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Create a Yoga Sanctuary at Home

How to create a Yoga Sanctuary At Home.

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!
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Covid-19 Update

Yoga classes temporarily postponed.

 

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.

In the meantime, stay safe folks!

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Relaxation and Stress relief

Looking to unwind? Try this guided yoga relaxation and stress relief technique.

 

Click on the video below to hear a 15 – 20 minute version of Yoga Nidra: a guided yoga relaxation and meditation.

Yoga Nidra translates as “Yoga Sleep”. It encourages a deep state of relaxation, where the body relaxes but where the mind remains awake. Listen to this yoga relaxation before bed, or at any time you need to unwind.

Learn how to bring your awareness to each part of your body in turn to relax deeply. Follow the guided visualizations to bring yourself into a dreamlike state where  you can allow positive thought patterns to to take seed and grow into part of your daily life.

If you enjoyed this then check out my short Yoga Nidra at just over 5 minutes:

Relaxing by the sea

Relaxing by the sea

 

Dont forget to subscribe to my You Tube Channel so you dont miss out on more yoga and relaxation videos!

Yoga is for Every Body: Introduction to Chair Yoga

Yoga is for every body.

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!

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Stop Should-ing On Yourself

A good friend once told me to “Stop Should-ing on myself”.

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:

“Stop Should-ing on yourself” .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wind Down with a Yoga Moon Salutation

This Yoga Moon Salutation can be used as a gentle warm up or wind down for an evening’s yoga practice.

 

 

How to practice a Moon Salutation:

  1. Start in Table position on the hands and knees, knees about hip width apart and hands below the shoulders.
  2. Come up onto the finger tips and step the left foot forward between the hands into a lunge (if you are newer to yoga you may have to lift your hand or assist your foot into position).
  3. Come into a ‘square lunge’ and get your balance.
  4. Inhale, raise your arms up overhead, hands in prayer position.
  5. Exhale, lean back gently (avoid this move if you have any back injuries)
  6. Inhale, release the backbend.
  7. Exhale, lower arms to shoulder level.
  8. Inhale, lengthen spine,
  9. Exhale, twist to the left.
  10. Inhale back to centre,
  11. Exhale, twist to the right.
  12. Inhale back to the centre.
  13. Exhale lower the right hand to the floor and raise the left arm.
  14. Inhale back to the centre.
  15. Exhale lower the left hand to the floor and raise the right arm.
  16. Inhale back to centre.
  17. Exhale return to Table position.
  18. Inhaling sit back to heels
  19. Exhaling reach arms forward and rest in Hare posture.
  20. Return to Table posture and practice the same, this time with the left foot forward in the lunge position.

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Need to Relax? Try this Short Relaxation for Busy People

Here is a short guided relaxation for busy people; known as ‘Yoga Nidra’, or yoga-sleep.

 

It is mental health awareness week so I decided to share this yoga nidra. I hope that you find it relaxing.

The purpose of this yoga nidra is to let your body fall into a deep state of relaxation but for your mind to remain awake. It aids a deeper state of relaxation than just sleep alone.

I have been giving guided yoga nidra relaxations and meditations for well over a decade now. This recording is from the early days, however, many people have enjoyed it, so I hope you will too! I will add different relaxations and meditations to my You Tube channel from now on, so please subscribe if you want to access more yoga tips and stress-relieving techniques.

Happy relaxing!

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Finding Strength in Weakness

How can you find strength in weakness?

‏I am learning that it is OK to have weaknesses, to be perfectly imperfect. Sometimes, being weak and asking for help takes more courage than being brave or ‘just getting on with it’.

 

“I am willing to be wrong. I am willing to be passionate about something that isn’t perceived as cool. I am willing to express a theory. I am willing to admit I am afraid. I am willing to contradict something I’ve said before. I am willing to have a knee-jerk reaction, even a wrong one. I’m willing to apologize. I’m perfectly willing to be be perfectly human”

 – Donald Millar

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Spiced Apple Chutney

I had to wait several weeks after making this Spiced Apple Chutney before I was able to taste it, but it was worth the wait.

I decided to make this Spiced Apple Chutney after collecting a big bag of apple windfalls from a recent storm. What better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon?

It is really simple to make chutney but it does take a bit of time and preparation and, just to warn you, your kitchen will smell of vinegar for days afterwards (I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the smell of cooking vinegar, it grabs you by the back of throat but is quite invigorating at the same time)

That said, it is well worth the time and effort to make your own chutney as it will be much nicer than store-bought variations. Jars of homemade chutney also make good gifts if well presented. Try this chutney with a big hunk of cheddar cheese and crusty bread, or with a ploughman’s lunch.

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Cancer support

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH: CANCER SUPPORT

People who know me will know how deeply my family has been affected by different types of cancer, breast cancer included.

It is difficult to know how to help when first involved with someone affected by cancer, be they a cancer patient or carer. So, here is a list of Dos and Don’ts I have compiled, from my humble experience:

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