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Freestyle Mind and Body
Freestyle Mind and Body deliver Fitness and Pamper Retreats, Workouts, Workshops and Events to promote physical and emotional fitness. The company was founded by Sarah Meggitt who specialises in supporting men and women who are looking for inspiration and motivation to make positive life changes. Sarah is also a keen golfer and enjoys promoting fitness for golfers.
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Sarah's Blog
Freestyle Mind and Body - Raja Yoga
My Raja training is complete and my spiritual name now appears on my certificate, pretty cool hey. Shanti Sahar which means Peace Awakening.

I've had a busy couple of weeks, again making more jewellery but this time the jewellery was for me, a momento of my raja training, two fine silver rings. On one ring there are three hearts to represent my small family unit of my husband, son and I. Inscribed on the heart ring are the words 'Peace Awakening' and on the larger ring 'Shanti Sahar'. The name 'Grace' also appears which is the name given to me by the lovely Nalanie (apparently I look like a Grace because I move gracefully...she's so kind!)

When this lovely place no longer becomes my home, I will be very sad to leave the lovely Nalanie and my Yogi friends but in the words of a true raja Yogi.......


Freestyle Mind and Body - Walking a Moving Meditation
Growing up by the Peak District in the UK allowed me to connect with nature from a very early age. I would spend much of my time out on trails with either family or friends. I have happy memories of some amazing walks with University friends who were simply wowed by the scenery.

Now that I'm spending more time in Southern Spain, I've been able to get out and explore the area. Finding trails here is much more difficult than in the U.K. There seems to be lots of private land, hunters, no maps, no books and very few signs. After some searching a did manage to find a lovely lady who has given me the confidence to just get out there and walk.

I've now discovered some beautiful walks that have offered such a mixture of terrains. Walking for me is like moving meditation and I enjoy walking alone as well as with others. I love meditation but understand that sitting meditation can be challenging for some. My family sometimes join me on my walks, so they too can enjoy the benefits of the beautiful countryside and of walking as a moving meditation.

Every new walk has become my favourite walk and now that I've got a good feel of the area, I'd love to share these walks with others. Walking in a group is a really great way to meet new people, interactions are less rushed and of course it's a great way to let go of any worries, stress and tension and even to give yourself time to work out ideas and answers that can emerge effortlessly.

It's my aim to set up a Meditation Walking Group by Spring next year in order to bring together parents from my sons new school that have a likeminded interest in walking. A general level of fitness will be required as some walks will require a degree of climbing over rocks for example. The main pre-requisite is that you are open to be aware of the things outside of yourself e.g. the wind, the sun, the rain, the sounds of nature, of humans and of machines.

It's such a great feeling when I'm out with a group of people and there are those beautiful shared moments of silence. Those moments when I know everyone is being mindful and it is in those moments that we can all feel connected to each other, to nature and to the universe. I'm excited about the Spring and getting the walking group up and running. Please contact sarah@freestylemindandbody.com











Freestyle Mind and Body - Raja Yoga
My Raja Training is going well. Up until now my most powerful meditation session was at a retreat in northern Portugal a couple of years ago. Maybe it was the beauty of the place or the fact that I was recovering from a long period of illness but it was a profound meditation because it was the first time that I had finished meditation practice with no real concept of time, one full hour had passed which only seemed like five minutes.

I'm now halfway through my raja training and have one a lot of meditation and have had lots of powerful experiences. I can now make sense of why I had that experience two and a half years ago. I've found having ethical disciple allows meditation to move from concentration to a more blissful state. meditation in my day to day life is becoming easier. Now I can just accept the beautiful elevated feeling that I experience without ay expectation of achievement. Day to day activities have been simplified and are much easier to appreciate, no matter how small.

My Raja training has allowed me to understand what the mind is about and how we can bring quietness in the crazy times. It's so important that we..........

Before I signed up for my Raja training, I decided to reconnect with one of my mentors from my Hatha Yoga training. We've kept in touch over the years, most recently when I sought advice from her about some charity work I've been involved in. I've learned so much in the last 12 months about the internal structure of charitable organisations and how best I can go about helping communities. She has been a guiding light during my charity work and during my raja training. It was suggested i should consider taking a spiritual name on completion of my training for which I feel very humbled.


Freestyle Mind and Body - Raja Yoga
My Raja Yoga training has begun. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali provides a non-sectarian source of spirituality. It's for people moving into a new consciousness. There is certainly no promise of health or happiness and while I find myself questioning the translations, I am, however, gaining a deeper understanding of my yoga practice and the path of concentration and meditation. I'm using my mental energy much more efficiently and enjoying every moment of my training.

I'm incredibly humbled that the centre where I practice and where I'm attending my Raja training course is an Integral Yoga Centre. The centre was inaugurated by Sri Swami Satchidananda, the author of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (the book I'm studying) and founder of Integral Yoga. I'm passionate about the teachings of Integral Yoga because it integrates body, mind and spirit by combining physical practices and philosophical approaches to life in order to develop the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of individuals. The system includes the practices of asana, pranayama and meditation as a way to develop physical and mental stillness in order to access inner peace and joy, which Swami Satchidananda believed was a person's true nature.

I practice this style of yoga with sport clients who are looking to improve their performance, with physio rehabilitation clients and as part of wellness programmes within the workplace, all to very positive outcomes. I'm very lucky that Sri Swami Satchidananda passed on his knowledge to Nalanie Chellaram, an incredible lady who now runs the centre and has been leading the Raja Yoga training.

