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…
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…
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…
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…
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?
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…
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…