Green Tara

If you have plants in your home then you will know what joy they bring, aesthetically pleasing, plants have a unique feel good factor and contribute towards purifying the air we breathe. Like us they need certain conditions to be met in order to survive; water, sunlight, nutrients, and the necessary processes of respiration and metabolization. They are impermanent yet intimately tied to continuity. One particular plant of mine is the vibrant Anthurium. It is the plant pictured here in this painting, recognised by its distinctive flowers.

Recently I had been reading about Tibetan Buddhism and Green Tara in particular, she is known as the goddess of compassion. I started to see my Anthurium plant as a kind of embodiment of Green Tara, the form and shape of it was graceful, energetic and abundant. The white heart shaped flowers a beautiful symbol of compassion, and the green of regeneration, hope and vitality.  I was truly inspired and decided to run a yoga and creativity workshop, inviting people to choose a plant as a focus for their meditation and art.

Unfortunately that same month my husband suffered from Covid 19. He was confined to the top floor of the house, it was an unusual situation to care for a loved one with distance and masks, to see them suffer yet not be able to offer them the comfort of normal human closeness. It was during this period that I did the workshop on zoom.  It was a joy to do this workshop and see others in the flow state of creativity. (Quite the opposite to how my husband was feeling at the time).

This plant painting is the result of what started off as a sketch during the workshop, as the painting progressed my husband was steadily overcoming the virus. Once he returned to normal health and wellness there was genuine gratitude and a sense of renewed life affirmation.

The painting has some Japanese text in the top left and right, the kanji reads as mujō which translates as impermanence. The white square symbolises the moon, the yellow, the sun.

Overall for me the painting is rejoicing in life whilst recognizing its transitory nature.

100 dollars from the proceeds of this workshop were donated to CCR, the Centre for Contemplative Research in Colorado. This centre is dedicated to contemplative and scientific research to address the nature of genuine well-being and seek to understand through meditation and science, the nature of human consciousness.

You can read more about this organisation here:

Gratitude

We might work out our bodies and even our minds, but, we can also work out our feelings. It is comforting to think of our feelings as being within our control, like a muscle to be trained. For example, if you are prone to negativity and you are aware of that, then you can start to monitor your behaviour and your attitude in situations where this arises. One feeling you can train that will help you become more mindful day to day, and feel that smile from within, is gratitude.

When I was a little girl one of the things I was taught to do before I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep, was to say thank you for everyone in my life. Thank you for my mum, thank you for my dad thank you for my brother and sister, thank you for grandma thank you for ……. My family is big, so I never got to thank all the uncles, aunts and cousins, and I was asleep before I knew it.

Gratitude is a tendency towards appreciating the positive in life, either we are more naturally inclined that way, or we have to realise that it is a quality, a way of being, that requires some effort to cultivate. Whoever we are there is always room for improvement.

Sometimes in the yoga class I will ask people to take a moment to think about three things they are grateful for. I see that within moments they relax more in their posture, and a gentle smile emerges. The reason being, when we are grateful, we feel joy. Gratitude is linked to kindness, it lifts the heart, we are saying thank you from the heart.  This could be for the sound of birdsong, the kindness of a neighbour, or a child’s laughter. So many things.

Numerous studies have shown a strong association between higher levels of gratitude and wellbeing, including lowered stress levels, more fulfilling relationships, better sleep and overall greater resilience.

A way to train this feeling is to cultivate a regular practice of being thankful. It can take just a few minutes each day, you could do this before you go to bed. Think about, or write down, at least 3 things you are grateful for today. The more you do this the more you notice the many wonderful things in your life and you can’t help but smile and say thank you. Over time you start feeling grateful during the activities or experiences you are having, before eating your dinner and during the meal, when listening to a loved one, giving your whole attention and being grateful for that person in your life. Really experiencing the sights and sounds of nature instead of being lost in thoughts.

