Charlotte Watts - Yoga for De-Stress and Relaxation
I am a Senior Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance UK, practising since 1997, teaching since 2007 and trained with the Vajrasati School of Yoga (RYT500) in Brighton. I teach with an emphasis on mindfulness so depth and strength can be fostered within yoga practice as your body needs - helping release stress, not adding to it..
I have continued to explore this essence of finding our authentic selves through yoga, with further training with teachers including Judith Lasater, Donna Farhi and Tias Little and Mindfulness and Yoga training with Cathy-Mae Karelse.
As a Nutritional Therapist and Yoga Teacher in Brighton and London, I specialise in stress-related issues such as anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, depression and burnout. This has culminated in my latest book The De-Stress Effect (Hay House 2015).
Yoga’s focus on calming the nervous system, attuning to our mind-body needs and dropping beneath brain chatter perfectly complements my nutritional therapy work, especially with an emphasis on mindfulness within both.
In this way I can work with clients in well-rounded and truly holistic mind-body health programmes.
Why is this yoga more ‘De-Stressing’ than others?
It’s a known fact that a regular yoga practice helps relieve stress, so why on earth is this class specifically given the title ‘De-Stress’ you might well ask….. Well, it follows my years of research and teaching, both as a yoga teacher and a nutritional therapist, specialising in all things stress-related. Where we might tend to follow the habits of doing, striving and achieving in life, rather than take this into a forceful yoga practice, instead we have the opportunity to really pay attention to this behavioural conditionings and drop beneath; to listen and respond to what we need.
"The breath leads, the body follows and the mind observes”
Yoga is connection; not the shapes we make or the flexibility we might want, but awareness created and in the first of the Yoga Sutras, ‘stilling the mind’. A physical yoga practice can help us do that, providing a focus for our restless minds and helping us to stay with strong sensations with our breath as a guide.
What actually happens in a class?
Sessions on retreats can vary in tone, energy and emphasis, depending on the time of day and the needs of the group. We always start by arriving and connecting with the breath though. From there we can then start mindfully loosening the body, usually either lying or sitting.
In a morning class, we can then use this to move into a stronger asana (posture) practice to open up tight upper spines, compressed front bodies, tight thighs, hamstrings and psoas muscles so common in the modern body. This will be wherever we need to safely and effectively encourage postural conditions and habits as our bodies are designed but may not always achieve.
In the afternoon, we will move into a more grounding and relaxing practice – this may be somatic, restorative or yin, but usually melding elements of each to balance movement and stillness, opening and recovery.
In all sessions, we lead back down to a restorative and relaxing practice at the end; to assimilate energy we have created, fully release any stress moved out and to prepare us to take this attitude of non-reaction into our daily lives
See www.charlottewattshealth.com for more info
“Charlotte is a brilliant yoga teacher. She is very knowledgeable about how to restore the body's balance, which makes me feel rejuvenated. She is thorough, gentle, practical and intuitive, knowing just the right comment to assist me at just the right moment.” - Denise, Brighton