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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.

5 Yoga Tips for Eternal Youth (without Botox)

November 9, 2012

1. Yoga improves circulation to the facial tissues helping to smooth and soften your skin and eliminate wrinkles.  Inverted postures flush toxins out of the facial tissues and flood the facial muscles and skin with nutrients helping you look younger. During yoga the throat and neck are stretched, firming and smoothing the skin. The eyes are also stretched and toned, smoothing out eye wrinkles.

2. Yoga activates and stimulates the 7 main chakras which in turn stimulate all the glands within your endocrine system helping to keep you youthful.  The endocrine system is responsible for the overall wellbeing of your body and the ageing process.

3. Whilst in deep sleep 80% of your growth hormones are produced. These hormones heal and repair your body. Incorporating yoga in your life helps you sleep well and assist in slowing down the ageing process.

4. Yoga gives you a youthful and elegant posture by keeping the spine supple and strong. Yoga also stimulates the thyroid gland which regulates your metabolism and helps you stay slim.

5. Yoga encourages deep breathing making more oxygen available to your heart which goes to your blood cells making your skin glow. The breathing and relaxation techniques taught help you deal more effectively with stressful situations keeping your forehead soft and smooth.

The regular practice of yoga can help you look and feel more youthful, vibrant and beautiful throughout your whole life. Yoga keeps you youthful from the inside out, young organs, young joints, young muscles, young nervous system and a young outlook. You glow from the inside out.  With personal tuition a program can be formulated for your specific needs.

5 Reasons Yoga Makes You Happier

June 21, 2012

  1. Yoga relaxes the body and the mind.  It helps you focus on the experience, preventing the mind jumping around and becoming anxious about the future or the past.  It encourages you to focus on the present moment, the most important moment and enjoy it.
  2. It surrounds you with like-minded people, people who are positive and happy, making you feel happier. You have no doubt felt how draining it can be to be in the company of negative people.
  3. The less intense forms of yoga like Hatha yoga give your body the opportunity to restore itself from the stresses and strains of daily life.  Attending just one class a week can help balance your life and make you feel more grounded.
  4. It teaches you how to bring more energy into your day by concentrating on your breathing for a few moments.
  5. Yoga encourages you to be kind to yourself and dedicate a little time towards caring for yourself.  This sense of inner joy can be addictive. Yoga teaches you to  accept you, love yourself and  respect your mind and body.

5 Simple Ways to Relax & Unwind

May 4, 2012

1.  Just Breathe.  Begin by observing your natural breath. Don’t change it in anyway. Just observe the rhythm of the breath as it flows in and out of the body. Notice the length of the breath, the temperature of the air as it touches your nostrils, the cold air entering the nostrils and the warm air leaving.  Notice the pauses between the breaths. If thoughts arise just allow them to pass by like clouds in the sky, gently bringing your attention back to your breath.

2.   Breath Counting.  If you are finding it difficult to concentrate you may find silent counting helpful. Begin by observing your natural breath and then count 1 as you inhale, 1 as your exhale, 2 as you inhale, 2 as you exhale and continue up to 10.  When you reach 10 you can repeat the cycle. After a while you may be able to stop counting and just focus on your breath.

3. Chant Mantra. This Sanskrit manta is a powerful way to quieten your internal dialogue but you may choose any words that have meaning to you.  As you inhale you say ‘om’ and as you exhale to say ‘shanti’ which means peace. If thoughts arise concentrate on the sound and the vibration of the sound in your body.

4. Mudra.  These are also known as finger powerpoints.  This simple exercise involves chanting and mudras to promote focus and clarity. Do do this exercises it is suggested you sit upright on the floor or in an upright chair.  Rest your hands on your knees with your palms facing upwards and close your eyes.

  1. Touch your index finger tip to the tip of your thumb as you chant Sa.
  2. Touch your middle finger tip to the tip of your thumb as you chant Ta.
  3. Touch your ring finger tip to the tip of your thumb as you chant Na.
  4. Touch your little finger tip to the tip of your thumb as you chant Ma
5.  Practice relaxation techniques whilst doing other things.  Mindfully follow your breath whilst commuting to work on a bus or train, or when queuing in the supermarket.  Chant a mantra whilst doing housework or mowing the lawn.  Try counting your breaths as you walk your dog or walk to the car.
Once you have learned these techniques you can practice them in the office or in the park at lunch time.

5 Ways Yoga Can Assist With Weight Loss

February 18, 2012

1.  Willpower.  Practice strong balances to improve your concentration and strengthen your willpower.  This will help provide you with the willpower to make healthy eating choices and resist cravings.

2.  Mindfulness.  Practice mindfulness by focusing on your inhalations and exhalations for 5-10 minutes daily.  This will improve your concentration helping you focus on what you are eating at meal times. You will feel fuller after meals and your digestion will improve if you don’t multitask when eating.

3.  Breathe.  When you feel the urge to snack, first breath out for a count of 6 and breath in for a count of 3 a few times to calm the body and mind.  With a clear mind then consider what you are really hungry for. Are you stressed, bored or may be just dehydrated.  Dehydration can often be confused with hunger.  If you are still unsure, drink a glass of water and then reassess how you feel.

4.  Energise the body.  Move away from weight loss goals and move towards what makes your body feel energised.  Eat wholesome unprocessed foods, keep moving, get plenty of fresh air and natural daylight.  The best way to lose weight is a combination of reducing your calorie intake and increasing activity, however, moderation is the key.  Foods with a high glycaemic index keep you satisfied for longer and stabilise blood sugar levels.

5.  Balance your metabolism.  They thyroid produces hormones that balance your metabolism.  If the thyroid is unbalanced your energy levels will be low and you will find it almost impossible to lose weight.  Extreme low calorie diets cause these situations.  Several yoga postures relax, cleanse and energise this area.  Whilst performing the bridge, shoulder stand or plough focus on the breath to cleanse and energise the thyroid at the back of the neck.