When your head is full of thoughts. When you’re worried or scared. When you’re tired and just can’t be bothered any more. When you’re tense. When you’re in pain. When you’re so overwhelmed that you think you’re just going to go into melt-down. When burnout feels around the corner.
It can feel impossible to know what to do.
But there is something you can always do to help yourself. To reconnect back to yourself. To self-soothe. To come back from the brink.
I know because I’ve experienced all of these myself. The tension, overwhelm, exhaustion and whizzing mind.
They still sometimes creep up on me, but now I know what to do to stop them in their tracks and recover my equilibrium.
I take these 3 simple but powerful steps. Give them a try and see how they work for you. Read more…
How do you find the festive season? It can be enchanting. But it can also feel overwhelming.
If you tend to experience anxiety anyway, then you’ll know that there’s something about Christmas-time which can really aggravate and intensify the symptoms.
There’s nothing like an impending, immoveable deadline and yet-to-be-done Christmas shopping to get the stress hormones flooding your system!
And if (like me) you have a nervous system which is highly sensitive to external stimuli you’re more likely to experience the symptoms of anxiety.
And this time of year there are so many stimuli bombarding us: bright lights; crazy-busy towns, cities and shopping centres; parties and “dos” to go to; sugary & fatty foods; alcohol; Christmas shopping; the pressure to visit as many family members as possible; and jingly-jangly Christmas music everywhere!!!Read more…
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…
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.
Finally. 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.
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.
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…
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…
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…
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!
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.