Category Archives: Find your calm space

Relax, and learn to let things be and let things go. Find the calm space deep within you where all is well.

What are YOUR symptoms of relaxation?

Relaxation in Southampton and Eastleigh: learn to relax like this sleepy kitty!
This sleepy one certainly knows how to relax!

Do you know how you feel when you relax?

This is a good question to ask yourself!  Without having to ponder it, do you truly know the answer?

So often we focus on the negative sensations we experience in the body – symptoms of stress or anxiety, symptoms of a health condition, or symptoms of something we don’t know the cause of.

That’s because these symptoms are pretty good at and making themselves known. Headaches, back pain, joint discomfort, digestive problems, insomnia, stiffness… They’re hard to ignore!

And, it’s perfectly natural to notice discomfort and pain – it’s our body telling us something needs attending to. Read more…

A simple tip to calm your mind

Let the stormy skies of your mind clear with relaxing yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh
Let the stormy skies of your mind clear

I can’t relax. I can’t switch off. My mind is constantly racing. I can’t concentrate on anything. I can’t sleep.

These are some of the common phrases I hear from my (new) yoga clients, as well as friends and family.

A feeling of being out of control. Feeling edgy. A feeling of foreboding. Mind skittery. Body tense and achey.

I know how it feels. I’ve been there. I remember many a night when I lay awake with that feeling of not being about to shut up my mind. Of it being in control of me. Of not knowing how to even start to make it quiet.

Take back control through your breath

But I want you to know that it IS possible to take back control of your mind. To find peace with your mind. To be able to release the thoughts and find ease.

And it all starts with your breath. Read more…

Four steps to let go of guilt and let yourself relax

guiltyFinally. You have 30 minutes with nothing scheduled.  Some precious me-time alone. Time where you can just do what YOU like. Ah lovely…

But then, you remember the bins need putting out. Ah, you forgot to answer that email. Hmm, you haven’t spoken to such-and-such for a while may you should give them a ring.

And you start to feel guilty for not getting on with stuff which “needs” doing.

Guilt strikes

Feeling guilty. It usually comes with an unhelpful dose of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”. That nagging feeling you should be doing something else instead. The knot in the stomach. The tension in the head and shoulders. The chattering thoughts.

The guilt comes with an extra whack when we’re doing something just for ourselves. Some aspect of self care that we know we desperately need but we somehow find difficult to allow ourselves to have. Quite time away from the kids and family.  Time to go for a walk and get some fresh air at lunchtime to get out of the office and  away from the ever-refilling email inbox. Saying a gentle but firm “no” to looking after the grandkids at short notice when you had some me-time planned.

And we either cave into the guilt and prioritise others’ needs or the guilt consumes us and we don’t enjoy what we’re doing.

Sound familiar? Read more…

Breathe back to balance

Breathe here now - relax with calming yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh
Breathe here now.

You’re tense. Overwhelmed. You can’t think straight. You don’t know where to begin. You’re feeling irritable, frustrated – angry with yourself and the world! Tense jaw, shoulders and you’re barely breathing. You can’t focus.

Your life is out of balance. You need this to change.

I know how you feel, I’ve suffered from stress in the past myself and a tendency to anxiety is ongoing for me. Read more…

Switch off autopilot with mindfulness

Mind full or mindful? Experience mindfulness with yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh with Stella
How mind-full are you?

Are you living your life on autopilot?

Here are a few signs you might be.  You find yourself waking up and worrying about your to-do list straight away. You reach for your phone as soon as you step out of the shower.

You’re constantly multi-tasking and never quite getting anything finished.

You find yourself rushing through the day from one appointment to another, from one project to the next, ticking off items on our to-do lists. And all too often, putting others’ needs first.

Wake up, rush around, fall asleep exhausted (or sleep fitfully because your mind won’t stop ticking over). Wake up and repeat and repeat and repeat…

I know it can be all too easy to let each day slide past like this! I’ve been there myself (and if I’m not careful still find myself slipping into this habit).

Which is why I love the practise of mindfulness. It helps us to switch off autopilot and switch into now.

Mindfulness enables us to rest in the present moment. To experience life as it unfolds.

