in the community.

Lucy added  “I love the idea that whatever our age we all have ‘youth’, it’s a responsibility and a pleasure to help young people any way we can.”

You can order the t-shirts via the YOGADOO website.

Are you ready to Hygge with us? New Summer and winter retreats announced

You can’t have escaped to notice the ‘Hygge’ (Hou-gah) trend which was everywhere last year.

The Scandinavian concept of getting cosy and appreciating the simpler things in life during the long winter months, struck a chord with us Brits and inspired everything from cookery books, fashion and YOGADOO developed the concept of Hygge Yoga and held half day retreats, at Combe Grove Hotel just outside of Bath.

All eight of the half day mini retreats over the winter sold out within weeks of going on sale. The experience included candlelit yoga, a gift of knitted leg warmers, fireside meditation with woollen blankets and ‘comfort food’ including warming soup, freshly made bread, hot chocolate and cake.

Lucy Aston, founder of Bath yoga company, YOGADOO invented Hygge Yoga after having spending time in Scandinavia: ‘Hygge is a way of life over there but there is a lot of cross-over between Hygge and Yoga such as appreciating the simple things in life.’

But Hygge is for life, not just for Christmas and YOGADOO has just announced the dates for eight more Hygge Yoga mini retreats at Combe Grove Hotel. Four winter retreats between October and January.

But new for 2017, are four Summer Hygge Yoga retreats. Imagine practicing yoga outdoors overlooking beautiful countryside, then a gentle walk into the stunning grounds of Combe Grove Hotel for woodland meditation whilst listening to birdsong and breathing invigorating fresh air. After yoga and meditation, you’ll enjoy a luxury picnic hamper including a delicious cream tea prepared by award-winning chefs at the hotel. You will also receive a pair of very special Hygge Yoga leg warmers to keep your toes cosy as the sun goes down.

Before or after your Hygge Yoga experience, you make use of the hotel facilities including taking a walk or jog in the stunning 70 acre grounds, the restaurant, sauna, steam room and indoor or outdoor swimming pools to really make the most of your day.

Lucy added: “It doesn’t matter if you have never tried yoga or meditation before, or you practice yoga every week – the Hygge Yoga mini retreats are suitable for everyone.”

Summer dates: 11th June, 9th July, 13th August, 10th September

Winter dates: 29th October, 12th November, 10th December, 14th January

Reteats take place between 2:30pm and 6pm. Places are £62 (£55 for Combe Grove members).

Book places here. For more information please email lucy@yogadoo.co.uk

YOGADOO announces Big Chill event for Year 6 pupils

It's a busy time of year for our year six-ers, and sometimes its good to just kick back and relax. That's why YOGADOO is putting on a very special 'Big Chill' event just for you, if you are in year 6. Open to pupils from any school. Our award-winning YOGADOO teachers, Lucy Aston and Hayley Uberti will give you some great practical tips and exercises on how can you can calm your busy brain through yoga, relaxation and simply breathing!

There's more details about that below, but in the meantime - here are four easy breathing exercises to help you whether you are 11 or 111, to help you to feel calmer and more relaxed.

It’s all about the breath – we breathe 20,000-30,000 times a day, start to notice and improve the quality of your breath. From the confines of a bed, a desk, or anywhere quiet, use these four Breathing exercises to help you to feel calm and focus

1. Belly Breathing Technique

How it’s done: With one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm (not the chest) inflates with enough air to create a stretch in the lungs. Exhale through the mouth and feel your hand moving as you take nice deep breaths.

2. Progressive Relaxation

How it’s done: Through counting during your breaths, slowly make your exhales longer than your inhales. Start with breathing in for 2, out for 4, then in for 3, out for 6, in for 4 and out for 8, and finally in for 5 out for 10. Again, breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.

3. Nadi Shodhana or "Alternate Nostril Breathing"

How it’s done: A yogi’s best friend, it’s said to bring calm, balance, and unite the right and left sides of the brain. Starting in a comfortable position, hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, and then exhale through the right nostril. Continue the pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb, and exhaling through the left nostril.

