The Art of Relaxation

A simple process to help relaxation response become active, homeostasis to return and create a sense of well-being.

  • Lie with legs bent or sit
  • Notice how your body feels, get really curious for your body holds much wisdom
  • Notice your breathing, is it fast, slow, steady, erratic, etc
  • Focus on your exhale
  • Gradually increase the length of the exhale while maintaining a comfortable inhale remains (up to twice the length of the inhale)
  • It is natural for the mind to wander, when you notice this use loving awareness to return your focus to the exhale
  • Avoid judgement, criticism or blaming a trigger person or event
  • Check in with your body regularly inviting any tense areas to relax
  • Make regular time in your schedule for this practice and take mini 3 breath practices as often as possible during the day.

 

How to Find Lasting Peace

YOGA 2 no website

Yoga is a path to self-discovery, the ancient wisdom of sages including Patanjali are as relevant today as thousands of years ago.

Y – YOU – the only person who you can change is yourself – you are responsible only for your reaction.

O – OBSERVE – your thoughts, actions, and reactions – are there patterns you have outgrown or are not serving you? Are you ready for change?

G – GRATITUDE – spend time focusing on all you are grateful for, the more you do this the more you will find and the more positive and calm you will feel.

A – ACCEPTANCE – allow whatever is happening to be okay and remember that change is the only certainty. Much angst and energy is spent on things over which we have not control.

Is it time for you to take the next step? Please email me if you would like support or guidance.

Keep Calm and Enjoy Christmas

christmas_decoration_211504

Tips to prepare and support you over the holiday

Take an active role in planning:
• Start a new tradition
• Choose what works best for you – an activity, venue, timing, catering etc., start and end time.
• Schedule a walk or create space for those who need time out.
• Set a positive intention for the event.
• Decide to make the best of a less than ideal situation.

Remember:
• Nothing is every personal.
• It is not compulsory to take part in the drama.
• You don’t always have to be right.
• Other opinions are allowed!
• Its ok to say “that doesn’t work for me”.
• Your response or reaction is the only thing that you can control.

Ask yourself:
• Are my expectations realistic (life is not idyllic as portrayed in the media)
• Will it matter in an hour, a day or a week?

Be kind to yourself:
• Avoid too many commitments.
• Schedule some me/couple/treat time.
• Take a one or two-minute break and breathe deeply, inhale love, exhale negative thoughts.
• Do things that make you smile/laugh.
• Give yourself a hug or pat on the back – sometimes getting up/through the day is a major achievement.
• You are the best you in the whole universe.

Please share your experiences and any tips you have via email.

My Yoga Journey

I discovered yoga in my 20’s and have been reaping the benefits ever since.

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.  I use ancient techniques of hatha yoga to focus on strengthening the spine and work on the bodies energy systems 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.

The Chakras

Imagine a river with 7 swirling pools, the water is your life force energy and the pools are the chakras.  when you experience a state or emotion that relates to a specific chakra your energy flow becomes disturbed or blocked.

The first chakra, Muladhara Chakra, means root support, it is linked to the earth and your earliest experiences.  The modern way of life, with much time spent on social media, city living, supermarket shopping all contribute to a disconnection from the earth and blockages in the root chakra.

Whether you want to create better health, more abundance and passion or to remove challenges in your life, balancing your root chakra is the key.

b54af53f16424569d8dbb6c3508fc63dThe root chakra is associated with:

  • The colour red
  • Hatha yoga
  • Ruby, garnet and hematitite
  • The Adrenals
  • Legs, feet, bones and large intestine

Supporting your Root Chakra

Here are a couple of practices for you to experiment with.  Have fun!

foot massage

Massage helps reconnect you with the physical body:  Regular sessions are highly recommended.  Try massaging your feet between sessions. Ayurvedic foot massage uses warm sesame, brahmi, or jatamansi oil.

red
Meditate on the the colour red.  You can use a red candle, an image or simply bring the colour red to your inner awareness.  Start with a few minutes and gradually build up.

protein
Eat Protein animal or vegetable (avoid over eating though).

barefoot walking

Walk barefoot, feel the earth against your skin, let her support you.  Notice the sensations in your feet.  This focused awareness will calm and stabalise your body and mind.

 

relaxation

It is very important not to miss the relaxation part of a yoga session.  When you relax, focus on each part of your body, inviting it to let go, notice your breath. Your nervous system now has time to settle.

