The ‘Yoga without’ Series: Yoga without Wrists

Welcome to the second class of the ‘Yoga without’ Series. This is a 30 minute, beginner, Yoga without Wrists class.

During this class we won’t put any weight on the wrists. That means no downwards dogs and no arm balances. We still use the hands to help with balance and to guide the leg/ torso into the pose. If this isn’t accessible for you, you can use the forearms to do this instead and I’ll demonstrate this in the class.

I’ve also created a Supporting the Wrists in Yoga Mini Guide to help give you a bit more information and suggestions on how you can support your wrists during your yoga practice.


You can do this class with no props, however you might like to have a cushion or blanket to sit on (especially if you have tight hips). There is also an couple of options to use a rolled up blanket or yoga strap to assist you in the pose.

If you’d like more information on yoga props, you can check out the Beginners Yoga Guide, which has a section and short video on props.

Yoga Without Wrists Class

30 Minute Beginners Yoga without Wrists Class

Yoga without Wrists Poses and Benefits

I thought I would share a bit more on a couple of the different poses we do during the class. And what the benefits are from doing these poses.

Deep Belly Breathing

Deep belly breathing fully utilises the diaphragm. This strengthens the diaphragm leading to more efficiency breathing.

The diaphragm also helps lymph in the lymphatic system move around the body. The lymphatic system is responsible for removing toxins from the body and replacing these toxins with nutrients. It doesn’t have a pump (ie. the heart) like blood in the circulatory system does. Lymph can only move around the body by gravity and muscular movement. The biggest and most important muscle being the diaphragm as this muscle creates a suction in the body, which helps move the lymph around the body. This suction only occurs when we fully utilise the diaphragm. Therefore, deep belly breathing can be quite detoxifying for the body.

Deep belly breathing also helps to relax the body, as it forces us to take slow, controlled breaths, instead of rapid breathing which lead to panic and for some, hyperventilation. It can also be used to lower our heart rate and blood pressure.


Seated Twist

If done correctly, gentle twists are great for waking up the spine and for removing any ‘kinks’ in the spine. To do this pose correctly, it’s important that the twist starts from the core and not from the shoulders. This helps to protect and warm up the spine safely and with the correct amount of pressure.

This gentle seated twists are also a nice way to open the rib cage and chest, as well as stretching the shoulders, hips, back and neck.

Virabhadrasana ii (Warrior 2)

Warrior 2 has a lot of different benefits. It opens up and stretches the hips, chest and groin. It also builds strength in the legs, ankle and arms. The pose helps to build stamina and endurance. It’s quite a strong pose, hence the pose name ‘Warrior’.

I’ve previously done a short Warrior class which explains the story of the Warriors, which you can check out here. Though in a nutshell the Warrior poses represent a Hindi story about Shiva

Apanasana variation (wind Relieving Pose)

This pose is great for stretching the hip flexors of the extended leg. It can also release tension in the lower back.

The bent knee creates a bit of compression on the core (stomach, intestines, kidneys region), this can stimulate the organs located in this area. Hence the translated name of the pose, ‘wind relieving pose‘, as the pose can aid in the digestion process.

Other classes in the series:

If you would like more the first class in the series, Yoga without Kneeling, also doubles up as a ‘Yoga without Wrists’ class. So check that out if you like.

The ‘Yoga without’ Series: Yoga without Kneeling

I decided to put together a ‘yoga without’ series, where every week I’ll be sharing a new 30 minute beginners class, without something that you may experience/ use in a standard yoga classes. The first class of the series is this 30 minute ‘Yoga without Kneeling‘ class.

The ‘Yoga without’ Series

The other classes included in this series:

The aim of this series is to make yoga more inclusive for those that have injuries preventing them from doing specific activities, or for those that just don’t enjoy working with specific body parts/ actions.

So if there a ‘Yoga without’ class you’d love to see that isn’t on the list. Please comment in the section below or send me an email and I’ll add it to the list.

