Trainers around the country share a taste of their training workouts – tips and tricks in abundance!
Camilla Connolly @WarriorYogaLiverpool
My name is Camilla, founder of Warrior Yoga Liverpool. My business is responsible for delivering Yoga, creative health and wellbeing intervention programmes within the criminal justice system and prisons across the North West region.
My work involves trying to prevent violence and stress on the inside and helping to reduce reoffending on the outside.
I have long had an interest in movement beyond the yoga mat, completing a BA (Hons) in Dance and Drama (LJMU) and an MA in Performing Arts Education (LIPA). My research focused specifically in exploring how the arts can be used for social change and rehabilitation. It was during my studies where I had my first encounter with yoga.
After two years of regular yoga classes, I knew I wanted to learn more. I then undertook a one year British Wheel of Yoga Foundation course before continuing onto BWY Level 4 teacher training course for a further 3 years. I regularly deliver group and one-to-one sessions to a variety of specialised groups including footballers, dancers, boxers, challenging young people, specific disability schools, respite homes, drug and alcohol recovery centres and have led workshops in drama, movement, voice and yoga in HMP Liverpool.
In 2014, I decided to move out of formal education and undertook the week-long yoga course with the Prison Phoenix Trust in Oxford that specialises in yoga in prisons.
For the last five years I have piloted my own projects of introducing yoga into the prison system as a mental health, physical wellbeing and therapeutic intervention across the North West. I am based in HMP Liverpool, run weekly classes in HMP Preston and have delivered intense short courses at HMP Lancaster Farms. I also run singing groups at HMP Liverpool and support the men in their performances that are regularly showcased to the rest of the prison.
I am proud to be part of the reducing re-offending and reducing violence teams in all of these establishments. I support prisoners, uniformed and civilian staff in their spiritual lives – encouraging them to use yoga and meditation techniques to help manage their physical wellbeing, mood, stress, anxiety, addiction and insomnia.
I have had the pleasure of teaming up with LJ @ Cell Workout to deliver a yoga session as part of the 2 week Fitness Course provided by Prince’s Trust Midlands and the Unlocked Graduates Training Programme.
My sessions focus on breath awareness, mindful movement, balances, meditation and relaxation, and highlight the importance of looking after our emotional & mental health alongside our physical wellbeing, and how it is imperative to surround ourselves with the right people that help to inspire and encourage us to be better versions of ourselves.
I am a firm believer that you cannot complain about the society we live in unless you actively get out to help and try to instigate change … one person at a time. And I believe more needs to be done to help and support the most vulnerable in our society and hope this comes across in the work I do and love.
Breathing to the Front
- Sitting tall (on a chair if you wish).
- Clasp the hands behind your back and extend the arms down towards the heels.
- As you inhale, lift and open/expand the chest, and let your chin lower towards the chest.
- Feel the front lungs and chest rising, inflating and filling with oxygen.
- Exhale…and release coming back to a neutral sitting position.
Breathing to the Back
- Again, sitting tall (on a chair if you wish).
- Clasp your left wrist with your right hand and extend the arms forwards in front of the body (shoulder height).
- As you inhale, round the back, contract the spine into a curve like a ‘C’ shape.
- Feel the back lungs inflating with air.
- Exhale…and release, coming back to a comfortable, elongated seating position.
Breathing to the Sides
- Finally, sitting tall (on a chair if you wish).
- Bring your right hand to rest in the right side of the rib cage (just underneath the armpit).
- Extend the left arm down to the outside of the left thigh.
- As you inhale, bend to the left side. Press your right hand firmly into the ribs and direct the breath to expand into the right side of the rib cage.
- Feel the side lungs inflating with air.
- Exhale…and release, coming back to a comfortable, elongated seating position and repeat on the other side.
Robert Cobbina – @join_us_at_templ
Hi, my name is Robert Cobbina, it’s a real privilege to write this piece for Inside Time and my friend LJ of Cell Workout.
In my career I’ve worked with boys in South London at a pupil referral unit, a variety of secondary and primary schools supporting those who find the classroom difficult and now I work for a youth charity (The Prince’s Trust) check out the courses when you get a chance.
My Dad, who passed away suddenly 2 years ago, got me interested in sport – football, tennis, karate, boxing, athletics; you name it, he would be watching it! I always have to give him a shout out for that. Like a lot of people, in my teenage years and early twenties living a healthy life was not top of my priorities, I messed around a lot. At 25 I saw myself in the background of a music video and was a bit heavier than I wanted to be so I started exercising and it changed my life. In the last 10 years I have barely gone a day without at least doing a few press-ups or squats and it helps me to stay positive more often than not.
Last year I started an online chat-show, interviewing different coaches like LJ @cellworkout, mainly about how they use sport, movement and learning to move in a positive direction. I called it TEMPLE because I wanted to create a safe, calm space for people to reflect (and ‘your body is a temple’ Corinthians 6:19). For me, a temple can be anywhere, a chapel or even a boxing gym!
Personally, I like to keep my workouts simple, I don’t want to think too much! Just let your body do the work and enjoy it.
EMOM (Every minute on the minute) set the clock for 20minutes.
- All of these exercises performed slow, controlled, perfect form.
- One exercise per minute.
- Enjoy a rest until the next minute comes around.
- 15 x Strict Squats (squeeze glutes at the top, breathe out)
- 15 x Press Ups (elbows tucked)
- 15 x Leg raises (elevate feet just off the floor, move up to 6 inches, back down, never touching the floor)
- 15 x Jump lunges (use arms in a driving motion like a sprinter, pause for a beat each time, strong core)
- 15 x Twist thrusts (Like a squat thrust – bring your knees up with a twist to one side, then the other)
Sit and breath mindfully for 1 minute, I would say a quick prayer at the end.