Free Breathing Practice

Here is a gift for you.  A free 5 minute breathing practice.  Well 5 minutes and 22 seconds to be precise.  Click here or copy and paste the following url into your web browser.  https://www.dropbox.com/s/1pa4bg76lk15l4c/Breathing%20Practice%201.MP3?dl=0

Why?
Focused breathing is powerfully transformative.  It allows the nervous system to settle, the mind and body to calm and harmony to be restored.

When?
Start with just 5 minutes. If possible daily, (there are 1440 minutes in a day).  If you don’t manage daily do as often as possible.  In an emergency take 3 conscious deep breaths wherever you are.

Who says this works?

Here are a few of the testimonials I have received.

“Dear Suzan   Just to say many thanks for the breathing programme.  My blood pressure readings are down, so no visits to the doctor for 3 months and no increase in medication.  I also feel a lot calmer and don’t get those feelings of panic which were very unpleasant.
yours with many thanks”. Betty E

“I was progressing with my Scuba diver training last weekend was struggling to maintain a level easy breath and as a result using far too much air. So 40 feet below the surface the following day I was thinking about concentrating on my yoga breath whilst trying to master the skills of diving, it worked!” Guy K

“I wanted to let you know I enjoyed the classes and used the breathing techniques throughout the pregnancy and during labour which was a huge help, so thank you” Clare P

If you would like to work deeper with breath and movement I have a range of yoga groups in Aylesbury and am also available for 1-2-1 sessions to support your specific needs and availability.  Click on the link to email me.

So whatever is going on in your life, whether you are super busy, stressed, feeling the winter blues or at a time of change give it a go.  Give yourself the gift of 5 minutes a day for a month and let me know the results.  I would love to hear from you.

Please email me  with any feedback or questions.

lungs-breathe

In an emergency just 3 conscious breaths will change the way you feel.

Five Ways To Reduce Stress

When you are under permanent stress, the fight or flight response which is designed for short term emergencies is constantly in operation and the symptoms of stress become an accepted part of your life. This can cause many health problems including disrupted sleep, raised blood pressure, obesity, suppressed immune system, and increased risk of heart attack, stroke, anxiety and depression.

Here are 5 simple ways to reduce stress:

lungs-breathe

Focus on your breath – as few as 3 conscious breaths can completely change the way you feel.

fresh-air

Connect with nature.  Open a window, go for a walk, have plants in your work space and home.

lady-side-stretch-pink

Yoga helps reduce stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol and stimulates the production of endorphins, the feel good chemicals in the brain.

meditation

Let meditation wipe away the day’s stress, just 5 minutes can bring inner peace.

its-ok-not-to-be-ok

We think the causes of stress are outside our control.  What if we decide that it’s okay not to be okay?  This leaves us free to focus on making positive changes.

 

“New Beginnings”

“The whole world’s broke and it ain’t worth fixing,
It’s time to start all over, make a new beginning,
There’s too much pain, too much suffering,
Let’s resolve to start all over make a new beginning.
Now don’t get me wrong I love life and living,
But when you wake up and look around at everything that’s going down,
All wrong.
You see we need to change it now, this world with too few happy endings
We can resolve to start all over make a new beginning,
Start all over
The world is broken into fragments and pieces,
That once were joined together in a unified whole,
But now too many stand alone,
There’s too much separation,
We can resolve to come together in the new beginning.
We can break the cycle – We can break the chain,
We can start all over – In the new beginning.
We can learn, we can teach,
We can share the myths, the dream, the prayer,
The notion that we can do better,
Change our lives and paths,
Create a new world,
And Start all over.
The whole world’s broke and it ain’t worth fixing,
It’s time to start all over, make a new beginning.
There’s too much fighting, too little understanding,
It’s time to stop and start all over,
Make a new beginning,
We need to make new symbols,
Make new signs,
Make a new language,
With these we’ll define the world,
And start all over.”

 

Tracy Chapman

For a New Beginning

A Blessing by John O’Donohue from ‘Benedictus, A book of blessings’

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Reflection

Look at me
You may think you see
Who I really am
But you’ll never know me
Every day
It’s as if I play a part
Now I see
If I wear a mask
I can fool the world
But I cannot fool my heart
Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me?
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?
I am now
In a world where I
Have to hide my heart
And what I believe in
But somehow
I will show the world
What’s inside my heart
And be loved for who I am
Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me?
Why is my reflection
Someone I don’t know?
Must I pretend that I’m
Someone else for all time?
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?
There’s a heart that must be
Free to fly
That burns with a need to know
The reason why
Why must we all conceal
What we think, how we feel?
Must there be a secret me
I’m forced to hide?
I won’t pretend that I’m
Someone else for all time
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?
~ Christine Aguilera, Reflection: