Summer Celebrations

Interestingly, this summer I have had unexpected contact from students who I originally taught mainstream yoga in my Grove Park Yoga Centre some 42 years ago. As well as hearing from some YOU & ME Yoga Trainers, including Jo Osbourne who has given permission for her email to be shared on this blog:

'Hi Maria, I thought it was about time I let you know how much your work continues to help the children of New Zealand.

'I trained with you in London many years ago and have been living in New Zealand for the past 14 years. I just wanted to let you know that I continue to use YOU & ME Yoga with my paediatric physio clients on a regular basis (one-to-one usually) with great success. I still use the resources you provided and continue to enjoy teaching yoga to my clients and their siblings as an activity they can often do together. 

'Well done on keeping it going
Jo Osbourne'
Children’s Physiotherapist, YOU & ME Yoga Trainer, NZ International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM).

This article ‘London school sees positive effects in 10 months’ sums up Jo’s first yoga group that was published by British Wheel of Yoga, SE Newsletter, 2008

Mandy ffrench

Earlier this summer I met up with Mandy ffrench who first attended my Grove Park Yoga Centre in 1976 and soon after became the student’s registrar. Then she became a reflexologist with her own training school and 15 years ago moved to Australia. During Mandy’s visit to her family, her daughter Paula Lloyd organised healing camps at two music festivals in Kent, The Food Fest and the auspicious Black Deer Festival.

Paula invited three other healer friends to offer a variety of massage, Mandy and Paula offered reflexology, and I taught chair yoga. Our healing camp (as seen here with Paula) was very popular at these festivals. People were able to chill-out in a serene, comfortable area and it was very therapeutic for us six to spend two weekends together in such a special way!

Then during Mandy’s last weekend in England, her, Paula and I attended a Massage and Meditation Retreat at Osho Leela in Dorset which was such a lot of fun. The weekend course reminded me of the benefits of massage and of living in a well-organised commune, meditating, eating and sharing with many others.

Rosie and Nick met at Grove Park Yoga Centre and ended up getting married 37 years ago. I was invited to their wedding reception, where they hired a double-decker red bus to drive their family and friends to Brighton beach for their reception on the promenade grass area. 

This summer, I was invited to their big family party with 26 members. We had a glorious time in a beautiful spot with scrumptious food and delightful people.

How blessed I am to have made such wonderful friends to share and to have fun with since teaching them yoga. And to learn that YOU & ME Yoga continues to benefit Jo’s paediatric physio clients on the opposite side of the world.

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Travel Grant

Application for this year’s ten categories for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust travel grants is now available. The Trust is offering 150 grants in 2019 to individuals who are passionate about making a real difference with new ideas and projects from overseas. Closing date for applications is 18 September 2018. To find out more contact:

The Trust works closely with The Mental Health Foundation and historically has funded a lot of mental health fellowships. Although this year’s categories do not specifically include mental health, there is an Open category that it could be applied for. Here are some examples of Fellows who have looked at issues related to mental health, to mark Mental Health Awareness week:

The scoop of the WCMT categories for approx. £6,000 grant for an overseas travel grant is broad and diverse. There are ten categories each year and this year as well as the Open category there are three other categories that may suit therapists and trainers involving: 

Suicide Prevention, Healthcare, Nursing and Allied Health Professions, re.

Finally, I would like to share a link to the highlight of my Churchill Fellowship in India, where I Investigated the therapeutic value of Yoga for disabled people: 

Maria Gunstone, YOU & ME Yoga,

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The Whole-Body Joint Looseners PhysioTool

Explanation of the Colour Code
We use colour because it is one of the best mediums through which people can be motivated to learn. The use of colour in the YOU & ME Yoga system helps special clients understand that Yoga is a meaningful experience for the whole of their body.

Hence, the legs are coloured red, hips and lower back orange, waist and mid-back yellow, chest and upper back green, and the arms blue. Indigo and violet colours represent the mindful aspect of the movements: Indigo deals with coordination and violet the concept of whole body awareness.

Colour assists with the learning process and the selection of a sequence of movement for the whole body organised to suit the client's needs and abilities. 

Variations of the Looseners
If there is restriction in performing any particular Loosener in the usual way, a variation can be used instead. For example, if the client has restricted leg movement, a red variation technique can be selected for the client’s ability. 
It is necessary to include one of each of the coloured Looseners for a carefully selected and arranged sequence of Whole-Body Joint Looseners. 

Health and Safety
Before planning a Joint Looseners programme for clients, it is necessary to be aware of any client’s health condition that could cause any of the Joint Looseners to be contraindicative. This information is available in the Whole-Body Joint Looseners and Variations for Special Needs’ PhysioTool. 

Provides and develops software to produce lesson plans and personalised exercise handouts, at the click of a button. PhysioTools is the world’s largest exercise library with 20,000+ techniques, which can be installed on the computer or use online. It is used by healthcare and fitness professionals around the world.

Select. Edit. Print. Email.
Simply select the techniques, edit the text to customize, then print or email the handout, as appropriate. Whether you choose to install the DVD or prefer using the software online, PhysioTools has the right exercise product for your clients.

By using this voucher code: MGPX66 you can get 10% discount off any PhysioTools product, including the colour-coded Whole-Body Joint Looseners and Variations for Special Needs module with 706 line drawings:  Go to Link:

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Yoga in the Curriculum

This topic web shows how YOU & ME Yoga is cross-curricular, by contributing and complimenting various subject areas in the curriculum:

To see an example of this in action, please watch this 2-minute video demonstrating YOU & ME Yoga fitting into the Special Needs Curriculum.

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Inclusive Technology

I recently attended an information day with Inclusive Technology Ltd. to learn about how computers and software have been developed to support people with special needs in learning, reading and writing. This day showed us how IT is developing beyond what most of us ever thought possible. It also gave me a greater insight to the e-book world for special learners and its potential for my YOU & ME Yoga Publications.

To wet your appetite, this video shows what we can expect in the future before tackling what equipment is already available.