01. February 2021 · Comments Off on How To Rekindle Optimism · Categories: Yoga wisdom

Don’t get me wrong, I’m an optimist by nature, I know I’m incredibly lucky and I do count my blessings. But all too often I hear the platitude ‘think positive’ being rolled out and I wonder, isn’t telling someone to think positive’ sometimes just a polite way of saying shut up and stop whining’?

Perhaps straightforward positive thinking isn’t a self fulfilling prophecy and there’s a more constructive way to rekindle optimism?

Try these practical tools to boost your spirits:

Conscious Breathing

Yogic breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, is known to reduce anxiety and lower stress hormones. Lay on your back, one hand on your belly, the other on your chest. Inhale slowly through the nose for a comfortable count (say 5) and then increase your exhalation by 2-3 counts (so 7-8). Lengthening your out breath slows your heart rate a little and fully releases the carbon dioxide from the body, prompting the relaxation response. If lengthening your exhalation feels tricky, try humming as you do it. Try it for five minutes – everyone can find five minutes!

Use Your Time Wisely

Make wise choices about how you spend your spare time. Be sensitive to whatever drains your system and, if possible, do less of it. Be ruthless about your time sucks (yes Instagram, I’m talking about you) and bring in something more nurturing. Be clear about the self care that fills you up and do more of it. Set boundaries around it. Make it clear to whoever you share your space with (and to yourself!) that this is important and is not negotiable. By filling yourself up you’re in a better place to give to others.

Get real

Of course we all have to spend time doing stuff we’d really rather not and we need to be realistic about our options. Have practical expectations. Research shows that realists enjoy better long term well being than those who over estimate their outcome.

Be kind

Say yes to rest, to reading, to bunches of bright spring flowers, to excellent chocolate, to cloud watching, to Bridgerton/Lupin/The Great or whatever is floating your boat. Your spare time doesn’t always have to be productive. It’s good to BE and not to DO. There’s enough harshness out there right now and we could all benefit from a little kindness. Start with YOU. A self compassionate mindset will help you feel more optimistic about what’s ahead.

Strip Out The Shoulds

Watch your language. The words that make up your thoughts have a direct effect on your wellbeing. Speak kindly to yourself. Let go of ‘I should’ and replace it with ‘I could’. Swap ‘I’ll try’ for ‘I’ll have a go’ or ‘I’ll do this’.

Pick one of these practical steps to help combat malaise, change your mindset and lift your mood.

How To Get A Better Night’s Sleep

Like most of us, sleep evades me when I’m under stress, the time I need it the most. A global pandemic, dramatic change in circumstances, health scares, exam results – there’s plenty going on right now that can get in the way of a good night’s kip.

It’s important to recognise sleep as a form of self-care. As women (many of us mothers, and/or carers) we are looked to as nurturers, but without the proper rest, how can we support our family, friends and community?

I have my own box of tools that help me when self-doubt and worries creep in, either before I close my eyes or in that 2am/4am worry window. Read on to find out what works for me.

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03. August 2020 · Comments Off on Why Yoga Is So Damn Good For Your Brain · Categories: Yoga wisdom · Tags: , , ,

Why Yoga Is So Damn Good For Your Brain

The Obvious One: Yoga Is An Anti-Ageing Recipe For Your Bod

Freedom of movement keeps you feeling young! Much of the juicy goodness of yoga comes from basic increased flexibility of muscles and loosening of connective tissue around the joints – and you can get that from a really simple practice. 

As your practice deepens, you start to build strength, further increase range of movement and get better at balancing. A steady yoga routine has been proven to decrease rates of arthritis, chronic pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, increase blood flow to the heart and so much more. Moving your joints through their full range of motion helps prevent degeneration and stiffness as well as feeling great. 

When your body is happy, your brain is happy too. Less pain = less mental health diagnoses, fewer headaches and a generally more positive and calm state of being. 

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18. June 2020 · 4 comments · Categories: Yoga wisdom · Tags: ,

Eight Yoga Truths You Need To Know 

You may imagine that, as a yoga teacher, my practice is always zen, floaty and beautiful. Let me tell you, it’s not! Sometimes it’s messy, angry and distracted. There are days when I have no focus, can’t balance, feel weedy, my inner critic is yelling, my mat too damn slippy! 

The first truth of yoga is this:

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11. May 2020 · Comments Off on What’s Your Intention? · Categories: Yoga wisdom · Tags: ,

What’s Your Intention?

how do I want to feel…?

