Atma Alchemy

Yoga, Massage, Meditation, Reiki

After birth...Me, Baby & Ashtanga Yoga Practice

News, Motherhood, Yoga, ashtangaLisa Upton

Or how to cope with being a new mum and continuing your practice of yoga

You have practiced yoga alone at home or in a shala/class for years, and then that wonderful day arrives, and your baby is in your arms.......This is a joyful wonderful experience...yet you have been thinking how do I practice my yoga now.

Elliotts Birthday

I am going to try and keep this blog I have hardly any time to write and I know new mums have any time to read(especially if your baby doesn’t sleep)

For me, having this baby signifies a spiritual experience, a gift, a soul lesson for which every day I look to the new lessons to learn. I have found my physical yoga practice less demanding even if I do full primary as my expectations have changed towards my mat.

So you’re into 7th Series Ashtanga Yoga,  suddenly you have to cope with the organic, messy and unknown thing called unconditional love & a new soul.......and there is lots of exploding nappies, projectile vomit and washing to lack of sleep and healing from giving birth (how ever that was for you) being kind and gentle with yourself is a must.

Firstly I can only advise what I did, and I followed my instincts.....firstly drop any judgement of yourself and try to focus on what feels right for you...everyone will give you an opinion on how to raise a baby & everyone will approach getting back to yoga differently, find out what's right for you.

Heal.....I had a emergency c section at the age of 46, breast fed and had an infection in the first few weeks of the new arrival Elliott plus Recti Diastasis (tummy muscle split right up to my ribs).....I was exhausted and ill, so I took care of me, baby & partner...and that was enough...

Elliott had a tongue-tie as well, so I was back and forth to hospital, doctors and Breast-feeding clinic, finding lifts from kind souls who could drive me, as I couldn't drive for 6 weeks. (C-section)

By 13 months Elliott was assisting me and we had such a giggle.

By 13 months Elliott was assisting me and we had such a giggle.

I didn't practice physical yoga until 12 weeks, and then it was 1 salutation at a time per week increasing as time went on. I wanted to take it slow, and take the opportunity to restart my practice with my new mamma body, your have muscle memory from the pre mamma body and then you have the hidden potential with this new body...I stayed positive. There is change and some is for the better. -I ignored the baby belly, the wrinkles the stretchmark’s & let yoga take care of me...the physical and non-physical.

By 6 months I was doing standing poses, and Elliott varied in his feeling towards my practice....he wasn’t crawling at this stage, but he was vocal.

I put Elliott first, if he kicked off I would stop and tend to his needs & abort the practice if necessary...once he started crawling..The new game of yoga with a clinging, crying ,giggling baby occurred, I would stop and take care of him when needed, again giving up when necessary as he was my priority. Yoga is now a messy organic crazy place while Elliott is with me...its different but Im still practicing yoga.

Ashtanga Yoga Lonon.jpg

I decided to enjoy, relish in every moment, practice being present & watch Elliott...he can be my moving meditation, every action, noise etc. there is so much joy and him being a baby will be fleeting

I starting having private lessons at 7 months every 6 weeks and took Elliott with me (Lauren Munday Ashtanga Yoga London) the only way I could be in a shala.

*I had no one to look after the baby (5.30-6am is a tough babysitting call), couldn't find a yoga studio local who would allow me to bring a 3-6 month old baby to morning Ashtanga yoga. (He was not crawling at the time

Ashtanga Yoga Motherhood.jpg

Elliott is now walking and it is extremely funny practicing yoga, the joy he has watching and interacting with me during yoga class is a whole new dimension to the practice.

The yoga I did try to practice through out pregnancy & beyond was the 8 limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, with great focus on the Yamas.

Non attachment (Aparugraha) to my life before birth and my yoga practice afterwards.

Non Violence (Ahimsa) to myself and those around me allow healing to the body.