Gratitude is strongly linked with mindfulness, the more aware you are, the more you notice what is going on with your mental and physical state moment to moment. Train the muscle of mindfulness and gratitude and live a more fulfilling life. Like with a physical yoga practice or gym practice, the more you do it, the more you notice a difference.

The power of breathing through your nose!

If you already practice yoga, then you will be familiar with the importance of breathing in an out through the nose, for calming the mind and optimising oxygen intake throughout the body. Yes, we breathe out through the mouth sometimes in yoga, but the essence of the movement practice and the seated meditation is controlled nasal breathing.

Breathing steady and slow in and out through the nose helps increase the amount of oxygen delivered to our muscles and organs, including the heart and brain. The slow steady breath calms us down, or to paraphrase the yoga sutras of Patanjali: we still the fluctuations of the mind, and we increase our focus and attention.

Nasal breathing as opposed to mouth breathing, offers the following benefits:

  1. The nose filters, warms and moistens the air before it reaches the lungs.
  2. Breathing in and out through the nose helps us to take fuller and deeper breaths which stimulates the lower lungs to distribute greater amounts of oxygen throughout the body.
  3. The nasal passage releases nitric oxide, nitric oxide expands the blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow, and oxygen release.
  4. Breathing in and out through the nose activates the parasympathetic nervous system, in particular the vagus nerve, which triggers the relaxation response.

Pay attention to how you breathe, if you breathe in and out through the mouth, or in through the nose and out through the mouth, try nasal breathing. It could take some time for you to get used to this, but it is well worth the benefits.

If you would like to understand more about nasal breathing in person, or video call, then whatsapp / call (0623598162) or email me (satty@sattyyoga.nl), and I would be delighted to help.

Smile and the world smiles with you….

Think of someone you know that has a beautiful smile, the kind that touches your heart and lifts your spirits. You see their eyes light up and they generate a warmth and joy that connects from within.

The likelihood is that you are smiling as you think of this person. Your body relaxes, your breathing is steady, and your mood lifts.

Studies have shown that the act of smiling, alters your body’s chemistry and elevates your mood. We only have to try it to find out!

I will often invite people to smile during a yoga class. If we are holding a yoga pose that requires balance, focus and concentration, we might notice that we tighten in the mouth and hold our breath. Softly smiling however releases tension in the facial muscles, we also let go of tension in the mind and the body. A reminder to breathe steadily in and out through the nose counteracts any feelings of tightness. When we take deeper slower breaths, with a typically longer exhale, we stimulate one of the key nerves of the body, the vagus nerve. Activating this nerve slows the heart rate, reduces blood pressure and helps us feel more calm and at ease.

The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the human body and is the main pathway connecting the gut to the brain. It is in charge of reducing and turning off the ‘fight or flight’ response of the body. You can consciously activate the vagus nerve to induce inner-calm through relaxing the muscles of the face and breathing steadily in and out through the nose.

Try this:

Sitting comfortably on a chair or on a cushion, take a nice inhale through the nose and sigh out through the mouth. Do this a couple of times.

  • Settle yourself and notice your normal breath as it is in this moment.
  • Take a breath in through the nose, pause, and then exhale out through the nose, long and slow.
  • Centre yourself in the here and now, feeling the length in your spine, notice how your shoulders drop a little with each out breath.
  • Now, take a deep steady inhale through the nose, breathe down into the lower belly, feel your ribcage expand, then your chest. Stay with the pause at the top of your inhale. Then take a long deep exhale through the nose, emptying your chest, the rib area and the lower belly. Feel that sense of slowing down as you continue with this breath, softly smiling as you do so.
  • Breathe in smiling, feeling the healing, nourishing aspects of oxygen in your body. As you hold the breath for a few seconds, imagine it radiating health and nourishment inside you. Then breathe out thinking “Letting Go”, releasing all of the tension in your body through your exhale.

You can do this breathing at any point throughout the day, waiting at the train station, queuing in the supermarket, or intentionally taking the time out to do this at home or at work.

