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Tips to Help You Sleep

March 31, 2016

It is extremely important that we get enough sleep as durifng this period complex processes take place to energise and repair the millions of different cells within your body. However, there may be imes when you may have difficulty getting off to sleep. At such times the following exercise may help you.  All you need to do is read through the following passage when you are ready to go to sleep.

  • Remember a time when you felt very tired, and remember how your body felt.
  • Now, keep that feeling and imagine you are surrounded by some of your friends who are just as tired as you.
  • As you look around, notice that one of them yawns. Watch them yawn. Then another one yawns.
  • As more people begin to yawn, notice how you feel, and notice that some people are having difficulty keeping their eyes open.
  • And now let yourself join in the yawning.
  • Notice whether your eyes want to close, and even if your  eyes are already closed, imagine them closing again, imagine them flickering then closing again, over and over again.
  • Yawn again and notice where you feel the yawn -in your throat or jaw – and let your mind drift, and every time you find yourself drifting back again, just look around again at the circle of tired yawning people.
  • As you yawn more, notice a warm, comfortable feeling spreading around you, and let yourself drift again.

By Richard Bandler & Paul McKenna 2009

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5 Tips to Make Your Yoga Session Sparkle

September 1, 2015

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Yoga classes are not just for the perfectly toned body, yoga is for everyone.  These simple tips will help you get the most out of your yoga class and make your sessions sparkle.

 

 

 

 

  1.  Try to arrive a few minutes early.  You don’t want to spend your time getting rid of the stress created by rushing to class.
  2. Don’t worry about being inflexible.  The only difference between a bendy person and someone who is less flexible is that the flexible person has further to go to get the same stretch. Every person’s body is different and you should only do what feels comfortable and safe.
  3. Don’t feel that you are being judged or watched by others.  Stay focused on yourself, recognising your own abilities and limitations.  Yoga is a journey not a destination.  Enjoy the journey.
  4. Stop being so critical.  Don’t get frustrated if you are unable to achieve the perfect Tree or unable to hold that Triangle as long as you would like. Nothing will ever be perfect, there is always room for improvement.  That is why it is a yoga practice!
  5. Retain that relaxed, calm feeling during the coming week by bringing attention to the breath periodically.  Just stopping  what you are doing for a minute or two and focusing on the inhalation and exhalation of the breath can bring back that feeling of peace.

5 Reasons to Spring Clean with Yoga

March 20, 2015

Feel Your Ultimate Power

 

As the sun gets warmer leaving behind winter, this is the perfect time to spring clean your body and mind with some cleansing, releasing yoga.  Heading into spring our bodies long to start moving and clean out the toxins that have accumulated over the winter months.

 

1.  The gentle squeezing of muscles during yoga asana helps to mobilise the lympb which carries nutrients and removes waste.

2.  As you stretch idle muscles and use them, toning and strengthening them, higher awareness is developed in the nervous system improving concentration and lateral thinking.

3. As you become aware of tension you hold in joints in muscles, you  gradually learn to release it, freeing energy for other purposes.

4.  The squeezing and twisting movements massage the abdominal area which will enhance your digestive system.

5. The breathing practices in yoga improve health by bringing more oxygen into the body and eliminating carbon dioxide.

 

Benefits of a Regular Yoga Practice

December 29, 2014

Charity Taster Session

People often ask my why I choose to do yoga rather than some other form of exercise.  The problem with answering this question is that I could talk for hours on the numerous benefits.  Here are just a few that come to mind today which may inspire you to take up a regular yoga practice and attend my classes in Wilmslow which start on 5th January 2015.:

  • It uses your own body weight to strengthen bones and muscles, which means you can do it anywhere without any special equipment.
  • Yoga strengthens the core stabilising muscles of the abdomen and back.
  • It increases flexibility and balance.
  • Yoga improves breathing and lung capacity.
  • It improves heart function, reducing blood pressure, easing palpitations.
  • Helps to relieve stress.
  • Yoga helps to detoxify the body.
  • It boosts the immune system.
  • Yoga can alleviate insomnia.
  • It increases willpower to help fight food cravings.

5 Yoga Tips for Autumn

September 30, 2014

During the autumn you need to keep your yoga practice calming, warming, grounding and consistent.

1. Ensure you are fully grounded in your standing poses, through the base of your big toes, little toes, the sides of your feet and your heels. Garland and Malasana are good grounding poses.

2. Practice at a slow, steady, comfortable pace. Skip Sun Salutations and practice one pose at a time. Standing poses such as the Warrior and the Triangle are beneficial.

3. Hold postures for a shorter time than normal but do multiple repetitions.

4.Hold postures focusing on the breath, keeping it deep and calm as the lungs need a good smooth flow of oxygen. Practice Ujjayi pranayam, this has the benefit of being a warming breath.

5. When meditating use the mantra So Hum (I Am), it is the sound of the breath. It is especially grounding as it takes us out of our minds and connects us with the body and the breath.  You  silently chant “So” on the in breath and “Ham” on the out breath.

 

5 Tips for Healthy Glowing Skin

January 31, 2014

Cold temperatures and dry indoor heat can cause havoc to our skin. Our skin is our largest organ and yoga is one of the best ways to restore our skin at this time of the year. Yoga exercises can improve the circulation and blood flow to the skin. The deep breathing that is used whilst doing yoga boosts cell oxygenation and calms the nervous system. Stress has a detrimental effect on the skin, speeding up the ageing process. The following tips can help you achieve healthy glowing skin.

1. Practice postures that increase blood circulation to the head and face, e.g. Adho Mukha Savasana (Dog) and Halasana (Plough).

2. Practice poses that improve the digestive process and detoxification of the body, e.g. Paschmittonasana (East Back Stretch) and Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Twist).

3. Practice facial yoga exercises to tone the facial muscles, e.g. Simhasana (Lion) and Eye Exercises.

4. Practice relaxation and breathing techniques, e.g.Nadi Shodhana and mantra.

5. Smiling is the best and easiest ways to achieve a natural glow. Practising yoga with friends can help you become positive about yourself and make you glow.

5 Reasons Yoga Improves Health & Fitness

December 11, 2012

1.  Uses Body Weight. Yoga uses the individual’s own body weight to uniformly strengthen, stretch and tone muscles unlike some regimes which overdevelop particular muscle groups.  Yoga helps to build lean muscle mass.  The metabolic needs of muscles tissue are higher than fat tissue, burning more calories during and after exercise.Yoga uses minimal equipment and can be practised at home.

2.  Core Strength.  Yoga strengthens and conditions the core stabilising muscles of the abdomen and back. Lessons include exercises that strengthen and tone the large and small muscles of the hips, lower back and abdomen. Exercising these muscles improves overall stability of the trunk enabling you to perform various activities that require strength and agility or just enjoy life more fully.

3. Aerobically Challenging.  Sequences such as the Sun Salutations and other continuously linked poses increase the heart rate, making yoga aerobically challenging. Holding poses for longer periods of time also makes them more challenging.

4. Stress Reduction Impacts Body Fat.  Your body releases the hormone cortisol during its ‘fight-or-flight’ response to stress. In turn cortisol can raise blood sugar levels which causes your body to release insulin. Insulin sends a signal to your body that causes food to be stored as fat.  A regular yoga practice helps to relieve stress and thus your cortisol levels and the chain of events that follow.

5. Detoxifies Body.  In yoga the body is lengthened, twisted, turned and inverted whilst breathing deeply.  This facilitates the removal of carbon dioxide, lactic acid and lymphatic fluid from the deep tissues and extremities of the body which a jog or a bike ride don’t reach.