Tag Archives: Awareness

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…

Soul food: Be tender, be strong

There is nothing stronger in the world than tendernessSoul food:

“There is nothing stronger in the world than tenderness” ~ Han Suyin

Tenderness, sensitivity, kindliness, gentleness. It’s not particularly prized by our society. It’s seen as weak.

But I believe allowing yourself to feel – to be kind, gentle and sensitive – is *incredibly* strong.

Being tender is about letting the feelings in and letting them be known to you and sitting with them or letting them through. Read more…

Are fear and anxiety a natural response to life?

Brain
Our highly sophisticated brain is always scanning for dangers in our environment

Now, there’s a claim. Fear and anxiety are a natural reaction to being alive?  Blimey, that doesn’t sound very positive does it?!

But if we delve a little deeper into this idea it makes a lot of sense – and empowers us to take control of how we react to life’s challenges.

It’s about the human being’s survival instinct.  Ancient (wo)man had to be on a constant state of alert to the very real dangers around them – being hunted by animals, attacked by other tribes, being on the lookout for poisonous berries, and venomous insects in their environment.

As our bodies are vulnerable (we don’t have sharp teeth or claws to attack, our skin doesn’t have protective covering of scales or fur) human beings have always had to use their mind to develop ways to protect us or defend ourselves.

Over thousands of years our brains have evolved into a highly sophisticated tool which is on a constant state of alertness. But over these thousands and thousands of years the threats to our existence have very much changed. Read more…

Life lessons from meditation

Stella Tomlinson Meditation and Yoga Teacher Southampton and Eastleigh
Each and every day you can make this choice: listen to your monkey mind or listen to your inner wisdom

Do you sometimes not try something because you’ve already told yourself you can’t do it?

“I can’t relax because I’m too tense”, “I can’t stand up in front of a group to speak because I’m not confident enough”, “I can’t join a yoga class because everyone will think I’m bad at it” “I can’t meditate because my mind’s too busy”.

Yes, my mind does that too!

And it happened again last Saturday at my Dru Meditation Teacher Training. Read more…

Which stress type are you?

Argh! Stress and anxiety ... yoga can help
How do you react to stress?

Fight, flight or freeze? Which one is your go-to reaction to stress and anxiety?

In our pressurised lives and busy, over-stimulating culture each and every day our body and mind is constantly bombarded with physical, emotional and mental stimuli – information, time demands, unexpected events…

Whether it’s constant deadlines, an over-flowing email inbox, an over-bearing boss, the daily commute, hearing your child is ill at nursery,  looking after ageing parents, hearing/reading about injustice and violence in the news.

And add to this the more nebulous psycho-social pressures  and fears which gnaw away about the state of the economy, your finances, your job, losing your home, fear of missing out, comparing your life with others’ …

… all of these provoke a stress response from your body.

And if you’re particularly sensitive to your surroundings and what’s going on around you and find it difficult to relax and unwind then your body’s stress response will more quickly tip you into feeling overwhelmed … and keep you there. Read more…

Yoga: what’s the point?

The Yoga Path: Mindful yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh
The yoga path: often challenging but always rewarding

So, I’ve been rather confused about yoga and my place in the world as a yoga teacher of late.

Increasingly, yoga seems to be about challenging poses, contortions, arm balances, headstands and pushing through your fears – at least that’s how it’s represented and how many teachers teach it.

But to me, practising yoga has always been about “stilling the thought waves of the mind”  (as Patanjali, the sage behind the ancient Yoga Sutras states).  A practice of becoming aware and alive to the subtleties of my body, emotions and mind and to connect to my inner self and inner peace. Read more…

Feeling the change of season blues? You’re not alone.

Autumn Leaf: Calming yoga in Southampton to ground and relax
Glory in the beauty of the changing seasons

The seasons have changed again and in the UK we’re most definitely in autumn now!

Bright, crisp mornings which mellow into warmly golden afternoons. And windy, soggy, damp days which seem to weigh down the spirit with the knowledge that winter is around the corner.

Summer has been and gone. And it’s easy to feel sad about that – what with the changeable weather and all!

If you’re a sensitive soul and your body and spirit seem to be more responsive to the change of seasons than most, then you may have mixed feelings at the moment.

Revelling in the beautiful, glowing, light and the vibrant colours and abundance of early autumn, but also feeling restless and unsettled and maybe you can’t quite put your finger on why.

If this is the case for you, then take heart from the fact you’re not alone! I’m hearing from many of my yoga students that  they’re feeling a bit edgy and agitated and (my favourite word of the moment!) discombobulated (i.e. disturbed, upset, disconcerted, confused.)

I know I’ve certainly been feeling this way! My mind has been constantly flitting from one place to another and very often going around in circles and wearing me out. Read more…

The #1 reason why you can’t meditate (and why it’s not a problem)

Find peace with your mind - meditate in Southampton
Find peace with your mind with mindfulness and meditation

You’d love to meditate. To sit with mindfulness in stillness.

To experience the benefits you’ve heard meditation can bring: stress / anxiety relief, lowering high blood pressure, better sleep, improving immunity, improving brain function, bringing greater clarity of mind, improving mood.

But you’ve got one problem: your mind won’t blinkin’ shut up!

Sound familiar?

My yoga students often ask me about meditation and say they’ve tried to meditate but they just can’t do it. They find it so difficult because their pesky, noisy mind jumps around from here to there and gets even louder as soon as they try to sit quietly and clear their mind.

And I love to reveal to them: you don’t have to have a quiet mind to meditate!
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…

The Power of Awareness and Positive Intention

Into the light
Set a positive intention – head towards the light!

If there’s one thing my yoga practice has taught me – it’s the power of the mind to shape the way you experience life.

If your mind is all over the place and unfocused – you’ll feel pulled this way and that in all that you do.

If your mind dwells in the past – you will find it difficult to approach the future with confidence.

If your mind is always jumping forward anticipating all the “what ifs” of any given situation – you will find it impossible to enjoy what you have, here, in your life now.

Believe me,  I know this to be true, because that’s what I’ve experienced myself! Read more…