Tag Archives: Stress

Get out of your head and into your body

Girl floating attached to a balloon
Occupying our mind we can often feel ungrounded

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…

Mindfulness in action: a personal story

Meditation and mindfulness in action
Mindfully looking inside

So, last week was a bit of wobbly, weird week for me.

It started off great. I graduated from my two-year Dru Meditation Teacher training. I felt refreshed after a week off. I was looking forward to getting back to my yoga teaching – with that exciting “new term” feel. I’ve got new classes and workplace yoga and mindfulness initiatives coming up.

But then I found myself not sleeping very well. My mind wouldn’t shut up. A Facebook post irritated me and I let it get under my skin.

I felt the “not good enough” button well and truly pressed. Read more…

Two tips to help you learn to relax

Sunshine appearing from behind clouds
Let the sunshine appear in your mind

Ah, to be able to relax and let the world drift by.

To be able to switch off the tension and anxious thoughts and focus on the here and now.

To connect to inner peace no matter what the world sends your way, and remain connected to that sense of inner peace…

Perhaps you find yourself wishing you could feel this way but that inner peace feels an elusive dream?

Let me assure you dear one, that it IS possible. It is possible to relax at will. It is possible to let go of the whirlpool of thoughts whizzing around your mind.

It just takes awareness and practice. Read more…

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…

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…

A simple tip to calm your mind

Let the stormy skies of your mind clear with relaxing yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh
Let the stormy skies of your mind clear

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.

And it all starts with your breath. Read more…

Four steps to let go of guilt and let yourself relax

guiltyFinally. 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.

Guilt strikes

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.

Sound familiar? Read more…

Breathe back to balance

Breathe here now - relax with calming yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh
Breathe here now.

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…

Can you help me with my research into overwhelm?

I’m doing some research into OVERWHELM – can you help me?

Is this you?

  • You can find it difficult to relax and unwind.
  • Sometimes you feel tired and wiped out sometimes anxious and wired.
  • Your mind is busy, busy.
  • You’re sensitive to what’s happening around you such as loud noises, bright lights, strong smells, busy places; you notice the subtleties in your environment; and you pick up on other people’s moods and emotions.
  • You also enjoy a rich and complex inner life.
  • You identify with sometimes or often feeling overwhelmed.

If this is you, then I’d love you to take part in my survey.
(It’s open until Friday 8 April 2016).

It’ll be so helpful for me in my work as a yoga teacher and will help me to develop my services to serve wonderful people like you in the best way possible.

Click here to take the survey

The survey consists of 6 main questions, takes 5-10 minutes to complete and is totally anonymous.

As a big thank you from me, on completion of the survey, you’ll receive my Earth Focus Meditation to help you feel still, safe and supported.

Thank you,
Stella xx

Yoga Antidotes to Anxiety

Tree hugging in Bath
Trees calm me down!

Anxiety. Those worried thoughts; the general feeling of unease; the feeling that your nerves are on edge. Apprehension. Agitation.

Do you feel it? I know I am prone to it.

Now, I have a hunch that those of us who tend to experience anxiety are highly sensitive.

Anxiety is our nervous system’s response to the excess of external stimuli in our environment: our fight / flight / freeze response keeps getting revved by the information overload of our busy lives and pushy culture and we wind up feeling anxious.

So the good news is, there’s nothing wrong with you. I am PASSIONATE about this. If you experience anxiety you don’t need to be medicated. You don’t have to beat yourself up. You don’t have to tell yourself – or listen to others telling you – there’s something wrong with you.

Explore the fact that you might simply be sensitive. Read more…