I Might Not Have Made It…

It could have been very different. I may not have made it this far. The pull of addiction beckoned but even in the depths of my confusion, despair, and darkness I knew deep down it was not for me – not this time anyway… I didn’t have the understanding or later the words to express it but there was something keeping me going.

Beneath my wounding, conditioning and unhelpful habits resides a part of me with great wisdom, my Wise Woman. Untarnished by the ups and downs of life she is a quiet, calm, knowing guide. When I listen to her things go well. I had forgotten this part of me existed but every now and again she would try and make herself known. For decades my mind overrode her. She didn’t give up.

I found her through my yoga practice, walking in nature, in the pauses between thinking, planning, judging, and zoning out. She led me well and here I am sharing with you. Never in a million years did I think this would happen!

You came from nothing into physical form helpless and reliant on others. To navigate life, you developed strategies and behaviours to ensure that you survive, are fed, loved, or shielded from painful feelings and memories. This is when you start of the disconnect from your inner wisdom.

These parts or programmes which are vital to you as a child haven’t been updated. They get in the way of you living life fully as an adult. Next time you get upset or triggered notice your reaction, what age comes to mind? Perhaps you struggle for words or there are no words – possibly linked to preverbal events.

You may have no conscious memory as to why your programmes developed. There may be a transgenerational link. Yet everything is stored within your body. It holds your pain and the answers you are seeking.

“Trauma comes back as a reaction, not a memory”
Bessel Van Der Kokk

Your body is designed to heal and return to homeostasis. Pain, both physical and emotional, signals something is wrong. Life continues to bring you opportunities to process unfinished business. Events may seem unlinked, unfortunate, coincidental or there may be patterns – ongoing issues with romantic relationships, money, self-worth etc. All are opportunities to heal and be authentically you – not a punishment. The body is signalling it is time to change course. It is exhausting holding onto your wounding and story. I know, I tried extremely hard. Each release felt like it created a new me, lighter, brighter, and happier.

If I can do it you can too! 

Yoga in its fullest sense was my way out of these unhelpful repeating events. Every time I came onto my mat I was guided to connect with my body, then my breath and notice – I discovered my Wise Woman. She is my guide. Our relationship continued to deepen as I expanded my practice with healing and development tools. My trust built. I now trust her above everything. It is my joy and honour to guide you, and others, to connect with your inner wisdom.

Here’s how

Start with one step, something that is manageable and celebrate starting. Before you were oblivious. Now you are aware AND have taken a step towards your goal. It takes as long as it takes. There is no set route or technique. You can take the scenic route or go directly, navigating obstacles, getting stuck in dead ends – it doesn’t matter. I have done all and eventually moved on. Sometimes I would charge ahead, think I was complete only to find something else to consider. All the while I feel better, more alive and my relationships are easier. My sense is that this is a life-long practice, and it feels good. This is my life purpose. To find me and live authentically.

I will guide and support you.

What is your next step? Would group or private sessions best help you? 

Email me to get started.

With love and acknowledgement for all you have experienced, your challenges and potential.

Suzan

My Yoga Journey

I discovered yoga in my 20’s and life got in the way. Fast forward 20 years I realised I was at breaking point. I had put diesel in my petrol car. I was a single mum living in the intense stress as my son entered his teenage years. I joined the local gym and I discovered yoga.

Yoga is so much more than tying yourself in knots or getting into a perfect posture. It has tools to support well-being on all levels. The texts give a path for moving out of suffering.

Yoga means to unite the various aspects of ourselves, physical, emotional etc. as well as the wounded child, inner warrior etc. Healing means wholeness. I see yoga as one of the oldest healing modalities. It’s sister ayurveda gives a wealth of knowledge on diet and lifestyle.

I trained with the Yoga for Health Foundation in Group Classes and Remedial Yoga and followed this with Viniyoga teacher training in group classes and yoga therapy.  My training included in depth study of yoga texts, psychology and philosophy of yoga.  I hold a British Wheel of Yoga accredited certificate and have trained extensively with cutting edge yoga teachers in the UK and at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai, India.

My specialty is working with the health and well being of the whole person.  An issue in the body will most likely have an emotional connection. There may also be ancestral links which are impacting the client. I use ancient techniques of hatha yoga and cutting edge teachings to restore balance and harmony.

I firmly believe in the power of yoga to transform at all levels.  It has a tremendous amount of wisdom to offer whether we are mainly interested in the physical aspect or using yoga as a spiritual journey.

This is a holistic approach. It is not a substitute for a 12-step program and not intended as, or a substitute for, medical or psychiatric advice. Nor is it intended to diagnose, describe, treat, or cure any disease – physical or mental.

Yoga Therapy Sessions

A Yoga therapy session will be tailored to the need and interests of the client and may include:-

  • Postures
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation
  • Affirmations
  • Visualisation
  • Mantra
  • Sound/Chanting
  • Study of yoga texts

Sessions can be entirely chair based or mainly lying to make it accessible to all

Chair based is ideal for those with restricted mobility including wheel chair users, the spine is upright and movement is available in all major joints.  Many practices such as meditation are usually seated so unaffected

Lying practices are gentle, supported and relaxing ideal for those with balance issues, they allow for a good range of movement in a safe supported way

A typical session – There are different approaches depending on the desired outcome.

Sessions may start in a relaxing way gradually introducing movement and breathing techniques or may start in an energetic way and gradually slow down creating a sense of calm and well-being.   The postures, breathing and additional techniques in a session will depend on whether the focus is energising, relaxing or balancing

Session format:  A session usually starts with a short period of stillness to settle the system and notice your starting point, (any aches and pains, how the mind is etc.), Movement is co-ordinated with the breath to help calm and focus the mind.  Clients are advised to work with their body as it is, avoiding pain.  Periods of rest and relaxation are included.  Towards the end of the session there may yoga breathing techniques, meditation/visualisation/sound/affirmation etc. as appropriate   

chair twistsemi suppine

The Benefits of Therapeutic Yoga

The appropriate practice of yoga unifies all aspects of the system.  It works on many levels and can be adapted to suit a wide range of needs.  The key is REGULAR practice – The more regularly you practice the sooner you will see results

Physical – improves:

• Posture
• Breath length which helps with lung function
• Balance – helps prevent falls
• Improve or maintain mobility
• Improve or maintain strength and flexibility
• Improve or maintain bone density
• Rehabilitation, can reduce pain including chronic pain, especially effective for reducing low back pain
• Energy levels
• Sense of well-being
• Digestion/elimination

Reduces:
• Heart rate
• Muscle tension
• Flight/flight syndrome
• Blood pressure
• Stillness and pain

Cognitive – improves:

• Concentration
• Focus
• Mental clarity
• Memory
• Staying present
• Dexterity
• Co-ordination
• Reaction times

Emotional – improves

• Mood
• Resilience
• Awareness
• Anger control
• Mind-body connection

Reduces:
• Stress
• Anxiety
• Trauma
• Fear

Social

• Reduces sense of isolation
• Group support
• Make new friends
• Improves confidence

The Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council states that “Yoga can help with a wide range of disorders and stress related problems. Including back and joint issues; breathing disorders; issues during PMS, pregnancy and menopause; emotional issues such as anxiety, depression; injuries, surgery and illness. It may also enhance the quality of life for patients with chronic diseases”.

I am currently working with clients experiencing fibromyalgia, MS, ME, cancer, arthritis, back/neck pain, stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, IBS, osteoarthritis, & crohns disease

Yoga therapy can be used alongside conventional medicine and other complementary therapies.

back pain forward bend semi suppine chair twist

Yoga Therapy

Yoga Therapy – Viniyoga approach

Yoga therapy is a holistic therapy to optimise our health and well being on a physical, energetic, mental/emotional and spiritual level.   Often when thinking of yoga it is the physical aspect and perhaps breathing that comes to mind, however, yoga incorporates a wide variety of tools, as well as postures and breathing these include: diet & life style advice, meditation, relaxation, affirmations and visualisation; personal ritual, mantra, chanting and study of yoga texts which date back thousands of years.