Truthfulness (Satya) honesty to myself and how to develop my practice. Not pushing myself and not being lazy, finding the middle ground. some days mother hood is hard, talk to friends, family and other mums for support, don't put on a brave face x

Non Stealing (Asteya) Didn't take time away from my new born to practice, he always came first, so practice was when he slept or when he could cope with mummy on the mat. Baby time is important

Brahmacarya/Grihastha......this is first.x

So my advise, enjoy your baby, live in the moment, practice the 8 limbs of Ashtanga yoga the best you can and let yoga happen when you & baby are ready


I now am hoping to start morning Mysore/Ashtanga class for families with young babies (non crawling) so that everyone can come practice Ashtanga Yoga with me in Seale, Farnham 5.30am-7am in the future

i hope in time I can support new mums back to the ashtanga practice and happy for them to bring baby to practice (I am qualified yoga teacher and pregnancy/post pregnancy)

Contact for info.

Recommended Reading

Ashtanga Yoga Anusthana R Sharath Jois

Yoga Sadhana for Mothers Anna Wise and Sharmila Desai

The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda




Now supporting Guildford Rubgy Club

Lisa Upton

Atma-Alchemy enthusiasm for all things yoga has supported Guildford Rugby Club and advertising for Men's Yoga classes in Guildford & Farnham in their programme s well at private one to one classes.

As I previously Blog stated yoga is a complimentary therapy for sports, to add training, well-being and gain greater mental focus its a no brainer for anyone who takes their sports seriously.

Bringing clarity of focus
Longevity of training
Prevent injuries
Wellbeing and relaxation

Thank you to all those who are supporting me and making this possible 🙏🏻


Get more men to Yoga

Get more men to Yoga

Yoga for Men and Sports Improvement

Lisa Upton

Yoga for Men and Sports Improvement

Many of today’s large-scale western yoga classes are made up of a female majority. Yoga was originally developed in India for the majority of men and some women, but it wasn’t until the early to mid-20th century that Western women started to teach & practice yoga. This movement is attributed to Indra Devi, a devout student of the renowned yoga guru Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya.

But given the popularity of my new men only yoga class in Farnham, I believe men in the West are beginning to turn to yoga for its mental and physical benefits.

Yoga is a beautiful art that has been taught for generations to ensure a long and healthy life and I’m so pleased to be able to offer a men only class. I trained as a yoga instructor in India among many well-respected, amazing and inspirational teachers. These teachers were all from the Ashtanga lineage and can trace their roots back to Krishnamacharya and beyond, their experience and knowledge passed on through each generation. I’m honoured to have learnt from such valued heritage and continue to practice and teach yoga with Indian authenticity, which has the healing of the mind, body and soul at its heart.

Mens yoga janushirasana

Men’s Yoga Classes

Giving men a chance to try yoga in the company of other men allows them a space to realise just how flexible they can be. I teach men only classes at a beginner level, very similar to my mixed beginner’s class but with more emphasis on strength. I focus on arm and core strength and areas that need to be stretched and straightened - posture is a big area of concern for all of us, with bad posture caused by driving, sitting at a desk all day and using laptops and mobile phones.

In my men’s class, I work on strengthening the back, opening up the chest, shoulders and hip flexors and the hamstrings. Slouching has robbed us all of height, so strengthening the back plays an important role.

I also add in some arm balancing exercises, and there have been many who have surprised themselves with how much they can achieve. I’m almost certain that these poses have been demonstrated outside of class, in pubs and on football pitches. The very fact that men can come and enjoy my yoga classes in a non-judgemental space and take their learnings to their colleagues, friends and family members delights me.

Each class ends with a savasana, or corpse pose; ten blissful minutes of calm breathing and laying still, completely relaxed. It’s not unusual for students to fall asleep during savasana. I also teach simple poses to carry out at home, so that my students can continue to gain strength and de-stress between classes.