4. Finger breathing

How it’s done: If a situation is just too stressful that you are unable to count or focus, try ‘finger breathing’. Place your left hand in front of you (palm up), take the pointer finger of the right hand and trace the hand from the bottom of the little finger to the top, then down the other side. As you go up the finger, breathe in and as you go down each finger, breathe out. Do this for all of the fingers and thumb.  You can trace back from the thumb and go back over the fingers, back to where you started. This is a great exercise if someone is feeling particularly anxious. The connection of touching the hand, brings their attention inwards, and the breaths get progressively longer so it helps to calm the mind.

Back to the event:
Our 'Big Chill' session is happening from 4:30pm-6pm on Saturday 29th April at Weston Methodist Church at the top of Chelsea Road. Tickets are £15. Spaces are limited. Tickets include:

  • A relaxing beginner's yoga session (no stories, no games, just some great yoga to help you unwind to some fab music)
  • Breathing and Relaxation techniques- we'll teach you some great exercises to use if you find that your brain is a bit too busy
  • A little bit of fun acro yoga!
  • A handy takeaway sheet with all the exercises so you can try them again 
  • A little gift to help you relax when you get home

Book spaces here

It's good to talk

YOGADOO Founder and Teacher, Lucy Aston, hopes how we talk about mental health is changing.

Just a few weeks ago I was at a party and got talking to a lovely lady who, when she found out about YOGADOO started to tell me  about her own mental health challenges which she had faced at different points in her life. In turn I talked about suffering from anxiety and panic attacks a decade or so ago. We stood there, at a bar, two mums, two women in our thirties, talking about mental health, over a glass of Prosecco.

After our conversation, I wondered. Would our mums – thirty years ago -have had that same conversation? At a party? In a public place? I concluded that the answer was probably no.

Now I work in a health-focussed environment, teaching yoga and mindfulness to children as young as four, I am comforted that mental health is increasingly talked about in an open forum.

I was listening to an interview this morning with musician Professor Green, who has talked so candidly and honestly about his own mental health struggles and he said: “The trouble is, boys don’t want to appear vulnerable. They are told they need to be big and strong, but also have emotion and talk about their feelings too. No wonder they are confused about their role in today’s society.” It hit home for me, as a mum of an eight year old.

New research from Heads Together - the mental health campaign spearheaded by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry - found that nearly half of us (46%) have had a conversation about mental health over the past three months.

Heads Together has launched a series of videos where people share their most memorable experience of talking about mental health. The films feature people from all walks of life - including famous faces Professor Green, Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff, Ruby Wax, Mark Austin and Alastair Campbell - as they discuss topics ranging from anxiety, alcoholism and depression through to loneliness, trauma and bereavement.

The research uncovered that men are still less likely to talk about mental health than women, with 54% of women having had a conversation about it recently compared to 37% of men.

In a joint statement, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry said: “When you realise that mental health problems affect your friends, neighbours, children and spouses, the walls of judgement and prejudice around these issues begin to fall. And we all know that you cannot resolve a mental health issue by staying silent.

You can view the entire collection of Heads Together films on YouTube or the charity’s website now.  

Children and young people face more distractions and challenges than we ever did during our own childhood; gadgets, instant messenger, 'instant' entertainment, pressures to perform at school, the vast choice of extra-cirricular activities, online gaming and the list goes on. But maybe in this multi-channel, instant-access world if we can teach them the importance of mindfulness and relaxation - this can help them to process and deal with modern life. Similarly, if they do feel like they are struggling with a mental health issue of some kind, if we have open and honest conversations about how they are feeling, they will feel comfortable and confident enough to talk back. Not bury their worries away.

I think we are some way off mental health issues being talked about in the same breath as a cough or cold, but the more we talk, the more ‘normal’ it becomes and in turn the more people will talk and seek help.

It’s good to talk.

Useful websites and helplines:

·         Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393

·         Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123(UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)

·         Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@getconnected.org.uk

YOGADOO Easter opening times

The Easter holiday is fast approaching and there are a few changes to the usual timetable, please take a look below:

Monday 10th: Only evening classes (no 9:30am class)

Wednesday 12th: YOGADOO Holiday Club and Runner's Yoga classes both on as normal

Thursday 13th: YOGADOO Holiday Club No Ashtanga class with Emma

Friday 14th: No BROGADOO

Bank Holiday Monday 17th: No classes

Wednesday 19th: No classes

Thursday 20th: No Ashtanga class with Emma

Friday 21st: BROGADOO back as normal.

