Welcome Autumn back with Yoga!
Have you had a landlocked lockdown? The days are getting longer, restrictions are easing and getting back to the ocean is on the horizon. However, a lot of us have suffered these past months without access to the ocean, gyms or swimming pools and surf-fitness has gone by the wayside.
Wouldn’t it be great to jog down to the surf again and feel confident? Rather than standing in the carpark, worrying about your popup or if you still have paddle power? That’s how I feel, so I have developed the Surf Stretch Sessions: a series of 4 classes throughout April aimed at improving strength and flexibility for surfing.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that focusses on the present moment; it is not about ‘clearing your mind’, instead it is about witnessing thoughts, feelings and sensations as they arise without judgement. Much of our suffering is caused by the stories we tell ourselves about our thoughts, emotions or feelings. Through mindfulness we can become aware of these negative and repetitive habits of thought and, with practice, can learn to detach from them.
Mindfulness was developed as a stress reduction technique, however, studies over recent decades have shown that it may also assist with the following:
This restorative yoga retreat has the theme Winter Mountain, for feeling grounded and stable. Many of us a facing new lockdowns and restrictions on our lives. This retreat will focus on our inner strength, resilience and stability to see us through these winter months, – just like the snow covered mountain awaiting the spring!
Do you follow yoga online? If so, follow these tips to create your own Yoga Sanctuary at home.
You don’t need to invest in loads of fancy yoga equipment up front, here I will share with you some yoga prop hacks so that you can make the most out of your yoga practice with items from around the home.
Yoga props are especially useful for restorative yoga practices. In the video below I will show how you can adapt and adjust your props at home to use with restorative yoga. I hope you enjoy!
Dear friends, due to the current situation I have decided to postpone yoga classes for at least two weeks as of 16th March 2020.
This is to keep us all safe and to support the efforts of those across the border in Ireland, who are making great sacrifices at this time.
I will keep you updated. I will be posting up some online yoga classes for you to practice at home over the next few weeks.
For those who paid in advance, we can either put it towards future classes or contact me directly for a refund.
I have lost count of how many times I’ve heard people tell me they “can’t do yoga because they are not flexible enough”. Well, duh, that’s the point (sorry) !
Over the years I have taught yoga to people of all ages and abilities, from people with prosthetic limbs and wheelchair users, to those with developmental disabilities or even long term illness such as MS and Parkinson’s Disease. Every body is able to do yoga, should the person so wish. Sometimes I have to physically assist a client to allow them to benefit from simple movements that are so very effective.
When I undertook yoga therapy training my tutor’s mantra was “The yoga is always the same”, by which she meant that the purpose was to focus on the breath, to relax the body and mind and to encourage the full range of motion for the joints of the body.
It is not about fancy postures but instead allowing the body to move as freely and as comfortably as it can.
In that spirit, I have put together a series of Chair yoga exercises that can be practiced at home. This introductory video lasts about 10 minutes and focuses on simple range-of-movement exercises for the whole body.
I hope you enjoy!
It was brilliant advice and I thought I would share it with you today, World mental Health Day.
I had been feeling glum and complaining: “Oh I should do this, I shouldn’t have done that”, to which my friend replied, in her own laconic way:
“Stop Should-ing on yourself”.
It made so much sense. So much of suffering is caused by beliefs such as:
I should be this…
I should be that…
I should do this…
I should do that…
I should be more…
I should be less…
I should have…
I should feel…
I should, I should, I should…
Plus an equal list of “I shouldn’ts” to match.
‘Should’ is defined as: used to indicate obligation, duty or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.
So what we are doing when we ‘Should’ on ourselves is piling on self-criticism; probably with a good old dollop of guilt as well. ‘Should’ is not so much a call to action but a means of berating oneself. ‘Should’ can make a person feel rotten, especially in terms mental health and well-being
An example being: “I should feel happy but I don’t” Where we have both criticism and guilt in one simple sentence.
So what could we use instead of ‘should’?
The first challenge is being aware of the times when you are ‘Should-ing’ on yourself and dwelling on self-criticism. (I like to recall my friend’s voice when I find myself falling into that trap).
The second is acknowledging the present situation for what it is, warts and all. View it as dispassionately as possible, like an impartial witness (this is a practice in mindfulness). Remove ‘should’ from that thought along with its associated guilt and shame. So, in the example of “I should feel happy but I don’t” can be replaced with: “I am not happy at the moment but that’s OK, this feeling will pass”
The third is to replace ‘Should’ with ‘I Can…’ Transform thoughts away from negative self-criticism towards what is achievable and positive. This is a way of opening up possibilities rather than shutting down in the shame of “I should”.
I hope that you find this useful. Wishing you all a good World Mental Health Day and remember:
This is really quick and simple dessert to make, or could be used as a breakfast dish.
I am not one to be too strict when it comes to cooking, however, I will advise you to refrigerate the rice as soon as possible after it is initially cooked (you can run the left overs in cold water then place in the fridge in a sealed container). It can be reheated the next day but do not keep it longer.
This really is a moveable feast, so feel free to experiment with whatever goodies you have in your store cupboard, the ingredients below are just a suggestion and I change it every time depending on how much rice I have and what is lurking in my fridge or cupboard.. (some grated coconut or seeds sprinkled on top make a nice addition, for example)
Time : 10 minuets with pre- cooked rice (white or brown, though white is more pudding-like)
How to practice a Moon Salutation: