Yoga Gives

When preparing to open Yoga Matters in 2011 a personal objective of ours was to create an entity that would participate in community where charitable purposes are concerned.  We are very conscious of our personal social responsibilities and that the essence of Yoga, even when you are running a business, is not all about how much money you can take in and we wanted to ensure we had a healthy mix of teaching for free and for charity as well as being sustainable as a business.  Within a quarter of opening we ran our first charity class.  About a year later we set up ‘Yoga Gives’ as our formal way of committing and announcing our commitment to making sure we continuously ‘give back’ to our practitioners, ‘give back’ to our wider community AND assist those who are assisting groups in society who are more in need where we ourselves are unable to donate our personal time volunteering to that endeavour other than by offering our Yoga services.  We also make ourselves and our classes accessible to those practitioners who may be going through a financially stressful period of time so they don’t do without their much needed/essential Yoga classes.  These circumstances are discussed with those practitioners privately and on individual basis. This is very personal and we usually know the practitioners as existing and committed to Bikram Yoga practitioners (this is an intensely private and confidential matter between us and the practitioners).  We don’t take recommendations from others on this front and we do not offer one off ‘free taster’ sessions.  We value our own years of experience in teaching Yoga and the time and money spent on gaining our qualifications in order that we can work in a ‘helping people’ profession. It is fact that there are still many out there who don’t consider teaching Yoga as ‘real work’ and that they don’t consider that our overheads and ‘dues’ must be priority for us.  We are always ready and willing to challenge such assumptions and the ‘fantasy’ beliefs about what we do. We have been approached many times over the years by different organizations asking us to offer ‘blanket’ free or discounted Yoga classes within their particular sphere of activity and in this regard we are glad that we stepped up from the very beginning of our own community’s birth (2011) to take control of how WE deliver OUR free services to the community.  We have to earn our living too and the business side needs to remain sustainable as we will not be able to keep our doors open for our very deserving dedicated Yogis if we are not ourselves sensible in our free offerings and so ‘Yoga Gives’ has been a gift in helping us manage our social responsibilities and our contributions to community.

We are very happy (our class schedule permitting) to offer our services to teach mass Yoga classes outside of the YM environment where we would turn up and teach groups in order for the charity to raise funds but with us giving our time and instruction for free where the charity/individual would undertake to do all the organizing and primary marketing of such an event.

Once a quarter we hold a charity class on a Friday evening towards the end of the month.  Once a cause is selected permission is sought from the relevant organization for the charity class event. Practitioners will be given about a month’s notice before each event and information will be made available at the studio to heighten awareness of the cause. All class fees (made up of any drop in fees and credits held) are calculated at the end of the class. Any additional kind donations are always gratefully received, although they are not asked for, required or expected.

In the interests of transparency, anyone wishing to inspect the records are welcome to do so at any time. Monies are immediately sent to the charity and a receipt is displayed as soon as it received.

These classes are very rewarding for all concerned; practitioners can come to class, work hard, feel good and know that their class fee on the evening will be contributed by Darren & Trisha to organisations and groups dedicated to raising funds for worthy causes.

Additionally, these classes are ‘SILENT’; adding a new quality to your asana practice. Only persons with 10 x recent class experience under their belt may be in attendance in these classes. It doesn’t matter whether Bikram experience is at YM or elsewhere but at least one ‘normal’ class attendance must be had at YM and this attendance must be recent too. Please enquire in advance of the silent class if you are not sure about any of this. Whilst Yoga Gives regrets any wasted journeys please accept that there are no concessions on this point.

Yoga Matters will do its very best to fill these classes to maximise possible funds raised and therefore in this regard, please note:

  • any concessions or guest passes are not valid during charity events; if a charity event occurs during a ‘challenge’; challengers will be asked to make up the difference between their discounted class fee and normal class fee for that night only
  • the usual booking policy will absolutely be enforced i.e. if practitioner does not show up their class fee is forfeit (in this circumstances going to the charity)
  • practitioners are asked to sign up at reception and pay in advance for these classes if they would like to participate in what promises to be a very synergistic class

Namaste Trisha & Darren

Why Silence?