We always set an intention at the beginning of our class as it gives our practice meaning and purpose, almost like setting scaffolding around it. You’ll also sometimes hear it called a sankalpa. Sankalpa is a Buddhist term meaning a short phrase or sentence, clearly and concisely expressed, using the same wording each time, to bring about a positive change in your life.

Your intention or sankalpa can be whatever you want it to be. It can be the same each time you step onto your mat, or different. It’s up to you. All you need to do is focus your mind, connect to your most heartfelt desire and channel your energy within.

Ask yourself, what do I want? How do I want to feel? Create your sankalpa as a statement of fact. Remember to KISS – Keep It Short and Simple, use only positive words and present tense.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

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27. April 2020 · Comments Off on What Nourishes You? How To Get Clarity · Categories: Yoga wisdom · Tags: , ,

What Nourishes You? Get Clarity!

This is a simple journalling exercise to help you get clarity on what nourishes you. The things that feed your body, mind, heart and spirit from the inside out.

You’ll need your journal, a pen and a quiet place where you can sit completely uninterrupted for 15-20 minutes – if need be, get in your car!

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20. April 2020 · Comments Off on My Top Ten Spiritual Reads · Categories: Yoga wisdom · Tags: ,

My Top Ten Spiritual Reads

Gosh this was a tough one – let’s hope I never get asked to go on Desert Island Discs! I’ve been reading spiritual books for around 25 years now and so there are many amazing ones I’ve read that didn’t make the final cut here. 

I know that some people resist ‘self help’ books like the plague, but I’m honestly such a huge fan of them. Why would you not want to do your utmost to live your best life? We only get one shot at it, so it might as well be as good as you can get. 

So here, in no particular order, is my current top ten – the ones that never fail to uplift, inspire and encourage me to live my life like I mean it!

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09. April 2020 · Comments Off on Get Some Headspace · Categories: Yoga wisdom · Tags:

Get Some Headspace

I’m writing this 16 days into our first Covid-19 lockdown. It’s true to say that we’re living in extraordinary times of much flux and uncertainty.

The day to day reality is that we’re all dealing with the same situation, but with widely differing challenges. Some of us have way to much to do, others are dealing with extreme boredom. Some are alone with too much personal space, others are feeling like they have none. We feel grateful because we have homes, food, people who love us and communities that support us. But we also feel angry, depressed, sad or cheated – and then feel guilty for feeling these emotions from our lucky position.

We are ALL experiencing moments (days or weeks) of feeling unsettled, ungrounded and all at sea. Our lives have been turned inside out and upside down by something unexpected and outside of our control. We are united in our anxiety.

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26. February 2017 · Comments Off on Ten Ways To Get Your Mojo Back · Categories: Yoga wisdom

Ten Ways To Get Your Mojo Back

Mojo gone missing? Lost your va-va voom? I’m a naturally upbeat person but I get blindsided by an attack of the blahs every now and again and I know how hard it is to find the motivation to get back on track.

So here’s my go-to mojo lifting list.

Move!

Mojo is energy and sometimes energy gets stuck. Any kind of movement is good – even better if it’s outside and you can bank some vitamin D at the same time. Being in nature always lifts me and gets me out of my head into a better space.

Do Yoga

Obviously you’d expect me to say this but it’s true! Just get on your mat, you always feel better for a bit of yoga. Backbends are brilliant for lifting the energy and inversions are excellent for shifting perspective. Check out any of the energising classes available in the video vault.

Just Dance

I love to dance and when my mojo is flatlining I completely forget about the uplifting power that a great dance track has. Make a playlist of your favourite get outta my way where’s the dance floor tracks and get your groove going! You can check out my Kitchen Disco playlist here. More »

01. April 2016 · Comments Off on Life is Short – Celebrate Now · Categories: Yoga wisdom

Life is Short – Celebrate Now!

Cluster of colorful Fourth of July fireworks

Happy endings are overrated…

I think that happy endings are overrated. What about the happy now? A couple of events late last year woke me up to the fact that the future isn’t guaranteed. Life is meant to be lived now, not in some faraway future.

So forget retiring and finally getting to enjoy your life. Forget winning the lottery. Forget about about how amazing life will be when you finally get that big promotion/bonus/set up your own business.

This is it. There is no past, no future. Only now. THIS moment is special. But for some reason we often wait for some special occasion or reason to celebrate….

The champagne story

When I was a teenager, my father was given a magnum of Perrier Jouet in a beautiful hand painted bottle. Never one for delayed gratification I wanted him to open it straightway but I was told we had to wait for a special occasion. More »