For the past year the Green People team has enjoyed weekly yoga sessions with local yogi Nicola Jane Hobbs. Nicola has been leading fun, challenging and relaxing yoga sessions at the office, helping to create a healthy work balance and get people moving and away from their desks.
With the belief that yoga is beneficial for everyone and that a back to basics approach gives the best chance of success, Nicola has written her first book. Yoga Gym (Bloomsbury) is a revolutionary 28-day plan for strength, flexibility and fat loss, the Green People team have all bought their copies, buy yours here.
As a champion Olympic weightlifter turned professional yoga teacher, Nicola counts international athletes and Premiership football teams amongst her diverse client base - as well as ordinary people looking to incorporate her unique style of yoga into their everyday lives.
Here are a few comments from the Green People team who have been getting to grips with yoga over the past year.
Charlotte - Green People founder and MD
Green People has always been a health
conscious company, so I wanted to offer our staff a little healthy balance into
their working week. Nicola hosts a few yoga sessions once a week and it has been
hugely popular with everyone taking part. As MD of the company I am always
juggling multiple tasks and it can be hard to switch off; I find taking the
time with Nicola to rest my mind and focus on yoga extremely beneficial.
Jitender - Website Co-ordinator
Doing yoga with Nicola has really helped out with other forms of exercise that I take part in. In particular, I really value the deep stretches and balancing which work well with my gym work and running. I also find that holding positions for a long time helps with strength.
Sophie - Marketing Assistant
Before I started with Nicola my flexibility and strength was pretty average. Now after weeks of her persistence and extreme patience I feel stronger and more flexible. She is a great teacher and is always calm and very encouraging. I love yoga with Nicola and can’t wait to be able to bend myself in half like she can!
Nicola's top 5 detox yoga poses
To give you a taste of what to expect from this fantastic new yoga book, Nicola has put together her top 5 yoga poses for detoxing, exclusively for Green People as part of our January detox month. These poses are easy to perform, don’t require any equipment and can be done for 10 minutes when you wake up, in your lunch break or in front of the TV when you get home.
Nicola has created a bespoke detox yoga plan, perfect to refresh your mind and body at the start of a new year. With a mixture of yin and yang poses that range from relaxing to challenging and strengthening, there really is something for everyone to enjoy
The best way to detox your body is by breathing properly. Deep, conscious breathing pumps oxygen into your lungs and bloodstream, helping your body to absorb nutrients and get more of the body’s waste products such as carbon dioxide out of the body.
- Sit or stand comfortably with your spine upright and take a couple of long deep breaths.
- Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. With each exhalation make a ‘hhhaaa’ sound as if you are trying to steam up a mirror.
- Now continue to make the same sound as you exhale, but close your mouth so you are constricting the back of your throat to make a soft ocean sound (you may also sound like Darth Vadar!).
Detoxing involves the circulatory, lymphatic, and digestive systems and this pose is great for all three. Having your heart above your head helps with lymphatic drainage and the gentle toning of the abdomen will help stimulate digestion.
- Begin on all fours, hook your toes under and slowly straighten your legs to push your bottom to the sky so you are in an upturned V-shape.
- Check your hands are shoulder width and feet are hip distance apart and relax your neck, allowing your head to hang loosely.
- Exit the pose by bending your knees to the mat.
Twists are all about stimulating digestion to improve the elimination of waste. They will also help release tension in your spine and strengthen your core muscles for a more defined waist.
- Begin in a cross-legged seated position with your hands resting on your knees. Pull back on your knees to lift your chest and lengthen your spine. Reach your left hand behind your back and place your right hand on your left knee to take the basic form of the pose.
- To refine the pose, squeeze your bottom and deepen the twist by keeping hold of your left knee and bending your right arm to pull the left knee towards you.
- Exit the pose by coming back to centre. Switch the cross of your legs before twisting to the other side
This is a challenging pose that will get you sweating out toxins. Don’t worry if you struggle to balance straight away. Build up to it slowly and spend 5-10 minutes playing around with it.
- Begin in a squat position, coming up on to your toes if you can’t keep your heels down. Spread your feet so they are slightly wider than hip-width apart and place your hands on the floor in front of you shoulder-width apart. Lift your bottom by straightening your legs just enough so that when you lean forwards and bring your shoulders in front of your wrists you can snuggle your knees into your armpits. Slowly transfer the weight into your hands, lift your toes off the ground and bring your heels together.
- Once you have found your balance, refine the pose by bringing your toes towards your tailbone so you are rounding your spine. Activate your abdominal muscles to lift your torso upwards and reduce the amount of pressure on your arms.
- Rock slowly backwards on to your toes to exit the pose.
LEGS UP THE WALL
Detoxing your mind is just as important as detoxing your body. This pose is a great stress reducer as, by having your feet above your heart, you are taking your body out of fight-or-flight mode and putting it into rest-and-digest.
- Sit sideways against a wall and swing your legs around so you are lying on your back with your legs up the wall. Bring your bottom as close to the wall as you can and straighten your legs, resting your heels on the wall. Spread your arms out wide.
- Rest here for as long as you need to.
- To exit the pose, move your bottom away from the wall slightly and swivel your legs around to one side before pushing up to seated.
Follow Nicola’s yoga journey
For more amazing yoga tips, inspiration and advice, follow Nicola on Instagram, or visit her website where you can buy her Yoga Gym book online, the perfect way to start your year in a happy, healthy and motivated frame of mind.
Tell us your favourite yoga pose in the comments below!
Photo credits: Eddie Macdonald