Nalanie is a modern spiritual teacher, a true Soul Doctor dedicated to selfless service. She was born in 1954 into the distinguished Indian family the Harilela's. She grew up in the presence of a close family friend, who unbeknown at the time, was to have a deep and lasting influence in her life. The frequent visitor and friend was Swami Satchidananda. Nalanie travels the world to spread a message of wisdom, compassion and love, based on the philosophy of Yoga. In March 2008, Nalanie received an Honour in Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second New Years Honour's List. She was recognised for her 'Services to Humanity' and in 2009 set up an association called 'Service in Satchidananda', a nonprofit international collective of charities established in honour of Sri Swami Satchidananda. Nalanie continues to devote her time working at the centre and all over the world to enrich the lives of others based on her great Guru's core teachings of selfless service.

When I arrived in may new home, I searched for somewhere that I could practice my style of yoga and find unity with other yogis. It took some time but once I found the Integral Yoga Centre I feel truly blessed that I have found a place that I can go to and find unity with likeminded people. I feel blessed to have found this incredible woman and am beginning to understand the aim of Raja Yoga is to make the mind clean and calm, only then can you experience the Peace and Joy that is your true nature.






Freestyle Mind and Body - Kindred Project Charity Necklace


Freestyle Mind and Body - Lifestyle Jewellery


Freestyle Mind and Body - Feeling balanced
There have been some big changes for me over the last few months, new home, new town and new school for my boy and ultimately new places to practice and teach yoga.

I'm now spending much of my time by the ocean. Balancing myself closer with nature has certainly allowed me to live more in harmony and balance within my own nature.

I'm grateful that my continued yoga practice allows me to let go of attachment to sadness at missing my family and friends. I can be with myself at ease, I can feel the freedom and possibilities starting to open up and have just signed up to do some Raja Yoga training which is the Science of Yoga - the understanding and complete mastery over the mind. Over the duration of the Raja training I will be studying the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there are 200 sutras in total. The Yoga Sutras are just words alone, so they have been translated by Swami Satchidananda to give some clarity.

Apparently the teaching of Raja Yoga are a golden key to unlock all health, happiness, peace and joy....well it certainly sounds good to me.

I'm also finding lots of inspiration from nature and from my Yoga practice and am continuing to create new pieces of jewellery to add to my current collections at lifestyle jewellery.com, here are some of my new pieces.

This new place may not completely feel like home just yet or indeed may never feel like that but if you'd asked me a couple of years ago if I would be living a life with daily contentment I'm not sure how I would answer. Thankfully being much closer to nature and my yoga practice has given me just that.


Freestyle Mind and Body - Healthy Atoms
Our cells are made up of many atoms. I remember first learning at school about the atomic structure and found it fascinating. At university level I studied the atom in much more details and still find this knowledge useful in both my love of Medical Resonance Imaging (MRI) and my passion for leading a healthy lifestyle.

In MRI atoms assume a certain orientation in a magnetic field. The position of the atom can become dislodged when radio waves of certain frequencies are added to the body as in MRI. The incidence of hydrogen atoms is measured and differences in the water content of different tissues of the body provides a basis for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), clever stuff.

When atoms are healthy, cells can replicate and keep the body healthy. If atoms become unhealthy, cells can die or replicate in a damaged state causing premature aging and disease.

My atom collection was inspired by my love of health, physics and MRI and my respect for Sir Peter Mansfield who became a lecturer at the University of Nottingham in the Department of Physics in 1964. His love of 'the atom' and physics lead to him developing MRI and in 2003 he was awarded a Nobel Prize in recognition of his work. Recently, I worked on a brand new MRI scanner, the new software applications were spectacular and is a testament to how Sir Peter Mansfield's work still has a huge impact on MRI and its applications today.

The MRI images that I produce are a great reminder of the importance of keeping our atoms healthy by avoiding free radicals and consuming antioxidants.


Freestyle Mind and Body - Floatfit Instructor Training
There was a splash, then another splash and then another and I began to get the giggles, this was going to be a fun class. Then it was my turn, as I fell into the water I started to think about whether I should have joined my girlfriends at Sunrise Yoga but hey the water was pretty warm and I felt really energised as I clambered back onto my board.

I was holidaying at the Yogafit Retreat in Ibiza. The Floatfit class was so brilliant I decided to sign up for a two day teaching training course there and then. Floatfit is a new fitness class where the exercises are performed while balancing on a floating mat. Yoga moves are combined with high intensity exercises to get the heart rate going and the 30 minute class provided a whole body workout and a huge amount of fun.

The mat, or Aquabase, is a buoyant surface about the same size as a lilo which is tethered to the side of the pool so it doesn’t float away. The surface of the mat is slightly textured so you have some grip and I felt fairly stable once I stood on it. Once all participants were aboard their Aquabases, the class began. Starting with a warm-up, we were guided through some simple balancing exercises to get us used to standing up. Then as we attempted to do jump turns, most of us lost our balance and fell straight into the water. We were then guided through some yoga moves. During Downward Dog I could feel the mat begin to steady under my arms and I could feel my muscles working hard as I tried to stay in position. Then I had to do a series of plank postures before moving on to jump squats and burpees. There were more splashes as participants lost there balance and ended up in the water.

All in all this was a really fun experience and a great workout. At the end of my training, I had an extra day to enjoy some beautiful yoga classes and a lovely hike to Es Verda which is said to be the third most magnetic place on Earth and is considered to have positive, healing and creatively inspiring energy.

The whole Ibiza Yogafit experience certainly was a truly inspiring adventure for my beautiful friends and I. Now it's time to order my aquabase, I can't wait until it arrives.