Mindfulness is paying attention, without  judgement. When we can learn to do this mindfulness helps us to find refuge from stress and anxiety.

But how do we do this in our over-stimulated lives?

This Zen saying sums it up beautifully: “When you drink, just drink. When you walk, just walk.” Read more…

Do you get relaxation guilt? (And how to let it go)

Relaxing cat
Relax … Be more cat 😉

Someone recently asked me, “how do you shake off the guilt when you stop and relax”?

A very good question that got me thinking…

I’d posted a message on my Facebook page from Action for Happiness “Stop the Glorification of Busy” with the advice “It’s OK to give yourself permission to stop and do nothing. In fact it’s ESSENTIAL for your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. So go on … be a radical and give yourself time just to be…”

But yes, it’s one thing having time to relax, it’s quite another allowing yourself to relax isn’t it? Read more…

The Art of Calm: Why you need to practise relaxation (and 5 ways to do it)

Calm water: Calming, relaxing yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh
Calming the waters of your mind: the art of calm and relaxation

Blimey, it can be difficult to relax can’t it?

Your to-do list is a mile long, and as soon as you cross one thing off another three get added! There’s always something to do, someone to speak to, some problem to sort out, some deadline to meet; some occasion to go to; some fun to be had… The list is (seemingly) endless.

And if you do manage to make some precious quiet-time for yourself, then your whirring, busy, planning, judging mind seems to get even louder! Frustrating!

So many people who come to my yoga classes tell me that they find it difficult to switch off, or, at the other end of the spectrum they’re so exhausted by all the busy-ness they just fall asleep as soon as they lie-down for the guided relaxation. Read more…

How to be mindful, not mind-full

Busy traffic at night
Does your mind feel like the constant whizz and roar of traffic?

Does your mind so often feel crazy-busy and stuffed full?

Do you reach the end of the day and, yet again, find it has whizzed past in a blur of activity, to do lists and looking after other people, and in a whirlwind of thoughts, worries, plans and judgements?

Perhaps there’s an uncomfortable feeling that you life is whooshing past you and you have no idea where the years have gone.

This is the state of “mindfull-ness” that so many of us live in. We’re over-stimulated with too much going on. Never quite experiencing this moment because we’re going over what happened yesterday and worrying about all the things we need to do tomorrow.

It’s energy-zapping. It’s deeply exhausting. And it robs us of experiencing life as it is in the here and now.

However, drop one single letter from “mindfull-ness” and you have an approach to life which opens up thousands upon thousands of beautiful ways of being alive in and experiencing this present moment.

Mindfulness. Read more…

How do you breathe?

Do you understand the power of your breath?

Learning to breathe with awareness can help us relax; deal with stress; deal with pain; improve our energy levels.

But, instead of writing about it, I thought I’d make a video to illustrate the point!

So watch below … and find out how a ball of plastic can teach us a lot about the breath!

What next?

In the Southampton/Eastleigh area? Then come to a weekly class for regular mindful movement and relaxation in a supportive atmosphere. I teach seven public classes a week and monthly workshops – check out my yoga class timetable and workshops schedule to find out more and make a booking enquiry.

If you would like regular tips, insights and wisdom delivered to your inbox, and to receive a free 17-minute guided relaxation, then please leave your name and email address.

Why you need to pay attention – on the yoga mat and off

Hand and energy flow
Focus your attention and feel the energy flow

Where does your attention go when you’re on the yoga mat?

Are you day-dreaming? Do you mentally write lists of things to do? Do find yourself judging your body, wishing it felt differently? Do you feel annoyed / fidgety / frustrated if your teacher is inviting you to hold the pose longer than you might like to? Or are you mindfully noticing what’s going on for your body, breath mind and emotions as you move through and hold the poses?

Maybe it’s a combination of all of the above?!

Chances are this reflects what’s happening in your mind throughout your day. Flitting around between the past and future. Worrying. Judging. Day-dreaming.

Noticing what’s going on for us on the mat is a great way to hold a mirror up to our mind and emotions. And what we learn on the mat we can take forward to help us find a greater sense of equanimity in everyday life as we retrain our mind to live in the present moment. Read more…