It’s been such a great start not just to the day, but to the whole week since starting my early riser yoga class a couple of months ago. I love it that even on an icy cold November morning like today, a few happy enthusiasts arrive before 7am eager to get going - and of course get warm!
A gentle warm up to unfreeze tired muscles, we watch the breath drift in and out using movements that encourage openness and softness, graduate into standing poses and a few more dynamic stretches to really feel the temperature rise then some simple pranayama (breathing) and finally enjoy a full body scan relaxation - bliss! All in all it takes just an hour to connect mind/body and soul.
Settling in at the start of class, quietly with eyes closed, the mind can open to create a personal intention for the morning practice or for the week ahead (after all when else will there be time for such indulgence?). Practising in this way creates a real, focused and conscious experience. This is not a goal I said, but something more subtle. An intention could be to think kindly about yourself, or to smile more, to befriend yourself, to give yourself a break, drink more water, to rest up … sometimes we can be so busy trying to get somewhere that (even in yoga) we are unaware of the journey and in our haste miss all the good stuff along the way…
When the class is over we all enjoy a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, homemade pesto, homemade beans, polenta and manchego muffins all served with rich ground coffee (herbal options available)… now I ask you, what’s not to enjoy about that?
If you would like to find out more about my beginners yoga practice and how it can lighten up your life, please get in touch with me.
Yoga Nidra: The Conscious Dynamic Sleep for Deep Meditation
There is a lot of talk about meditation, the different techniques and its benefits all over the wellness and spiritual media. However, we should be aware that simply doing a meditation exercise and actually being in a state of meditation are two different things. Anyone who has ever tried meditation, guided or solitary, will agree that it is easy to say, but difficult to do.
If you're prone to bouts of seasonal depression, feel lethargic or lack motivation... Try these simple steps and watch your spirits lift...
Sitting for hours staring at computer screen may seem like the norm for many of us these days and repercussions from inactivity amasses both physical and psychological strain.
Learning to manage our workspace, take regular breaks from the increasing work loads and pressures around us is key to self management. Repetitive movements, singular, stationary positions all add up. It's easy to ignore the signs that tell us to take a break, stretch, re-hydrate, get fresh air, and this can leave us feeling exhausted and depleted. So is it any wonder that our body accumulates tiredness, lethargy, aches and pains and other maladies that negatively affect our health?
Humanise your work-space by taking an objective view.
A robust immune system helps not only fight off viruses and bugs but is essential to respond to stress and health challenges when they come. When we are resilient and responsive to change we feel happier, more engaged and productive at work and generally make healthier life choices.
Viruses and bacteria lay dormant within the body and get triggered when the body's internal environment is affected, causing them to rally into action and make their attack. Recent studies show that too much stress can lower our ability to fight viruses and disease which is why it’s important to strengthen the whole immune system. In short the immune system is the body’s defence and surveillance system, it is our first line of counter-attack.
This article can also be found on Bookyogaretreats.com
What is good self-care? Trying to fit a routine into an already tight schedule where ‘I’ always come last and when it feels there’s no time left at the end of each day, can seem impossible. When you’re tired and drained and the telly is on you can't really be bothered anymore?
If this rings bells then please read on....
If you feel sluggish and out of sorts, your digestive system might need a boost. I love to start the new year with a clean slate, so to speak. Whether its a gentle detox, a spring clean or creating new intentions and healthier resolves, new year is a time for 'out with the old and in with the new' well, however you look at it, January is a perfect time to start a fresh.
Yoga is a great way to cleanse both body and mind of toxins and waste and can really give a boost to the whole immune system. Here are a few tips to incorporate into your daily routine, sprinkled with poses to stimulate the digestive tract and get the body moving. As you do the poses imagine your body is like a sponge being squeezed, twisted and wrung-out, ridding the body of unwanted toxins, stagnation and negativity. Think of each new breath as a new beginning, a fresh start.
Many of us don't get enough sleep and accumulated tiredness can lead to depression, raised stress levels, anxiety, and even premature aging and ill health creating patterns of insomnia and broken restless nights.
It can take effort, patience and persistence to create new and sustainable habits so if getting started feels a huge task or another thing to add to the ever-lengthening to-do list then try some of the ideas below for yourself and see how they affect you.
Here are a few simple, effective and pleasurable ways to prepare for bedtime to ensure a sweet slumber and help you to become a more joyful and more youthful you! Enjoy....