Freestyle Mind and Body - Asthma - I can breathe... Yoga and the Buteyko Method
It's been a busy 6 months, my jewellery business 'Lifestyle Jewellery' is now finally up and running and I've got some lovely studios and stores stocking my work. So ladies, if you want to make a style statement and wear jewellery that reflects your lifestyle, please visit www.lifestylejewellery.com and take a look at my fitness, yoga and sport collections.

I've also been busy over the winter months developing my yoga practice by incorporating Buteyko Breathing exercises into my daily workouts.

I came across the Buteyko Breathing method in 2014 when I was diagnosed with adult onset asthma, after suffering with a prolonged bout of chronic bronchitis. I felt inspired to learn about it in depth, not just for myself but also to help others.

As a yoga instructor, I discovered that Yoga and Buteyko have much in common. In Yoga we breathe consciously to improve our mental, emotional and physical state. In Buteyko we learn breathing techniques to retrain the brain into a better way of breathing in order to benefit our health.

The two breathing practices can, however, be quite different. In modern yoga we tend to follow deep breathing patterns and I noticed that this wasn't really helping my asthma. In Buteyko, the objective is to gradually reduce our breathing volume by holding our breath in order to normalise CO2 levels in the lungs, thus causing the airways to relax and open up. As a trained fitness professional, the technique of holding your breath during exercise didn't sit comfortably with me but as a health professional, the physiology made sense so after extensive studying of the Buteyko method and a month of out of control asthma, I decided to give it a go.

My practice took on more of a Yin Yoga approach which allowed for more gentle breathing patterns and exercise and I avoided all deep breathing practices. Instead I adopted more traditional yoga breathing patterns that were used by the Hatha yoga masters, where breath holds and reduced breathing are practised, allowing you to breathe less, maintaining the Buteyko concept.

Within a week the results were noticeable. I could feel I was gaining some control over my asthma. Two months on, the results have been amazing. I now regularly practice Yoga following the Buteyko concept. I've been able to maintain better healthy breathing. I've reduced the use of my inhalers and in addition, whilst the asthma allergy triggers are still there, I have more tolerance to the triggers, less food and allergy intolerances, clearer sinuses, more refreshing sleep and definitely more energy.

Yoga following traditional Hatha breathing practices and the Buteyko concept is not just for asthma sufferers, it can also help relieve many other conditions such as allergies, COPD, rhinitis, chronic cough, snoring, sleep apnea, muscle/joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, headaches and mood swings.

If you're interested in learning more about how our breathing habits can impact positively and negatively on every aspect of our lives and would like to try out a Yoga class following Hatha and Buteyko breathing concepts, then message me sarah@freestylemindandbody.com


Freestyle Mind and Body - Summertime, time to relax and recharge...
I've completed my Silversmithing and Metal Jewellery course...whoop whoop! It's been a bit different from my day job working as a Radiographer and teaching fitness and yoga classes but the experience has been equally rewarding.

I enrolled last year on the course as I felt compelled to make my own fitness, yoga and sport inspired jewellery as I've always found it difficult to find jewellery that I can really identify with. During the course, I explored many silversmithing applications; texturing, patterning and surface design, cutting, forming and fabrication, soldering and annealing, polishing and surface finishing, casting and enamelling. I particularly enjoyed engraving and stamping fine silver (a purer form of silver than sterling silver) which utilises more modern silversmithing techniques. All in all it's been a blast!

I'm now looking forward to some down time with my family. When I return from my summer break I intend to start work on my first collection, I've already bought my domain name 'Lifestyle Jewellery' and started work on my website..exciting! So I'll sign off for the summer and keep you posted on my return.

Have a great Summer all.


Freestyle Mind and Body - The International Fitness Showcase
Last weekend I attend the International Fitness Showcase with some of my fitness buddies. The event is hosted at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool and is one of the biggest events on the global fitness calendar. Three days packed with world class presenters, showcasing all the latest and greatest trends in dance, aerobics, step, combat, conditioning, lectures, workshops and mind and body sessions in some of the most beautiful rooms I've ever seen used in a fitness arena.

The evening entertainment was almost as spectacular as the daytime activities with the Gala Dinner and Fitness awards ceremony 'Vegas Style' followed by a Club night into the early hours.

My highlight of the weekend was taking up the challenge of learning Aerial Hoop. The teachers were very patient and they lead safe, effective and fun classes. By the end of the three days I was covered in blisters and bruises but somehow I'd managed to put together a number of poses into a flowing sequence which was incredibly enjoyable and a great personal achievement.

For me the weekend was made complete with an early morning Clubbercise class...what a great class after the night before. I can highly recommend this event, tickets are already on sale for next year.



Freestyle Mind and Body - Yin Yoga and Sound Bowl Therapy
Over the years I've experienced many different kinds of yoga and have found the experience of one style can be very different from another. It's fair to say I love all kinds of yoga but my true passion lies with Yin Yoga. Yin Yoga is a slower-paced style of yoga with poses or asanas that are held for longer periods of time. Yin Yoga calms the mind and nervous system by gently stretching the joints and connective tissues, the circulation in the joints and flexibility is improved. The practice allows you to turn inwards and focus on the breath, and stillness within. Even though this style of yoga is passive, it can be quite challenging due to the duration of time you are holding a pose.

I often use Sound Bowls during my Yin Yoga classes. As you allow the waves of sound to wash over you, your consciousness is raised and you are carried to other realms of experience. Yin Yoga practice and Sound Bowl Therapy really opens the body and quietens the mind.


Freestyle Mind and Body - Yoga for Golfers, Rehab, Wellness, Healthy Backs, Fitness & Flexibility & HOT classes
It's been a great year with more and more Yoga classes added to the timetable to accommodate many clients. Classes include traditional Yoga moves but offer some diversifications and updated exercise prescription to provide safe and effective body conditioning programmes.