 Yoga postures are adapted to suit individual needs rather than forcing the body into various positions.  This can help develop strength, flexibility, ease and balance in the body; reduce weakness and structural pain according to need.  Moving in time with the breath helps spinal movement; it can ease spinal compression and lengthen the spine increasing range of movement and comfort.  This emphasis on the spine has a positive effect on the nervous system, it helps calm the mind and reduce anxiety which is further developed with seated breathing practices, meditation, chanting etc

What is involved?

Yoga therapy involves taking an active part in your own healing process.  The therapist devises a practice, taking into account physical, energetic, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs interests, lifestyle and living arrangements.  To gain maximum benefit, you are encouraged to practice at home on a regular basis.  It does not need to be as long as a group class, just 20-30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week will be very beneficial.  In acute cases you may be given a shorter practice to do twice daily.

How quickly does it work?

Positive results are often seen within a few weeks, sometimes within days, the key is regular practice. The more regularly you practice the sooner you will see results.

What conditions can Yoga therapy help?

The Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council states that “Yoga can help with a wide range of disorders and stress related problems.  Including back and joint issues; breathing disorders; issues during PMS, pregnancy and menopause; emotional issues such as anxiety, depression; injuries, surgery and illness.  It may also enhance the quality of life for patients with chronic diseases”.

I am currently working with fibromyalgia, MS, ME, COPT. scoliosis, PTSD, cancer, arthritis, back/neck pain, stress, & anxiety.

Yoga therapy can be used along with conventional medicine and other complementary therapies.

Further information

https://www.suzanjoywells.co.uk/2014/01/the-benefits-of-therapeutic-yoga/

 

https://www.suzanjoywells.co.uk/2014/01/yoga-therapy-sessions/

http://www.pranamaya.com/blog/special-features/qa-gary-kraftsow-on-yoga-therapy-and-your-mood/http://www.cnhc.org.uk/

http://www.viniyoga.com/about/what-is-viniyoga

http://www.viniyoga.com/about/what-is-yoga-therapy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwK7AAo7VxI

http://www.viniyoga.com/_blog/American_Viniyoga_Institute_-_Blog/post/Viniyoga_for_Low_Back_Pain_New_Study_Results_Released/

Yoga & MS

Why yoga?

Yoga has many benefits that can help improve health. It is something positive we can do for ourselves allowing us to maximise healing and move towards wellness.

Exercise can be very tiring for many people with MS whereas yoga normally increases energy and helps us deal with symptoms.  It calms the mind and emotions, relieves stress and restores the natural breathing process essential for good health.  It also maintains or increases strength and flexibility, improves bladder and bowel function and keeps the body moving whatever the level of disability.  More information can be found on the Yoga for Health and Education Trust website, www.yoga-health-education.org.uk under ‘Remedial/Therapeutic Yoga’.

Why is a remedial/therapeutic yoga class recommended?

People with MS often find a general yoga class too tiring and therefore counter-productive.  In remedial classes postures can be adjusted to suit individual needs for all kinds of problems and chronic fatigue ensuring that we get maximum benefit from our yoga practice to help improve our condition and well-being.

Remedial/therapeutic Yoga Teachers

Suzan is trained as a remedial/therapeutic yoga teacher with the Yoga for Health Foundation now the Yoga for Health and Education Trust

Is yoga helpful for people with MS?

Yoga is recognised as being valuable in the management of MS by the MS Society.

More than 5,000 people with MS took part in yoga courses specifically designed for them at the Yoga for Health Foundation in Bedfordshire, many of them returning repeatedly as they found it so valuable.  Unfortunately, after 28 years, the Foundation closed in March 2006 when the lease expired and the property was sold.  The Yoga for Health and Education Trust is continuing and developing this valuable work and hopes one day to have a centre.  Visit www.yoga-health-eduction.org.uk for more information.

Taken from Multiple Sclerosis Q / A  June A Skeggs www.yoga-health-eduction.org.uk updated Oct. 2011

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