“yogaścittavṛttinirodhaḥ” {Yoga is the cessation of mental fluctuations} Patanjali

Observing silence as a spiritual practice is called ‘mauna’ in Sanskrit. The ultimate aim being to quieten the thought waves of the mind in preparation for meditation. Vak mauna is the renunciation of use of the organs of oral speech. The practice of vak mauna is to be treasured as an observance in our busy lives, giving us a much needed rest from this form of communication, helping us to become more introspective.

The easiest way to practice vak mauna would be to live in isolation with no people/external distractions but that would be too easy and I believe counterproductive to the point. As much as your practice of your steady ‘Standing Bow Pulling Pose’ in a ‘normal’ class helps you cultivate focus and concentration skills so that you could potentially hold your pose on a busy intersection during rush hour without falling down, a YM ‘silent class’ is the perfect surrounding for cultivating the practice of silence in the company of others; being with people and observing silence in the chattering world we live in is the real test. There is no danger of conflict arising; all who enter the studio for these special classes know what this entails and are voluntarily choosing to be with likeminded people. It is the ideal setting. Normally the practitioner would not be speaking during class anyway, although the teacher talks with barely a pause. In order for there to be communication when using the organs of speech there must also be a listener. The practitioner is actively listening to the external voice/guide for 90 minutes. In the ‘silent’ class they will be observing their own inner voice and its fluctuations; they are taking a step on the path of a more introspective practice, the beginning of the cessation of those fluctuations.

How the Silent Class Proceeds

You will find that practicing like this adds a whole new quality to your asana practice. This is an opportunity to realise your moving meditation.

If you are attending this you will have a minimum 10 class recent experience under your belt. You will already be aware of the logistics and etiquette in Yoga Matters which you will have signed up to when you first started. But for the silent class to run smoothly I would re-iterate some of them and add a few here:

Please:

  • do not speak in the Yoga room
  • go to the toilet before class starts
  • take responsibility for pacing yourself as there will be no reminders during the session
  • do not sit spread-eagled, slouch or lie flat on your back in the standing series
  • do rest in one of the other 3 prescribed manners as you require
  • unless you are resting always move into postures with everybody else
  • always be mindful of those placed behind you and their visual needs
  • do not fidget
  • do not drink water before Eagle
  • do not drink whilst others are working
  • do not douse yourself in water
  • do not leave before Savasana (if you do not feel able to complete the class the teacher cannot keep an eye on you if you leave the room; best to sit the class out in the safety of company)

Unfortunately it cannot be entirely without speech. During the class you may only hear the lead instructor say the word CHANGE, BEGIN or LIFT as an indicator to start or finish a pose. These words will only be employed where the instructor feels the student may not have the benefit of visual information as a trigger for movement.

The first few minutes may feel a little strange naturally as you may never have done this before; very quickly you will get into the flow of it. You will be surprised at how little instruction you will need.

The big balancing asanas do not end UNTIL YOU HEAR THE SPOKEN WORD.  Therefore if the lead instructor wobbles or falls out of an asana it is not a cue to end yours :).

Unlike the ‘normal’ class experience the environment will not be ‘tweaked’ by the instructor who is leading the class; so please choose your spot in the room carefully. Please do not complain if you choose what is known to be a cooler spot. If there is sufficient space and you are not entirely happy with the spot you have chosen please move yourself discretely/efficiently between asanas, ensuring you do not completely obscure the view of the person behind you in your new position; remember they were there first. Do not draw others into your choice or engage with others in the room in this event.

Yoga Matters wants you to enjoy this experience. Please feel free to relax or read the books lying around the studio or meditate in the quiet time before the class starts.

PREVIOUS CHARITY CLASSES, BENEFICIARIES, AMOUNTS RAISED:

RUNNING TOTAL OF AMOUNT raised for charitable organisations so far:  £4,524.05

22 ?

21 Jersey Pain Support Charity October 2018 £339.58

20 Headway Jersey June 2017 £237.59

19 Jersey Trees for Life March 2017 £251.89

18 CRY (Care & Relief for Young) Jersey October 2016 £181.69

17 Jersey MS Therapy Centre July 2016 £181.90

16 Mind Jersey April 2016 £210.79

15 The Sanctuary Trust January 2016 £266.05

14 Jersey Womens Refuge September 2015 £230.10

13 Jersey Africa Project May 2015 £217.10

12 The Grace Trust February 2015 £325.08

11 Jersey Stroke Association November 2014 £235.90

10 Jersey Childrens Charity May 2014 £218.62

9 Samaritans Jersey February 2014 £235.12

8 Jersey Autism October 2013 £146

7 Vallatur Orphanage India July 2013 £192.57

6 Parkinsons Jersey April 2013 £255.82

5 Jersey Macmillan January 2013 £212.25

4 Jersey Ostomy Society October 2012 £183

3 Hope for John July 2012 £167

2 Jersey Childrens Charity March 2012 £80

1 Children In Need November 2011 £156

Challenges

Everyone takes up Bikram Yoga practice for different reasons. Whatever they are, many of you are trying to fit it all in: work, family, life, fitness, health, wellbeing…

Are you able to schedule in a little bit of extra fitness, health and wellbeing so that you can experience for yourself the physical and mental benefits of a daily Bikram Yoga practice?

Studio Group Challenges 7 . Classes . in . 7 . Days & 10 . Classes . in . 10 . Days  will be held June/July   &   Oct/Nov each year.  We will give 1 month prior notice to the start of a studio challenge.

There can not be any private Challenges in December because of the reduced class schedule.

Photos will be taken at the end of Group Challenges and at the end of any 30 Day 60 Class solo Challenges and posted on FB as part of the method of celebration of completion 🙂 .

You must read and consider all these guidelines/rules before you register for a Challenge. They are non-negotiable. The instructor may not have time at ‘class/check in/post class care’ times to ‘brief’ enquirers about Challenges and so the instructor on being asked questions about a Challenge will direct you to these rules/guidelines/website rather than answering one question as they will know if you have read all these then you will not have overlooked any important fundamental consideration and you will be in possession of ALL the information you need to enable you to make a decision about undertaking a Challenge.

Challenge Guidelines / Rules
  1. These challenges are open to ANYONE who has practiced at YM previously, whatever your stage in practice; you can all have a go at this but be sensible about it; do you have the right attitude and reserves to attempt this where you are at right now in your life?
  2. If Yes; you have to be ready to commit
  3. To commit means reflecting on why you are doing the challenge (you are not required to tell the teacher) and working the challenge into your life and making sure those close to you know what you are undertaking
  4. So bump your Bikram practice up your priorities list and ensure work is not going to make extra demands on you; pace yourself – plan your social life accordingly and ensure you are eating well and hydrating properly
  5. There are no alternate start or finish dates for participating in these challenges; you are either available to do them on the set dates or not; so please don’t ask for concessions to be made as this puts YM staff in the uncomfortable position of having to say no. (i.e. Challenges undertaken outside of these dates even if they overlap with the Group Challenge are classed as a Personal Challenge)
  6. Plan your schedule; there is no point signing up for this and then immediately telling YM you cannot do certain days; there is no room to manipulate the group challenge outside of the usual class schedules and the set dates for challenge duration
  7. Listen to your body during the challenge; ensure you get adequate rest time outside of the studio
  8. Within the 7/10 days if you miss a class you will be able to make it up by taking a ‘double’ (i.e. 2 classes in one day) in order to make your goal. Check class schedule to see what days a double option is available. Only 1 double is permitted
  9. These challenge classes come at a discounted fee   (7 day = £50 10 day = £70 4×4 = £100) {nb if a charity class event occurs during a challenge, challengers will be asked to make up the class fee difference between their discounted fee and normal class fee for that charity class}
  10. If you do not complete the challenge the participation fee will be forfeit
  11. If you want to participate the registration process is simply arriving at reception with your challenge fee in advance; this is the only real way YM has of knowing how many challengers there are so we can prepare ourselves; we would appreciate you helping us by registering in advance so we have numbers
  12. There must be a minimum 8 participants and maximum (limit) of 16 Challengers per group challenge; we will not go over this number so please if you want to do a group Challenge, to avoid disappointment, organise yourself to present your monies well in advance and not leave it to the last minute so that we ALL (you AND us) know if the Challenge is going ahead and can prepare for it accordingly
  13. Cut off for signing up is two (2) clear days prior to start of challenge
  14. If you advise YM you have decided to do a personal Challenge having done a number of classes in a row already, this will not qualify for the challenge discount fee. challenges MUST be booked and paid for in advance, separately of any credits held. The advance commitment is intrinsic to the undertaking of a challenge run by YM. However, if you finish you will be given the last class of your personal challenge FREE
  15. Only one conversion is allowed and that is at the end of a ‘10 class’ challenge to ‘30 day’ and one must be ready and organised with their fees on the 10th day to make the commitment and conversion (one cannot ‘decide’ on the 11th day)
  16. Registered participants are automatically signed into every class; the participant must advise YM about any class they are NOT attending and anywhere they are doing a double to make up for missing a class
  17. Not open to people who have never attended YM prior to a challenge; at least one class at YM is required to give instructors opportunity to familiarise themselves with practitioner and their practice
  18. Sorry if the dates don’t suit your schedule but if you really want you can do any of these on your own or with a friend at the concession price but there will not be any studio award at the end other than the reward of personal victory
  19. If you plan to do a private Challenge (be it 7, 10, 4×4, 30 or 60) it may not overlap with the studio organised Group Challenge (Group Challenge limit being 16, we will not exceed this number for a private Challenger unless group Challenge has commenced with participants well within the 16 limit)
Personal: 4×4 Solo Challenge and 30 Day Solo Challenge