YOGADOO announces Easter Holiday Clubs

YOGADOO has announced two dates for Kid's Yoga and Mindfulness Holiday Clubs this Easter holidays. They'll take place on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th April at Weston Methodist Church Hall, (entrance Kennington Road), Bath BA1 3EA.

Wednesday 12th: Our Amazing Bodies Thursday 13th: Journey around the world

The days will run from 9am-4pm (8:30am/4:30pm drop off/pick up available - children will be supervised at this time, but will need to bring a (non-screen) activity eg a comic or book to read. There will be colouring activities available.

Children will spend a day exploring how 'our amazing bodies' work or 'journeying around the world' - Activities include:

-    Lots of yoga poses and learning how to put poses together into a sequence or flow

-          Group games, creative play and activities

-          Basic Acro yoga and group poses

-          Crafty fun and colouring!

-          Quiet story time

-          Relaxation techniques and fun breathing exercises

For ages 5-12 years. Bring a packed lunch, refillable water bottle and please wear comfortable clothes. No previous experience of Yoga is necessary. The event is organised and run by YOGADOO teachers, Lucy Aston and Emma Hughes.

£35 Full day, £20 Half day (Sibling discounts available, 8:30am drop off/4:30pm pick up available) Limited spaces. (Half day and Sibling discounts are available) Half days are 9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm.

To book, please click here.

Chance to win a free cuppa!

We all know a cup of tea can solve most things, but you might not always want the caffeine buzz. The Tetley Tea Folk has just launched a brand new green tea and they’ve very kindly given YOGADOO ten packs to give away on our Facebook page.

Just like the YOGADOO Facebook page, like this post and comment below with a picture of your favourite tea mug (mine is the flamingo one!). TEN lucky winners will get a pack of the brand new Tetley’s Super Green Tea Matcha!

Tetley’s Super Green Tea Matcha contains naturally high levels of manganese which helps keep your bones super healthy and helps with your metabolism. It’s a lovely blend of pure green tea with real ground matcha (which is finely milled, rich green tea powder).

Matcha, literally meaning ‘powdered tea’ has emerged as a hot new tea trend in recent years. It boasts a unique and rich vegetal taste with a pleasing lingering sweetness. If you want to grab your own, the NEW Tetley’s Super Green Tea Matcha is available now at Asda, RRP £1.99 for 20 bags.

The competition closes midnight on Monday 27th April. Ten winners will be picked at random

YOGADOO Spring events

Despite what the weather is doing, Spring is definitely in the air and the YOGADOO team is planning some very exciting events over the Spring and Summer to make the most of the beautiful surroundings in which we live and all importantly which will get you lungfuls of fresh air.

We'll be launching Park Yoga - restorative and energising Yoga sessions in our gorgeous parks across Bath.

Hygge Yoga half day summer retreats at Combe Grove Hotel

Wellness events

and more of our brill kid's Holiday Clubs, we are also planning some children and family weekend events, so watch this space!

To make sure you are FIRST to hear about all our amazing activities events over the Spring and Summer, sign up for our newsletter via the website, or email us!

Pupils enjoy 'Story through movement' sessions on World Book Day

PUPILS ENJOY WORLD BOOK DAY ‘STORY THROUGH MOVEMENT CLASSES’

Pupils at Combe Down Primary school in Bath will be celebrating World Book Day by enjoying their favourite books through movement, stretching and relaxation sessions with Bath based kid’s yoga company, YOGADOO.

Over two days, culminating in Thursday 2nd March all 409 pupils at the school aged 4-11 years will enjoy a Gruffalo or a Roald Dahl themed 30 minute ‘Story through movement’ session led by professional yoga teachers from YOGAOO, Lucy Aston and Emma Hughes.

YOGADOO recently won best Health business at the Bath Life Awards and teaches yoga and mindfulness in Primary and Secondary schools across Bath and North East Somerset.

Deputy Head of Combe Down Primary School, Jo Randall said: “Our pupils have run YOGADOO sessions at the school in the past, and they have always been incredibly popular and enthusiastically enjoyed by the children, we love the way that their favourite stories can be brought to life by learning poses and stretches and breathing exercises.”