Yoga without Kneeling

This ‘Yoga without Kneeling’ class is a 30 minute standing class, which happens to also double up as a ‘Yoga without Wrists’ or ‘wristless’ yoga class too.

During the class we will flow through a type of sequence known as a Mandala sequence or flow. This means we will start at one side of the mat, then move around the mat, spending time in a couple of poses at each side of the mat. We will then repeat the sequence, flowing back the opposite way around the mat. These are quite fun sequences – and it’s not uncommon to mix the lefts and rights up on the way around. With is perfectly fine and normal – just see how you go.

Though we do not kneel or put pressure directly on the knees, we do still bend the knees and work to build strengthen in the muscles that support the knees. These poses include different variations of lunges (such as our Warriors), as well as a few squat positions (Chair and Goddess poses).

We also straighten the leg in some poses. When straightening the leg please be careful to not lock the knee. You want to keep a slight bend in the knee, as this means the stretch is going into the belly of the muscle and not the ligaments surrounding the joints (which can weaken the ligaments).

As always, please listen to your body and if you feel and pain or discomfort please gently come out of the pose. Everyone is different, which means we all have different limitations to work within – we just need to be accepting and mindful of this.


This class can be done with no props. Though there is the option to have a yoga brick/ block or rolled up towel if you like.

30 minute Yoga without Kneeling (& yoga without wrists) beginners class

If you enjoyed this class and are looking for more, you might enjoy my Yoga for Kindness beginners class. This class I created for Mental Health Awareness week.

Of course, you should always check with a health practitioner or doctor before starting any new activity, specifically if you have any medical conditions or anything else that might impact your practice (for example pregnancy). It is the students responsibility to ensure they are able to take part in the class. Please be sure to read my disclaimer before practicing any online yoga classes. Thank you.

Mental Health Awareness Week: Yoga for Kindness

This week is Mental Health Awareness week (18th May – 24th May 2020). Each year there is a different theme and this year the theme is kindness, where we are encouraged to give to others and spread kindness. Why? Because, one thing that we’ve seen all over the world is that kindness is prevailing in uncertain times. So inspired by this, this week’s class is 30 minute beginners yoga for kindness. 

Most of us will actively look after our physical health, but neglect to look after our mental health. We tend to forget that just like physical health, we all have mental health. And at some point in our life we will go through periods of troublesome mental health – just like we can get a cold or the flu, we might experience periods of depression or anxiety.

Sadly there is still much stigma surrounding mental health. We might talk about having a personal trainer, but often we don’t talk about speaking to a physiotherapist. Mental Health Awareness week is about ending this stigma.

Why Kindness?

Because it’s good for our health and wellbeing. And because #kindnessmatters

Kindness helps others feel good. It makes us feel good. It can create a sense of belong and reduce feelings of isolation. And kindness spreads – one act of kindness often leads to more acts of kindness.

What can I do?

Random acts of kindness towards another – it can be someone you know or someone you don’t know. It can be as big or as small as you like. The idea is to give to another, with no expectations to receive anything in return. The act of giving and kindness is contagious – so the more random acts of kindness we do, the more we spread kindness.

The Mental Health Foundation have listed other ways in which you can get involved, which I definitely recommend checking out.

If you would like to find out more about mental health and wellbeing, I was invited for an interview for the Knowle West Podcast earlier this month. I, along with Dan (from the Bristol Council) and Lewis (Knowle West Media Centre) discussed Mental Health and COVID-19, and some of the things we can do to help look after out mental health. Feel free to check it out – link is above.

Yoga for Kindness

The theme for today’s yoga class is kindness. We will start by setting an intention for the class, which will be to be kind to ourselves and to be kind to others. Setting an intention is a great way to bring focus to a set purpose or aim that you would like to achieve. Doing this means we are more likely to achieve our aim, both on and off the mat.

We’ll then move into the physical practice, which will include a lot of heart opener poses, which will open and stretch the chest and strengthen the upper back. This is great for anyone that spends a lot of time sitting down, particularly if you work at a desk or do a lot of driving. And if you’re into chakras – this will also open the heart chakra, which is thought to be associated with emotions such as compassion and kindness.