The Benefits of Moving Meditation

The breath leads the way in Ashtanga yoga, and getting the breath right is key to this beautiful art. Over time, perfectly synergistic breathing and movement allows something magical to happen. A seamless moving meditation unfolds, enabling you to learn about yourself and your relationship with this world. You’ll begin to notice you’re more able to focus on work and your home life. My biggest benefit from regular yoga practice has been to become a kinder, more loving person to myself, and to others.

I instil the same faith within all of my students – that with yoga there is an absolute connection between mind and body. If you tell yourself that you’re stiff and inflexible, then you will be stiff and inflexible. I encourage positive thoughts first and foremost, and the rest will follow. A better connection between mind and body and a renewed flexibility has profound consequences. Work will become more productive, relationships more rewarding, you’ll be able to reach more fitness goals, recover better and even become more resilient to exercise injury and pain.

Yoga and Sporting Performance

One of my male students is a keen footballer. Many of his team members have commented on how much his game has improved, and he’s noticed a much stronger core and upper body, with more flexibility. He’s also able to play football three evenings a week without muscle aches and pains. He attributes all of this to regular yoga.

Getty Images

Getty Images

It may surprise you to know that the New Zealand All Blacks Rugby team practice yoga, as do Manchester United and Manchester City football teams. Interviewed in the Daily Telegraph on 6th August 2017, Ryan Giggs, lean, athletiec and still playing Premier League football at the age of 40 gave an undisputed gold star to the benefits of yoga to keep him feeling young and able to compete:

“Yoga strengthens your muscles, improves flexibility, but also keeps you fit and gets you out on the training pitch so you can train every day. You want to be out there so you need to get your body robust and ready for anything. If I do a yoga session the next day (after a game), I’m nowhere near as stiff and I’ll be back training at the right level a lot quicker”. Ryan Giggs

In Summary,  Yogas benefits:

Prevents injuries

Men often experience various aches, pains, and injuries, whether they’re athletically active or spend hours at a desk. Yoga can help prevent injuries in numerous ways.

Yoga improves flexibility and range of motion, which helps lengthen muscles and eliminate tightness and strains. Yoga also improves joint durability by strengthening connective muscle tissue. It also gives you better awareness of your body so you can recognize subtle issues, such as poor posture, and correct them quickly. 

Builds Muscle

Yoga uses natural body weight and resistance to build lean muscle mass. Yoga lengthens muscles and tissue, which improves blood flow. Better blood flow means more oxygen to the muscles, which helps them recover faster so they can grow.

Enhances productivity

People have improved memory and inhibitory control, which enables them to maintain focus, retain information, make confident work decisions, and have more energy.

The meditation aspect of yoga also helps to improve focus.

Boasts Wellbeing

Strengthens cardio system including blood pressure, supports your immune system, nervous system & digestive health

Reduces stress, Anxiety, aid sleep & relaxation.

Relaxation, focus, fewer aches and pains, strength and a better game - why not see what yoga can do for you?

My classes for men are 8.30-9.30pm at the Seale Village Hall in Farnham and beginning on September 11th 2017, 8-9pm in Quarry Street in Guildford.


Pre-booking is essential as I have limited space. I also teach one-to-one classes at my yoga space or in the comfort of your own home.


New Yoga Courses Central Guildford

YogaLisa Upton

Starting September 11th 2017 Email to register an interest & receive further details.

Beginners Yoga and Post Pregnancy 6-7pm

For those who would love to try yoga, any age or fitness level,

This is gentle stretching and breath work, ideal for new mums (6 weeks after baby) for repairing C section (12 weeks after baby), recti diastasis, for those who wish to improve core strength, general flexibility, aiding relaxation, reducing Stress and can help a good nights sleep.

Ashtanga Yoga for Beginners 7-8pm

For those who wish to learn a sequence which they can incorporate into their lives anywhere,

This yoga starts with primary series and sun saluatations and its teaching are direct from India. This course will empower you to practice yoga anywhere, as often as you like to gain stamina, fitness, flexibility and strength while reducing stress levels & learning to breath.