Davina Lucas, English Subject leader said: “The Story through movement sessions are part of a three day celebration of books, culminating in World Book Day on Thursday 2nd March when all the children will come to school dressed as their favourite book characters. Other activities include; visits from authors, themed assemblies and a ‘Drop everything and read’ session when all pupils and staff will stop what they are doing and read for pleasure. We will also be having a visit from a Theatre company who will perform their adaptation of Robin Hood to the whole school.”

YOGADOO founder and children’s yoga teacher, Lucy Aston said: “The Gruffalo and Roald Dahl’s stories are perfect material to use as a theme for a children’s yoga class. We’ll have Tree pose, mouse (or child’s pose), Cobra for snake! YOGADOO sessions teach children poses and relaxation techniques to help relax and calm their bodies and minds. Seeing the pupils taking part in their ‘Story through movement’ class in full World Book Day costume is quite spectacular, and so much fun.”

YOGADOO wins best Health business at the Bath Life Awards

YOGADOO founder, Lucy Aston makes a speech after YOGADOO wins best Health business at the Bath Life Awards

YOGADOO founder, Lucy Aston makes a speech after YOGADOO wins best Health business at the Bath Life Awards

We have some exciting news.

After only eight months since we launched, YOGADOO was thrilled and honoured to be awarded the best Health business at the prestigious Bath Life Awards on Thursday night.

There was tough competition in the health category from fellow finalists; University of Bath – Team Bath, Bath Rugby Foundation – Move Like a Pro, Bath Farm Girls, Moovit Fitness, DHI and Circus House Dental and Implant centre.

[This is] A wonderful achievement for YOGADOO in such a short time. They’re doing an important job spreading the health and wellbeing message in our schools
— The Bath Life Awards Judges

Founder of YOGADOO, Lucy Aston took to the stage to receive the award and was overwhelmed with emotion: “It was complete surprise as we only launched YOGADOO just over seven months ago. I had to try and cobble together a speech but in truth, every possible thought went from my mind.”

So I wanted to explain why I felt so emotional and maybe try and put my thoughts into a more coherent speech here:

There was a reason why I was so emotional, although it didn’t feel right to talk about this on the night. In November 2015, I was in Paris training to become a kid’s yoga teacher (at first to just teach occasional classes at my son’s school as I was working full time as a PR Director at a Marketing agency in Bath). What happened on Friday 13th November, changed my life forever.

At the end of my first day’s training, I realised I was about ten minutes away from the devastating terror attacks which took the lives of 130 people in Paris on that night. On the Saturday morning after, as I lay on my yoga mat to begin the second day of the training, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I realised how precious, delicate and short life is. I knew I wanted to do something more worthwhile with my time. My work / life balance was all wrong and I knew from that moment, I wanted to teach yoga and mindfulness to children, to equip them with those skills for life. I am not a religious person, but this was as close to ‘a calling’ as I can imagine.

So a few months later in February 2016, almost a year to the day of the Bath Life Awards, I gave my notice in at the Marketing agency where I worked and started to plan the launch of YOGADOO. After serving my three month notice, I went off to Goa in India – leaving my husband and young son behind for five weeks, to train as an Adult’s Yoga teacher. I got back from India in June and began to teach adults and children straight away. As the months went on, more and more schools got to hear about YOGADOO to the point where now, seven months later YOGADOO works with almost thirty schools across Bath and North East Somerset. Since the awards were announced, we have been inundated with more interest for YOGADOO to teach in Primary and Secondary schools in both the state and private sector.

There are so many people I would like to thank for all their support in helping YOGADOO get to this point. Firstly all the amazing people (more than 200 adults and children a week) who have come to YOGADOO classes – thank you. Over 75% of people who come through YOGADOO’s doors have never been to a yoga class before and we love your enthusiasm and passion for yoga, and are privileged to help you along your yoga journey.

Thank you to all the pupils and teachers at the schools where we teach, the staff always make us feel so welcome and the mini yogis are always so full of enthusiasm to learn how to 'do yoga'. Thank you to the team at BANES Sports Partnership for introducing us to the schools, and thanks to all the venues where we teach throughout Bath.