All of my Yoga classes improve flexibility and strength and have particular focus on the shoulders, spine and hips, all of which can be prone to injury.

Well I've just finished teaching my last classes for the year. It was great fun to see my lovely clients striking their Yoga Poses and Pilates moves wearing their Santa Hats....thanks for entering into the Christmas spirit!

A particular highlight for me personally has been developing my Yoga and Pilates practice in the heat. I've found that practising in the heat leaves my body feeling amazing for hours. Of course, it's necessary to avoid heat exhaustion, stay fully hydrated, avoid electrolyte depletion and the over stretching of ligaments but if you find the right teacher and studio, Hot Mind and Body practice can be wonderful.

I first discovered Hot Yoga in New York several years ago and since then have relied on getting my Hot Yoga training from trips to London and following the amazing Hot Yoga Doctor Gabrielle Raiz. I've also been developing my own Hot Yoga practice in my dedicated workspace at home and I'm excited about the increase in popularity of Hot Yoga in the UK and have recently for a great Hot Yoga Centre locally. We all know that normal Yoga is championed for improving strength and flexibility, joint mobility as well as reducing stress. Hot Yoga has all of these wonderful benefits but in larger quantities due to the added bonus of the heat. In addition, Hot Yoga can also promote weight loss and improve the circulatory system and have a hugely detoxifying effect on the body, which is why I just love Hot Yoga.

Now that I'd developed my Hot Yoga training and truly become a Hot Yoga addict, I decided I wanted to find a suitable instructor to complete my Hot Pilates training. I've been a big fan of Rachel Holmes and Kelly Reed-Banks, having completed my Fitness Pilates training with them a few years ago, so they were the obvious choice. Rachel and Kelly are both incredibly knowledgable and always ensure that I get the most out of my practice, so I was delighted when I completed my training with them earlier this month. I can now look forward to delivering both Hot Fitness Pilates and Hot Yoga classes in 2015.

So as Christmas and 2015 is almost upon us, I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope that you all find some calm and peaceful time-out during the hectic times and have a New Year full of exciting possibilities, good health and happiness.


Freestyle Mind and Body - Om Yoga Show London
What an awesome day at the Om Yoga Show London. I was looking forward to my usual hot yoga fix in the hotpod but before getting hot and sweaty I began the day in the Temple of Om. An opening Om blessing was followed by the perpetual chorus with Johnty Wilks playing spiritual saxophone, whether you're spiritual or not this was pretty darn good. Next a fabulous flowing Yoga Meditation class with the lovely Sally Sampson. Clearly this day was not just going to be all about Yoga.

I next moved onto an amazing Pilates class with Jamie Isaac. Jamie is well known for his teaching delivery style which is fun and empowering, he did not disappoint. Then onto some chakra dancing with Lizzie Clifford and Rosalyn Cunnane, a fun class of movement and dance which left me feeling energised.

After lots of shopping, attending lectures, chatting and standing in a Tibetan singing bowl which sent vibrations through my whole body, I finished the day Learning the Divine Om Mantra with Anil Bhimsaria a yogi pranayama & Meditation Master. A great end to the day. I can highly recommend the Om Yoga Show its well worth a visit.









Freestyle Mind and Body - YogaFit classes
It's been a busy month, lots of workshops, events, visiting new Retreat venues and delivering new Yoga and Pilates classes...I'm certainly looking forward to some time out to watch the Ryder Cup. Delivering my new YogaFit classes @the Academy Ltd in Sheffield has been a highlight. This venue is a great new facility that has recently opened that offers a fantastic range of sport and fitness activities for the whole family, I can highly recommend if nearby, you go check it out. Yogafit is a class that fuses traditional Yoga poses with updated fitness principles and is suitable for all abilities, it's all about Mind, Movement and Music and is bang on trend.


Freestyle Mind and Body - Juicy Oasis Retreat
I've been replacing my usual breakfast meal with a healthy nutritious juice for sometime now but in my quest to find out more about juicing I booked onto the Juicy Oasis Retreat in Portugal where I would spend a whole week consuming juice only, it was incredible.

I was clear from the start that I didn’t want to lose weight, this wasn't an issue, extra bananas, avocadoes, spirulina and protein powders were used to bulk up the juices. I also opted to miss out on some of the high intensity fitness sessions that were offered daily. Instead I walked and did Yoga and meditation classes, each walk and class was different, simply beautiful. Hatha, Vinyasa, Sun Salutations and Moon Salutations, Kundalini, Nia and Iyengar Yoga…I was in heaven.

My stay at Juicy Oasis Retreat was one of the most amazing personal adventures of my life, there was a real sense of fun, friendship, kindness and free spirit. A very enriching and empowering experience and I was so pleased to have shared it with my lovely friend Amanda.

Please message sarah@freestylemindandbody.com if you would like more information about my Juicy Oasis visit or similar retreats based in the UK.


Freestyle Mind and Body - Chakra Dancing and Meditation
Chakras are wheels of energy within us which should balance not only within but with the world around us. My Chakra Dancing and Meditation classes take you on an inner journey of self discovery which helps you balance your chakras. The class is all about losing your inhibitions and letting yourself go.

We begin in a seated position as we get used to the rhythm of the music with our eyes softly closed. You will feel yourself getting stronger with each breath and as you breathe deeply in and out and begin to move your arms to the flow of the music you will feel energy coming into the pass of the hands and move through your entire body. As we breathe softly in and out, we stay relaxed as we move onto our feet to begin our Chakra Dance.