Keep smiling…..and, of course, keep breathing!

Observe Yourself

When the mind and body are in balance it is like the ever present clear blue sky, a vast spaciousness of non-reactivity. What clouds and dulls the mind is negative mental states along the spectrum of I like it, I don’t like it. There is a craving for something or a sense of clinging to the view that if only things were different then life would be better.

Our day to day life is always in relationship to, or in relationship with, whether we are alone or with others, it is always in the plane of relating. It is how we comport to situations, people, things, that determines whether we are in balance or not. When we feel ill at ease, be it mildly or more pronounced we will feel it as tightness in the body and mind, reflected in our mental, verbal and bodily actions.

The very early sign of liking or disliking as a mental state is a feeling sensation in the body. To understand this and start to transform it is no easy task. It does however begin with awareness of that early reactive tone in the body and the voice of your mind. If we know a situation or interaction triggers us to behave in a certain way we can start to catch ourselves before we spill over into the habitual reaction. We can pause for a moment and actively choose to respond differently.

It is part of being human to be reactive and have emotions like anger, fear or jealousy, BUT we can modify or reduce the volume of these reactive states, through repeated self observation, reflection and a caring understanding attitude. Beneath all of this is the vast clear non reactive body / mind experience.

The centre is not the head

Have you ever noticed how you walk?

Some of us move from our head, our chest, our shoulders, the rest of the body just catching up. We are in a rush to get somewhere even when there is no need. We can stand in a queue and there is nothing to do but wait and yet we are tight in the mind and body, creating an invisible barrier of separateness with the environment. It is seen in the eyes and around the mouth. We may have tension in the belly, the lower back, the neck and shoulders. A restlessness.

Imagine moving with ease and grace, soft in the eyes, soft around the mouth, taking your time to be and do, a simple attentiveness to the present. This is not passive being, it is open awareness of our moment to moment experience whether we like what’s happening or not. If there is unease, we pause, we take a breath, we feel the breath down in the lower belly and we respond from a place of balance.

We can cultivate lightness of being through a gradual process of befriending the mind and the body. It requires a meta awareness and a willingness to drop into the body and use the breath as an anchor point to feel and experience being centred. The more we realise our head is not the centre, the more we can trust the intelligence of the body and the breath to lead the way.

Reviews

I became more in touch with my feelings

After some years of postponing the decision to take yoga classes I finally decided to go for weekly private classes with Satty. My initial thought was to improve my flexibility for running, but because of the meditation part I also gradually became better in touch with my feelings, stimulating me to follow a path of personal growth. Satty is very mindful of my needs, her tea is delicious and we also have a lot of fun and good conversations (in English). I would really recommend Satty as a yoga teacher and she’s a wonderful person as well.

Luc

Het is een moment in de week die mij op de been houdt in de hectiek van de rest van die week

Al jaren yogalessen uitgesteld, af en toe wat uitgeprobeerd, maar dat bleek iedere keer niks. Ondanks de ontmoediging toch weer geprobeerd en contact gelegd met Satty. Een wereld ging voor me open! Yogalessen kunnen dus toch fijn en bemoedigend zijn. Zelfs gezellig, haha.

Het verwondert me iedere keer weer hoe goed Satty weet aan te voelen wat ik nodig heb en soepel weet haar programma aan te passen. Het is heel makkelijk open te zijn bij haar, maar ze is zeker niet soft! Ze laat je gewoon ploeteren, maar altijd op een leuke en ongedwongen manier en met veel humor! Van begin tot eind zet ze alles in voor jou. Dat is een gave. Het is een moment in de week die mij op de been houdt in de hectiek van de rest van die week.