Thank you to my friend Nick Clarkson, who helped to build the YOGADOO website and was always so incredibly patient with ‘technical’ questions. Thank you to Rik at Elusive Press for printing and producing the YOGADOO range of clothing and merchandise. Dave at Minuteman press for all the last minute printing requests we throw his way!

Thank you to the wonderful Alice Denning, the YOGADOO events manager, who makes sure that all of our (sold out!) Hygge Yoga retreats run so smoothly. Thank you also to Amelia, Sue, Jane and Jules at the Combe Grove Hotel who always make us and our Hygge Yogis feel so welcome at their beautiful hotel. We can’t wait to continue working with you and run lots more fantastic events in 2017 and beyond.

Thank you to Emma Hughes who has recently joined YOGADOO teaching young people and our teen classes, you’re incredible and a great friend.

And my love and thanks go to all my friends and family for their support – my parents Maureen and Jim, my brother Ian and his fiancé Bonnie, my cousin Sarah for being my business guardian angel, but most of all thank you to my husband Tim (who was there on the night of the awards and I didn’t even think to thank him) and our son Freddie (whose idea it was to train as a kid’s yoga teacher in the first place). I am so grateful for your support and love (and patience) and I couldn’t do this without you.

I am fairly sure everyone of you reading this (or someone close to you) will have been affected by some form of mental health illness at some point in your life. It is a subject very close to my heart. In fact, yoga is my ‘ctrl, alt, del’ button. I couldn’t be without it. Our children are growing up in a world where they have access to more information, ‘entertainment’ and opportunities than ever before. A world with 24 hour rolling news, instant messages, cyber bullying, and interactions through screens rather than face-to-face. I feel sure that yoga and mindfulness, a 5000 year old practice, is more relevant today than ever before. By equipping our young people (and anyone for that matter!) with these life skills to help us to relax, connect, focus, feel calm and ourselves again is essential.

YOGADOO teaches yoga and mindfulness to hundreds of children in primary and secondary state schools all across Bath and North East Somerset each month. Not only that, YOGADOO is increasingly teaching staff how to use yoga and mindfulness with their pupils in the classroom. Our adult classes for beginners, runners and our wonderful ‘Bros’ at our men’s only BROGADOO classes are accessible and incredibly popular. Most of the people we teach would never go to a traditional yoga class in a yoga studio, proving that yoga really is for everyone.

The future for YOGADOO is exciting and this is just the start of the next chapter. Thank you again, all of you.

YOGADOO takes Yoga to the mountains for fundraising event

YOGADOO teachers Lucy Aston and Emma Hughes are heading to the Welsh mountains for one weekend in May to help run a fundraising well being weekend for Bath based charity.

Mentoring Plus is a charity which supports our young and most vulnerable people aged 7 to 21 years across Bath and North East Somerset which links young people with a volunteer mentor from their own community and supports that relationship all the way.

Mentoring Plus trains the volunteer mentors, giving them access to the knowledge, techniques and support they’ll need to help a young person. They also provide expert supervision to mentors, just like professional counsellors receive.

The 'Well being Plus' weekend is a fundraising event from 5th-7th May, packed with walks in the beautiful Brecon Beacons countryside as well as yoga, mindfulness and art sessions to enable you to relax and have fun whilst raising money for this great cause. Tickets for the event are £225 per person, which includes accomodation in an eco-friendly five star Youth Hostel in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park, food and the weekend's activities with all profits going to support the work of Mentoring Plus.

Event Organiser, Steph Massie from the charity said: "Mentoring Plus is all about improving well being for young people. What better way to raise much-needed funds than to offer a women’s weekend away – one that’s all about their well being too?"

Event details:
When: 5th-7th May 2017
Where: Gold Award five star Llangattock Mountain YHA near Crickhowell in the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park, where we have sole use of this beautiful eco-friendly lodge.

Overview Friday 5th May: Arrive from 4pm to welcoming choice of teas and cakes. Settle into your en-suite room, sleeping 4 or 6 in full size comfortable bunks.

YOGADOO founder and teachers Lucy Aston and Emma Hughes will lead an optional yoga and meditation session helping weary travellers feel refreshed before supper – a delicious warming buffet including local specialities, with plenty of dietary options and the chance to chat with old friends and new.

In the evening, research psychologist, psychotherapist and Mentoring Plus Chair of Trustees Dr Karen John will lead an informal, interactive session introducing ways to think about our own well-being, and what we all need in place to understand and enhance how we feel.