We will then end the practice with a short kindness meditation.


I’ve put together a short video on the different yoga props and household items you can use in their place. If you’re new to yoga, I’ve also put together this Beginners Guide to Yoga.

For this class you’ll need:

Yoga for Kindness for Mental Health Awareness Day 2020

If you enjoyed this class please like the video and subscribe to the channel. I post a new free class each Wednesday, so this will ensure you keep updated.

Lockdown Family Yoga

This Wednesday I have something a little different for you – a special lockdown family yoga class!

We’re all getting a little restless in this lockdown stage, and I know most of us were expecting schools to return a little sooner than what was announced. So this yoga class is one for the whole family to enjoy! A bit of fun, with all the yogic benefits of a standard yoga class 🙂

Please let me know if you enjoyed this video and you would like to see more. Family yoga classes are something I’m considering offering in the community towards the end of the year, so I’d love to hear your feedback and know whether this is something you’d be interested in.

Below the video I’ve included a little description with the benefits of some of the exercises and movements we do during the class.

Lockdown Family Yoga Class

Breath Work

We’ll start the class with some deep belly breathing. Deep belly breath is great as it uses and strengthens the diaphragm. It can help to reduce blood pressure, lower stress levels and help with different bodily processes, one being the moving lymph (toxins) to the lymph nodes.

Next is Humming Bee breath (or as I refer to it our Bumble Bee breath). During this breath we lengthen the exhale in comparison to the inhale, this has a calming affect as our ‘fight or flight’ (sympathetic nervous) reduces. The vibrations from the humming noise also can create a soothing sensation.

We combine the Humming Bee breath with the use of the Lotus flower mudra. In yoga the lotus is a symbol of personal growth, purity and kindness. As next week is Mental Health Awareness week and the theme is Kindness, I thought it seemed quite fitting. As well as it fitting nicely with the bumble bee.

Asanas (Poses)

From here we moving into the asanas (poses) starting with Butterfly pose, to open up the hips. Moving into a few Cat and Cow poses, to warm up the spine. Next we have Gate pose, where we paint rainbows through the sky. This pose stretches and strengthens the side body. Finally we move into Downwards Facing Dog – a pose disliked by many, but great for both stretching the back body (especially the hamstrings and calves) and also for building strength in the upper body.

We make our way up to standing, moving into Mountain pose. This pose may appear as a simple pose, but it’s an important foundation pose in yoga, which can really help with posture and balance. Five Pointed Star helps to stretch out the body and create space. This is followed by our Warrior 1 poses – building strength in the arms and legs, as well as stretching the hip flexors. From here we make our way back to the mat, for our final pose, a gentle twist.

Guided Meditation

We end in either a seated or lying (Svanasana) pose, finishing with a rainbow visualisation meditation. If you are in to chakras, you may notice that we move through the colours associated to each of the 7 chakras, starting with the root chakra (the colour red) and finishing above the top of the head at the crown chakra (the colour pink). If you’re not into colours – this is still a fun visualisation meditation. Visualisations (and meditations in general for that matter) have loads of benefits, which I might talk about in another blog post. This visualisation can help encourage creativity and imagination 🙂

I hope you and the family enjoyed this class. I’m very interested in any feedback or suggestions for future classes, so please drop me a message.

And if you enjoyed this class and are looking for more, you might like to check out my 30 day morning yoga challenge. Just 10 minutes of yoga a day for 30 days – long enough to reap some yogic benefits and short enough to keep the kids engaged with the practice too.

Stay safe and enjoy the rest of your week.

Kelly X

I’m too inflexible for yoga!

I’ve actually lost count of the number of times someone has said to me, “I’m too inflexible for yoga“. The first time I heard it, I found it quite surprising. Not because I was shocked that this particular person was inflexible, but because it was the main reason I started practicing yoga. It seemed odd to hear it as a reason not to practice it.

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Do I need to be flexible for yoga?” the answer is “No.” Yoga can help improve your flexibility and range of motion, but you don’t need to be flexible to begin with. This is often something just achieved over time and with practice.