The usual challenge guidelines/rules apply with some additional considerations:

  1. You may start the challenge on any day/date that you wish but this challenge is subject to bank/public holidays / number limits in Group Challenges / changing class times / studio vacation/close dates i.e. if there are multiple studio closures scheduled this may not accommodate such a challenge
  2. Check these things in advance and discuss possibilities with instructor. So YM needs proper notice and to be allowed 24 hours to consider if it is going to work and revert to the applicant
  3. As usual this is suitable and open to all but YM considers applicants for this one on an individual basis
  4. Common sense must prevail at all times; do at least one Bikram Yoga class before you embark on this challenge
  5. This challenge is not open to groups; it is a solo challenge. Although there may be an other running their solo challenge at the same time as yourself there is a limit to 2 Challengers that may be undertaking this Challenge (including 60 day) at any one time within YM studio; all this will be considered by YM upon request
  6. You may be alone doing the challenge; there will not be any fanfare but support and encouragement will be given to the individual undertaking it by the instructors as the challenge progresses
  7. The Challenger MUST take 2 days off during the 3 Day challenge i.e. this is NOT a 30 classes in 30 days challenge. It is a daily practice challenge with recovery windows built in. These days must be well spaced and are incorporated to give your body a chance to recover. You cannot use them to ‘shave’ a day or two off the end of the Challenge.  You must advise YM in advance of your planned date of rest
  8. Within the 30 days if you miss a class you will be able to make it up by taking a ‘double’ (i.e. 2 classes in one day) in order to make your goal. Check class schedule to see what days a double option is available. ONLY 1 DOUBLE A WEEK IS PERMITTED
  9. The 4 x 4 Challenge must be booked in advance and means 4 classes a week consistently for 4 weeks. It is NOT 5 classes one week 3 classes the next.  Any extra classes taken in a week will be considered extra classes and deducted from any credits held or paid for separately.
  10. The 4×4 Challenge comes at a discounted fee of £100
  11. The 30 Day Challenge comes at a discounted fee of £150
  12. If a charity class event occurs during a challenge, challengers will be asked to make up the class fee difference between their discounted fee and normal class fee for that charity
  13. Fee for challenges are paid separately to any credits held
  14. Any existing credits held will have one month validity added to them because of duration of Challenge
  15. Because of space limitations a MAXIMUM of 2 persons may undertake a 30 day /{60 class} Challenge at any one time (first come/paid first served); therefore a third may not overlap if there are already 2 persons undertaking one (save for one or two days). So, Challenges cannot be on a ‘whim’. You must PLAN your challenge and please give us due notice to consider.
Personal: 60 Class Solo Challenge

Bikram says “You come to class every day for two months and I will give you new life.”

We are happy to accommodate anyone wanting a new life! However, we must be given advance notice so that we can consider if there are going to be any close/bank/public holidays during the period. This particular challenge is different to the others we run. This means 60 classes in 60 days ! (as opposed to the 30 day challenge which is 28 classes in 30 days).