Overview Saturday 6th May: If you’re an early riser, choose to join an early yoga session with a YOGADOO teacher – then it’s a hearty breakfast.

Pick your own delicious packed lunch ingredients and set off on your choice of walks in the stunning local scenery: a mostly level 2.5 hour stroll along the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, or a more challenging 4-5 hour guided hike on the breathtaking Llangattock Escarpment.

On your return, choose from taking time out – perhaps making your own way to the beautiful local town of Crickhowell for a browse in the shops and cafes – or joining an inspiring art workshop with artist Catherine Beale. Ideal for beginners and improvers alike, Catherine will help you take inspiration from the brooding Brecons, letting paint, water and other materials mix to create surprising, beautiful results to take home.

Lucy or Emma will also be on hand to offer post-walk stretching and yoga exercises if you like.

Supper is a wholesome, home-cooked celebration of the day’s achievements. We’ll come together briefly afterwards to talk about the work of Mentoring Plus, then it’s time to chat and relax.

Overview Sunday 7th May:A refreshing yoga and mindfulness session is on offer first thing. Then brunch is served, and a couple of our mentees will join us with their mentors, have some fun and give a first-hand insight into their world.

You’re welcome to stay and do your own thing afterwards until last check-out at 2pm – then, we hope, returning to the real world refreshed, exercised, informed and inspired.

The cost of the weekend is £225. All food and soft drinks are included in your stay and you’re welcome to bring wine or other drinks to enjoy with meals. The weekend is ideal for groups of friends, and we’ll do our best to ensure you can share rooms subject to availability. By all means bring female family members too but we set a lower age limit of 16 years (accompanied by an adult only). The lodge provides all bed linen but not towels. Please ensure you bring suitable clothing and footwear for walking in all weathers.

For further information or to book a space, please contact: stephanie.massie@mentoringplus.net

Mentoring Plus Ltd, 117 Newbridge Hill, Bath, BA1 3PT, 01225 429694

Half Term Holiday Club fun- YOGADOO style!

YOGADOO ran kid's yoga and mindfulness half term holiday clubs this week at Weston Methodist Church in Bath. Over two days forty children attended for full or half day sessions themed around the 'World of Roald Dahl' and 'An Arctic Adventure'. 

During the day, children aged from 5-12 years, learnt themed yoga poses, relaxation and breathing exercises, lots of fun yoga games and were incredibly creative making all sorts of wonderful mindful arts and craft projects. The children also had some well earned story and quiet time.

One of the highlights of the day was making a mindfulness jar (Dream jar - BFG, Northern Lights jar - Arctic) where the children added glycerin, water and different coloured glitter to a glass jar, shook up the mixture and took some nice deep breaths as they watched the glitter settle.

Some of the comments from the mini yogis included:

"So much fun, I can't even talk"        "Can we come again, every day?"

"It was so lovely to be able to be calm and to rest"    "I loved learning all about the Arctic"

YOGADOO runs Holiday Clubs in Bath every school holiday, so keep checking our website and social media pages for more details.

Mummy & Me Yoga afternoon planned for Mother's Day weekend

Are you looking for the perfect way to spend the Mother's Day weekend? How about a YOGADOO Mummy & Me Parent and Child yoga session on Saturday 25th March. 

This event is taking place in the upstairs and downstairs rooms of Weston Methodist Church (Newbridge Hill entrance) 2:30pm-4:30pm. Gift certificates are available. 

Tickets for the YOGADOO Mummy & Me yoga afternoon are £25 which covers one adult and one child (aged 5-12 years) Extra children may be purchased for £10. Spaces are limited. Tickets include:

  • A 60 minute relaxing and restorative Vinyasa Flow yoga session for Mummy - led by YOGADOO teacher, Emma Hughes
  • (Meanwhile....) Your children (aged 5-12 years) will be in a nearby room having a 30 minute yoga story session and 30 minute Mindful crafting session where they will produce a little Mother's Day surprise for Mum! Led by YOGADOO teacher, Lucy Aston
  • Then Mummy and child(ren) are reunited for a 30 minute Parent and Child yoga session, working together on Partner poses, helping each other to balance and having fun through practicing yoga together! 
  • Mum and child will then enjoy some cosy time, relaxing in Savasana together
  • At the end of our yoga sessions, mum and child(ren) will enjoy a cupcake and a well-earned cup of tea, coffee or juice.
  • Mum will receive a little Mother's Day gift goodie bag!
  • Gift certificates are available in a sparkly envelope so you can surprise Mum on Mother's Day weekend.