Men's after work yoga 8-9pm

Men only Yoga classes after work, so you can gain fitness, strength and flexibility while learning to do this form of moving meditation.

Reduce stress, learn to relax while becoming healthy.

Yoga is Good for the Mind Body & Soul.

Consecutive Course of 5 - £45.00

Register an interested as course numbers restricted to small group.

Please email me for further details as classes are pre-booked, drop in spaces may or may not be available.

Private One to One Classes

Meditation, Yoga, News, Private Yoga, One to OneLisa Upton

Too busy for a class, need a time that suits your schedule, perhaps un-socialable hours due to work commitments or just want to learn in the comfort of your own home (or in my beautiful treatment room in the Surrey Hills)

I offer private yoga classes for beginners, Ashtanga Yoga, Pregnancy Yoga, Prenatal Yoga & meditation.

The first class is 90 minutes including a consultation and there after 60 minutes.

Ill bring mats and props so you can try yoga before you commit.

I offer a course package which will be specific to your needs, helping gain in fitness, flexibility, reduce anxiety/stress, aid sleep/relaxation, strength core & aid long term existing conditions such as arthritis

I am a dedicated, enthusiastic teacher, who is committed to continuous professional development & I am passionate about supporting my clients to reach their full potential






Men Only Yoga Class Trial Night June 14th 8.30-9.30PM

YogaLisa Upton

Coming to Seale village hall just off A31 between Guildford and Farnham

No matter what age, ability or fitness level.

Fancied trying yoga but would like a small class of absolute beginners to do it?

Next Wednesday could be that night

Cost £10.00

Come and see if yoga is for you

Strengthens core & builds muscle strength, lengthens & stretches muscles, relaxes and de-stresses the body.


let me know any health issues / ask as many questions as you like

Atma Alchemy Boutique Pop up shop & Flash Sale

News, Active wear apparelLisa Upton

2nd April 11am - 3.30pm POP Up Shop & Flash Sale @64 Quarry Street Guildford

Small Exclusive Boutique of Designer Active wear from Divine Goddess Apparel opening a pop up shop 2nd April 2017.

Come and try on these luxury ladies active wear made in bamboo, Rayon Lycra and organic cotton.

See the fantastic yoga mats and bags in beautful unique designs

This launch event has special non web prices, so grab a one off bargain on this day only.




Yoga in Guildford & Seale

Lisa Upton

January start & yoga is up and running in Guildford just off the high street and Seale just outside Farnham

Guildford Yoga Monday evenings

Pregnancy 6-7pm

Beginners 7-8pm


The Guildford studio is full of light with mirrors to aid alignment

Seale Village Hall, full of light and space

Yoga on Wednesdays

Beginners 6-7pm

Pregnancy 7-8pm

email me for joining information

Post Pregnancy Body- The doorway to Earth.......

Yoga, NewsLisa Upton

Having spent my life looking after my body and health, the post pregnancy body was a little bit of a surprise.

At peak fitness due to dedicated ashtanga practice June 2014

At peak fitness due to dedicated ashtanga practice June 2014

I am now living with 34G boobs (yes-breast feeding is the cause...i never thought i would wear a bra that size) and a tummy which could be mistaken for yet another baby....accept its not...its the left overs.

I was not expecting a flat tummy after producing my gorgeous son, but the 1st week taken by surprise by suffering from Oedema....No one warned me about this and suddenly my legs, ankles and Tummy turned inflatable.

My tummy was bloated full of wind(trapped air from the C section opening me up ) & water retention, having an emergency C section & being filled with drip fluids didn't help this post pregnancy state.....

12 weeks later, finally allowed to exercise "officially", I have begun a recovery program.