I started practicing yoga over 10 years ago because I was terrible at stretching and yoga forced me to spend some time stretching out my body. It was very much a physical practice for me at the beginning. I couldn’t touch my toes and I often woke up in the middle of the night with a cramp in my calf or hamstring. I decided to start yoga as I hoped it would reduce the cramping and help increase my flexibility – which it did, with time and practice. But when I begin I definitely wouldn’t say I was flexible.

My first regular yoga class was a mixed class with students ranging in age from 23 to 75. We all had different flexibility levels, we all looked different in the pose, we used different props and sometimes even took different poses to accommodate our needs. Maybe I was fortunate as it was clear to me in this class – yoga wasn’t about the shape you were making, it was about moving in a way that felt good for you and your body. And this is bound to look different to the others around me. And that didn’t matter. Some days I could do all the poses on offer, sometimes I couldn’t. Even now I often can’t do all the yoga poses in a class – but that’s ok. I’m still getting the benefits my body needs.

“I’m too inflexible for yoga” – where did this idea come from?

The more and more I heard people say, “I’m too inflexible for yoga”, or ask, “Do I need to be flexible to do yoga?” the more I started to wonder, where has these ideas and questions come from?

For me, when I started, yoga was a gentle class, where I was given the opportunity to focus on my breath, unwind and stretch my tight muscles in a way that felt good to me.

Though it may have existed, at the time I wasn’t familiar with power yoga, and never really considered handstands or arm balances to be connected with yoga. There was no Instagram, there was no fancy yoga pants (tights) and there was no beautiful yoga studio. It was just, me, in my sweat pants (trousers for the English), slowly working my way towards touching my toes, in a big, old (non-fancy) sports hall.

I’m not sure when the yoga image changed. I almost feel like I missed the transition. One day I woke up and realised, yoga is everywhere. And though I think it’s great that there is now so much choice and variety within the yoga world. I find it sad that social media (amongst other things) has altered the perception of yoga to make it seem like only fit, flexible, healthy people can take part. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not true. You do not need to be flexible to do yoga. However, if you practice regularly, you will see an improvement in your flexibility over time.

Anyone can do yoga. What is important is finding the right class and teacher for you.

If you are worried about being inflexible, then maybe start with a gentle yoga class. If you don’t like getting on the floor, you could try chair yoga. Don’t like “Downwards Dog” pose, try ‘wrist-less’ yoga or ask your teacher how to modify poses to reduce wrist pain

Just remember which ever class you choose, it doesn’t matter if you don’t look like the other students in the class – we’re all built differently, and even our bone structure can impact the poses we do.

Back when I started yoga, there was little choice and little demand. Now with so many different types of yoga classes, there is likely to be a class out there for you. The hard part is finding it. So if you don’t like the first class you attend, don’t let that put you off. Get back out there and try a different one.

Gentle Beginners Yoga Class

So inspired by this, for this Wednesday’s weekly yoga class I’ve put together a gentle beginners yoga class and also this beginners yoga guide to help prepare you for your first class.

This class is a beginners class, but there are still a few poses that you may find a little challenging, as I think it’s good to have a little bit of challenge. But I’ll be giving lots of options and modifications for different poses throughout the class. Take what option feels good for you.

Wednesday’s weekly yoga class: Gentle Beginners Yoga Class

Now everyone is different. So if this class still doesn’t meet your needs, don’t let that put you off. Maybe even drop me a line or comment below and we can talk through some options together.

Beginners Yin Yoga for Calm

I hope you enjoy this 30 minute Yin yoga class for beginners. The theme of the class is calm, so join me in creating a sense of calm with this 30 minute practice.

There are a few differences between the yoga you might be more familiar with (such as Hatha yoga or Vinyasa, which are other styles of yoga I teach) and Yin yoga. And I’ll list a few of these differences below.