Practitioners cannot convert from a 30 day challenge into 60 Days. It must be committed to at the outset.

Within the 60 Class Challenge if you miss a class you will be able to make it up by taking a ‘double’ (i.e. 2 classes in one day) in order to make your goal. Check class schedule to see what days a double option is available. ONLY 1 DOUBLE A WEEK IS PERMITTED. Effectively you must be in the studio minimum 52 days of the 60

This Challenge may be undertaken at the discounted fee of £270. All other Challenge guidance and rules apply so please consider them.  If you are interested and serious please message us your intended start date to consider and then when agreed you sign up by signing the ‘Challenge Commitment Form’ and paying at reception

Reward* for Completion of a YM Challenge
***Tangible rewards suspended for 2019/20 because of ‘the wall’

Aside from a tremendous personal sense of victory? that inherent reward of undertaking and completing such a challenge? just think of all those camels!                ***REWARDS SUSPENDED 2019/20***

  • A certificate! With your name on it! WHO doesn’t like one of those?
  • Your name on the achievers’ list
  • Personal results will be different from person to person
  • 7 Class – for studio official challenge only One free Yoga class***
  • 10 Class – for studio official challenge only Two free Yoga classes***
  • 4 x 4 classes – victory of completion
  • 30 days – THREE free Yoga classes***
  • 60 Class – FIVE free Yoga classes***
  • A FREE ‘guest’ class pass*** to introduce a friend who has NEVER done Bikram Yoga before (to be used within 1 month of completion of the Challenge).  (YM guest pass is given at studio official challenge time only – we clearly state the terms on the guest pass about it being for a guest who has never tried Bikram Yoga before; that means never, ever, anywhere before.)
  • Free classes awarded are used in the same fashion as credits and subject to the same booking/cancellation policies
  • All prizes/rewards must be used within 1 month of date of completion of challenge and are non-transferable non-refundable for cash
  • ***SORRY REWARDS SUSPENDED 2019/20***
Guerrilla Yogi

bikramming © Patricia Thomas July 2011
extract from YMD (Yoga Matters Dictionary 🙂 ) …
bikramming / (transitive and intransitive verb) [bikrm] [beekrm] Bikram / 1. throwing Bikram shapes in distinguished places ensuring a picture captures the moment 2. local and international shaping using ‘Bikram’ style yoga ensuring same is recorded on camera 3. Snapshot of identifiable ‘Bikram’ posture in interesting location 4. Bikrammer (noun) see Bikram.

Rules for YM practitioners entering Guerrilla Yogi Competition

Be Careful – no fancy moves on the ‘edge’ of anything – safety first, one photo, full body shot, a clear effort stating location and folks, it has to be identifiable as a Bikram posture, post on YM wall (no chance of winning on your own wall). You cannot vote for yourself. You can enter as often as you want but if you have more than one winning entry in a calendar year you will have to choose just one of those as your entry in final competition in December. It would be nice if there were some obvious landmarks or distinguishing features behind the pose; all good fun’ make the most of that little trip to New York, Ibiza or Flicquet. Do share your local, national, international Guerilla Yogi adventure photos and you’ll be in with a chance of a FREE class in the month of entry to be used within 1 month of winning.

7 Questions FB feature

We seek participants to share their Yoga story and practice pictures with others to illustrate this beautiful Yoga we all practice together. We would like to feature the people that inspire us daily. This is voluntary and people should not feel obliged to participate; it is just for fun and to shed some light on our community of practitioners (far too many pictures of Darren and Trisha being posted 🙂 and we are running out). Please let us know if you are interested. A ‘7 Questions’ form can be picked up at reception (just ask). Answers do not have to be long but feel free to expand answers where you wish – it is great to hear what gifts Yoga has given to the individual. There is no pressure and no deadline. For taking part we will give you our thanks and a FREE class to be used within 1 month of receiving.

Younger Yogis

Age 16-18 : From the age of 16 minors may attend the full Bikram sequence on their own but must have a parent countersign the disclaimer, prohibitions, precaution waiver document.