Book online here.

YOGADOO Half Term opening hours

For those of us with little ones, we can all breathe a sign of relief  as we have made it through the first half term of the year! There are no YOGADOO classes for children this week, instead we are running two holiday clubs, there are two spaces left for our 'Explore the Frozen Arctic' club on Thursday 16th February.

All YOGADOO adult classes are running APART from:

Monday 13th Feb: Beginner's Yoga - 9:30am - Weston Parish Hall
Wednesday 15th Feb: Runner's Yoga 8pm-9pm (The 6:30pm class is still running at Weston Methodist Church)
Thursday 16th Feb: Beginner's Ashtanga - 9:45am Oldfield Park

Have a great week! See you back on the mat very soon.

Ouch - that hurts. Practicing yoga when you have an injury

Earlier this week, YOGADOO founder and teacher, Lucy Aston found she had injured her shoulder, but what should she do? Practice yoga to help recovery? Or rest up?

On Monday morning this week I woke up not able to twist my back or lift my left arm above my head and I was in a lot of  pain. I had somehow injured my shoulder, possibly packing my car or maybe I had slept in a funny position. It was painful and I wondered how I would be able to make it through a day of four yoga classes (three for adults and one after school club).

As I worked my way through my first class, I realised the pain was getting worse and worse. To the point where I was commentating rather than demonstrating. Of course all my lovely yogis were very supportive and one even gave me a massage after the class to try and relieve the pain, which helped. I spoke to a doctor who said he thought I had pulled some of the muscles around my ribs.

But what should I do? Try and practice and stretch through the discomfort or rest up?

I always advise people to seek medical advice before practising yoga through illness or injury and many of the yogis who come to YOGADOO classes are recovering from or carrying an injury of some kind and they find yoga a crucial part of their rehabilitation, recovery, both physically and mentally. I specifically set up the YOGADOO Runner's Yoga classes to help runners prevent and recover from minor injuries incurred by running and training.

Yoga can be used as both a preventative tool as well as a catalyst to assist the body into healing itself in the midst of illness and/or pain. and even just a few minutes a day of yoga can literally transform your body and your life.

Life, for me, is better with yoga in it… so when I am hurting the most is when I need my yoga practice the most!
— Lucy Aston - YOGADOO Founder and Yoga Teacher

Here are our tips for practicing yoga when recovering from an illness or injury:

•    Practiced gently, yoga can help you maintain your strength, flexibility, and balance while you are healing.
 
•    Yoga can help to reduce chronic pain, especially back pain
 
•    Healing from injury or illness can be emotionally difficult and sticking with a modified yoga practice can help you deal with any impatience, frustration, or sadness you may be feeling.

•    Tell your yoga teacher you are hurt or not feeling well.  They can give you some tips for appropriate modifications or alternative poses and, while keeping an eye on you to make sure you are staying safe, will not interfere when you are skipping poses, doing different poses, or doing the poses differently than usual.
 
•    Don’t do anything that hurts.  Yoga is not supposed to hurt and there is no healing benefit to pushing through pain.  Skip poses that threaten to cause pain in the area of your injury, or only go as far into the pose as you can without triggering pain, or modify by doing the parts of the pose that do not include the injured part of the body. When you are opting out of a pose in class, you can use the time to rest, to repeat the last pose you did that felt great, or to practice a pose that your instructor suggested as an alternative.
 
•    Our beginners Vinyasa Flow classes are ideal for people who are healing.  They are slow moving and geared towards protecting people from injury.  While you will work on strength and balance in these classes, there is plenty of time for rest and deep stretching, too. 


Above all, be patient.  
We know you are dying to get back to the mat, or you’re wondering if that lingering pain will ever go away, but pushing too far too fast could set you back, and possibly keep you from your mat entirely.  Some yoga is always better than no yoga and maintaining a gentle, safe, modified practice will get you back to your favourite class sooner.