Why Yin is different:

  1. In Yin we hold each pose for anywhere from 2-10 minutes
  2. In Yin we don’t engage the muscles – we try and release, let go and melt into the poses
  3. When coming into a pose in Yin, we don’t go to the deepest we can get into the pose. This means poses will look different to when you do the same pose in a Hatha class.

Don’t be mistaken – just because this class is a slow paced class, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, I find Yin to be one of the most challenging types of yoga – and that’s because I struggle with staying still. So why do I practice and now teach Yin – because it’s what I need to balance me out.

So you may find this class challenging. You may even hate it. As long as you don’t feel any pain, just see if you can notice these feelings of discomfort and continue with the practice.

A few benefits

  • Yin can be quite meditative, as we spend a long time in stillness. It’s a great stepping stone to starting a meditation practice.
  • It helps to balance out more active lifestyles. It’s important to have a balance between being active and always switched on, and being in the ‘rest & digest’ stage. Yin can help achieve this.
  • It stresses the connective tissue – helping the fascia around the joints can help improve mobility and joint health.

Props for this Beginners Yin Yoga class




  • Strap, belt or rolled up towel
  • Bolster or cushion/ pillow
  • Towel or blanket
30 Minute Beginners Yin Yoga Class for Calm

If you enjoyed this class and want to learn more about Yin yoga – join me for my Yin yoga course. This course is for beginners or anyone wanting to dive deeper into the Yin yoga practice. You’ll gain the confidence and knowledge to develop your own home yoga practice. As well as learning how you can adjust and modify poses to best suit you.

If you’re looking for another challenge, then why not check out my 30 day Morning Yoga Challenge. Feel the benefits of just 10 minutes of yoga a day for 30 days. Or sign up to my email list to receive notification of the next Wednesday’s weekly yoga class.

Yoga for Gardeners

With all this lovely whether and the necessity of the lockdown, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the garden. Mostly weeding and cutting back dead plants, though I hope to get around to planting a few vegetables. I’m quite new to gardening and it’s taking it’s toll a lot more than I was expecting. So I’ve started concentrating on my own personal yoga for gardeners sequences that can help relieve some of the common aches and pains a gardener might experience.

As I figure I’m not the only one spending more time in the garden, I thought I would share these yoga sequences in a special full length, 45 minute Yoga for Gardeners class!

During this class, as well as providing some relief to some of the common aches and pains, we’ll also strengthen these muscles to help prevent future aches, pains and injuries. We will spend some time stretching the neck, hands and wrists, releasing tension in the lower back and opening up the chest and hips. So the next time you’re spending time, as my Nan says, “pottering around the garden” you can do so with less discomfort.


All props are optional.

  • You might like to have a strap, belt or rolled up towel to hand.
  • A towel or blanket is also nice to have nearby in case you would like some extra padding for the knees/ hands.
  • Blocks/ books are also nice to have, though I don’t make reference to them in this class.

Yoga for Gardeners Class

Yoga for Gardeners full lengthen yoga class

Enjoyed this class and want more? Why not check out my 30 day Morning Yoga Challenge and feel the benefits of just 10 minutes of yoga a day for 30 days. And sign up to my email list to receive notification of the next Wednesday’s weekly yoga class or subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Yoga for Runners

Those of you that know me, likely know that I’m a bit addicted to running! It’s one of the reasons I started yoga, so it seemed crazy not to take advantage of this beautiful sunshine and film a few yoga for runners classes.

So here we go, a pre run and post run yoga session! Filmed before and after Michael and I went on our Saturday morning run.

Yoga can be used to help improve your running performance as well as reducing the chance of injury and speed up recovery.

Pre run (or any pre-exercise) yoga/ stretching should include more dynamic movements to help warm up the muscles to prepare them to run. This helps to prevent stitches and injury during your run.

Post run yoga is more static where the pose is held for a longer period of time with less dynamic movement. The muscles are already warm, so dynamic stretching isn’t needed. At this point holding the pose helps to stretch out and lengthen the muscles. This reduces the shortening of muscles (which creates muscle tightness) that results from a lot of running or activity.