Jet

It’s been life changing for me

Fab vinyasa flow sessions with SattyYoga. Satty’s zoom classes are in English so if any UK or US, or bilingual friends or family want to join, I would highly recommend Satty for yoga, it’s been life changing for me. Years of dodgy knees and multiple operations meant I was sore, stiff and in pain, now I can sit cross legged, kneel, stand on 1 leg and basically am fitter than I was in my 30s. Yoga for life now 🙂

Clare

Satty has made me connect with myself physically and mentally

I had the opportunity to introduce myself to yoga thanks to Satty yoga/meditation/stretching classes that she offered through the lockdown. Satty has made me connect with myself physically and mentally. She makes this amazing connection with people and transports you into a peaceful and quiet time with yourself but also she can take you through exercises to work parts of your body that need stretch and care. Also Satty makes me smile and when an instructor makes you smile in a relaxing way for me is that is a sign of joy.

Maria

I seriously love working out with Satty!

Satty designs workouts for every level. In my case I really like to be challenged at an advanced level. In a regular class she stills knows how to personalise exercises and focus on what is needed. For me she designs total mind-body classes which combine strengthening and stretching poses.

Satty challenges me to vigorously wring out my body and restore its balance with deep breathing and meditation. Feeling great and grounded afterwards. It’s not only the workout why I joined yoga with Satty. It’s also her style of teaching and the small classes.

The combination of a qualified professional with lots of humor and really easy going, who can explain the mechanics of the poses and what they entail is really valuable to me. And sometimes I do bring my kids (primary school age) along for a private class. They love it … Already looking forward to my next class:)

Maaike

Satty has a really good sense to feel what I need during the class

Last year I was looking for a yoga class. After studying Satty’s website I felt I needed to join a class.

After about a half year taking classes on and off I was looking for more regularity in my practice. And I prefer them doing 1 to 1 so I started with private sessions.

Due to the regularity and the private sessions soon I felt the benefits of yoga. The combination of meditation awareness and building strength was what I was looking for and something I really needed. Satty has a really good sense to feel what I need during the class.

Through her experience of yoga, she knows how to manage her classes and how to adjust them last minute according to needs / requirements during the class. Her adjustments of the yoga poses are always clear and make you aware of your body and how to improve your poses.

I really enjoy the classes with Satty and I feel so much more grounded.

Lisa

Satty has helped in providing new techniques to address and work through certain emotions and thought patterns

I’ve been attending Satty’s yoga classes regularly since October 2017 and have joined 2 workshops since.

In my experience, the workshops offer a warm, safe place to explore certain emotions and thought patterns that are triggered in our minds and our bodies.  Satty has helped in providing new techniques to address and work through those patterns – for example through journaling, meditating and certain breathing techniques.  This has helped me in embracing the positive and learning to better respond rather than react to the negative, so thank you Satty for helping me find peace in the chaos.

Ruba

Satty bouwt haar lessen zorgvuldig op en doet dat op een heel plezierige manier

De drempel om naar yoga te gaan was hoog voor mij. Ik had eerder al wat ervaring opgedaan in yoga klasjes waar ik mij als man altijd wat verloren en houterig voelde. Daarom ben ik blij dat ik nu samen met mijn echtgenote privéles krijg van Satty. Zij past haar lessen aan aan jouw niveau en gaandeweg ervaar ik, naast steeds meer plezier in yoga, ook de progressie. Satty bouwt haar lessen zorgvuldig op en doet dat op een heel plezierige manier. Ik voel mij tijdens haar lessen helemaal comfortabel, ondanks dat mijn lichaam behoorlijk uitgedaagd wordt. Satty heeft daarnaast ook een goed gevoel voor humor, gewoon een fijn mens. Aanbevolen!

