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.
Happy New Year! The year has turned again and here you are at the start of 2016.
Are you feeling the calling to turn a new leaf? To make resolutions? To stop doing this; to change that; to be more this; to do less of the other?
It’s natural to feel this at the start of a year.
However, most New Year’s resolutions tend to be based on a feeling that we’re not good enough, that we need to stop making bad choices and that if only we could be thinner, or drink less, or break the social media addiction then our life would be perfect and we would be happy. Read more…
“Joy to the world!” So exclaims the Christmas carol. Are you feeling joyful at the moment?
So many people I speak to at the moment are feeling tired, full of cold, wishing the days away until their Christmas break – as well as slightly (or openly!) dreading the amount of work Christmas entails.
…The shopping, the wrapping, the presents, the keeping-everyone-happy-but-forgetting-about-yourself push, push, push of the festive season.
I’ve found myself grumbling about Christmas too – I don’t feel Christmassy, I wish the weather was more seasonal, I’m fed up of Christmas already because it’s been around in the shops since the start of November… Bah humbug! Read more…
Life can seem like such an uphill struggle sometimes.
Too much to do, not enough time.
Arguments with the family, friction at work.
Worries about your or your family’s health.
The media telling you should eat this and not that, that you should exercise like this and not like that. That you’re drinking too little, not enough. That you should be doing such-and-such for a happy life, live somewhere else, feel different, be different. Argh!!!
You crave a way to find a moment’s peace; to drop the angst and self-judgement and find some serenity. Read more…
Have you ever experienced something a little odd when you’ve tried to relax?
Maybe your body twitches. Random images float in your mind’s eye. You remember things or people you hadn’t thought about in years. Memories come to the surface. Maybe your mind simply won’t shut up.
I hear lots of interesting feedback from people who come to my yoga classes. They love the deep, therapeutic relaxation which ends every class but sometimes their experience is, well, a bit unexpected.
One lady said she feels like she goes off into some kind of dream state. Someone else told me they feel like they were almost going to sleep and then their whole body had jolted awake (although I could see that they’d barely moved). And there’s the classic “when I try to relax my mind prepares shopping lists” reaction!
I love a deep relaxation myself, but my common experience is: ideas come up for yoga classes and blog articles; I remember people I need to email; I get inspiration for a new workshop; or I remember a yoga pose I was going to practise today and I forgot.
If you’ve experienced anything like this, don’t worry, it’s all perfectly natural! Read more…
Part of me is thinking “blimey, how did that happen?!” Part of me is sticking my fingers in my ears going “la, la, la this isn’t happening, surely I’m still in my 20s?!”
But another part of me – and this is the loudest voice – feels interested about turning 40. Why the angst? It’s just a number. There’s no point railing against it – sulking about your age isn’t going to make you younger or happier!
So, I’m not sulking, I’m embracing turning 40.
I feel the happiest and most fulfilled than I ever have.
After spending much of my 20s and 30s full of angst about what to do with my life, I have now created what for me, at this moment, is a perfect balance. I work part-time and I spend the rest of my time teaching, writing about, practising and studying yoga. I’m living in a lovely part of the world with my soulmate. I have enough time and money to live comfortably.
So, in celebration of my new decade, here are 40 lessons life, love and yoga have taught me. I hope they inform, amuse and inspire you. Read more…
Traditionally this is a time to make New Year resolutions… and traditionally, about say 5 or 6 weeks down the line, is the time to break them and feel a sense of defeat and self-judgement and all round grumpiness.
I don’t want you to feel that way!
I know that you can make the changes you want to in your life – and stick to them. To fulfil your potential. To shine out your gifts to the world.
How? Well, step one: don’t bother with New Year resolutions.
It’s Christmas time again. The festive season of merriness and good will to all!
But … have you finished your Christmas shopping? (No? I haven’t either… oopsie!) Are you already worrying about how many mince pies you’ve eaten? Are you worried about Christmas travel – train woes, or getting stuck in traffic?
Maybe there’s a secret part of you almost dreading Christmas because you’ve got the whole family descending and you know it’s going to be exhausting.
This time of year, can be magical. The sharp, frosty, glittering mornings; the radiant glow of the soft late-afternoon sun. The child-like excitement; the getting together to drink and be merry; the sharing; and lots of lovely food.
But, let’s be honest, it comes with its pressures. Spend, spend, spend! Party, party, party! Eat, drink, eat, drink! You WILL have fun (or be called a Scrooge if you don’t)!
I look around me and I see so many people looking totally exhausted.
So here’s how I suggest we can bring a yogic approach to mid-Winter and the festive season to promote a sense of harmony within – and with those we are spending Christmas-time with. 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…