Category Archives: Honour your sacred body

Tips and techniques to help you feel at ease in your body through movement and rest to release tension, improve energy levels and feel good within your skin.

Is your mind causing your {back} pain?

The body/mind connection
The body and mind are connected

Did you know that physical conditions, discomfort and pain can be linked to your emotional state?

Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself.  If you’ve ever gone through extended periods of emotional/mental stress or anxiety you may have noticed your digestion being affected (e.g. IBS) or you suffered tension headaches or migraines, or even back pain.

Or think of a time you were nervous – before a job interview or giving a presentation for example (or in my case my recent first drive through Southampton in rush hour!).  Chances are you felt a tightening of the muscles, a fluttering in your stomach, you sweated more than usual and perhaps fell over your words a little.

Just a couple of examples of how our emotions affect us tangibly and physically. Read more…

What’s the right yoga practice for you?

stones_balance
Keep yourself in balance with yoga

So 2015 has set sail! Perhaps you made some New Year’s resolutions (or took my advice and ignored them and made affirmations instead).

Perhaps you set your intention for this year to look after yourself better. To exercise. To move. To breathe. To relax.

Maybe you want to start a home yoga practice. (A big whoop and yay! to you if that’s the case!)

But perhaps you’re not sure where to start.

Well, a great way to start is to analyse how you feel about your life and wellbeing and tailor your yoga practice to supporting areas where you need to invest your energy or re-vision your life.

This can give you a fantastic starting point for a simple daily practice to boost your energy levels, and to nourish your body, mind and soul. Read more…

Listen to your body in … Child’s Pose

Child yoga pose
Child’s Pose

How we get on with particular yoga postures can tell us a lot about ourselves.

Your yoga practice can show you how your body, mind and emotions are today – if you’re willing to listen!

So, let’s look at Child’s Pose. A basic yoga pose you’ll experience in most yoga classes.

It’s a gentle forward bend, and a mild inversion if your head is below the level of your heart.

It is, potentially, a wonderfully relaxing, quietening pose.  It can enable you to release tension from the whole of your spine as well as the shoulder blades, and encouraging a deep sense of inner peace and security.

However, I notice in my classes that some people struggle with this pose. Maybe their heads don’t reach the ground, or their bum is sticking up high in the air. Read more…

Living with back pain? Here’s how yoga can help you

spinal column
The spine is a graceful yet powerful thing of beauty

Does your back hurt?

Do you often feel an ache, tension or stiffness in your back?

Maybe you wriggle around trying to find a comfortable way to sit.  And it’s made worse by sitting all day.

It’s never far from your mind. You often find yourself bracing in expectation of pain or avoiding certain movements so as not to aggravate your back.

Back pain is virtually an epidemic in the UK!  We seem to accept it as a fact of life – most of us (myself included) experience it as some point in our lives. Read more…

Why you keep catching colds (and the #1 way to help prevent them)

Woman sneezing
Autumn – the time of mists, mellow fruitfulness … and sneezing

So, once again, it’s the beautiful season of mists and mellow fruitfulness… And, once again, it’s the season of sniffles and lurgies …. Aaatchoo!!

The nights are drawing in, the leaves are turning …. and you’ve got ANOTHER cold! Cough, cough, sniff, sniff, bleurgh 🙁

You try to eat well, and try your best to look after yourself, so why oh why do you keep getting colds?!

Stress.  Pure and simple – that’s the #1 reason why so many of us keep catching colds. Read more…

How yoga works its magic

Onions
Yoga helps us peel back the layers of our experience

So, you practise yoga and you love the feeling of stretching out and releasing tightness from your body.

You’re noticing that you can bend and move more easily than you used to; you’ve re-established a connection with your breath to enable you to relax; and you’re enjoying the quiet sense of resilience and peacefulness which a yoga practice can bring.

Maybe you’ve noticed shifts in the perception of your emotions, energy levels and thoughts as and after you’ve practised yoga on the mat.  Maybe you’ve felt elated; other times jittery and a bit unsettled; other times blissfully tranquil.

But just how and why do these stretches, twists, balances, breathing and relaxation have such a deep effect? Read more…

My yoga confession

Shh, don't tell anybody my yoga confession!
Can I tell you a secret?!

Shhh, don’t tell anybody. But I’m not super-bendy-flexible!!!

Yes I teach yoga, yes I practise yoga every day, but (whisper it quietly) I’ve still got quite tight hamstrings; back bends challenge me; and my lower back can feel quite stiff. And I’m fine with that.

There, I’ve done it. I’ve outed myself as a not-so-bendy yoga teacher!

But I wanted to share this with you because so many people tell me, with absolute rock-solid certainty, that they can’t do yoga because they’re not flexible. Read more…

The 3 reasons you’re putting off going to yoga

Crazy yoga pose
Is this one of the reasons you’re putting off trying yoga?

Have you seen them?

Those size 6, unbelievably flexible goddesses of yoga, adorned with mystical tattoos and flowing locks, with a look of serene peace on their faces even though they’re hanging upside down, seemingly balancing on a few fingers?

They grace yoga magazine covers and accompany any mention of yoga in the media.

Now, how do you feel when you see these images? Stiff and inflexible? Inadequate? Disempowered?  Yes, me too!

This insistence on associating yoga with young, slim, white insanely bendy females saddens me.

The prevalence of such images leads directly to common misconceptions about yoga and lots of people who would really benefit from a therapeutic approach to yoga might never step into a yoga class because they’re afraid they won’t fit in.

These preconceptions lead to three common reasons which could be putting you, or someone you know and love, off trying yoga: Read more…

Quick and easy ways to benefit from yoga every day

Cat pose for daily yoga
Take inspiration from a cat and bring some yoga into your life every day!

So, you’ve tried this yoga thing.

You’ve experienced the benefits of increased flexibility or relief from back pain. Maybe you’re sleeping better and you feel more relaxed in every day life.

Hey, this yoga stuff really works!

And now you’re thinking you’d like to do it more often. But where do you begin? How do you make time?

Often I hear from students who come to my classes that they’d love to do more yoga. They’re feeling the benefits and recognize that a more regular practice would benefit them deeply.

But the most frequent barrier I hear is that they say they haven’t got enough time in their day or space in their home.

I totally understand the frustration! We lead such busy, frantic, full lives. It can be challenging to carve out space in your schedule for some much-needed me time.

But, be aware, a yoga practice isn’t just a 60-minute movement, breathing and relaxation session on a yoga mat.

No, you can bring yoga into your life guerilla-stylee and carve our a few minutes here and there of mindful movement and breath awareness.

So, here are my two top tips to establishing your own yoga practice. Read more…

The #1 reason your back hurts

Because you sit all day!

Sitting down all day is bad for your back - move with yoga
Sitting down all day is bad for your back – it’s time to release that tension

Does this scenario sound familiar?

It’s the end of another busy day and your back is in two. You’ve been tethered to your desk all day. You’ve eaten lunch at your desk instead of getting out for some fresh air and to stretch your legs …. again!

And now you’ve got that all-too-familiar nagging ache in your lower back. Tension spreads up to your shoulders and your neck feels stiff.

*Sigh*… The familiar effects of sitting all day! Read more…