4 weeks ago, i started my ashtanga yoga practice, with 1 sun salutation A...per day, but avoided any plank type poses....not only did I have a c section to recover from by separation of my belly muscles, Diastasis recti,  these issues plus the standard stretch marks (i was so stretched) i felt a long way off where i had come from.


near then end, and breathless with walking, but happy May 2016

near then end, and breathless with walking, but happy May 2016

I increased weekly my sun salutations by 1, so by week 12 I was doing 5 As and 1 B.........

I did my best to do some exercise during pregnancy, much less than before, as I was always tired, out of breath due to squashed lungs(your organs move upwards to make way for the baby belly),

I was lucky to get pregnancy, not suffer greatly from morning sickness....just lack of sleep due to not feeling comfortable, normal hemorrhoid problem as baby weight was on my lower colon, especially at the end when i could feel my tummy muscles separating.......I wondered if i would burst instead of give birth.

My Tummy after birth, hormonally discoloured,, stretched & scarred

My Tummy after birth, hormonally discoloured,, stretched & scarred

Recovery program continuing to slowly increase my Ashtanga practice, as I am publishing this blog at week 16. I will be doing 5 sun salutations A , sun saluations B and thats it.....week 17 I begin the standing poses.....

I am however not just doing my Ashtanga practice, I have a belly to repair, so i am doing post pregnancy yoga, I am doing all the things I need to do to knit my muscles together & there's more......I have joined the Gym., having replaced my ashtanga practice to pregancy yoga for 9 months (a gentle more feminine form of yoga) muscle wastage occurred, I have lost my body strength, so i am weight lifting to build muscle tone/strength as an adjuct to yoga, all very helpful supporting my work as a Ka huna Masseuse & yoga teacher.

I have always home practiced my Ashtanga yoga so now it fits in around baby sleep time,....

Having had the amazing experience of having a baby, I feel there is a need to change my view point of my body & any mothers

Women's body are a vessel to carry their soul & also to welcome other souls onto earthly reality, if they are so blessed in this lifetime.

My Son Elliott

My Son Elliott

Keeping fit & healthy means we have a chance to experience all of this & more, no matter what age we are, Although my body has changed, never to "springing back" into its youthful shape, it has grown a beautiful, healthy baby and been a door way for my son to enter planet blessed are we mothers for this amazing & spiritual experience.





Octobers an exciting month!

Massage, Yoga, MeditationLisa Upton

Returning from Maternity leave & an additional 85 hour Yoga alliance course, I am excited & refreshed to beginning Yoga lessons, meditation groups & sharing the lovely Kahuna Massage.

Check out the website for further details

Please call or email for details and class times


Small friendly classes in the center of Guildford, please MSG, email or call to book as space, as class sizes are limited.

Small friendly classes in the center of Guildford, please MSG, email or call to book as space, as class sizes are limited.

Divine Goddess Winter Collection Arriving October 2016

Active wear apparel, active wear Yoga Apparel, News, YogaLisa Upton

Beautiful textures, patterns & batik in black & shades of grey, Winter warmer Sweaters, "New" 3/4 length and full length leggings, bespoken, hand dyed & designed, each one unique.

Crisp cold mornings with the change in seasons, White cropped tops, white leggings & white long sleeved tops "I am Love"  made from bamboo. Stand out from the crowd in these beautiful active-wear clothes

  • Not on the high street
  • No mass produced
Winter textures & patterns in shades of black & grey

Winter textures & patterns in shades of black & grey

Winter whites

Winter whites

Mother & Baby Yoga

YogaLisa Upton

After 8-12 weeks spent at home (*please check with Doctors that you are ok to start an exercise routine) with your new baby, post recovery from birth & adapting to having  a new soul to care for, this classes will aid you gaining strength, building up flexibility and and aid post labour recover.

Pregnancy Yoga Classes

YogaLisa Upton

Safe effective classes for mums to be & their growing babies in their 2nd trimester

Adaptive classes for each individual mum according to her fitness, wellbeing, injuries or common pregnancy ailments such as back injuries or pelvic girdle pain

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