The dance begins at the root chakra, the red chakra, the key to your instincts and then moves through all the chakras, the sacral chakra, the orange chakra, the key to your feelings and senses, the solar plexus chakra, the yellow chakra, the key to your power and true purpose, the heart chakra, the green chakra, the key to love, the throat chakra, the blue chakra, the key to your expression and creativity. the brow chakra, the indigo chakra, the key to your inner vision and insight. Finally, we move into the crown chakra, the violet chakra, the key to your spirituality. Throughout our Chakra Dance we relax and let the music take us wherever we want to go. We move freely, you can ride the waves, you can shake your arms to the sky, you can punch your fists high in a victory dance, you can punch your fists low in a tribal dance or you can spin freely. Follow your path, dance freely and go beyond your body. Move beyond fixed patterns that keep your life predictable. Dance your Chakras.

We finish with relaxation where we engage in diaphragmatic deep breathing, we learn to slow our breath down. Your being will reach a state of total stillness. During our guided meditation you will reach a state of permanent attentiveness, a state of inner visualisation, the point where breath takes over being. You will be able to observe sensations inside your body and feel a greater connection to your energy.


Freestyle Mind and Body - What is Golf Fitness?
Golf Fitness is:-
1. A warm up prior to playing golf.
2. Preventative physical therapy after playing and
3. Regular golf fitness exercises in between playing.

All 3 are necessary elements of Golf Fitness. Without these 3 elements you will not only fall short of your potential but also put yourself at the risk of injury.

So the next time you're thinking about spending endless time and money on clubs and lessons, also give some consideration to how much time you spend on improving your Golf Fitness.

Message sarah@freestylemindandbody.com for more information about Golf Fitness exercises and physical therapy.


Freestyle Mind and Body - Top 5 Reasons why I love Mind and Body Fitness
I've recently written an article for Soberistas. Soberistas is a website for people who are worried about how much they drink, as well as for those who have successfully got their alcohol consumption under control and/or quit. To find out more about the support that Soberistas can offer or to read my article about why I love Mind and Body Fitness, copy and paste the link below.

http://soberistas.com/page/5-reasons-why-i-love-mind-body-fitness-by-sarah-meggitt


Freestyle Mind and Body - All exercise can be mindful and meaningful
Participation in Mind and Body activities such as Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi enables you to focus on how your body feels as it performs a movement and are great for improving body awareness. With practice and dedication, however, all exercise can be mindful and meaningful.

For regular execise and motivational tips click the Link above and follow me on Twitter.


Freestyle Mind and Body - Lets make the static Plank Functional
The Plank is one of the best exercises for working the core muscles but making the static Plank functional by incorporating other body parts will make it a more full body exercise. You can move either your hips, arms or legs while trying to stabilise the rest of the body.

Here is the static plank position now lets make it functional

Plank With Hip Flexion and Extension
Get into standard plank position, hands directly beneath shoulders. Without bending elbows, lower hips towards ground, then drive hips upwards toward the ceiling, so that your head points downwards, forming an upside-down V with your body. Hold and return back to start position.

Plank With Left and Right Lateral Flexion
In standard plank position, keep hands and head stationary and back flat, resting on your toes, as you drive hips from left to right...(the wiggle!)

Plank With Hip Rotation
In standard plank position, rotate your shoulders and torso, rolling from your toes onto the sides of your feet, in order to bring hips down towards floor, from left to right and back.

Plank With Leg Abduction and Adduction
In standard plank position, keeping back flat and head and hands stationary and right leg elevated, drive hips from left to right, crossing right leg over left and back, keeping right foot flexed. Repeat with opposite leg.

Plank With Arm Flexion and Extension
Get into standard plank position, hands directly beneath shoulders, and lift right hand off ground. Lower hips towards ground, driving extended right arm forward, then drive hips upwards towards ceiling and drive extended right arm directly behind you, so that feet are flat and head points downwards, forming an upside-down V with your body. Change arms.

Plank With Arm Abduction and Adduction
Get into standard plank position, hands directly beneath shoulders. Drive hips from left to right as you simultaneously drive right hand from hip to above your head in a semicircle. Think of the arm motion you make during a jumping jack. Changes arms.








Freestyle Mind and Body - Golf Fitness
Teaching a fusion of Yoga and Pilates has allowed me to create workouts which are very safe and effective in maintaining golf fitness and posture, gaining flexibility and learning relaxation techniques all of which are vital elements of a good golf swing.

So here's what I recommend; as a fellow golfer, don't choose between Yoga or Pilates but rather think about what your body needs in order to bring balance to your body. If you're already practising Pilates then give Yoga a try or vice versa or you can message me sarah@freestylemindandbody.com to find out more about Golf Fitness options.

I can teach on a 1 to 1 basis or in small groups which allows participants to still get the camaraderie, fun and dynamics of a group session. My classes are delivered from an up to date fitness perspective. Breathing and visualisation sessions are also provided which can help the golfer to combat nervous tension.


Freestyle Mind and Body - Fitness and Pamper Pop-Up Retreat
What a great Retreat weekend with a wonderful group of ladies. I was particularly impressed how the group were unafraid of the intense summer heat by giving it their all during the outdoor high intensity workouts - there were some great 'wiggles' going on and some brilliant freestyle moves! The hard work continued with a Mind and Body class which was wonderful to deliver outdoors in such fabulous weather conditions. Sun Warrior was performed with all Freestylers gazing up to the perfect blue sky, there was a real sense of the sun and energy radiating through everyones bodies.

The group were then treated to massages which gave me the perfect opportunity to have a good chat with everyone.

The weekend also provided lots of opportunities to enjoy uninterrupted time to relax in the beautiful country house and gardens, which had spectacular views and included a pretty orchard and a great running track which had kindly been plouged out by the local resident farmer. The swimming pool and outdoor hot tub proved to be popular even into the darkness of the evening after a lavish 3 course dinner.

What a great weekend ladies, a huge thanks to all that attended. Message sarah@freestylemindandbody.com for more information about Fitness and Pamper Retreats.


Freestyle Mind and Body


Freestyle Mind and Body - injury preventation and sports performance
Yoga and Pilates regimes have been cited in the workout routines of many professional athletes. I recently had the opportunity to offer exercise tips to a local professional football player. He's now practising Yoga and Pilates a few times a week to improve performance and to help prevent injuries during games.

Yoga tends to lengthen the muscles and the more supple the muscles are, the less prone they are to injuries. Pilates strengthens from the core and can give athletes that competitive edge. For more information about group or individual classes message sarah@freestylemindandbody.com


Freestyle Mind and Body - Allow Psychology to become Physiology
Always ensure that you're clear about your goals and follow your passion with commitment and determination - it's possible if you allow yourself to express the power of your mind as well as the power of your body. Message sarah@freestylemindandbody.com for more information about Freestyle Mind and Body Retreats, workouts, workshops and events.


Freestyle Mind and Body - Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2)
Virabhadrasana II or Warrior 2 is a great asana for strengthening and stretching the legs and ankles and stretching the groin, chest and shoulders.

Why not precede your exercise with a Continuous Cardio exercise or two HIIT exercises, see blogs dated 13th January 2013.

Step by Step Guide to Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2).
• Take the legs wide apart and turn one foot out to 90 degrees and turn the other foot slightly in.
• Ensure the heel of the front foot at 90 degrees is aligned with the heel of the back foot.
• Raise both arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides with the palms down.
• Exhale and bend the front knee lowering the body straight down to bring the thigh parallel to the floor, if possible.
• Ensure the knee is aligned with the ankle and not drifting forwards or inwards.
• Anchor the position by ensuring the outer aspect of the foot of the back leg is firmly rooted to the floor. Keep breathing.
• Keep the body upright and don’t lean forwards, reaching the arms out.
• Turn the head to gaze at the front hand.
• Hold this position and when ready reverse the position of the feet and repeat on the opposite side.



Freestyle Mind and Body - Yoga or Pilates?
Yoga or Pilates...decisions decisions? Some people tend to get carried away trying to prove that one is better than the other. I like to practice both Pilates and Yoga.

Pilates is based upon the teaching of Joseph Pilates. Pilates primarily increases muscular balance and strength, improves core and back strength and improves posture thus facilitating the ability to optimally function occupationally and recreationally. Yoga includes the practice of postures and breathing exercises which help is greater for improving flexibility and bringing peace to the mind and body.

Remember teachers have different styles, intensities and approaches. One person can have an intense Yoga teacher and a mild Pilates teacher and vice versa. Also different people respond differently to different stimuli. Flexible people with weak abs might find Pilates more intense than Yoga. Conversely, someone who has a strong core and is muscle bound might not break a sweat in a Pilates class but be crying in Yoga...well maybe not crying but you get the picture.

As well as being involved in the fitness industry for some 15 years, I'm also a registered Health Professional and have numerous qualifications from BTEC level through to degree and post graduate level in a variety of areas relating to sports science, sports massage, biomechanics, nutrition, coaching and fitness and health including Yoga, Fitness Pilates and Tai Chi qualifications.

After a 3 year break looking after my 3 year old son, I decided it was time to get back to business. “What is my business after a 3 year break?” I specialise in Radiology Magnetic Resonance imaging and other than the emergence of some new imaging applications, thankfully not much has changed there.

As for the fitness industry, well surprisingly there hasn’t been that much change there either. Having an awareness of how quickly trends can come and go in the industry I decided to take a look at what’s been happening in the big chain gyms. The biggest change seemed to be the addition of classes such as Yogalates and Fitness Pilates which seemed to fit nicely alongside the traditional Mind and Body classes such as Yoga and Pilates that were as popular as ever. I felt really inspired after trying out a few of the classes and decided it was time to spice up my own workouts.

Why not make it a New Years Resolution to give both Yoga and Pilates a try, whether it's a traditional class or a hybrid class which fuses both Yoga and Pilates. Try and remember just do what works for you and enjoy.


Freestyle Mind and Body - Employees Love Wellness in the Workplace
I absolutely love teaching Relaxation & Meditation classes in the workplace. The work environment for many can be very stressful and more and more employers are now looking at ways to better support their staff.

I've carried out Acupressure therapy sessions in the workplace for some time now and was recently invited to teach a relaxation and meditation class for a group of 40 employees at a local law firm who have an excellent approach to wellness in the workplace.

Normally when I teach Mind and Body classes such as Yoga or Pilates I prefer to teach small group classes because I'm able to give a more individualised and personal service but I found the relaxation & meditation session for the large group was equally as satisfying. This kind of class didn't require hand on adjustments to be made. I decided to steer away from deep meditation as it can bring about very mixed emotions for some people and I believe the workplace just isn't the right environment for that to be happening so as a group we focused on relaxation, stretching and just a little bit of meditation which still allowed for thoughts, emotions and desires to be downloaded in a very positive way.

The feedback from staff showed that the staff were very receptive to wellness programmes and that they hoped the relaxation and meditation classes would continue along with the chair massages. In fact many of the staff said that they would not leave because the wellness programme was so good.