Again, if this age group (16-18) attends with a parent, if the instructor gets a sense that the teenager has been coerced into coming, YM/the instructor reserves the right to defer admittance to class until such time as they are satisfied that the person is attending of their own volition.

Age 14/15: Enquiries about attendance in a full on Bikram class for ages 14 / 15 do crop up. Our policy is to judge such requests on an individual basis. They must not have been coerced into attending. The enquiring parent must have previously attended a class at Yoga Matters before submitting such a request.

IF we accept this age group into the class a parent must always be present in every class with them and vouch for their hydration. Depending on the individual they may or may not be permitted to do 2 sets of everything, they may be told to rest out of some poses or take it easy; they should introduce themselves gradually to the practice. Anyone in this age group may attend only the traditionally quieter classes (weekends and mornings) i.e. Monday to Thursday evening is not an option for them.

If the instructor deems it necessary to tell them to take a break at any time during the class then they must comply.

The accompanying adult will take full responsibility for ensuring their child is mentally and physically prepared for the rigors of the class i.e. the child knows what the class entails and is properly hydrated in the days prior to attendance.

Younger: At present we are unable to accommodate younger children in our hot Yoga room. They don’t need the heat; we save that for us older folks who need help getting a good stretch J . We did try to establish classes for children (unheated) but unfortunately they never got off the ground due to lack of demand.

Pregnant Yogi

Q: Can I practice Bikram Yoga When I am Pregnant?

A:  YES. Unless you are in a ‘high risk pregnancy’ category then yes, indeed you can practice Rajashree’s Pregnancy Yoga (modified Bikram) when you are pregnant.  Please click on this link to understand more about our POLICY and our pregnancy yoga: Rajashree’s Pregnancy Yoga

 

Teams/Groups

As a group or team you may be interested in an activity that is not a sport but a system of improving fitness, health and wellbeing; Bikram Yoga is a fantastic way to bring your staff or team together and challenge them in a safe, friendly environment. It may be just what your group or team needs to give them an edge.

Yoga can help with conditioning and a regular practice may help the individual stay ‘on top of their game’. It is holistic and therefore all the body systems will receive due kind attention. It is a challenging discipline in which asanas (postures) are practiced. The asanas are not ballistic, but are practiced whilst grounded, in a methodical way in a heated environment incorporating the breath and full concentration.

Yoga Matters has classes every day and individuals are always welcome to come to any of the public classes should they wish, subject to available space. However, we would be happy to lay on a class outside the usual schedule to accommodate your group or team on the basis of a minimum of 10 persons attending.

Remove any disconnect by placing the team members or executives, juniors, managers, administrators, trainees in a room practicing this challenging sequence together and they will embark on a journey of discovery breaking down barriers, whilst creating a common ground for connecting with each other and building solidarity.

Discretion would of course be paramount as it is for all our practitioners and the only pre-requisite to practice is proper hydration; Bikram Yoga is not exclusive or reserved for those beings seeking enlightenment J. One of the biggest mis-conceptions I hear repeated is that you have to be flexible to practice. This is not so; nor is flexibility the goal; it is just a nice little ‘side effect’ that comes from a regular practice. So far as flexibility is concerned in any normal public class I would say some of the practitioners are working to maintain their normal range of motion and some are working to get their normal range of motion back such is the world we live in. Nobody is seeking to go over the normal limits of range of motion for their body. Anybody can try this Yoga; there are no advanced postures.

Some of the benefits of a regular Bikram Yoga practice that can be enjoyed:

  • great mental hygiene
  • reduce stress
  • improved concentration
  • ever growing sense of well being
  • helps a person to know and accept who they are
  • more keenness for life and what it has to offer
  • restored confidence and hope
  • better decision making
  • improved personal productivity
  • better all round mental and physical health
  • explore and know their flexible side
  • maintain full spinal flexibility
  • improve flexibility and range of motion in tighter joints
  • assist with lengthening of muscles that have become tight/short
  • can help prevent and reduce sports injury
  • help with recovery from injury
  • counter the keyboard slump (gardening, study, cooking, general labour slump)
  • improved strength and endurance
  • perhaps achieve a longer playing life as strength and vitality is sustained for longer
  • decrease illness and absenteeism
  • a more cohesive team and improved relationships
  • increase happiness