Ayurveda, Nature, Yoga

Mindfulness Snack!

Try this short Mindfulness practice that I call “Just Listening”

Practice this whenever you feel the need for some mental space,  5 minutes away from the desk, or to enjoy some peace and quiet away from the chattering “monkey mind”

It is simplicity itself and can be done anywhere.  This is me enjoying glorious winter sun today in our lovely Wooler Woodland Park.  I like to practice outside as the sounds of nature are so soothing and,  well…..  natural!

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Find yourself a comfortable seat,  and make sure you are warm enough and wont be disturbed (dog walkers tend to let you be!)  You may want to set your phone timer for 5-10 mins (and put it on silent)  Close your eyes.

Begin by noticing your breath coming in and out of the nostrils, cool air coming in and warmer going out.  As you inhale imagine growing a little taller as the breath travels up the spine, creating a little space between each vertebrae, and as you exhale relax the shoulders keeping your lovely long spine. Settle in with a few slow breaths.

Now you can simply “Just Listen”.  Begin by noticing the sounds nearby and all around you…  There is no need to engage in any thoughts about them, simply notice and listen to them…  If you find yourself carried away by a thought, simply notice that too and gently bring your attention back to “Just Listening”

Gradually begin to notice the sounds that are farther away from you, the most distant sounds that you can barely hear, and then the furthest sound of all.  When you feel you want to, begin to bring your awareness back to the sounds closest to you again.  Enjoy the peacefulness and stillness that this simple practice can offer.

When practiced regularly mindfulness can help us to build emotional resilience, helping us to deal more effectively with the stress of our busy lives.  It can help with pain and insomnia, and it is free and easy to do.

Enjoy!

 

Ayurveda, Yoga

So what are we doing when we get on our Yoga mat??

I love Olga’s approach to Yoga – to me it makes so much sense. As I get older I have found great value in slowing down, breathing deeply, moving mindfully,  and listening to the messages my body and mind tell me.

Here are some suggestions about what to include in your yoga checklist to get the most out of any yoga practice…

Written by Olga Kabel – Yoga teacher and Yoga Therapist

ShowUp1. Show up:

first physically – literally getting yourself down on your mat, and then mentally, bringing your attention to this moment, to this body.

 

Listen2. Listen:

Instead of allowing your mind to make all the decisions, listen to your body. Notice how you feel (keeping an open mind) and which parts of you need more care on any given day (physical body, energy or mental state). Throughout the practice consistently check in with yourself – how does this movement feel, how am I doing, where does my mind go, and so on.

Breathe3. Connect to the breath:

In yoga we give lip service to deep breathing all the time but then somehow lose that connection halfway through the practice. Instead have your breath inform and guide EVERY SINGLE ONE of your movements. Breath is the most direct link we have to our physiology, specifically the balance between the sympathetic (‘fight-and-flight”) and parasympathetic (“rest-and-digest”) systems, which means that by regulating the breath we can literally change how we feel.

Customize4. Choose a practice that is relevant to YOU.

Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, you might have short-term and long-term practices. Short-term practices address your current physical, energetic and mental-emotional state. Those practices can be completely different from day to day. They are most effective when you are trying to maintain a stable body, consistent energy and clear mind to deal with today’s challenges. In a long-term approach you would do the same practice for an extended period of time (days or weeks), tweaking it only slightly. This is done for the purpose of addressing chronic issues that usually do not get resolved in a space of one practice.

Focus5. Keep your attention anchored.

When you do a familiar practice it is easier to go on an autopilot and just cruise along while simultaneously thinking about unrelated things. Attention is a tricky thing – it takes practice to learn how to direct it and maintain it.

 

Expand6. Do more than asana.

Asana (yoga poses) are great and can serve all kinds of useful purposes. But it’s simply not enough for a well-rounded yoga practice. Working with your breath and your mind is just as important (if not more). It doesn’t need to be anything complicated or intricate. The simplest way to include other elements in your practice is to take 12 deep breaths at the end of your practice (using pace or technique that is connected to your overall theme), and then stay mindful of your experience for 5 minutes (keeping your attention anchored on how you feel).

Observe7. Take time to absorb and integrate.

Don’t be in a rush. Take time between poses to close your eyes and check in with yourself. At the end, don’t just jump up and run to the next thing. You can use Savasana or any comfortable seated position to take time and observe the impact of the practice on each one of your layers (physical, energetic and mental-emotional). This will deepen the effect of your practice and will give you valuable information on whether or not it worked for you (which you can use moving forward).

In this complex and ever-changing world it is always good to get back to the basics and celebrate yoga’s ability to get us in touch with ourselves. In the long run this has more impact then looser hamstrings or mastery of difficult poses.

Thai Yoga Massage, Yoga

Mindful Movement – Yoga with Lyn

Beginning next Wednesday 23rd May 6 – 7.30pm Cheviot Centre Wooler. £8 per session.

Bring your mat and a blanket for a slow and mindful practice to some beautiful music!  Gentle Hatha Yoga suitable for all ages and abilities. We will also have a little therapeutic fun with some simple Thai Massage partner work,  and a gorgeous relaxation to close 

I also offer a weekly class in Chatton Village Hall on Tuesdays 1 – 2.30pm for those who can’t make an evening class – it would be lovely to see you at either or both!

If you want to know more about the Yoga I teach, or any of the therapies I offer, please get in touch. Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

Yoga

Yoga on Thursdays anyone???

Lets get stretchy for summer…..I am putting out the feelers to see who would be interested in coming along to Yoga in Chatton Village Hall on a Thursday eve at 6pm for 60 or 90 mins.  Let me know if 6pm would suit you, and whether you would prefer 60 or 90 mins!  

The Yoga will be gentle Hatha and slow paced.  We will focus on using breath with movement, loosening up the joints and the spine, and bringing some strength, flexibility and openness in our bodies.  There will be a lovely relaxation at the end so we may leave calm and refreshed.  Bring your mat and a big cosy blanket! 

This practice is ideal for people who have not done much Yoga, are beginners, elderly, or highly stressed/overworked and need to restore energy.

Does this sound like something you might enjoy?


Relax and Restore – Yoga with Lyn

Tuesdays 1 – 2.30 pm in Chatton Village hall

Come and join us for our regular weekly session of gentle Hatha Yoga to gorgeous music with a lovely relaxation. 

Yoga

Relax and Restore – Yoga with Lyn

Yoga in Chatton Village Hall  

Tuesdays 1 – 2.30 pm.  Cost £8 per session

The Yoga will be gentle Hatha and slow paced.  We will focus on using breath with movement, loosening up the joints and the spine, and bringing some strength, flexibility and openness in our bodies.  There will be a lovely relaxation at the end so we may leave calm and refreshed.  Bring your mat and a big cosy blanket! 

This practice is ideal for people who have not done much Yoga, are beginners, elderly, or highly stressed/overworked and need to restore energy.

Does this sound like something you might enjoy? Please get in touch to book your place!

Both the movement and the relaxation exercises offered in the class help us slow down, breathe deeply and restore our vital energy. We will incorporate some energy medicine, simple Thai Yoga Massage techniques and Yoga Nidra for a relaxing session that generates a sense of deep, restorative rest which is beneficial for the body.

The classes are suitable for all ages and abilities. You are encouraged to tune into your own body and only practice what feels right for you.

I look forward to seeing you on the mat!