Of course, if you don’t run these are still great yoga sessions, which will stretch and strengthen the outer and inner hips, quads, hamstrings and glutes. If you hold any tightness in these areas then you’ll still feel the benefits of these classes.

I hope you enjoy!

Yoga for Runners: Pre-Run Yoga

This class can be done at anytime of the day. It can be done before exercise or as a stand-alone yoga session, as we will warm up the muscles during the class.

You might like a towel or blanket for padding for the knee. I don’t use any other props in this class, however feel free to use them if you like.

Warm up those muscles safely before a run with this pre run yoga session!

Post Run Yoga

This class should be done only after exercise when the muscles have had a chance to warm up. You can also combine this class with the pre-run yoga class. This will ensure the muscles are warm before moving into some of the more static poses.

Again, I only use a towel and yoga mat as a prop in this class, however feel free to use more props if you like.

Stretch those muscles out to reduce tightness and speed up recovery with a post run yoga session!

Enjoyed these classes and want more? Why not check out my 30 day Morning Yoga Challenge and feel the benefits of just 10 minutes of yoga a day for 30 days. Or sign up to my email list to receive notification of the next Wednesday’s weekly yoga class.

Inclusive Wheelchair Friendly Yoga

A few weeks ago I was teaching chair yoga at Filwood Community Centre for their International Women’s Day event. After the class I spoke to a lady from the Bristol based charity, Young & Free. She asked whether I could teach an inclusive wheelchair friendly yoga class to her group, which of course, I happily accepted.

Sadly, due to the COVID situation the class will have to be delayed, however I was so excited about teaching the group, I decided to film a 30 minute inclusive wheelchair friendly yoga class.

So to the members of Young & Free, I made this online yoga video for you. I hope you enjoy it 🙂 Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions.

Kelly Xx

Wheelchair Friendly Yoga Class

This inclusive class is a seated class, which can also be done in a wheelchair. It can also be done standing, for those people that can’t sit for long periods of time. All ages and fitness levels welcome!

This class will help improve mobility in the spine and hips, with some gentle movements, which you can do at any time of the day. We will also be working the hands, arms, shoulders and upper body by creating a bit of heat in these muscle groups. So though this is a gentle class, it may challenge you at times. Of course, always listen to your body, and if you feel any pain then please ease out of the pose.

No props are needed, accept for a chair. You might like a pillow to sit on. You can also use a belt, strap or rolled up towel for one of the arm stretches, but that’s optional.

If you enjoyed this class and would like more, check out my yoga sequence for the neck, shoulders and upper back. Or sign up to my email list to be notified of my Wednesday weekly classes.

Yoga for Neck, Shoulders & Upper Back (15 mins)

Happy Wednesday all! I hope you’re keeping well and have settled into a bit of a ‘stay at home’ routine! I definitely work better and feel better when I have a set routine. So I thought I would take this opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and start filming and sharing some weekly yoga classes, the first being a Yoga for Neck, Shoulders and Upper Back sequence.

Every Wednesday I’ll be posting a FREE yoga class or sequence, which will focus on a specific area or theme. If you have any class suggestions, or anything that you would like to work on/ have issues with, or any other questions, please drop me a line.

This yoga for neck, shoulders and upper back sequence will focus on building flexibility and be particularly beneficial to anyone that spends a lot of time sat at a desk or using a computer/ laptop. It will also help you to strengthen the upper back muscles, to reduce rounding or hunching in the upper back.

Thanks and take care!


Yoga for Neck, Shoulders & Upper Back

Beginners welcome! No props needed, though it might be nice to have a towel, cushion or blanket nearby, in case you would like extra padding for the knees/ hands, or to sit on at the start of the class.

You can practice this sequence at anytime of day. You might even like to combine this with one of the other yoga sequences I have on my channel.

15 minute yoga sequence for the Neck, Shoulders & Upper Back

If you enjoyed this class and would like more, check out my Gentle Beginners Yoga class. If you would like to practice yoga with the whole family, then why not try this yoga for the family class. Or sign up to my email list to be notified of my Wednesday weekly classes.