This is the first of my blog posts around the Autumn Equinox, looking at finding some self-care practices and rituals at this transitional time of year. If you're following my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/yogaformodernlife) then you'll be getting some brilliant yoga self-care ideas each day for the next week. So here I'm sharing a really gorgeous idea - simply doing nothing, the ultimate in self care!
The Absolute Necessity of Doing Nothing - a habit to feed your soul.
We are just too busy, too occupied, too distracted, too over-scheduled. We try so many strategies: new calendars, to-do lists, long lost New Year’s resolutions, and endless promises to ourselves to do less. But we don’t.
So do these three things instead.
1. Three times a week take a 20 minute relaxation. Lie down, set a timer, cover your eyes and totally disconnect from the world.
2. Do not look at your phone during meals. Put it in another room and turn it off.
3. Look through your calendar every Sunday and see what you can take off for the following week.
These three simple things will help you start creating more space and silence and ease in your life. You will have more time to create and reflect and this will be healing and energizing at the same time. The greatest luxury in an over-scheduled life is simply unfilled time. Learn to do nothing. Lie on your couch and look out the window. No music, no cell phone, no talking, nothing. We all crave more space and the cooling balm of space and time. Invite emptiness into your life whenever and wherever you can. Soak in the silence and stillness to be found somewhere in your day. This practice is anything but a waste of time. “It feeds the soul and NOURISHES our life.”
Judith Hanson Lasater, Originally published by Living Yoga Dallas, 2015.
So do you need a yoga mat? In short the answer is YES.
The first thing to purchase as part of your yoga kit, is your very own mat. Many of the other bits and bobs we use in a yoga class can be substituted pretty well with household items (a yoga block with a book, cushion or folded blanket, a yoga strap with a belt or scarf), but a yoga mat is more than just a physical surface to practice on, it has greater significance that that.....Read More
Yoga is a fundamentally accessible activity and can be practiced in a variety of settings and places, and it doesn't require much in the way of specialist equipment. However, there are a number of basic props you can use to help you get the most from yoga. These can also help make some asanas more attainable for those with limited mobility. A good class or studio will have these props available for you to use, but at home you can always use alternative items from around the home (and there's some suggestions below).Read More
15 Reasons You THINK Can’t Do Yoga - -And Why None of Them Are True
There are almost as many great reasons to do yoga as there are yoga poses. Studies are showing what many yogis already know: yoga increases strength and flexibility while decreasing stress. Additionally, yoga has been found to improve our respiration, heart health, and sleep quality. Yoga has also been used successfully as a complementary therapy in the treatment of addiction, chronic pain, and mood disorders.
With evidence of yoga’s benefits mounting, why drag your feet? Don’t let any of the misconceptions below keep you from starting a yoga practice that just might enhance your life!Read More
Zita West is one of many fertility experts that recommends yoga to her patients who are having difficulty conceiving. ‘Any exercise that involves mindfulness, breathing techniques and meditative visualisation has many physical, emotional and mental benefits,’ she said, adding that yoga is a calming antidote to any woman consumed by an overwhelming desire for a baby, the resulting stress of which becomes an impediment to conception itself.Read More
Because it is not something you either have or don’t have, and you can increase your chances of conceiving and help to boost your fertility with some easy changes to your lifestyle. Here are some tips to boost your natural fertility:Read More
Dispelling Yoga Myths
It's common to hear all sorts of reasons from people as to why yoga is not for them. Alot of the reasons I hear are misunderstadings or misconceptions, here are some really common ones and the REAL answers (well for my classes anyway - where everyone is welcome):Read More
Something I often do is the “3 o’clock stretch.” It’s a time to step away from my desk mid afternoon to do a few simple stretches and recharge. Sitting in one position all day makes my body feel not so great, so some simple yoga stretches are great for loosening tight muscles. Plus my energy often is often waning mid afternoon, and it’s amazing how a little deep breathing and muscle movement can completely reinvent your mood.
Below are a few of my favourite “office-friendly stretches.” They don’t require any special clothing, equipment, or training – just a willingness to take a break from hunching over your desk.Read More
Whether you have been on a long flight, spend alot of time in the car, or have a long commute by bus or train you’ll know that all that sitting for long periods can cause tension and tightness in the body - in particular back pain, tight hips, stiff shoulders, lack of circulation and swollen feet and legs. Ouch! There is nothing better than yoga as an antidote for too much sitting down, it can really help you stretch, unwind, rest and relax after a long or tense journey.
Here's a yoga sequence to help relieve your post travel body and mind.Read More
I call my yoga classes ‘Yoga For All’, but what does this actually mean? Well primarily it’s that I want the yoga that I teach to people to be open to everyone - no matter their age, fitness level, body shape or experience of yoga. I feel that the yoga postures we do should be fitted to individuals bodies, not the other way around. We should find stability and ease in the poses, not be striving too hard or pushing ourselves to achieve some imagined version of a ‘perfect pose’. Everyone’s own version of the pose will look different, and be unique - and that’s how it should be, as we are all unique in our bodies and this changes over time, and even day to day (balance for example can vary day to day, its fluid). This uniqueness should be celebrated, in my opinion.Read More
If ever there was a time to slow down your yoga and take your speed of life down a notch or two the summer is it. With the warm weather (fingers crossed!) and long summer days, slowing down and simply drinking it all in can feel just great.
Yoga, before it was transformed in its journey to the West was a breath-centered practice for the wellbeing of the whole person. Something that would provide a vehicle for slowing down and learning to truly take care of ourselves. Something to counter the difficulties encountered in life. But yoga changed when it came to the West.Read More
Resting in Savasana (which means Corpse Pose in Sanskrit), for five or ten minutes at the end of a yoga session works powerfully on many levels.Read More