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.

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…

Strange things can happen when you relax – and here’s why that’s a good thing

Eyes closed relaxing
Close your eyes, take some deep breaths and prepare to relax…

Have you ever experienced something a little odd when you’ve tried to relax?

Maybe your body twitches.  Random images float in your mind’s eye. You remember things or people you hadn’t thought about in years. Memories come to the surface. Maybe your mind simply won’t shut up.

I hear lots of interesting feedback from people who come to my yoga classes. They love the deep, therapeutic relaxation which ends every class but sometimes their experience is, well, a bit unexpected.

One lady said she feels like she goes off into some kind of dream state. Someone else told me they feel like they were almost going to sleep and then their whole body had jolted awake (although I could see that they’d barely moved). And there’s the classic “when I try to relax my mind prepares shopping lists” reaction!

I love a deep relaxation myself, but my common experience is: ideas come up for yoga classes and blog articles; I remember people I need to email; I get inspiration for a new workshop; or I remember a yoga pose I was going to practise today and I forgot.

If you’ve experienced anything like this, don’t worry, it’s all perfectly natural! Read more…

Have yourself a very yogic Christmas

Christmas lights
I love a bit of festive sparkle

It’s Christmas time again.  The festive season of merriness and good will to all!

But … have you finished your Christmas shopping? (No? I haven’t either… oopsie!) Are you already worrying about how many mince pies you’ve eaten? Are you worried about Christmas travel – train woes, or getting stuck in traffic?

Maybe there’s a secret part of you almost dreading Christmas because you’ve got the whole family descending and you know it’s going to be exhausting.

This time of year, can be magical. The sharp, frosty, glittering mornings; the radiant glow of the soft late-afternoon sun. The child-like excitement; the getting together to drink and be merry; the sharing; and lots of lovely food.

But, let’s be honest, it comes with its pressures. Spend, spend, spend! Party, party, party! Eat, drink, eat, drink! You WILL have fun (or be called a Scrooge if you don’t)!

I look around me and I see so many people looking totally exhausted.

So here’s how I suggest we can bring a yogic approach to mid-Winter and the festive season to promote a sense of harmony within – and with those we are spending Christmas-time with. Read more…

Can’t relax, won’t relax? Try this

Busy mind
Is your mind full of stuff?

So it’s the end of the yoga class and it’s time for relaxation.

Everyone around you seems to love it – they look so blissed out!

But when you lie back to try and relax yes, it feels fantastic … for about 30 seconds.

And then you wonder … hmmm, what shall I have to have to eat when I get home?  Damn, I didn’t answer that urgent email before I left work today – there’s going to be trouble tomorrow! Hmm, what shall I wear tomorrow? Is there going to be a frost tonight? Oh, don’t forget to amend the supermarket order, we’re almost right out of pasta. Eek, did I turn my mobile off? It’ll be so embarrassing if someone rings now…

…and then the next thing you notice is the teacher’s voice telling you to wriggle your fingers and toes and it’s time to come out of the relaxation.

Oh blimey. Where on earth happened there? Where did that last 10 minutes go???? I didn’t switch off at all.

Sound familiar? I’ve certainly been there and done that MANY a time!

Even though we know we need to relax – and enjoy it when we do – often, when we try to be still, our mind can get even busier and even louder. Read more…