Leo

Satty’s training in mindfulness, alongside yoga, makes her sessions particularly valuable in these busy and stressful times

I have just completed 6 months of one-to-one yoga practice with Satty, with the aim of strengthening my core muscles in preparation for the London Marathon. I was keen to learn the basics of yoga in a one-to-one setting, rather than a class, and to understand its benefits from a mind and body perspective.
I would highly recommend Satty’s teaching to everyone. I found her sessions both relaxing and energising, giving me clear space and time in my head to relax, while my body felt stretched, strengthened and energised. It was extremely useful for my running, giving me stronger muscles and greater flexibility; and extremely beneficial mentally, to slow me down and give me much needed me-time. Satty’s training in mindfulness, alongside yoga, makes her sessions particularly valuable in these busy and stressful times.
Jo

Satty’s yoga sessions were varied and interesting and I never felt bored

When I started my Yoga with Satty I was quite specific that I wanted to do some stretching exercises to keep me supple, I also wanted to include some mindfulness and relaxation in our sessions to combat stress and anxiety.

It was gratifying to find Satty listened to what I wanted, and at each session she presented a variety of exercises to meet my needs and experience. She was enthusiastic at my progress, whilst always being encouraging to push myself a little bit further.

Because our sessions were varied and interesting I never felt bored, and always felt Satty had given our session some thought, and followed my exact requirements at all times.

She loved my cats too, so that was a bonus, as one day one of them joined in our session! I have no hesitation in recommending Satty’s yoga sessions.

Carmel

I arrive every week with my mind racing from the day’s events and within 15 minutes I can feel a calmness and clarity that wasn’t there before

If I’m honest I was sceptical as to whether yoga was for me but thought I’d give it a go 5 months ago. It has been a fantastic experience. What works for me is the combination of yoga and mindfulness as I get the benefit of not just feeling physically stronger from the yoga training but mentally calmer after every lesson. I arrive every week with my mind racing from the day’s events and within 15 minutes I can feel a calmness and clarity that wasn’t there before. Satty has a fantastic gift in teaching both aspects, is great fun and the classes never get stale as she introduces new ideas and new challenges to keep my body and mind “softly smiling”!
Kevin

Satty is patient, very knowledgeable and hugely respectful of my abilities; she’s also great fun!

I have been taking yoga lessons with Satty since the start of 2016 and I can wholeheartedly recommend her 1:1 classes.
I was a complete yoga novice and took it up to help with shoulder pain and all round fitness. I can honestly say that I have noticed a marked improvement in both areas.
Satty is patient, very knowledgeable and hugely respectful of my abilities; she’s also great fun!
Ana

Satty is incredibly supportive going at a pace that is just right for me

“Over the last few months Satty has been helping me develop my yoga practice, so that I am able to further develop my skill within the class and practice at home. Satty is incredibly supportive going at a pace that is just right for me. I’m not let off the hook either as each time we meet Satty tactfully enables me to extend my stretches and poses.
Already I am feeling the benefits. My feet feel more connected to the ground that I walk on. I find that although the stresses and strains of a busy modern life don’t disappear at work or home, I am now better placed to respond in a calmer and more mindful way.”
Melanie

Satty’s enthusiasm and passion for yoga really shows through in her classes

I have thoroughly enjoyed learning and developing my yoga practise with Satty. She is a very knowledgeable teacher and is great at gauging ability and adapting to suit. Satty’s enthusiasm and passion for yoga really shows through in her classes and I always come away after a class feeling invigorated, energised and satisfied. Thanks Satty!

Mez

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The centuries old tradition of yoga is about transformation, learning how to live and breathe from a place of balance and harmony. When we learn to smile from within, every encounter with life is met with equanimity and kindness.

Private Classes

Satty Yoga specialises in private classes for individuals and couples. Lessons take place in a well ventilated environment with space to move, breathe, relax and unwind. Tea is served at the start and the end of each session.

People sign up for private classes for different reasons. For some it is about developing flexibility or strength in the body, for others it is about deep slow stretching, or cultivating their meditation practice. For many it is a combination of reasons, that can be more personal or even medical.

Yoga is for everyone, it is a way of moving and being, a way of relationship to ourselves and others that helps bring balance to our lives.

A class card for 6 tailored private sessions is 240 euros.

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Reviews – Satty Yoga