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Meet our Community: Yoga Teacher Helena Lavery

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Blick is all about community, our creative residents and the wider creative community, but also the people who use our facilities for various different activities. Activities that help support Blick financially so that we can provide affordable workspace and run different events and activities for the creative community in Belfast. We thought it would be nice for people to find out more about the community of people who use our facilities at Blick starting with yoga teacher Helena Lavery. Helena teaches regular yoga classes in our Malone studios on Monday and Wednesday evenings, you can find out more about Helena and her yoga practice in the interview below.

 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work as a yoga teacher?

I’ve been teaching almost 20 years. I’ve taught in community centres; churches; corporate groups; festivals; all kinds of schools, and various studios. The youngest I’ve taught are 3 year olds and the oldest was a lady who was 88 – and she could still to a good practice! When I first started teaching, I said yes to everything – football teams; rugby players and even inmates in prison; I did draw the line when I was asked to teach a nudist group – not my jive really!! I’m a graduate of several schools of yoga, but the one that resonates with me the most (for the last 7 years) has been Katonah Yoga. Now, I like to teach it and the Andean tradition in my classes and workshops.

What inspired you to start teaching yoga?

I always like to go to the root of things. When I was practicing yoga for several years, my teacher kept encouraging me to do the teacher training. I would never have aspired to be a teacher, the thoughts of standing in front of a group of people and instructing them freaked me out – in fact sometimes I still get that fear, but do it anyway. It was more about wanting to learn more, the trainings were an avenue in to a more in-depth study of a hobby that I loved.

 

What do you love most about yoga?

There is always something new to learn. Having my own practice makes me explore more ways to move efficiently.

 

Why do you think people should take up yoga?

Well I know yoga isn’t for everyone, the most common thing people say to me is “I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible.” – Yet this is the very reason to do yoga, so that you can increase flexibility, gain strength and ultimately better health and longevity. Yoga is also great for mental health. I’m seeing more and more students who suffer from some form of mental issues – whether it’s stress, anxiety or depression (to name a few). Breathing exercises and meditations provide tools to manage stress.

What are the benefits of taking yoga classes in person rather than online?

Online yoga has been great, especially during the pandemic, but there’s nothing like the real thing in a class. I can see my students and give them verbal and physical adjustments online, and they do work to a point, but to get a good adjustment by your teacher in a studio just doesn’t compare really.

 

Can you tell us about Katonah yoga and what makes it special?

I first came across it in 2015, in New York. I was interested in Sacred Geometry – how everything in the universe is mirrored in nature. I came across a guy who was using the principles of SG in his yoga practice, so I took a trip to NY to learn from him. He kept talking about Katonah Yoga and his teacher – Nevine Michaan. She lived in Katonah in upstate NY – hence the name. She had been self studying yoga alongside Taoism and has been developing this method over 45 years. Here’s what she says about it:

“Katonah Yoga incorporates classical Hatha yoga with Taoist theory, sacred geometry, magic, mythology, metaphor and imagination in a practical framework designed to potentiate personal and communal well-being. Framing the practice with maps of time and personal space are defined and refined. Incorporating themes using asana as origami, manipulating form for function, and developing a sense of personal measure.”


Can you tell us a bit more about the bodywork and energy healing you do?

The Bodywork is a one to one private session, using the principles of Katonah to personalise a practice with adjustments to best suit my clients. It varies greatly depending on what the student is looking for – sometimes people come to get a clearer direction on whether they’re doing certain poses correctly; and others come because they have a particular injury or recurring strain that’s impeding them. I try my best to tailor to both.

My Andean Energy Healings are from a different tradition – “Andean Spiritual Art” – which comes from the people of Q’ero and Wassau regions of the high Andes in Peru. It’s a tradition I have been studying and teaching for the last 10 years.  A root cause of most of our problems in life is disconnection – be it from ourselves, community, family, colleagues or friends. With this detachment comes stress, anxiety, depression, a loss of self autonomy, lack of direction in life and so on. In the session, I engage with rituals taught to me by Andean Masters, connecting with the healing forces of nature. The aim of the Andean energy healing is to empower; awaken potential, and reset into coherence and purpose.

 

Apart from yoga, what are your other hobbies and interests?

I like to walk, I love bodyboarding when it comes to the summer months, and I’m a keen gardener.