Research has shown that properly implemented wellness programmes such as relaxation, meditation nd massage therapies can lead to improvements in health and morale of staff and staff retention. If your organisation is interested in countering the effects of stress in the workplace and implementing a wellness programme please contact sarah@freestylemindandbody.com


Freestyle Mind and Body - Staff Pose (Dandasana)
The Staff Pose is great for strengthening the back muscles and stretching the hamstrings and calf muscles.

Why not precede your Exercise with a Continuous Cardio exercise or two HIIT exercises, see September blogs below.

Step by Step Guide to the Staff Pose.
• Sit on the floor with your legs together extended in front. If you feel that you are leaning back sit on a yoga block to lift the pelvis.
• Sit on the front of your sitting bones so that your pubic bone and tail bone are equal distance from the floor.
• Sit tall, press your thighs to the floor and rotate them slightly in.
• Flex the ankles and push out through the heels.
• Hold this pose for 1 minute or longer.

The Staff Pose can reveal tightness in the legs and proportional differences in the arm to body length. You can also use blocks under the hands to assist


Freestyle Mind and Body - Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) can really come to life providing you correctly position the shoulder girdle and pelvic girdle. This asana stretches and rejuvenates the entire body from the feet all the way up to the hips and down through the wrist and hands. The shoulders, hamstrings, calves and hands are all stretched and the arms and legs are strengthened. This asana also calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression.

Why not precede your exercise with a Continuous Cardio exercise or two HIIT exercises, see blogs below.

Step by Step Guide to Downward Facing Dog
• On all fours
• Tuck the toes under and then lift the hips up and back while straightening the legs
• Keep the thighs and heels high
• Rotate the shoulders out, (if difficult to straighten arms turn hands out slightly alternatively if you are hyperflexing your elbows turn your palms slightly in)
• Rotate the forearms inwards
• The feet should be hip distance apart with outer edges of the feet parallel
• Press the thighs back and lengthen the spine
• Take the inner thighs back to soften the pressure in your lower back and draw the tailbone back and heels down if you can
• You may find it difficult to straighten the legs, if so bring your feet wider apart and keep your knees slightly bent if necessary
• You should maintain a light engagement in your abdomen during this asana
• The head should be relaxed down between the arms with the eyes gazing back to the ankles if possible.
Precaution
Any wrist issues you can rest on forearms.
Any injuries to the back, hips, arms or shoulders, you need to ensure you correctly position the body in order to protect the joints. Only work within the limits of own body and rest at any time.




Freestyle Mind and Body - Exercise Pelvic Curl
Pelvic Curl is a great exercise for mobilising the spine and working the abdominals to help support the lower back. The muscles surrounding the pelvic region and upper legs are also brought into play.

Why not precede your exercise with a Continuous Cardio exercise or two HIIT exercises, see blogs below

Step by Step Guide to Pelvic Curl

• Lie flat on your back with the knees bent and the feet flat on the mat and hip-width apart
• Place the arms by the sides with the palms facing down
• Focus inward, and consciously relax the neck, shoulders and lower back muscles while maintaining a neutral pelvic position.
• Inhale and then as you exhale draw the abdominal muscles inwards and slowly curl the pelvis and lower, middle and the upper back slowly off the mat
• Inhale and lift the trunk slightly higher to form a straight line and hold
• Exhale and slowly lower the trunk, vertebra by vertebra to return to the start position
• Your shoulders and neck should remain relaxed throughout this exercise
• Repeat this exercise up to 10 times.




Freestyle Mind and Body - Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)
Virabhadrasana 1 or Warrior 1 is a great asana for building strength, stability and mobility and is particularly good for stretching and strengthening the shoulders, arms, legs, ankles and back and for stretching the abdomen.

Why not precede your exercise with a Continuous Cardio exercise or two HIIT exercises, see blogs below.

Step by Step Guide to Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)
• Take the legs wide apart and turn one foot slightly in and the other straight out
• Take both arms up and reach up whilst keeping the shoulder blades drawn together and down opening up the chest
• Exhale and rotate the body keeping the pelvis square
• Arch back slightly and with your back heel firmly on the floor exhale and bend your front knee lowering your front thigh towards the floor to a parallel position if possible, if not just go as low as you can
• Lift the front of your hips away from your front leg while lightly drawing your lower belly and sacrum towards each other
• Hold this position and reach strongly through your arms lifting the ribcage away from the pelvis
• Keep gazing forwards then if you like you can place the palms together and gaze up at the thumbs
• When you’re ready inhale and lift back up by pushing through the back heel and straightening the front leg
• Lower the arms and turn back to centre




Freestyle Mind and Body - Uttanasana (Forward Fold)
Uttanasana or Forward Fold is a great asana for stretching the hamstrings, calves and hips and for strengthening the thighs and knees.

Why not precede your exercise with a Continuous Cardio exercise or two HIIT exercises, see blogs below.
Step by Step Guide to Uttansana/Forward Fold
• Stand with the feet slightly apart
• Keep the knees slightly bent
• Inhale and then as you exhale hinge from the hips and not the waist and let the arms fall forwards
• If you’re prone to dizziness make sure you position your feet a little wider apart to give yourself a firm base
• If you feel dizzy then slowly sit down
• Straighten your legs if you can, if not just keep your knees bent
• With your first two fingers and thumb grab hold of your big toe and ground it firmly to the floor
• Relax in this position for a few deep breaths.
• Press your heels firmly to the floor while keeping the weight forwards onto the balls of your feet
• Lift the sitting bones
• Turn the tops of the thighs slightly inward
• You should feel the stretch in the calves, the hamstrings and any tension being released from the spine
• Feel comfortable and relaxed in this position
• When you’re ready to move out of this position bend the knees further into a squat position and push up through the legs

Cautions
• People with back injury, osteoporosis or both should approach this exercise very cautiously.
• People with high blood pressure should go into this pose gradually and remain in it only if their breathing is not strained.
• People with low blood pressure should come out of this pose very slowly, because they may become dizzy



Freestyle Mind and Body - Yoga for Golfers
Any good golf pro will tell you that the underlying fault in a poor golf swing is in the body itself not just for example in the grip, the stance, movement of the hips etc. Indeed, many top golfers are including mind and body activities such as Yoga and meditation into their daily fitness programmes. One of the main positives is that these types of exercises are suitable for everyone at all fitness levels.

