Where are you living? No, I don’t mean which town, or whether you’re in a house or apartment.
I mean, what space do you occupy? Do you live in your mind or do you inhabit your body?
It’s a good question to ask yourself because in our busy lives it can be all too easy just to occupy the top two inches of our body and live in the mind.
And when we live in our minds we’re rarely present. We over-analyse the past and fret about the future. We’re at the mercy of the to-do list in our heads. We lose perspective. We might fly off the handle at the merest provocation. We daydream, disappearing into our thoughts.
Occupying the mental plane of existence disconnects us from our body. Our breath becomes shallow and our muscles get tense and tight. We ignore our body’s needs to or even stop noticing them at all. Read more…
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…
Your mind is whirring. Jumping from this place to that. You’re finding it difficult to focus.
Your jaw is tense. Your shoulders are up around your ears. There’s a feeling of contraction and tightness throughout your body. You’re barely breathing.
You’ve got that familiar feeling of not being quite able to put your finger on what’s wrong. An uncomfortable feeling you’re forgetting something; that you’re missing out on something; that something bad is going to happen; that you’re just not going to be able to get everything done that you need to.
Does your life feel like it’s whizzing past in a blur?
You have so much going on: you’re being pulled one way by the demands of work, another way by family and in another direction by friends.
Emails to answer, reports to finish, the summer holiday to plan, family members to visit, your friends are coming around for dinner tonight, you’ve got housework to catch up on. You’ve always got a million-and-one things to do.
It’s like all this being pulled in different directions is pulling you apart! And all too often you feel off-balance; a bit lost amidst the crazy dance of life going on around you.
You crave stillness, safety and security. You want to be able to relax but just don’t know how… Read more…
How you get on with particular yoga postures can tell you a lot about yourself. Your yoga practice can tell you how your body, mind and emotions are today – if you’re willing to listen!
It’s particularly interesting to listen when you come across a posture you find more challenging than others.
Warrior poses(Virabhadrasana in Sanskrit) are yoga postures which we often see to represent yoga in pictures and logos. We may think we must be able to do these to “do” yoga, but they can seem challenging. They challenge your balance, and they challenge your core, shoulder and arm strength too.
In my early days of practising yoga, I found Warriors tricky. I lacked core strength (i.e. lower abdominals and lower back) and my hips were stiff so I struggled in Warrior 1* to keep my hips facing forward. And because of this weaker core my pelvis tilted forward in Warrior 2* which put my balance out – and because I often had such a busy mind, my focus would go out of the window and I’d wobble all over the place.
And now I teach yoga, I’ve noticed that it’s quite common for people to struggle with their balance. Or the pelvis tilts forward so the bum sticks out (think core to counteract this!) Or our arms start to complain as we hold them out against gravity in Warrior 1, or overhead in Warrior 2. Read more…
I love noticing the leaf buds as they gradually unfurl into new life. I love the bright lime green leaves and fresh blossom on the trees and in the hedgerows. I love the lengthening of the days. I love the feeling of renewal and new possibilities.