 

What brings you joy in life?

Being a total introvert – sitting in silence or studying a good course or book.

 

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

To build on the yoga community I’ve started in Studio 51 (Blick), and to be a place of refuge for people going through tough times.

 

Where can people find you online?

www.helenalavery.com

#blickstudios on
This week in the final month of the year, as the year draws to a close we are thinking about what we want to get done before the end of the year. Having a look at what tasks we have been avoiding so we can get them done and out of the way and start 2023 without anything hanging over our heads. Is there anything you have been avoiding in your business that you know you would feel better if you just got it done?

#creativestartup #creativebusinessowners #creatives #smallbusiness #smallbusinessbelfast #smallbusinessowner #businesssupport
January seems the return of our kids animation workshops in partnership with Can Do Academy 

These mini animation master classes by Can Do Academy are a great introduction for children to the colourful world of Lego animation!

The workshop will allow participants to make a complete animated Lego film on an iPad, using sound effects, visual effects, titles and lots of imagination!

Your child will learn to use special iPad apps and they will receive a copy of their film at the end of the session! They can bring their own Lego characters or use the ones supplied by us.

EVENT DETAILS

Date: Saturday 14th January 2023

Time: 10am – 12pm

Venue: Blick Shared Studios, 51 Malone Road, Belfast, BT9 6RY

Age: Children 7 – 14 years

Cost: £20 + booking fee

Book through our website link in profile
It’s that time of the year again, this week in our Creative Roundup we are highlighting some local festive markets and workshops, all ways you can support local creatives this Christmas. We have also listed some other opportunities and events that might be of interest to NI Creatives.

CHRISTMAS WORKSHOPS & MARKETS

CREATIVES COLLECTIVES MARKET
DATE: Sat 19th Nov
TIME: 11am - 4pm
LOCATION: The MAC Belfast

ASTRAL FIBRES POPUP
DATE: Sun 20th Nov
LOCATION: Bullitt Hotel, Lobby

HUNTER PAPER CO - LETTER WRITING TO SANTA
 DATE: Sunday 27th November
TIME: various
COST: £5

WINTER WREATH MAKING SHARED THREADS FUNDRAISER
DATE: Saturday 10th December 
TIME: 10am - 12 noon
LOCATION: Portview Trade Centre
COST: £30

BEARDED CANDLE MAKERS MAKE YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS GIFTS - CANDLE EDITION
DATE: 25th Nov 
TIME: 5.00 - 7.00pm
LOCATION: Teolai, 30 Main Street, Castlewellan
COST: £55

WOMEN IN BUSINESS MERRY MARKETPLACE
DATE: 30th Nov
TIME: 5.30 - 8.00pm
LOCATION: The Merchant Hotel, 16 Skipper Street, Belfast
COST: Member £5, Non-member £10

OPPORTUNITIES

100 ARCHIVE
The 100 Archive charts the past, present and future of Irish design by publishing 100 notable communication design projects, selected each year following an open call.
CLOSING DATE: 31st Jan 2023

EVENTS

SIGNIFICANT OTHER EXHIBITION
Group exhibition showcasing women artists
DATES: 21st - 26th Nov
LOCATION: Artcetera Studio

CRAFT NI MAKER FORUM
DATE: Thurs 24th Nov
TIME: 10am - 12pm 
LOCATION: The F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio, 200 Newry Road, Banbridge

FOYLE FILM FESTIVAL
DATES: Friday 18 – Sunday 27 November 2022
LOCATION: Various

NAVIGATING EMOTIONS AT WORK
DATE: Nov 21st TIME: 5.00 - 6.00PM GMT
LOCATION: Online

HOW OUR SOCIAL CONNECTIONS IMPACT OUR ECONOMIC SECURITY
DATES: Wednesday 23 November 2022
TIME: 18:00 – 19:00
LOCATION: online

PIXEL MILL LEGAL WORKSHOPS
DATE: Thursday 24th November

DESIGN LEADERSHIP: HOW TO SOLVE BIGGER PROBLEMS AND LEAD BIGGER TEAMS
DATE: Tue, 29 November 2022,
TIME: 17:00 – 18:30 GMT
LOCATION: Online 

INVEST NI WEBINAR: SPOTLIGHT ON JAPAN
DATE: Thu, Dec 1, 2022 
TIME: 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM GMT
LOCATION: Online

Link to full blog with details and links on our profile
What do you want to achieve this week? This week’s question for reflection is super simple, but also a really good way to start the week. What do you want to achieve this week? Be really specific and honest with yourself. What is genuinely achievable within the timeframe and what is most important? Setting realistic and achievable goals is important, so you stay focused and don’t feel discouraged but also so difficult. It is easy to be overly optimistic with your goals and to-do lists or to focus on the things that are most enjoyable or easier, not what you actually need to get done to move forward.

