Nature, Yoga

Week 6 – Cultivating Calm

Hello lovely Yogis!

So this week were really focusing on using the breath as the music our bodies dance to.  We begin with cultivating the 4 part breath, and using that breath to move our bodies through a combination of strong and relaxing movement.

Be as energetic as you like – the invitation is there for variations on the stronger poses so listen to your body and do what suits you best on the day.  I can’t see you so you have to be your own best teacher!  We will finish with a short relaxation so you may melt into your mat with all that lovely cultivated prana….  The practice is around 90 mins long.

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Nature, Yoga

Week 5 – Cultivating Calm

A gardeners special!  Well I don’t know about you, but I’ve been super busy in my garden and it’s only the Yoga that stopped me from being completely broken!

This practice (1 hour) helps me feel tall and loose again – yay!  It specifically targets the back, neck, hips and knees, and helps the joints regain their mobility and stability. I sometimes to do the practice outside in the garden if it’s nice and sunny, it feels great to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the birds and flowers.

If you would like to make it shorter – then start 15 mins in!  The beginning is extra warm-ups.  The last 10  mins is a simple savasana relaxation so you can skip that too if you’re short on time!

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Week 4 – Cultivating Calm

Stress abounds!  Life can be challenging at the best of times – and this is another dimension entirely!

Stress affects our physiology in predictable ways.  Breathing becomes shallow, heart rate increases, upper back/shoulders/neck (and for me) hips feel tight. But when we are hopeful and optimistic, the  breathing is deep and relaxed, the ribcage expands without restriction and the heart rate is steady.

We know that what happens in the mind affects the body, and what happens in the body affects the mind. One manifestation of that is the stress loop.

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Week 3 – Cultivating Calm

Welcome to week 3 – at last!

So we’re working on circles and circulation and energy today.  Actively cultivating the breath and Prana, and circulating it around the body by using rhythm and flowing circular movements. When we deepen the breath and increase circulation, we encourage the elimination of the waste products that are a by product of tension – thus reducing pain in the body.  When we cultivate Prana we increase our energy and overall sense of wellbeing.

Begin by noticing how you feel right now – physically, mentally and emotionally.

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Nature, Yoga, Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra – Week 1 – In Wooler woodlands

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is the practice originally referred to to as Yogic sleep – but the idea here is to stay awake!

It is a deeply relaxing practice that can be used as a healing meditation.  It is especially useful for dealing with stress and anxiety.

You simply follow the voice which usually takes you on a rotation of awareness quickly around the body parts, this is a very relaxing process.  Sometimes you are asked to imagine feelings of heaviness and lightness, right side and left side etc.  Sometimes you will go in a journey with visualisations.  There are many ways and techniques available, and you will find many that will suit you.

The practice can be done sitting, but it’s easier to get a full body relaxation lying down.

A little cushion under the head allows length in the back of the neck, and a bolster or pillow under the back of the knees lets the low back rest comfortably.  An eye bag or nice cotton scarf keeps the light out and a snuggly blanket keeps you warm and cosy.

To begin,  settle nicely into your position,  making sure you are as comfortable as possible.  Arms can be by the side with back of the hands to the floor, or resting comfortably on the body.  Take some time to arrive in your body and notice the breath…

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