I specialise in providing Yoga for golfers. I studied biomechanics of the golf swing during my Sports Science course many years ago and whilst measuring technologies have improved the basic analysis remains the same. I focus on Yoga exercises (postures/asanas particularly for the shoulders, spine and hips) which can improve club head speed, weight shift and motion and the differential between hip and shoulder rotation during the golf swing, all factors which formulate the perfect gold swing.

My classes share key basic principles with golf; flow of motion, precision, power, control, balance and concentration. My experiences and knowledge in the sport and fitness industry enable me to deliver workouts (groups or 1 to 1) to golfers allowing them to play with a strong and more flexible body. I'm based in Sheffield UK and Sotogrande, Spain. Please message sarah@freestylemindandbody.com for more information.


Freestyle Mind and Body - Yoga for healthy backs
At some point in their lives most people will experience some kind of back pain. Yoga for healthy backs is, therefore, great for everyone. Yoga for healthy backs brings together asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing), mudra, yoga nidra, mantra and meditation into a complete package. This combination of physical movement, mental awareness, concentration and breathing has proven to improve spinal function and provide pain relief.

We live in an era of evidence based medicine and doctors can now see that Yoga helps people with back pain. It's good science that just can't be ignored. My Yoga for Healthy backs class has been specifically designed to be used in the mainstream wellness setting e.g. wellness in the workplace or physiotherapy rehabilitation. Small group or one to one sessions are available. For more information message sarah@freestylemindandbody.com


Have you ever tried Mind and Body classes before such as Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi? The truth is, 20 years ago you would have had a hard time convincing me to try any of these classes, I was too busy working to excess, being a duracel bunny leaping around in fitness classes, signing up for endurance events, drinking lots of alcohol and lying in at weekends! Leading a lifestyle that embraces sustainability, veganism and rising with the sun was just not for me. What changed? I attended a Fitness Retreat 10 years ago which was a transformational experience.

I'm now doing well eating my veggies, juicing everyday, moderating alcohol intake and enjoying getting in a few poses every morning in order to provide a healthy focus for the day ahead.

So here's what to do, check out what Fitness Retreats are available near you. I deliver my Fitness and Pamper Retreats in and around the Sheffield area where I live but there are lots available throughout the country, you could make it your goal to attend one. In the meatime, why not try out a Mind and Body class such as Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi. In time you will feel your awareness increase and you will want to do more healthy things, that's how it worked for me. If you would like more information about Freestyle Mind and Body retreats message sarah@freestylemindandbody.com


Over the years I've trained extensively in the health and fitness industry and gradually progressed my mind and body practice from Freestyle Fitness Yoga to Tai Chi Fit and Fitness Pilates. I'm delighted to report that I've now fully completed and passed my Level 3 yoga diploma with flying colours and what an incredible journey it's been. My yoga training started many years ago when I was looking for something that would offer strength, stability and flexibility training to compliment my training programme at the time. I was also looking for something that would stop my mind racing at 100mph and allow me to chill out and forget about the day job. I had no idea what an impact yoga would have on my life. Not only have I experienced the wonderful health benefits of yoga but I've become more kind and gentle to myself and can now look after the needs of my body much more. A huge thanks to all those who supported me during my training. Please message sarah@freestylemindandbody.com for more information about my group and one to one workouts.


What a great day providing stress busting on site Acupressure Chair Massage Therapies to staff at a local law firm. Proceeds from this Wellness Fundraising Event were donated to the Company's chosen charity The Sheffield Children's Hospital. The Sheffield Children's Hospital seeks to raise £250,000 every year to fund vital medial research aimed at building a healthier future for this and future generations of children. I was thrilled to be part of this worthwhile funding raising event.

ASD law firm proudly donated £3,000 to the Sheffield Children's Hospital Charity. It was great to raise money to help this amazing local charity. We all have a vision of how we would like our children to be cared for and I've found that being involved in fundraising events since the foundation of Freestyle Mind and Body has been hugely rewarding but of course we all need to do more... Message sarah@freestylemindandbody.com if you would like me to be involved in your next charity fundraising event.

Acupressure Chair Massage, a modern day form of acupressure, is a blend of the oriental massage arts of Anma and Shiatsu. It's a meridian based therapy in which pressure is used to stimulate many of the acupressure points on the major meridians accessible on the back, shoulders, arms, hands, neck and head. This press and release technique helps to stimulate and balance the flows of energy throughout the body. In turn this stimulates the circulatory, muscular, nervous, immune and lymphatic systems and promotes the release of endorphins and important mood-regulating numero-transmitters, leaving the client feeling relaxed and invigorated and ready to return to work with renewed concentration.

This is an extremely popular therapy as clothing doesn't need to be removed making it ideal for the office. Booking workplace on site Chair Acupressure Massage Therapies couldn't be easier, just contact me via email sarah@freestylemindandbody.com and I can visit your Company to provide therapies at a time convenient to you and your team.