I have to remind myself every week to be realistic about what I hope to achieve. Breaking down my weekly to-do list into urgent tasks (usually client work, admin etc) and things I would like to get done (big picture work, funding applications, new projects etc). I try and map out my urgent tasks then set aside some time and schedule in at least one thing from my things I would like to get done list each week so that I keep moving forward and working to achieve my overall goals.

How do you work out your to-do list and set your goals and priorities?

#creativeentrepreneurs #creativebusinessowners #smallbusiness #creativestartup #creative entrepreneurship
Did you know we have lots of free industry expert videos on our @womenfolk.co website? We have highlighted them on this week's creative roundup on our blog alongside different events and opportunities for creatives this week
We're excited to be bringing back our @womenfolk.co peer mentoring group

It’s very simple, but also very effective. Starting in January 2023 on the last Tuesday of each month we will host a get together with a small group of self-employed creative women or women in the process of starting a creative business to chat about business and life. Each person will get the chance to speak. Sharing their monthly progress, plans for the following month, future goals and aspirations as well as any challenges they may be facing. This process gives you the opportunity to connect with and learn from like-minded creative women and helps with motivation, accountability, goal setting and planning. 

As we want the group to be a safe-space for sharing we will be limiting numbers to a maximum of 8 participants. There is no cost to joining the group, but to ensure commitment and suitability participants need to fill in a short online registration to secure a space.

You can find the registration form on our website (link in profile) or if you have any questions about the group email christine@blickstudios.org

#workforyourself
#womeninbusiness
#womenfolk #womenindesign
#creativewomen #creativebusiness #creativewomencommunity #womenentrepreneur #womenentrepreneurs #womenentrepreneurship
Sunday mornings have just become available to hire the Main Room in our Malone studios. Perfect for yoga, meditation, classes, workshops etc, only £15 an hour for regular ongoing bookings. Get in touch for more info
This week's question for reflection is a tough one. It can be hard to be honest with yourself about where you find fulfillment especially with a creative business that may have started out as a passion project. Things change, just because we once found something fulfilling or enjoyable doesn't mean we still do, especially when it has turned from a hobby to a way of earning a living and all the pressures that brings. Of course for practical reasons we may still need to do it for the time being at least, but it's worth reflecting on for the future
After a week being away doing my first business/ solo travelling since before the pandemic. This week's question for reflection is a simple one. What do you want more of in life? and in your business?

#personaldevelopment #businessdevelopment #reflection #intentions #questions
This week's question for personal reflection came from a conversation we had in the studio about wanting to improve our writing skills. In this instance it was for a funding application, but I would also love to be able to write better for our website and social media and just think it would be a really useful skill to have for so many areas of business. It got me thinking about other things I would like to improve my skills on over the next period including social media (it's so hard to keep
uptodate with all the changes) and listening (covered in our creative roundup and the subject of a blog we will be releasing later in the week). Time just flies by and nothing changes if you don't take the time to think about what you would really like to do with your time and what would really add value to your business and life. Its worth taking some time to have a think about what skills you would like to develop and invest your time and energy in for both your personal and professional life 

#personaldevelopment
#skills
#investinyourself #improveyourself #improveyourlife #reflection #intentions
Like many others we have been slowly rebuilding our business following the pandemic. Doing a lot of work behind the scenes and trying to be more intentional with both what we put our energy into, but also how and why we are doing things.
As we continue to get busier  I want to continue this process and plan to begin each week with a question for reflection for myself. I thought some other people might also find it a useful exercise so if i get time each week I will share them here. 
I love this week's question "what did you enjoy working on most last week?" We so often forget why we started a business and what we used to feel passionate about as we get bogged down in the day to day work. We forget that it's possible and also ok to enjoy our work and to try to create more of that joy.